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PS1000 vs LCD-2 vs HD800

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I was originally planning on getting either the LCD-2 or the HD800. Auditioned them both before and I was still undecided as to which I liked better as they're so different. The LCD-2 had very nice bass and an overall very musical sound, however I found it didn't have enough sparkle or detail in the treble. The HD800 was very very detailed, but I found it's bass just a bit lacking for me. So i've been torn between these two for months.

However, to my surprise, I tried out the Grado PS1000 recently and to my surprise I might actually prefer their sound more than both of the above. Their level of detail and sparkle is comparable with the HD800, but it also has very nice bass impact in the mid to upper bass region, which was lacking in the HD800 for me. I've noticed these PS1000's aren't talked about much among people here and they don't seem to get the same level of respect as the LCD's or the Hd800's. I really only listened to them shortly, but came away impressed, although it's price tag I find is much too high.

 

Was wondering is there something I'm missing with the sound quality of the PS1000 that might warrant the lack of interest in it as opposed to the other two headphones? Or is there something I'm not noticing in the sound of the other two, which makes them so highly regarded compared to the PS1000?  From initial hearing they sound like almost everything I wanted in the HD800, but with more bass impact. Just seeing if anyone with more experience with these headphones and the other two might have any different impressions. haha... I'm gonna try to audition them again sometime soon. 

 

On a side note, I was thinking of maybe running these headphones through maybe the DX100 and maybe a combo of the Dragonfly + O2 amp in the future.

 

Thanks for any help.

post #2 of 66

PS1000 indeed is great headphone, and it has better bass than HD800, it has greater soundstage and details than LCD2.

 

however, i personally consider the price of PS1000 is its biggest disadvantage. for many people, they would choose to get a pair of LCD3 instead of a new pair of PS1000.

post #3 of 66

Nothing wrong with the PS1000's, or PS500's.

 

To me... they may well be the best phones available, when driven by a well matched amp and source.  They definitely sound more like "real live music" than most other phones, if not all other phones.  

 

The only reason there is not more publicity on Headfi about them... is... most have never heard them properly driven.  But... when they do... they're almost always amazed that they sound so much better than most other phones.  

 

Though, I would acknowledge they particularly excel with all acoustic music.  If one is into other "stuff" then, they may not appreciate the capabilities of Grados.  

post #4 of 66

I own the PS1000,and i have yet to find something i don't like about them,aside for their weight,of course.

post #5 of 66
Thread Starter 

Cool... yeah.. i was just taken by surprise. Thought pretty much it would just be the HD800 or LCD-2 for me (LCD3's are too expensive). Then I gave the PS1000 a try and it kinda had everything I wanted... the sparkle/detail of the HD800 and more bass impact. But I do find it's price too high though... and the looks/build and materials used doesn't look very nice imo for the price. But they sound great from my limited listening. I believe i was listening to them through a schiit dac/amp combo in the store. Will give these three headphones a longer audition again soon. And yeah.. i'm just very surprised that something that sounds this good (based on my limited listening time) would get so little recognition. Just wasn't sure if my ears were playing tricks on me so I decided to get some second opinions here. lol

Also I think the ohms of these headphones were pretty low compared to other flagships? Would that present a potential problem or say a lack of potential for it's sound quality when i'm trying to pair it with more powerful dac/amps?

post #6 of 66

You may overpower the low impedance phones when using the amps are designed for high impedance phones.

As a result, the low impedance phones would sound more harsh than it should be.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric23 View Post

Cool... yeah.. i was just taken by surprise. Thought pretty much it would just be the HD800 or LCD-2 for me (LCD3's are too expensive). Then I gave the PS1000 a try and it kinda had everything I wanted... the sparkle/detail of the HD800 and more bass impact. But I do find it's price too high though... and the looks/build and materials used doesn't look very nice imo for the price. But they sound great from my limited listening. I believe i was listening to them through a schiit dac/amp combo in the store. Will give these three headphones a longer audition again soon. And yeah.. i'm just very surprised that something that sounds this good (based on my limited listening time) would get so little recognition. Just wasn't sure if my ears were playing tricks on me so I decided to get some second opinions here. lol

Also I think the ohms of these headphones were pretty low compared to other flagships? Would that present a potential problem or say a lack of potential for it's sound quality when i'm trying to pair it with more powerful dac/amps?

post #7 of 66

I prefer the PS1000 to both of those as well, for many of the reasons you mention, and I have owned them all. I would trust your own ears. Alot of Head-Fi is just hype and bandwagoning. There were some very vocal, early haters of the PS1000, but the quality of the listening experience wins people over anyway.


Edited by priest - 9/29/12 at 11:31pm
post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by priest View Post

I prefer the PS1000 to both of those as well, for many of the reasons you mention, and I have owned them all. I would trust your own ears. Alot of Head-Fi is just hype and bandwagoning. There were some very vocal, early haters of the PS1000, but the quality of the listening experience wins people over anyway.

Didn't win me over and I'm a Grado fan (or used to be). 

post #9 of 66
Thread Starter 

Hi Macedonion,

 

What about the PS1000 did you not like when you listened to it? I'm going to go in to audition all 3 again tomorrow, just wanted some more opinions here so I know what to be listening to when I do. thanks.

post #10 of 66

Sorry, maybe this is off topic, but OP, I think I know which store you tried them out at? The biggest thing that tipped me off was the fact that all three were available (only a few stores in Canada should have them all), and the rig you listened out of was that Schiit stack (the main store rig). Again, sorry if I'm completely off base here. I'll PM you to check if I'm right.

 

If I'm right, then I can tell you that I've tried all three in store as well, and the PS1000s were the only ones that really shined during auditions. Apart from the mid-bass hump that was slightly offensive to me, it was probably one of the best headphone experiences I've had. Dark Side of the Moon on these was a life-changing experience. Soundstage and imaging isn't totally accurate, but the enveloping nature and sheer surrealism of the experience is phenomenal. Doesn't lack too much in terms of technical ability against the other two (own the LCD-2s, just listened to the HD800s in store). 

 

I remember during the Grado event in store, that everyone left impressed with the PS1000s. But I've noticed that long term impressions of the Grados seem to be quite different from those of brief auditions. It very much aims to be a wow experience at first listen. Why don't you just go back in store a few more times and try them for a couple of hours, or better yet, buy them (you could just always return them for one of the others later on if you don't like them as much)


Edited by TwinQY - 9/30/12 at 1:48pm
post #11 of 66
Thread Starter 

Hi Twin,

 

Yup. It's most likely the same shop you were talking about. Specially when you mentioned the Grado event. I was there too and that was when I tried out the pS1000 for the first time. I probably met you there too during the event. lol

 

But yeah.. i'm SO TORN right now among the 3 headphones.. will go in and give them a very extensive listen again soon. 

Also wondering if the low 32 ohms of the PS1000 will cause any issues when I amp it. Ofcourse I would only be using either a dx100 or O2 amp with it in the future. And also would this mean the other higher impedance headphones might have more potential in better sound quality if we give them even more power than the ps1000? 

 

And great point about long term satisfaction with the sound. That is yet to be seen. 

 

But really as of my limited experience with the PS1000 they seem to have very comparable sparkle and detail to the HD800. And I personally liked the slight mid bass hump/impact as I found the HD800 to be a bit lacking in that area. 

 

I think the key question is... is the HD800 sound signature the most true to source/neutral? meaning it's bass level or lack thereof is that the proper/neutral amount of bass that there should be in these original recordings? If it is then I have no problems living with that HD800 level of bass if that's the way the music is supposed to sound. But I just don't know. I mean.. say the LCD-2 has more bass quantity than the HD800 and ppl praise the LCD2's so much for that. So does that mean the LCD2's are colored? haha.. because they can't both be accurate or neutral as they sound totally different. Was just wondering out of the 3 which sound the most accurate and uncolored. I just think at this price range maybe I should go for accuracy as I can easily get colored headphones in any other cheaper price range.

 

Just not sure how accurate or neutral/true to source the bass amount of the HD800 really is. As it does seem a bit anemic. But then I really like it's sparkle, but then not sure if there's any treble coloring in that.

 

My other thought is that for say any top quality speaker or any speaker in general, the bass normally has more impact because it's allowed to vibrate through the wall/ground before it hits our body. Which gives speaker sounds that natural bass thump. And if that's considered as accurate. Then shouldn't this mean that the little extra bass hump in headphones like say in the PS1000 or the LCD2 is actually giving us a more accurate result or sound to say real speakers? because maybe by upping the bass and impact in the headphones they're trying to compensate for the lack of vibration we get when listening to speakers. So would this mean that the bass hump of these headphones like the PS1000 and lcd2's actually represent speaker sounds better than say the HD800's relatively flat frequency response as maybe there should actually be a bit of bass hump added to headphones to make them sound more like speakers? In this sense would it even mean that the HD800 bass is actually not as accurate or as representative of the bass you get from speakers?

 

Just something I was curious about.. haha.. it would be great if any more experienced guys or someone in the field could share their expertise on this. haha..

post #12 of 66

Yep, they're closed today, which sucks because it's the only day during the week when I have time off.

 

The O2s have a pretty low output impedance, it won't mess too much with the PS1000s. I found that the Asgard+Bifrost was less funky in the bass, but the Lyr had a nicer warmth to the sound. DX100 + O2 sounds like a nice setup altogether. From what I understand (not sure if I tried them with the Bursons at the meet, I remember hearing them with something better than the Lyr)  they do scale up nicely with better gear, but it's not at all necessary. 

 

Long-term comfort wise, they seem to be quite heavy. The weight is mostly from the metal cups; while the headband doesn't press too tightly down, the cups can leave the ears a bit sore and sweaty after a hour or two.

 

The HD800s are not as flat in the bass as my LCD-2s, but I don't find it anemic in quantity at all. It's just that they have different ways of presenting the bass. I'll leave it to other people who own both pairs to comment here. Out of the three, I would say that my neutral would be somewhere between the HD800s and LCD-2s.

 

Won't comment on the speakers thing as well, since I've only begun to start with active monitors, I'll leave that to others more experienced with speakers and room acoustics.

post #13 of 66

I just dont understand OP, you are going to listen to all of them for the second time, but need us to tell you what we think about them? If I tell you that ALL of them are **** sounding, would you go and buy AKG K1000 instead?

post #14 of 66

I think he's asking for some reference on where the 3 should sit in terms of that grand scheme of sound signatures and neutrality. It's hard to gauge in his position. Since he's only able to get short listening impressions, he's asking for long-term impressions from others who own or have owned the three at some time as well.

post #15 of 66

Even then, you like the sound or not, simply is that. You have to realise, non of them will do everything right, so, you have to choose the most you like. When I audition PS1000 and HD800, both left a good impression, but in very different way, but non of them were close to AKG K1000 in any way, especially driven by perfect matched amp. In my opinion both of them are over done, each in own way, nothing to do with natural sound in my book.

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