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Grado modders go Magnum - Page 150post #2236 of 33561/10/13 at 8:34pm
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #2237 of 33561/15/13 at 10:17am
dear diary....been listening to alot of different drivers. One man's take on the evolution/stagnation/devolution of grado/magnum. From listening to pink driver earlyjohn/late joe era drivers, john sr drivers, primo hp1 drivers, 325 drivers at different times, rsi drivers. hf2, ps500, magnum v5 and magnumv5. In general terms, what it seems to me is gong on is this, john grado drivers do not seem all that colored, meaning they are pretty darn accurate, and they don't have the clearest background although overall detail is quite nice. Most have a bass hump of one degree or another. The older pink drivers however, while also accurate and uncolored, have no bass hump. they sound absolutely right on to my ears although to modern tastes and most headphones today, they would appear bass light. They're not though, study your measurments on your own time. Their only shortcoming is precisely the lack of color. While on one hand the lack of color is what is allowing natural reproduction of instruments. i.e. a martin steel string, a les paul, a fender precision, a ludwig snare, selmer sax, strat, srodrigo classical etc but on the other most in headfi want that little extra something. 'excitement' 'color' 'wow' 'space' 'punch' 'etc'. And of course most manufacturers supply each necessary drug in untasteful amounts. Sometimes they measure well and sometmes not. Alot of these extras do not show up on graphs in any case. Enter magnum. The v4 to me had just the right blend of john grado presence and joe grado resolution. It didn't have the bass hump and it had legitimate and awesome extras (icing) like the clear background and instrument separation and the nice top end. So it had alot going for it compared to the accurate but 'grey' sounding grado drivers. The problem for me is the color and it's coloring of the accuracy of instrument reproduction. This is a fact, one can't wait for consencus to catch up, so this is a given for me, as it has been for along time. So that icing either came at a cost (coloring of instruments) or it came along for the ride alongside the icing. Sure it would be nice to have the cake (accurate instrument reproduction) with all the icing and no downside. But either that is impossible or something in the driver needs to be tweeked so we can still have a little icing (maybe less according to laws of nature) but have a little more instrument accuracy. Since nature always balances out, I am making an assumption here that the ping grado drivers are about as accurate as things can be give or take a little. Certainly to my ears they are more accurate in that way than the hp1 which to my ears is a fairly colored sounding grado driver throughout the mids. the hp1 is still not as colored nearly as the magnum.....I digressed a little there but the magnum can stand to come down a notch on the icing and raise up fidelity in the trade. I feel ultimately that to have icing in the driver, there probably is an associated cost. So some sacrifices were made in cake to have the icing. So to have a bass heavy phone for example, the mids and possibly treble will necessarily have to suffer. To what degree depends on how serious the imposition is of that particular icing. Same goes for color...............In addition to all this I have a theory that each individual has one overarching desire. Often more than one, but one takes precidence. Whether it's a bass addiction, a clarity addiction, a dynamics addiction, a resolution addiction, an extension addiction, a treble addiction, a midrange addiction, a balance addiction, an honest sound addiction doesn't matter. The point is that to have any addiction beyond what is natural and honest, one must pay a price. Sometimes that price is totally worth it, sometimes not depending on the person, the addiction level and type. Now I know we in all current modern culture are taught that we can have cake and eat it too. After all this is how they keep us busy while they run off with the cash and prizes. nevertheless maybe we can have some icing, but surely not as much as you want or think you can have unless you don't mind losing touch with all that is natural and human. Which of course is the norm almost. Fine, devolution/evolution happens. But I just ask for people to be aware and honest as to what is going down so everything is on the table and the costs are measured. Now if the magnum was a little less colored and more accurate while leaving that nasty bass hump to the ps500 and sr series, wouldn't that be a nice thing to see. A backing away from temptation in the bright lighted city that calls like a siren song, and a little ways back towards normaltown. If you people want it it will be made. You have the power as the holy consumer. demand that your addictions be unsatisfied a little. Be brave my friends, godspeed.
Edited by thelostMIDrange - 1/15/13 at 2:14pmpost #2238 of 33561/15/13 at 10:38am
as an addenudum online diary entry. the typical john grado driver is a bit colored as well. Let's say it's half the reason the RS is colored, I say the other half is mahagony. The point is that the magnum is so colored, that I had to search for a super uncolored cup just to try and balance it out and even after hearing what i feel is the most transparent uncolored cup I could find, there is still some color left both by john, joe and magnum drivers with exception for the pink drivers. I just do not hear unatural color in those. If they had a little clearer background, a little icing in the form of a mid or treble color or compression, but not much, it would be sweet grado sounds. Match that up with a transparent cup and you've got a vintage Rs type sound. smoother, a little fun but not so much that all reference to reality is lost. A true hifi driver but one the masses can enjoy as well, and learn from. How to be judicious in the art of moderation.post #2239 of 33561/15/13 at 10:40am
the pink driver cone is not pink, it's clear, it's the mesh that faded to pink......btw rhydon or anyone interested, I have an opened up sacrificed pink 80 driver if anyone wants a pic of the innards, cone, coil, vents etc..........or it can be sent to niagra falls for dissection perhaps.
Edited by thelostMIDrange - 1/15/13 at 12:28pmpost #2240 of 33561/15/13 at 12:39pmpost #2241 of 33561/15/13 at 12:50pm
all the listening here was with grado cable.....Have heard two sets of pink 60 and one set of pink 80. They all sound a bit different but share a lean bass/balanced/honest sound and the nice balance of presence/resolution as does the mag. I can now appreciate some of the qualities of the mag that I had previously taken for granted now that i've heard these other grados as standalone drivers in the same cup.....regarding the pinks and holy grail, one was a little too thin, one is a little bassy (for me) and one sr60 set was perfect. That's the one I ruined of course by swapping into and out of so many cups to finalize the set of phones . A single tear rolled down my cheek, I rolled over and went numb, solder iron dangling........
Edited by thelostMIDrange - 1/15/13 at 1:24pmpost #2242 of 33561/15/13 at 1:22pm...hmmm...yes, that would be a downer. I ask because every once in a while one sees someone flogging a pair of Grados on eBay, without realizing that they have something rather special. You only know it if they innocently include a picture of the mesh side of the driver...
Your research efforts are not in vain sir, I for one am fascinated.post #2243 of 33561/15/13 at 1:30pm
I've seen 5 sets of pink grados in two weeks. one set of 225's just sold for $115 . I was out earning a living in this mad world and couldn't bid or they'd be under my iron as we speak.......no one knows and frankly alot wouldn't desire the balanced sound (read basstrue) when most are used to grados with emphasis there in a lipstick-on-pig attempt to make grado bass something it's not. the pink grado bass is wonderful to my ears and it doesn't impose on the low mids just as importantly
Edited by thelostMIDrange - 1/15/13 at 1:47pmpost #2244 of 33561/15/13 at 1:35pm
Why not have two model mags > one with a traditonal grado bass hump and alot of mag'ish color and one with a more reference sound and a tasteful spash of color? My guess though is that it's hard to tweek drivers in general and be at all specific about what/where one is tweeking. This is why I feel cups should be transparent, drivers close to transparent and amps used for those who want to further color or 'enhance' their rig. It's impossible to accurately add color with cups, possibly quite difficult to do it with the driver but amps have alot of potential to finely add a splash of this here or that there without negatively affecting the surrounding sonic landscape....... btw. who all has been demanding more bass hump all this time . I don't recall v4 users making this complaint? I was entirely happy with v4 low end for one and heard 11 set of them. Never do i recall thinking, this needs a higher bass emphasis.
Edited by thelostMIDrange - 1/15/13 at 2:07pmpost #2245 of 33561/15/13 at 8:29pmOnce my Magnum V5 arrive (I couldn't help myself, I had to find out firsthand) I suppose I will start trawling for some pink drivers...they really are taking their sweet time though. Its been 2 weeks since I ordered them already...patience is a virtue I suppose, especially when shipping from Thailand...
You have me intrigued with the pink drivers though. Did you have pad preference in all of this?post #2246 of 33561/15/13 at 8:58pm
stock bowls is how I listen to everything always.......... if you had pinks and v5's to directly a/b, the difference in bass would be dramatic. I've done the work for you though. they are close to extreme variance with regard to the range of bass hump in a grado. If you like to reach into the sound a bit to hear the bass, as I do, the pinks are the way to go. And as you reach in, you find that all the bass most of us want to hear is all there, and it's of very nice and accurate quality.This is the best way to hear bass imo, since otherwise I find it intrusive to not only the rest of the E/Q but to my nervous system and part of why it's grado til death for me. I've not found another phone that does bass that way. Planars as an example of the extreme opposite where I find bass intrusive and frankly not as accurate in terms of how bass tone and color comes accross.post #2247 of 33561/15/13 at 9:16pmQuote:Originally Posted by thelostMIDrange
stock bowls is how I listen to everything always.......... if you had pinks and v5's to directly a/b, the difference in bass would be dramatic. I've done the work for you though. they are close to extreme variance with regard to the range of bass hump in a grado. If you like to reach into the sound a bit to hear the bass, as I do, the pinks are the way to go. And as you reach in, you find that all the bass most of us want to hear is all there, and it's of very nice and accurate quality.This is the best way to hear bass imo, since otherwise I find it intrusive to not only the rest of the E/Q but to my nervous system and part of why it's grado til death for me. I've not found another phone that does bass that way. Planars as an example of the extreme opposite where I find bass intrusive and frankly not as accurate in terms of how bass tone and color comes accross.
Have you heard the LCDs at all? Because that's something of the opposite of what I've heard about them.post #2248 of 33561/15/13 at 9:27pm
I heard the rev2's a set of fostex hifiman500 and a vintage yamaha. different but same category of bass when compared to dynamic grado. I'm talking fine qualities in how one can hear and pick out a fender precision from a rickenbacker for example. I have a harder time with planars compared to a good grado or magnum. but few care about picking out different bass guitars so it's kind of a moot point I guesspost #2249 of 33561/15/13 at 10:27pm
Hey, I love me a good bass. I have a p-bass clone from Ibanez. I prefer a j-bass over a p-bass, but ya. I understand where you are coming from. There are a lot of cans that make all bass sound pretty similar. Others, I can hear the difference between the models. I've never heard a planar can, but I can sort of surmise from what you're saying, and it makes sense. Given that the Fostex ones are closed and the LCD open, I thought that might open up the sound, too.post #2250 of 33561/15/13 at 10:31pm
If I could find a phone where I could pick out a jazz vs a precision bass then I'd know I had a spectacular phone but to be honest i don't even think it's possible for that level of bass detail. The only difference between the two is the thinner neck which isn't even hearable in real life although it plays different, and the different pickups which is hearable in real life, but even then one has to be paying close attention. To pick that up in any audio system is a near impossibility. I settle for just being able to pick out the bolt on fender from the neck thru rickenbacker which in real life are Very different sounding but still hard to pick up in audio playback.
- Grado modders go Magnum
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