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SR-404 LE or high-end Grado? - Page 2

post #16 of 27
I may have to bring up another issue also. Not just any Grado but Tom's particular "Ms-Pro", which he sold me.

I used to own for a very long time the SR-125, then upgrade to an RS-1 and then added an SR-325. After they all went bad (probably due to DC spikes) I got a SR-325is and finally his "Music-Pro".

I think over the years Grados have gone through quite some variations and although they all seem to have the original Grado "secret sauce" dating back to the days of Joseph Grado there have been inconsistencies to the point where some Sr-125's would outperform some RS-1's. In fact even a reviewer in an analysis in the Grado web page had indicated a problem with the over enthusiastic bass of the RS-1 bloating into the mids and highs a problem that was not present in the much punchier sr-125 kick drum umph.

Tom's specific Music-Pro is a surprisingly super fast super punchy Grado that easily outperforms most estats including Koss, Stax, and Jade that i own in the speed department let alone the midrange magic.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kintsaki View Post

I would like to ask "Zanth" to help a bit with his opinion of the R-10 and Audio Technica and this is because you have indicated in the past that you like the midrange of the Audio Technica.
I’m not sure what you would like me to describe. The R10’s have a sound that is quite their own (though I have never heard the CD3000 so perhaps they are similar given their cellulose driver) The R10’s lack bass. I’ve heard 3 pairs for extended periods of time and one of those pairs was apparently the bass strong version. Each time I had an R10 I had it for at least 5 weeks or so, with one time being 6 months and another time being closer to a year. The bonus was that I had them at the same time as the Omega IIs. When I had the L3000s, I only had my Grados to compare them to. However, this was after having lived with the Omega Iis and the R10s.

The R10s have a fast sound, and in some ways more responsive than the electrostats I have heard. For the purpose of this post, I’ll make reference to estats, but know that I mean specifically the HE60’s and the Omega II’s (I had the HE60’s at the same time). In every way I preferred the Omega II’s to the Senns.

The R10’s are more dynamic than the estats. I get a sense of the grandeur of the music in a much easier fashion and the R10’s faired better at proper tone and timber. In fact, it seems only the Grado mids and R10 mids seem to consistently get it right the first time. The highs though were the triumph of the Omega II's, air air and more air. A tiny bit of sibilance at times but the R10 highs although very nimble and shimmery sparkly as well, always seemed bumped in comparison to the Stax. I found the HE60s to be pretty bad up top, strident, pitchy and grainy.

The L3000s in comparison were never as fast as the R10s nor the estats but they had better bass. It was authoritative and deep. Layered and clear but with vigor and enegry. Upper bass and lower midrange seems to be a driving force behind PRaT and the L3000s better the R10's and the estats by a large enough factor for me. They lacked the 3Dimensionality of the R10 headspace and the overall air and soundstage of the estats, but they had a livelier more holistic sound.

For pure joy, I would want the L3000s over the others. For something purely different, I would want the Omega IIs. For small chamber works though...R10's are something magical and I would own them just for such albums.

Associated gear at the time:

Stax SR007 tube amp
Suped up KGSS

EAR HP4
PPA
Melos SHA-X
RA-1
Emmeline Stealth
Earmax Pro Anniversary
Cary 300SEI

My front-ends are the same as they are today although I had a Koetsu cart and a Dynavector 17D on hand along with a few Grados (though not the Statement that I have now, well, save the L3000, I had them at the same time.)
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
Suped up KGSS
Was that a Headamp unit (DX) or one of the zzz abominations?
post #19 of 27
It was a reworked zzz perfect amp. It was one of the earliest ones with high grade parts redone by another old time builder who made sure everything was as Kevin had intended.
post #20 of 27
Ahh ok, I was afraid that some of the zzz amps were still out there being used as the builder left them. The only way to really fix them though would be to do what we do the the SP stuff, gut the chassis and throw away everything except the iron.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
I’m not sure what you would like me to describe.
....
thanks a lot Zanth,

although my question was not clear at all...

you did answered it and in fact you went ahead and placed the headphones which I have never heard (HE60, R10, L3000) in the right places for me to visualize their signature.

I also think both your posts must have helped Tom. Unfortunately for Tom (as you have stated) he will have to try an estat phone before he decides for himself.
And even then he will have to try the O2 which is not just an estat phone.

Hopefully the new poorman's Stax amp will do justice to the O2 (at the srm-717 level at least?) and at a fraction of the cost.
post #22 of 27

I would opt for Stax. The sound has a higher stamp on Stax.

post #23 of 27

Are there any Air Motion Transformer headphones? Or ribbon headphones?

 

A long time ago I had a pair of ESS AMT-1 speakers and the mids and highs they produced were spectacular. Extremely airy, extremely quick and detailed, very musical. I imagine a headphone version could produce full spectrum sound.

post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nepenthe View Post

Are there any Air Motion Transformer headphones? Or ribbon headphones?

 

A long time ago I had a pair of ESS AMT-1 speakers and the mids and highs they produced were spectacular. Extremely airy, extremely quick and detailed, very musical. I imagine a headphone version could produce full spectrum sound.


i remember hearing of a ribbon hedaphone in the works (also heard the project was scrapped)...IDK, none exist as far as i have read
 

post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 

That was fantastic thread, thanks for that Zanth, kintsaki, nickchen etc.! In the end I am glad that I did not choose electrostats. Firstly I have never heard them so it would be blind selection for me and quality amp for electrostats is pretty expensive. Moreover my goal is adult speaker system in future, it is another reason why I did not choose the Stax although new SR-507 seems to be great. So quality  hpamp/preamp like base is everything I need for now, my headphone journey is almost done. I will want to borrow PS1000 or I will buy MS-Pro Ultimate and I will see if I will preffer them over my current headphone LCD-2. I am a little worry about the current MS-Pro do not will be the same (as regards sound and design) like my previous MS-Pro, my pair was relly specific as Mike-kintsaki said I loved them. I have never forgotten on them it will stay in my heart forever.


Edited by knopi - 1/3/11 at 9:34am
post #26 of 27

Also consider the Symphones Magnums, which are a pair of MS2/325is with a custom driver and aluminium shell which I felt were as good as the HD-800s in resolution and only a touch behind the LCD-2s.

post #27 of 27

Hardly a dynamic headphone will rise in terms of quality to what is able to play SR-404LE, when you have provided source and serious amplification for these headphones. The limited edition of STAX may sound absolutely delightful, and I'm sure it beats any dynamic until 1000/1500 dollars. The signal and the amplification are, as I said, critical, very, very critical!! After an audition for several hours with 404LE (after the membrane completely relaxed), sounds incredible with eXStatA! smile.gif

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