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Just heard the Alessandro MS-1....

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

And I loved them! Fantastic sounding can. I'm thinking about buying a pair but they are quite cheap and I was wondering if there was anything out there that sounds similar but is a little more high-end. I can get them for $150 here in Australia but I can spend about $400 on some new cans. So what should I look at?

post #2 of 23

The only thing similar is another Alessandro or Grado. Having said the the MS2 isn't really a 'better' MS1, it's a pretty aggressive sounding phone. They really only share that punchy up front sound. The MS1 has a rep as a very good value for money, and SQ, phone. You'll have to go up a few notches to get better. But nothing else will sound like a Gradossandro.

 

Also, the more you spend, the more important all the other links in your chain become, and the less likely the phones can deliver their best, all by themselves. If an iPod is all you have, I personally wouldn't lash out $400 on a headphone for them.

post #3 of 23

The MS1 is actually my favorite Grado. I actually prefer it to the higher end Grados and Alessandros like the MS2, MS Pro, SR125-325, RS1. I think the only Grado I might like more than it is the HF2. 

 

But I would also caution against $400 headphones without a proper system to back it up. The more expensive cans don't show their true colors without an even more expensive system behind them. I have an HD650 and I don't think I have the proper system to really get all my money's worth out of them, to be honest.

post #4 of 23

Originally Posted by deniall View Post

And I loved them! Fantastic sounding can. I'm thinking about buying a pair but they are quite cheap and I was wondering if there was anything out there that sounds similar but is a little more high-end. I can get them for $150 here in Australia but I can spend about $400 on some new cans. So what should I look at?


I just had the MS-1i's here, and I didn't like them vs the SR80i's and the SR125i's.  The MS-1i's sounded a lot like the 80's but with less bass.  No difference in the mids or highs.  They actually sounded more like SR60i's to me.  Go figure.  Not what I was expecting at all.  When I emailed Grado about what I heard, they said they couldn't say anything.  NDA in place.  "No comment."

 

The SR125i's sound a lot like the SR80i's, but the mids/highs seemed mellower to me.  Still there in terms of the "Grado sound", but definitely not as "bad" as the 80's. 

 

I'm going to check out the SR225i's sometime soon ...

post #5 of 23

The only one headphone that I know is the straight upgrade from Aless MS1i is Aless MS-Pro. (I've found many people love MS1i more than MS2i)

 

There's no other brands has sound of Grado/Alessandro.

post #6 of 23

Goes to show how we hear and perceive sound sigs just plain varies.

 

I would never call the SR125s "mellower" than the SR80 or SR60. The SR125 had blaringly bright highs per my ears. I had to do a lot of pad rolling to get it to sound acceptable to my ears. the MS1 is a "mellower' version of the SR80 to me. Not just less bass, but also less heat in the highs. That's why I prefer them to the SR80 actually; the treble was a lot smoother to me.

post #7 of 23



Amen to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drubbing View Post

If an iPod is all you have, I personally wouldn't lash out $400 on a headphone for them.

post #8 of 23

 

Originally Posted by Mochan View Post

Goes to show how we hear and perceive sound sigs just plain varies.

 

I would never call the SR125s "mellower" than the SR80 or SR60. The SR125 had blaringly bright highs per my ears. I had to do a lot of pad rolling to get it to sound acceptable to my ears. the MS1 is a "mellower' version of the SR80 to me. Not just less bass, but also less heat in the highs. That's why I prefer them to the SR80 actually; the treble was a lot smoother to me.


Just curious, are you referring to the newer "i" versions, or the older ones?  You don't have an "i" anywhere in what you wrote, although you do have the SR60i and SR80i listed in your signature.  I compared all the "i" versions I mentioned.

 

??

post #9 of 23


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post

Just curious, are you referring to the newer "i" versions, or the older ones?  You don't have an "i" anywhere in what you wrote, although you do have the SR60i and SR80i listed in your signature.  I compared all the "i" versions I mentioned.


Does it matter? No matter how much people try and convince themselves the i is different, they're not, and Grado won't explicitly state what the improvements are, they let markets like this insert their own differences, and squabble over who's right.

 

The changes to the SR range is cosmetic only and that can be clearly seen, and appears to be more about saving costs, by having a uniform cup design across that range. I auditioned both the RS2 and RS2i and I bought the older one, as they sounded the same. If there are any differences, they are so minimal as to be insignificant. But the older one was going for a bargain, being 'superseded' and all...

post #10 of 23

Sorry, but whether it's the i version or not matters to me because I definitely did not hear what I expected based on all the info here and other places.

 

So maybe something changed with the Alessandro's from the older version to the i's.  And not in a good way IMO.

post #11 of 23

The SR125 was the SR125, not the i.

 

I have listened to both the SR80 and the SR80i, I currently have an uber-modded SR80i which doesn't resemble the original in sound.

 

I've also heard both SR60 and SR60i, owned the SR60i at one point.

 

In terms of differences, the differences are very minute and miniscule between i and non i versions. The change in cup form makes almost no difference to sound signature IMO. Grado Labs says that they made some driver enhancements to the i versions, but I haven't really managed to discern the difference. 

 

If you want to change the sound sig, the biggest impact on a Grado's sound is in the pads you use with it. Changing the pads changes the sound significantly, more than making changes to the cups (which is basically what the 'i' version is). Changing cup shape makes very little difference from what I can hear; you will hear more significant changes removing the grills of the cup, which actually makes a rather noticeable change.

 

You will also get more of a diff by changing the cup material. Wood and metal have different acoustic properties from plastic. You can also change the sound sig by adding a layer of blue tak inside the chambers of your cups. I heard Felt also does something but have not tried this.

 

Another huge difference in the sound sig is adding distancers to the chamber. This makes a very noticeable difference as well.

 

 

post #12 of 23

For the record... the SR60i and the SR80i sound almost exactly the same to me. The only real difference is a slightly heavier thump in the SR80i's lower range, and slightly more muted highs. SR60i sounds slightly more aggressive in comparison. The MS1i on the other hand sounds very different from both, with less bass as you mentioned, but also much smoother highs. Out of the box I prefered the MS1i of the 3.  Actually, out of the box, I prefer the MS1i over everything in the Prestige Series range from SR60 to SR225i. The only can I might take over the MS1 in the Prestige Series is the SR325... and even then I think I prefer the MS1 because it is a smoother sound more attuned to my tastes.

 

I did some heavy mods on the SR80i though and got what I call the "GS8000." I like its sound very much over the MS1 or MS1i.  

 

I also prefer the MS1i to the MS2i. And sometimes I prefer it to the MS Pro. MS Pro is basically an MS1i with much, much more refined sound and clarity across the board, with shimmering highs, but sounds a little thin at times. Sometimes I prefer the extra heat and punch of the MS1i. 

 

And I definitely found the SR125 and SR125 to be harsher and more sibilant than the SR80i.

 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post


I just had the MS-1i's here, and I didn't like them vs the SR80i's and the SR125i's.  The MS-1i's sounded a lot like the 80's but with less bass.  No difference in the mids or highs.  They actually sounded more like SR60i's to me.  Go figure.  Not what I was expecting at all.  When I emailed Grado about what I heard, they said they couldn't say anything.  NDA in place.  "No comment."

 

The SR125i's sound a lot like the SR80i's, but the mids/highs seemed mellower to me.  Still there in terms of the "Grado sound", but definitely not as "bad" as the 80's. 

 

I'm going to check out the SR225i's sometime soon ...

post #13 of 23

Are you guys serious? The MS2i is MILES above the MS1, both amped and unamped, in almost every regard. 

 

The only reason I got the MS1 is because I can't stand the discomfort of the heavy MS2i pressing against my glasses.

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by az2123 View Post

Are you guys serious? The MS2i is MILES above the MS1, both amped and unamped, in almost every regard. 

 

The only reason I got the MS1 is because I can't stand the discomfort of the heavy MS2i pressing against my glasses.


I concur.  In addition, the difference between the MSPro and the MS2 is almost as great as that between the MS1s and MS2s.  It is also important to note that the higher the 'phone is up the line, the more it improves with amping.  Comfort-wise, all wood Gradossandros are more comfortable than the metal and plastic ones.

 

As it was previously mentioned, pad-rolling does significantly impact the sound.  The jumbo (bagel) pads make the soundstage and comfort of the headphones increase to wonderful levels, at the cost of some of the Grado "bite", pulled back mids, and more pronounced highs.  These pads obviously compliment Grados like the HF2's because it balances out the sound signature, whereas I found the tinnier/thinner Prestige line didn't respond well to the changes.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mochan View Post

Actually, out of the box, I prefer the MS1i over everything in the Prestige Series range from SR60 to SR225i. The only can I might take over the MS1 in the Prestige Series is the SR325... and even then I think I prefer the MS1 because it is a smoother sound more attuned to my tastes.

 


Odd, the 225i is both smoother and better than the MS1i to my ears by a good margin.

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