Disclaimer: As you will read/see I'm not a "reviewer". These are just my impressions from the past three days. I hope you find them interesting.
I know peeps will want to know how the PS500 compares to the HF2, RS2, RS1, etc. I don't know these models, never heard them. I have some experience with the GS1000 but don't have them on hand to compare. Let's do some pics first.
The JMoney headband is on the 325is.
So there you have the comparo pics. I like the matt gray finish on the 500's but I like the silver on the 325is, too. Not too nit-picky about those sorts of things.
When I first did some listening, I was underwhelmed by the PS500. I fell into the trap of thinking about double the price of the 325is and expecting, foolishly, a night and day diff. Nope, they're both Grados. Oh, and BTW, they both come in the same high-end pizza box. I was disappointed initially. I wanted that extra 300 bucks to whack me up side the head, instead, it gently massaged my brain/ear apparati for more of the subtler pleasures. Oh, I ran them both out of the Ming Da (pictured) with a 15' Grado extender and a Grado Y adaptor so I could get a sense, pretty much instantly, of the diffs between the cans. Why did I use the Ming Da instead of the Peachtree Nova below it, I don't rightly know. Maybe I just like to gaze at the magic tuning eye rectum fire gizmo tube. Is there a better reason? Right off the bat, the 500's sound a little bit louder, which surprised me, an uneducated guess would be plus1-2db which kind of tends to make it sound better. You know the drill in the hi-fi store (remember hi-fi stores?), the louder speaker almost always sounds better somehow. BTW, the 325is have about 300 hours (a wild guess) on them and the 500's about 6, so hardly burned in but since there's been some interest in this can, I thought early impressions were better than none, doncha know. The 500's sound warmer, there's a little more (I kept thinking all the time that "little" was a word that came to my mind frequently) low-mid bass but without the thump that the 325is can exhibit. Mids were of a finer texture on the 500's, imagine rubbing your thumb and index finger together, that kind of fineness, and there seemed to be a bit more separation of instruments and I got a little(!) better sense of the hall on acoustic recordings. Incidentally, I'm an acoustic/fusion jazz and classical incl opera snob. I'd list the recordings but I think most head-fi readers don't listen to this stuff. No biggie. With the 500's that goldarned 2.5k peak that makes the 325is a little(!) harsh seems to be gone. As you by now have guessed, the 500's are a keeper although I think 495 would be a little fairer that 595. But, I paid, I got. Thanks to Mark Lyon of Audio Systems in Austin for emailing me immediately that they had come in. I drove up the next day (60 miles) and he advised me to go ahead and take them home on trial and get a good listen in the quiet of my stereo room. (Yeah, I have a "stereo room", actually it's a stereo building, no, not two buildings, one building with stereo equipment in it, and no computer in there, just listened to red book ceedees, didn't even trot the vinyl out, yet.) It was an excellent suggestion since a brick and mortar establishment can be a bit noisy, ehh?
Well, think I'm done. Hope readers find this .... whatever ...... helpful, interesting, infuriating .....