Grado – upgrade from SR 80... which model?
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JaZZ

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Many people say that the SR 80 have the best (?) price/performance ratio of all the Grados. Anyway, which model would provide a substantial improvement? My own experiences several years ago haven't shown a huge step from the SR 80 to the SR 325 (or was it the HP-2?) or the SR-1, if any at all.

But I'm curious again now. I like the HD 600 and the ER-4X. But the Grado's openness and straghtforwardness fascinate me, a different character than the other two. The obvious treble enhancement doesn't bother me that much, rather the slight (upper) midrange dip which seems to have different shapes in the different models. And the bass is slightly overemphasized for my taste, although not quite so extended as with HD 600 and ER-4X.

Which model is the best in terms of flattest response curve, least coloration and extended, but not exaggerated bass and best possible resolution?

The SR 80's main weakness is the comfort. I can't wear them for longer than 15, 20 minutes without pain, although they're equipped with some adapted soft yellow Sennheiser flat pads, which provide a good sound, at least better than the one from the bowl pads. But eventually I could get accustomed to the wearing comfort, the more so if a phantastic sound lets me forget the pains...

Thanks!

JaZZ
 
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KurtW

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In terms of flattest response curve, within the SR line I believe the SR80 is the best. The 125 through 325 have boosted treble, even more than the SR80, although they may have somewhat better resolution. I've heard a RS-2 at a dealer that was flatter and overall quite a bit better than the SR80, but I bought a used pair once and couldn't stand the brightness, so I wouldn't buy a pair you couldn't return. I recently heard the long discontinued HP-1 and it sounded great...too bad they don't make them like that anymore.

I use the flat "comfy" pads on the SR80 and find them to be pretty comfy, as well as taking the brightness down a bit. The bowl pads can be washed to make them softer, although they don't retain their shape as well afterwards.
 
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JaZZ

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Thanks, Kurt!

I've halfways expected that (the SR 80 has the flattest frequency response)... so I'm unsure if I should be going Grado any further... The brightness (or treble enhancement) you mention is really damaging some recordings seriously, in contrast to the slight dark coloration of the HD 600 which flatters most of them, but nevertheless doesn't lack credibility and realism – to my ears.

I don't want a headphone with even more pronounced treble than my SR 80, but I must confess that some specific music styles and recordings sound attractive and lively with them. That's the main reason for this excursion into Gradoland (btw there are some interesting Grado headphones at eBay at present), and in the back of my mind there was the idea that perhaps a Corda Blue
could favor the Grado sound – one thing the EMP doesn't implicitly.

JaZZ
 
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JaZZ

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steve999...

..from this graph one could really think that I should «upgrade» from the SR 80 to the SR 60...
But I remember well that when I bought my 80s they had a clearly more extended and louder bass than the 60s, which sounded a bit thin and bright in comparison. I have already wondered before about this curve! Or did you actually experience a brighter sound with the SR 80?


JaZZ
 
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Steve999

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Hey Jazz, I'm just being a goofball. I've never heard the SR80s. I've heard the HP-1000s and the Sr-1s. The SR1s were over-the-top bright for my taste. I have to guess that SR80 curve is defective. Still, my feeling is that if you had a pair of SR60s and a pair of SR80s, you'd pretty much get the Grado experience.
I'm tempted to get the SR80s, just to hear what I am guessing to be the most distinctive sound in the Grado line. But I LOVE my SR60s.
Never mind that I don't know what I'm talking about and I'm obfuscating things on purpose.


I would add, though, that the HP-1000s were AWESOME.
 
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Blighty

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Just purchase a pair of RS-1s and be done with it


It possesses the highest resolution of Grado headphones while retaining a smooth quality to the sound. It should be perfect for Jazz and IMO as good as it gets for that purpose. However, for classical there are better phones available.
 
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