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Grado RS-1 and Audio-Technica AD2000 comparison test

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I just wrote up a comparison of these 2 headphones and realized it would be helpful to others. I bought them both to have a battle of the best rock headphones. Here are my findings:

 

I compared these headphones with the Gilmore Lite amplifier and Cary Xciter DAC. The Gilmore Lite (dynalo) is a perfect amplifier to drive either of them, as it's built specifically for low-impedance headphones. They both have an emphasized midrange. Both a really good with electric guitar. The AD2000's is the fastest dynamic headphone under $1000. I've heard pretty much everything out there and none of the mid-fi dynamic headphones are even close in terms of attack and decay. If you like a midrange centric headphone, you will like this. Bass and treble are both very rolled off. The bass extension is good, but it's just very quiet in the low registers. Timbre is very artificial. Acoustic instruments don't sound realistic. The RS-1 actually has good tonal accuracy. It sounds fairly realistic with acoustic instruments. Bass is not as tight as the AD2000's but much more prominent. The bass is a bit too heavy for realistic acoustic performances, but it's certainly not a bass monster. Kick drums and bass guitar sound great on the Grado. Cymbals can be a bit harsh, but it's not as bad as people make it out to be - the DT880/250, for example, has much more piercing treble than the RS-1. In terms of speed, the Grado is slower than the Audio-Technica. Cymbals get mashed together and drums are a bit blurry. But it's no worse than a HD-600 or DT-880. In terms of comfort, the Audio-Technica is the most comfortable headphone I've ever worn by a long way. The pads are velour and very cushy. The wing system is so light you barely even feel it. The headphone driver covers do touch your ears though, and this can be very uncomfortable for some people. With the RS-1 on flats, the driver grate also touches your ear. I don't find flats or bowls particularly comfortable, but they are tolerable. In my opinion, the RS-1 is a better overall headphone. It is nicely balanced and I prefer it to many other mid-fi headphones. I was expecting a headphone only good for rock, but it's good for all genres in my opinion. The midrange emphasis may annoy some listeners, but not me. The AD2000 does rock very well and is quite fun to listen to. It's flawed, but worth a listen for sure. On some songs I prefer it to the RS-1. The RS-1 has a "grainy" sound with electric guitars, whereas the AD2000 just renders them with super-clean precision. Well, I hope this answers some people's questions about these two headphones.

post #2 of 20

Good quick review mate. I do suggest adding in some paragraphs though as I got lost at some stages with the wall-of-text. Thanks.

post #3 of 20

I think the thing I like best about AD2000's are their ability to produce in Rock and Classical equally well. Not to many headphones can make that claim. 

post #4 of 20

Thanks for the impressions. I absolutely love my AD2000s and agree with your impressions. I think what I enjoy most on the AD2000s is the bass definition and texture though I do wish there was more of it. I can't wait to compare these two when my RS1 comes in.

post #5 of 20

Nice no-nonsense comparison - thanks.

post #6 of 20

Do the AD2000 drivers also touch the ears--depending on placement--like the AD900/AD700?

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiComm4 View Post

Do the AD2000 drivers also touch the ears--depending on placement--like the AD900/AD700?



I don't remember how the 700 fit at all, sorry. But everybody who has written a review of the 2000 mentions the metal grate over the driver touches their ears. They also mention that the fit is tight. But, for me, they did not clamp hard at all. I think the clamping force is much less than a HD6x0 series. Obviously you can bend the metal arcs to lessen the clamping force, if so desired.

post #8 of 20

Yeah the drivers definitely touch the ears but the ad2000's are so light that it still remains comfortable. 

post #9 of 20

Nice review smily_headphones1.gif

 

It's really reminds me when I compare MS-Pro with AD1000prm

 

For rock song, MS-Pro still better to bring the energy comes to life, while AD1000prm has smoother sounding. MS-Pro has punchier bass, and PRM has tighter bass. Both of them are awesome for female vocal. PRM wins in term of comfortablity of course.

post #10 of 20

the AD1000PRM is my favorite rock phone - even better than the HE-5.  Look forward to comparing it to the LCD-2 when it arrives which is supposed to be a good rock phone as well

post #11 of 20

I too think the ATs are great for rock.  I loved my W1000s with my limited assortment of rock cds.

post #12 of 20

A friend of mine did a shootout between my AD2000 and his RS-1, his conclusion is the RS-1 is better for rock and male vocals, while the AD2000 is better for jazz and female vocals.

 

http://www.sgheadphones.net/index.php?showtopic=10098

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kchew View Post

A friend of mine did a shootout between my AD2000 and his RS-1, his conclusion is the RS-1 is better for rock and male vocals, while the AD2000 is better for jazz and female vocals.

 


when I compare PRM to MS-Pro, i also think that Aless better for rock, while PRm better for jazz

 

but, MS-Pro still awesome for jazz and PRM still really good for rock too smily_headphones1.gif

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kchew View Post

A friend of mine did a shootout between my AD2000 and his RS-1, his conclusion is the RS-1 is better for rock and male vocals, while the AD2000 is better for jazz and female vocals.

 

http://www.sgheadphones.net/index.php?showtopic=10098



I actually find the RS-1 better for all vocals and acoustic, because it's voiced much more realistically. The AD2000 does emphasize vocals more, but it's not as realistic. I just sold my Audio-Technica and I will really miss it!

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by angle_sh00ter View Post

the AD1000PRM is my favorite rock phone - even better than the HE-5.  Look forward to comparing it to the LCD-2 when it arrives which is supposed to be a good rock phone as well



can't wait to see your review smily_headphones1.gif

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