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Grado RS1/HF2/MS PRO. Verdict?

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone. Looking for some experienced grado fans to help me out with my next set of cans. I am currently a fairly happy owner of the ATH-AD900s. They have a beautiful, clear and bright sound, but at the same time lack a little punch which a little extra bass can give. I also find they can be a little "too" bright as a result of the lacking bass.

 

I am looking for a great set of headphones for mainly indie/rock (Vampire Weekend/The Foals etc) and ambient (sigur ros/jonsi etc). I want nice, punchy bass (which the AD900s lack) and a crisp mid/high section with nice sparkle (but not harsh). What cans do I want to be looking at? I know the Grados are know to be great for rock, but how will they sound with the ambience of Sigur Ros? I have heard great things about the HF-2, RS1 and MS Pro, but I do not know which are better for my needs.

 

Thanks so much for any assistance!


Edited by matthewh133 - 9/20/10 at 8:13am
post #2 of 61
Thread Starter 

Bump before I go to bed. I know many of you are grado fans, help a brother out

post #3 of 61

Hi matthew

 

I have the RS2i and could offer my opinion from the limited perspective.

 

IMHO, Grado is not the best choice for ambient. People refer to them as great rockers partly because of their up-front soundstaging. You are up there with the musicians, not even in the front role. However I found this presentation has a congested prespective to it. Whether for this or some other reason I have the impression that the temporal and timing cues is somewhat diluted with Grado. Such qualities however make or break certain kind of ambient music. I guess Grado are more suited to traditional, raw type of rock like bruce springsteen. Now this is only my personal opinion and I have not heard every Grado there is, and I am sure there are other members who would disagree.

 

The RS2i do have crisp mid/high and sparkle, the treble retains a slight trace of shrill and piercing quality to it.

 

If I had to pick amongst the three you mentioned, I would go for the Alessandro MS Pro because it has been referred as having a different soundstage presentation than the Grado, and may not have the issues I mentioned.


Edited by Greeni - 9/20/10 at 10:43am
post #4 of 61
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply mate. I've been reading a lot of reviews and I think I will be getting the RS1 or the others I mentioned over the RS2 and I've heard they might have a little better presentation of soundstage. I hope these would fix any of those issues. I will probably head down today to audition the RS1i's, so I will be able to hear those. A comparison of those to the other models (RS1/MS PRO/HF2) I have listed would be amazing. Someone? <3
 

post #5 of 61

I've owned both the HF2 and the RS1is while my dad currently has the Pros.  My personal favourite are the HF2s.  Here's a quick rundown of each:

 

RS1i: Fast, aggressive, bright, slightly bloated bass in comparison to the Pros, very forward, magical tonality with wood instruments, midrange and highs are dominant.  Soundstaging is a bit smaller than the Pros do to the more "in your face" sound.

 

MS Pros: Fast, less aggressive and forward when compared to the RS1is but still very musical and involving, slightly more relaxed presentation, less dominant highs, tighter bass with a little less impact, more balanced and versatile overall.  Very refined.

 

HF2s: Darkest of all the above, smooth, slightly rolled-off treble (but still very nicely extended), a lot of bass punch, mids slightly reticent for a Grado but still forward, more fun and less grating than the above.  Only in comparison to the RS1/Pros does it lack a bit of refinement and soundstaging, but this does add to the character of the sound, making it a great heavy metal/rock headphone.

post #6 of 61

If you have a strong amp, the RS1 is a well-beloved Grado classic.  But without an amp, the HF2 has pretty amazing slam.  I like how it fools me into thinking I'm listening to something amped when all I'm doing is listening to my iPod.  I sold mine off but I've had two of them and I think they're fantastic.

post #7 of 61
Thread Starter 

Thanks Darksyde! That helps. Although it does make for a tough decision. I want very nice mids and highs, but the bass must also be a lot better than the AD900s as I think that the high/mids pretty much hide what little bass there is and, because of that, adds less punch and lower grunt to the sound because of it. I think I am a fan of the sparkly highs and forward mids, but with a nice punchy bass. When you say the HF2 is more "fun" than the others, what do you think it is that makes this so? Also, sorry I feel a bit silly asking, but what is "grating"?

 

Say I was able to get the HF2 or RS1, both for $450, which is the better deal in your opinion?

 

Again, thanks a lot for the response!

post #8 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilavideo View Post

If you have a strong amp, the RS1 is a well-beloved Grado classic.  But without an amp, the HF2 has pretty amazing slam.  I like how it fools me into thinking I'm listening to something amped when all I'm doing is listening to my iPod.  I sold mine off but I've had two of them and I think they're fantastic.


Hey mate. Thanks for the info. I am getting the feeling the HF2 is more laid back than the usual Grado. That being said, it's no where near as laid back as the Senns is it? I feel the Senns aren't the best for listening to rock/indie as I like the attack of the guitars/snares that the brighter headphones give, but just would like a bit more bass/punch.

post #9 of 61
Thread Starter 

So I just call up the only place in Melbourne, Australia which stocks Grados. They sold their last RS1i yesterday and won't be getting any more in for 3-4 weeks to try out.. so auditioning them is now out of the question :s oh lady luck!

post #10 of 61

Grado's have punchy, tightly defined bass. The HF2 reportedly has more bass presence than the RS1 (I have not heard the RS1 or RS1i) and a more subdued presentation overall. But it is not a dark sounding phone per se. It's just not as bright as the other Prestige and Reference series Grado's.

post #11 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSpenkelink View Post

Grado's have punchy, tightly defined bass. The HF2 reportedly has more bass presence than the RS1 (I have not heard the RS1 or RS1i) and a more subdued presentation overall. But it is not a dark sounding phone per se. It's just not as bright as the other Prestige and Reference series Grado's.


Sloppier bass, muddier mids and not the treble energy that the RS1s have that work so very well with rock. But in the end the HF-2s are my second favourite Grado currently in production.

post #12 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post




Sloppier bass, muddier mids and not the treble energy that the RS1s have that work so very well with rock. But in the end the HF-2s are my second favourite Grado currently in production.


What's your favourite? :P

post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewh133 View Post

So I just call up the only place in Melbourne, Australia which stocks Grados. They sold their last RS1i yesterday and won't be getting any more in for 3-4 weeks to try out.. so auditioning them is now out of the question :s oh lady luck!



I could arrange an audition for you if interested, also which store in Melb allows you to audition Grado's as fas as I know audiophile.com.au will only allow you to physically feel them.

post #14 of 61
Thread Starter 

Oh ok, I didn't get a chance to speak to them in detail, rather just asked if they had any in stock. Kind of just figured they would allow customers to try them out. An audition would be great! Which do you own?

post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewh133 View Post

Oh ok, I didn't get a chance to speak to them in detail, rather just asked if they had any in stock. Kind of just figured they would allow customers to try them out. An audition would be great! Which do you own?



RS1i

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