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Confession and rant: love my rs1 can't love my he500.

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
I love my Grado RS1s, they are vintage button and I'm enthralled with their realism on vocals: johnny cash, black crowes, billy Joel.
All played via my new second hand Rsa dark star or my old stand by Rsa raptor via bryston bda1 dac via McIntosh spinner.

I've tried for two years to fall in love with my he500. I can't. They sound muffled compared to my rs1. Yes they are wider, the music is spread out and there is more base. All major pluses for the he500. Yet I'm stuck on the veiled treble and vocals.

I'm finally willing to confess that I hate my he500.

Yet I want more from my rs1s.

I've spent time with the he6 and the lcd3. The lcd3 seems like a clear victor between the two.

I've loved the hd800 on Eddie current but hate it on the dark star.

I don't know where to go or what to do next. Sell he500, dark star and raptor?

This is half rant and half confession.

I want to move on up like George and weezie but I'm not sure where to go.
post #2 of 89

Have you considered moving up the Grado line?

post #3 of 89

The good thing about audio is its subjective

if you don't like something, so what? :)

sell them if you do not like 'em. i'm sure there are people out there who would love to own them.

as far as what else to do. i'm not too sure.

 

I wouldn't say moving up the grado line is a good idea.

rs-1's are the top of the grado line up

gs/ps1k are kind of "look what i can do" headphones

different.. and in my eyes  better than the rs1 but not an upgrade in the grado house sound. if you know what i mean?

 

just go out and listen to stuff, honestly. and when you see something that is right you will know.

 

just to chuck a random one out there, try some T1's maybe?

post #4 of 89

I think the T1 would sound "meh" coming from the RS1, but I wouldn't describe your suggestion as not being a good idea. wink.gif Not quite sure how you can describe the RS1 as the top of the Grado line while regarding the GS1000 and PS1000 as better but not an upgrade, without sounding contradictory.


Edited by unspool - 12/9/12 at 6:54am
post #5 of 89
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.

 

Moving up the grado line certainly seems logical. I've spent some time with the GS and PS but haven't really felt emotionally moved by them.

The GS and PS always seem to be excluded from flagship debates and lists on head-fi.

The RS1 does seem to be the most well regarded in their lineup.

 

Continuing to try more headphones is the name of the game. I've wondered about the T1, that's a good idea.

I own the DT1350 for travel and am impressed with it.

Definitely worth a listen.

 

Appreciate any and all thoughts and ideas.

post #6 of 89

Well you've heard them for yourself and that's the important thing. The GS1000 and PS1000 are grand departures from the intimate, mid-forward RS1. I was really impressed with the HE-6, which struck me as a headphone that would appeal to Grado fans. But seeing as you hate your HE-500, you probably won't like the HE-6 much either.

post #7 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by attilahun View Post


I love my Grado RS1s, they are vintage button and I'm enthralled with their realism on vocals: johnny cash, black crowes, billy Joel.
All played via my new second hand Rsa dark star or my old stand by Rsa raptor via bryston bda1 dac via McIntosh spinner.
I've tried for two years to fall in love with my he500. I can't. They sound muffled compared to my rs1. Yes they are wider, the music is spread out and there is more base. All major pluses for the he500. Yet I'm stuck on the veiled treble and vocals.
I'm finally willing to confess that I hate my he500.
Yet I want more from my rs1s.
I've spent time with the he6 and the lcd3. The lcd3 seems like a clear victor between the two.
I've loved the hd800 on Eddie current but hate it on the dark star.
I don't know where to go or what to do next. Sell he500, dark star and raptor?
This is half rant and half confession.
I want to move on up like George and weezie but I'm not sure where to go.

 

My impressions... exactly... the HE500 I had was "muffled" and "veiled" compared to all my other phones - no comparison.

post #8 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

My impressions... exactly... the HE500 I had was "muffled" and "veiled" compared to all my other phones - no comparison.

Appreciate your feedback, looking st your profile, you've certainly tried lots of equipment.
Is the PS1000 your favorite headphone?
Do you prefer SS or tubes with it?
post #9 of 89

I'm on the opposite side of this dilemma. I owned and loved the RS1i and also own the HE-500. For financial reason one of them had to go and it was really a toss up until as luck would have it I had the chance to see Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings live and the sound was much closer to what I was getting out of my HE-500 vs. the RS1i. 

 

The treble was much more accurate without the fatiguing spikes I occasionally got with the grados. I truly wish though that I still had both in my possession as I will always love the way Grado attacks the electric guitar. For now I satisfy my Grado love with the Prestige Gold cartridge. 

 

In the end go for the headphone that allows you to stop thinking about what gear you are listening to and lets you get lost in the music. Doesn't matter how others regard it, whether it was a flagship or not (Edition 10 is considered a flagship and also a POS)...

post #10 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by attilahun View Post


Appreciate your feedback, looking st your profile, you've certainly tried lots of equipment.
Is the PS1000 your favorite headphone?
Do you prefer SS or tubes with it?

 

Probably at this point - the PS1000 definitely sounds better than virtually all others I've had / tried.  

 

But... then the PS500 is great too... and... the RS-1's are superb... and the Denon MD5000's are fantastic... as are the AD2000's... and... the deveiled "new version" HD580/600/650's with the RAL cryo-silver cable.  Actually... it's very difficult for me to choose between all of these - they all sound so similar with my set ups.   I prefer all of these to the HE-500's I tried... because they all sound so much more like "real live music" - which is my reference.  

 

Most of the other phones I've tried have "some issue," or another - they're either too dark, or too bright, or too flat, or don't have enough bass, or speed, or... whatever.  Of those I have... with the right set ups... they have the least compromises... and... they just sound "alive."  Grados are not bright and the do have soundstage... if... they're fully burnt in... and mated to an amp with very low output impedence, and high current output (in contrast to voltage output).  Reports to the contrary generally result from a poorly matched system and/or inadequate burn in.  Without a well matched set up, they sound terrible... as do Denons, and ATH's, etc.  Which may be why the HE-500, and Stax O2's, etc. I've tried did not sound great - I may not have had well matched amps to drive them.  It makes all the difference. 

 

I prefer my WA6 SEm to most of the other amps I've tried.  Though, I'm sure the EC amps, and the MAD amps with my low impedence phones may sound as good.  As far as SS amps, I've tried... I like the GS Solo (in its various variations) with my Senns (not so much with my low impedence phones)... and... the Burson 160D with most of my phones.


Edited by Gradofan2 - 12/10/12 at 3:06pm
post #11 of 89

Being curious about planar magnetic headphones,i was thinking of selling my GS1000s and maybe get the HE500s, but if you find them muffled compared to your RS1s, i'm afraid they won't do much better compared to my PS1000s, i guess i might end up having to look elsewere.HE-6 or LCD2/3 maybe. 

post #12 of 89
Yeah I'm with detox. I do love my HE-6, I keep my RS-1 for portable use though. The vintage button style is so sweet sounding with guitar, I'll not let them walk. They are tattered but worth the recable.

I am finding that setups for dynamics are not the same as setups for planars. Have you taken the 500s through some other amps to see how they respond? Maybe a speaker amp? I've heard the 6s on the First Watt F1 (entirely too much for the 500s) and that is a truly hi end sound. May not be the pinnacle but you can see the top dog in their rear view mirror. And I consider the 500s about 90% of the 6s so still pretty darn good.

Otherwise, why not the LCD if that's the one you prefer?

Or do you think it's just an ortho thing and maybe jump in the stat pool?
post #13 of 89
Thread Starter 
I've been using my he500s with a ray Samuels dark star, designed with the he6 in mind.
Gobs of power but the top end doesn't shine for me, I'm in the back row vs the front row with the rs1. I'd love more bass and full sound from the rs1 to round things out.

Also tried the he500 on my tubed raptor, similar result but a hint of lush tubeness, but too little power.

I've spent a little time trying the lcd3 and he6 on the dark star; the he6 sounds good but lacked the top end sparkle and presence of the rs1 (heresy to say I know).

To me the lcd3 was much better on the top end, I found it very enjoyable.
I didn't get swept away but was certainly very impressed.
If I find a deal on one used, I may go this route.

Always wanted to test a Nelson pass first watt but haven't had the chance. Should put this on my to do list.

Stats: I sold my entry level stax setup, loved the detail but missed the punch of dynamics.
Granted the short time I've spent with the sr009 overcame all those issues.
Maybe chuck everything and go that route, but 10 large is a big move.

I guess this is a little like looking for the perfect woman, there are trade offs in everything.
(Hope my fiancé doesn't find this post....)
post #14 of 89

10 grand for a Stax 009 system? 

Nah... $4,138 for them from Price Japan, and $2200-2400 for a 727 or 007t amp (my favorite) right from StaxUSA/Yamasinc.

Great sound from this (it's what I have).

post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradofan2 View Post

 

Probably at this point - the PS1000 definitely sounds better than virtually all others I've had / tried.  

 

But... then the PS500 is great too... and... the RS-1's are superb... and the Denon MD5000's are fantastic... as are the AD2000's... and... the deveiled "new version" HD580/600/650's with the RAL cryo-silver cable.  Actually... it's very difficult for me to choose between all of these - they all sound so similar with my set ups.   I prefer all of these to the HE-500's I tried... because they all sound so much more like "real live music" - which is my reference.  

 

Most of the other phones I've tried have "some issue," or another - they're either too dark, or too bright, or too flat, or don't have enough bass, or speed, or... whatever.  Of those I have... with the right set ups... they have the least compromises... and... they just sound "alive."  Grados are not bright and the do have soundstage... if... they're fully burnt in... and mated to an amp with very low output impedence, and high current output (in contrast to voltage output).  Reports to the contrary generally result from a poorly matched system and/or inadequate burn in.  Without a well matched set up, they sound terrible... as do Denons, and ATH's, etc.  Which may be why the HE-500, and Stax O2's, etc. I've tried did not sound great - I may not have had well matched amps to drive them.  It makes all the difference. 

 

I prefer my WA6 SEm to most of the other amps I've tried.  Though, I'm sure the EC amps, and the MAD amps with my low impedence phones may sound as good.  As far as SS amps, I've tried... I like the GS Solo (in its various variations) with my Senns (not so much with my low impedence phones)... and... the Burson 160D with most of my phones.

 

Grados aren't bright?  I'm a fan of them too but let's not kid ourselves. They most definitely have a bright presentation and the frequency response measurements confirm it. smile.gif


Edited by unspool - 12/11/12 at 1:28am
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