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Worth tracking down Alessandro MS2i?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

First, a brief rundown on how I got to where I am today: I've previously been using a set of ATH-M50s cans for the last few years until recently when I decided I wanted to try something new. So I picked up the Grado SR325is. Which initially I quite liked. Then I also bought a Beyer DT990 Premium (32 ohm) and Sennheiser HD598 to compare with the Grados. After a few weeks of burn in and testing, I've come to the conclusion that I really like the all-around sound of the HD598 compared to the other two. Solid enough bass with clear and forward mids and treble that don't get overly harsh. However, I also prefer the overall and on-ear-wear style of the Grados. Plus I feel like I should support the "local" team if you will. If only the highs weren't so grating at times. I've tried the flat, G cush, and its standard L cush pads on the SR325is and prefer the standard ones.

 

Now I've read that the Alessandros are basically more neutral versions of the Grado but is there a big enough difference in the trebles to make it worth trying to track a pair down to test against the HD598? I figure if the MS2i + G cush pads can tame the highs and give me a comparable overall sound and headstage to the HD598 I would definitely keep the MS2i.

 

Any thoughts from those who have used the MS2/SR325is line on whether or not the differences at the treble end is significant enough to make it worthwhile?

 


Edited by kenshin27 - 6/11/11 at 8:19pm
post #2 of 37

the ATH-M50's are like the polar opposite to Grados, IMO

 

To my ears, Alessandros are just Grados with better mids, but the highs and bass suffer with more fog.

 

Just get a par of Grado SR80i with G cush cups and call it a day, it's not worth it to track down and test out a headphone to see if you like it. Especially when you would go over to a fellow Head-fi's place to test them, I don't know of any store that sells grados let alone let's you test out Alessandros. This ain't bestbuy son'

post #3 of 37
I have no idea where you're from, but I have two places where I can test out SR80, SR125, and when they're not sold out, SR60 and SR225. My point is, there are places to demo Grados, but they're usually smaller shops or dedicated headphone shops.

I have yet to hear a SR325 though so I can't give any input on a tamer version of it. I'd say that from what I hear about the out of control highs of the 325 though, you may be better off with something like a 225 since it doesn't get the velocity of aluminum making the highs as exciting as they are. However, the MS2 may be the solution as well, but I don't know much of anything about the Alessandro line's sound sig. Or you could try to find a RS2 or a modded pair for sale as they will me much calmer (again, usually) and (for the most part) retain the grado sound.
post #4 of 37
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshin27 View Post

 

Any thoughts from those who have used the MS2/SR325is line on whether or not the differences at the treble end is significant enough to make it worthwhile?



If you still have the 325's wrap a piece of electrical tape around the outside flat circumference of the stock bowls and give it a listen.

 

Here is an article you might find interesting: Evaluation of Grado Stock and Modified Earpads

 

The jumbo's (G cush) are a very mixed bag IMO. They improve the soundstage but they seem like they kill the Grado energy.

 

The MS2i is a very nice headphone BTW, but I'd try the tape mod on your 325 first.

post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the links gardner and KneelJung. The taped pad mod sounds interesting and I just happen to have some clear Scotch tape handy. =)

 

Yeah, to me the jumbos makes the cans sound a tiny bit thinner and I need to up the volume a bit as well but they don't seem to do anything to mitigate the harsh trebles.

 

I work in NYC so I suppose I could try to drop by B&H sometime to test out the different Grados but I don't think going backwards down their line will help me much as I've heard the bass (or lack thereof) on their cheaper models are an issue.

post #7 of 37

I find my dt990  brighter than my ms2i. Then again I love how both sound for different reasons. Lost love for my m50. The ms2i sounds krispy kreme

post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 

Wow... WOW. That tape mod just did the trick. Absolutely brilliant. Still the aggressive, energetic sound but brought the peaks down to non-ear-piercing levels and gave the bass a nice kick as well.  Awesome! =)

 

Wonder how well it will work after I wash the pads though. Been meaning to do that to try to soften them up a bit. Plus the shiny Scotch tape is a little ugly. =\ Maybe I'll try it with some black electrical tape afterwards.

 

The Senn HD598 still has the better headstage and a smoother sound overall that fits classical music better though but I think I can live with classical on the Grados too.

 

Thanks a lot for the tip, KneelJung! =)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KneelJung View Post

If you still have the 325's wrap a piece of electrical tape around the outside flat circumference of the stock bowls and give it a listen.

 

Here is an article you might find interesting: Evaluation of Grado Stock and Modified Earpads

 

The jumbo's (G cush) are a very mixed bag IMO. They improve the soundstage but they seem like they kill the Grado energy.

 

The MS2i is a very nice headphone BTW, but I'd try the tape mod on your 325 first.



 

post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 


Which DT990 do you have reivaj? I wasn't all that impressed with the 32 ohm version. The bass seemed a bit overpowering to me, veiling the mids somewhat to my ears.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by reivaj View Post

I find my dt990  brighter than my ms2i. Then again I love how both sound for different reasons. Lost love for my m50. The ms2i sounds krispy kreme



 

post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshin27 View Post

Wonder how well it will work after I wash the pads though. Been meaning to do that to try to soften them up a bit.

 



The fabric softener seems to work OK for a bit, then some of the roughness on the foam starts to re-appear.  Plus, if you are allergic to perfumes, you might want to look for a fabric softener that isn't scented.  The stuff they sell at Walmart has a scent in it.  I've been "buzzing" off of that spring fresh scent for about 2 months now.  biggrin.gif

 

Oh, bye the way - just a bit off topic.  However, this evening I was in Home Depot to buy some accessories for headphone modding.  I purchased a can of spray paint and they had ask to see my ID.  Apparently, in my state - Virginia, they don't sell spray paint to people under the age of 18.  Not sure if this is a nationwide policy, yet.  First, the meth cookers ruined it for us with the Sudafed, now the graffiti artists and paint huffers have ruined it for those of us who want to buy spray paint for legitimate purposes.  What's a poor guy to do?  confused.gif

post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post





The fabric softener seems to work OK for a bit, then some of the roughness on the foam starts to re-appear.  Plus, if you are allergic to perfumes, you might want to look for a fabric softener that isn't scented.  The stuff they sell at Walmart has a scent in it.  I've been "buzzing" off of that spring fresh scent for about 2 months now.  biggrin.gif

 

Oh, bye the way - just a bit off topic.  However, this evening I was in Home Depot to buy some accessories for headphone modding.  I purchased a can of spray paint and they had ask to see my ID.  Apparently, in my state - Virginia, they don't sell spray paint to people under the age of 18.  Not sure if this is a nationwide policy, yet.  First, the meth cookers ruined it for us with the Sudafed, now the graffiti artists and paint huffers have ruined it for those of us who want to buy spray paint for legitimate purposes.  What's a poor guy to do?  confused.gif


The carding for paint and glue has been here for a long time. That's why I can't buy paint for anything myself, I have to send my dad on paint runs.

Aren't you using the goldies as your 325s Wayne? I'm pretty sure I've read more complaints about the highs in the SR325is than any prior version, just to point that out.
post #12 of 37

I have the 600ohm. Everything about it seems right except for the mids which the ms2i do great.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshin27 View Post


Which DT990 do you have reivaj? I wasn't all that impressed with the 32 ohm version. The bass seemed a bit overpowering to me, veiling the mids somewhat to my ears.

 



 



 

post #13 of 37

My MS2i is about 150 hours burnt in. The most obvious out-of-the-box feature of the MS2i vs. SR325i is the liquid, magical, fantastical mids and toned down highs. It's not so much as foggy for me, you still can listen to borderline shrill and piercing sounds on some tracks, but not as extereme as the SR325i.

 

I also notice a bigger soundstage, mildly so. I have read that aluminum housing grants headphones that sparkle and detail, which my BilaGrado SE-60i could not match (Plastic housing, 4 Hole vented, Blu Tak & Felt, Steel mesh, minor recable).

 

To be honest, MS2i does not stray away from that Grado sound, and to me the mids of MS2i (Guitars/Female Vocals/Synths) is just heavenly. The 325i was a bit too bright for me, more like SR60i (stock) on steroids, I have no idea how it fares after being burnt in.

 

My modded SR60i has ear tingling thumpy, ear-tingling bass, decent midrange, decent highs. It is so much fun for my mp3s. If I change it to woodie cups, liberate the drivers, It WILL sound better than my MS2i I'm positively sure gs1000.gif.

post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by sml1226 View Post


 Aren't you using the goldies as your 325s Wayne? I'm pretty sure I've read more complaints about the highs in the SR325is than any prior version, just to point that out.


Yes, that's correct.  I never found them to be horrible on the highs, though.  I currently have them for sale because I don't want to carve up an anniversary edition of Grados.  I did recently get a new cable and drivers installed by Grado, though.  The new drivers haven't had enough break-in time, yet, to make a true observation.  I guess if I were to spend a bit of time breaking them in properly, I could determine how Grado's drivers may have changed between now and 5 years ago.  However, when the "Goldies" were released, they were the "i" series - or, the front runners to the revised signature sound of the Grado SR series.

 

post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshin27 View Post

Wow... WOW. That tape mod just did the trick. Absolutely brilliant. Still the aggressive, energetic sound but brought the peaks down to non-ear-piercing levels and gave the bass a nice kick as well.  Awesome! =)



Your welcome. I tried it not to long ago when I first reaquired the 225 and liked the results. I was recently loaned a headphone for comparison purposes that came to me with taped bowls. So I've been experimenting with the sound of taped bowls versus untaped. I've heard of another mod for 325's  that involves removing a plastic ring inside the cups. All reports were very positive. wje could possibly better answer what that mod is and how to do it. Glad it worked for you though

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