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Grado Diminishing Returns

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

In October I'm going to take the plunge on a set of Grados. I'm trying to decide which set. I'm pretty set on the 80s, but was wondering if the extra cash to go to the 125s is worth the cost? That's as much as I'm willing to spend (150) but would rather not go quite that high.

 

I love my SRH440s and HFi-580s but I want to get a set of open headphones to go with them. Just wondering at what point is the upgrade cost not worth it. I figure the jump to the SR325s would be worth it but that's out of my range. Should I stick with the 80s, or go to the 125s? Thanks for any help you can provide.

post #2 of 18

I say stick with the 80s or even get the sr60.

 

I had the MS1i (similar to the 125 with cabling) and I feel the difference between that and the SR60i I have now to be relatively minor.

 

you can always make cheap or free little tweaks to the lower end grados to make them a bit more similar to the higher end ones.


Edited by LCfiner - 9/10/11 at 4:16pm
post #3 of 18

I'd really recommend the SR-225i, but stop at that point.  Then, take the money you saved by not purchasing the SR-325i or is and put it towards wooden cups, a good headband, more comfortable ear pads and enjoy!

 

post #4 of 18

I have personally owned 4 grados to date, sr60, sr80, sr325i, and rs1i. Ive heard the entire lineup and if you wanna take the plunge, I would recommend the sr225i. They have all the grado "punch" but without the hefty price tag. If you wanna be "on stage" with the performers, just avoid the upgradeitus that aot of us have here and go with the rs2i or rs1i.

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by vdub View Post
If you wanna be "on stage" with the performers, just avoid the upgradeitus that aot of us have here and go with the rs2i or rs1i.

 

Lots of us are on a perpetual upgrade.  However, our upgrade focuses on enhancing our current Grados - as opposed to selling them off to buy a pair at a higher level.  Initially, I heard (or read) that the drivers used in the 325s were the same used on the RS-2s.  Then, later, I heard (or read) that the drivers used in the 325s are the same used on the 225s.  What Grado is really up to, nobody will really know.  But, I don't think that Grado uses a different driver for each model that they make.  Now, for those of us on the upgrade path, the SR-225i performs real well - especially when wooden cups are put into the mix.  From there, one can consider a small handful of additional upgrades which may or may not make the sound get much better.
 

 

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Really not sure if I want to spend 200 bucks on cans at the moment. I may just stick with the 80s and do a couple of the mods I've seen on here. Thanks for the recommendations in the future though. I'll keep the 225s in mind.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexidecimal View Post

Really not sure if I want to spend 200 bucks on cans at the moment. I may just stick with the 80s and do a couple of the mods I've seen on here. Thanks for the recommendations in the future though. I'll keep the 225s in mind.


That's really not a bad move.  I've gone through the Alessandro MS-1i headphones, which are supposed to be comparable to the SR-125i from Grado.  Please bear in mind, Grado makes the headphones for Alessandro.  In my experience, I thought the Grado sound was more preferred over the Alessandro - which seemed to curtail a bit of the detail that the Grados provide.  I'm about a week out from installing a well broken-in pair of SR-80 drivers into some wooden cups.  At that time, I'll be able to post more observations and comparisons to my two pair of SR-225i headphones in wooden cups.

 

 

 

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Is there a place to get prefab wooden cups for a set of Grados? I have no woodworking skills to speak up. I was thinking it would be cool to get some wooden cups with a copper grill, remove the cloth cover and maybe punch out the driver holes on the 80s.

post #9 of 18
The MS1 is the same price as the 80s and are on par with the 125s.
Should be a no-brainer.

I've got the MS1s and like others here I will be surrounding mine
in some fine Martin cocobolo cups with big bowls in a few weeks. I can't wait!
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCfiner View Post

I say stick with the 80s or even get the sr60.


 

X2.  Honestly the differences between SR60 & SR225 are pretty subtle (much smaller even than the difference caused by their different ear pads).  It's not until you get to HF and RS series that you'll hear a jump in sound quality. Get the SR60/80 and years down the road when you want to upgrade skip over the others and get RS-1.

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

So what's the difference between Alessandro MS-1 & Grados if they're both built by Grado? Doesn't make sense that if an MS1 sounds like the 125 they'd cost 50 less. What makes them different?

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexidecimal View Post

So what's the difference between Alessandro MS-1 & Grados if they're both built by Grado? Doesn't make sense that if an MS1 sounds like the 125 they'd cost 50 less. What makes them different?



The Alessandros are generally a little less peaky and shrill in the treble than the grado branded headphones. just a little, though. they still sound very much like the similarly priced grado model.

 

I don’t know why the cost is different, to be honest. or why Alessandro cans can be shipped internationally without the same issues as grado phones but that’s the way it is

post #13 of 18

For me, the Alessandro MS-1i headphones didn't please me.  I much prefer the regular "Grado" sound with the extra detail.  Some of it might be my aging ears that has me leaning towards the actual Grado sound.  If it were 25 years earlier, my views between the two might be completely different.

 

My daughter has my pair of MS-1i headphones.  I can use them basically at any time.  When I do listen to them, I'm eager to get my SR-225i headphones back on.  But, that's not a fair comparison, because her Alessandros have the plastic cups and my Grados have wooden cups.  I've offered to get wooden cups for her many times, but she's happy they way they are.


Edited by wje - 9/10/11 at 9:08pm
post #14 of 18

Doesn't really get all that much better past SR-80 with the bowl pads, I'm a big fan of the Sr-125i lately too

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

Doesn't really get all that much better past SR-80 with the bowl pads, I'm a big fan of the Sr-125i lately too



Know what you mean Chris,

 

Upon reflecting the recent experience of bringing along my 325i to a local head-fi meet. I really should've brought along the

more accessible, comfortable SR80i on bowls. The 325i's were on brand new yellow HD 414 flats but found very little love

and favor sitting on the table among other illustrious models.

 

Most people also have the tendency to naturally grab the cups of the 325i when listening to them because of their heavy

headed nature. Doesn't do the sound any favors.

 

I will say this though - I got to plug my 325i's into a modded Zana Deux and it was like listening to them for the very

first time. The guy who owned it had a bunch of 128 kbps files and I was bracing myself for horror shrill - did not

happen, just sweet smooth times!


Edited by Gwarmi - 9/11/11 at 12:25am
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