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Big Grado sound signature variation of the same models - Page 2

post #16 of 30
Thread Starter 

I just heard another RS1i, sounds the same as the other two I've owned. I'm going to conclude that it's just the way the new RS1i's sound and no it's not similar to the RS1 at all. I would buy the demo RS1i I heard but it's far too expensive locally.

post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by kite7 View Post


I have a 2003 model but that doesn't mean I had them since 2003, I had them since 2009 and bought it used. Burn-in does not make a big difference, it's a non factor to me. It will not suddenly just transform into something different after a certain amount of hours usage and it is arguable that burn-in is placebo since from all the frequency graphs I've seen show that the FR does not change after hundreds of hours. If you read my post, I said I heard a RS1i at store that is just as bright against my 2003 RS1 then I proceeded to look for a used pair of RS1i from these forums only to find out there are massive variations. As far as I know, the only "dark" sounding model should be the HF2. The HP series were made by Joe, John has always gone with the bright route and not the neutral route. Wiki is not a reliable source, I don't ever recall Grado wanting to tailor a sound that is more suitable towards the mass public who complained about it being to bright. There's always people who like bright headphones, so why should Grado to switch to a darker sound? I don't recall Grado listening to complaints. I always see alot of people complaining about how they are uncomfortable and how their technology is old yet why doesn't Grado change that? I doubt Grado listens to complaints. The whole switch to a darker sound is bogus, the new prestige series still have a bright sound.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

I guess one must assume that Grado is successful at what they do.  Why change the sound signature?



 


hm...true  - you got your points...

 

- besides i like my rs1is very much too...;-) and it is not a "dark" hp at all...

post #18 of 30

I'm curious how two headphones from the same range and time could sound so different.  Grado has to match drivers, right?  Otherwise you'd hear pronounced differences from left and right drivers.  Wouldn't they notice at that stage "Whoa, these have no bass at all."

post #19 of 30

I guess I got lucky twice!  I love how my SR60s sound and absolutely love my SR325is even more.  Even the 225i I had for a short time retained the signature Grado sound I've grown to love.  I just liked the 325is better overall. At one point I debated picking up a used SR60 for $40 (craigslist sale) just so I can compare them to the ones I already own.  Never did, but now I wish I had.  Interesting thread!

post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 

SR60i sounds very similar to SR60 to me, the sound is very consistent on this model from what I have demoed. It's the bright grado sound that I like a lot on my RS1 and I would take a SR60i/SR60 over the RS1i I've owned any day. This is what I've heard so far

 

I went to 3 stores:

2 bright SR325i, 1 dark SR325i

2 bright SR225i, 1 dark SR225i

3 bright SR60i

 

of those 3 stores, only 2 had the RS1i:

2 dark RS1i

 

The store that had the bright RS1i (I have a hunch that the earlier RS1i had a bright sound much closer to the SR60i than it does now) sold it a long time ago and now they have a dark sounding one.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluFalcon View Post

I guess I lucky twice!  I love how my SR60s sound and absolutely love my SR325is even more.  Even the 225i I had for a short time retained the signature Grado sound I've grown to love.  I just liked the 325is better overall. At one point I debated picking up a used SR60 for $40 (craigslist sale) just so I can compare them to the ones I already own.  Never did, but now I wish I had.  Interesting thread!

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by kite7 View Post

This is what I've heard so far

 

I went to 3 stores:

2 bright SR325i, 1 dark SR325i

2 bright SR225i, 1 dark SR225i

3 bright SR60i

 

 

I wonder if A&H got a darker pair of SR325i's ...  smile_phones.gif  I know he loves the pair he has, but man, the pair that I had were so bright they could peel paint.


 

post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post

I wonder if A&H got a darker pair of SR325i's ...  smile_phones.gif  I know he loves the pair he has, but man, the pair that I had were so bright they could peel paint.


 



This is very possible. ArmAndHammer said he liked the jumbos on his SR325i and I tried the jumbos on the dark RS1i in-store and they actually changed it to a bright sound. I can totally see why ArmAndHammer would like it with jumbos, I actually found the dark RS1i quite decent with the jumbos on though the mids were still a bit thin but not nearly as bad as jumbos on my RS1. Can the dark RS1i sound bright? Yes, only if jumbos are used to tame the bass and boost the treble in other words increasing the distance between the ears and the driver will create a brighter sound. RS1i with bowls sound too dark for me and I just cannot settle for that sound. RS1i seems like it can be two different headphones by simply swapping between bowls and jumbos. It did not sound too far from a PS1000 I also demoed briefly at all.

 

When I say bright you can say it is similar to K701 bright , while dark is similar to HD650 dark give or take.

post #23 of 30

I do believe there are variants.  But most grado rs1 owners from the threads here seems to think that the grado rs1 vintage B and grado rs1 classic (all with button) seem to be warmer, fuller, smoother with a more forward midrange than the grado rs1i.  So it's strange that you find the grado rs1i warmer.  

 

I even asked Zanth, the grado expert here at head fi and he too thought that the grado rs1i has become brighter, thinner and less forward in the mids.  

The grado rs1i do have greater bass and treble extension but a thinner, colder midrange and less forward midrange had led me personally to trade them for the older buttoned version. 

 

Maybe what you want is the midrange forwardness of the older grado rs1, because I don't think the newer grado rs1i are warmer at all.

 

But again, you might have just been unlucky to find warm grado rs1i, but in most cases, they just are not compared to the older grado rs1.

 

 

 

 

 

post #24 of 30
Thread Starter 

I've heard 4 RS1i and they all have the same sound. With bowls on, it sounds a little similar to RS1 with flats on. The ones I have heard have SN # over 7000. Maybe earlier or initial versions of the RS1i have a different sound? The RS1 I had has more treble than the RS1i and most importantly, the upper mid spike.  The RS1 made it seem like I was listening to a closed headphone when I was listening to the RS1i.The RS1i s I have heard sound better with pop than rock; I was surprised rock was the genre that showed the RS1i's flaws. The RS1i was decent with simpler and slow songs. I also heard and owned one RS1 that sounded like all the RS1is I have heard. I think the ones in the early 2000s have the bright sound and later some of the RS1s started to possess a much warmer sound


Edited by kite7 - 3/19/11 at 2:15am
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danthrax View Post

I don't understand where you guys go to demo these I have never seen an "audio shop" but maybe I'm not looking hard enough... Anyone know of one near Pittsburgh?


I'm sure by now, you've probably located a shop or dealer close to you.  But, in my experience, if I go shopping to the closest dealer to me, he probably has about 2 of each model in stock - and probably 1 of the RS-1is in stock.  When I bought my SR-225is, there was an open box model that they provided for my demonstration.  The one I purchased was sealed in the box.  My suspicion with this particular dealer is that he'd frown upon me asking to demo 2 of the same model if he had to open up a new box for me to listen to them.  To the dealer, they've essentially jaded their goods by opening so many boxes.  After all, customer service can only go so far.  Plus, he's still not sure at the time when I'm making the demo that I'll actually buy a pair. 

 

post #26 of 30

My understanding was that older buttoned Grado's were smoother and warmer.  That was my experienced with a Vintage A Grado RS1.  I loved it.  There was a huge midbass hump that made everything sound warm and groovy.  Well I sold it to buy something else and than missed the Grado sound so got a Grado RS1i.  Well the midrange didn't have the midbass hump and everything sounded thin and bright.

 

Fast forward, traded my Grado RS1i for Grado RS1 with button believing it was a Vintage A and expected the warm thick mids.

Boy was I wrong, these are the brightest, most forward sounding Grados I've ever heard.  I have no idea what happened, but these must be the Vintage B or Early Classic that Kite7 you are looking for.

They really have the attack and aggressive upper treble you are looking for.

 

Kite7, if you find a really warm, thick pair of Vintage A, I'd be willing to trade.  I love the attack, but everything sounds like it's shouting and screaming at me.

 

post #27 of 30

quick story...my first Grado's were from a guy here used..SR60's..they sounded excellent, top to bottom stock and blew me away-smooth and I kept wondering why I heard so much from time to time about how bright Grado's were. A gentleman from the website I generally frequent audiocircle had a pair of SR125's that he never liked and sent them to me gratis...moving up in the line I was so pumped and then they arrived and harsh wasn't the word, sibilant, bright OMG "I can't believe I just paid ____for these piece of crap cans" (what I would have said if I paid over a dollar for this pair) Not sure what year any were made and both have been modded heavily now leaving only the connector to tell which model they started as and they both have identical sound signatures now with only the outer shell--wood, type of wood etc making the difference in sonics.

 

It amazes me to this day how clearly Grado seems to just relabel the same product, house it differently and upcharge for a higher end model when in fact you could be taking a giant step backward...buy 60's and mod them. Its easy, I'm 53 and did it twice so far......LOL

post #28 of 30

Is this sort of thing only common with Grados, or are there other headphones that suffer from the same QC?

post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by musiclover666 View Post

Is this sort of thing only common with Grados, or are there other headphones that suffer from the same QC?

 

I'm not sure if I'd relate it all to a QC issue.  Some manufacturers might apply some slight revisions to the product mid-stream in the production process.  These changes are obviously not disclosed and can lead to the variation in sound of the product.  Sure, it would be great to know of such a change, but regulating it would be a humongous process.  Fortunately, such monitoring of such changes applies to food and medicine due to strict reporting requirements - especially with medicine.  However, even then, it's still not a 100% guarantee.

 

Take a recent news item that was reported yesterday here in the U.S. in the state of Texas.  Some food products were tested and the peanut butter tests detected a flame retardant (low levels) within the peanut butter.  Now, one has to wonder how it got there?  Or, how about the lead paint used on baby toys produced in China.  As you can see, there are a lot bigger fish to fry as apposed to trying to nail down the QC processes for various headphones.  Again, though, this is just my observation - so, please take all of it with a grain of salt, if you'd like.

post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

I'm not sure if I'd relate it all to a QC issue.  Some manufacturers might apply some slight revisions to the product mid-stream in the production process.  These changes are obviously not disclosed and can lead to the variation in sound of the product.  Sure, it would be great to know of such a change, but regulating it would be a humongous process.  

Good point! When it comes to Grado, they have this habit of changing cup material, drivers, ear pads, cables and any other part of the headphones within the same model. In the early days, you might get a pair of SR100, 200, 300, 325 with HP1000 drivers from time to time. Now, it is anyone's guess what finish you get from SR325is; PS1000. Even if they look the same from the outside, there is no guarantee that they sound the same (eg: RS1).

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