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Why do people like Grados so much? - Page 3

post #31 of 196
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

You have to be careful when grouping Grados. The SR and RS lines have a common house signature. All the others are unique, including the Alessandro line.

The SR and RS lines are tuned for a pleasing coloration of guitars. They can be fun for that, just the same way DHTs do terrific things with vocals. It's not accurate, but most people enjoy them.

The RS-1 was fun for a few years. I loved it. Then it got to be like every meal tasting the same - I got tired of the coloration. I did keep the HP-2 because it is neutral and has a certain transparency. The HF-1 and HF-2 are fun to listen to now and then, but I keep them mostly because I'm attached to Head-Fi.

Also, OP, Grados aren't for everyone. Lots of people love them. But you're not alone in disliking them. Sell your pair and move on to something else. The perfect headphones for you are probably out there; you can cross Grado off your list now. Nothing to feel bad about, just keep exploring.

I already found them wink.gif I'm just curious because every metalhead here uses them, so it's very strange that I would hate them. Wanted to make sure I didn't miss something.


post #32 of 196

Oh, also, when I first read the title to the thread I saw,

"Why do people like Glados so much?"


I think Glados is a pretty awful person/robotic AI thing, myself.

post #33 of 196


Originally Posted by DaBomb77766 View Post

Oh, also, when I first read the title to the thread I saw,

"Why do people like Glados so much?"


I think Glados is a pretty awful person/robotic AI thing, myself.




Oh ! You ... murderer .

post #34 of 196

who is that

post #35 of 196
Originally Posted by Melvins View Post

who is that


post #36 of 196
Originally Posted by Alghazanth View Post

I already found them wink.gif I'm just curious because every metalhead here uses them, so it's very strange that I would hate them. Wanted to make sure I didn't miss something.


Can I ask what your perfect headphones are Alghazanth?


I've had the SR125i's for a while now and whilst I find them fun with certain music (such a Peter Gabriel), they don't fit my taste for others (like Def Leppard). I find them lacking in bass and warmth. I run them through my fiio E7 with the bass on setting 1 and this helps the bass and adds a little warmth.


However I have just purchased some Denon D5000's so I hoping they will be to my liking and based on what you've said it should be.

post #37 of 196

I had SR225, MS2 and have RS1i and HF-2. I don't think they're very good with metal (especially not with fast metal genres).


RS1i and HF-2 though are way more complete then the SR line in my experience. I can enjoy Grado's for their exciting forward presentation, as Erik says, they do their thing with guitar sound.


For acoustical and rock they can be nice for 30-60 minutes (not longer, because of the comfort issue), but for metal, I grab for my D7000's or Ed.8


In short; Grado's can be fun when you can appreciate the forward trebly sound, but I do think they're a bit overrated

post #38 of 196


Originally Posted by Ze_Blitzkrieg View Post



...the sonic qualities of these headphones leave me questioning their price tag.  The sound they present might be more upfront, yes that is fairly true, but all fullness to the sound is completely lost.  They produce a sound, which I feel was best described in my friend's words as, "small, the sound is just small."   Which in my opinion is hard to do considering how "upfront" and "in your face" they are touted to be.



Exactly how I feel ! People often say how small the headstage of Grado is but I always thought it is not the peanut sized headstage as such, but the instrument within that headstage was not given sufficient space and time to develop the muscial note to its full envelop. As I described elsewhere, if a musical note roughly composed of the initial attack, the main thrust and the subsequent fade out, Grado emphasize the initial attack but de-emphasize the subsequent fade out. The temporal cues with a musical note is accentuated. It appears to me that is what makes it so aggressive and arresting, for good or for bad. It is like spicy food, nobody says it is healthy or balanced but some like it hot.


Edited by Greeni - 5/25/11 at 4:33am
post #39 of 196

I have a set of sr325is, and quite simply, no other headphone in my collection can fool me so convincingly that I have my speakers turned on. These are handcrafted, down to earth design, from their drivers to their construction, and I think that is what makes them so special. Grado didn't begin as a company that sold headphones... the skill it takes to construct a good phono cart carries over into the various delicate elements within the drivers, and how the headphones themselves ended up with such an elegantly simple, yet effective, design.


A little love and attention, breaking them in, including the bowls/pads, because they will change their feel after a while, and begin to feel less like foam from a block and more like something custom to your own body. I placed cheap hadioshack foams over the lip of the front of each can, it makes for a thin layer, then I put the bowls on like normal. This is just enough to take a bit of the edge off. I don't need to do this, because my tubed components offer up such a smooth presentation that I can't imagine trying to truly fall in love with a good pair of Grados (and the 225s are a good pair of Grados!) without some kind of tubed liquid air and space. Digital listening has changed from something that I more, or less, tolerated, to something that I treasure, especially now that I can use my PC as a source that rivals some of the best CD players.


Still, I had an old pair of 325s, the non "i" versions, and I loved them, but they finally began to show their flaws, so I brought my tubed DAC to a shop and auditioned a new set, along with some other pairs, including the RS2s... I brought a Russian Circles CD, and it was played on an arcam integrated, through an arcam CDP, but through my DAC... the music never sounded so alive.


I have good headphones, DT770s, DT880s, DT990s (older style), M50s, K240s, K271s (both still made in Austria), Senn HD555s that have been modded to be within a few percent of the HD600s, XB700s, and modded Aurvana Lives! (I sold my Denon ah1000s, my modded Aurvanas had the slight edge), and a set of Porta Pro 25 anniversary ed, plus a few others kicking around.


I have auditioned many more, and I cannot imagine my collection being complete without a pair of Grados. I saw this thread right as I was freaking out because I thought I had my speakers turned on, but I pulled the 325s off my head and nope, it was all a wonderful illusion, that when it works right, it is simply wonderful. I wasn't even using my best amp. I have a Grace 901, but I was just using the headphone port on my NAD c160.


Metal may be a genre that is too heavy on the cymbals and digital overdrive, open hats, and other things thrown up front, plus the clipping of metal "growl" vocals. I can hardly find a headphone that can make the "singer" from Rosetta sound even OK, but I know the 225s would probably do better than my 325s, because the plastic housing vs, the metal in mine may work to your advantage. I had to spend some time really breaking them in before I could truly end up in that "forget you even have headphones on" zone, but once they did, I love my other phones, esp. my DT770s with the pads from the 880s/990s, and my k240s with a modded grille cloth (something thin, like what sony uses on their v6s, v700s, and such), and for a while, I had a honeymoon with a pair of Shure monitors on just the right amp, but with all the air and space I can hear from Denon drivers, or the accurate, non fatiguing swiss army phones the m50s, it just is not a complete collection without the Grados.


What Grado has done, to have such a following, when they aren't trying to be a senneiser, or an Audio Technica, or a Beyer, or an AKG, the good pairs are still built by hand, put together by someone in more of an artful way so that no two are exactly alike, just in how they are glued together, or how their drivers have such delicate diaphragms and voice coils, plus the simple overall design that opens them up to a massive world of modding and tweaking, well, they have accomplished something pretty damn noteworthy. That I would rave about them as natural as a company that has dedicated it's career to building headphones, researching, putting money into factories that can produce exotic drivers and housings... look at Ultrasone or hell, any of the flagship cans from the majors, the difference between them and their entry level products are night and day, but a set of sr60s, or maybe sr125s and up, really, the difference between them and Grado's TOTL, it's not a night and day difference. It is a consistent evolution in attention to detail and materials, but the basic idea is all there. I am a structural designer, so I know a thing or two about the process of engineering and design, so I know that Grado has accomplished something unique, and I hear it when I put my 325s on my ears and play the music I know they are going to sing with, and with a couple mods, it happens to be just about any genre at this point. Some electrical tape has even given them a tight, but deep bass, something that makes them sound natural with the most unnatural IDM as intimate post rock, or even a jazz quartet.


If any company can claim a "house sound" it would be Grado, but it's obviously not for everyone. To me, when it works, it can hardly get better, and they seem to work quite a bit, which is not to say they replace my other headphones, but I couldn't imagine not having their "sound" in my collection.

post #40 of 196

d2000's for metal... eugghh!!! 

I found the d2000s to be awful for metal, they were way too slow, laid back and bloated, I found they didn't compare in terms of speed and clarity.

Personally I love grados punch-you-in the-face sound they really do aggressive music excellently.

Yes they are uncomfortable but after a week you get used to it, I also preferred reverse bowls over regular bowls.

Edited by jackmccabe - 5/25/11 at 4:48am
post #41 of 196

Reverse bowls are closer to the older flats I think. The sound is greatly affected by how close your ears are to the driver grille. My bowls just sit on my ears, as if the cans clamping lets the bowls kind of hold them in place. This lets the drivers stay close, but I get the advantage of the electrical tape bass mod. I have found the right amount of width for the tape, because full width is too much bass. My bowls have taken a long time to break in. As in understand it, the natural oils of your hair/body change the foam a bit over time, and it is obviously true to some  extent because new pads are abrasive and sound "harsher" than well broken in pads. The foam is not like the kind that "rots" either. It is an interesting material.


But yes, experiment! Grados are meant for the user to taylor them to their tastes. For some, it flies in the face of the desire to hear a "flat response" over anything else, but I have enough cold and clinical monitors, so it's nice to have some with a slight color. It doesn't get in the way, really, it is just... musical. I hear similar detail capability with other phones, but the emotion can be lacking. It's why I like my DT770s more than my DT880s. I like my older DT990s that I built with some extra DT770 parts, so they are DT990s with 80ohm drivers, and they sound punchy, accurate, and even fun. More fun than my DT880s. I will probably end up selling the 880s. I find the soundstage of the Grados and other phones far outdoes them anyway, and I can find their accuracy with other cans, so the Grados belong in my collection, but the DT880s don't. *shrug*.


Denon D2000s DO sound slow. I prefer the smaller 1000s/aurvanas due to this fact. I have had several feet of headstage with good tracks and the 1000s/Aurvanas, but my k240s, or even the k271s, seem to do the d2000 "sound" better than the d2000s. Strange. You can mod the d2000s though fairly easily compared to some phones, and the mods really make a difference. I have taken apart enough cans, heh, so I have no need for the Denon range at the moment, but I am looking at the new d1000 versions, the special editions, as they do seem interesting.


Back to Grados, you can't own a set like the sr225is without trying a few different combinations with their setup. They are 325s with plastic barrels. They have a metal grille, probably the same drivers, and the plastic gives them a different "sweet spot", but doesn't diminish their worth. The 325s may be the top of that series, but the 325s/225s are more of a personal taste issue. I like the huge up-front reality of the 325s, that check if you turned off your speakers sound. It really is easy to fall in love with them if you listen to a certain range of music.

Edited by yashu - 5/25/11 at 5:57am
post #42 of 196
Originally Posted by Tenaka View Post





Oh ! You ... murderer .

Laughing SO HARD right now. Hahahahaha! Well played.


post #43 of 196


I thought the great question of decade was answered on 05-21-11.eek.gif

Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

The greatest question of the decade.


Originally Posted by 2enty3 View Post

It's because most heavy metal, new-comers often buy the SR-60 as their first headphone due to the price appeal, and since they're are very good quality for their price, they get hyped a lot amongst the new-comers.


That and opinions.

Right on the spot, brother.


post #44 of 196


Originally Posted by Proglover View Post

I can enjoy Grado's for their exciting forward presentation, as Erik says, they do their thing with guitar sound.


In short; Grado's can be fun when you can appreciate the forward trebly sound, but I do think they're a bit overrated

I only found marginal gains with guitars with the SR225i's.  I would say that with something such as Rammstein, which was the best improvement with these headphones, were only at most a 5-10% improvement, but the "smallness" of the sound just took every bit of that gain away when looking at the musical composition as a whole.  I don't feel such a small gain in a such a small area warrants the $150-$200 to pick up a new pair, obviously others disagree.  You could just simply pick up a $100-$200 amp to get the 5-10% improvement from your current headphones and not have to worry about swapping around just to listen to a few songs.  Overall I could find no rhyme or reason to justify their cost.  This was comparing them to the K601's, DT990's, and HD600's for music which spanned from 70's rock to heavy metal, techno to trance, and classical/orchestral to OST.

post #45 of 196

I've had my 225i's for about a year now, and find them completely comfortable. I often leave them on for hours while playing games. The headband needs to be bent and the cushions need to be washed.


They do require an indoor, low noise environment for best performance. I once tried to listen to them in my car and they sounded like a tin can. But in my room they sound delicious. Perhaps I have just adjusted to the high treble, or perhaps it has leveled off after hundreds of hours. All I know is that compared to my AD-700s (which may or may not be a fair comparison), they are a lot more clear sounding. The 700's sound muddled to me at reasonable listening volumes.

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