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Jaben is selling uber rare headphones on Taobao for exuberant prices

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&u=http://jaben.taobao.com/&ei=cHR5TfHQKM_zrAHPhpHgBQ&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Djaben%2Btao%2Bbao%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26prmd%3Divnso

 

Oh my...

 

Grado HP1000 for 38888 RMB (approx. 6000 USD)

 

Grado HP1 and PS1 are 48888 RMB (approx. 7500 USD)

 

Sennheiser HE60 for 49999 RMB (approx. 7600 USD)

 

SONY Qualia and R10 are a mind-boggling  58888 RMB (approx 9000 USD eek.gif)

 

I know these are rare, but are they really worth this much? The grados are like quintuple the asking price new.

post #2 of 19

it can't be helped, the store caters to Beijing people..

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDustCell View Post

it can't be helped, the store caters to Beijing people..

so?
 

 

post #4 of 19

just ask ATH-FAN...

post #5 of 19

they $$$rich$$$
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KuKuBuKu View Post



so?
 

 



 

post #6 of 19

WHEW - Sennheiser HE60 for 49999 RMB (approx. 7600 USD) !!!???

So I guess that i should be happy with the $1750 I spent on a NEAR MINT pair?

post #7 of 19

It's time for everyone w/rare headphones to take a trip to China and cash in!

 

Ridiculous....but $$$ begets $$$ I guess.

post #8 of 19

That's a lot of cash for a pair phones.  I hope they are worth the $5000+ people shell out...  Makes the budget stuff I have feel tiny, they don't even have as many zeros in their price tag.  :S

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by KuKuBuKu View Post

so?
 

 

 

Supply, demand, discretionary income.  No brainer, really.

post #10 of 19

Thread bringing up like a necromancer waking up the dead. But I'm glad to know because I do get to buy (edit*: I have bought, and won't redo it for collecting purposes, I have two and it's more than enough, one back-up) some of these headphones for way less, and now feel even happy about it.

 

They are the HP1 and -2. They sound good, but not most-probably not HD800x2 good (give me a HD800 and I'll compare, but judging by the reviews it's why I say "most-probably")... they're just rare and a sign of wealth (yup, coming from a Gradophile collector), for the very few who knows about it... I hope they will be long remembered though :P.


Edited by devouringone3 - 5/7/12 at 5:56pm
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

Thread bringing up like a necromancer waking up the dead. But I'm glad to know because I do get to buy some of these headphones for way less, and feel happy about it.

 

Well just the HP1-2. They sound good, but not HD800x2 good... they're just rare and a sign of wealth, for the very few who knows about it.

+1

 

 

that stuff is seriously overpriced, and slowly being phased out even more by upcoming newer and better headphones

post #12 of 19

-------------


Edited by Grado77 - 5/18/12 at 2:39am
post #13 of 19

i bought some rs1 semi vintage about 10 yrs old that failed on me the day i got them... the rs1i driver replacement was worth it though.

 

even my 325 failed at some point, i can only imagine the other grados doing the same, considering the grado rs1 is supposed to be on their high end of the scale..

post #14 of 19

They aren't the actual prices. If you read the description, I'm sure it says "If you are interested, contact the storekeeper and arrange the prices" somewhere. I saw the links before, so unless they changed the descriptions, it should still be the same.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grado77 View Post

What is the life expectancy of a high end Grado membrane? I'd be terrified of decay in the long run.

 

I'm glad your asking because this is my field of espertise.

 

I don't want to mention anything about the obscure origin of the Grado drivers, the best thread talking about this got locked (censored) by Zanth, few years ago. It has since then become a taboo and people end up fighting (debating) with rage (hence, the reason why the threads get locked, [but in the case of the long and productive thread, with Zanth locking it, it was pure {and kind of obscene too, there was still a lot of intellectual discussion going on when it got closed} censure, lol, sorry Zanth, this was the most awesome thread ever and you took it a bit too personal I think]) when someone brings up the question.

 

Sorry for all those parenthesis, lol.

 

So, Grado drivers... they are of a sealed and seamless design. Sealed means that nothing can get into them --between the diaphragm and the back felt--, unless you punch that very felt through the holes 8-10 that there is. This means that the voice coil (the most important piece! it can also be the most fragile one too) is well protected, and not exposed. The thing you see when you stare inside your headphone, the ear-side, is a generic (I often read "mylar") membrane, used as the diaphragm; it's the most common material used for headphones drivers; AKG, Sennheiser, uses the same thing. It won't degrade with time because it's not reacting to oxidation, it's rigid/solid even if it's less than one mm thin. Also I think it has high "creep resistance", it should always be able to take up the loudest volumes, and distort before breaking, and not be permanently deformed after it (unless you really exploded it with your I don't know which powerful amp). Of course headphones drivers never move that much (compared to a speaker subwoofer) so it's not something to fear usually.

 

Rayment Rhydon (of Symphones, makers of Magnums), the guy knowing the most in this field, said in some obscure 2003 thread that Grado drivers will most probably outlast our own person, because they are of a seamless design. The plastic diaphragm isn't floating in a surround like the typical speakers usually are (and some headphones too); those surrounds are starting to degrade (we sometimes say a speaker as "blown-up" when the surround becomes a gap) in older speakers, because poor material choice was been made, and because this stuff moves quite a lot to produce bass, so it endures stress. Seamless for Grado means no surrounds. Both the HP1000 black star driver and the John Grado driver diaphragm are directly "attached" (no idea what is such an attach, it could be that they are actually molded together, literally) to the driver housing (the main plastic body of it, black John Grado, white Joseph Grado, very easy to distinguish).

 

Most drivers are clearly made/molded by a precise machine, and are all very regular... I mean no one ever seen anything odd or a problem in their Grado drivers, as far as I know.

 

Here they are, the two Grado headphone drivers, both of them are great (equally, even the ones found in the latest Grado"i"; I do very little discrimination, as opposed to a few vintage owners who sometimes exaggerate the differences between newer and older models, and tend to always see them as improvements: while it's sometimes the case, modern Grado still sounds very good to the ears of a lot of Grado vintage lover like me):

20080413_5c06b0011eb0499350bfuFOZbGtlrQiX.jpg 20080413_4a11abbd35f67d89d195Rz1XnzEGmFu9.jpg 20080413_5ec5a50b5f5faa31da55L7ckOOuqn2pv.jpg

 

I did play a lot with a half-liberated HP-1000 driver (with cover still on), it is a solid and WEIGHTY block. I couldn't break it with only my two hands if I tried (very hard plastic used), I would need a hammer or a hard throw on concrete wall. The "felt" (more like a thin filtering film of plastic) on the back is also very inert and resistant, you can blow on it as much as you want to remove dust and particles, it won't let drops of saliva in, and you can use your thumbs as a brush to do the same, it if you take out your driver, which was what I did (and I don't recommend, lol).

 

So as long as your voice coil wire-in and wire-out aren't cut (in the HP-1000 those aren't protected/covered by a white protective substance, but in the almost all John Grados they are), you don't blow them up intentionally with too much power/current, you don't throw them into the water (this has been done with a SR325i, just lookout in the thread of their fanclub), and you don't overheat the soldering pads when recabling, they will never die. I think most "headphone failing" stories I due to bad usage environmental conditions like exposure to humidity, etc, inducing corrosion and oxidation at the contacts.

 

This hardcore dude cut off the diaphragm, which is in this case a definitive sacrifice. 1000x500px-LL-72e2209b_DSC_6244.jpg

 

One guy had a problem with a punched-in dome, which presented marked treble deficiency, this was (most probably) a mishandling done by the Grado factory worker (or by someone who once manipulated the driver). People have had problems with their plugs cutting out a channel; retermination or recabling always solved all of the issue (happened to two of my Grados, actually). A few modders torn their voice coil wire at entry point accidentally, and some of them successfully soldered it back together after that (headphone became very much fully functional again). Truth to be told, I've searched the best I could, and I never was able to find a story of someone who's Grado "driver" was broke (like a diaphragm split into two, or melted without warning, or the magnet under it stopped working). Design is simple, it doesn't break because there is almost nothing to break.

 

As far as corrosion by skin oils of the dirty user, this is far from an issue. The previous owner of my HP-1 didn't know spare parts were available, he has listened to it (that's right) pads-less for about 15 years! (he also bent the headband badly, for it to reach his ears, which I could almost repair completely) I was scared the screens would be detached or clogged, which first case happened 2 or 3 times on Head-Fi, and second case only once, to John Grados. But they weren't. The screens looked a bit hard pressed, were dirty, but after rolling some hand heated BluTak on them (which I always do when I receive a Grado; I actually clean the whole headphone with that stuff), I shined a Flashlight in them and the diaphragm was still shiny and "white" (not dirty, not oxidized).

 

The black cheese clothe of the HP line is a lot better than the one of the John Grados. It's more tightly woven --I swear no skin particles will ever get in, even decomposing pads gets stuck on the surface and you can use your mouth to suck out that poison, which I did for my SR325 (with HP-1000 drivers) who needed it badly, and even though I first couldn't see the black star because it was so clogged with particles (it was like the RS1 on the bottom of this thread), after sucking and swallowing/spitting them out, the diaphragm was as white, shiny, and sounding like new--, it's really tough --you can scratch it (I did by accident) and take off the white residue left by your fingernails with BluTak, and it leaves no mark (those tiny filaments are hard as metal)--, you can put your ears against them for 15 years, get them dirty, clean them, and they will remain in great condition, and finally, it's more solidly attached and centered (most of the time) --never seen one detaching, but I seen many (2-3, like I said earlier) John Grados which did, like my SR200, and the screen was replaced at Grado Labs with a white one--, than the John Grados.

 

(Gopher in 2009) dsc0570z.jpg DSCN7890-1.jpg (devouringone3 in 2012, behind the SR100-0)

 

It is to be noted that the is a crack in the left (untouched) diaphragm/driver, I could never hear it though ;)

DSCN7949-1.jpg (you'll need to click and have the full resolution of the picture to notice it)

I say a crack but it could be just a hair... well not a hair, that would be too thin to see... actually I think it is a dislodged voice coil "branch", because it looks under the diaphragm, and not in it. But I have no better idea really.

 

Anyway, coming back to the diaphragms, in comparison, Sony's bacterial nano-composite, I call it yogurt just for fun, is known to degrade (some have failed, and more are to come)... I don't know about micro fiber, and I don't know about bio cellulose /-dyna (which is just another type of [biological?] micro fiber), used by Fostex and in the Denons. I'm trying to discover more about it right now...

 

Conclusion: Grado drivers will last terribly long, especially Joseph Grado, black star ones, but the ones inside the vintage RS1 and the PS-1 too. Like everything, treat them with care, because they are a good investment. Spare parts for the HP-1000 still exists today, cables and drivers, as confirmed to me by Joseph (on the phone) yesterday... but they cost 1250 dollars, so you're better to hunt down for the SR100 and SR200 in circulation that has the driver in them (SR100-0 and SR200-0, maybe SR300-0, and a few SR325-0 but not many). As long as not too much people gets their house flooded, or burned down, or throw them in their garbage :'( , there are still quite a lot of good Grado drivers around, and they will not die any soon. The opposite can be said for the Sony R10 and Qualia (which are not considered good investments anymore, even though heavenly sounding, and some going strong and lasting quite a lot also, being listened one owner after another), Sony already used all their left repair stock, and so they have become an endangered species in some kind of way.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

i bought some rs1 semi vintage about 10 yrs old that failed on me the day i got them... the rs1i driver replacement was worth it though.

 

even my 325 failed at some point, i can only imagine the other grados doing the same, considering the grado rs1 is supposed to be on their high end of the scale..

 

Do you know what failed? Complete failure can only be caused by an interruption of the copper wire carrying the electrical signal. Either it is completely cut and the two ends are not touching anymore, in the voice coil or in the main cable (both, especially latter one, would be very unlikely), or the connection is intermittent at the contacts: the plug in the amp (most likely of the bunch), or the solder joints (possible too), I think anyone should try (before sending to Grado, because all they know how to do it put new drivers+cable assembly, a universal, abrupt, solution to all problems) to a retermination (plug contact problem) or a recabling (solder joint contact problem), because these will most of the time repair the issue. I think it's kind of sad for the RS1. These have a soul (different, discontinued sound) on their own... people complain "i" Grados sound all alike and boring (they better balanced than vintage classic, yes, but they do not as Grado-house anymore, with sparkly highs and synergy with electric guitar). I recently acquired a super vintage myself, they sound radically different (to my own good surprise), but I think they sound closer to RS1i (from what I have read in the reviews comparing it to vintage classic) than to the vintage classic B I'm selling right now, which this one is typical popular Grado-house, harsher, has less bass, but is still frickin' sweet sounding, and good for rocking.

 

I had a SR325 (with HP-1000 drivers, a SR325-0) which screens looked like those:

 

g48.jpg?t=1239897293

 

So you can easily suck all of this stuff out and bring it back to looking good (at least for an HP-1000). The particles aren't fused to the driver or anything, they are above it, floating in the "web", and I recommend to suck and not blow... I'm sure you can do much good.

 

Here's my RS1 prototype (similar story), I've only seen two of these in existence, it's the oldest type of RS1. Someone tried to sell it on eBay:

 

Captuhhhhhhhre.png (link is still there: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&_trksid=p4340.l2557&rt=nc&nma=true&item=290643131342+,290643131342&lgeo=1&si=jVvi3ID36cmBwVWPpi%252FnK%252F1lMbQ%253D&viewitem=&vectorid=229466&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc#ht_500wt_1361)

 

It's a big surprise the pair got to go out in the wild... I've purchased it from a eBay auction winner I contacted. I did that after my seller himself bought it from BFBaudio/Jasmineswell (eBay) waddragon/lucky_star (Head-Fi) and lobster_king (audiogon) professional Grado rare headphones hunter and profit making reseller (he has a HP-1 with a 2650 $ buy it now price, overpriced, the condition is worth really only 1750-2000 in Head-Fi more accurate prices), who got it (most probably) from jrogelfsm for a ridiculously low price. Myself I did pay quite a lot for it, at this point ;).

 

Anyway, don't you find the driver to look abnormally black, or dirty with stock decomposing flat pads particles? Maybe, and I wondered how it would arrive to me.

 

I think it was cleaned by the second owner, in between me and this listing in the picture. See how they look (I'm 99.99% sure it's the same headphone, but never received the actual confirmation by jrogelfsm, that BFBaudio contacted him and bought it from him):

 

DSCN8340.jpg (without flash)

 

DSCN8343.jpg (with flash)

 

Which supports my earlier conclusion, and is the moral of this whole story: well maintained stuff will last long and continue looking good. Please take note that my RS1 (awesome sounding) is a super rare case, and has only been released from it's box my me, after all these years. I still keep it in its closed box all the time, when not in use, and carry the wooden box in another special Nanuk case.

 

It has a stock 8 conductors cable by the way, Grado were already experimenting with doubling the conductors in 1994-95 (years of the invention/creation of the RS1).

 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xymordos View Post

They aren't the actual prices. If you read the description, I'm sure it says "If you are interested, contact the storekeeper and arrange the prices" somewhere. I saw the links before, so unless they changed the descriptions, it should still be the same.

 

Strange way of selling... they don't really do that on eBay, lol

 

It got me thinking of the popularity of small American brand in big China... HP-1000 weren't broadly distributed, so if they are fan of Grado they will inevitably dig out the roots and find out about the all metal, almighty, HP-1000, they never had... I felt it was logical they wanted it so much.


Edited by devouringone3 - 5/7/12 at 9:06pm
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