Yeah I sort of posited this a while back to Kojaku. I even started a thread talking about my love of Grado's, and a growing infatuation at the the time with my modded T50's...A Grado Head With a Fostex Fetish. I think alot of Grado heads went to the LCD2 as well, and then there are the Hifiman offerings which have been garnering a lot of attention lately too. I know of at least one Grado modder that first went Magnum, and has now completely divorced himself from the Grado sound, who as a result of trying ortho's, sold all his Grado cans, and his Magnums both. This is much more than a FOTM musiclover when you consider the orthodynamic roundup thread has been active since it's inception in 05. You also have the success and acclaim of the LCD2. I think there is probably something to this ortho thing musiclover, just sayin.
Yeah, I know you're talking about Wayne . I honestly keep my Grado's around to remind me of how I started. They can't really compete with the top-flight orthos...
The Magnum V4 has far less hot treble than previous iterations, but it still has that essential Grado sound. The bass is not very extended, and only slightly pressurized (meaning it lacks heft). Of course, the big thing it lacks compared to even mid-fi orthos like the Thunderpants, is grainless sound. Dynamic drivers have always had the limitation of not being as jet black as orthos.
Compared to the TP1, magnum V4s don't have nearly the extension. When fed right, TP1s can RUMBLE. Not the best bass I've ever heard, but then again, I own LCD-2s....still very good. The V4s are more lively, but I attribute that to slightly hotter than normal treble. The imaging is a tad bit breathier, with more space for each voice in the image. When comparing the TP1s to magnums, neutrality vs liveliness is really the debate.
Compared to the HiFiMan offerings, there's little that can be said, I find HiFiMan cans a bit to sharp on the attack, but they're very good, especially the HE-500 for the price. The cans are quick. They render cymbals, high voices with astonishing clarity. The mids are a bit unnatural to me, but again...LCD-2s. The Magnums just don't have the same speed, spaciousness, and imaging as the HiFiMan offerings.
Compared to LCD-2s, there's really no contest. It's a movement from lively and somewhat hot to natural, natural, natural. I though Grado mids were liquid. Nope, they're lush, overly warm compared to LCD-2 mids. Now, the hotter treble gives people a sense of macro detail on the V4s, but the natural, extended treble of the LCD-2s is just so much more easy to take in. You don't struggle to hear the splash and ring of far away cymbals. There's a realism that just isn't there on dynamics. Bass, you know the story.
All-in-all, the ortho family just draws more out of recordings. They satisfy with wide, expansive imaging or ridiculous dynamic pacing, or extension in both directions, or pitch-black rendering background. There's just so much more to take in...
I began my head-fi life as a Grado-head...but since my first ortho taste, Grados have been a fond memory more than a viable alternative...of course, I still offer all the advice I can to new Grado heads. That's what I came in hi-fi doing