Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Grado PS500 bass response (vs. Denon D2000)? Please advise
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Grado PS500 bass response (vs. Denon D2000)? Please advise

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello All,

 

I’m thinking about getting a Grado PS500 based on many positive reviews, and also because I have always been intrigued about the Grado’s line. Problem is there is no way to hear this pair of cans beforehand where I live (or any other Grado as a matter of fact), which leads to my question above.

 

I’ve read posted somewhere that sound wise the PS500 is kind of reminiscent, or like "half way between", the traditional Grado’s sound and that of the D2000.

 

I have a Denon D2000, which I like very much. I especially enjoy its deep bass, which, by the way, I do not even remotely consider bloated or excessive in any way as many people seem to do. For my musical tastes (mainly electronic and pop) the D2000 bass response is just about right and can be greatly improved by careful use of quality EQ.

 

My DAC is a TC Electronic Impact Twin and the amp is a Schiit Asgard, both of which I am quite happy with.

 

Having said the above, and being used to the D2000 bass response, would I find the PS500 lacking too much in this department?

 

I’m not really a basshead in the sense that I do appreciate sound quality over the entire spectrum, but I do enjoy to have the ability to hear fairly reasonable amounts of low end pumping on tracks that are meant to have it.

 

Furthermore, in terms of bass, how does the Grado RS2i compare to the PS500? The RS2i seems to be another option, but maybe not as good as the PS500 for electronic and pop music...

 

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

 

TIA

post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 

Anyone?

post #3 of 23

As a general rule, I typically would not recommend Grados if a robust low end is important to you. The PS500s are my favorite headphone currently, and their bass is more present than most of the other Grados up to that price point, but it's likely not the sort of low end that would satisfy someone looking for the "thumping" low end. I find the bass very natural and accurate, and although it's not my main genre, I do often listen to DeadMau5, Nero, Kaskade, Skrillex, and others. Comparing the 500s to other phones I own, both my Beyerdynamic models - the T1 and the portable DT1350s (unbelievably good portables!) - have more low end thump than the PS500s. I consider these Grados to be the closest thing to a Grado "all-rounder" that I've heard, but probably not the best choice for someone who is looking for that slam, you know? 

 

I love my 500s, though, so that's about as objective an assessment as you're goign to get out of me lol. 

post #4 of 23

As an ex RS2i owner I completely agree with Focker's comments. The bass was very satisfying very smooth/clean for me but it just doesn't have the "body/thumping" that some of my other headphones have. I really doubt that anyone who has any basshead in them will be happy with the bass from RS2i/225i (the Grados Ive heard). 

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys for the objective responses. Very informative and helpful. I was just comparing the frequency response graphics of the D2000, PS500 and RS2i and can see what you mean. I think I’ll get the PS500 anyway. It may not have much happening in the low end of the frequency spectrum (sub bass), but it looks pretty good everywhere else to me.
 

post #6 of 23

Well... the "perceived bass" is quite dramatic - on a par with the "new version" HD580/600/650...

 

You won't be disappointed!

 

UPDATE:  Just superb in all respects with rock, blues, jazz... anything acoustic!!!  You won't find anything better... unless... it is the PS1000's... but... the PS500's are very close to the PS1000's... and may have more bass quantity and impact.  That was... SUPERB!

 

UPDATE 2:  With the G Cushions the PS500's sound very similar to the PS1000's, with a very similar soundstage and imaging. 

 

With the right matching set up, I don't think there are any phones that are any better!  More people should try them with the right set up - there search would be ended!


Edited by Gradofan2 - 6/30/12 at 1:40pm
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Mars View Post

Thank you guys for the objective responses. Very informative and helpful. I was just comparing the frequency response graphics of the D2000, PS500 and RS2i and can see what you mean. I think I’ll get the PS500 anyway. It may not have much happening in the low end of the frequency spectrum (sub bass), but it looks pretty good everywhere else to me.
 

 

Yep, overall they're fantastic headphones...I love mine. If you pick up a pair. head over to the Grado forum and let us know what you think :)

post #8 of 23

Altough i only had my PS500 for two weeks,i really liked their warm forgiving sound,they're a best buy as far as i'm concerned


Edited by stacker45 - 4/1/13 at 7:39pm
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

I have ordered a PS500. Should receive it tomorrow :)

 

I’ll let you guys know my impressions once I have a chance to give it a good listen.

 

Thanks again for all your comments!
 

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Mars View Post

I have ordered a PS500. Should receive it tomorrow :)

 

I’ll let you guys know my impressions once I have a chance to give it a good listen.

 

Thanks again for all your comments!
 

 

Nice...looking forward to your impressions!

post #11 of 23

get a ps1000, don't look back. wink.gif

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

Well, I have finally received and yesterday had some quality time listening to the Grado PS500.

As expected, the PS500 sound signature is entirely different from the Denon D2000, and it took me some time to get used to it and be able to fully appreciate it. I am also used to the sound characteristics of the KRK’s VXT6 studio monitors, which are quite warm sounding speakers, with nice bass response, level of detail and stereo imaging. This is also how I would basically describe the sound signature of the D2000.

As such, initially, the PS500 sounded a bit too clinical and cold to my liking, but with superb and detailed stereo imaging and instrument separation (clearly superior to the D2000 in these instances), with an overall airy and perhaps a little gritty presentation.

Bass response sounded very precise, tight and articulated. In terms of perceivable bass (or “bass quantity”), however, it is far from like having a sub-woofer in the room, such as with the D2000, but much more like the low end presentation one would expect from more clinical near field studio monitors, such as the Yamaha’s NS10 or perhaps the HS50M.

Having said the above, after breaking in for a couple of hours and a couple of small frequency adjustments with a linear VST parametric eq, the PS500 started to sound really, really good to me. Adding a small amount of tube saturation to the signal chain also helped to warm things up quite nicely.

I suppose it still needs more break in time to sound its best, but with a little tweaking in the signal chain and about 4 - 5 hours of playing time it is already sounding truly great, with everything from 24 bits/96 Khz uncompressed files to high quality mp3 encodings. Definitely a keeper :)
 

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Mars View Post

Well, I have finally received and yesterday had some quality time listening to the Grado PS500.

As expected, the PS500 sound signature is entirely different from the Denon D2000, and it took me some time to get used to it and be able to fully appreciate it. I am also used to the sound characteristics of the KRK’s VXT6 studio monitors, which are quite warm sounding speakers, with nice bass response, level of detail and stereo imaging. This is also how I would basically describe the sound signature of the D2000.

As such, initially, the PS500 sounded a bit too clinical and cold to my liking, but with superb and detailed stereo imaging and instrument separation (clearly superior to the D2000 in these instances), with an overall airy and perhaps a little gritty presentation.

Bass response sounded very precise, tight and articulated. In terms of perceivable bass (or “bass quantity”), however, it is far from like having a sub-woofer in the room, such as with the D2000, but much more like the low end presentation one would expect from more clinical near field studio monitors, such as the Yamaha’s NS10 or perhaps the HS50M.

Having said the above, after breaking in for a couple of hours and a couple of small frequency adjustments with a linear VST parametric eq, the PS500 started to sound really, really good to me. Adding a small amount of tube saturation to the signal chain also helped to warm things up quite nicely.

I suppose it still needs more break in time to sound its best, but with a little tweaking in the signal chain and about 4 - 5 hours of playing time it is already sounding truly great, with everything from 24 bits/96 Khz uncompressed files to high quality mp3 encodings. Definitely a keeper :)
 

 

 

I think this is one of the most accurate assessments of them that I've heard...and not just because it mirrors my own take on them :)  You're exactly right about the imaging and instrumental separation. Those are two aspects of these phones that impressed me from the get-go. 

post #14 of 23

I have had my PS500 only a couple of weeks longer than you, and I too concur with your assessment. They will indeed settle in with a little more time-I have about 25 hours on mine and I truly love the sound. You are also on the right track with adding some tube saturation. I am using a Bellari HA540 amp and rolling various nos 12ax7 tubes fed by a usb dac and this setup is amazing with the Grados! I really think I have found what I've been looking for with these cans. Thanks for your input-enjoy!

post #15 of 23

Wanted to weigh in on PS500 and particularly bass performance. After reading reviews extensively, I purchased my PS500 headphones a few months ago. I've had 225s for years, and with the promise of more bass and less of the sometimes too-thick high-mids and highs of the 225s, figured the 500s would be perfect for most music. (And they are, although I kept my 225s because I think they're superior for some classical and jazz recordings. Makes me wonder what the RS1 and GS1000 must be like.)

 

Here are a few comments I wanted to write down because in many months of researching reviews and opinions, no one seemed to mention ... 

 

PS500 bass disappoints, but let me explain. Yes, it's far stronger than the 225's and indeed, very well-rounded for many recordings. But here's what happened ... I needed a set of enclosed cans for those times either I or the people around me seek solitude. This isn't usual, so I went rather low-budget with a pair of Bose AE2s thinking that all closed-back cans were a compromise anyway. Then I started noticing, on some tracks, bass on the AE2s I wasn't even getting on the Grados. Some of my girlfriend's music got sync'ed to my iPod (and a headphone amp) and I caught a song called Never Ever by Ciara, which I'd never heard before, and the bass is addictive when played through the Bose. Not muddy and over-bearing like a pair of Beats, just balanced and pleasant. On this track and a others like it (Michael McDonald's "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" is another example) a lowly pair of Bose cans imo outshine a relatively high-end pair of audiophile cans, a comparison that'll get laughed at in most headphone forums ... it's a contest between hearing most of the spectrum delivered fairly well, versus hearing part of it delivered very well and other parts poorly.

 

I see in some posts mention that the PS500's lack "thumping bass" but I'm not talking about thumping ... just solid reproduction of the 10-30hz range, which is a defining aspect in only one of perhaps 50 tracks I own but very satisfying when present. I began to listen closely to applicable tracks and frequency tests on the PS500s. The low stuff's there, but it's almost non-existent. It certainly doesn't hit you in that same satisfying way. Looking at frequency response charts, the PS500s do fall off under 50hz but not nearly like the 225/325 series. 

 

So here I am with a set PS500s, happy with them for much of the music I play, but find myself using Bose AE2s, even when privacy's not needed, to experience that extra range. Doesn't seem right. Make no mistake, the PS500s flat out crush the AE2s in many respects such as the clarity of mids, voice and detail. Quite amazing in that respect. However, I wonder if I should be disappointed that I have a set of $600 cans that won't reproduce the complete audible frequency with sufficient authority. It seems ironic to say that Grados, which I've come to expect to provide detail other phones lack, also miss details that lesser phones deliver. 

 

Maybe this is all to be expected? Designs are tradeoffs and one can't do it all? One needs a basic pair of closed-back cans to complete the collection? Are open-back cans, by design, even capable of delivering those ultra-low frequencies? Can any open-back cans do so while providing the lush qualities attained elsewhere? A pair of PS500s that had the 10-30hz response of the Bose AE2s would, right now, be my absolute choice. I notice the PS500's response from 10 - 1000hz is about identical to the PS1000's (a model deemed top end by many) so I assume the PS1000s have the same shortcoming ... and I believe my present emotion would be alot more unhappy had I experienced this epiphany for myself on a pair of $1700 PS1000s.


Edited by desmo9 - 4/1/13 at 6:46pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Grado PS500 bass response (vs. Denon D2000)? Please advise