Alessandro MS1i

  1. Mshenay
    Alessandro Music Series MS1i Black Walnut Cups
    Written by Mshenay
    Published Oct 29, 2014
    Pros - Smooth Mids and Treble, Full Bodied Bass, Light Weight, Easy to Drive
    Cons - Smoothed Over Sound, Laid Back Tone

    Alessandro Music Series MS1i Black Walnut Cups $169

    Big thanks to JoeDoe of Head-Fi as he performed the cup installation as well as the swapping out the headband.  I paid a little more for mine due to the lovely Walnut Cups, price for a Stock Alessandro MS1i is $109
     Now the headphones themselves have been outfitted with an Auvio Headband. Which offers a slightly more durability than the stock Grado Headband.  ​
    It has a nice construction, very light weight has a good feel in the hand. It also have a comfortable head band and a sturdy feel to it's hinges. ​
    My only fault with the Auvio Headband is it doesn't feature to much left or right cup rotation, which with an open back headphone isn't a huge issue, though it does affect the sound stage a small bit.
    The drive and housing assembly are unique to this headphone as well, the cups are made from American Black Walnut and the drivers are suspend within them. 
    A unique feature of the drivers though is the small white pad that sits in front of them, while it certainly has some sonic benefits unknown to me, I can say it does improve the comfort of the headphone.  
    In addition to comfort, the headphones placement is pretty simple. Dead center on your ears for the best sound, slightly different from the Senn Grado I reviewed early this month!
    Sound Impressions 
    1 Michigan & Smiley- Sugar Daddy: Sugar Daddy
    To be honest, I really dig this reggae tune a little smoothed over. Voices have a great tone, they are just a little recessed for my tastes. The bass has a nice body to it, a touch loose and forward but again it's a very smooth sound. Instrumental separation is good though, while it's a warm, smooth sound it's not congested in this simple Reggae tune. The treble is lacking a little extension as well, it's a little rough to my ears, though a touch forgiving. 
    2 Skream - Pass the Red Stripe
    The Bass has a nice tone to it, sufficient texture nothing amazing but not a complete disappointment. Bass is a touch loose in comparison to something like the HE 4, but all in all it's enjoyable. Nice sense of tautness, though you can hear the slight sub bass roll off.  An back to the treble, again the MS1i-W doesn't show much forgiveness, rendering the defects present in the terrible rip I got my hands on. 
    3 DaiQing Tana & Haya Band - Migration : Gayatri
    Presentation for this track is fairly balanced,  there's a nice sense of width to it as well and each instrument has a nice placement within the sound stage. It's not particularly deep and the extension on the top end isn't the best. This track is of much better quality than the two preceding it, and the MS1i-W does a nice job of presenting those extra note of decay. The Vocals have a good tone, but lack a little in the way of tactility. 
    4 Animals As Leaders - The Joy Of Motion: The Woven Web
    MS1i-W showing it self to have a nice sense of dynamics, the quiet build up of the song to the first initial electric DROP was very nice.  Bass has good presence in this tune, great sense of crunch in the guitars in addition to a nice snap in the high hats. I think Metal is really were the MS1i-W shines. It's got enough bite in it to bring some fun to the rougher genres of music. An the some what laid back sound isn't short in bite! Though the some what smooth sound of the MS1i-W really compliments this tune. It keeps a very good sense of atmosphere and presence overall and does well with the dynamic shifts. 
    5 David Chesky - Transcendental Tripping 
    Again the MS1i-W showing it self to have a nice sense of width, though some what lacking depth. Still the tone is pleasant, though I prefer a touch more energy in my music or rather... a touch more attack and less decay. Instrument separation is sufficient and placement is enjoyable.  Though as a whole this track is a touch bland for my tastes out of the MS1i-W.

    Sound Summarized ​

    The MS1i-W has a smooth and mellow presentation, it brings the right amount of bit when needed for metal and other very metallic instruments, the bass has good body and the overall presentation is airy though a tad laid back. All in All if you enjoy a fairly smooth presentation or are new to the hobby. This would a can I could recommend! [Without the Walnut cups though, to save ya a few bucks] I'd say in the $100 range this can does well, it's got a nice presentation a good sense of separation and is just pleasant to listen to without being overly smoothed out or just plain boring. 
    This is a headphone that works wonderfully in casual listening circumstances. From your buddys house, to the waiting room of your local Fire Stone Auto care or even out shopping the MS1i has the right mix for forward sound and decay to give a wonderful presentation despite sub optimal listening enviorments! 
  2. ipreferns
    Better Available
    Written by ipreferns
    Published May 31, 2014
    Pros - good detail
    Cons - Uncomfortable, Open=Leaks=Quiet and noisy depending on room noise.
    They were ok at first, I enjoyed the added detail as they were my first good pair of phones. But they got VERY uncomfortable VERY quickly. Not just physically but audibly as well. very fatiguing. 
    Just got Sony 7506's and they are better in every way, comfortable, easier to drive, quieter background noise, better detail. better dynamics, and I can listen for hours comfortably. 
    I've been using a dac port pro for both sets. for 10-15 bucks more go sony. 
    1. Dragonzeanse
      The open-back design is exactly why these headphones are so detailed, just saying. If you want isolation, don't bother with them. I agree though, Grado/Alessandro are some of the most overrated headphones in existence.
      Dragonzeanse, May 31, 2014
    2. lin0003
      I think for $100 these sound awesome, but I guess everyone has their preferences. I understand why some people hate Grados/Alessandros, but I really like their sound sig. 
      lin0003, Jun 1, 2014
  3. Louel512
    Great for value, but not for all genres of Music
    Written by Louel512
    Published Feb 16, 2014
    Pros - Sound quality (Subjective), design, ability to mod easily
    Cons - Standard comfy pads causes ear fatigue within an hour, Not as portable, treble may be too sibilant for some people
    These were my first ever "High end" headphones. I had to decide between these, the SR60, or the SR80. I decided to go with these as they were the same price of the SR80, but most people claimed for them to sound like the SR 125. 

    First listen was slightly disappointing. I overestimated the sound quality, coming from Bose AE2's. However, given several, maybe 50 hours of burn in, these cans really opened up. The soundstage was bigger than I imagined, and it really helps if you picture yourself at a concert. Instrument separation was great on this too. I was pleased after the burn in and didn't regret buying them at all. After a few weeks, I decided to try the hole punch mod, and so I made four holes with a pencil and surely enough, the bass was more present. However, it eventually sounded a little muddy or leaked into the mids. To fix that, I bought some EarZonk Bowl pads fit for Grado, and everything was fixed. The Soundstge was yet even bigger and the bass was nice and tight and controlled. 
    Overall, these headphones are a great value, for only $100. Yes, the sound leaks like crazy, so don't use them at a library or in a bus. I would easily recommend these to anyone interested in the Headphone world.
  4. mcandmar
    Outstanding for the price
    Written by mcandmar
    Published Oct 5, 2013
    Pros - Lovely rich warm sound while retaining that bit of Gradoness
    Cons - For the price, none. Well ok comfort is never going to be a Grado selling point.
    One of my favorite headphones period.  This side of the 225i's, there really is no reason to buy any Grados, the MS1's sound better and costs much less.
  5. SandvichDISH
    A beautiful pair of headphones
    Written by SandvichDISH
    Published Oct 6, 2012
    Pros - Open design, overal pretty flat sound, lightweight, great sound, very moddable
    Cons - Somewhat fragile, leaks sound (obviously), y-split cable isn't great, initially uncomfortable
    I love my MS1i's, they sound amazin, after I got used to it are quite comfortable and just sound beautifully open. The sound is quite flat and in turn is quite good for an amateur music producer like me, my dad's an expert on mastering and such and he says my mixes sound quite good.
    The cable has an y-split, which isn't too bad, but the cable itself after it splits is twisty and annoying and I had to replace it. But because the headphone is so moddable, it was really easy to do. For the price this headphone really is the bang for your buck, but be careful of import taxes. I had to pay about €25 extra (~$32) for importing it from America.
    The headphone leaks sound, as you would expect. This is not a disadvantage for me as I only use it indoors in my room. But it's something to think about before buying it.
  6. audiohurric4ne
    not really a review
    Written by audiohurric4ne
    Published Sep 14, 2012
    Pros - perfect for metalheads like me :p
    Cons - too bright (sometimes)
    metalheads ? this is what you're looking for :) need an amp to shine though.
  7. Rush1184
    My favorite cans to rock out to my music
    Written by Rush1184
    Published Aug 5, 2012
    Pros - AMAZING SOUND QUALITY (especially for rock)
    I love these for when I want to enjoy my music, especially for rock.  Added the L-Cush pads on mine, which I find opens them up a bit more and improves comfort as well.  Best bang for buck cans, and a bargin at ~$100
  8. ricky95hk
    Written by ricky95hk
    Published Apr 6, 2012
    Pros - Good female vocal with heavy bass,not expensive
    Cons - uncomfortable
    The vocal and the bass are just balanced! The bass aren't cover the vocal 
    Best HP in this price 
  9. artnoi
    How MS1i sounds
    Written by artnoi
    Published Apr 6, 2012
    Pros - Bright and clear sound, non-overpower bass
    Cons - sounds Sizzle when playing MP3, uncomfortable
    At first (after unboxing), they sounded not so good. Too bright sound and lot of sizzle.
    since 20 hours burned, it sounded better, larger soundstage, less sizzle but is still offensive to ears.
    now it's 30 hours burned. its sound goes better and better but is still too bright
    The pads are always irritating my ears. If put them on long enough(20 min), it wont be irritating.
    They'd go better with Rock music (light-rock)
    Metal is too hard work for them XD
    Bodyslam's (Thai rock band) normal songs (only the songs which are not so heavy) are performed so nice with them!
    Queen's and Eagles's too lololololol
  10. TStarGermany
    Not really that super
    Written by TStarGermany
    Published Jan 23, 2012
    Pros - clear and powerful
    Cons - too bright,no mentionworthy bass
    - Uncomfortable due to high pressure on ears, huge earpads added = ok
    - Sound : Very bright, no mention worthy low bass (even with amp), pretty annoying = sold :wink:
      yrumiclarity likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. sTaTIx
      Grado's are extremely fickle with the sound they produce, dependent on how they fit on your head. If you don't position them properly on your ears, or if you don't get a good seal with the earpads, you'll experience hollow, bassless sound.
      Different pads change the sound a huge degree also; don't underestimate this part of it.
      sTaTIx, Apr 6, 2012
    3. TStarGermany
      As you could see from my few sentences, I had added a pair of the huge cushions. They made the phones more comfy, but didn't really add anything useful to the sound (in opposite to what the original modders said, that was the reason why I bought the pads).
      TStarGermany, Apr 9, 2012
    4. sTaTIx
      The "huge earpads" you mention--I assume you mean the G-cush--aren't designed to be used for Alessandros or regular Grados. They're designed for the GS1000, and many people say they make the sound worse for other headphones in the Grado lineup. That could account for the fact that you get no bass or overly harsh treble.
      sTaTIx, Jun 4, 2012