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Is Grado evolving too slowly? - Page 3

post #31 of 225

Devolving... LOL

 

How vintage do you mean by vintage? You mean the RS-1 with the pink drivers?

post #32 of 225

Pink drivers or the white drivers that came right after. Why are these in demand over current production? 

post #33 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode View Post

Pink drivers or the white drivers that came right after. Why are these in demand over current production? 


Could be the sound, or it could be the audiophile obsession with vintage stuff. That's one of the reasons tubes, tape reels, and vinyl still survive today.

 

Not to mention out-of-production headphones like the Orpheus and R10, which probably do sound amazing but not enough to justify the cost.

post #34 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


Could be the sound, or it could be the audiophile obsession with vintage stuff. That's one of the reasons tubes, tape reels, and vinyl still survive today.

 

Not to mention out-of-production headphones like the Orpheus and R10, which probably do sound amazing but not enough to justify the cost.



 

I guess those questions need to be answered by a direct comparison. Still isn't the lowering of build quality, indicative of a company either resting on its past laurels, or perhaps a lessoned demand dictated a need to lower production costs? 

post #35 of 225

When I think Grado, I don't think vintage.  I think plastic, glue, chipping paint, and wires that cut out if tugged or twisted slightly.

 

I like the sound signature, but the build quality is a travesty.  Vintage gear is usually built to last.  Just look at how much gear from the 40s-70s which still performs great with reasonable maintenance (and can even be improved by upgrading parts), such as speaker amps.

post #36 of 225

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode View Post

Pink drivers or the white drivers that came right after. Why are these in demand over current production? 

 

It's the rarity and the sound. The pink drivers were smoother - not as peaky. The John Grado effect hadn't fully taken hold yet. The wood was certainly nicer back then (even before the current crop of button-less introduced a few years ago.)
 

 

post #37 of 225

The John Grado effect. :)

post #38 of 225

Greedo_solo.jpg

 

Similar to the Greedo effect. Even if you did shoot first, you're always going to get beat out by the maverick with more ingenuity.

post #39 of 225

I don't think people really care that much about the rarity of vintage headphones.  Sennheiser is a great example of the opposite pattern, no one ever wants an HD580 over an HD600 or the old driver HD650 over the new driver.  Even within Grado's lineup, I've read a number of people I trust saying that the new i version of the RS1 with no buttons sounds better than the last run of the RS1 with buttons.  If people were always liking vintage just for the sake of vintage, every button RS1 would surely be more popular than the new i model which looks substantially different. 

 

I do think vintage stuff adds a certain charm if the SQ is in fact better.  But I'd personally rather buy new products if I could find more I like.  I bought 4 pairs of Sextetts to find one that sounded good, and one of them showed up covered in sticky grime.  Even in good shape, they need some cleaning and there's constant connection problems with vintage phones.  I've probably had 10 or 15 different headphones develop cable/connection issues.  Kind of a hassle.

 

I'm not sure about Grado's business model it's pretty interesting.  They have so many models from SR60 to PS1000 and they all have such a similar sound.  If you don't like the cheapest Grado, it is unlikely that you would like any of the other models.  So they only appeal to a certain kind of listener, and they likely sell their pricey models by hooking people on their cheaper models, and getting them to slowly jump up the chain. 

 

It seems odd to me that they would have distinctions between these different models like "Reference Series" and "Prestige Series" and yet they all have the same basic sound signature.  Even the "Professional Series" doesn't sound all that different in terms of tonal balance.  I would think that these different series would be an opportunity to reach out to a different customer base by setting up different goals and offering a different sound, and I think they'd likely sell more headphones if they used some of these "Series" to do that instead of them being meaningless marketing jumbo.  Clearly a lot of people like the John Grado effect, so there's nothing wrong with that sound signature, but IMO either Reference or Professional should be more neutral.  There's nothing reference about the RS1.  It's just a tweaked and more refined SR60. 

 

But then maybe John doesn't really want to sell more headphones, or maybe they can't without expanding.  Maybe their goal isn't to turn into a huge company, and maybe he doesn't and won't feel the need to change anything until they aren't selling well enough. 


Edited by rhythmdevils - 10/11/11 at 12:51pm
post #40 of 225

The name " Prestige Series" makes me laugh sometimes. They never came out as a specific design line, rather a cost cutting measure (compared to HP1,2 and 3). Different models within SR series are there so people can decide how much they want to pay. They more you pay, the better product you get (at least in their eyes). SR60, 80 are supposed to be cheaper versions of SR125 or SR225 with a similar sound signature.

The fact that headphones like SR100, SR200 exist and became sort after wasn't part of the plan. They were the products of the change over period. Had John Grado got enough of his own drivers none of the SR series headphones would have HP1000 drivers in them.

To me the only vintage Grados that are worth going after are the really early ones. Semi vintage; classic or what ever other RS1 versions you want to call  them are all the same to me. You might as well just get RS1i.

 

post #41 of 225

Plastic is plastic to me, I don't care how it's molded, if it holds drivers thats all I care about. 

 

Yes it's evolving slowly, which is kind of good and bad, but it's because their headphones extend from a lineage, versus each model being a new and radical approach from the last. The reason I'll spend whatever money I have in my heapdhone budget on Grados 80% of the time is because of the consistency, if I buy a 200 dollar Grado, I'm going to get one that is better than a 100 dollar one subjectively, of course versus some crazy new model with new technology which promises to deliver me 300 times the performance... at the end of the day if you spend 700 dollars like 5 years ago on an RS-1, you might not have the latest and greatest technology, but you'll know that they still sound damn good today still!

 

Build quality is meh, they're handbuilt with not quite the most precision and tolerances and it shows, even in their wood models (My RS-2 has a bit of excessive glue on the drivers), I used to hate this over the years, but honestly it makes for really quick repairs if anything ever goes wrong. If you've ever owned a Denon D2000 with the broken earcup issue, you'll know that a fix can take from 4-8 weeks to be fixed. You can send in a smoking sizzling heap of an SR-225 and you can be pretty sure you'll get a pretty much brand new one back because all the parts are factory replaceable...

 

Sennheiser wants like 120 bucks to completely restore my HD580, new drivers, pads, headband... this is back when it only cost like 200 bucks, even that price is justified. An SR-80 costs like 25 bucks to repair for the same thing haha. Yes I am VERY aware that the pricing on repairs does dictate how much these things end up costing to build which is somewhat sad, but sound says everything at the end of the day, and frankly I like Grados over a lot of other offerings. I'm still very openminded and enjoy most sound signatures (aside from Ultrasone) as that is a part of enjoying this hobby, versus closing off to blind fanboyism.

 

I recognize that Grado has it's minor and major design faults, but it's really how it sounds at the end of the day. Pick up an SR-325, compare it to a K701, HD650, or DT880 and you'll understand at least why Grado is what it is, even if you don't like the sound you'll appreciate the work that went into getting it to sound the way it does.

post #42 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by flargosa View Post

I think Grado designs their headphones to be as neutral as possible, read product description of PS1000, its aim is to improve control, stability, accuracy and reduce distortion. However, their neutral now sounds colored compared to newer flagships from other companies.



Add copy aside...the Grado phone (of any vintage) isn't my definition of neutral. The HP-2 connected to my Micro-ZOTL offers a heart warming view of a small Classical ensemble (as an example). Your awash with tonal hues and resonant reflections that other manufactures only hint at. I wish with every fiber of my being that Grado would examine, then re-visit for manufacture, a "Heritage Version" of their past phone accomplishments. Bring it to market....just for MEwink.gif.........  

post #43 of 225


     Quote:

Originally Posted by achristilaw View Post

Add copy aside...the Grado phone (of any vintage) isn't my definition of neutral. The HP-2 connected to my Micro-ZOTL offers a heart warming view of a small Classical ensemble (as an example). Your awash with tonal hues and resonant reflections that other manufactures only hint at. I wish with every fiber of my being that Grado would examine, then re-visit for manufacture, a "Heritage Version" of their past phone accomplishments. Bring it to market....just for MEwink.gif.........  


A "heritage version" would be awesome. As rhythmdevils said, their current entire line kind of sounds same. I'm still hoping that the PS500 will be a step toward a more linear FR so I can eat my words.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcf View Post

To me the only vintage Grados that are worth going after are the really early ones. Semi vintage; classic or what ever other RS1 versions you want to call  them are all the same to me. You might as well just get RS1i.

 

 

I've heard you say this many times and I'd have to agree. At a recent meet, CeeTee listened to a semi-vintage and felt the RS1i was a little smoother. I didn't bother to listen (I've already measured two semi-vintage RS1s), but I trust his ears (and my measurements.)

 


Edited by purrin - 10/11/11 at 5:42pm
post #44 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

 

 

I recognize that Grado has it's minor and major design faults, but it's really how it sounds at the end of the day. Pick up an SR-325, compare it to a K701, HD650, or DT880 and you'll understand at least why Grado is what it is, even if you don't like the sound you'll appreciate the work that went into getting it to sound the way it does.



Great point Chris, even in less privileged markets like Australia, the SR-325i bellies it's supposedly inflated price :-

 

SR-325i from the only retailer in Oz ~ $450AUD

Beyer Dynamic DT880 ~ $398AUD

AKG K701 ~ $499AUD

Sennheiser HD 650 ~ $600AUD (if you're lucky and are prepared to bargain with cash)

 

If it came down to one phone, it's a no brainer for me.

post #45 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwarmi View Post

Great point Chris, even in less privileged markets like Australia, the SR-325i bellies it's supposedly inflated price :-

 

SR-325i from the only retailer in Oz ~ $450AUD

Beyer Dynamic DT880 ~ $398AUD

AKG K701 ~ $499AUD

Sennheiser HD 650 ~ $600AUD (if you're lucky and are prepared to bargain with cash)

 

If it came down to one phone, it's a no brainer for me.

 

Beyer DT880..  fo sure!!

 

 


 

 

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