It's been ages since I last posted here! I guess I had nothing to say. Or maybe I was too busy building DIY gear. Yeah, that could be it. :)
Now that my job requires me to actually sit down and do some real work I find myself seated in front of my computer for long periods of time. I have a small system here - my PC, an SB external USB card, and an X-Can V-2. I never bothered to bring the Sennheisers to my office, they are too big and valuable for me, so I had a set Alessandros for a long time.
This week, I remembered my RS-2s were gathering dust somewhere around my house, so I decided to use them instead of the MS-1s.
The next two days I switched back and forth, from the Alessandros to the RS-2s and back. Back and forth, extended listening sessions, all kinds of music. And I was shocked at what I found.
I don't care about the RS-2s at all. They are, well, boring. The MS-1s sound brighter and punchier. But the real point is - they both sound so similar it's not cool. I'd say they are 95% the same, with the edge going to the cheaper headphones (IMHO, of course), but I could live with either one of them.
I'm shocked to find out there's nothing the RS-2 does better than the MS-1. No extra detail, no less distortion I can hear, nothing. Maybe they go a bit deeper when it comes to bass, but it's hard to say whether this is because subjectively the treble is shelved down, or they have a more extended frequency response. I can't see myself paying... I don't know, $400 more for the RS-2s over the MS-1s! (I got the RS-2's used for a terrific price some time ago).
And this is my point. After all these years, and considering these two units, my ignorant conclusion is that these two guys share basically the same driver, pretty much same design, and maybe there are a couple of changes (I don't know.. the coating on the dome? extra mass on it?) that are minuscule, not worth the price Grado is asking for, and that don't bring any improvement to the sound at all. They simply change the tone.
Sennheisers are very different... except, of course for the 580 and 600, which are basically the same headphone. Every Sennheiser I've ever heard has its own sonic signature. It'd be impossible to mistake one for the other.
But Grado? To me, they are kinda like Bose... some have nice mahogany enclosures, others have aluminum, and others are plastic... .IMHO, the design is the same and they just play a bit with small variables.. .charge big bucks for it, and they are succesful. Hey, more power to them. But for me, I'm not getting new Grados anytime soon. I'm very disappointed.
Not trying to start a flame war, just wondering if other people think the same...