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Grado RS1i VS Grado GS1000i - My first impressions.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello all, 


I currently have both Grado models - RS1i and GS1000i. My original plan is, ideally, to keep only one pair. 


My source is an iMac with FLAC files and the DAC/Pre is the Meridian Explorer. It's a simple system, but seems to work well for the level of use I have. 


My observation of the GS1000i is that they are astonishingly detailed and precise. The cups over the ears are nice too, rather than direct pressure on the ears like many headphones. They have a full range sound, but I do find the mids a little recessed and it's almost like the upper frequencies have been lifted a little and they are not bass heavy. However, their texture and delicacy is amazing. 


The RS1i have a completely different sound to me. Does anyone else find this? They seem like a much flatter response with a fuller sound, with seemingly more groove and stand out mids. They don't have the detail retrieval of the GS1000i and are less impressive on first listen, but they do sound very nice indeed. 


It's tricky to say which I prefer, as I have only owned the RS1i for a few days, but sometimes I find the GS1000i so detailed it's like having your head inside a speaker! On first listen though, the GS1000i are mightily impressive, but are more fatiguing. 


Just wondering what you have experienced here through ownership or demo? 



post #2 of 13

I’ve had both but never at the same time. I have the RS1i now.


I agree with all your observations. Pretty much spot on.


Although I don’t remember the GS1000 presenting more detail. It’s just easier to make out some of the details without straining because the soundstage is opened up and sounds take up slightly larger slices in space around my head compared to the RS1.


The mids on the RS1 are pretty special, imo. They’re flatter on the GS1000 but I feel greater connection with vocals on the RS1. It’s just more engaging for voices. 


The GS1000 did have that great soundstage and a harder hitting, deeper extending bass. I had some issues with the treble presentation on the GS1000 as I found it a bit too bright.


They’re both really different presentations. I think if you listen to more classical, orchestral stuff, the GS1000 might be a keeper. But for almost everything else, the RS1 works better - at least for me

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Good observations, thanks for the input. 


It's strange how they can so different. Normally brands have a house sound but these are streets apart. Agreed, depends on what music you listen to which might be preferred. Also, I wonder of the GS would benefit from a better amp as they seem slightly harder to drive. The RS are 'louder' / more sensitive when I swap them over from the GS the same track. 


Maybe a proper headphone amp would give them more body whereas the RS can get away with the more basic Meridian DAC/Pre.

post #4 of 13

Grado does have a house sound. But the GS1000 and PS1000 strayed from it greatly :) Pretty much all the RS and SR line have a similar sound. The PS500 is darker - but is still focused on mids.


Hmm, the Meridian Explorer. Yeah, Both Grados do better with lots of current and I think the Meridian might be limited there. And if it’s a first run Explorer with 40 ohm output impedance, it might do wonky stuff with the frequency response of your Grados. plus it might be softening the bass.


As for loudness, that’s really just the big pads. it moves the drivers much farther away from your ears so you need to drive the headphones more to get the same loudness level at your ears. switch pads and you’ll find that they’ll sound similar in volume at the same power level. (But the GS1000’s bass with the small bowls will be ridiculous and bloated). I’ve messed around with flat pads and bowls on the same headphone and always had to change volume by several notches each time.


Oh, and you might get more responses in the Grado fan club thread. lots of people there with more Grados and surely some with both the RS1 and GS1000.

Edited by LCfiner - 11/4/13 at 3:56pm
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ah ha! Yes, the pads. Just swapped them round and it pretty much reverses my observations. 


Actually the GS1000i, on brief demo, sound better with the small cups in my system. The bass doesn't feel too heavy so far on the tracks I have tried. 


Are there any in between cup sizes? I will have a look. 

post #6 of 13

I have compared both directly, although my own GS1000 are the older non ''i'' version, my dealer let me have the newer ''i'' model to compare with the RS1i.


Not surprisignly the GS1000i do have a much bigger soundstage, and I also find their sound much airyer, if that makes any sense. You get a better idea of the size of the venue that the music is being played in. My GS1000 don't get much head time anymore, but they used to be my go to cans for my collection of live concerts on DVD, or anything that's been recorded in a big venue.


The RS1i are great for smaller venue recordings, I listen to a lot of female vocals, Jazz, Blues, and If I didn't already have my HP1000, I'd probably buy a pair for that kind of music,


As far as comfort goes, I think that they're two of the most comfortable headphones that Grado makes, but if I had to make a choice, I would go with the GS1000i simply because of their circumaural earpads.


They are two very different headphones that complement each other very well, so if you're in a position were you can have your cake and eat it too, then by all means, keep them both, we only live once.

post #7 of 13

I owned both many years ago, and I ended up selling the RS-1 (still own the GS-1000). It was a close call since I liked them both. But the GS-1000 just had more to offer me after several months of A/B ing. 

Edited by robm321 - 11/4/13 at 4:02pm
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Re the ear cups - I can't find any in between sizes. I would find both models absolutely perfect if there was an ear pad that was between the RS and GS versions. 


Anyone know of any aftermarket options? 

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input, I decided that I preferred the RS1i to the GS1000i. 


Whilst the GS have a more open top end, they are very bright for extended listening. The RS just come across more natural. They are also more practical size-wise. 


Saying that, if the cups on the GS weren't quite so deep, they would sound a bit 'fuller' and not quite so bright. Maybe it's down to how they fit, after all a few mm does make a big difference to the sound. 


Both are very good, but I'm very happy just with the RS1i. 

post #10 of 13

Just saw this thread pop up again. if you're curious to try a darker sound on the RS1i, buy some flat pads from ttvjaudio.com.


You may not like them as they do emphasize lower mids, but they might be interesting to experiment with for some songs. I like the flats a lot on the SR225 but prefer the sound you get with regular bowls on the RS1i

post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by robm321 View Post

I owned both many years ago, and I ended up selling the RS-1 (still own the GS-1000). It was a close call since I liked them both. But the GS-1000 just had more to offer me after several months of A/B ing. 


Definitely fell on the GS1000i side here too (the brightness mentioned by others no issue for me, probably an asset even, given I have some high frequency hearing loss).

post #12 of 13
Ever notice how there never are used ps500's for sale. Could it be that they are so good no one ever parts with them.
post #13 of 13

There is literally a pair of PS500 for sale right now on the forum, on the first page of the for sale thread, lol.


I’ve seen lots of PS500 for sale used. It’s  a good headphone but it’s not hard to find used.

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