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Sell everything for a RS1?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, here is a quick story on my journey here.  Bought the SR80i and was amazed at the sound I was hearing, so many things I had been missing in my music all these years.

A couple of months go by and I was wanted something with more bass so I ended up buying the Denon D2000.  These were just what I was looking for.  Bought a E7 then a E9 and the Denon's sounded even better.

Another few months go by and I wanted something that was clear and reference sounding.  The AKG K701!  I have been listening to these two for the past year (K701 for Female vocals) (D2k's for Everything else).


Now about two weeks ago I decided to try the SR80i's again b/c I never really listened to them with the dac and amp I had bought.  OMG they sounded so good with everything I threw at them and they had much better bass than I remember them having!  I love the upfront sound, guitars sound so right on the SR80i's and Vocals are smooth as butter.  I haven't been able to go back to the Denon's because they sound muted and muffled compared the the Grado's.  The K701's I can tell are clearer then the 80i's but they aren't as fun.  The Grado's get my feet tapping and head bobbing, unlike the K701's.  Now these two $300+ dollar headphones are sitting on my desk doing nothing while I listen to the $99 dollar Grado's.


Now I'm thinking about selling the Denon and AKG and putting the money toward a used RS1.  I'm scared to sell them b/c I can't audition the RS1 before hand to see if I like it and I might wish that I had never sold the Denon and AKG once I receive the RS1.  My fear is that the 80i and RS1 will sound almost the same and I should have stuck with the 80i and had three different flavors to choose from.  Do you think this will be a good idea?  I also thought about the 225i or the 325is and only selling the Denon's to fund one of those, would this be the better route?


The majority of my music listening goes to female vocals like:  The Corrs, Andrea Corr,  Norah Jones, The Runaways, Cherie Currie, Diana Krall, Florence + The Machine, Joss Stone, Mandy Moore, She & Him, The Cardigans

I do enjoy the Beatles, Silverchair, Led Zeppelin, Rage Against the Machine, Pendulum, Pink Floyd etc also.


post #2 of 23

Given your tastes. Sell the Denons and get a new 325i or a used rs2i.


Even better - take a chance and get yourself the brand new PS500.

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Are the Gold 325i's the same as the new 325is?  Just the color is different, or did they make improvements like the 80/80i?

post #4 of 23

I haven't heard any of the 325 so I can't comment on it. 

The RS2 could be a good choice due to your female vocal preferences, the PS500 can be a bit of a gamble because so far there is no trustworthy reviews available and they are still in pre-order. 

Otherwise if you are a Grado lover than I'd suggest you go for the RS1, it is the sweet spot in the Grado line up IMO, and once you have an RS1 you won't feel that you are missing out on the other models, you probably won't need your SR80 after you have a RS1/RS2 unless you want it for "portability" since it is a way cheaper headphone.

post #5 of 23

The 325i was the revision from the goldies. I am unsure if there is a difference between the grey matte 325i and the

chrome 325is.


The main change on the 'i' was a slightly more forgiving treble. The goldies were very divisive in terms

of reception - in fact for the time being, the 325 joins the PS1000 and GS1000 as the most controversial

cans in the line-up - love or hate.


Remains to be seen if the PS500 brings up the rear to those 3.

post #6 of 23

I jumped straight from the SR125i (which should sound quite similar to the 80) to the RS1i. The difference in sound is immediately obvious, and I don't mean obvious in the usual head-fi hyperbolic way. It's still the same sound signature, but the RS1i makes the 125i sound slow and congested in comparison. The RS1 has a slightly brighter presentation, I felt, but once my brain had adjusted (and a bit of burn in happened, perhaps), I could easily appreciate the superiority of the RS1i. 


You'll also notice I own the K702, which near as makes no difference is a K701. If I only had my RS1s, I would sorely miss my 702s. This is partly a comfort issue - the bowl pads are much less comfortable to me than the... comfies. But, the 702 can also do things that the RS1 just can't do as well - soundstage being the obvious one. Might be an issue if you listen to orchestral pieces, but for your music choices, I'm not sure how much of a problem that is. Some music benefits from a small sound stage, I think - makes it more intimate. Then again, if I only had my 702s, I'd even more sorely miss my RS1s... if that makse sense.


And as a final bit of subjective opinion, Norah Jones has a beautiful voice, and I much prefer it on my RS1s than on my 702s (or indeed my Senn 558s (foam removed)). The actual difference probably isn't large, but it just feels that extra notch more natural, and I personally think that makes a big difference to how well you can 'connect' emotionally with the music.


Now, the question is, how far up the Grado line do you need to go, and how much of the difference is from simply changing the pads on the headphones from the comfies to the bowls? Moreover, how close could you get to the RS1 sound by taking a pair of 225s and putting wooden cups on them? Hopefully these are questions that others with more experience will post answers to here.

post #7 of 23

I have had the sr80, 325i, rs2, and rs1 at the same time. I was glad to have had the chance to spend time with all of them. They were different enough that I had many pleasureful evenings comparing the sounds of each of them, although they sound similar enough that I would be happy with only the 325i, rs2 or rs1.


My advice is to get the rs1. If you like the Grado sound, you will eventually "need" to own a rs1 sometime. I tried to fight it, but in the end (and many $ later) I ended up owning them.


I remember another member said something like, "Everyone should own the rs1's at some point in their life."


Grados are like hot peppers to me, delicious and spicy, but with the pleasure comes some pain. I am a big fan of habeneros, but I get tired of eating them at every meal. I have since moved away from the Grado sound, but everytime I see a 325i, rs2i or rs1i for sale, I am still tempted to buy one again.


"...just one more, just one more..."

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys! Those are some really good points.


I don't think I should go for the 325i b/c I'm already wondering what the famous RS1 sounds like.  The only catch with the RS1 is... I think I will miss my other headphones especially the K701, like Arleus pointed out.  I can go for about 2-3 hours before the 80i's start to make my right ear hurt, it's always the right one for some reason.  I can wear the D2k's and K701's (bumps were rough to begin with though) all nite long.  The K701 sounds brilliant with Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, all the instruments have nice separation and nothing feels like they are on top of another, I like that about the K701.


Good point on the 225i also.  I could probably swing the 225i ($170 with Coupon) without selling a headphone, I read they sound 90-95% of RS1 but then again I would already be itching for the RS1 again.  I've been pondering this decision for the last week and it's starting to drive me crazy lol.

post #9 of 23

Grab the 225. Trust me on this, I have the RS-2 and I only feel that it's marginally better than the SR-225... for more than double the price... I just love the wood and the looks so I don't mind owning it... the cable on this is WAY too thick though lol... feels like I have a garden hose attached to my head. If you can find an older 225, I might actually recommend that just to avoid the cable AHAHAH... you get over it though and it is a higher quality one at the end of the day


There are some great deals on the SR-325, I'd spring for the goldies just because they're vintage and vintage is cool right? I haven't listened to the new "is" model so I can't tell you what it sounds like, but I'm sure it's the same thing. I wouldn't sell your other headphones since what you own is great for contrasting various sound signatures before deciding what you ultimately want to chase. I think the HD800 is supposed to be analytical but much much better than the K701 from what I've been reading... I don't think anything else is similar to a 701 and a lot better, over the years I've seen it run with some crazy setups so I guess it scales very well with higher end source/amp equipment too



post #10 of 23

If you can snag a HF-2 for around $400 ish...that would be the best option IMO. I've owned the SR60/125/225i/325is/RS1/RS1i and for the $, the best value Grados are the SR60/SR225i/RS1i/HF-2.


With my MAD Ear+HD tube amp (now sold), I preferred the RS1s, but now with my WA22 or even iBasso D4, I really like the HF-2s more smooth presentation.


That or wait for the PS500.

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking seriously about the 225i.  Listening to the K701 right now and really enjoying it with some of Madonna's earlier stuff.  (gotta love the dynamic range of early cd's)  The K701's top end doesn't bother me at all.  On the other hand the SR80i's are beginning to give me a headache.  I'm now starting to think the 225i could be a little easier on the top end while still being fun.  The 325i's highs may be too much for me.


I guess what I'm looking for is a mixture of the K701 and SR80i.  Does this sound like the 225i


1. K701 Detail and Texture.

2. SR80i's Bass Impact and Fun

post #12 of 23

Okay before you go all out for the 225, please be aware of the bowl pads. If you came from the K701 where the earpads surround your ears completely and don't touch them at all, you'll be in a shock.

My suggestion, buy a pair of bowl pads and put them on your SR80 to test the fit & comfort first.

post #13 of 23


Originally Posted by Nick01 View Post

Okay before you go all out for the 225, please be aware of the bowl pads. If you came from the K701 where the earpads surround your ears completely and don't touch them at all, you'll be in a shock.

My suggestion, buy a pair of bowl pads and put them on your SR80 to test the fit & comfort first.

I agree. You might also notice a significant change in sound by replacing the pads, bringing your SR80 much closer to the sound of the higher end Grados (though of course not all the way).


post #14 of 23

So the RS1 very bright? I was just thinking of arranging to borrow a well-kept and stored '03 RS1, but maybe its not a good hp for my system? Maybe the (same vintage) 225 might be better?

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

From what I gather the 225i and RS1 are the least bright of the Grado line with the 325i being the most bright in the lineup.  That makes sense seeing how a lot of people seem to agree the 225i sounds more like the RS1 than others.

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