i love ray samuals amps. using an hr2 these days. have used a raptor and an xp-7 with rs1's in the past. all fantastic. at used prices an absolute steal. also used a melos sha-1 for a few years with a very sweet sound with rs1's.
this afternoon i used my RS1i's straight outta my laptop (which has a very good soundcard and an ok hp out). they sounded great, though nowhere near how they sound driven by the hr2. but if not making the comparison i would rave about their sound even outta the laptop, so i say yes they are a great investment before being able to afford an amp.
well, I've breaking them in the old-fashioned way and enjoying every minute of it.
Decided I had to report that yesterday I was just blown away by the bass -not the "uber bass" of the ps1's and ultrazone ed9's - it's the sweetest bass I've heard from any headphone. Grados are famous for their mids but the RS1i is matching them with bass that is simply "to die for".
I don't know how anyone can miss the improvements in the "i" edition RS1 when heard with a really good source and amp. These suckers are breaking in soooo nicely!
(i found this while listening to the following: the new pressing of Jennifer warnes the hunter, original old pressing of jeff beck truth, new mofi pressing of the 1st santana album and an abbey road pro-use)
also, vpi aires (w/benz micro rubyII cart)> pass labs aleph ono phono stage> RSA HR2 headphone amp used as preamp> david berning audionics of oregon tube power amp set at 40 watt> adcom gfs-1 splitter with headphone out>Grado RS1i and KEF 105.2 speakers.
Don't be discouraged by reading about more expensive phones on Head Fi that are touted as being superior. In areas such as musicality and emotional involvement, nothing can touch the RS-1i.
I won't get discouraged. I was just listening to Dream Theater - The Count of Tuscany with my eyes closed and it literally gave me the feeling that I was on stage with the band...sucked me right in...just love these cans. I tried out several different kinds up to the $700 price range and no others gave me this intense feeling that the RS1i does.
So here's my story, I recently sold my buttonless RS1s last week to help finance my new HD800s. Over this past weekend, I was listening to Rob Zombie's new album with my headphones, but couldn't help miss my RS1s.
Maybe I was a little too quick to sell them off. So long story short, my new RS1is (a demo pair from a well respected vendor) should hopefully arrive early next week.
As much as I love my T1s and HD800s, there is always a spot for these amazing cans! Too bad I had to sell of my old pair to realize this...but who said this hobby was cheap!