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Difference between Alessandro and Grado? Looking for best bang/buck.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

There seems to be no Grado dealers in Australia, but I know of at least one Alessandro dealer. Their headphones look really similar, so what's the deal with them?

From what I'm seeing, SR80i = MS1(i?), SR325i = MS2(i?) and RS1i = MSpro?

Also what's the difference between the i and non i versions? It seems that there is more ventilation and not much else...

The SR325i and MSpro look like teh sex, wouldn't mind having either of them. I've only listened to the MS1(non i) and some silver grado/alessandro at a meet very briefly. I was blown away by their energy, listening to touhou, and now I've gotten a bit more into rock and pop, the stuff my friends listen to. My budget varies a lot, but I'm mainly looking for the best bang/buck, and I'm also into the looks a bit (hate the massive fat PS1000). Keep in mind that I'm in Australia, and anything I buy needs to have 40-70 bucks added onto it for shipping/mail forwarding.

 

If someone would shed some light on this matter it'd be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 16

Search is your friend

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/75532/difference-between-alessandro-and-grado

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/181327/alessandro-grado-question

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/114279/difference-between-alessandro-and-grado

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/340383/differences-between-alessandro-and-grado

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/190753/alessandro-grados

post #3 of 16

It's unfortunate that the Grado brand doesn't sell legally outside of the US.  Regarding your comparison MS1i is more on par with the more expensive SR125i.  The MS1i is a great start up the Grado/Alessandro ladder.  I, like many others think the Alessandro lines is more neutral sound versus the Grado counter parts.

 

Coming from own subjective ears, I couldn't really tell a difference between the "i" and non "i" versions, but prefer the less thicker and heavier cable.  Grab them on the forsale forums, fleabay, or Audiogon.  Good luck.


Edited by alphaphoenix - 9/10/10 at 11:04pm
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Since headphonic Australia described the MS2s as 'harsh at times', would the SR325is be much worse in that aspect? I'm torn apart with the MS1i, MS2 and SR325is.

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaphoenix View Post

 Regarding your comparison MS1i is more on par with the more expensive SR125i. 


No.  The MS-1i's have the cheaper, thinner cord of the SR80i's, not the beefier, thicker cord of the SR125i's.  As far as sound quality goes, the MS-1i's sound more like the SR60i's with their lack of bass than anything resembling the SR80i's to me.  And the SR125i's have a mellower midrange than either the Alessandros or SR80i's.  More here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/511734/grado-sr80i-vs-alessandro-ms-1i


Edited by Kevin Brown - 9/11/10 at 1:06am
post #6 of 16

MS1i on par with SR125i, with cheaper price of course 

 

I've seen some people who upgrade from SR60i to MS1i, and after do A/B ing comparison, for me I think MS1i is a good upgrade from SR60i. Also, one of my friend prefer MS1i than any SR series (except SR325) 

post #7 of 16

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post




No.  The MS-1i's have the cheaper, thinner cord of the SR80i's, not the beefier, thicker cord of the SR125i's.  As far as sound quality goes, the MS-1i's sound more like the SR60i's with their lack of bass than anything resembling the SR80i's to me.  And the SR125i's have a mellower midrange than either the Alessandros or SR80i's.  More here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/511734/grado-sr80i-vs-alessandro-ms-1i

 

I'm not sure if that's so.

 

Regarding the MS1i equivalence to Grado SRs:

MS1i is advertised as using the higher grade "UHPLC voice coil wire" for the driver assembly. The cheapest Grado with UHPLC is SR125(i)

SR60(i) and SR80(i) use a different (cheaper) voice coil for their drivers and I believe the only similarity with the Alessandro begins and ends with the cable.

The cable choice might actually explain why the MS1i sell for a lower price compared to SR125 (at least in part).

 

Regarding sound: I've actually found both SR60i and MS1i quite mid-bass boosted and fuller in tone than SR80i (which have a downright bright character by comparison).

This quite obvious, so I'm wandering in what conditions you made the comparison. Also what pads you were using......

 

Headroom's measurements suggest the same thing. There's actually quite a gap in the bass that SR80 simply doesn't cover.

http://www.headphone.com/buildAGraph.php?graphID[0]=353&graphID[1]=393&graphID[2]=&graphID[3]=&graphType=0&buttonSelection=Compare+Headphones

 

Having said that I do not believe SR60i performs on the same level with MS1i.


Edited by audiofil - 9/11/10 at 7:10am
post #8 of 16

The SR125i's and the SR225i's have the same driver.  You can see that through the backs of the housings.  The MS-1i does *not* have the same drivers as those 2.

 

I used the stock pads in each case.  Why would I change that?  That's how they are shipped.  :-)

 

The graphs at headphone.com need to be taken with a grain of salt.  Look at the freq response of the SR60i's vs all the other models:

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=393&graphID[]=353&graphID[]=363&graphID[]=373

 

Says that the 60's have the best bass, and that clearly isn't true.  I listened from a dedicated player, straight from a PC, and through a Total Bithead.  I heard the same thing in each case.  The MS-1i sounded more like the SR60i than either of the 80 or 125.  Much less bass.  The bass with the 80's and 125's is similar and has much more presence, punch, and impact than the 60's or MS-1i.  Goes deeper and is more powerful.  In spite what that graph says.

 

The graph also says that the 125 has the worst peak at ~8 - 10 kHz vs the 60's or 80's.  But I clearly hear that the 125 is slightly more mellow there than any of the 60, 80, or MS-1i.  I compared with different CDs, different songs from the same CD, and at both low and high volume.  I did such an extensive comparison because I couldn't believe what I was hearing vs what the consensus seems to be here and other places.  But no matter how I compared, I didn't hear much positive with the Alessandros.

 

Headroom's graphs can sometimes be useful, but you have to use your ears too.


Edited by Kevin Brown - 9/11/10 at 3:20pm
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Says that the 60's have the best bass

 

Not the best, but the most.

The measurement indicates only quantity , so it's more accurate to say that SR60i deliver more bass extension.

 

As I've wrote in my previous message - this is an obvious difference that I've picked up when comparing the 3 headphones (MS1i, SR60i and 80i).

We're talking about ~10db worth of difference in the bass and 6-7db in the mid highs, which is huge and translates in a very different sound signature (bright and lean vs dark).

 

I've attached the Headroom graph to support my personal experience with them, as they indicate the same thing.

But ... to each his own.

post #10 of 16


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofil View Post

 

Not the best, but the most.

The measurement indicates only quantity , so it's more accurate to say that SR60i deliver more bass extension.

 


But they don't.  The SR60i's bass is anemic and non-existent compared to the SR80i's, 125i's, etc, IMO.  That graph show that the 60's have more and deeper bass which is just not true.  That graph says that the 60's have more bass extension than the 225's !  And look at this one:

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=393&graphID[]=383&graphID[]=293&graphID[]=343

 

You believe that one too?  That the 60's have deeper bass extension than the 325's and both RS models?

 

I don't, because I believe my ears. 


Edited by Kevin Brown - 9/12/10 at 1:45am
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post

 

I used the stock pads in each case.  Why would I change that?  That's how they are shipped.  :-)

 

 

Headroom's graphs can sometimes be useful, but you have to use your ears too.


Because with change the pad you can get better result (SQ wise and comfort level too)

 

 

Yep I'm not really believe Freq chart too...

 

I trust my ears, that's why I can say that MS1i is a good choice to upgrade from SR60i, and both of them have different level.

 

If you say that MS1i and SR60i has similiar sound signature, that doesn't mean MS1i has similiar SQ like SR60i. (For me between MS1i and MS Pro has similiar sound signature, but no way MS1i can achieve MS Pro level for SQ wise)

 


Edited by TheMiddleSky - 9/12/10 at 5:48am
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMiddleSky View Post


Because with change the pad you can get better result (SQ wise and comfort level too)


 

Agreed.  I mentioned in another thread that the easiest, cheapest way to listen to the difference sound signatures of the Prestige line is to buy and experiment with comfies, bowls, the flats from TTVJ, and the Sennheiser yellow pads with and without the qtr mod.  That's how I ended up using the 225's with comfies.

 

However, in a review, I definitely think that you start by reviewing and comparing the stock setup.  After that, up to the individual reviewer. 

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post

 

However, in a review, I definitely think that you start by reviewing and comparing the stock setup.  After that, up to the individual reviewer. 

 

I always comparing Grados with Bowl Pad, which is I think that pad can give the original sound of "Gradoish" 
 

post #14 of 16

I was looking into it recently.  Alessandro actually ship international for the same price (!!!!!).

i.e. $109 get you the headphones shipped to Australia.  Sure shipping may take a week for two but given our dollar is so high it is cheaper then even headphones.com.au which sell it for $150 AUD.

For about $120-$130 AUD this is awfully tempting.....

 

Anyway, headfonia did a review on the unit as well:

http://www.headfonia.com/alessandro-ms1i-review/

post #15 of 16

There is a place which sell Grado headphones in Melbourne, I don't know whether they are authorised, but they seem to have a range of them.

http://www.audiophile.com.au/

When I ring them up last time they said they don't allows for any audition though.

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