Separate names with a comma.
Did you mean to say a "fully balanced" opinion instead?
I know typo can occur.
That is certainly another way to put it.
Listening to the new SR325e headphones (for an upcoming review) and some Beatles and while I've spent some time away from the Prestige Series (as I've owned almost every RS1 variant, PS1000e and now the PS2000e over the past few years), damn are these headphones rock! Air, speed, and bass are all excellent. The treble of the older SR325i and 325is is also more tamed down from memory and is a more balanced overall. But for $300 US, it is really hard for me to recommend anything at this range for an open-backed headphone. The Prestige Series served as my personal "gate way" drug into the world of personal audio starting with my old pair of SR-80's...then the 125, 225i, 325is, RS1 (and several variants), GS1000, PS1000 and now my current pair of PS2000e.
Over the long Easter weekend I was blessed with the chance to compare in depth my PS1000, PS500 and GH2 against a brand new GS1000e.
The GS1000e were broken in for about 50 hrs before the comparisons. I do realise that they may have needed more time to settle according to so many posts.
While I understand someone may prefer the GS1000e over the rest, for me they ended up last. In particular I found the GH2 very similar in soundstage, perhaps the feature most praised of the GS series, but remarkably nicer in the bass area. I am not talking of just having more emphasis on bass, which they do, but the quality of it. For me the GS1000e bass is much drier (for lack of better word) while the GH2 shows a thicker and warmer character. My reference album for bass testing is Christian McBride "Conversations with Christian", as Jazz is basically the only genre I listen to. This album only brought to more evidence what appeared quite clear from the very beginning with other jazz tracks.
But the big deal breaker for me, which may be instead a plus for others, is that I found the vocals of the GS1000e too forward and ultimately fatiguing. Although this is a trait which to good extent also belongs to the GH2 (which explains why the PS1000 are my Grado of choice), I realised that I had to listen the GS to a lower level than the GH to avoid discomfort.
Details appeared to be about the same, which should sound a big praise to the GH2 since the GS are known as details champions.
The GS1000e went back today with no regrets.
Overall both GH2 and GS1000e can be placed into the "bright" category of my headphones. Brighter than my K812 and T90, to name a few "offenders of treble-sensitive ears" I have in my collection. Regarding the PS1000 (btw, a very old model in matte finishing bought on Ebay which I am assuming received a lot of usage) and PS500 (light usage, also bought on Ebay), I'd be more inclined to place them within the "medium-bright" section where I'd also place the T90.
The GH2 and PS1000 remain my favourite, with the PS500 coming surprisingly close to the PS1000 with the G pads (they actually sound a bit more open sounding) now for sale on Ebay. I might regret selling these as they are much more comfortable to wear than the PS1000.
I too couldn't handle the GS1000e. "ice-picky" is the only recollection I have of them, to the extent that I wondered if they were defective (my other Grados are old SR60s and SR125s. The 125s are really special as well.) I ended up with the GS2000e, which I'm very happy with.
I bought the GS1000e new several years ago when they first came out, and I tried valiantly to like them as well as my (25 or so) other Grados.
I burned them in over many months for over 400 hours, and eventually, they got to the point that I could enjoy them, as they provided a combination of great sound, over-the-ear comfort, and light weight.
However, any time that I did a side-by-side comparison to essentially ANY other Grado, from my lowest SR80i to my PS1000, and remarkably to my GS1000i, the GS1000e always came up short. Specifically, they had a funny “tubby” sound to their bass, as if the bass were passing through a tube or barrel with a resonance enhancing a particular narrow frequency range. I heard that tubbiness right off when I listened to them new. Eventually, that odd sound became less pronounced so that’s I only noticed it in side by side comparisons, but it never did go completely away.
I sold the GS1000e.
I had read your observation about the bass. I do not know if "tubby" would be the best way to describe what I heard but I have to concur on the feeling of a narrower frequency range than in my other models. And, just like you, I remarked it more when comparing with the rest. My main deal breaker where the mids (vocals, wind instruments) and, quite possibly, if the intended usage was for classical music I may have come to different conclusions. I am therefore not ditching them as a poorly tuned model: just not tuned to my liking.
You should have given them 800 hours...
I really would like to ask John Grado what he thinks about break-in periods.
And if he agrees it takes ages for his products to sound right why such period is not scheduled in the factory before the items are labeled "ready to ship"...
I contacted them 2 months ago and they said via email that it would take 50 hours of burn in before an RS1e would be starting to sound as it should.
RE ready to ship. It is like any other complex, new item. Vehicle, office chair, etc. It takes awhile for all of the parts to break in and work together. And some would rather burn in a pair of cans "their" way.
Again, he personally advised me not to listen to critically until they had been burned in for about 50 hours… This goes for all the great does I’ve had, including my GS3000e. As for burning them in at the factory… Why? I don’t think I own any dynamic (i.e. moving, interacts with my body, and the environment) consumer goods that are sold new and yet pre-used. Can you imagine them taking thousands of new headphones and then hooking them up to thousands of source components… Even cell phones… Before sending them out? I enjoy getting them crispy fresh and letting them settle into my life… I felt the same way about my first girlfriend.
All headphones and loudspeakers need break-in. It is impractical for the manufacturer to do this prior to delivery. How many burn-in stations would he have to have running at any given time to give each unit 50 hours of run time? It's not as though you won't hear your music during the break-in period. It's just slightly below the final quality level (An audiophile thinks it's a huge difference, a music lover probably won't even notice).
Normally I would not question any Grado comment made by RuthieandJohn. His comparisons have guided me to many good buying decisions. But after foolishly selling a great pair of GS 1000i s, I recently picked up a pair of like new (20 hours) pair of GS 1000e s and they are not junk to me and here is why:
HEADPHONES ARE LIKE GOLF CLUBS
You need way more than one club to play golf. Take a look at a Pros bag sometime. All they really need is a driver and a putter, right? Wrong, they have 3 or 4 different kinds of wedges plus beau coup more.
My point is that I chose the can and amp combinations to match the music type or quality that I will be listening to.
Right out of the box my GS1000e did not impress in the bass department. It was almost like a one note bass at times. After 20 hours more of burn in and on a Graham Slee solid state amp it still is not a rock and roller, but it sounded great with some James Taylor and America, light rock. I put another 12 hours on it last night and I am looking forward to hearing how they are today.
This further reinforces my belief of never buying brand new. Also this is "impractical" for manufacturers, not to mention returned merchandise...
Like @Geezer Rock 001 . I love the GS1000i... one of my top most favorite headphones. I would rue the day I parted with them (if I did).