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Nice review. I agree that the Grado/Alessandro range of h/p's take a while to "settle in" before presenting their best sound and they are very good for the money paid.
Thanks! People have complained that these headphones are overhyped and a few are inevitably disappointed (they're not perfect for all tastes), but, after all these years, there still aren't a lot of competitors in this price range and headphone style. Whether you're looking at earbuds, in-ears, on-ears, or over-ears, the killer $100 headphone remains elusive to most.
A lot of people modify their Grados right away without listening to them in stock form, which is a shame.
I can't believe I just read a review of the MS-1's. Nice work! I've had my pair for almost 16 years now - bought them when they first came on the market and the Alessandro discount included headphones. I still listen to them now and then. Try and get ears on a 'pink driver' Grado, if you haven't already. A coworker's vintage SR-60 (ca. 1997) makes my MS-1's sound a little rough around the edges.
Thanks for the tip. I'll keep a lookout for the pink drivers. The rare SR100, SR200, and SR300 still pop up in the used market from time to time as well.
Nice to see a review here, I recently dug these out of the cupboard and was very surprised, in fact were it not for the fact the foam earpads are disintegrating, I'd be listening to them right now, a couple of different types of pads are on the way (incl grado bowl pads). I tried them properly amped into my iCan/iTube and wow, really amazing. Best value ever.
Good luck with your pad rolling experiments. Yes, I've been meaning to try them with a tube amp and/or a vinyl rig some time just for fun. I imagine the Grado people are running these headphones with their cartridges back at the factory.
A sweet review
Completely agree with your review, I love mine.
Thanks, guys! I'm also curious about the new drivers, cups, and cables that Grado has upgraded since these headphones were manufactured. I'll update the review with a comparison if I ever get my hands on the new model.