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Why (or how) do Grado RS1i headphones suddenly make my old CDs from the '80s sound good?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased a used pair of Grado RS1i headphones. They sound great, but what really surprised me is how good some of old CDs now sound. Most of these CDs I really haven't listened to much over the past few years since they have sounded terrible on my IEMs (Shure Se535), other headphones, and home theater speakers (Bose 601, Marantz Imperial 7). These CDs are mostly rock (e.g., Allman bros, Little Feat, early Genesis). I've been upgrading my CD collection as remasters come out (e.g., Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones), but now I'm not so sure that is necessary.

Any technical reasons or thoughts on this topic (I'm perplexed). Has anyone else also experienced this?

Mark
post #2 of 4

I would say you are one of the many that really likes the Grado house sound. Listening through quality headphones is a very intimate way to connect to music and good headphones give a presentation that even the best speakers can't give.  High-end speakers do things headphones never will be able to, but to get into real high-quality music playback with speakers not only requires quality electronics but also very careful attention to room acoustics.  Headphones not only are relatively cheaper themselves,  require less expensive electronics and don't ever suffer from a bad listening space, unless you are on the deck of an air-craft carrier.

 

I would caution you on buying remastered audio, unless you know what exactly the goals of the remastering process were.  Studio mastering is a touchy subject for audiophiles and the use of dynamic compression has caused untold grinding of teeth and pulling of hair.  I personally try to spend more time with recordings from the mid 80's and earlier to keep away from the more dynamically compressed music of the last 2 decades.  There are some remastered albums that are simply compressed and resold.  In case you aren't familiar with dynamic compression, it's basically a engineering trick to make music sound better on cheap audio gear, like iPods and in your car.  That's why audiophiles hate it.....on really nice gear it sounds like doodoo.

post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkIV View Post

I recently purchased a used pair of Grado RS1i headphones. They sound great, but what really surprised me is how good some of old CDs now sound. Most of these CDs I really haven't listened to much over the past few years since they have sounded terrible on my IEMs (Shure Se535), other headphones, and home theater speakers (Bose 601, Marantz Imperial 7). These CDs are mostly rock (e.g., Allman bros, Little Feat, early Genesis). I've been upgrading my CD collection as remasters come out (e.g., Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones), but now I'm not so sure that is necessary.

Any technical reasons or thoughts on this topic (I'm perplexed). Has anyone else also experienced this?

Mark


I hear you.

 

I am enjoying my old 70's music more than ever....it is amazing when you hear things that you never heard before, especially after you have listened to it for 35 years :smile:

 

Kick back, relax and enjoy The Allman Brothers, Little Feat, and Peter Gabriel's Genesis....with a smile on your face :beerchug:

 

You can now look at your cd collection and sort of think of them as a whole new experience....I know I sure have.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the responses cswann1 and whirlwind. I didn't know that some of the newer remasters were geared toward the iPod mp3 folks, but that makes sense. I have noticed that they have somehow boosted the sound level or newer CD's (I don't know if that is a good thing or not).
Quote:
Originally Posted by whirlwind View Post


Kick back, relax and enjoy The Allman Brothers, Little Feat, and Peter Gabriel's Genesis....with a smile on your face beerchug.gif

That's Fantastic Advice!

Thanks again,
Mark
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