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Joseph Grado Signature Product "HP2i" upgraded HP 1000 headphone; information journal and comparative review (on hiatus :/) - Page 14

post #196 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321 View Post
 

Interesting reading those stories. I wasn't as lucky on the price. I bought my original HP-2, and a couple of years later was contacted by a friend (headfier) who was going to sell his pair. I figured I'd buy it as a backup. The original pair I had was pretty rough looking, so when it came time to sell one of my two pair, I naturally decided to offload the original ones that looked rugged and keep the other set which was/is in good condition. 

 

The gentleman that bought my original pair from me did some research, and it turns out, that particular HP-2 had

been sent back to have brand new drivers installed right before I bought them. I had no idea. I would love to have that HP-2 back. It would be just nice knowing that I had brand new/fresh drivers (well NOS anyway). 

 

That being said, I'm really happy to just have a pair of HP-2s in general. There's really nothing quite as elegant as the sound they deliver. That and the K-1000s are my two top headphones. I'm hoping someone makes a new headphones that can capture the magic that either of those two do, but so far none have worked out for me. 

 

I actually find the sound of the HP2s to be slightly reminiscent of the AKGs, since to me they both present a mid-centered sound, but I've read some people saying that they couldn't be more different. What is your opinion on this? Interestingly though, I could not live with the K1000s at all... While they do soundstage like nothing else, I couldn't live with the hard sounding midrange, especially having the HP1s around showing a sound that had a similarly forward midrange but much, much sweeter!

 

When I tried the AKGs with the GS-X they sounded better than when I still had them, but the problem was still not entirely solved, and they're headphones that I just don't miss in my system. I really do get why so many people love them, though. They are indeed very special headphones.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post
 

Yeah, include me in your "bought for crazy money" category.  First one I got for less than 2K, but my most recent pair cost me $2800 all told.  It is in great condition though, and this is the one headphone that actually satisfies me on a day-in, day-out basis.  They are not for putting on headphone stands and posting pictures in "Pics of your High End Headphones" threads.  They are for regular, awesome listening.  For people who like music.

 

I do put them on my stand every once in a while, as I think they're gorgeous :p

 

They don't spend a lot of time there though, since I'm usually scared to leave them exposed.


Edited by Leonardo Drummond - 3/26/14 at 4:46pm
post #197 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo Drummond View Post
 

 

This is unbelieavably lucky!

 

There have been a few interesting stories like this around here recently, though. There was someone – maybe even on this topic, I don't know – who got an HP1000 for dirt cheap in those garage sales when someone passes away, you know what I mean? I'm Brazilian so I'm not sure exactly what you call this.

 

Also there was a guy who got an R10 (!) from his deceased grandfather or something like this.

 

My HP1000 came out of the blue as well, in fact. As these are quite rare, many owners are known as they are on head-fi, and it's funny to find pairs where you least expect. I've got a review website and a Facebook profile for it, and once I got a message from a guy in Brazil asking me if there was a market for a HP1000 here in Brazil – I replied that I would buy it, of course. There were three known HP1000s in the country, and I never expected a fourth one, especially from someone that wasn't primarily into headphones. He got it from a friend who bought in America or something like that.

 

I'm old school, so I do most of my listening through analog sources. Last summer, I walked by a garage sale, and I spotted a mint Akai 4000 DS MK2 reel to reel tape recorder, The man and his wife must have been in they're early sixties, I asked the man if it was in working condition, he said ''yes, and if you buy it now,  I'll even throw in some tapes, a splicing tool, and a head demagnetizer'' so I asked him how much are you asking?, he said,'' well!, it's getting late (it was 3:30 pm), he said, I was asking $12, but I'll let you have it for $10''.

 

When I got home, I research it, and found that they were selling for about $100 to $125 in mint condition, one had a ''buy it now'' price of $225. Funny thing, when I came home, my neighbor's brother was visiting him, and when he saw me carrying the Akai, he came over to take a look at it, and he offered me $100 for it,.

 

When I tryed it, I found out from what was recorded on the tapes that it came with  were from the early 80's, and very warned out, so I ordered some new tapes, and now it sounds great.

 

Back on topic, shortly after I bought my HP1000, I found out that Joe had built an amp to go with the HP1000, unfortunately, he didn't built very many, I think it's something like, 150 HPA-1 and 50 HPA-2. so I figured that the odds of me buying one were very slim, but, a few months ago, I had the chance to buy Parbaked's HPA-2, he told me that I wouldn't be disapointed, and he was right. The HP1000 and the HPA-2 were clearly made to go together, so to all HP1000 owners, if you ever have the opportunity to buy an HPA-1 or 2, I'm sure you wouldn't be disapointed.

 

Oh!, and I tryed my PS1000 with the HPA-2, and it sounded a little too bright for my tastes. I still prefer the LD1+ with the PS1000.

post #198 of 277

Isn't the HPA-1 / 2 the amp that is about same as the cmoy ?

post #199 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacker45 View Post
 

 

I'm old school, so I do most of my listening through analog sources. Last summer, I walked by a garage sale, and I spotted a mint Akai 4000 DS MK2 reel to reel tape recorder, The man and his wife must have been in they're early sixties, I asked the man if it was in working condition, he said ''yes, and if you buy it now,  I'll even throw in some tapes, a splicing tool, and a head demagnetizer'' so I asked him how much are you asking?, he said,'' well!, it's getting late (it was 3:30 pm), he said, I was asking $12, but I'll let you have it for $10''.

 

When I got home, I research it, and found that they were selling for about $100 to $125 in mint condition, one had a ''buy it now'' price of $225. Funny thing, when I came home, my neighbor's brother was visiting him, and when he saw me carrying the Akai, he came over to take a look at it, and he offered me $100 for it,.

 

When I tryed it, I found out from what was recorded on the tapes that it came with  were from the early 80's, and very warned out, so I ordered some new tapes, and now it sounds great.

 

Back on topic, shortly after I bought my HP1000, I found out that Joe had built an amp to go with the HP1000, unfortunately, he didn't built very many, I think it's something like, 150 HPA-1 and 50 HPA-2. so I figured that the odds of me buying one were very slim, but, a few months ago, I had the chance to buy Parbaked's HPA-2, he told me that I wouldn't be disapointed, and he was right. The HP1000 and the HPA-2 were clearly made to go together, so to all HP1000 owners, if you ever have the opportunity to buy an HPA-1 or 2, I'm sure you wouldn't be disapointed.

 

Oh!, and I tryed my PS1000 with the HPA-2, and it sounded a little too bright for my tastes. I still prefer the LD1+ with the PS1000.

 

So many lucky people! :beerchug:

 

I almost snatched one of these amps at one point, by the way. Unfortunately it didn't work out... I'm really happy with my GS-X and don't see myself going for another amp for a long time, but it would be nice to have this pair, especially for the rarity.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoogieWoogie View Post
 

Isn't the HPA-1 / 2 the amp that is about same as the cmoy ?

 

I guess that's the RA1, no? Or is this the case for all of them?

post #200 of 277
Quote:BoogieWoogie
 Isn't the HPA-1 / 2 the amp that is about same as the cmoy ?

Isn't there a nasty rumour doing the rounds that the Cmoy is an upgraded HPA1/2....?

post #201 of 277

HPA-1/2 is NOT a Cmoy. RA1 maybe, but NOT the HPA-1/2.

The HPA-1/2 was designed by Sydney Smith, the legendary designer of the early Marantz components.

It was designed years before the Cmoy and is a different design and components.

post #202 of 277
Joe just called me and wanted me to send him $1161.52usd ($1340cad) in addiion to the $1250 ($1330cad) I sent him. He said the $1250 is just to "get started" on the upgrade. So $1050 to "normalized" the headphones, $60 for the headbands (mounting & alignment) and flat shipping USPS rate of $44.52. He said to make things quicker instead of sending it to his PO BOX, go to my bank and get a certified bank cheque and have them wired it to his Bank of America account at Rockhill. This will work without knowing his bank account and branch number? He seems super impatient and want the money as quick possible. He will check his bank account tomorrow for payment. Ugh..
post #203 of 277

Shady shady shady!

 

I don't know what I would do, I'd probably pay him - then he'd probably forget who I was, and then be back at square one and $1200 poorer.

post #204 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post
 

Shady shady shady!

 

I don't know what I would do, I'd probably pay him - then he'd probably forget who I was, and then be back at square one and $1200 poorer.

 

I'd call a lawyer if I actually wanted the headphones back.  I would definitely not send him a cent more....well maybe enough to cover shipping but nothing close to $1000.

post #205 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by parbaked View Post
 

HPA-1/2 is NOT a Cmoy. RA1 maybe, but NOT the HPA-1/2.

The HPA-1/2 was designed by Sydney Smith, the legendary designer of the early Marantz components.

It was designed years before the Cmoy and is a different design and components.

 

Thanks buddy, I couldn't have said it better myself.

 

By the way Parbaked, when you read tamahome77's pathetic story, you must be glad that you chose option number 2, and sold your HPA-2, instead of sending in your HP1000 for repair. I know I'm glad you didn't send them to Joe ;).

 

I can't believe that John isn't willing to help. Even if Joe isn't at the helm of the company anymore, he still bears the Grado name, and in this internet age, even a few disatisfied customers, could do substantial damage to Grado's reputation through social medias.

 

Back to the HPA-1/2, I'm no expert, but the HPA-1/2 are very solidly, and smartly built. The fact that you can benefit from AC, and batterie power, at the flick of a switch, is a bit like having your cake, and a glass of milk.

 

At $125, the power supply was a fairly costly option, so not everyone bought it. but because the batteries compartment provides storing space for four 9V batteries, so you're never left stranded.


Edited by stacker45 - 3/27/14 at 2:08pm
post #206 of 277

No offense to the original designer or designers but... this topic comes up often but I am on the side of the HPA amps only being slightly better than the RA1 due to slightly better parts.  A web search will reveal even more details should you be interested.  You can see below and decide for yourself.

 

I know internal shots don't tell the whole story, especially about sound, so I'm sure they sound great but they seem to be more of a nostalgia amp than anything.

 

I shamelessly borrowed these pics from forum member Deepak from a site that shall not be mentioned and will gladly take them down if I need to by request.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #207 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamahome77 View Post

Joe just called me and wanted me to send him $1161.52usd ($1340cad) in addiion to the $1250 ($1330cad) I sent him. He said the $1250 is just to "get started" on the upgrade. So $1050 to "normalized" the headphones, $60 for the headbands (mounting & alignment) and flat shipping USPS rate of $44.52. He said to make things quicker instead of sending it to his PO BOX, go to my bank and get a certified bank cheque and have them wired it to his Bank of America account at Rockhill. This will work without knowing his bank account and branch number? He seems super impatient and want the money as quick possible. He will check his bank account tomorrow for payment. Ugh..

 

What a nightmare. I would probably also look into what legal action you can take. I'm not sure if you can report them stolen at this point or not (since he won't return them to you). I'd even send an email to John to see if he can mediate or talk sense into him. 

post #208 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post
 

No offense to the original designer or designers but... this topic comes up often but I am on the side of the HPA amps only being slightly better than the RA1 due to slightly better parts.  A web search will reveal even more details should you be interested.  You can see below and decide for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be fair the HPA-1/2 uses significantly, not slightly, better components and more of them (separate power supplies for battery and PSU)

I'm not sure you realize the the op-amp and circuits are hidden underneath the black metal shield in the pics you posted above.

 

The RA-1 looks pretty cheap in comparison.

 

Just for example the HPA-2 uses a $50 pot (Alps RK40) and boutique "film & foil" caps ; the RA-1 uses a $2 pot and Solen caps.

 

 

I don't think the RA-1 looks nearly as good inside:

 

 

Joe built the HPA-2 to be the best battery powered headphone amp he could build.

John designed the RA-1 to be an inexpensive replacement.

I've owned both and the HPA-1/2 is much better, especially with the HP-1000

Just my experience...

 

 

post #209 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo Drummond View Post
 

 

~~I actually find the sound of the HP2s to be slightly reminiscent of the AKGs, since to me they both present a mid-centered sound, but I've read some people saying that they couldn't be more different. What is your opinion on this? Interestingly though, I could not live with the K1000s at all... While they do soundstage like nothing else, I couldn't live with the hard sounding midrange, especially having the HP1s around showing a sound that had a similarly forward midrange but much, much sweeter!

 

There's definitely something to this.  Sure they're different and one can have their preferences, but I also find the tone/texture of the HP1000s remind me of the K-1000s as well.  Soundstage is obviously very different, but both can just melt away when listening to them.  Probably why they're both among my favorite cans.

 

Best,

 

-Jason


Edited by jjcha - 3/27/14 at 3:27pm
post #210 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321 View Post
 

 

What a nightmare. I would probably also look into what legal action you can take. I'm not sure if you can report them stolen at this point or not (since he won't return them to you). I'd even send an email to John to see if he can mediate or talk sense into him. 

 

Have things changed over the years?  Way back when (sorry I've been out of this for about 7 years), John would have nothing to do with Joe and vice versa.

 

Best,

 

-Jason

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