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My First Grado - RS1i - Help me decide if I should keep it...

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I bought the Sennheiser HD700 and I wasn't completely happy with it, though I was listening to it through the headphone jack of my receiver with unknown specs or quality. Based on reviews I decided to try the Grado RS1i. I like it a lot. Today I received the JDS Labs C5D and now the HD700 sounds much better, so the decision just got more difficult. I can't afford to keep both and they both sound so different.

 

I don't know if I would describe the RS1i as clear and true compared to the HD700 as a little colored. Or that the HD700 is more full sounding and warm and that the RS1i is a little harsh. There's definitely deeper bass on the HD700. I've been going back and forth between the two, replaying the same music. It would be easier if they were similar to choose which is better. Maybe I should just listen to each for a few hours instead of going back and forth.

 

A couple positives for the RS1 are that it's a little more comfortable being on the ear and that it's 32 ohms so I could play it from my iPhone without the amp. But my first priority is sound quality. I have other headphones for portable use. (MOE, HD598 and Westone W40) Besides, the C5D is a portable amp.

 

Also, I was a little disappointed in the condition in which I received the RS1i, with nicks and a crimped cable. I sent photos to Rich Grado and he said that's just what a hand-made product is like. Is this what the rest of you Grado owners are used to? I'd appreciate suggestions from owners of the RS1i or the HD700, and especially those who own both.

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 24
It's 700 bucks headphones and you deserve better. I recommend you to keep HD700 if you find its sound good.
post #3 of 24
I like the rs1, but its a niche headphone to me. Great with guitars and rock, but doesn't work as a jack of all trades for every genre.

I also think they could do a better job with materials. Those rods and plastic caps on a $700 product is a problem imo.
post #4 of 24

Nobody actually keeps their Grado's, go with the HD700.

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by barid View Post

I like the rs1, but its a niche headphone to me. Great with guitars and rock, but doesn't work as a jack of all trades for every genre.

I also think they could do a better job with materials. Those rods and plastic caps on a $700 product is a problem imo.

 

I'm happy keeping my RS1 in the collection, but I definitely agree with you on the materials. I honestly think it would be immensely worthwhile for them to completely remove plastic from the equation as anywhere past the SR series as well as upgrade the headband to a more luxurious option.

 

I would normally say that I also think it's a niche high energy sort of headphone, but I find having all 3 pad types makes them a viable catch-all headphone. The G-Cush make them very versatile (to me) for most if not all genres. 

 

However if I were personally looking for a Jack of all Trades headphone at $700, I think I would probably looking more towards the Hifiman HE-500 or something comparable.


Edited by Gnomeplay - 1/16/14 at 6:59pm
post #6 of 24
Reading all the threads on this site, there is definitely an undercurrent of Grado Regret that is more common than with other products.

This response from the namesake does not inspire loyalty nor confidence:
Quote:
I sent photos to Rich Grado and he said that's just what a hand-made product is like.

All that said, I have yet to listen to any Grado hps. But still...rolleyes.gif
post #7 of 24
I just got the Grado RS1i (used on tis site). My first impressions is that they sound fantastic with alt/indy rock (e.g., shins, flaming lips) but the classical music i've listened to so far wasn't as satisfying. Listening to Beethoven's emperor piano concerto - great on the passages with few instruments but seems overwhelming when the full orchesta kicks in ( particularly the highs). I'll have to try the G cushions that Gnomeplay recommended above. I've just been listening to them with my Yamaha reciever, i'll need to see how it sounds with my ak100 (not sure of the pairing or if it has enough power to drive them).

Mark
Edited by MarkIV - 1/17/14 at 12:02am
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkIV View Post

I just got the Grado RS1i (used on tis site). My first impressions is that they sound fantastic with alt/indy rock (e.g., shins, flaming lips) but the classical music i've listened to so far wasn't as satisfying. Listening to Beethoven's emperor piano concerto - great on the passages with few instruments but seems overwhelming when the full orchesta kicks in ( particularly the highs). I'll have to try the G cushions that Gnomeplay recommended above. I've just been listening to them with my Yamaha reciever, i'll need to see how it sounds with my ak100 (not sure of the pairing or if it has enough power to drive them).

Mark

 

That was my thought exactly without the G-Pads "Overwhelming". I actually used that same word to describe the RS1 with flat or L-Cush pads in relation to complex genres earlier this week. Without them I feel that often everything gets too clustered together and it makes portions of the music very incomprehensible.

 

I've tried them out of my Yamaha receiver as well, and the G-Pads still remedy that issue. That's just what I've found though, others experiences may vary.

post #9 of 24

If you are referring to the nicks on the metal gimbal....Grado will replace that for you or even send you another one...the kink in the wire looks bad, but many headphones from Grado ship that way.

 

The kink in the cable will pretty much come out with some heat from a hair dryer......that being said....I still understand what you are saying.

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by barid View Post

I like the rs1, but its a niche headphone to me. Great with guitars and rock, but doesn't work as a jack of all trades for every genre.

I also think they could do a better job with materials. Those rods and plastic caps on a $700 product is a problem imo.

 

 

When I read this, I tried a few more types of music. And I played the RS1i first so I wasn't just comparing it to the HD700. I'm starting to hear it as harsh instead of just clear. After the RS1i I put on the HD700 and it sounds more pleasant, but still with enough energy to be truly enjoyable.

 

I think the caps and rings are metal. They feel solid. The caps have nicks showing the bare metal beneath the anodizing. The rings show nicks under the anodizing.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post
 

Nobody actually keeps their Grado's, go with the HD700.

 

That's funny. There's a thread nearby for the Grado fans. I wonder what they'd say about that. :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnomeplay View Post
 

 

I'm happy keeping my RS1 in the collection, but I definitely agree with you on the materials. I honestly think it would be immensely worthwhile for them to completely remove plastic from the equation as anywhere past the SR series as well as upgrade the headband to a more luxurious option.

 

I would think that especially for hand-made headphones, they'd have more pride in the finished product rather than just dismiss these imperfections as that's what you get from hand-made. There are, or at least used to be, many hand-made products that the maker ensured were good enough to reflect well on their reputation.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marone View Post

Reading all the threads on this site, there is definitely an undercurrent of Grado Regret that is more common than with other products.

This response from the namesake does not inspire loyalty nor confidence:

 

I'll take your word for it. I've only read from the fans who love their Grados. That's why I gave their penultimate flagship a try. Fortunately my regret can be solved by sending them back for a refund.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkIV View Post

I just got the Grado RS1i (used on tis site). My first impressions is that they sound fantastic with alt/indy rock (e.g., shins, flaming lips) but the classical music i've listened to so far wasn't as satisfying. Listening to Beethoven's emperor piano concerto - great on the passages with few instruments but seems overwhelming when the full orchesta kicks in ( particularly the highs). I'll have to try the G cushions that Gnomeplay recommended above. I've just been listening to them with my Yamaha reciever, i'll need to see how it sounds with my ak100 (not sure of the pairing or if it has enough power to drive them).

Mark

 

I've tried Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones and some acoustic, in addition to classical including my number one reference for comparison, Beethoven's Ninth. I find the combination of heavy orchestral works, deep solos and powerful chorals a great test. Some headphones sound awful at the choral peaks. The RS1i don't fail at the choral peaks, but they lack the full emotion to make it satisfying. I truly enjoy the same listening with the HD700.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whirlwind View Post
 

If you are referring to the nicks on the metal gimbal....Grado will replace that for you or even send you another one...the kink in the wire looks bad, but many headphones from Grado ship that way.

 

The kink in the cable will pretty much come out with some heat from a hair dryer......that being said....I still understand what you are saying.

 

Well, Rich didn't offer to replace them. And not that I don't believe you about the kink, but I wonder how it got kinked and with only a one year warranty and the cable not truly user-replaceable, I'm not comfortable starting off with a problem cable. If it kinks so easily, maybe they should consider a better cable for a $700 headphone. The HD700 has bullet-proof (kevlar) cable for Pete's sake!

 

Thanks everyone for your comments. After listening more to the RS1i and considering the potential repair costs after the warranty expires, I've decided to return them. At least I tried and now I'll no longer wonder what all the fuss is over the Grados.


Edited by Phredd - 1/17/14 at 9:09am
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnomeplay View Post

That was my thought exactly without the G-Pads "Overwhelming". I actually used that same word to describe the RS1 with flat or L-Cush pads in relation to complex genres earlier this week. Without them I feel that often everything gets too clustered together and it makes portions of the music very incomprehensible.

I've tried them out of my Yamaha receiver as well, and the G-Pads still remedy that issue. That's just what I've found though, others experiences may vary.

Gnomeplay - I tracked back to the other thread you referred to. That was a very helpful set of posts for getting acclimated to the RS1is and interesting to hear about what others have tried.

Thanks for the pointer.

Mark
post #12 of 24
I am sorry but I have to say this, HD700 is garbage next to HD800, I am getting Grado PS500 and RS1i for watching youtube, outdoor, movies etc.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian411 View Post

I am sorry but I have to say this, HD700 is garbage next to HD800, I am getting Grado PS500 and RS1i for watching youtube, outdoor, movies etc.

 

I thought I gave the RS1i a fair chance; tried it with everything ... but Youtube.  LOL

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phredd View Post

 

I thought I gave the RS1i a fair chance; tried it with everything ... but Youtube.  LOL

 



haha, I am sorry but that's just me, I even watch movies with HD800.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian411 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phredd View Post
 

 

I thought I gave the RS1i a fair chance; tried it with everything ... but Youtube.  LOL

 



haha, I am sorry but that's just me, I even watch movies with HD800.

 

Just kidding. I just doubt the Youtube audio is very high quality.

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