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GRADO GR10: Reviews, First Impressions Thread

post #1 of 864
Thread Starter 

Been listening for 1-2 hours since received this morning.....

 

Pretty remarkable IEM.  The first words out of my mouth to describe would be incredibly detailed, transparent, balanced and natural sounding.

 

It is a different animal in that it has this airiness where all the harmonics just float throughout your head.  It is very pleasureable and almost intoxicating.  While I wouldn't necessarily say it has a huge soundstage, this airy space around all of the instruments creates plenty of "room".  GR8 has it too and it seems unique to the Grado's and I have not heard it from any Ety, Westone or Shure product.  It would seem quite obvious Grado was seeking out this kind of sound and certainly achieved it.

 

This GR10 is the most naturally sounding detailed IEM I have ever heard.  It does indeed have a good 15-20% more treble detail than the GR8 and is also amazingly transparent.  You really "see into" the music.  Because of this it will pick up flaws in a recording but this hyper-detail does not seem harsh or grainy much at all....it is very smooth.  I have not heard the REO's or e-Q7 but it is certainly Ety level detail in every regard but sounds much better due to the airiness of the harmonics and a bit more bass.  It is not cold or sterile as some use to describe Ety's.  Quite the opposite.

 

As far as efficiency, while the ohms changed from 120 to 32 (from GR8), I would only consider the GR10 slightly more efficient that GR8.  I'm sure an amp would make it sound even better but it does not require one.  Also, I am only detecting slightly more bass than GR8 (5-10%?).  I think Grado was consciously careful of this not to create too much bass to throw the balance off and I think most IEM's out there are aiming for a funner sound which usually includes more bass, perhaps too much to claim balanced perfection no matter how many drivers.  It would not be a stretch to say GR10 is approaching harmonic perfection in an IEM.  The biggest change from GR8 seems to be more treble, a slightly fuller sound and more overall clarity.  Again, to have such transparency and detail while still retaining such smoothness is remarkable IMHO.

 

In summary, If you liked GR8 you will certainly like GR10.  Is it worth $400?  On one hand I would say not because of lack of accesories, case, etc.  On the other hand, I think it is a very different beast and this Grado (what seems to be becoming an IEM trademark with them) airiness and loft to the harmonics seems unique among all IEM's.  It is no copycat of anything so in that regard, they can charge what they want.  I would guess Grado knows exactly what they have with this product.  Knows it won't sell a ton of them because so many want a BIGGER sound, but they also know they accomplished the precise sound they wanted. The GR10 is almost a reminder of what music should sound like or use to sound like from the analog days.  It sounds as good as any other $400 IEM I have heard, just different (and unique).  It could be the most naturally balanced among any IEM out there.  I think a good percentage of listeners out there prefer a larger robust sort of sound presentation and those people may not think all that much of GR10 (at $400).  But for those that are seeking harmonic perfection, loads of detail but balanced and natural...there may not be another IEM out there that does it as well.

 

I can't really say if I prefer it over SE535 and W3 yet because it is such a different beast and it is too new.  I will try to judge that after many more days of listening and will provide more thoughts in general on the GR10.


Edited by Spyro - 10/26/10 at 3:03pm
post #2 of 864

Very nice impressions. I do remember Grado saying to burn these in for 100 hours. They may change or improve more.

 

The roominess sounds like AT phones like the CK10. I certainly want that roominess of the Technica earphones and the detail/transparency of the DBA-02. The DBA rolled off down low and wasn't as airy as I wanted(unamped anyways). The CK's were smooth, open, and extended but the tone, timbre, and texture were not quite right. A combo of both is pretty much what I would like. The GR10 sounds a lot like that combo.

 

The price is a bit much but there might be some options like Headroom B-stock pairs or XX% off codes for Soundearphones. The $329 ebay ones may be worth investigating at least.

 

Starting to look very good for these little guys.

 

After you get more familiar with them some opinion vs. the other two would be nice. I would know more about the bass amount vs the Shure and Westone as I don't know the GR8. I always read about the GR8 vs. the EQ7 for bass level but I haven't heard either. 


Edited by jant71 - 10/26/10 at 2:58pm
post #3 of 864

I think these might be on my list now. How's the build on these? Any pics?

post #4 of 864

Nice impressions.....It sounds like to me it's close to the e-Q7 sound with perhaps more bass (some said the Orto had more bass than the GR8, some said no). Does it have more bass than the SE535 is what I would like to know (I know this can change with burn in)? How are the mids, especially strings instruments? I remember the e-Q7 really excelling in that area. Thanks again for the initial impressions @  Spyro.

post #5 of 864

These look very interesting. I think they look kind of ugly though, especially with the green color.

 

I wonder how these compare to the Triple Fis

post #6 of 864

Thank you for your brief impression smily_headphones1.gif It seems now we have a Gr8 without its weaknesses. Hope this little baby can beat the new Sony mdr-ex1000

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 864
Thread Starter 

The bass:  Relative to most of what else is out there it leans towards the lighter side.  It is perhaps a good 10% less than SE535 perhaps more.  Your ears need to adjust.  After a while, the balance seems very true and accurate.  It is certainly more than ER4P which my ears could never really adjust to.  As far as Westone, just a tiny bit less bass than the W2.

 

Build quality seems fine.  It is exact size and build style as GR8.  The extremely easy in and out fit is a nice change of pace over the laborious task of inserting complys with a deep insertion, yet isolation is still very adequate.  I don't have a camera worthy of decent pics so can't offer that.

 

Someone mentioned TFPro comparison.  As a previous TFP owner for about a year, the GR10's are better in every area except bass.  As far as an ER4, granted the GR10 is $400 versus 1/2 that for an ER4....the GR10 is clearly what I would expect from Ety if they were to take another step upwards with an IEM.

 

Back to the SE535 comparison since I have, the GR10 has much more treble and overall tranparency.  The Shure almost has a veil or haze over everything when switching back.  Slightly more weight to the bass with SE535 yet the Grado seems to have all the timbres intact and very accurate, even drums.  It just does it a bit more politely than what one might be use to.  Again it is a matter of ears adjusting but the Grado is just so revealing.  If you are truly not a basshead, these are for you but some will like a heavier slammier (fabricated) sound which is all fine.  I tend to listen on the loud side and often like to really rock out and the Shures or Westones may be better in that regard.  But for listening at moderate volumes and just trying to take it all in, the Grados are quite euphoric.

 

The box says the GR10's were made in Japan.  I don't recall if GR8's were made in Japan as well.

post #8 of 864

Nice impressions Spyro.

 

Yes.   The GR8 is also made in Japan.  If you haven't tried the EQ-7, I think it's worth auditioning as I preferred in every category over the GR8.  Regarding the bass, I recall the GR8 having more but doesn't hold a candle to the EQ-7 with its transparency, and what really won me over - space.  I'll wait and see for the next round of impressions after the magical "100 hour" mark.  Depending on the outcome, I may just pick up the GR10, or own the EQ-7, again.

post #9 of 864

Looking at their design (thanks Clieos), Bass may come up a bit and have them be less reserved in general over time. Maybe not. Nice to know they're great right out of the box but when even the company warns of extended breakin, I would treat like a refined dynamic and take tonal character with a grain for a bit. Initial imperessions are very welcome and kind of exciting. Thanks Spyro. When I treid the 535, I thought they had a slight warm haze and is why I didn't go that route. Treble seemed more extended but I think only due to the lack of a presence peak that that 530 had but at the same time, they seem a little smooth for their current sig, if you know what I mean. Splitting hairs here as they're excellent overall and certainly not lacking detail or as warm as Monsters etc. Sounds like the GR10 may turn out just right for me. Curious as to how these when broken in vs DBAs with the right tips will turn out.


Edited by goodvibes - 10/27/10 at 6:58am
post #10 of 864
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

 When I treid the 535, I thought they had a slight warm haze and is why I didn't go that route. Treble seemed more extended but I think only due to the lack of a presence peak that that 530 had but at the same time, they seem a little smooth for their current sig,

I can relate to that.  Have you had the UM3X?  Curious your thoughts comparing UM3X to SE535.

 

post #11 of 864

Thanks for the impressions, Spyro! Keep us posted as you continue burning them in. As already mentioned, these apparently need 100 hours to sound their best.

 

This sounds like a mighty fine promising IEM. Although I'm happy with my GR8s so far, I'm sure I'll snag a pair of the GR10s in the future.

post #12 of 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post



I can relate to that.  Have you had the UM3X?  Curious your thoughts comparing UM3X to SE535.

 



No idea.

post #13 of 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post


After you get more familiar with them some opinion vs. the other two would be nice. I would know more about the bass amount vs the Shure and Westone as I don't know the GR8. I always read about the GR8 vs. the EQ7 for bass level but I haven't heard either. 

The bass amount of the e-Q7 is similar to the CK10 but a bit more but quality is better and possibly better extension by a little bit iirc.
 

post #14 of 864

Jesus $400 for a set of blinking IEM's, can get a nice set of AKGs or Audio Technicas for that price.

post #15 of 864

Well most universals at the level I'm assuming the GR10 should be at have a MSRP of around that much.

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