Originally Posted by mrAdrian
Well sound preference is very subjective, and I believe their 'harshness' is what makes them sound so special with rock/metal etc. If you look up grado lovers' comments you often see terms like 'lively' and 'energetic' appear, so yes they are fatiguing but they my cup of tea ;)
The better ones do translate emotion very well - RS1 among the ones the I've listened to - such as vocalization details as well as being able to convey the drummer's attacking his instrument. However on some of them, like the SR60 and SR125, there were times that on some tracks you'd have to ask if Mighty mo Rogers' drummer is really as angry as Dave Grohl when he was in Nirvana, except of course the "raw" quality of his vocals there tends to gloss over that (I didn't notice it either until I was testing an SR80 vs the HD600 on the same amp). I wouldn't call it as "harshness" outright though; more like forward, given the RS1 doesn't sound harsh and can do all these without being fatiguing.
That said though it doesn't necessarily mean the HD600 can't convey the same qualities. While I don't think it's completely neutral I doubt it's that far off from that, more so since I got to try an HD650 on brand new pads recently vs my HD600 (plus some pad-swapping when the distributor rep wasn't looking, but I didn't have the heart to actually keep the new pads) and the abnormal warmth, pronounced lower midrange bloom and slower decay are mostly from the pads' age. What sucks is I only had the current pads on for about 18 months. It's still comfortable but the SQ difference is hard to ignore.
On a related note, Accudio's custom EQ curves (based on selected headphone graphs) to flatten headphone response though is amazing - it makes my squished pads bearable and with the new pads almost like the HD800. Almost. For one, the HD800 barely benefit from my amp's crossfeed, but the HD600 still gets a lot out of it (must be the angled drivers, I dunno).