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Grado Fan Club!

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by vikingatheart, Dec 29, 2010.
  1. Cruelhand Luke
    A 325e, it will be an upgrade in sound, but not a big leap..more like a refinement. The RS2e is generally very well liked and will be a very big jump in sound quality...but the higher up the ladder you go in price, the more you run into diminishing returns, I'm not sure you'll find them to be 200% better in sound.
    Which brings me to the third option you didn't mention: mod the ones you have now.
    For example, I had a leather headband made at my local leather shop for $20, I bought some aluminum cups off another headfier and upgraded my headphones myself and saved a bunch of money. Grados are really easy to mod, one of the easiest headphones to work on actually.
    You could make yourself some awesome looking and sounding headphones for a lot less than the cost of new ones.
    Rwit likes this.
  2. DavidA
    While I haven't heard a 125e I do have the 225e, RS2e, and SR60, I've also owned or heard SR80, SR80i, SR325i, SR325e, PS500, PS500e, RS1e (original which was not liked by most) PS1000e, GS1000e and GS2000e. With that said I started with the SR325e which for me was a bit too harsh in the highs at times with some tracks so I sent it back and got the SR225e which I liked a bit more since the highs were not as sharp/harsh to me. After a few months I started modding the SR225e (dynamat in the cups, felt on back of button, sorbothane on the driver magnet, SMC jacks for removeable cable, and G-pads), really liked the changes and ordered the original RS1e and didn't care for the sound and sent them back for the RS2e which is a nice noticeable upgrade from the SR225e but its not worth double the cost IMO but this has more to do with diminishing returns the higher up the ladder you go. Since you have the 125e I don't think the SR225e would be worth the upgrade cost and just remember that the SR225e comes with L-pads which are different from the Earzonk L-pads so comfort might be an issue for you. This is one reason I like G-pads (OEM-$40-45/pair or aftermarket ebay- $5-8/pair) since they are over ear and much more comfortable to me but due to the difference in construction they will alter the sound, good or bad depends on the individual.
    Rwit likes this.
  3. Rwit
    Thanks for the advice on the 325e, and the comment about diminishing returns is well taken.

    I am reluctant to mod because I can see it being a money sink and offering less value than just getting the next best model, and also because I don't really trust myself taking my headphones apart and doing it. But I do enjoy looking at the Grado mods other people have come up with. If I were going to go down this route for fun I would probably invest in a 60e for the project.
  4. dr cornelius
    I have the 125e and RS2e - I got them because I use headphones everyday for work. My idea was to have the 125’s to take around with me during the day, leaving the RS2’s at home for more critical listening. The difference between the two is big - one thing I’ve found with the Grado line, is the soundstage becomes wider and more cohesive as you go up the line. You’d think because they’re all open back, that the soundstage would be more open, even with the SR60e - but I found the 60 and 80 to be a little “in your head” sounding. The 125e’s IMO are the real entry into the virtues of the Grado sound - I really like mine as a good all around headphone.

    If you want to continue with Grados and upgrade - I think the RS2e is good one. Classic mahogany design, lightweight - it will definitely feel like a more premium product. Sound wise you’ll hear a bigger, smoother soundstage - bass is tight - with a little warmth, and extremely detailed. I really love the bass on the RS2e. Mid-range is more analytical, vs. warm - if that’s a sound that’s ok with you - fast and detailed. The 125e has a little more vocal warmth... RS2e high end is very smooth, again lots of detail. Amazing jazz headphones IMO...

    I’m with you, I don’t like the 125e with the L pads - I like sticking with the pads that Grados ship with... I also didn’t like the 325e - bright balance and the metal cups were too heavy - the great thing about the wood is the light weight...
    wormsdriver and Rwit like this.
  5. Rwit
    Thanks for the detailed breakdown of the differences between the 125e and the RS2e -- Extremely helpful. And yeah, not mentioned in my original post but I think the RS2e's look so good in pictures. The 325e have a premium look too but something about their appearance puts me off, and it would be annoying if they're much heavier than the other Grados.
  6. whohasaquestion
    While 325e is heavier than lower-end models, it's not in any way considered a heavy pair of cans.

    In comparison to 80i (sorry no experience with 125), the bass presence, soundstage and instrument separation of 325e really stand out. It's rather on the bright side but very detailed (baby detail monster?) and the bass presence is something I didn't find in 80i.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    Rwit likes this.
  7. Cruelhand Luke
    I heartily second this. I 'converted' my 80e to a 325e and your assessment is spot on.
    'Heavy' is a relative term when it comes to headphones, while the aluminum cups are heavier, it doesn't make them a heavy headphone like some others (I'm giving some side-eye to my Argons right now) The added weight actually improves the sound in my opinion. It holds the cups more securely to my head.
    Detail, clarity and soundstage all improved, but the big surprise was the improvement in the bass region. It became more detailed/accurate, but it also digs deeper now, by a noticeable margin. In terms of the bass specifically, when it was in stock form the 80e didn't compare favorably to my modded SHP9500s...after the conversion the bass is a little deeper and the detail is much better. It gained texture and clarity that wasn't quite there before.
    Can you tell I am a 325e fan? I think they are underrated in the Grado community.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
    dannyvstheworld and HungryPanda like this.
  8. ruthieandjohn
    I agree...while all the Grados are great, the RS2e is SPECIAL and well worth stretching for....worth trading in your SR125, though you will lose the benefit of those extra-comfortable pads that the -125 provides.
    muletrane and Rwit like this.
  9. gregorya
    Another option for the budget conscious buyer is to keep your eyes on the classifieds... there are some good deals to be had on all levels of Grados, both here and on other audiophile forums.

    A used pair of RS2e might be worth a shot.

    Good luck! :)
    wormsdriver, joseph69 and HeavenNotes like this.
  10. ESL-1
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  11. ESL-1
    ESL-1 response stuck in the middle of below quote, hit the expand link.

    QUOTE="Rwit, post: 14755105, member: 508604"]About a year ago I purchased a pair of SR125e, and while I've been happy with them, ever since I bought them I haven't been able to shake the buyer's remorse in the back of my head that I should have shelled out $50 more for the 225e.

    Now after a year I've been bit by the upgrade bug and I'm wondering what the best upgrade path is.

    225e: Is the 225e a clear enough upgrade from the 125e to warrant upgrading at all? I concede I should have bought these originally but is the difference
    enough that I will notice for most music

    325e: How do these compare to what I have? I have heard these can be polarizing because people think they are too bright. I am also worried they might be heavier and more uncomfortable than what I am used ......


    ESL-1 Responds:

    Some good responses. If you can swing it (don't forget second hand) I think the RS2e stands out as a top choice without getting into bigger dollars. An additional set of thoughts would be the new limited edition GH3 and GH4. I have listened to both and in my opion they both offer top performance in their respective price points. Lightweight wood construction puts them in the comfort range of the RS2 and although I did not get to directly compare to the RS2e they deserve major consideration. An added bonus if you do like them is the limited production aspect. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

    Enjoy the journey.....

    As I mentioned above, I currently have the 125e and am mostly happy with them, but I can't shake the idea that there are details and soundstage that I am missing out on. I think I want to keep with the Grado sound though.

    I bought a set of the Earzonk L-pads to try with them, but I generally stick with the S-pads that came with the headphones for 90% of my listening because of the improved bass response that they bring with the 125e, and I find prolonged listening with the L-pads a bit fatiguing. I do most of my listening through a Schiit Fulla 2 DAC/Amp.

    I mostly listen to indie rock, jazz, and hip hop (not as bad through the Grados as I think people make it out to be).

    Appreciate any advice. Naturally, cost is a concern for me otherwise I would have already sprung for the RS2e :smile:. I will probably sell my 125e to subsidize the cost of the upgrade as I can't justify having both pairs.[/QUOTE]
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
    Rwit likes this.
  12. dannyvstheworld
    @Rwit Having owned all 3 models you mentioned, I think both 325e and 2e are good headphones. 325e have more emphasis on treble while 2e have more on high mid, so which one is more fatiguing depends on your sensitivity to treble and high mid.

    On a portable source like Mojo, it's not easy for me to tell 325e from 500e, that's how great 325e are; while you could easily tell 2e apart from any of other Grado headphones, that's how special they are.

    Both headphones are beautiful. In my opinion you can't go wrong with either one, and you may even what them both since they compliment each other well.
  13. Desi
  14. rx79ez08

    I happen to have a pair of SR200, cannot seem to find it at the moment otherwise I will take some photos of my pair.

    Two comments going by memory, happy to be proven wrong.
    * The picture seem to indicate the driver doesn't seem to be the Black Star version, as they are missing the black star in the middle.The drivers of the SR200 I have got a black plaster bit in the middle that looks a star.
    * The headband seem to bend in a bit too much. The SR200 I got has a headband with what seem like very stiff curved steel rod in the middle. As a result it is almost entirely stiff and resemble a semi-circle. From what I seen only very old Grado has that type of headband, i.e. the HP1000, HP2, etc. I also have a pair of very old SR80 that has that type of headband. That could mean the headband has been changed. What is in the photo looks more like something typically on a SR325 or something like that.
    wormsdriver likes this.
  15. Desi
    Thanks for your help!
    In the meantime I google to see what I can find, it shows a version with the blackstar like the one you mention and also a version with pink drivers as the one for sale!
    I noticed that the blackstar version is really expensive and reach the price of an hp1000 pair instead of the pink driver version which is less than the half..

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