Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Symphones Magnum upgrade for Grado SR325 and Alessandro MS2
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Symphones Magnum upgrade for Grado SR325 and Alessandro MS2 - Page 142

post #2116 of 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootsit View Post

Let's be honest, we didn't all get Grados for the soundstage.

of courserolleyes.gif but with the bowls the soundstage is a little bigger

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2117 of 2335

Absolutely true, I guess what I was saying was that it didn't necessarily matter to me, and that the level of detail more than makes up for that (to me).

post #2118 of 2335

If you want something in between the bowls and flats try the 414 pads with the reverse quarter mod. this is my current favorite combo. Plus they are more comfortable than any other pads I have tried. Reminds me of wearing earmuffs when I was a kid.

post #2119 of 2335

I got my magnums in today (light version without gimbals. shouldn’t affect sound, AFAIK).

 

First impressions: very impressive.

 

I am listening to them with flats, as the comfort improvement is too great to go back to bowls. Although I do have bowls that I fitted on them anyway to compare. The mids and bass get thinner and I can’t really notice any clear increases in soundstage (imaging is still precise) so I stick with flats.

 

Amped by an ALO Amphora. DAC is a Yulong D18. most tracks are 320 mp3, with a few 16 bit FLAC files here and there. playing via Fidelia on the Mac.

 

it’s been too long since I’ve listened to my (now sold) HF2 or RS1 but these seem to be more neutral without the shouty treble of the RS1. They have thicker mids reminiscent of the HF2 but I don’t detect the same, slight graininess to the sound that the HF2 had. These compare well with the GS1000 I have now for clear, grainless sound. One of the reasons I was able to sell my stax setup was that the GS1000 had a similar clarity (no grain) that I could not find with lower tier dynamics. (Of course, the GS1000 has a treble spike that needs taming but that was an acceptable compromise to me)

 

The Magnums are very fast. Any song I have with lots of layered instruments and fast tempos come across very clearly. I don’t get the impression that anything is being smudged or passed over by the headphones.

 

Example tracks: “Huron Beltane Fire Dance. Live” by Loreena McKennitt, “I Adore you” by Esperanza Spalding. there’s a lot of instruments vying for your attention at the same time (some of them very subtly at the edges of the recording) on these tracks and they all have a very clear position and can be identified. Some lesser headphones might smudge the softer instruments when a shaker is playing quickly throughout a song. not here.

 

In terms of timbre/ tonality, I am a big fan of what I’m hearing so far. there is a bit of lushness in the mids but I can’t figure out if it’s exaggerated or more natural compared to the thinner mids of the GS1000. I think it’s more in tune with real instruments and live vocals but, either way, it’s excellent and addictive. I should note that the lushness never feels syrupy or slow. there’s just a nice, good weight to vocals that just feels “right".

 

I recently started listening to “Salt for Salt” by Brown Bird and this album has lots of standing upright bass, guitar, tambourines, wooden stick percussion and everything sounds right on point. There’s a proper meatiness and texture to the bass, as it drives the rhythm on many of the tracks. The hollow echoing of the wooden block backing instrumnents is great - you almost get an impression of the room where the stick is being whacked by that echo. very, very nice.

 

I do detect some sibilance and perhaps resonance on some songs. My go to test for this is “California” by Joni Mitchell. there are a few high pitched vocals in the song can be piercing. Not so much as on the GS1000 but enough to be noticeable and make me wince. I found a slight EQ of 2 dB at 5 kHz helped a lot. (I saw that this is the largest ringing frequency from purrin’s CSD charts). But this is not noticeable on most songs I have listened to - the singer really needs to wail at that specific frequency for it to be an issue.

 

At this early stage, I think these are keepers. I have a pair of PS500 coming in early next week and I’ll be doing some comparisons. One of them will stay and one will go up for sale. I am fairly sure the GS1000 are going up for sale as I’m not convinced its soundstage and comfort improvements over the magnum are worth the tonality differences to my ears.

 

If I do keep the magnums, I may find myself selling this “light" pair if someone later on is selling a full upgrade pair with the nice, shiny gimbals. :)


Edited by LCfiner - 6/1/12 at 4:00pm
post #2120 of 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCfiner View Post

I got my magnums in today (light version without gimbals. shouldn’t affect sound, AFAIK).

 

First impressions: very impressive.

 

I am listening to them with flats, as the comfort improvement is too great to go back to bowls. Although I do have bowls that I fitted on them anyway to compare. The mids and bass get thinner and I can’t really notice any clear increases in soundstage (imaging is still precise) so I stick with flats.

 

Amped by an ALO Amphora. DAC is a Yulong D18. most tracks are 320 mp3, with a few 16 bit FLAC files here and there. playing via Fidelia on the Mac.

 

it’s been too long since I’ve listened to my (now sold) HF2 or RS1 but these seem to be more neutral without the shouty treble of the RS1. They have thicker mids reminiscent of the HF2 but I don’t detect the same, slight graininess to the sound that the HF2 had. These compare well with the GS1000 I have now for clear, grainless sound. One of the reasons I was able to sell my stax setup was that the GS1000 had a similar clarity (no grain) that I could not find with lower tier dynamics. (Of course, the GS1000 has a treble spike that needs taming but that was an acceptable compromise to me)

 

The Magnums are very fast. Any song I have with lots of layered instruments and fast tempos come across very clearly. I don’t get the impression that anything is being smudged or passed over by the headphones.

 

Example tracks: “Huron Beltane Fire Dance. Live” by Loreena McKennitt, “I Adore you” by Esperanza Spalding. there’s a lot of instruments vying for your attention at the same time (some of them very subtly at the edges of the recording) on these tracks and they all have a very clear position and can be identified. Some lesser headphones might smudge the softer instruments when a shaker is playing quickly throughout a song. not here.

 

In terms of timbre/ tonality, I am a big fan of what I’m hearing so far. there is a bit of lushness in the mids but I can’t figure out if it’s exaggerated or more natural compared to the thinner mids of the GS1000. I think it’s more in tune with real instruments and live vocals but, either way, it’s excellent and addictive. I should note that the lushness never feels syrupy or slow. there’s just a nice, good weight to vocals that just feels “right".

 

I recently started listening to “Salt for Salt” by Brown Bird and this album has lots of standing upright bass, guitar, tambourines, wooden stick percussion and everything sounds right on point. There’s a proper meatiness and texture to the bass, as it drives the rhythm on many of the tracks. The hollow echoing of the wooden block backing instrumnents is great - you almost get an impression of the room where the stick is being whacked by that echo. very, very nice.

 

I do detect some sibilance and perhaps resonance on some songs. My go to test for this is “California” by Joni Mitchell. there are a few high pitched vocals in the song can be piercing. Not so much as on the GS1000 but enough to be noticeable and make me wince. I found a slight EQ of 2 dB at 5 kHz helped a lot. (I saw that this is the largest ringing frequency from purrin’s CSD charts). But this is not noticeable on most songs I have listened to - the singer really needs to wail at that specific frequency for it to be an issue.

 

At this early stage, I think these are keepers. I have a pair of PS500 coming in early next week and I’ll be doing some comparisons. One of them will stay and one will go up for sale. I am fairly sure the GS1000 are going up for sale as I’m not convinced its soundstage and comfort improvements over the magnum are worth the tonality differences to my ears.

 

If I do keep the magnums, I may find myself selling this “light" pair if someone later on is selling a full upgrade pair with the nice, shiny gimbals. :)

 

I had a similar initial response, and about 20-30 hrs in, the sibilance started to slowly fade away. Or I got used to it. Not too sure which.

post #2121 of 2335

yeah, I’ll be running these overnight throughout the weekend when I’m not listening to them and see if I can note any differences.

 

gosh, these are good :)

post #2122 of 2335

How much was the light mod (if you don't mind me asking)? I didn't think that option was still available.

post #2123 of 2335

300 dollars. (An old head-fi thread had it listed at 250, but I guess that was a temporary promotional price)

 

I was able to get a used 325 for a good price last month, so the total headphone wasn’t too expensive. But, of course, as soon as I shipped out my headphones for the mods, a bunch of full magnum upgrades started showing up for sale here, for cheaper. heh.

post #2124 of 2335

I went for the full mod and was just curious. Thanks.

The gimbals now have bigger rod blocks and they actually hit the leather on my headband, and scuffed it up. Basically, Grado had not glued the rod-holders on very straight. I broke the glue in the rod-holders and got them to the point that the rods/blocks no longer hit the headband. While I was at it, I figured I would remove the leather and take it to a local leather maker to see if he could make something a bit nicer. He couldn't. In the end, I ended up cleaning it with saddle soap and then applying leather conditioner. I have to say, after doing so, the stock 325 headband is pretty nice. The color is definitely deeper and it has gotten a little bit softer. I am quite happy.

post #2125 of 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by sluker View Post

If you want something in between the bowls and flats try the 414 pads with the reverse quarter mod. this is my current favorite combo. Plus they are more comfortable than any other pads I have tried. Reminds me of wearing earmuffs when I was a kid.

 

I'm using these now. I bought them off the guy on eBay who has been selling them dyed black.

 

Someone asked me for the "3 line review" I talked about before. Here it is, for the full mod:

 

They are the equivalent of a highly-resolving pair of Grados, albeit with a frequency response that tries to be good with as many genres of music as possible, to the detriment of the (perceived) soundstage, mainly due to the somewhat forward mids which the V2 and V3 didn't have, as well as the slightly lower treble. They work well with everything from an iPod to a high-end rig so they are both flexible and scale well. Unfortunately they don't work as well, IMO, with flats or G pads, which would rectify the slightly congested sound. If only Rhydon could make a driver that works with the bigger pads, we'd both have comfort as well as a soundstage.

post #2126 of 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 If only Rhydon could make a driver that works with the bigger pads, we'd both have comfort as well as a soundstage.

i´m waiting for this, really!!!

post #2127 of 2335

I am waiting for Rhydon to make his own headphones.

As thing stands, the Magnum 325 is still better any in production Grado I have heard ( except for GS1000/ PS1000 which have different sound and should not be compared directly).

In my opinion, Magnum325 is also better than a pair of Magnum drivers in a wooden body.

post #2128 of 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcf View Post

In my opinion, Magnum325 is also better than a pair of Magnum drivers in a wooden body.

 

I agree. Rhydon tunes his drivers to work best with aluminum inner cups and outer cups. I consider all the woodwork going on over the "Grado modders go Magnum" thread sacrilegious biggrin.gif

post #2129 of 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcf View Post

I am waiting for Rhydon to make his own headphones.

As thing stands, the Magnum 325 is still better any in production Grado I have heard ( except for GS1000/ PS1000 which have different sound and should not be compared directly).

In my opinion, Magnum325 is also better than a pair of Magnum drivers in a wooden body.

i agree completely with you relatively a new headphone and the grado production.

i never listened the gs-1000 but i prefere the magnum than the ps-1000

RHYDON, YOU´RE A BEST ENGINEER:
PLEASE, MAKE A NEW HEADPHONE.

HEAD´FIERS EXPECT THIS!!!biggrin.gif

post #2130 of 2335

I have a feeling that he is, given that he is nearing the end of the Magnum productions.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)

Gear mentioned in this thread:

Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Symphones Magnum upgrade for Grado SR325 and Alessandro MS2