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Grado PS1000: The Legendary Flagship (Review) - Page 4

post #46 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

 

So true... few phones (if any) make the music sound as "real," or "live" as the PS1000's, PS500's and RS1's.   Though, the AD2000's, the D5000's / D7000's (with Markl Mods) can come very close.  I haven't heard this same sound quality in Stax, or planar phones - though, that may have been the result of poorly matched amps I was using.  Regardless, the Grados are much easier to match to a set up to achieve their "realistic" sound.

 

I really want to hear those Denon phones at some point...I came really close to pulling the trigger on the 2000s, but went with Beyer 1350s instead. I've heard the Denon cans are great, though. 

post #47 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post

 

I really want to hear those Denon phones at some point...I came really close to pulling the trigger on the 2000s, but went with Beyer 1350s instead. I've heard the Denon cans are great, though. 

 

Just one man’s opinion but I thought the D5000 was too flabby and bassy to the real detriment of the midrange. I actually preferred my RS2 at the time to the D5000 for pretty much everything except hip hop. The D7000 and the markl modded D5000 were both better than the D5000 and more balanced, but still fun with an exaggerated bass response.

post #48 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

 

According to "Webster's" fidelity is":  "Accuracy," or "Faithfulness."  In this instance to the original sound.  

 

From these graphs... neither phone is particularly "accurate," or "faithful" to the orginal sound (assuming a curve of a "flat" zero amplitude is "accurate," or "faithful").   Where the PS1000's "roll-off" the highs a bit, the HD800's elevate the highs a bit, as well as the mid-bass, or lower mids.  That can hardly be called greater "fidelity," or more accurate, or faithful to the original sound.  

 

But, for most, such a "flat" sound does not realistically portray "real sound."   Most consider some "distortion" is necessary to reproduce the human perception of "original sound," or "real sound," or "live sound" with the tone, tenor, texture... and "emotion" of "real, live sound."  The degree of such "distorition" required to portray "real, live sound," may vary a bit from person to person.

 

But... for many (who have acutally heard them properly driven) the PS1000's (as well as the PS500's) are about as good as it gets in portraying "real, live sound."  Certainly for the relative investment in phones and set ups.  

 

Actually the HD800s are quite a step up from the PS1000s in regards to accuracy and failthfulness to the recording. The FR graph is only part of the picture, the CSD plots, square wave responses, %THD Noise all show that the HD800 is the more "true to the source" headphone. 

 

With regards to portraying "real live sound" I'd take the LCD-2s at $600 less money any day of the week (and they measure better still). Nothing wrong with liking a "coloured" headphone (as all John Grado headphones are). I've owned my share through the years (have a look at my profile). I currently own the W3000ANV and while its coloured in its sound, its still very appealing and enjoyable...and there's nothing wrong with that. smile.gif


Edited by MacedonianHero - 7/1/12 at 8:06pm
post #49 of 191

Yes... you have to apply the "Markl Mods" to the D5000's, and drive them with a high current, low output impedence amp for them to perform to their capabilities (without the boomy bass or recessed mids, or strident highs).  They're altogether a different set of phones, when set up properly - quite remarkable, really.

 

And... as far as the HD800's... the ones I demoed had no "life," compared to any Grado, or Denon, or ATH, or even the "new version" Senn HD580/600/650.  Now... as with tube amps and DAC's... that may be due to greater distortion... but... who cares, so long as they sound more like "real, live music."   Again... either the "graphs" are telling, or their not.  If not (and the HD800's are "accurate" and "transparent") then why show graphs that clearly indicate they aren't.  And... if so, then the "graphs" tell the story.  I don't believe the "graphs" tell you much about how any set of phones really sound - I rely moreso on how they sound relative to other phones.  And... the HD800's were not at all impressive to me... particularly when compared to the PS1000's and PS500's... or... RS1's...or... AD2000's... or... MD5000's... or... even my "new version" HD580/600/650's.  Unfortunanetly, when demoing phones you almost never have a well-matched set up to demo them... so... I likely didn't hear the HD800's at their best.  But, to me, that's another major reason to "discount" a set of phones - if, they require a unique, dedicated amp to sound their best, especially if the amp requires a significant investment.  To me... the PS1000's and PS500's just sound a whole lot more like "real, live music" than most other phones I've heard - without requiring a significant investment in a special, dedicated amp.  That's all I need... and... quite likely... all most people need, who just want that kind of sound without a never-ending journey at a very high cost.

 

As far as the cost of the PS1000's and PS500's - I bought both at significant discounts (especially, the PS1000's).  And... yes... if I'd paid $1700 for them I'd consider them overpriced, just as I would any phones in that price range, or above.  In my experience, the "laws of diminishing returns" are applicable to all phones >$1,000, or so.  They simply do not sound that much better, if any better at all, than much less costly phones, who don't require special set ups.  For example, most would agree the PS1000's do not sound a $1000 better than the PS500's, or RS1's... or... AD2000's, or MD5000's. And... I'm pretty confident... most objective people (without OCD)... would agree (once they've compared the alternatives).  That's not to say... a person might not think a $10,000 Stax set up sounds SUPERB, and a bit better than other phones / set ups... but, few (objective persons, without OCD) would think they're price is at all justified, or that any phones in that price range sound that much better than other phones / set ups, which cost much less.


Edited by Gradofan2 - 7/2/12 at 7:38am
post #50 of 191

popcorn.gif

post #51 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

Yes... you have to apply the "Markl Mods" to the D5000's, and drive them with a high current, low output impedence amp for them to perform to their capabilities (without the boomy bass or recessed mids, or strident highs).  They're altogether a different set of phones, when set up properly - quite remarkable, really.

And... as far as the HD800's... the ones I demoed had no "life," compared to any Grado, or Denon, or ATH, or even the "new version" Senn HD580/600/650.  Again... either the "graphs" are telling, or their not.  If not (and the HD800's are "accurate" and "transparent") then why show graphs that clearly indicate they aren't.  And... if so, then the "graphs" tell the story.  I don't believe the "graphs" tell you much about how any set of phones really sound - I rely moreso on how they sound relative to other phones.  And... the HD800's were not at all impressive to me... particularly when compared to the PS1000's and PS500's... or... RS1's...or... AD2000's... or... MD5000's... or... even my "new version" HD580/600/650's.  Unfortunanetly, when demoing phones you almost never have a well-matched set up to demo them... so... I likely didn't hear the HD800's at their best.  But, to me, that's another major reason to "discount" a set of phones - if, they require a unique, dedicated amp to sound their best, especially if the amp requires a significant investment.  To me... the PS1000's and PS500's just sound a whole lot more like "real, live music" than most other phones I've heard - without requiring a significant investment in a special, dedicated amp.  That's all I need... and... quite likely... all most people need, who just want that kind of sound without a never-ending journey at a very high cost.

Actually that's one of the downsides of very transparent headphones....upstream gear is very influential on how they sound. In the wrong setup they can sound "lifeless", but get your upstream gear right and watch out. With regards to the measurements, I think you might want to do some more research on innerfidelity.com; Tyll's got a wealth of information there (and he thinks the world of the HD800s, sound and measurements). smily_headphones1.gif

As I mentioned, I thought that the ps1000s were nice cans and a good step up from the GS1000s, but I'd still take the RS1s over them. To me, the RS1s are the pinnacle of the John Grado headphones. YMMV.
post #52 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post


Actually that's one of the downsides of very transparent headphones....upstream gear is very influential on how they sound. In the wrong setup they can sound "lifeless", but get your upstream gear right and watch out. With regards to the measurements, I think you might want to do some more research on innerfidelity.com; Tyll's got a wealth of information there (and he thinks the world of the HD800s, sound and measurements). smily_headphones1.gif
As I mentioned, I thought that the ps1000s were nice cans and a good step up from the GS1000s, but I'd still take the RS1s over them. To me, the RS1s are the pinnacle of the John Grado headphones. YMMV.

 

"With all due respect" - I don't really care what anyone else really thinks about the HD800's - I only care how they sound to me.  And... yes... the HD800's might sound much better with one of my home set ups (which are superb).  However, I've seen too many comments about the strident highs of the HD800's to permit me to try them at home (other than a demo) - especially when the PS1000's PS500's, RS1's, AD2000's, and MD5000's sound so great.  Again... "diminishing returns"... dedicated set ups... etc.

 

And... I agree... the RS1's do sound much better than the GS1000's (unless you press the GS1000's to your ears, which makes a huge difference in their sound)... but... not better than the PS1000's and PS500's (in my experience).  

post #53 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

 

"With all due respect" - I don't really care what anyone else really thinks about the HD800's - I only care how they sound to me.  And... yes... the HD800's might sound much better with one of my home set ups (which are superb).  However, I've seen too many comments about the strident highs of the HD800's to permit me to try them at home (other than a demo) - especially when the PS1000's PS500's, RS1's, AD2000's, and MD5000's sound so great.  Again... "diminishing returns"... dedicated set ups... etc.

 

And... I agree... the RS1's do sound much better than the GS1000's (unless you press the GS1000's to your ears, which makes a huge difference in their sound)... but... not better than the PS1000's and PS500's (in my experience).  

 

My point was simply that the HD800s measured and sounded more neutral than the PS1000s (which most will agree are coloured headphones). Again, that's NOT TO SAY that one can't prefer the latter over the former. If the colourations are done well (and Grado for the most part has done this correctly), the headphones can sound quite magical. And with regards to strident highs, I think Grado has cornered the market here....the reason why I no longer own them as my ears got really sensitive to them through the years. The HD800s (on a well tuned rig) do not have anywhere close the stridency that any Grado can (except for the HF-2 and PS500) to my ears (and objective measurements). Again as I said, YMMV.

post #54 of 191

The FR grpahs don't tell much especially when smoothed which is the case here. Swich graphtype from 0 to -1 when viewing, in the address bar. You''ll see all the narrow but deep valleys in the FR. There is one in the D7000 and another in the T1. Considering the HD800 - first of all removing the clothes from the earcups is necessary to hear their full speed and treble quality because these clothes make it uneven and dry sounding. The FR graphs say nothing about transient handling and dynamic properties. You'll find out nothing about timbre, colorations, etc. It was PositiveFeedback first to report that the PS1000 are the most true in terms of timbre, more than the HD800, and they verified this against studio monitor speakers making their own live recording and listening to it via the PS1000 afterwards. The HD800 are very good but when I switch to the PS1000 and back, I hear some limitations in the HD800, kind of smoothing and softening. I agree that they can resemble what you hear live, i.e. Simone Kermes live performance vs. her recordings played back. However there is a confusion because it is in fact what I perceived from a long distance applied to the sound presented from a short distance - listening on headphones in this case. When you sit very close on the concert, the presentation is more like Grado's and less like the Sennheiser's in terms of detail obviousness and intimacy. I could discuss the holography as well but it's a more complex topic. The PS1000 give better presence, materialization of performers. And I don't care what graphs say. FR is something that might be compensated to some extent by brain adaptation over time. CSD strongly depends on the amp's damping factor. Sure high impedance headphones multiply it by a factor of 10 or 20 against Grado. Take a one with low output impedance and hear the results, etc.

post #55 of 191

Great thread,

 

Ever since I rolled in Shuggy CV181 and Taka 300B into my Woo WA5 I have been enjoying the HD800 immensely. In my experience they are very demanding of their source and theirs a real risk of them sounding thin and sterile compared to the Grado.

 

I had considered selling my HD800 in the past as they had no head time - could never get them sounding right for me. But now its the PS1000 that spends most of the time on the stand, Ive recently started listening to them again and in all they are fantastic cans and benefit from tubes like the Shuggy and PIO coupling caps in gear to tame that top end some.

 

Unfortunately owning both hasn't helped in my deliberations on a loaner LCD3. These cans have a very different top end presentation from the HD800 and PS1000. I like them, but not sure I want to completely throw everything out in my rig and tube compliment to make the most of them as right now on my setup the LCD3 just lack air and sparkle. 

 

Guess I've been conditioned into a treble head by the above!

post #56 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by San Raal View Post

I have been enjoying the HD800 immensely. In my experience they are very demanding of their source and theirs a real risk of them sounding thin and sterile compared to the Grado.

 

Well, I have read this sentence a countless number of times with many options of the headphones put in place of the HD800 not excluding them, of course. If I say the same about any other headphone kind of HE-6 or PS1000, there is no further answer possible. I can say as well that the PS1000/HE-6/K1000 are very demanding headphones and when you fulfill their requirements, then, oh man, etc. There are even more headphone options. On the last meeting including but not limited to these four, in some terms the K1000 are out of reach of any other. Detail - the PS1000 is the closest. The HE-6 second. Overall, the 2nd place is for both HE-6 and PS1000 with my slight preference of the Grado due to more speed and raw accuracy instead of lushness and very nice tone balance. The HD800 would lose with the HiFiMan's in a long fight winning some points. The HD700 would be knocked out quickly.

post #57 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by majkel View Post

The FR grpahs don't tell much especially when smoothed which is the case here. Swich graphtype from 0 to -1 when viewing, in the address bar. You''ll see all the narrow but deep valleys in the FR. There is one in the D7000 and another in the T1. Considering the HD800 - first of all removing the clothes from the earcups is necessary to hear their full speed and treble quality because these clothes make it uneven and dry sounding. The FR graphs say nothing about transient handling and dynamic properties. You'll find out nothing about timbre, colorations, etc. It was PositiveFeedback first to report that the PS1000 are the most true in terms of timbre, more than the HD800, and they verified this against studio monitor speakers making their own live recording and listening to it via the PS1000 afterwards. The HD800 are very good but when I switch to the PS1000 and back, I hear some limitations in the HD800, kind of smoothing and softening. I agree that they can resemble what you hear live, i.e. Simone Kermes live performance vs. her recordings played back. However there is a confusion because it is in fact what I perceived from a long distance applied to the sound presented from a short distance - listening on headphones in this case. When you sit very close on the concert, the presentation is more like Grado's and less like the Sennheiser's in terms of detail obviousness and intimacy. I could discuss the holography as well but it's a more complex topic. The PS1000 give better presence, materialization of performers. And I don't care what graphs say. FR is something that might be compensated to some extent by brain adaptation over time. CSD strongly depends on the amp's damping factor. Sure high impedance headphones multiply it by a factor of 10 or 20 against Grado. Take a one with low output impedance and hear the results, etc.

 

 

Would you happen to have a link for the Positive Feedback article? That sounds like it echoes my exact experience with Grados so far (most notably the PS500s). 

post #58 of 191

http://www.gradolabs.com/page_reviews_detail.php?review=1

 

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue47/grado_ps1000.htm

 

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue51/grado.htm

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post

 

 

Would you happen to have a link for the Positive Feedback article? That sounds like it echoes my exact experience with Grados so far (most notably the PS500s). 

post #59 of 191

Thanks!

post #60 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by majkel View Post

The FR grpahs don't tell much especially when smoothed which is the case here. Swich graphtype from 0 to -1 when viewing, in the address bar. You''ll see all the narrow but deep valleys in the FR. There is one in the D7000 and another in the T1. Considering the HD800 - first of all removing the clothes from the earcups is necessary to hear their full speed and treble quality because these clothes make it uneven and dry sounding. The FR graphs say nothing about transient handling and dynamic properties. You'll find out nothing about timbre, colorations, etc. It was PositiveFeedback first to report that the PS1000 are the most true in terms of timbre, more than the HD800, and they verified this against studio monitor speakers making their own live recording and listening to it via the PS1000 afterwards. The HD800 are very good but when I switch to the PS1000 and back, I hear some limitations in the HD800, kind of smoothing and softening. I agree that they can resemble what you hear live, i.e. Simone Kermes live performance vs. her recordings played back. However there is a confusion because it is in fact what I perceived from a long distance applied to the sound presented from a short distance - listening on headphones in this case. When you sit very close on the concert, the presentation is more like Grado's and less like the Sennheiser's in terms of detail obviousness and intimacy. I could discuss the holography as well but it's a more complex topic. The PS1000 give better presence, materialization of performers. And I don't care what graphs say. FR is something that might be compensated to some extent by brain adaptation over time. CSD strongly depends on the amp's damping factor. Sure high impedance headphones multiply it by a factor of 10 or 20 against Grado. Take a one with low output impedance and hear the results, etc.

Sorry, but you might have missed my comments referring to square wave plots (30, 50, 300 and 500 Hz), %THD and CSDs as well. smile.gif

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