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Blasphemy: Looking for closed phones with a Grado sound

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Greetings, head 'ficianados. I'm a long time lurker about to ask the single most obnoxious question you get around here -- but with a twist that will hopefully pique your interest.

I am a Grado guy, through and through. Love the staging, the accuracy, the openness, and the "flavor" they give to sound. From the minute I donned my first pair of SR-60s I was hooked. Bought the RS-2s last winter and have never wanted for anything since.

I work in an open-plan office and for a while now I've been off in a corner where the Grado's copious noise pollution rarely affects more than occasional prairie-dogging. However, we've just hired a new engineer, and the only place to slot him is right next to me.

In the spirit of neighborliness, I need to switch to a more private mode of listening. However, my only closed cans are Sennheiser HD-280s -- painful to wear, and after the Grados, painful to listen to as well.

It's like a riddle to me: I need something closed that sounds open. And so I turn the question over to the experts. Source is digital (iPod/Phone/) piped through a portable amp (CMOY). Though I'm truly an all-kinds-of-music guy, I enjoy most the way the RS-2s render organs, reverb, percussion and horns. Comfort is important, as I listen about 6 hours a day -- I enjoy the weight of the RS-2s, but find them a very loose fit. I'd like to spend $250 at the max, and if I can swing something in the $100 range I'd be thrilled.
post #2 of 22
I don't know of a single one that would fit the sound you want.
post #3 of 22
I had the same quest. I settled for akg k271 for the slightly forward mids.
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sling5s View Post
I had the same quest. I settled for akg k721 for the slightly forward mids.
Great suggestion only quite a departure from Grado sound.
For something brighter you can try DT770 (newer version), check out 600Ohm version on Drew's site, that one should have less piercing treble. It's not a perfect match but should be closer to what you are looking.
And if you don't mind supraaural - ATH-ESW9.
post #5 of 22
How about trying a different flavor of headphones? The only thing that sounds like a Grado is a Grado. However, there are lots of other sound signatures and you might fall in love with another one, too. Lots of us have.

So instead of going for the Grado sound, start looking at closed headphones in your budget and see if they'll fit your needs. I think you should be able to find a pair you'll love whether or not they sound like Grados.
post #6 of 22
If I remember correctly I had a similar thread, probably my first.there are a few asking this question.in my Impression Grado should come up with something closed which share the same signature as their open headphones.

Anyway I ended up getting Sennheiser HD 25-1 II and am very happy with them.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
And if you don't mind supraaural - ATH-ESW9.
I was going to suggest these as well. Looks like Amazon has them listed for $220. They're not exactly Grado sound but they handle rock quite well. Punchy bass, great mids, upfront sound, and a nice small soundstage. Look great too.

I have to admit I've only heard them at meets but I'm a big Grado fan and these sounded really good to me. I've taken a shine to Audio Technica since acquiring the L3000. But having the top-end model doesn't take away from liking the lower ones as well. Even with Grado, I used to own the PS-1 and bought the SR-60 later (which I still own).
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Good advice so far, thank you.

I'm willing to get excited about any brand's "sound," provided it's nothing like those Sennheisers! Those really let me down...they're technically pretty accurate, but I find them to have all the soul of a poetry lecture.
post #9 of 22
If I were going to enclose a pair of phones, I'd look for some that had a lot of damping to deaden the resonance of the enclosed chamber. I'd also play with the crappy EQ on my iPod. Closed cans tend to have a lot of bass and a fairly dark presentation. With the Acoustics and Treble Booster positions, a dark can approximate some of the pop and sparkle of an open can. If I had a pair of bass-heavy, muddy Bose OEs, I'd probably do the same with them. I've found that this works surprisingly well with the hated JVC Marshmallows.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasmb View Post
...I am a Grado guy, through and through. Love the staging, the accuracy, the openness, and the "flavor" they give to sound. From the minute I donned my first pair of SR-60s I was hooked. Bought the RS-2s last winter and have never wanted for anything since.

I work in an open-plan office and for a while now I've been off in a corner where the Grado's copious noise pollution rarely affects more than occasional prairie-dogging. However, we've just hired a new engineer, and the only place to slot him is right next to me.

...It's like a riddle to me: I need something closed that sounds open. And so I turn the question over to the experts. Source is digital (iPod/Phone/) piped through a portable amp (CMOY). Though I'm truly an all-kinds-of-music guy, I enjoy most the way the RS-2s render organs, reverb, percussion and horns. Comfort is important, as I listen about 6 hours a day -- I enjoy the weight of the RS-2s, but find them a very loose fit. I'd like to spend $250 at the max, and if I can swing something in the $100 range I'd be thrilled.
i too am a Grado guy, and started pretty much as you did with an SR60, before climbing the ladder to an RS-2.

while not a closed headphone, i recommend trying a Yuin PK1. it shares a lot of characteristics with Grados, it doesn't leak much sound at all, and should perform very well driven by a CMoy. in terms of comfort, they completely disappear in my ears, and their low profile and openness allows you to remain inconspicuous in the office, while still aware of your environment.

and on a side note, your loose-fitting RS-2s can be easily rectified by gently bending the headband inwards.
post #11 of 22
What about those grado canalphones? I haven't heard them but they look pretty gr8

If grado really is "tuned by hand" to make the sound his "golden ears" like (which is apparently hereditary), wouldnt it sound similar to the open ones at least in terms of balance?
post #12 of 22
I think my Sony MDR-V6's sound pretty close to the SR225's. They aren't exactly Grado's, but they do have that same forward sound and they sound great for rock as well as anything else. They isolate very well too and have nice separation and detail. Only downside is that the soundstage is very narrow and they sound just like a closed headphone would sound like. They sound a little harsh/sibilant out of a ipod, but do sound better when driven by an amp. I thought about buying the 280's too, but I heard they were boring and went for the V6's instead.
post #13 of 22
I found that the ESW10JPN sounds very similar to the RS-1, but sadly it is completely out of your budget.
post #14 of 22
My suggestion would be the Goldring NS-1000 cans, which even at full price of £160 come under budget and there are great deals to be had, particularly on Play.com.

They do leak a bit of noise, but not as much as the Grados. If you do not switch on the Noise Reduction the sound is more bassy, but without it being overwhelming. They are also dynamic and good with rock, to my ears anyway, in comparison with my SR80s.

I find them comfortable and even with NR off you will hardly hear any outside noise.
post #15 of 22
A K271 with headphile's dyed DT770 pads gets an astonishing amount of Grado genes.
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