On a side note im under the impression that the sr60-sr225s dont need an amp, is this the case fOr the 325 as well?
325 does not need an amp. Soundstage can be quite wide with the G-Cushions although some folks don't like the change in frequency response. IMHO, soundstage is similar to instrument separation in that if you widen the soundstage (G-Cush), you increase the separation between iinstruments. IMHO, of course.
I find the soundstage of the 325i and below a little lacking. The musical separation can be good though due to the peaks in the treble. Some vocals do not sound separate though and disappoint. I found this especially so with jazz vocals.
I find that open cans image ( soundstage + separation) better than most closed cans because they have better air flow. Most closed cans have issues with pressure build up which can really limit how the diaphragm is manipulated. Of course this is not always the case.
A closed can may sound better with separation due to sheer signal to ambient noise levels.
Most Grado headphones do not require an amp to sound adequate, but amping them typically helps. The SR-80 on up all respond quite well to amping especially so with a nice amp. The SR-80,125, and 225 all sound almost identical to me aside from the effects caused by the different types of pads ( bowls / comfy ). The graphs support my findings here. I always recommend either the SR-80 or 325i to people because they are the best Grado for their prices.
If you want a fun track to test soundstage try:
Long Time by Buddy and Julie Miller
I've tried, lord knows I've tried.
Here is my wonderful opinion of "soundstage" of Grado headphones. I've owned the SR80i and the Grado/Alessandro MS1i, and I always wonder why people say they don't have a large soundstage. I'm a big classical music fan, and most of my recordings sound remarkably wide and full with either headphone.
Violins on the left, cellos and bass on the right. Piano dead centre. Percussion comes from across the whole spectrum, as do woodwinds and brass. Depends on the recording, of course, and the instrument placement thereof.
I feel very much like I'm sitting several rows from the front, right were I want to be.
Where then do all the complaints come from?
Personally, I don't get it.
And to answer your question about buying Grado 325i's, get them, get them, get them. I'm a HUGE Grado fan, and honestly won't consider any other headphone. I personally would buy the highest Grados I could afford.
Soundstage comes off as just an illusion to me caused by creating distance between the ear and the driver. Oddly enough I'm part of the 1% that likes the RS-1 over the GS-1k because the music gets a little lost in all that soundstage when part of the reason we love Grado is that upfront presentation with excellent separation, but no soundstage at all...
SR325 is just an SR-60 with a bunch of upgrades, they pretty much sound the same except the SR325 is much punchier, the treble can extend much further without any sibilance, and the mids become warmer and warmer as you move up the line.
That's clearly helpful.
What happens when you one day listen to a superior headphone? Is it like dividing by zero?
Personally I think there is a world of difference between the 325 and the 60 but hey, that's just me.
For as long as you've got two cups covering both ears then one isn't going to get any significant "soundstage." In cases where there is a clear instrument separation (e.g., antiphonal violins in a period ensemble) then there will be some semblance of "soundstage," even in something like the Etymotics ER4. I think it's just a matter of degrees, going from say the K701 to the Grados. The effect, invariably, will be akin to sitting in the third row (at most) versus being on stage right next to the singer or musician. MalVeauX hit the nail on the head differentiating between instrument separation and soundstaging. The former is probably what the OP is after.
Here is an interesting read for the OP
Oh no I absolutely agree there is a world of difference and a justifiable 240 dollar difference for them considering you can run of them off the same source or amp too!
I just finished writing this a bit of time ago haha
Yes, it's principally the same driver in terms of weight, impedance, and magnet size. But just like their phono cartridges, these drivers are "binned" and the ones that are furthest away from the RS-1 become SR-60's and so on and so on.
It's the same thing they do with computer CPU's and led's, the highest binned ones are sold at a premium, and the lower binned ones become lower end more affordable products.
So while yes if you simply imply that they all use the same driver, of course it would sound absolutely ridiculous for someone to pay for the same driver in a 700 dollar top of the line reference series headphone, but a modded headphone will only get close at the most absolute best case scenario, but the heart of the headphone I feel never really quite measures up. My SR-60's are more exciting than say a stock SR-225 because of the bass holes, recable, and headband, but an SR-225 doesn't need any of those things to sound good, the bass sounds deeper because the driver is physically capable of thump, versus porting your driver and artificially enhancing it, and you'll know, when your mids start becoming a little muddier at the expensive of all around great bass.
I can't speak on cables, but I recabled my own headphones with the help of other people years before I ever did it for anybody else, and I'm still one of the biggest consumers of my own stuff hehe.
My beater 4 year old SR-225 with 7N silver cable, leather headband, no bass holes. They sound more interesting than the RS-2's for sure, but one is an RS-2 and has wood, while one doesn't hehe. I'd mod the RS-2 if I wasn't looking to sell it, or if you didn't have to spend 75 bucks to send it back to Grado to install the cable for you using their special oven... ouchies.
It's pretty much already been said before - if you like the intimate presentation of feeling like you're on stage then the
sound-stage will suit. It's not particularly wide or tall, but depth isn't too bad on some recordings. They dig deep on
some recordings in terms of depth - as deep as my K601's. Best described as a faint sound that slowly is brought
into the fore like many of the voices on 'Dark Side of the Moon'.
This is drawing a comparison with the 325i on bowls, using flats they tend to become very 'in your face'
and the bass can become a bit overwhelming on some tracks.
thanks for the very informative posts, im receiving my 325is sometime next week hopefully, and ill post impressions then. but ya im definately after instrument separation rather than soundstage so if grados sound as described above, i think ill enjoy them.