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Oh God... I just found my Grado HP-1's.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well... back when I was in high school (pretty much ten years ago), I was sort of into headphones, and owned and selled quite a few. Sennheiser HD-580's, Sony MDR-CD3000's, Grado RS-1's, and I somehow was eventually able to get a hold of the Grado HP-1's. I'm guessing they were easier to get back then. 

 

I sold off the HD-580's and the CD3000's, and gave the RS-1's to my dad, and kept the HP-1's to myself. But with going to college, moving out of the house, and going to South Korea for a while, I kept the HP-1's stored somewhere, and never bothered looking for them. Well, I just went into the storage to look for these, ten years later (without much hope of finding them), and I eventually did. 

 

And... wow. Maybe it was because I was younger back then, and didn't really appreciate neutrality or clean sound (I think I was more attracted to the more "obvious" and "forward" sounding CD3000's and the RS-1's), but these are actually quite better than I remember. In fact, they sound amazing. 

 

The mids are absolutely surreal, and almost, quite literally, sound something like it was made from another planet. It's definitely not something you'd expect to hear from regular headphone drivers. Anything you hear afterwards (like the HD-650's I just got today), just do not sound as "real" or "impactful", in terms of the mids, as they do with the HP-1's. 

 

I don't know how to explain it... there's just something about the way the sound moves with the HP-1's that gives it some kind of "velocity" or "movement" that sounds very natural, and not electronic or artificial. 

 

My guess is the actual housing of the drivers have a LOT to do with the sound. It's akin to the way the material and shape of guitars, violins, cellos, flutes, etc. change the way the instruments sound. It's as if the headphones themselves are actual instruments, rather than just miniature speakers housed in plastic/metal. And the metal housing of the HP-1's give it that kind of smooth, yet super impactful feel of the mids. It's as if they sound as they look. 

 

This is only the mids and the treble, with the HP-1's, though. I've only done just cursory, few-minute listening sessions with the HP-1's the past couple of days (because I want to preserve them), and the bass wasn't something that immediately stuck out to me. It was all about the voices and the soft instrumentals. My God. 

 

Still, I think for overall, everyday listening the Sennheiser HD-650's that I just got today might be a little better. Both because of comfort, and the overall, pleasing sound signature. 

 

It's just, the HP-1's have quite a character, and I think they're something special and amazing. 

 

Also, does anyone know whether it's bad to just keep headphones stored away, and not use them for long periods of time? I've nearly not used the HP-1's for years, but, they seem to be ok. Is it like automobiles, where if you don't use them for long enough, all the parts just kind of loosen up and not work as well? 

 

If anyone knows, please let me know! 

 

At any rate, I hope this, yet another, post gives a pretty good glimpse on the Grado HP-1. I'm sure there are a lot of posts out there on these phones. But, I think another doesn't help. =D If anyone has a chance to grab a pair of these, they definitely should... unless the seller is demanding thousands of dollars. 


Edited by fuzzybaffy - 11/30/12 at 9:15pm
post #2 of 15

The HP-1 will be a lot more enjoyable than the HD-650s, but the comfort is the other way round. I don't think the headphones would be in a bad condition when stored as long as there is protection from the accumulation of dust/particles at the drivers.

post #3 of 15

the out of this world mids you mention, do they sound a little 'slippery'? meaning, they just flow like they have a touch of grease on them. When I built a custom grado style phone with alum air chambers similar to the hp1 the sound had that quality. It was a touch too much for me but pretty addictive. As far as the cups being tuned like instruments themselves, and being part of the sound, I can absolutely relate to that. I don't see them as just carriers for the drivers either but integral to how the drivers do their thing. I can also relate to how they must compare to the sennheisers and how the grados have more 'movement' and realism. That's the affect of the grado style of phone when it's properly tuned as I'm sure this set is. It's the best quality of the dynamic driver at work and while the senn is also using a dynamic driver, it is not tuned to maximize this aspect of it's qualties I don't feel and therefore it is not as 'dynamic' or natural. You have a killer set of phones, too bad they don't make such a phone today...enjoy ! 

post #4 of 15

I'm glad you finally got reunited with your HP1s, If you could post a pic i'd be gratefull, i'm just curious to see how the red lettering and the pads have held up after all these years on your HP1s, i have HP2s and i'd say that the lettering is about 95% complete, i'm not very good with a camera, but i'll try to post a pic of mine too. 


Edited by stacker45 - 12/3/12 at 7:33pm
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybaffy View Post

The mids are absolutely surreal, and almost, quite literally, sound something like it was made from another planet. It's definitely not something you'd expect to hear from regular headphone drivers. Anything you hear afterwards (like the HD-650's I just got today), just do not sound as "real" or "impactful", in terms of the mids, as they do with the HP-1's. 

 
I don't know how to explain it... there's just something about the way the sound moves with the HP-1's that gives it some kind of "velocity" or "movement" that sounds very natural, and not electronic or artificial. 
 
--------------------
 

Also, does anyone know whether it's bad to just keep headphones stored away, and not use them for long periods of time? I've nearly not used the HP-1's for years, but, they seem to be ok. Is it like automobiles, where if you don't use them for long enough, all the parts just kind of loosen up and not work as well? 

 

You're not the first one (http://www.head-fi.org/t/277545/grado-hp1000-just-a-musical-instrument) returning to this headphone after a while and being impressed by it's "musicality".

 

Personally I feel like they are hyper speedy/fast, almost as if the music was shining like a beam of light or even focused like a laser. Kind of like two guitars playing in harmony, versus having just one. It has to do, mostly, with either or both of these two features (more than with the actual cups, because the SR325 and SR100 with HP-1000 drivers retained the magic pretty well to my ears).

 

(First I was thinking it had to be because of the creases radiating out of the center of the dome; the "star": )

700

 

(But very recently some Head-Fier discovered that the diaphragm on the front of the driver was connected [either directly or indirectly] to the black part on the back; he witnessed it vibrating like a piston, together with the diaphragm, as he raised the volume to risky-high intensity)

1000

 

(Both of these features are unique to this driver as far as I can tell from searching for similarities with other headphones' driver for almost a year now)

 

 

To get the most bass out of them you put a layer of 3M Scotch Tape (the clear one) around your flat pads.

 

 

The fail rate on these is really low, I have only heard of one (I think it was the driver at fault, but I'm not even if it wasn't due to misuse or cable connection problem). I don't really know about letting them sit unused for long periods of time, but I do know that these things are made to be used :P. My main HP2 pair has rested never used from 1992 to 2012 (when I bought it from its first owner) and it sounds fantastic ;). Mylar, the material most headphone driver's diaphragm are made out of, is chemically inert and has good "creep resistance / structural integrity", I don't know how to call that property. Also, the HP-1000 drivers were the best product of an old-timer Japanese microphone and (now ex-) driver technology company (that Joe commissioned to make to his requirements)... and Japanese stuff is always quite durable.

 

I personally keep my four HP 1000 (and other Grados) in a relatively stable temperature, low humidity room, in a giant ziploc bag partway opened, in a box with a changing color (orange->dark green) silica gel pouch, away from sunlight and dust. But I make sure they can breathe and come out to play every once in a while :P. I remove the foam pads for storage.


Edited by devouringone3 - 12/3/12 at 8:43am
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dukeskd View Post

The HP-1 will be a lot more enjoyable than the HD-650s, but the comfort is the other way round. I don't think the headphones would be in a bad condition when stored as long as there is protection from the accumulation of dust/particles at the drivers.

 

Yep. Thanks for letting me know.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thelostMIDrange View Post

the out of this world mids you mention, do they sound a little 'slippery'? meaning, they just flow like they have a touch of grease on them. When I built a custom grado style phone with alum air chambers similar to the hp1 the sound had that quality. It was a touch too much for me but pretty addictive. As far as the cups being tuned like instruments themselves, and being part of the sound, I can absolutely relate to that. I don't see them as just carriers for the drivers either but integral to how the drivers do their thing. I can also relate to how they must compare to the sennheisers and how the grados have more 'movement' and realism. That's the affect of the grado style of phone when it's properly tuned as I'm sure this set is. It's the best quality of the dynamic driver at work and while the senn is also using a dynamic driver, it is not tuned to maximize this aspect of it's qualties I don't feel and therefore it is not as 'dynamic' or natural. You have a killer set of phones, too bad they don't make such a phone today...enjoy !

 

 

Actually... yes. But I don't think it was a "bad" slippery. My HP-1's came with literature from Grado, stating that they specifically made a special alloy for the metal housing to give its signature sound, so it looks to me, that's what they were actually trying to adjust with the HP-1's! And try to avoid the issues you had with the extra "slipperiness". Because, to me, it definitely felt a little more purposeful and impactful.

 

And, yes indeed. These are quite the headphones. =D The Sennheisers are more like mini-speakers attached to the head, whereas the Grados are more like musical instruments.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stacker45 View Post

I,m glad you finally got reunited with your HP1s, If you could post a pic i'd be gratefull, i'm just curious to see how the red lettering and the pads have held up after all these years on your HP1s, i have HP2s and i'd say that the lettering is about 95% complete, i'm not very good with a camera, but i'll try to post a pic of mine too. 

 

 

I actually did try to get some pics up, but for some reason they didn't upload onto Facebook. The lettering seems intact 100% for me, actually. However, the foam padding got utterly destroyed with time. They literally disintegrated when I picked up the phones, and left a bunch of powder all over my box. eek.gif

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

 

You're not the first one (http://www.head-fi.org/t/277545/grado-hp1000-just-a-musical-instrument) returning to this headphone after a while and being impressed by it's "musicality".

 

Personally I feel like they are hyper speedy/fast, almost as if the music was shining like a beam of light or even focused like a laser. Kind of like two guitars playing in harmony, versus having just one. It has to do with either or both of these two features more than with the actual cups, because the SR325 and SR100 with HP-1000 drivers retained the magic pretty well to my ears.

 

(First I was thinking it had to be because of the radiating creases forming the "star" on the dome of the diaphragm: )

 

 

(But very recently some Head-Fier discovered that the diaphragm on the front of the driver was connected [either directly or indirectly] to the black part on the back; he witnessed it vibrating like a piston as he raised the volume to risky-high intensity)

http://cdn.head-fi.org/f/f3/297x302px-LL-f3908eef_HP1000driver.png " can't insert that image

 

(Both of these features are unique to this driver as far as I can tell from searching for similarities with other headphones' driver.)

 

 

To get the most bass out of them you put a layer of 3M Scotch Tape (the clear one) around your flat pads.

 

 

The fail rate on these is really low, I have only heard of one (I think it was the driver at fault, but I'm not even if it wasn't due to misuse or cable connection problem). I don't really know about letting them sit unused for long periods of time, but I do know that these things are made to be used :P. My main HP2 pair has rested never used from 1992 to 2012 and it sounds fine ;). Mylar, the material most headphone driver's diaphragm are made out of, is chemically inert and has good "creep resistance / structural integrity", I don't know how to call that property. Also, the HP-1000 drivers were the best product of an old-timer Japanese microphone and (now ex-) driver technology company... and Japanese stuff is always quite durable.

 

I personally keep my four HP 1000 (and other Grados) in a relatively stable temperature, low humidity room, in a giant ziploc bag partway opened, in a box with a changing color (orange->dark green) silica gel pouch, away from sunlight and dust. But I make sure they can breathe and come out to play every once in a while :P. I remove the foam pads for storage.

 

 

Yep. Exactly... the sound has some kind of "ethereal" component to it, as if, like as you say, it's some kind of beam of light or something. Absolutely unreal.

 

But... didn't you get a piece of literature with the HP-1000 phones, that stated something about the metal alloy used in the housing? I'm sure the driver shapes have a lot to do with the sound as well, but I seem to remember the literature saying something about the alloy for the metal housing, too. The literature was meant to outline the Grado warranty policy for the headphones, but also talked a bit about the metal to explain why it looks the way it looks (apparently they look inconsistent or something).

 

And yea... thanks for letting me know about how you've been storing them. I feel much better about my prospects of keeping these for a long time now. tongue.gif


Edited by fuzzybaffy - 12/3/12 at 6:00am
post #7 of 15

Maybe the metal accounts for some extra "liquidity" or cleanliness, but the headphone on the left:

 

400

 

400

 

does retain "most" of what makes special the sound of the headphone on the right. I say " "most" " because you guys are making me question my initial A/B-ing, which I did long ago. I will re-do it more seriously and come back to you with that.

 

I didn't get much documentation with my used Grados but I did find this photo of the sheet you're talking about (the "Please note:" section at the end):

 

1000

 

 

The infamous Grado comfort... hehe. If you get a burning spot on top of your head, put some cushion there, or buy a snap-on headband / sleeve like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/321008464924?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649; or the Beyerdynamic pleather one. And as for the flat foam pads, I think anyone can get used to them ;), and reach a point where they don't even realize the headphone is on their ears.


Edited by devouringone3 - 12/3/12 at 8:10am
post #8 of 15
post #9 of 15

1000

 

1000

 

does it sound sorta like this? is how I recall grado style drivers in similar cups. it's not hot sounding in a molten silver way as the bottom pic suggests, more like the top pic. In fact the sound has a paradoxial coolness to it, refreshing but in a somehow unatural, dreamy or otherworldly way. Which is not necessarily a bad thing since the whole point of donning headphones is to take off into other worlds for a spell and relax. All depends on where the distortion is and how much. I'd be interested to see some test measurements for these but all i've found is a set of the drivers diy modded.


Edited by thelostMIDrange - 12/3/12 at 8:03pm
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelostMIDrange View Post

1000

 

1000

 

does it sound sorta like this? is how I recall grado style drivers in similar cups. it's not hot sounding in a molten silver way as the bottom pic suggests, more like the top pic. In fact the sound has a paradoxial coolness to it, refreshing but in a somehow unatural, dreamy or otherworldly way. Which is not necessarily a bad thing since the whole point of donning headphones is to take off into other worlds for a spell and relax. All depends on where the distortion is and how much. I'd be interested to see some test measurements for these but all i've found is a set of the drivers diy modded.

 

Man!, i don't know if you're drunk, stone, or both, but your post is very difficult to read, go sleep it off, and come back when you're rested.

post #11 of 15

that's sage advice stacker. But I actually edited it to be as digestible as possible in case a left brainer stumbles accross it. You must be way towards the end of that bell curve. It's all good. You can describe sound in a way that suits you and as a right brainer, i'll do the same thanks. have a nice day.

post #12 of 15

I don't know what time it is in your part of the world, but here it's 11:30 pm, so before i have a nice day, i have to go to sleep, wich is what i'm going to do right now, and i invite you to do the same,that way, you might be more coherent tomorrow. good night buddy! wink.gif

post #13 of 15

there is no time where i live slacker. sweet dreams to you though. back to the topic...........

post #14 of 15

Yeah Tyll measured this pair:

 

1000

 

(It's a PS-1 with HP 1000 drivers)

 

Tyll, Jude and Rhydon all owned a HP2 at one point in time. I wonder if Tyll still has his. If I wasn't such a wimp and living in Canada, I would totally send him my stock HP1 and HP2i... and then the HP2i to Purrin.

post #15 of 15

Yeah man, I finally returned to my HP 1000 (I had not brought them with me this semester). I really prefer them over any other Grados, even the Magnum v4 (full aluminum) I've been listening to for the last 2 months.

 

Actually this whole privation thing made me realize how much I needed and loved them, and reminded me why I bought 4 of them.

 

And yeah, from listening to the HP 1000 driver in full ABS plastic, ABS+SR325 aluminum hybrid and HP1 aluminum, I can tell you that the cups are definitely not what makes your HP1 so special to your ears.


Edited by devouringone3 - 4/23/13 at 12:35pm
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