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post #6121 of 18634
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post

 Again, this is why Grados get the reputation that they sound better with tube amps.  It's just that the cause ("tube warmth") is mis-interpreted.

 

I'm not discounting what you're saying, cause quite frankly I don't even speak the language...but how do you account for the fact that I prefer the sound of my Meier Jazz/Grado GS1k when the tube buffer is activated vs when it's only the Meier in the signal path? I think what you're saying may be perfectly valid about the higher output impedance being favorable for the Grado phones, but when you say this accounts for the quality of tubes being misinterpreted I'm not sure I agree. I enjoy headphones and speakers that have a robust top end, to the point where they would even be classified as "bright". But what I don't care for is "harsh"...and over the years I have experienced many examples where the presence of tubes mellowed out the harshness even on poorly recorded material and provided a bit of "warmth". I've also been able to observe different levels of success via tube rolling, which would further indicate that it was a quality specific to the tube that was responsible for the "warmth", not only the output impedance of the amplifier. 

post #6122 of 18634

@Agoston.berko

 

I just read through all that you said and I do apologize that I won't be responding to each and every point you make.  I think Grado makes fantastic headphones.  And I do agree that Joe Grado pioneered some excellent headphones.

 

My rankings are my own based on my personal experiences with acoustic sound AND my own personal enjoyment.  In the sense that there is almost 60 headphones (80% of which are flagship models) it is no small feat (IMO) for Grado to have a headphone in the top 11.  

 

But again, it is what it is, and I appreciate the enthusiasm you have for Grado headphones!  I am a new yorker after all:)

post #6123 of 18634
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post

I disagree.  Grados are singularly well-damped.  (See some of purrin's graphs and reports on Grado decay.)  Connecting them to the current-FOTM super-low-output-impedance amplifers causes them to over-damp, resulting in the harshness and tizziness that many people cite for their dislike of Grados.  The reason Grados do well with many tube amps is not necessarily the "warmth of tubes," but that the output impedance is quite a bit higher than your run-of-the-mill low-output-impedance SS amp.  Grados do quite well on 15 ohm output impedance and higher.

This gets complicated to a certain extent because the low impedance of Grados causes fall-off with OTL amps as lowering the bass cut-off point results in extremely large and super-expensive output capacitors (which means shortcuts/cheaper alternatives are often used). Hybrids experience this fault, too, because many of their output buffers still require blocking caps and unless sized large enough, cause bass roll-off or phase distortion in low frequency response.

Bottom line, for the best sound with Grados - finding the right amplification is not necessarily so simple. 

I would entirely disagree with you on the basis that electrical damping is essentially a fantasy (go ahead and tell me I'm wrong, and then go ahead and tell JBL, McIntosh, BK Butler, Rod Elliot, QSC, Accuphase, and so on that they're all wrong too). Damping is primarily (like 99%) a mechanical feature, and Grados rely on nothing but the driver itself (more or less) for this (and their drivers are good; I'll give you that); if you actually reviewed the CSDs you're blindly referencing (and you can actually go beyond purrin's measurements, and go look at CSDs from He&Bi and GE too), most of them (being Grado models) exhibit ringing in the upper treble (and FR and IR will also show this) - and believe it or not, some people just don't like bright cans that have resonance artefacts. And that ringing isn't really hard to predict based on the enclosure design. If you want to look at a "singularly well damped" example of a headphone, the Koss Pro4/A and 4/AA are good candidates. Most 'stats will also put up a very clean CSD too (because the drivers are extremely well controlled). They sound very different from Grados. And no, I'm not saying ringing is a bad thing by any means here (even purrin makes the comment that the RS-1 "look worse than they sound" on measurements). It's part of their coloration and their flair - and it doesn't suit everyone.

Their impedance is very stable, so changes in Zout won't result in any significant FR changes unless you increase Zout substantially (which will act on the bass region where the impedance peak is; here's a great article on the topic: http://en.goldenears.net/index.php?mid=KB_Columns&document_srl=1389) - what's really quite disturbing about your argument is in one hand you're taking the modern marketing line of DF as pushed by makers like Crown and Anthem (who are both miserable shills with a history of saying or doing anything just to close a sale), but you're then using that fallacy to argue against itself (and saying that DF is "bad'). Sure, high Zout *can* be a good thing depending on overall system Q (which is an unknown here), but we'd be talking about LF response based on the impedance of the Grado drivers (it would be most pronounced with the GSK and PSK). Basically you'd be talking about a slight bump to the LF as Zout went up; I can tell you from experience that going between 2 and 500R doesn't do much of anything, even with the GSK. As far as what happens if you over-damp (which you're not gonna do without physical modification) - it should not ever produce a "harsh" or "tizzy" sound (because that would be a result of ringing, which critical damping will prevent...) - it'll just be over-damped. And at that point they'll just sound dead and lifeless. So in summary, *IF* DF were worth phoning home about, it would actually REDUCE the harsh/tizzy sound (by better controlling the driver's movement), and decreasing it would decrease damping (which would increase ringing and tizziness (like I said, your argument is logically troubling)) - now of course in the real world that doesn't hold up, because DF isn't worth phoning home about, and all you'll get as you run Zout up is a slight bass boost (which I could see people interpreting as a slight warmth, but we're talking very slight). If you wanted to make them ring worse, you could EQ up the treble or get really nasty and setup a filter to target and excite the points at which the enclosures already want to ring (you'd have to measure them before you could build this) and they'd sound absolutely disgusting at the end of it (why anyone would want to do this to any headphone or speaker I have no idea, but it is theoretically possible). Now, if all you're getting at is "more bass compensates for their brightness" (either because it's changing phase response, or by masking, or a combination of both) - that's fine. But we have tone controls for a reason.

They're sensitive, stable, and low impedance - they don't want for much in terms of power, and you can get the same party from more or less anything that'll give up the power they do want in a clean way. Clean and quiet is king, only because I think a lot of people will have an issue listening to hiss or pot rustling inherent on a lot of the shoddier amplifiers out there. But as gradofan pointed out - good current supply, clean tracking, and you're pretty much set. If you prefer the coloration of tubes or equalization, or whatever else - that's a personal choice, and should be left up to the end-user to explore. I think I need to qualify that my statements are being taken massively out of context though (is it because they're hurting someone's bottom line I wonder?) - my comments were specifically directed at preproman's question, and based on the knowledge that he has a (very dapper looking) pair of D7000s that I'm assuming he has suitable amplification for. Whatever is driving those will have no issue driving any Grado. If someone wants to experiment with various tubed or non-tubed products on their own, that's their choice - and I provided a list of the four manufacturers I see most commonly suggested when people for ask a good amplifier for their Grados (which usually come from a more subjective "amps are all different" crowd and do include a combination of tubed and untubed devices) - as a starting off point. Of course there are many different amplifiers out there, and people will find enjoyment in a variety of products that may not be considered "right" by the mainstream - and that's also perfectly fine (but I still think having a starting point is helpful versus "go forth and frolic" redface.gif). But I'm going to take an issue when you try to force everyone's experiences into some "grand theory of the Universe" to either explain your own experiences, or sell product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph69 View Post

Can anybody give me some input on how a Bellari HA540 will match with the Grado SR325is? Thank you.

Someone (I forget who now...) was posting about their HA540 like two days ago - just dig back a few pages. I think he said it worked out pretty well. smily_headphones1.gif
post #6124 of 18634

LL

...thought it's Borat selling pizzas

post #6125 of 18634
Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

LL

...thought it's Borat selling pizzas

 

LOL My thoughts exactly :D Thought it was only me who instatly thought that this guy looked just like Borat :D

post #6126 of 18634

Thanks obob and Tomb:

 

As of right now I use my Deneons and Audio Technicas on my balanced CK²III.  I find all my other amps are too much for those two brands.  I use to own the GS-1 and I thought it paired well with the GS1Ki's I use to own.  I didn't own the GS-1 and the balanced CK²III at the same time so it's kinda hard to remember the things I need to.  I do remember the GS-1 had a Hi / low gain switch and I used the low gain with the GS1Ki's, I think it was much better.  

 

So I really miss the GS-1 / GS1Ki combo that's why I'm getting back on the Grado team.  I'm waiting for the new GS-X MKII, it has a 3 position gain switch so I'm hoping it gives me the same sound as I remember with the GS-1 but better.

 

So If I wanted to venture in the tube amp realm.  Some suggestions would be nice.  Obob you mentioned you listed a few of the most commonly used manufacturers.  Can you point me in that direction.

 

Thanks..

 

 

 

 

post #6127 of 18634
Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

LL

...thought it's Borat selling pizzas

you made me laugh

post #6128 of 18634
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

lol there should be text here lol

I hit quote and it didn't grab any text. Awesome. rolleyes.gif

Anyways - Melos and Musical Fidelity made some hybrid amps over the years that people tend to like with Grados; I don't think Musical Fidelity currently makes anything that's a hybrid (X-CAN and their X-10 buffer aren't made anymore), but you can dig them up used. I don't think Melos even exists as a company anymore - lol. The SHA-Gold and SHA-Reference are the Melos products I see mentioned often; I've never found one for sale or played around with one though, no idea if they're actually rare or if I'm just not paying attention when looking. I do know they're kinda old, so I'd be leery of that (you might be looking at repairs).

Maple Tree though is still in business, you can view their stuff here: http://hollowstate.netfirms.com/#headphone%20amps (I've never seen one of these in person - I just know they have a reputation)

I will add that the Musical Fidelity solid-state stuff is very good in its own right (and tends to be cheaper than their hybrid stuff), but I'm guessing your existing solid state amps are at least on par, if not better, so there's probably no point in venturing down that road. You might also consider a tube buffer, like Focker mentioned - would probably be cheaper than another amplifier.

There's probably people who can speak to living with these products (I should add that) - I'm not a tube guy by and large; I've tried Grados on tube gear (McIntosh) and my response was kind of "eh" - they look cool, but it's nothing I want to live with on a daily basis if I'm being completely honest. I'm not really suggesting anything; just providing kind of a "historical stepping off point" based on common answers to amp questions. *shrug*
Edited by obobskivich - 1/12/13 at 6:42am
post #6129 of 18634

OBOBSKIVICH Thanks for the info on the bellari.

post #6130 of 18634
Quote:
Originally Posted by korzena View Post

LL

...thought it's Borat selling pizzas

 

LOL

 

 

 

 

 

and grados are awesome, though  they are definitely far from perfect. 

post #6131 of 18634
Hint at what manufacturer for the new review!
post #6132 of 18634
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


I would entirely disagree with you on the basis that electrical damping is essentially a fantasy (go ahead and tell me I'm wrong, and then go ahead and tell JBL, McIntosh, BK Butler, Rod Elliot, QSC, Accuphase, and so on that they're all wrong too). Damping is primarily (like 99%) a mechanical feature, and Grados rely on nothing but the driver itself (more or less) for this (and their drivers are good; I'll give you that); if you actually reviewed the CSDs you're blindly referencing (and you can actually go beyond purrin's measurements, and go look at CSDs from He&Bi and GE too), most of them (being Grado models) exhibit ringing in the upper treble (and FR and IR will also show this) - and believe it or not, some people just don't like bright cans that have resonance artefacts. And that ringing isn't really hard to predict based on the enclosure design. If you want to look at a "singularly well damped" example of a headphone, the Koss Pro4/A and 4/AA are good candidates. Most 'stats will also put up a very clean CSD too (because the drivers are extremely well controlled). They sound very different from Grados. And no, I'm not saying ringing is a bad thing by any means here (even purrin makes the comment that the RS-1 "look worse than they sound" on measurements). It's part of their coloration and their flair - and it doesn't suit everyone.

Their impedance is very stable, so changes in Zout won't result in any significant FR changes unless you increase Zout substantially (which will act on the bass region where the impedance peak is; here's a great article on the topic: http://en.goldenears.net/index.php?mid=KB_Columns&document_srl=1389) - what's really quite disturbing about your argument is in one hand you're taking the modern marketing line of DF as pushed by makers like Crown and Anthem (who are both miserable shills with a history of saying or doing anything just to close a sale), but you're then using that fallacy to argue against itself (and saying that DF is "bad'). Sure, high Zout *can* be a good thing depending on overall system Q (which is an unknown here), but we'd be talking about LF response based on the impedance of the Grado drivers (it would be most pronounced with the GSK and PSK). Basically you'd be talking about a slight bump to the LF as Zout went up; I can tell you from experience that going between 2 and 500R doesn't do much of anything, even with the GSK. As far as what happens if you over-damp (which you're not gonna do without physical modification) - it should not ever produce a "harsh" or "tizzy" sound (because that would be a result of ringing, which critical damping will prevent...) - it'll just be over-damped. And at that point they'll just sound dead and lifeless. So in summary, *IF* DF were worth phoning home about, it would actually REDUCE the harsh/tizzy sound (by better controlling the driver's movement), and decreasing it would decrease damping (which would increase ringing and tizziness (like I said, your argument is logically troubling)) - now of course in the real world that doesn't hold up, because DF isn't worth phoning home about, and all you'll get as you run Zout up is a slight bass boost (which I could see people interpreting as a slight warmth, but we're talking very slight). If you wanted to make them ring worse, you could EQ up the treble or get really nasty and setup a filter to target and excite the points at which the enclosures already want to ring (you'd have to measure them before you could build this) and they'd sound absolutely disgusting at the end of it (why anyone would want to do this to any headphone or speaker I have no idea, but it is theoretically possible). Now, if all you're getting at is "more bass compensates for their brightness" (either because it's changing phase response, or by masking, or a combination of both) - that's fine. But we have tone controls for a reason.

They're sensitive, stable, and low impedance - they don't want for much in terms of power, and you can get the same party from more or less anything that'll give up the power they do want in a clean way. Clean and quiet is king, only because I think a lot of people will have an issue listening to hiss or pot rustling inherent on a lot of the shoddier amplifiers out there. But as gradofan pointed out - good current supply, clean tracking, and you're pretty much set. If you prefer the coloration of tubes or equalization, or whatever else - that's a personal choice, and should be left up to the end-user to explore. I think I need to qualify that my statements are being taken massively out of context though (is it because they're hurting someone's bottom line I wonder?) - my comments were specifically directed at preproman's question, and based on the knowledge that he has a (very dapper looking) pair of D7000s that I'm assuming he has suitable amplification for. Whatever is driving those will have no issue driving any Grado. If someone wants to experiment with various tubed or non-tubed products on their own, that's their choice - and I provided a list of the four manufacturers I see most commonly suggested when people for ask a good amplifier for their Grados (which usually come from a more subjective "amps are all different" crowd and do include a combination of tubed and untubed devices) - as a starting off point. Of course there are many different amplifiers out there, and people will find enjoyment in a variety of products that may not be considered "right" by the mainstream - and that's also perfectly fine (but I still think having a starting point is helpful versus "go forth and frolic" redface.gif). But I'm going to take an issue when you try to force everyone's experiences into some "grand theory of the Universe" to either explain your own experiences, or sell product.

 

I was actually going to say the same thing 

post #6133 of 18634
Quote:
Originally Posted by agoston.berko View Post

Why is that if I'm listen to Grado/Alessandro headphones I say WOW that's M-U-S-I-C !!!!!!! 

 

BUT (big BUT) if I listen to BeyerT1, SennHD800, AKG 501 - 701, Ultrasone Edition 10, ESW9, Etymotic 4S, Senn IE 80/IE 8  -> or anything else I GET BORED ->I mean WHERE IS THE MUSICALITY GONE ???

even my iGrado sounds more musical compared to Ultrasone 10 or T1 - I mean COME ON !

 

David Mahler I don't understand your "ears" and your TOP 57 LIST.

 

The only headphone I would say it's okay was Audio Technica W1000x - but it was not much better compared to iGrado.

...and I know that I should try out some STAX headphones too in the future - but pricing are ridiculous

 

every Grado sounds brilliant and every other manufacture makes very plastik'y sound. why ? my ears are healthy and I don't work for Grado.

 

akg makes fake surround sound since years. WHY?

senn make the music sound as far sounding as possible. WHY?

ultrasone makes muddy sound. WHY?

beyerdynamic makes music so lifeless. WHY?

 

If Grado would be in Europe I would not complain about this situation, but I just really wanted to share my opinion about today's headphone-industry.

Please don't say "maybe not suitable amping used" or "cables" or "different ear's"  - because I'm fed up with these answers...

the only logical reason that other "headphones" are justified nowadays are the differences between genres.

 

BUT real instrument music genres like jazz, classical, blues are much more realistic on Grados compared to other manufactures.

maybe disco music and todays pop music (big part) sounds best on fake headphones because the music today is focused on weird sounds which Grado can't handle.

 

I already owned several headphones and listened to others too, but I always conclude that Joe Grado and his company are waaaaay ahead of others.


Honestly when it comes to headphones on me, musicality or some engagement is a must. I haven't heard a Grado yet, but it's next on my list of auditions. In terms of musicality overall I found Sennheiser the worst, I just can't get engaged with most of them, I find them good for relaxing though. Beyers can be a little lifeless but some are not lifeless at all like the DT 990 and I generally enjoy them. I always found AKG full of life, enjoyable, and realistic, although admittedly the soundstage was a little different on the Q701. The only STAX I listened to was a little on the boring side but everything else on it was fantastic, but would I get it if I could afford it, the answer is a maybe. The best, most enjoyable, most musical, and realistic headphone I've heard was the R10. I wouldn't dismiss amplification like that, some headphones change a lot with different amps. I can't comment on cables as I haven't experimented with them but I can see copper vs silver cables making at least some difference. Different ears, dunno, but different preferences is definitely something that makes a difference among people. Anyways on music, it's really hit or miss on well it's recorded and mastered, so I think being true to the recording on a lot of music is a bit iffy. A lot of music recordings in itself is colored, so being true to the recording isn't necessarily a means of neutrality or accuracy and anyways every single headphone is colored in some way. If all audio was recorded and mastered perfectly then finding out what the most accurate and realistic headphone would be easier but there will still be a lot of debate regardless. The most accurate and realistic isn't everyone's goal or ideal either.

post #6134 of 18634

"musicality or some engagement is a must"

my first place on my priorities.

 

"I haven't heard a Grado yet, but it's next on my list of auditions"

you will be amazed. tell me your experiments after the grado session.

 

"In terms of musicality overall I found Sennheiser the worst, I just can't get engaged with most of them",

agreed. even hd800 is non-music proof.

 

"Beyers can be a little lifeless but some are not lifeless at all like the DT 990 and I generally enjoy them"

nothing special here: only the bass departmen is raised a bit. that helps a littel bit to warm up the overall signature. but grado musicality I'm talking about here is something else. i mean TIMBRE.

 

"I always found AKG full of life, enjoyable, and realistic"

yes its technically a miracle to listen to a gitar solo in the left corner of the stage and at the same time the singer is in front of you.

but after you listen to grado you will say: i feel the spirit of the song. and that's the most important: grado can give you the best midrange as possible (most important in the FR) and the give you most accurate acustic instrumentation.

 

"The only STAX I listened to was a little on the boring side"

now thats a shame. but japanese ear are different - their whole line up is for their music their ear.  

 

"The best, most enjoyable, most musical, and realistic headphone I've heard was the R10"

should be true. everybody is raving about R10's - sony is a mass product, it is specialized for the whole planet. :-)

 

"I wouldn't dismiss amplification"

never sad that, I only wanted to assure you that I were listening to EVERY headphone with nice amplification.

 

"I can't comment on cables as I haven't experimented with them but I can see copper vs silver cables making at least some difference."

same: i used Van Den Hul line always -best cables ever - so that was not the weakes link in the chain.

 

"Different ears, dunno, but different preferences is definitely something that makes a difference among people."

piano should sound like a piano. gitar like a gitar. this is the point of headphone manufacturing.

 

 "well it's recorded and mastered music"

you can easily make your decision for a well mastered violin (or not well mastered) if you listen through Grado.

 

 "every single headphone is colored in some way"

yes but there are more colored ones and almost no coloration too.

 

"If audio was recorded and mastered perfectly..." 

for example chesky mastering is pretty perfect. you shoud listen to these if you figure out which headphone is the most musical.

 

"realistic isn't everyone's goal or ideal either."

sorry i have to disagree. for example: DRUM

each type of drum head serves its own musical purpose and has its own unique sound -> this unique sound we want to reproduce on our mastering and on the membran of the headphone too.

post #6135 of 18634
Quote:
Originally Posted by agoston.berko View Post

"The only STAX I listened to was a little on the boring side"

now thats a shame. but japanese ear are different - their whole line up is for their music their ear.  

 

 

 

Do you mean they have different shaped ears or they just hear things differently? And are you saying they listen to completely different music to everyone else?

 

But hang on, aren't some of the other brands (Audio Technica for one) Japanese as well? They must sound boring also.

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