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Closed Grados - A Compilation of 30 Threads (+ Poll) - Page 2

Poll Results: What is the best closed substitute for Grados?

 
  • 0% (0)
    AKG K81DJ
  • 11% (2)
    AKG K240 Sextett
  • 5% (1)
    AKG K271 MkII
  • 0% (0)
    Audio-Technica ATH-A900
  • 5% (1)
    Audio-Technica ATH-ES7 or ATH-ES10
  • 0% (0)
    Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9 or ATH-ESW10
  • 0% (0)
    Audio-Technica ATH-W5000
  • 0% (0)
    Beyerdynamic DT660
  • 22% (4)
    Beyerdynamic DT770
  • 5% (1)
    Creative Aurvana Live! or Denon AH-D1001
  • 11% (2)
    Denon AH-D2000 or D5000
  • 0% (0)
    Koss Pro DJ100
  • 22% (4)
    Sennheiser HD25-1 II
  • 11% (2)
    Shure SRH940
  • 5% (1)
    StratoKOSSter
  • 0% (0)
    Ultrasone HFI-780
  • 0% (0)
    Ultrasone Pro 750
18 Total Votes  
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

HD25-II sounds good for a closed headphone, but I agree about the discomfort and it's not Grado-like. When I read all the threads about this topic, I was surprised that one of the biggest disagreements was whether D2000 is Grado-like :rolleyes:.

 

Was that really a thing? From what I've read on Denon series (never heard!) the bass and treble are prevalent, with some notable sibilance. Grado is basically opposite with emphasis on midrage....

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

Improbable, yes, but not impossible -- even according to John Grado. And that's why we're here.

 

I would not describe any of the closed headphones I've heard so far (which isn't enough) as Grado-like. For this purpose, I'm most curious about the Ultrasones and the Audio-Technica ES/ESW series. 

 

Well, I can tell you that ESW9 certainly doesn't sound like a closed Grado, quite from them - it has a little wooliness like Sennheisers if anything.

 

Of the various Ultrasones, I've heard HFI2400 so far, and it is somewhat the opposite of Grados.  More emphasis on bass apart from midrange, and none of the brightness of my modified 325 and 225.  In fact, HFI2400 sounds darker due to its lack of treble clarity yet it still retains some treble sparkle.  Its bass refinement is impressive, but transparency is lacking versus 225 and 325.  Lastly, it has very nice, if colored, 3D soundstaging; not that Grados are hard to beat there.

Like Grados, HFI2400 has pretty aggressive sound attack, and sound release is quicker than Grados, giving a sense of increased "speed".

 

I get the impression that some people come across a headphone with aggressive sound attack and upfront soundstage (maybe some treble brightness, too) and think, "that's Grado-like."  Well, these aren't characteristics that are particular to Grado, they just happen to have them.

HD380pro (not 280) also boasts very aggressive (perhaps too much so) sound attack and bright treble, too, along with an upfront soundstage.  You don't read anyone calling them "Grado-like".

 

What makes a Grado a Grado is... terribly hard to describe.  There are qualities to the midrange and overall tonal color that I haven't read anyone be able to put to words yet, nor have I heard anything like it.

 

Edit: I just noticed DT770 in the poll list.  I lol'd.


Edited by Mad Max - 11/23/13 at 12:18am
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by austonia View Post
 

Was that really a thing? From what I've read on Denon series (never heard!) the bass and treble are prevalent, with some notable sibilance. Grado is basically opposite with emphasis on midrage....

 

Yup, that was a repeated and contentious debate. I've heard D2000, and the reputation is accurate overall. It's very comfortable and I can see why some people like it, but it's not at all Grado-like; (even) HD25-II is more Grado-like.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post
 

I get the impression that some people come across a headphone with aggressive sound attack and upfront soundstage (maybe some treble brightness, too) and think, "that's Grado-like."  Well, these aren't characteristics that are particular to Grado, they just happen to have them.

 

Edit: I just noticed DT770 in the poll list.  I lol'd.

 

I think you've gotten to the heart of the problem with some of the recommendations. Very good observation.

 

I made the poll based on what was mentioned most frequently in the threads, not based on what I think sounds most like a Grado.

post #19 of 27

my ath es700 sounds similar to my ms1i. just me maybe 

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 

Is the search over? I hope so (and I doubt it). Grado has made a closed on ear model. No reviews yet.

 

From Grado's Face Book page:

 

Those who know us know that sound comes first, and if we couldn't get it to have our Grado sound, we wouldn't have gone through with it. The end result is our first closed back headphone, this doesn't mean sealed though. We had to reengineer our open design to achieve the Grado sound on this model.

 

Check Them Out: http://turntablelab.com/collections/daily-arrivals/products/grado-the-bushmills-x-grado-labs-headphone

Video Story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW66ldROOsg&noredirect=1

post #21 of 27
Closed, not sealed! Apparently just vented with some internal tweaking...
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleasbaby View Post

Closed, not sealed! Apparently just vented with some internal tweaking...

 

Hmm. I'm not sure I understand the point of that. This isn't simply a gimmick, right?

post #23 of 27
LOL...Inthink one article I read suggested it was to accommodate branding...*eye roll*

Personally it has just inspired me to try and get some closed cups made and start experimenting really...
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks. All right, so the search continues . . .

post #25 of 27
It does indeed...I was really excited when I first saw those closed back cans...a shame they aren't truly closed...almost pulled the trigger...
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 

I compared FR graphs for all of the closed Grado candidates in the poll that Headroom has graphs of. Charts are certainly not definitive, but I was hoping they might indicate which is the most promising lead.

 

Some of them were nearly the precise opposite of a Grado; some were only ridiculously dissimilar; some had a treble spike at the usual Grado 9 kHz mark without other similarities; some look like a Grado consistently transposed to a much lower amplitude so maybe members were sensing that. The closest I could find is AKG K271 MkII, which you can judge for yourself.

 

 

 

Close up:

 


Edited by Claritas - 12/6/13 at 9:29pm
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 

Whilst not precisely a closed Grado, MartinLogan Mikros 90 is the best closed substitute I've found so far.

 

It's not so bright as a Grado, but it's still bright even after burn in. (Unlike a Grado, it requires a lot of burn in; at least 120 hours.) Like a Grado, it plays treble-rich music such as organ, vocals, metal, and rock well. Also like a Grado, it plays piano badly and doesn't sound natural with the spoken voice when watching movies.

 

Out of the box, clamping is too strong and isolation is quite good. I stretched it to be comfortable and it's now less isolating. It looks good and feels good, but build quality is somewhat disappointing because it's somewhat delicate. The cable is so-so as it bears a little noise above the volume control.

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