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Really want some Grado's...

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 

Wanting an upgrade from my ATH-AD700 and was thinking about getting either the 325is or the RS1i/2i.  I haven't decided how much I want to spend yet and that is why I am undecided on the model I want.  My wife and I will be trying for a baby later this year so I figure this will be the last big ticket item I spend on myself for a very long time...

 

I absolutely LOVE the way Grado's look.  It screams old school to me and I like it!  The problem I am having is that I see people are complaining about them being uncomfortable.  Unforunately I don't have a dealer near me in order to try them on.  I see people are modding them but I have a hard time swallowing modding a $350+ pair of cans.  Shouldn't they be comfortable out of the box for this price?!

 

Anyway, I am happy with the way my AD700's perform.  I use them for gaming on my PC and listening to MOG streaming radio (I have a Asus Xonar STX sound card).  Will I realize any "upgrade" by moving to a pair of Grados other than appearance from what I have now?  I have to say I hate the way my AD700's look.  My wife makes fun of me for wearing "purple headphones"...

post #2 of 50

The 325i will be faster and more treble-emphasized--great high frequency extension.  They will fit the ear supra- versus circumaurally.  They can be a bit finicky about source and amping, and scale up well with better gear.  Gradoes never struck me as uncomfortable, more a matter of how the weight is distributed, I think.

post #3 of 50

The SR-325 is neither comfortable nor uncomfortable to me.  Depending on a variety of factors like the shape and size of your head, the ambient weather conditions, how long you're wearing them for, how sensitive your ears are to the pad material, etc., they'll be more or less comfortable.  Opinions on them are fairly mixed. 

post #4 of 50

I have the MS2, which is a smoother version of the 325, comfort was an issue for the first week - it actually gave me a headache, the weight.

 

Now it's fine, you really get used to it. I also bought a Manta headband which also improved comfort. I find them very comfortable and can wear them for hours, I don't find them fatiguing either.

 

I started with the ad700, tried many many headphones and currently own the ms2 and ad900, love these for metal especially.

post #5 of 50

Heya,

 

Grados seem to be a love or hate thing. I like their sound. Hate their comfort. They just put pressure on the ears because they're on-ear instead of over ear. And you can get big G-cush bowls to make them into over-hear headphones. I did that. But it significantly changed the sonics of the headphone. For example for me, when I went from L-cush to G-cush on both the SR60i and SR325i, the result was loss of bass response, increase and heat of treble, it became absolutely tear-jerking to listen to, as it was sibilant as all get out and just so bright and forward with no low end that it was down right painful. The L-cush sounds fantastic with great bass punch, excellent forward mids, and tolerable Grado treble. The G-cush made the headphones comfortable, as it relieved the stress of having on-ear pressing your ear lobes to the point of pain. But the sound change was huge for me. Some people seem to think it sounds good, but for me, the G-cush on the Sr325i and Sr60i was just awful sounding... all treble, no bass, very difficult to like. But again, it was the only way a Grado became comfortable to actually wear for longer than an hour or so. And I say this as someone with the SR60i, SR80i and 325i. Bleh.

 

If you're dying to get a Grado, get the SR60i. It sounds so much similar to the rest of the prestige line that it seems pointless to get anything above it, again, I say this as someone with even the 325i. If you like the Grado sound, you'll know right away with the SR60i. If you really like it and can stand to wear it, simply shell out the rest of your budget to have them converted to woodies and call it a day.

 

Very best,

post #6 of 50
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses guys.  As I have been reading it really does seem that there is a love/hate relationship people have with these cans.  I think I will probably go with the 325is as I think that is all I really want to spend.  I didn't know you could "convert" them to woodies.  Is this a process Grado will do for you?

post #7 of 50

I noticed the love/hate thing before I bought my SR80is a few weeks ago, too. I think I had come across a batch of the "hate" at the time, though, cause I almost didn't even try them for myself. But some people I trust really convinced me to order them, so I did. I immediately thought that people who complained of the comfort must have headphones with feathery cups that gently kiss their ears, cause I didnt find them uncomfortable at all. In fact, what I've realized, especially now after taking delivery on my second pair of over the ear cans, is that I think I prefer the on-ear design better. The two over the ear models I've heard so far, the Sennheiser 518 and the BeyerDynamic DT880 both sort of sound like you're in a cave. I have yet to hear the Beyers with a proper amp, mind you, cause my Meier Jazz is still in transit and all I have here is a Fiio E11 portable. But the two on ear cans I own, the Grados and some Ultrasone HFI-15g portables, both seem to fit my style a little better. The only complaint with the Grados in terms of comfort is the pads are a tad scratchy. But if  you just wash them once that is resolved pretty easily. I love the open, airy sound of the SR80is...I can't wait to dabble in higher end Grados next.

post #8 of 50

The SR-80i is open, but it doesn't sound that way, nor is it airy.  But if you do find it that way, you are in for a treat with the higher end models.  Much bigger soundstage.

post #9 of 50
MS1is and modded HD414 pads. Sounds fantastic, comfort problems solved.
post #10 of 50

There are several people that make wooden cups for grados Orenholz, Martin audio etc.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggen View Post

Thanks for all the responses guys.  As I have been reading it really does seem that there is a love/hate relationship people have with these cans.  I think I will probably go with the 325is as I think that is all I really want to spend.  I didn't know you could "convert" them to woodies.  Is this a process Grado will do for you?



 

post #11 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LithoJazoSphere View Post

The SR-80i is open, but it doesn't sound that way, nor is it airy.  But if you do find it that way, you are in for a treat with the higher end models.  Much bigger soundstage.



I don't know if we just hear differently or have different definitions of "airy", but to my ears it sounds like the treble is sort of inhabiting the space around me, not confined to a pair of cups on my ears. While I find the mids to be a bit more "present", and the imaging of most instruments (including the vocal instrument) to be surprisingly solid, the top end doesn't seem to be as concrete. I like the effect quite a lot, so if the higher Grados offer more of this, I will be in headphone nirvana.

 

With the other headphones I've listened to, I'm not really able to discern the various instruments in space, but with the Grados I can. Vocals are very much centered in the soundstage, and the instruments are consistent in their relationship to each other. I also really like the delineation of the instruments....everything blends well, but also remains distinct and identifiable from the other aspects of the music. I dunno, these cans are really just hitting a lot of my hot buttons. I can't believe these things only cost $99.

post #12 of 50

I would say buy your Grados from somewhere that will let you return them; J&R is a good pick (jr.com). Also they will probably be a dramatic departure from your AD700s (which are often regarded as having a "huge" soundstage, and frequently compared to most of my headphones (which all DO have a "huge" soundstage)). 

 

Some stuff to consider:

 

First (and let me qualify that I have never heard an open-back Audio-Technica!), I've read a number of reviews that claim the ATH-AD1000 and AD2000 are akin to "Grados with soundstage" or "Comfortable Grados" or otherwise similar; the AD2000 are probably squarely out of your budget (I think they're going for around $800 right now - which is insane), but the AD1000 are around the same price as the 325 ($300-$350).

 

Second (and I do realize this is a vanity purchase, primarily), in my own headphone quest I wanted something that could "bite" (as Grados can), but with better soundstage and comfort - I found that in a pair of Sony headphones (MDR-SA5000 and MDR-F1; the SA5000 should properly be the more expensive of the two but I've seen the F1's price climb up a tree in the last two months). I'm not saying they sound like the Grados, but they do get me "different" from my other headphones (which are all generally fairly relaxed and calm). They also look fairly cool (in my opinion). And above all of that, they're both incredibly comfortable (the F1 is an auto-sizer, the SA5000 just has a good design). 

 

Third, I personally found the SR-325 to be the harshest sounding and least comfortable (heaviest) Grado - this was some years ago (before the most recent revisioning process), and I should qualify that I've (somehow) managed to never hear an RS series 'phone. The SR-225 was more comfortable (I actually spent a lot of time with an SR-225, about a year), both physically and sonically; the GS-1000 did better than that, but not five-times-the-price better (and I know, law of diminishing returns, blah blah - it's overpriced). 

 

 

 

post #13 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

I would say buy your Grados from somewhere that will let you return them; J&R is a good pick (jr.com). Also they will probably be a dramatic departure from your AD700s (which are often regarded as having a "huge" soundstage, and frequently compared to most of my headphones (which all DO have a "huge" soundstage)). 

 

Some stuff to consider:

 

First (and let me qualify that I have never heard an open-back Audio-Technica!), I've read a number of reviews that claim the ATH-AD1000 and AD2000 are akin to "Grados with soundstage" or "Comfortable Grados" or otherwise similar; the AD2000 are probably squarely out of your budget (I think they're going for around $800 right now - which is insane), but the AD1000 are around the same price as the 325 ($300-$350).

 

Second (and I do realize this is a vanity purchase, primarily), in my own headphone quest I wanted something that could "bite" (as Grados can), but with better soundstage and comfort - I found that in a pair of Sony headphones (MDR-SA5000 and MDR-F1; the SA5000 should properly be the more expensive of the two but I've seen the F1's price climb up a tree in the last two months). I'm not saying they sound like the Grados, but they do get me "different" from my other headphones (which are all generally fairly relaxed and calm). They also look fairly cool (in my opinion). And above all of that, they're both incredibly comfortable (the F1 is an auto-sizer, the SA5000 just has a good design). 

 

Third, I personally found the SR-325 to be the harshest sounding and least comfortable (heaviest) Grado - this was some years ago (before the most recent revisioning process), and I should qualify that I've (somehow) managed to never hear an RS series 'phone. The SR-225 was more comfortable (I actually spent a lot of time with an SR-225, about a year), both physically and sonically; the GS-1000 did better than that, but not five-times-the-price better (and I know, law of diminishing returns, blah blah - it's overpriced). 

 

 

Wow.  Thank you so much for your input!  I'll take a look at the AD1000's.  I was trying to move away from the Audio Technica's as I really don't care for their "look" but I'll check out the ones you mention.  I suppose sound quality should come first and then appearence but I really do love the look of the Grados.  I can't help myself! :)

 

Yeah I was going to purchase through JR.com or the Headphone Sponser on this site.  I haven't decided yet.  I'll check out both their return policies in case I absolutely hate the cans.



 

post #14 of 50

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post



I don't know if we just hear differently or have different definitions of "airy", but to my ears it sounds like the treble is sort of inhabiting the space around me, not confined to a pair of cups on my ears. While I find the mids to be a bit more "present", and the imaging of most instruments (including the vocal instrument) to be surprisingly solid, the top end doesn't seem to be as concrete. I like the effect quite a lot, so if the higher Grados offer more of this, I will be in headphone nirvana.

 

With the other headphones I've listened to, I'm not really able to discern the various instruments in space, but with the Grados I can. Vocals are very much centered in the soundstage, and the instruments are consistent in their relationship to each other. I also really like the delineation of the instruments....everything blends well, but also remains distinct and identifiable from the other aspects of the music. I dunno, these cans are really just hitting a lot of my hot buttons. I can't believe these things only cost $99.



Maybe we do hear differently.  To me they sound very closed in, like you're seeing the band play in a storage closet.  This is not all that bad for rock and jazz, but I do prefer things to be spread out a little more.  This also helps with instrument separation.  The SR-80i is reasonably competent at it, but is easily surpassed by its bigger brother.  The SR-325is is very dominant in treble presence over the 80, with a similar amount of mid presence (though much higher resolution). 

post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LithoJazoSphere View Post

 



Maybe we do hear differently.  To me they sound very closed in, like you're seeing the band play in a storage closet.  This is not all that bad for rock and jazz, but I do prefer things to be spread out a little more.  This also helps with instrument separation.  The SR-80i is reasonably competent at it, but is easily surpassed by its bigger brother.  The SR-325is is very dominant in treble presence over the 80, with a similar amount of mid presence (though much higher resolution). 



The way I've always described the Grado sound, is like I am up on stage with the band....as opposed to being out in the crowd and feeling the separation of the speakers.

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