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Grado Sr325is vs RS2i vs PS500

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
I am looking to upgrade from my Grado Sr80i to either an Sr325is, RS2i, or if it's really worth saving another $100 for, a PS500. I obviously love the "Grado sound", but what are the major differences. Any info helps.smily_headphones1.gif
post #2 of 47

The SR325is is bright and has the highs emphasized.  Some even go as far as to call it shrill and untamed.

 

I can't comment on the RS2i, I have the RS1i and I don't know how similar they are to each other. 

 

As for the PS500, I have tried them on for a solid hour and I have to say, the only thing that stands out from that one is the extended bass, and the quality of it.  To me, PS500 has all the characteristics of the Grado-House Sound, plus a bit more padding on the lower end.
 

post #3 of 47

I've decided I'm getting a pair of PS500's and I'm also ordering in a week or two the Headamp GS-X if Justin can do it with a silver faceplate + matt black enclosure. If everything goes to plan, at the latter part of this year my headphone equipment will be complete, all the units will fit on the audio rack I've had made assuming I can put the BHSE's PSU on the second shelf of my three shelved audio rack, but I'll need to find another place for the two headphones I'll have.

post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by esn89 View Post

The SR325is is bright and has the highs emphasized.  Some even go as far as to call it shrill and untamed.

 

I can't comment on the RS2i, I have the RS1i and I don't know how similar they are to each other. 

 

As for the PS500, I have tried them on for a solid hour and I have to say, the only thing that stands out from that one is the extended bass, and the quality of it.  To me, PS500 has all the characteristics of the Grado-House Sound, plus a bit more padding on the lower end.
 

 

Yes... the PS500's have superb bass (with a well matched set up and burnt in)... but... they also have "all the rest of it" with great sound stage and imaging, compared to other Grados (except PS1000's & GS1000's) - especially with the G cushions (stadium pads).  And... their highs are not "piercing"... but... very realistic.  Along with the PS1000's, the PS500's are easily the "Best of Grado" (with the possible exception of the vintage PS1's / HP1's), and quite close to the  "Best of All Phones."    


Edited by Gradofan2 - 7/1/12 at 9:09am
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

 

Yes... the PS500's have superb bass (with a well matched set up and burnt in)... but... they also have "all the rest of it" with great sound stage and imaging, compared to other Grados (except PS1000's & GS1000's) - especially with the G cushions (stadium pads).  And... their highs are not "piercing"... but... very realistic.  Along with the PS1000's, the PS500's are easily the "Best of Grado" (with the possible exception of the vintage PS1's / HP1's), and quite close to the  "Best of All Phones."    

I really liked them, and I agree with what you said, they have the bass and they also have "all the rest of it", that's for sure!

 

I remember liking them more than the PS1000, by a big margin.

But, is it just me, or does anyone else find the PS1000 to be "meh" in all aspects?

post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by esn89 View Post

I really liked them, and I agree with what you said, they have the bass and they also have "all the rest of it", that's for sure!

 

I remember liking them more than the PS1000, by a big margin.

But, is it just me, or does anyone else find the PS1000 to be "meh" in all aspects?

 

The PS1000's require a little more from their DAC and amp, than the PS500's - a bit more power to sound their best.  And... they have a bit more resolved sound with more separation and air around the notes.  This means they must be played a bit louder to provide as full a sound as the PS500's.  But they do sound very impressive with the right set up and played at a bit higher volumes than the PS500's - having a lot of resolution, clarity, refined detail, and space in their soundstage.  They'll sound better with "big works," in larger venues, such as orchestras and symphonies, big bands, live outdoor performances, etc.  Their sound is more refined, complex and subtle.

 

The PS500's have a slightly smaller soundstage with a more compact sound, which gives the impression of a more dynamic sound with a bit more bass than the PS1000's.  Actually, the PS1000's have just as much bass, but it's more layered, and complex.  You hear those layers and complexity, making it seem like it has a bit less slam.  The PS500's sound great with "smaller works," in smaller venues, such as jazz clubs, small auditoriums, chamber music, rock, blues, etc.  Their sound is a bit more bold and brash.


Edited by Gradofan2 - 7/1/12 at 3:48pm
post #7 of 47
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info everyone. It was all helpful and it seems like the PS500 is most favorably recommended. Now, I am curious as to which of the 3 listed headphones is most and least forgiving.
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7un4 View Post

Thanks for all the info everyone. It was all helpful and it seems like the PS500 is most favorably recommended. Now, I am curious as to which of the 3 listed headphones is most and least forgiving.

 

I believe that the PS-500,having an ever so slightly rolled off treble,are the most forgiving of those three,they've never made me cringe even with recordings that i knew to be very ''aggressive'',they're definately the ones i would get,they have this ability to disapear,and let you get ''into'' the music.

post #9 of 47
Thread Starter 
I just dropped by the only local audio specialty store I can find and I was able to test the 325is, RS2i, and RS1i (the one on display is being sold at $600) but sadly they don't carry the PS500. The 325is is as harsh as people say which I couldn't bare for more than half an hour. The RS2i and RS1i seem very ridiculously close in that they are very warm sounding and the soundstage is huge compared to what I'm used to in the Sr80i. Between the RS1i and RS2i, it is very difficult to compare the sound quality, and I only see a slightly larger housing, but it feels like the RS2i is more worth it since I am no audiophile. I think I will go for the RS2i for now and somewhere in the future when I get a job, the PS500s will be mine!biggrin.gif
post #10 of 47
Thread Starter 
Thanks again guys for all the info!wink.gif
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7un4 View Post

I just dropped by the only local audio specialty store I can find and I was able to test the 325is, RS2i, and RS1i (the one on display is being sold at $600) but sadly they don't carry the PS500. The 325is is as harsh as people say which I couldn't bare for more than half an hour. The RS2i and RS1i seem very ridiculously close in that they are very warm sounding and the soundstage is huge compared to what I'm used to in the Sr80i. Between the RS1i and RS2i, it is very difficult to compare the sound quality, and I only see a slightly larger housing, but it feels like the RS2i is more worth it since I am no audiophile. I think I will go for the RS2i for now and somewhere in the future when I get a job, the PS500s will be mine!biggrin.gif

 

Since you seem to agree with my findings with the 325is as being harsh, (you didn't like it, but i do ), I would say you are spot-on with the description of the RS1; I find it warm, lush and easy to listen.  I could never be fatigued with my RS1i.    I'd say for a more "fun" headphone, i'd pick the ps500 and order it online, I feel that you can buy the ps500 with great confidence without trying it.  What do you listen to?

post #12 of 47
Thread Starter 
I listen to classical, jazz, r&b, I don't know what orchestrated or rearranged video game music would be considered but that, hip hop, 80's new wave, country, rock,...that's about it. Are you basically saying the PS500 is an all arounder in comparison to even the likes of the RS1i? Just wondering because the RS1i is such a small difference from the RS2i and I can buy the displayed RS1i for $600 since it is the local store's last. Another friend of mine who I contacted on facebook told me he is getting the PS500 for his birthday in August. Hopefully by then, I will have enough to shell out for the PS500 once he and I run some tests with it.biggrin.gif
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7un4 View Post

I listen to classical, jazz, r&b, I don't know what orchestrated or rearranged video game music would be considered but that, hip hop, 80's new wave, country, rock,...that's about it. Are you basically saying the PS500 is an all arounder in comparison to even the likes of the RS1i? Just wondering because the RS1i is such a small difference from the RS2i and I can buy the displayed RS1i for $600 since it is the local store's last. Another friend of mine who I contacted on facebook told me he is getting the PS500 for his birthday in August. Hopefully by then, I will have enough to shell out for the PS500 once he and I run some tests with it.biggrin.gif

Oooo, I happen to listen to classical as well and if that's the case, stick with your guns on this one, grab the RS1i/RSi.  I find the PS500 really shines when you listen to pop/electronica/rap/hiphop

 

It is still an all arounder.  But classical is very sweet sounding on the RS1's wood.

post #14 of 47
Thread Starter 
Okay, so the wood of the RS1i/RS2i will be amazing with classical? I forgot to mention out of all the genres I listed, classical would be what I listen to most. I should probably go for the RS2i and save another $200 to get a better amp than my Fiio E11, which I'm sure there are plenty. Thanks for the extra feedback esn89!wink.gif
post #15 of 47

Having owned all three I can give a bit of insight on the overview.

The ps500 is getting a lot of praise around here because it is the first of the new round of grados that are attempting to leave the "bright" grado stereo type. On top of that it's a pretty decent value... however I am not in the camp that thinks its the best current production grado ( and certainly not of all time or anything silly like that). 

For me though there was something ultimately missing, which I think has something to do with the mids not being as full as say the rs-1 or rs-2. The PS500 overall is a little more "Sterile" then it's siblings but also a big fuller in the bottom. The trade off is mostly good, but it does lose that grado mid-range sparkle in comparison.

 

The sr-325 is really the polarizing model out of the ones picked for this comparison. The sr325 are very bright, and while can really "machine gun" through rock songs, it's not very well suited as an all-rounder can. The Ms-2 is the r underdog no one talks about that is exceptionally well-voiced and would make for a better comparison. 

 

My advice is to go for the PS500 if you want something with good bass (but not as interested in strong mid-range). Rs-1 (buy used or wait until you can afford) if you are interested in full vocals/mids, and the Alessendro Ms-2 if your'e on a budget. And of course if you suddenly come upon a lump sum of money, forget all those and go for the granddaddy hp-2 :), because thats the true perfect one.

 
 

Edited by Chefguru - 7/1/12 at 11:21pm
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