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PS1000 Impressions Thread - Page 15

post #211 of 1085

I thought I would ask in here. I recently got a pair of PS1000s and loving them dearly. they are currently being fed by a Burson HA-160 and I have no complaints but I was wondering if any folks here have used the PS1000 with a range of amps and had opinions of any that sounded particularly great.

 

I’m not looking to get a new amp right now, but it’s always nice to have an idea of stuff to look out for.

post #212 of 1085

If you go back a bit in this thread, you'll see a few specific amps or types of amps mentioned, and even the reasons from the posters as to why they worked well with the PS1000s. Otherwise, how much do you want to spend? Is there anything you would like to improve upon with the HA160? Is there anything you are considering for the future?


Edited by purrin - 7/29/11 at 11:34pm
post #213 of 1085

It was just a question born out of curiosity for those who have heard the PS1000 with multiple amps and whether there were obvious differences between them.

 

I have looked around the thread (and forum) since posting and it appears most of the amps that people have commented on are quite high end models so they’re not items I would be looking to try out in the near future. that Cary SLI-80 amp is around 3 grand if I read correctly.

 

I am curious how the Schiit Lyr with those gold tubes or the MAD EAR+ would sound compared with the Burson, but it’s not like I’m feeling that I’m missing out on anything magical with the Burson. I was just curious how the amps may slightly alter the sonic character of the cans.

post #214 of 1085

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCfiner View Post

It was just a question born out of curiosity for those who have heard the PS1000 with multiple amps and whether there were obvious differences between them.

 

I am curious how the Schiit Lyr with those gold tubes or the MAD EAR+ would sound compared with the Burson, but it’s not like I’m feeling that I’m missing out on anything magical with the Burson. I was just curious how the amps may slightly alter the sonic character of the cans.


I've heard the PS1000s out of the Lyr with stock tubes and felt the tonal balance was matched well with good bass control and slam. I wasn't blown away by the Lyr or felt it was a giant killer though. Tubes can impart a special voodoo thing to the midrange and smooth out the treble (which is a good thing for the PS1000). Someone else mentioned the PS1000 should be driven by SS or at the very least a hybrid to keep that emphasized bass under control. Whether you need transistors at the output stage or not, I do feel that at least some level of bass control is a requirement for the PS1000s. I was successful with the Matrix M-Stage (a cheapy Chinese clone of the Lehmann amp) with some op-amp tweaks and a warm source for the PS1000. And I very much liked the PS1000s from the Woo WA6SE (with some upgraded tubes.) Others have recommended the WA22, and I can see why (the Woo stuff has a certain house sound that meshes well with Grados.)

 

Basically, I've found the PS1000s easy to drive - as long as the amp wasn't bright. Heck, I've even tried the PS1000s out of Sony Walkmans; other than the slightly dull and mushy bass, it sounded OK - the midrange magic was still there. Don't forget about the source too. The source is just as much as a priority or more so with the PS1000s.

 


Edited by purrin - 7/31/11 at 1:17pm
post #215 of 1085


Quote:

Originally Posted by LCfiner View Post

It was just a question born out of curiosity for those who have heard the PS1000 with multiple amps and whether there were obvious differences between them.

 

I have looked around the thread (and forum) since posting and it appears most of the amps that people have commented on are quite high end models so they’re not items I would be looking to try out in the near future. that Cary SLI-80 amp is around 3 grand if I read correctly.

 

I am curious how the Schiit Lyr with those gold tubes or the MAD EAR+ would sound compared with the Burson, but it’s not like I’m feeling that I’m missing out on anything magical with the Burson. I was just curious how the amps may slightly alter the sonic character of the cans.


Just stick with the MAD EAR+ and be done with it - all the reviews of Grados synergy with the MAD amps are just far too many to ignore. 

 

As Schitt warns... the Lyr is intended for orthos and other inefficient phones (e.g. 600 ohm Beyers) - it has too high a noise floor and too high a gain (which results in a very small usable range of the POT) to be used with low impedance, efficient phones, such as Grados, ATH's, Denons, etc.


 

 

post #216 of 1085
Thread Starter 

Jackal, its good to hear that you are enjoying your ps1000's as much, if not more so, than your hp-1's. Thanks for the impressions.

post #217 of 1085

Quote:

As Schitt warns... the Lyr is intended for orthos and other inefficient phones (e.g. 600 ohm Beyers) - it has too high a noise floor and too high a gain (which results in a very small usable range of the POT) to be used with low impedance, efficient phones, such as Grados, ATH's, Denons, etc.


Actually, I didn't find that to be the case with the PS1000s and the Lyr (which are a little bit less efficient than the non jumbo pad Grados). The PS1000 and LCD2 (which is actually fairly efficient) were around the same adjustment range on the volume knob (10-11 on the clock). Of course it also depends upon how hot your source output is. Schitt actually had a PS1000 and LCD2 there right with the Lyr at the Bay Area meet earlier in the year. I doubt they would throw those 'phones out there if the Lyr's volume knob didn't play well with them.

 

I think the "intended for orthos" was more marketing than anything else since around the time it was coming out, the LCD2 and HE6 were all the rage. Ironically, I didn't think the LCD2/Lyr combo was all that super special given the expectations of the marketing. It was still pretty good though, but I was hoping the Lyr would compete with stuff that was much more expensive.

 


Edited by purrin - 7/31/11 at 7:11pm
post #218 of 1085

Thanks for some of the responses. I think one day I’ll want to experiment with a MAD EAR + and see what all the hype is about with Grados. That would probably be my first tube amp, as well, since I’ve stuck with SS till now.

 

As for my source, it’s an HRT MS2+. I think it’s pretty decent. 

 

and it’s true that the PS1000 is easy to drive. I tried it out of an iPod headphone out and it wasn’t terrible. It clearly lacked some of the detail, soundstage and controlled bass when amped but it still impressed.

post #219 of 1085

'Couldn't agree more, LCfiner.

 

post #220 of 1085

Quote:
Originally Posted by priest View Post

Quote:


Probably the Edition 8 -- so you get small, closed and portable (I assume you mean cost-no-object), to counter the large, open and immobile PS1000.
 

 


 

This is exactly the route I've just taken. The Edition 8 should be in my hands this week. I've been using the HF-2 in my office system, but the Edition 8 will be far more appropriate for listening amongst my coworkers. I can feed it with the DAC and amp at the desk or run light with the iPhone when I'm working away from the desk.

 

With respect to my home system, I'm in agreement with majkel. The PS1000 has me extremely satisfied and my attention has gone to providing them with the best signal I can. They are appropriate for all of my music and perform stunningly. Not to say that I won't own another pair for home use; the newest orthodynamics will probably find a place at home. The latest LCD-2 revision with the improved drivers would be a good complement, but for the majority of my music I expect the PS1000 to remain my preference.

post #221 of 1085

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCfiner View Post

It was just a question born out of curiosity for those who have heard the PS1000 with multiple amps and whether there were obvious differences between them.


 

LCfiner, I've used a handful of amps with my PS1000 and each has clear differences.

 

The Headamp GS-1 is extremely precise and has great control over Grados, and the PS1000's bass benefits from this control. The GS-1 is a superb amp, but it can be a fairly dry sounding at times.

 

The Naim Headline 2 with the TeddyCap mkIII has been my preference over the GS-1. Perhaps its the synergy with the Naim CD5, but the Headline gives a greater sense of rhythm and drive with a more lively and engaging tone. The Headline typically is paired with a NAPSC power supply, but the upgrade to a TeddyCap is a must as it improves upon everything by significant measure that is immediately evident through the PS1000. Quite a few people over at the Naim forums choose Grados with their Headline. I can't comment on how it would it would match with a non Naim source, but it can be terminated with RCA plugs in place of the standard DIN plug. Not a lot of Headline users around because of this, but make no mistake, it's an excellent amp.

 

The Raptor has spent the least amount of time driving the PS1000 only because I use it in my office system. I recently picked up another handful of NOS tubes, so I brought it home for a listen. I was extremely impressed with how well the Raptor mated to the PS1000. It might even be the best of the three with these new tubes. In my case, I got fantastic results with a Siemens chrome plate ECC82 and a matched pair of early 50's Tung Sol 5687 ladder plates. Excellent resolution, impressive speed, holographic soundstage, precise imaging, and fantastic tone. With a good set of NOS tubes, this amp shines with the PS1000.

 

I owned the Rudistor RPX-33 EV08 for a while, which I used with my AKG K701 when they were my main cans. The RPX-33 was a good match for the K701, but failed with the PS1000. The poor damping factor of the RPX-33 with low impedance headphones made for bloated, muddy bass, and any musical complexity became a slow, congested mess. This was a good lesson in how important it is to choose an appropriate amp for the headphones in question. Had this been my only amp at the time, I might have dismissed the PS1000 entirely.

 

I use the Music Streamer II+ in my office system and find it to give great sound for its price. The small footprint is convenient for my desk, and I like that it pulls the power from the USB port so that I don't have to worry about another power cable and tying up an outlet. Clearly the price you pay goes directly into the components responsible for the sound and not into extraneous features or extravagant design. What USB cable are you using?

 

Finally, I noticed that you owned the LCD-2 as well and chose to let it go in favor of the PS1000. Could you share your impressions on how these two compared in your system and why you picked the PS1000?


Edited by FrostyMMB - 8/1/11 at 2:58pm
post #222 of 1085

Frosty, those are very interesting comments about the amps. I’m taking notes :)

 

I’m using just a normal USB cable. not something dirt cheap and falling apart, but nothing special. I don’t believe the cable will make a noticeable difference, at least for my ears, to be honest.

 

The LCD2 vs PS1000 showdown I went through the last couple weeks was very educational for me. Prior to getting both of these headphones, I had been going back and forth between the Denon D5000 (with J$ pads) and a Grado RS2. Tired of the recessed mids of the D5000, I sold them and listened to the RS2 but wanted some more bass

 

I had bought the LCD2 as I wanted a can with the bass quality of the D5000 but without the bloat and with better high frequency detail. I was  pretty hyped due to head-fi reviews. 

 

When I got the LCD2 my initial reaction was “where’s my mids, man?”. it was a big disappointment. It felt like the D5000 again but not quite as exaggerated. But knowing how forward the grados are, I figured it was just an issue with me getting too accustomed to an unnatural sound sig. So I stuck with the LCD2 for a couple weeks and listened to them almost exclusively to try to train my brain. without the reference of the RS2, I began to enjoy them more. But then one day I plugged in the RS2 and I immediately started enjoying the music more. Plus, to be frank, the LCD2 were man big and uncomfortable.

 

that was all I needed to know.  If my brain really WANTED a Grado sound but with bass and some semblance of soundstage, I would need to suck it up and get the PS1000. It felt silly to have a pair of thousand dollar headphones and not be madly in love with them so I sold the LCD2 last weekend.

 

The PS1000 are exactly what I wanted and there was no need for my brain to adjust to them and then try to convince myself that this was a good sound (or EQ the phone to get it) as I had to do with the LCD2. Right out of the box it was exactly what I wanted. midrange dominated but not to the same extent as the RS2 plus it has great soundstage, incredible detail, very natural timbre, amazingly musical and powerful bass and it’s very comfy with the bowls on my head.

 

As I’ve listened to it more and more and as they’ve had a chance to break in, I continue to be impressed at the high frequency detail and its ability to get up incredibly high without ever breaking up or faltering. it never seems to break a sweat with whatever range of music I throw at it.

 

I’m fairly sure that if these came in a wood box and cost 1400 dollars instead of 1700, head-fi, as a whole, would love them. 

post #223 of 1085


      Quote:

Originally Posted by LCfiner View Post

... So I stuck with the LCD2 for a couple weeks and listened to them almost exclusively to try to train my brain. without the reference of the RS2, I began to enjoy them more. But then one day I plugged in the RS2 and I immediately started enjoying the music more. Plus, to be frank, the LCD2 were man big and uncomfortable.

 

that was all I needed to know...

 

biggrin.gif

 

Anyways, I don't know where you live, but attend as many meets as possible (and/or organize mini-meets and informal get-together's) and you'll figure out what amps work best with the PS1000. At the very least, it will give you more reference points so you can align your own tastes with whatever gibberish we have to offer here.


Edited by purrin - 8/1/11 at 4:38pm
post #224 of 1085

@LCfiner

 

Thanks for the opinions.  I have the 325is with G-Cush just so I could enjoy that soundstage and I had the same reaction when I clamped the Grados on my head after the Audez'e.  Yeah, I sold my LCD-2s, too, because of some of the same reasons.  When I heard the GS-1000i, I wasn't completely blown away for that kind of green.  Maybe the PS-1000 is the step I should take.  I appreciate your input.  

post #225 of 1085

LCFiner, thanks for those thoughts. I agree with your assessment of the PS1000's merits. I don't have any experience with the LCD-2, so your first hand experience comparing the two is really valuable. As appealing as the LCD-2's strengths are, the frequency response graphs posted by dozens of LCD-2 owners and display clearly an attenuation above 1 khz would make it the LCD-2 hard to enjoy with some music. The upper midrange is vital to the realism and excitement of a lot of instruments, both acoustic and amplified, and is what makes Grados so appealing for rock. When I owned the SR-325i and RS-1, it could be really fun to have that forward midrange but became pretty fatiguing with the system I had at the time. The PS1000 has a beautiful midrange presentation. The smooth upper midrange of the PS1000 is, by comparison to the SR and RS series, in a much more natural balance. My concern with the LCD-2 has been a lack of excitement and realism with electric guitars and brass that comprise the foundation of my musical tastes. I've had the same considerations about the Denons and their drooping midrange, though I was under the impression that the JMoney pads rebalance the midrange. I actually own a pair of the AH-D950s from Denon's previous headphone line, one that few here have any familiarity with. I loved them a decade ago for being a pleasing in-your-face rocker with a solid bottom end, and they still sound great for what they are. But, not every can is meant to be a rocker, so while I trust that the praise the LCD-2 receives is truly deserved, I wouldn't imagine it being king in my system when/if I eventually add it to my collection. The PS1000 delivers supremely on all the fronts that I need with my music, but as a fan of headphone listening I think that I owe the current flagships a place in my system.

 

Don't be so quick to dismiss a USB cable. Find one from a dealer that has a return policy and give yourself a chance to experiment. The only way to know for sure that you won't hear an improvement is if you you listen for yourself. If you don't hear an improvement, just return it for a refund and call it another learning experience. I've been impressed by the value of the Pangea cables from Audio Advisor, and it looks like Pangea has a couple of new USB cables. A meter of silver plated OCC wire with triple shielding, gold plated contacts, and a woven outer wrap is only $30; the build quality alone is worth that price even if there isn't an improvement. My experience comparing a few cheapies and a Wireworld Starlight is that a USB cable does make a difference. Even the cheapies each had a different sound.

 

I will say that a little effort calling dealers and asking about flexibility in pricing can net you a PS1000 at discount. Sometimes just making an offer works wonders.

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