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Fallen in love with the Grado sound - need help upgrading from SR80i

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, first post here, hoping someone can kindly help me out. My love for good sound started when i purchased a decent Hi-Fi (Rega Brio-R, Rega DAC and Monitor Audio RX6 Speakers). Since then i have ventured off in to Headphones so i can listen of a night without annoying everyone in the house. I brought myself a pair of Grado SR80i's and have absolutely fallen in love with them. The main points i love about these cans are the mid range (its just so abundant bigsmile_face.gif), the detail they dig up and how accurate they are, i was extremely surprised when i got them at how talented the SR80i's are for their price. What I'm looking for in an upgrade is those points but a more airy sound stage, a little more bass weight, trebles that aren't quite as harsh and obviously something that's better all round. Currently I'm using the Rega DAC from my Hi-Fi, my PC and a little tube amp i brought off ebay from a guy in Western Australia, his business name is "Freds Amps" its the 12AU7 model modified to have RCA inputs for the Rega DAC. Some might say crazy but at this point I'm thinking the GS1000i's, I know what I'm like (I'm very prone to upgradeits lol). Obviously if i did go for the GS1000i's i would get a better amp and another DAC so i can keep the Rega with my Hi-Fi. What do you guys think? Would i be blown away compared to my SR80i's? Would they live up to what I'm looking for as mentioned above? Many thanks in advance guys, I'm looking forward to reading some opinions.


Thanks, Josh

post #2 of 6

Grado sound is very unique, so if you like that sound signature, you should look within the same family.


I have the Grado SR-80, as well as a DIY Magnum v3 in Mahogany.  I have also listened to RS-2, SR325is, (briefly), SR 225 i (briefly) and the HP1000.


Of these, the HP-1000 were by far the best, the problem is that they are going for about $1500 to $2000, if you can find them.  After that, I would say the Magnum v3 bested the other Grado models.


Since the v3, there are Magnum v4 (I built one for another head-fi member, and yes, they are better than v3), and v5 (haven't tried them yet), so you can look into those.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. So is the magnum v3 etc is a mod for all Grado headphone models or just certain ones? Those HP1000's look gorgeous, but probably a little out of my price range even if i could find them. I can get the GS1000i's for $1400 in Australia and that's pushing my budget to the max.

post #4 of 6

Like the above head-fier posted, if you like the sound signature of the SR models, you may not like the signature as much on other Grado models. And you will most probably not get 10 times the sound quality for that matter! I love the SR80i myself, and also wanted to upgrade like you, so I upgraded to the SR325is, but they both have a different sound signature IMO. The 80i has less overall bass and depth, and the mids are more forward, and the highs are brighter, and the sound stage is narrower but very well focused. The sound as a whole is much more raw. BTW these are all awesome things about the 80i that I loved.

The 325is has an overall deeper bass presence, and depth (both have nice tight, clean bass impact). The mids are set back just a little (like your in the first row), but smoother and richer, and the highs IMO are just a touch laid back, (most people feel the 325is is the brightest sounding Grado, I do not), both are crystal clear and very detailed, and the sound stage is a bit wideron the 325is. So before you jump the gun and think just because you spent much, much more money, have a listen first. The both of these headphone are amazing in their own different ways, and price/performance on either cant be beat, but decide for yourself if can demo them. By all means I am not steering away from ANY Grado, I'm just giving my opinion and my experience on upgrading from the 80i, without spending 10 times the amount, if thats the sound signature you enjoy.

post #5 of 6

You can get the custom Magnums either from these companies:





or you can DIY it yourself by getting the drivers directly from Rhydon (http://www.symphones.ca/magnum.htm), getting a set of wooden cups or aluminum cup with the inserts, the gimbals, headbands and the wires.


Hunting for parts was most of the fun for me, especially if you want to go aluminum and has to get wooden inserts.


GS1000i's go for much less in NA, see if you can find a pair for sale on the for sale section.  Just wait a little bit, you can get a decent deal.   For that price, you can probably even get the PS1000

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice guys, I'm reading up on the Magnum DIY cans atm, they seem to be highly praised, people are even comparing them to the PS1000s. Just trying to get a good picture of their general signature to see if they sound like they are for me or not, the idea of buying the parts and building them myself is cool, picking what type wood, braiding the cable in whatever color etc smily_headphones1.gif

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