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Need Help Deciding Between Some Grados

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, at the moment I'm in the market for a new pair of headphones, and I was looking at getting a pair of Grados, either the SR80i, or the SR60i. Is there a large difference in the sound quality between the two? I've read that the 60's are easier to drive, while the 80's sound much better amped. I'll be purchasing a Fiio E7+E9 combo at the same time, so I'll have an amp. So essentially, is it worth the extra money to buy the 80's, or will the 60's work just fine?

 

 

As a side note (since I'm completely new to amplifiers), is the E7+E9 a good combo to drive Sennheiser HD 600's? Or should I go with a different Amp/DAC? Thanks. 

post #2 of 14

I haven't heard the sr60i so I cant comment on them, but I own the sr80i and they are very easy to drive.

 

I drive them off my sansa clip+, android cell phone, and pc direct from my sound card. All of these sources can drive them well, although I have heard that the bass does benefit somewhat from some amping I cannot confirm this.

 

The grado sound is quite unique, if at all possible I would recommend listening to a pair before buying. I didnt and I was lucky enough that I loved the sound signature, but I have heard of others that had different experiences.

 

I presume you have already read all about what genre's they suit and how truly open they are.

post #3 of 14

I've read that the E7/E9 is the bare minimum that should be used to drive the HD 600's.

I have a similar setup; I have the E10/E9, and it drives my HD 600's nicely.

 

However, my Grado's (SR225's) don't sound particularly great out of them. Depending on your budget, consider an O2 + ODAC (which should drive both headphones well). I haven't heard the O2/ODAC, as I'm waiting for the ODA (desktop version) to come out; but from what I've read, it is a great amp/DAC for headphones of differing impedances. Do a little research on it first.

 

The E7/E9 combo on Amazon is $180. The O2/ODAC combo by JDS Labs is $285. For $100 I'd save up for that, as the E7/E9 is a great beginner combo, but you might eventually outgrow it. If that's out of your budget, consider just the O2 at $144, and get a DAC in the future. But I still use the E10/E9 for my HD 600's, and I enjoy that pairing very much as a budget setup. As a beginner to amps, it really will serve you very well if that's what you decide to go for.

 

I'm not sure the differences between the SR60's & 80's, but there are tons of threads on here that will give you the info you need - so use the search function. Again, it depends on your budget, but I'd spring for the better cans (from what I've read) for only $20 more. This mentality hits the wallet hard though.

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee inthe Attic View Post

Again, it depends on your budget, but I'd spring for the better cans (from what I've read) for only $20 more. This mentality hits the wallet hard though.

This is pretty much what I went with, my thinking was that it was a small price to pay for peace of mind.. Didnt want to sit there wondering what I would've got for the small difference.

 

Thankfully over here the price jump to the 125s is a bit larger so this didn't turn into a slippery slope :D

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info guys. Here in Canada it's about a $30 difference, but I think it makes more sense to go with those, like you said reg, I wouldn't want to constantly wonder if I was missing out. As for the amps, I'd definitely be open to the O2+ODAC, but I'm having trouble finding any sort of reviews on it. Do you know anywhere I could find some Bee?

post #6 of 14

Audio Poutine sells the O2 & ODAC from Canada. Check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AudioPoutine

 

As for reviews; again, use the search function.

1) Found this on head-fi: http://www.head-fi.org/t/571317/small-objective-2-review

2) Search the O2 in Google for other reviews.

 

Have fun!

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetaLicca View Post

Hey guys, at the moment I'm in the market for a new pair of headphones, and I was looking at getting a pair of Grados, either the SR80i, or the SR60i. Is there a large difference in the sound quality between the two? I've read that the 60's are easier to drive, while the 80's sound much better amped. I'll be purchasing a Fiio E7+E9 combo at the same time, so I'll have an amp. So essentially, is it worth the extra money to buy the 80's, or will the 60's work just fine?

 

 

As a side note (since I'm completely new to amplifiers), is the E7+E9 a good combo to drive Sennheiser HD 600's? Or should I go with a different Amp/DAC? Thanks. 

 

    Forget the SR80i, stick with the SR60i, or if you want a bit of an upgrade I highly recommend the SR125 - I even prefer the 125 to the 225.

 

    An E7/E9 combo is an insult to the Senn HD 600s - they require a better amp to properly drive them.   Oh, and like my earlier Grado comment, I prefer my HD600s to my HD650s

 

    All low end Grados are easy to drive .... and do listen to a pair first as Grados DO have their own unique sound signature.

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by charliex View Post

 

    Forget the SR80i, stick with the SR60i, or if you want a bit of an upgrade I highly recommend the SR125 - I even prefer the 125 to the 225.

 

    An E7/E9 combo is an insult to the Senn HD 600s - they require a better amp to properly drive them.   Oh, and like my earlier Grado comment, I prefer my HD600s to my HD650s

 

    All low end Grados are easy to drive .... and do listen to a pair first as Grados DO have their own unique sound signature.

 

c'mon. you can't expect someone new to the hobby, who is obviously on a limited budget, to spend a significant amount of money on an amp.

sure the HD 600's will sound better out of a better amp (especially to a seasoned ear, possibly not to a novice); but for a beginner, the E9 is a great introduction to amps.

the HD 600's can be driven to unbelievably loud levels, and the pairing sounds just fine to me.

post #9 of 14

As i have said before the SR-80i are in my opinion one of the two best buys among the current Grado line.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacker45 View Post

As i have said before the SR-80i are in my opinion one of the two best buys among the current Grado line.

 

What's the other one?

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee inthe Attic View Post

 

c'mon. you can't expect someone new to the hobby, who is obviously on a limited budget, to spend a significant amount of money on an amp.

sure the HD 600's will sound better out of a better amp (especially to a seasoned ear, possibly not to a novice); but for a beginner, the E9 is a great introduction to amps.

the HD 600's can be driven to unbelievably loud levels, and the pairing sounds just fine to me.

 

No worries, I'd much rather be told now that it's not worth just getting the E7+E9, rather than later after I've already spent $200. The more I'm looking at it (thanks for the links btw, they were incredibly handy), the more it seems that it would be smarter to just spring for the 02+ODAC. It would only be about $100 more with shipping included, so I look at it as more of an investment. Still not 100% sure about the Grados, but I am leaning towards the 80's still, just because the difference in price is relatively small. Thanks for all the advice guys!

post #12 of 14

A tricked-out 60i will be better than an 80i. I believe the 80i has a slightly thicker cable, which is what you're really paying for.

 

Consider that a 60i plus L-cushions (bowls) is around the same price as an 80i. You can then open up the 60i and poke holes in the felt for more bass; this is known as the vent mod. This almost gets you to 225i quality, but with a bit less crispness and smoothness, as the 225i drivers themselves are actually different.


Edited by colgatetotal - 6/14/12 at 5:10am
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee inthe Attic View Post

 

c'mon. you can't expect someone new to the hobby, who is obviously on a limited budget, to spend a significant amount of money on an amp.

sure the HD 600's will sound better out of a better amp (especially to a seasoned ear, possibly not to a novice); but for a beginner, the E9 is a great introduction to amps.

the HD 600's can be driven to unbelievably loud levels, and the pairing sounds just fine to me.

 

      First of all, I had absolutely NO expectations whatsoever of MetaLicca, I was just giving my own personal recommendation (subjective as that may be).

      Second, I never knocked the E9 (it is an excellent amp for its intended applications).  I just see it as a rather poor match for the HD600's

      And the reality is, a better (and more powerful) amp is NOT so that "the HD 600's can be driven to unbelievably loud levels" (definitely NOT my interest, priority nor expectation).

      Loudness is irrelevant, power is required to provide enough voltage to be able to drive high impedance headphones to sufficient volume yes, but more to reduce distortion,

      improve the quality of the mids/highs, to increase soundstage etc..  It has little to do with loudness and volume levels, more to do with sound quality!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetaLicca View Post

 

No worries, I'd much rather be told now that it's not worth just getting the E7+E9, rather than later after I've already spent $200. The more I'm looking at it (thanks for the links btw, they were incredibly handy), the more it seems that it would be smarter to just spring for the 02+ODAC. It would only be about $100 more with shipping included, so I look at it as more of an investment. Still not 100% sure about the Grados, but I am leaning towards the 80's still, just because the difference in price is relatively small. Thanks for all the advice guys!

 

     Good choice and I hope that you enjoy your purchase....and your journey into the land of the audiophile.  Try to get out to some simple local meets if possible 

     where you can try out different headphones, amplifiers, DACs and the various combinations and synergies created.  And you will get lots of help and advice

     here on Head-Fi, it's a friendly, knowledgeable and caring community.


Edited by charliex - 6/14/12 at 8:07pm
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotek View Post

 

What's the other one?

The PS-500

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