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Are Grado's worth picking up for if you DON'T listen to much rock?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I've been curious about Grado's for a while now. I don't listen to the genre's they are purported to work with though, which has stopped me from looking at them further. There seems to be a love hate relationship with these cans in that they only seem to be recommended for certain genres, have comfort issues, non neutral sound, etc. They also have a very unique look, some people love them, they are very mod-able, etc. They seem like a real conundrum in the world of headphones, which makes them interesting. L3000.gif

Does anyone use Grado's for genres other then rock, metal, classical, etc.? Also, which model is preferable as an all around can, if that can even be considered something viable: sr80i, sr225i, sr325i, $139, $239, $349 respectively. (my available pricing, definitely not going higher then this - even $349 is a massive stretch)

 

post #2 of 15

Absolutely (IMHO).  I think the HF-1 and RS1/2 are great for old fashioned acoustic or "unplugged" instrumentation when you don't care for a large soundstage image.  So things like traditional country, bluegrass, live jazz recordings, particularly woodwind, strings and percussion are their non-rock strengths.  Wood block xylophone sounds AMAZING on woody Grados.  Although large ensembles of these instruments (IE classical) need more soundstage image, and that's where the mid-fi Grados start to fall flat.  I prefer bowl pads on mine too for the sense of air around notes FWIW.  Flat pads are too "thick" sounding.  My opinions of course.

post #3 of 15

If you wear glasses then don't bother with the on-ear Grados. Comfort is not something they excel at.

 

When I tried the RS1i female vocals sounded pretty good. But it's 700 bucks so it should be good. The 225i plugged into a high end DAP, the Colorfly C4, has really nice mids too, but then again the C4 is 600 bucks.

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mani ATH 87 View Post

I've been curious about Grado's for a while now. I don't listen to the genre's they are purported to work with though, which has stopped me from looking at them further. There seems to be a love hate relationship with these cans in that they only seem to be recommended for certain genres, have comfort issues, non neutral sound, etc. They also have a very unique look, some people love them, they are very mod-able, etc. They seem like a real conundrum in the world of headphones, which makes them interesting. L3000.gif



Does anyone use Grado's for genres other then rock, metal, classical, etc.? Also, which model is preferable as an all around can, if that can even be considered something viable: sr80i, sr225i, sr325i, $139, $239, $349 respectively. (my available pricing, definitely not going higher then this - even $349 is a massive stretch)


 

I think a lot of the typecasting does them a disservice - they aren't "only good" with certain genres (and they don't "only work" with certain genres); I think it's mostly the result of an echo chamber more than anything else.

Anyways, I'd suggest the SR-225 - a bit more tame than the 325, but more grown up than the 60/80; will certainly do more than let you get your feet wet, and they handle a wide range of genres. Personally I enjoy my RS-1 with more or less everything (including EDM, rap/hip-hop, etc) - I agree with kramer's comment on the soundstage though, they aren't my first choice for very large ensemble pieces, but they don't do a bad job. The SR-225 are basically a slimmed down version IME - you give up some staging, some extension, some impact, some refinement, etc (but you also shave $500 off the ticket smily_headphones1.gif). I liked the 225 with most genres as well, but the sound-staging concern was more pronounced.

So basically, unless you're using headphones for nothing but large ensemble/orchestral compositions, and playing videogames that rely on spacious and precise 3D imaging, and a lot of movies, I don't think you'll go wrong as long as the sound signature suits you (they certainly are not neutral!). And I've of course had moments of laziness and used my RS-1 for any and all of the above, and they will perform; the SR-225 did too. It's just not "perfect" - if you get my meaning.

And with orchestral/ensemble pieces - I want to clarify some. If you're listening to something like Sinatra At The Sands, they're tip-top, if you're listening to something like Holst's The Planets, they're less than awe-inspiring.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post

Absolutely (IMHO).  I think the HF-1 and RS1/2 are great for old fashioned acoustic or "unplugged" instrumentation when you don't care for a large soundstage image.  So things like traditional country, bluegrass, live jazz recordings, particularly woodwind, strings and percussion are their non-rock strengths.  Wood block xylophone sounds AMAZING on woody Grados.  Although large ensembles of these instruments (IE classical) need more soundstage image, and that's where the mid-fi Grados start to fall flat.  I prefer bowl pads on mine too for the sense of air around notes FWIW.  Flat pads are too "thick" sounding.  My opinions of course.

+1.
The RS-1 are "good not great" with large ensemble pieces. The SR series are less-so.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

The RS series is a bit out of my price range. An Rs1i definitely would not be my first choice at $700

post #6 of 15

No. They are uncomfortable and poorly made.

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mani ATH 87 View Post

The RS series is a bit out of my price range.

As I said - SR-225. smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
An Rs1i definitely would not be my first choice at $700

Why? Have you heard them?
post #8 of 15

I have put in about 50hrs on my 325is so far and havent actually played rock music yet. Mostly jazz, hip hop, random pop music, lots of "DJ'ed" songs and they all sound very good (to me). Just yesterday I was listening to Bob Marley and it was incredible! I dont have much experience with other mid-fi headphones so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

 

The highs can be harsh at first but I find mine sounds like it smoothed out overtime. I listen to other headphones and earphones in between so I dont think its me or my ears getting used to the 325is. Otherwise I think my other 'phones would sound "duller" which they havent. The biggest thing I've noticed though is that the lower hz (mid-bass) has improved quite nicely. Bit more extension and more impact.

post #9 of 15

Don't forget the Alessandro MS cans too.  I bought an MS-2 used for $150 shipped.  Its a flatter presentation (smoother curve) and not quite as in your head sounding as Grados.  It was I think a little better at larger "bodies" of music, with its less aggressive midrange... yet still good at what makes Grado great with solo & small group instrumentation.  It was my main can for the better part of a year or two until I got the HF1 / RS1.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


As I said - SR-225. smily_headphones1.gif
Why? Have you heard them?


No I have not, I just wouldn't gravitate towards the Grado style if I wanted to spend that much money on a headphone. The old school look, many complaints about comfort, the genre specific suggestions that don't match my music tastes, etc. I'm not saying they don't sound like $700 headphones, just wouldn't be my first choice.

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mani ATH 87 View Post


No I have not, I just wouldn't gravitate towards the Grado style if I wanted to spend that much money on a headphone. The old school look, many complaints about comfort, the genre specific suggestions that don't match my music tastes, etc. I'm not saying they don't sound like $700 headphones, just wouldn't be my first choice.

I also have the 325is and definitely agree with the OP who mentioned the high's relaxing and the bass tightening up. I've also owned the 80i's and the MS2i's, and they are all awesome headphone's. As far as music genre's, I mainly listen to jazz and grunge (unplugged/acoustic), and they sound great. As far as comfort, try them out, I have absolutely no problem with the comfort using the stock (L) cushion's they come with, just pull the band apart so the driver's rest on your ears so there is no pressure..

 

Have you ever heard a Grado or Alessandro?

post #12 of 15

This thread prompted me to ask myself the same question. I typically only use my SR325is for metal, but I decided to give them a whirl with some electronic music (psytrance to be specific). They are actually really good sounding. The bass is full and accurate, and all the details are there. All this is out of my ipod classic unamped! Highly recommended.

post #13 of 15

I use them for all sorts of music.  85% of my music is jazz or blues.  These gendres are played in large auditoriums and small clubs.  they adopt quite well to different sound signitures and sound stages.  I like the variety.  It's all what you are in the mood for.  I personally don't quite understand the attitude that only one sound signiture is right for any type of music.  Grado's are not my first choice, but I do use my RS1's a fair amount.   

post #14 of 15
I'm a new owner of the MS1i. I listen to about half rock and the rest is made up of various electronic (mostly downtempo stuff), some hip hop and some classical. I would say these cans put a new perspective on just about anything. They were somewhat painful even at low volumes because of the harshness but after just about 10 hours of burn in that feeling was completely gone. The low end has continually opened up as well. I wear glasses and have no problem with comfort using the stock pads.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by LinkPro View Post

If you wear glasses then don't bother with the on-ear Grados. Comfort is not something they excel at.

 

 

I don't know, I wear glasses and when I had my Grados, I never had any comfort issues. That could just be me though. Also, when I had them, I did enjoy them for most music I listened to. I don't think it's entirely fair to limit these cans to just rock or metal (not saying you are, I'm just talking in general).

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