I think I've found a way to survive with the TTVJ flats pads. Others have indicated that their ears can hurt when using them. The foam that rests on the ears is pretty dense, and pretty thin. I cut some rings out of soft felt and placed these rings between the pads and my ears. I've retained the qualities of the flat pads, as well as improved the comfort level when using them. It really has allowed for a variation in the abilities of the RS1i for performance. As another alternative, the modded Sennheiser 414 pads work well, too and are quite comfortable. The flats and my RS1i are providing me with a silly amount of bass that I seriously never thought a Grado could achieve. Or, maybe it has been awhile since I've heard some great Grado sound.
After getting the RS1i and then the PS-500 about a week and a half later, I was concerned that having two headphones in the same price league might not be too good. But, the reality is that I can use the PS-500 with my G-Cush pads and have a completely different high-end sound when I want to listen to music with that option, too.
For the past few years, I've been on a bit of journey by trying, buying and selling other headphones from other companies. In each case, I would tend to be a bit critical with respect to what I was hearing. I found myself being boxed into a corner by caring more about performance than just taking the necessary amount of time to just enjoy my music. With that said, the Grado offering is what it is. When I have the RS1i on with my favorite music, I've found that I'm less critical of the performance -- which is excellent by the way, but instead, I'm reconnected with the music. My hands are tapping and my feet are tapping. The connection has been regained. That, to me, is the most important aspect of this hobby.
As to the RS1i cost, you can basically spend that amount of money buying, selling and returning a number of pair of headphones in trying to find what is right for you. Does this mean everyone should just jump to the RS1i? Nope. I'm just pointing it out as a response to the cost of the RS1i. Again, you only live once.
Edited by wje - 9/19/13 at 2:11am