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Grado PS1000

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 

I thought fellow head-fi'ers might be interested in this review:

Grado PS1000 Headphones (Playback 25) | AVguide


post #2 of 96
he says this about PS1K v. HD800.

The HD 800s are a little more accurately balanced in the upper midrange, while lower midrange body on the PS1000s seems more natural.
The HD 800s are slightly brighter than the PS1000s; the difference is small.
The PS1000s have somewhat more mid-bass than either live music or the slightly reticent HD 800s.
The HD 800s seem to have better deep bass.
The PS1000s have smoother yet more detailed treble.
The PS1000s are slightly softer or more damped sounding; they are also more forgiving of bad recordings (a strength of both models, actually).
post #3 of 96
Why does this headphone fly so much under the radar around here? Is it the cheap looks or what? Grado is pretty well known headphone manufacturer for all I know.
post #4 of 96
Think the workmanship has really annoyed alot of people and made new buyers very sceptical
post #5 of 96
i don't think there are that many out there. i haven't seen or listened to one.
post #6 of 96
I think it's because they cost too much!
post #7 of 96
Originally Posted by pearljam5000 View Post
I think it's because they cost too much!
I agree. The costs of the HD800 and PS-1000 are both insane. I like that comparison at the end, though. It sounds like the HD800 and PS1000 might be more similar than I imagined.
post #8 of 96
Owning both of them, I think they complement each other quite well (some of us have discussed this in the PS1000 first impressions thread). I'm not sure though, quickly reading through the review, that I completely agree with the reviewer regarding bass. The Grados have plenty of nice detailed bass (bass and especially percussion instruments are an absolute dream with these cans) - Anyway, I've been trying not to get too hyper-technical about either of these cans, but I can say they are both outstanding. I am partial, to be honest, to Senn's service, though from the standpoint of sound, they're in the same league.

That said, I may do an a/b down the road, though ..

I suspect some of the reasons why the PS1000s haven't really generated the interest of the HD800s, for example, may have to do, in no particular order, with price (d'oh - though that could work the other way too), but also with very real QC concerns (also discussed in the PS1000 impressions thread), as well as the (I think unfounded) idea that somehow the PS1000 is just a glorified GS1000/GS1000i (again, at least to me, not really so - see the PS1000 impressions thread). I've also heard it mentioned that Grado was busy with the HF2's around the time the ps1000s were scheduled to come out, and they may have hurt Grado's marketing efforts. That, and the timing (about the same time as the HD800s came out) didn't help. Also, some folks seem to think they might be too heavy (I find them just fine, though the HD800s and GS1000i's sit better on me). But this still doesn't explain everything. Similarly, the fact that there aren't a lot of PS1000s out there doesn't seem to be it either, since many other products that seem less available get a lot of buzz (in fact, two weeks or so ago I saw a PS1000 with serial number 447 - so there are at least a couple of hundred out there already. Further, Grado seems to have a rather large authorized dealership - though I do know they allocate just a few to at least many of their dealers, so that can't be the only reason either ...

In short, it's a mystery to me too why the apparent lack of interest in these great cans. But then, I also have the GS1000i, and I think they're great too, and I know a lot of folks don't care for them ... Go figure.
post #9 of 96
Agree with 563 re: the GS1000. I'd love to own the PS1000. Maybe, sooner or later!
post #10 of 96
I have owned the GS-1000 and liked them a lot. I heard the PS-1000 at the Danish meet in October at did not like them at all (neither did several others). They were wildly over the top, out of control boomboxes (and the pairing equipment was diverse and very good quality) so I'm wondering if they were somehow defective as I actually think they have to range as one of the worst headphones I have ever heard regardless of price. And finish was really poor for something that expensive. Also they were rather heavy and did not sit very well on the head, not much bending foreward/backward and they would fall off.
post #11 of 96

I'm not sure if I'm supposed to do this, but I wanted to repeat myself on why I liked the PS1000s so much in some other threads (about Grado and Audeze).

I think they just are really fine phones (way better than other Grados I own and have owned: RS1s + GS1000s) and wanted to highly recommend them

(especially since they don't get a lot of respect or attention around here).

I mainly use the Grados with my Rudistor RP010B amp. So here are my thoughts collected in one place...



The PS1000s are not forward or pushy. I love mine. I also hate forwardness, especially in the midrange. (I guess that is where this happens, by definition.)

The PS1000s are just diffuse enough to keep vocals and other

midrange items at a perfectly safe distance, just a bit diffuse and recessed and sonorous to sound gorgeous to me.

It is a very refined sound, in my opinion. Other more forward phones make me wince (when there is too much focus) and

it just plain hurts, no matter how good the phones are in other areas. Some phones are helped by good tubes with this.

The PS1000s have turned into my favorites in my collection (HD800s, T1s, 650s, RS1s, 701s and more).

Methinks the 800s and T1s can be too forward sounding unless they they have tubes (then they can be great).

The PS1000s don't need all this big support structure.

If I could only keep one set of phones, the Grados would be it. They are sooo musical.

I think they get way too little respect around here. After a lot of careful listening, I think they are a breakthrough phone.

I might even get a 2nd pair after I sell off some of my older collection.

I want to give a big thanks to Joe Grado for these.

(I do really like my 800s and T1s also, but only with my B52 amp, and it took a lot of fiddling with tubes and cables to get there.

But I still like the PS1Ks better overall for their big, friendly, megabuck-speakerlike sound.)



If I could just chime in here about the HD800 vs. LCD2 comparisons, I agree that that the HD800s can step over the line and be aggressive,

especially in the upper mids in my case with Rudi's RP010B amp, but my solution is the Grado PS1000, which has a very nice

kind of wider, more amorphous sound without the pinpoint soundstaging, but really does hit that sweet spot between detail and

and musicality. There is an enveloping sound with the Grados that I find superb and makes them the headphone of choice with the Rudistor.

The PS1Ks are totally un-Gradolike compared to my sizzling, piercing, and often abusive RS1s.

I intend to try the LCD2s also, but I really recommend the big Grados if you are searching for that happy medium where

you get fine musical focus but still not feel that you are missing something or in a fog.

They are a really underrated phone IMHO. The provide pretty good definition, true tonality, but do not get pushy in any part of the spectrum. And they are not constrained or foggy like I find the Senn 600/650s.

In defense of the HD800s, they really do well with tubes (like my  RSA B52 amp).

The nervous, overwrought highs and forward upper mids

disappear (or at least are well-tamed) but leave most of the wonderful detail and staging. I would go so far as to say the 800s are a tube-only amp.

The Beyer T1s, like the 800s, also benefit highly from tubes, although the highs and upper mids and not nearly as prominent as with the 800s.

But the Grado PS1000s just walk the line nicely with all the amps I have tried them on, and I think

they are the phones of choice for solid state. (I have tried the Rudistor RP010, Original Headroom Max, & Luxman P1U).

Maybe the LCD2s also do this; it sounds like this is what people who are interested in the LCD2 are looking for,

and that is why I bring up the Grados here. They are not your father's Grado.


I also wrote about my Rudistor amp here which I used only with the PS1000s for this mini-review:


Edited by rgs9200m - 10/5/10 at 10:02pm
post #12 of 96

Don't worry. Guys with lesser amps will shout at you that the best Grado ever was the RS1(i). I agree with most of your statements and add that there is no need to use tube amps for either HD800 or T1. The RSA Apache in balanced mode and some recabling to them will launch these headphones to sonic heaven. There are other solid state options as well letting you go higher than i.e. Cary SLI-80 or Leben CS300XS. For the T1 I think you'd appreciate my cable connection mod. It's even better when you replace the jack plug for the Furutech FP-704. I'm waiting for my PS1000 to come back and fight with my modded T1's. wink.gif

post #13 of 96

I hate when headphones (or speakers) send some phasers-on-kill tone to my brain, especially with vocals, a kind of ringing sound, which

I think is in the upper midrange. It makes me cringe and wince and try to listen through it, which is stressful.

It happens with a lot of phones. The only ones that avoided this were my Senn. 650s

and (sold) Stax Omegas/007t. But these had other issues. The Grado PS1000s are the first to avoid this but still convey the truth of the music

and some nice delineation of the size, shape and position (and very individual tonality) of objects. The soundstage is not huge or cavernous and does not try to

mimic a speaker-experience, but it conveys enough spacing to hint at reality and be very satisfying.


As far as comparing them to other phones,

I did some pretty intensive back-and-forth between the PS1Ks and T1s, and definitely came down on the side of the Grados.


The PS1Ks just are friendlier and more soothing but not holding-back like my 650s did. The T1s are not bright, but they are

more exacting. I think I can see what the Beyer guys were aiming at. I can listen for hours to the T1s with my B52 and

really hear luscious tube-rush (much more so than the Grados), and I can really say the T1s thrive there.

But with solid state, some of that upper-mid ringing comes through just a bit, but then I switch to the PS1Ks and

I go "Ahhhhhhh, I am safe now" and just lean into the sound and not worry I will be zinged.

The Grados actually sound more Amp-independent, with their own signature, and not as revealing. But they never go over the line.

They are anti-analytical. And musical objects just seem a little bigger with the Grados.


If you are looking to avoid pain but not feel like you are listening behind a thick curtain where sounds

are blunted and struggling to get out (like I felt about my 650s), try the PS1000s.


The only caveat about the PS1Ks is the top headband does not have enough padding, and I placed a thin strip of foam under it and taped it on and

that completely solves the problem. It is a really simple fix, and I probably could have used some towel or cloth strips or something.

But I have a sensitive head (AKGs and others have also had this problem for me), and it may not bother you.

Otherwise, comfort is great, with no pressure or tightness.


Edited by rgs9200m - 10/6/10 at 5:26pm
post #14 of 96


Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

If you are looking to avoid pain but not feel like you are listening behind a thick curtain where sounds

are blunted and struggling to get out (like I felt about my 650s), try the PS1000s.


The only caveat about the PS1Ks is the top headband does not have enough padding, and I placed a thin strip of foam under it and taped it on and that completely solves the problem. It is a really simple fix, and I probably could have used some towel or cloth strips or something.

But I have a sensitive head (AKGs and others have also had this problem for me), and it may not bother you.

Otherwise, comfort is great, with no pressure or tightness.


Thanks for your impressions. I am becoming more and more convinced I am going to have to give the PS1000 a try, and posts like yours don't help.  What would you say about the way they sit on your head, rather than comfort per se? One of my biggest complaints about the HD 800 was that, while they were comfortable, they felt too awkward on my head.

post #15 of 96

As far as comfort goes, besides the underpadded headband issue I mentioned above, they are fine.

I'm extremely comfort-sensitive (but isn't everyone?) and I can wear them for hours.

The weight feels about the same as HD800s to me, and the big bowls go around the ears nicely.

The rims of the bowls are wide enough to avoid any feeling of cutting (there is a trifle of cutting with the 800s,

but I'm fine with those too). The cables are nicely spaced and flexible and get out of the way.

They don't clamp too hard and you can move them around somewhat around your ears to get the

best driver position and comfort-position that is best, so they are not a one-size-fits-all thing.

I don't feel they are awkward at all. I find them much more comfortable than, say, Senn 650s (they clamp too hard)

or AKG 701s (the ear-surrounds are not quite big enough). The foam is not soft and cushy, but it doesn't

feel scratchy at all and it softens up so it is just right after a few days of use.

(If Grado or someone else like JMoney came out with more cushy or softer surrounds, I would try them.)

Edited by rgs9200m - 10/8/10 at 9:42am
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