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Is Grado evolving too slowly? - Page 5

post #61 of 225

Grado is a joke.

 

Their only good products (SR-60, HP-1000, PS-1, RS-1, SR-225) were made a long time ago.

 

Zero R&D

 

Zero new technology

 

Awful quality

 

Incredible profit margin (40-60% markup from Grado to the retailer, yes I got this information from a Grado dealer. Sennheiser's typical markup to distributor or dealer is about 20%)

 

Force dealers to sell at MSRP which makes them about double the price of any competition

 

Double prices overseas

 

Release new headphones that are just rehashes of old designs

 

Far too many overlapping products in their lineup

 

It's pretty clear that John Grado does not care about growing his company or making good headphones. He has even said the reason his overseas prices are so high is because he wants to keep sales low. Fine for him, but I would never buy a new headphone from his company.


Edited by tvrboy - 10/13/11 at 12:43pm
post #62 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrboy View Post
 He has even said the reason his overseas prices are so high is because he wants to keep sales low.


Citation to source?

 

post #63 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wapiti View Post

Citation to source?

 


More to the point... Why?  That business strategy makes no sense to me. 

 

post #64 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

Because they don't work all that well!  They're not keeping them the same because they're satisfied with them, they're keeping them the same because R&D costs more money than new colors and marketing and they've realized that most consumers aren't perceptive enough to tell the difference. 


How do they not work? Headphones aren't complicated, you have housing and a headband. They tend work well, Sound is different.

post #65 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wapiti View Post

Citation to source?

 



What I meant was not that he wanted low sales, but that he did not care to deal with expanding his current sales level. I thought I read that in the John Grado interview, but I just re-read it and didn't find that, so forget I ever said it... maybe I am mistaken. Sorry, I make mistakes sometimes.

 

As for my other points... I think they stand. The overseas prices? They are a joke and an insult to customers. I just refuse to believe that it's necessary for them to sell for those prices to maintain the same profit margins they have in the states. Either every single one of their overseas distributors is screwing them or they have just built in a much higher profit margin than any other headphone company (which is what I heard from a large Grado dealer). I quote from the interview:

 

"He likes his MSRP, he expects them to be sold at these prices because all costs are factored in and there is no need to discount, that is, some manufacturers purposely price their products much higher than they would ever sell for so that one could walk into a store and see 25 or 40% off and think WOW what a great deal, meanwhile that is the actual expected MSRP. With Grados, this is not the case."

 

Other companies allow dealers to sell at a discount as products age or competitors come on the market. Well, Grado's products are very old and fare terribly against the competition, but their dealers still aren't allowed to discount. I can't even think of another company like Grado that forces their dealers to sell at exact MSRP. What does that tell you?

post #66 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrboy View Post


Other companies allow dealers to sell at a discount as products age or competitors come on the market. Well, Grado's products are very old and fare terribly against the competition, but their dealers still aren't allowed to discount. I can't even think of another company like Grado that forces their dealers to sell at exact MSRP. What does that tell you?



 

Grado obviously developed a unique and partially captured market, that allows minimal maintenance in so far as pressure from competitors. You don't kill the goose even if its getting old, just as long as it keeps laying those eggs. You milk it.

post #67 of 225

I am pretty sure that Grado headphone drivers RS-1 to SR-60 are in fact same: they make drivers, measure them, and then divide them into different models depend on how each drivers measured. That's how they handle their cartridges lineup, too.

 

Exceptions would be GS/PS-1000 line and Alessandro series that actually undergo special treatments.

 

http://goldenears.net/board/1162903

 

http://goldenears.net/board/index.php?mid=GR_Headphones&page=6&document_srl=67041

 

The comparsion between older SR-80 and older MS-1. Notice Alessandro is much more neutral than typical Grados.

 

 

Long story short, if you are buying anything over $300 for Grado headphones, the price/performance ratio you are getting would be worse than those of $1000+ headphones from other companies. Basically if you are buying RS series, for example, you are wasting money as much as you are buying HD800.

 

 

Really, only Grado you need to get is SR-60, SR-225, MS-1 (or MS-2) and that's it. Really.

 

 

Maybe GS-1000 ONLY IF you like classical and for some reason your ears cannot stand against Sennheiser and AKG headphones..... I have seen a SINGLE person in head-fi saying he cannot stand against HD650 for classical because of sibilance. I mean HD650 is like the perfect example of warm, dark headphones and very few people find it aggressive.

 

But there is much more chance a person will hate GS-1000 more than any high-end Sennheiser/AKG headphones. So.... pretty much all high-end Grado lines are waste of money. Maybe my description will change if PS500 is any worth, but I have very low expectation.... Hopefully I will get mine next week and I will post some impressions.

post #68 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrboy View Post
I can't even think of another company like Grado that forces their dealers to sell at exact MSRP. What does that tell you?


Actually, this is not uncommon, either for certain items in a line or the entire line.  A headphone example is the HD800.  Sennheiser puts a lot of pressure on dealers not to discount.  The practice is more common with higher end products.

 

I have no position on Grado, marketing or technology.  I was just curious whether there was any backup for your broad statements.

post #69 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post

http://goldenears.net/board/1162903

 

http://goldenears.net/board/index.php?mid=GR_Headphones&page=6&document_srl=67041

 

The comparsion between older SR-80 and older MS-1. Notice Alessandro is much more neutral than typical Grados.


Not necessarily a valid comparison. The SR80 was smoothed to 1/24 octaves, and the MS1 was smoothed to 1/3 octaves. You can probably trust the mid-bass hump and 4kHz peak on the SR80 are different on the MS1, but you're not going to want to trust anything in the treble.

post #70 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrboy View Post

What I meant was not that he wanted low sales, but that he did not care to deal with expanding his current sales level. I thought I read that in the John Grado interview, but I just re-read it and didn't find that, so forget I ever said it... maybe I am mistaken. Sorry, I make mistakes sometimes.

 


No need to apologize. I think I  read something similar to what your said as well. Something like John Grado doesn't want to expand the company because he wants to spend more time with the family (which is fair enough).

I have no idea why the oversea pricing of Grado is like that. Over $2500 for PS1000?  That is high!

Mind you, he did try to capture the lower end (very low) headphone market with SR40 and guess what? It didn't work.

post #71 of 225

I'd consider myself a treble head, but from what i've read on the Grado's they don't really appeal to me.

 

"Bright" "Fatiguing" "No sound stage" are a few of the terms i've seen that put me off.

 

Then there's the pricetag, can get alot better performance for less it seems.

 

The PS1000 doesn't look like £1650 worth of headphone (What it goes for in the UK) that's getting towards Ultrasone ED10 territory.

post #72 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikepooters View Post

I'd consider myself a treble head, but from what i've read on the Grado's they don't really appeal to me.

 

"Bright" "Fatiguing" "No sound stage" are a few of the terms i've seen that put me off.

 

Then there's the pricetag, can get alot better performance for less it seems.

 

The PS1000 doesn't look like £1650 worth of headphone (What it goes for in the UK) that's getting towards Ultrasone ED10 territory.


You should still listen to them to confirm what you have read though. wink.gif

 

post #73 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcf View Post

You should still listen to them to confirm what you have read though. wink.gif

 



Not many places to audition in the UK unfortunately, i'll have to get myself to a meet if we ever have one over here that's not in london (Why can't they ever be centralised? like the midlands? tongue.gif)

post #74 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikepooters View Post

Not many places to audition in the UK unfortunately, i'll have to get myself to a meet if we ever have one over here that's not in london (Why can't they ever be centralised? like the midlands? tongue.gif)


There was a good headfi meet earlier this year. It was indeed in London though. :-(

post #75 of 225

Grado made GS-1000 which is a whole level better HD650, K702, DT990 etc. in the most demanding music genre -- classical music and enjoyed a success in business sense (which Orpheus or other "legendary" phones failed to achieve).

This simple fact opens the market for the HD800, T1, and all the others.

Yes, we better thanks Grado for not evolving too fast or we will see a $5,000 price mark for top level mass producing headphones.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post

I am pretty sure that Grado headphone drivers RS-1 to SR-60 are in fact same: they make drivers, measure them, and then divide them into different models depend on how each drivers measured. That's how they handle their cartridges lineup, too.

 

Exceptions would be GS/PS-1000 line and Alessandro series that actually undergo special treatments.

 

http://goldenears.net/board/1162903

 

http://goldenears.net/board/index.php?mid=GR_Headphones&page=6&document_srl=67041

 

The comparsion between older SR-80 and older MS-1. Notice Alessandro is much more neutral than typical Grados.

 

 

Long story short, if you are buying anything over $300 for Grado headphones, the price/performance ratio you are getting would be worse than those of $1000+ headphones from other companies. Basically if you are buying RS series, for example, you are wasting money as much as you are buying HD800.

 

 

Really, only Grado you need to get is SR-60, SR-225, MS-1 (or MS-2) and that's it. Really.

 

 

Maybe GS-1000 ONLY IF you like classical and for some reason your ears cannot stand against Sennheiser and AKG headphones..... I have seen a SINGLE person in head-fi saying he cannot stand against HD650 for classical because of sibilance. I mean HD650 is like the perfect example of warm, dark headphones and very few people find it aggressive.

 

But there is much more chance a person will hate GS-1000 more than any high-end Sennheiser/AKG headphones. So.... pretty much all high-end Grado lines are waste of money. Maybe my description will change if PS500 is any worth, but I have very low expectation.... Hopefully I will get mine next week and I will post some impressions.



 

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