GRADO GH2 - IMPRESSIONS
Mar 19, 2017 at 3:28 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 113

ESL-1

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I started breaking mine in earlier this week but they did sound good out of the box.  I will update as I put some time in and acclimate. Beautiful wood and no two alike, that adds to the Limited aspect of this new model. There were approximately 1200 or so GH1's produced and there is only what a dealer might have on his shelf left but they are hard to find.
 
Check out the new GH2 out and decide if you can't live without them before you get shut out .
 

 
So far good bottom end, smooth and transparent mids and highs and an indication that this well could be a Grado to try for those that don't lean in that direction usually, more to come.
 
The Band Wagon has begun, get on board.
 
Mar 19, 2017 at 3:34 PM Post #2 of 113

ESL-1

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Once I get past 100 hours of playing I will be eventually comparing to the GH1 and PS500e but will first be adding more complete impressions on the GH2.
 

 

 
Mar 19, 2017 at 4:50 PM Post #3 of 113

ESL-1

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These will be the first contenders once I get more GH2 info posted.
 
 
 
 
 
smily_headphones1.gif

 
Mar 19, 2017 at 4:57 PM Post #4 of 113

ESL-1

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Looking for more new owners to give their thoughts as they get used to their new acquisition.
 
I can say that I think they transcend their price point and are quite a good value.
 
Mar 26, 2017 at 3:19 PM Post #6 of 113

ESL-1

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smily_headphones1.gif
   As I have now gone past the 100 hour mark for listening and break in on my new GH2 I feel it is time to get into how I am feeling about this second model in the Limited Production Grado Heritage series.   I got my GH1 early in it's production run and have very much liked it and enjoyed it since that time.  For me one of the attractions that although still having it's roots in the Grado signature sonics it was another time that John Grado decided to stray a bit off the main trail and change it up a bit.  I feel he set out to do that and succeeded quite well with the GS2000e that was introduced last year.  When I had the opportunity to listen to the new Heritage Limited Edition GH2 I jumped at the chance.   Before I get into any attempts to describe the sound of the GH2 let me say this, "I am extremely glad I did".
 
I received my GH2 about two or so weeks ago.  As I mentioned earlier in the thread I found it to sound quite good and even keeled right out of the box.  I have probably already admitted that I am of the camp that believes that many things audio improve with use and time accrued, at least up to a certain plateau.  I feel this from my experience of having been in the Audio and Video industry for many years and that I have felt comfortable with my thoughts on that in many instances.  I am prone to be cynical with certain claims and I certainly did not "convince" myself just to back up my thoughts and opinions.  That said I think you would understand why I did not go into more than a very basic impression of the GH2 until now.
 
In my opinion the GH2 is yet another demonstration of Grado tuning a headphone to get to the place he wants to be.  Obviously as the GH1 has been highly regarded by many on the forum I would think there was a need to be related sonically to it's predecessor.  If that was part of the goal then John has certainly succeeded on that front.  There is an undeniable resemblence in sound between the two Grado Legacy models. 
 
With that said here we go.  First off any critical listening was run with the amps to be used and the phones after playing them at a moderate level for a two hour period.  The front end was my Theta two chassis CD transport/DAC combo, an extremely good sounding detailed and spacious sounding combo.  The amp I used primarily was the TEAC HA-501 dual mono Class A solid state design, it is a chamelion amp that is very clear and natural with excellent imaging and soundspace capabilities.  I did not adjust the damping switch, leaving in the next to bottom second position that I generally find works very well with all my Grados.  In between I tried some listens on a Schitt Valhalla and Maple Tree Audio MAD Ear HD+ (a generally recognized good match with Grados in general).  As you are likely aware, both of these are tube designs.   I used several discs that are references for me for their excellent sound and variety.  First is the Burmester - Art of the Sound which covers a variety of genres but all with great recordings.  I also used for rock the first Black Sabbath album, Guitar Pete's Raw, Nils Lofgren Live.
 
There is no doubt in my mind that the GH2 is related to the GH1 it replaces and the more expensive GS2000e.  It is very transparent overall and extremely fast and open.  The depth of the soundspace is impressive in both depth, width AND height.  The bass may be the best I have heard yet from a Grado but I will need to do more comparison as I have the time.  The bass reaches impressively low, has good impact and very good detailing of the bass, impressive indeed.  This is one of the main differences with the GH1 which although detailed very nicely in the low end department cannot match the GH2 for bottom reached or impact achieved.The mids and highs are very well integrated and natural, there was no tendency towards stridency.  The flamenco piece sounded so real, especially the impact sounds of the heels on wood.  Here the GH1 comes up a bit thin and less realistic sounding but still very natural.  The female vocal off the Burmester disc likewise sounded very good on the GH1 but lacked the more filled in natural voice of the GH2. 
 
If you listen to rock and roll and good driving guitar then the GH2 bears a special consideration from you.  Without losing any of it's very natural sound quality it just wails with good hard driving old fashioned rock.  Grados are known and recognized as a great reproducer of electric quitar.  Although the GH2 may be less in your face than some it thrives and does a excellent job, I would like to nick name the the Rock Grado but they are really SO VERY MUCH MORE.  The GH2 has handled every type of music I have thrown at it so far and continues to amaze me, especially now as it is reaching it's prime.  The wood is beautiful, they are very comfortable as are all wood Grados in my opinion and the value is superb.  These reach far beyond their pricepoint of $650.
 
I highly recommend this to any lover of Grados and more importantly think it could become the first Grado that attracts and gets good notice for those who are not in love with Grados, get to listen to a broken in pair of these and I am betting that there will be some newcomers into the Grado fan club. 
 
Don't forget that Limited Edition means just that, just ask the people that missed out on the GH1, don't let that happen here, your loss will be even greater, this is one superbly balanced and excellent sounding headphone and the value factor is over the top.
 

 
Sorry for the poor cell phone pic below....
 

 

 
Mar 26, 2017 at 7:16 PM Post #7 of 113

ESL-1

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To clarify regarding Limited, Todd the vinyl junkie stated some days ago in his thread about the GH2 that Grado no longer has any stock. Hopefully those wanting one will be lucky enough to find an authorized Grado dealer that still has stock on his shelves, hopefully Todd may have some......

FAST !!! :cool:
 
Mar 26, 2017 at 8:47 PM Post #8 of 113

nicdub

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To clarify regarding Limited, Todd the vinyl junkie stated some days ago in his thread about the GH2 that Grado no longer has any stock. Hopefully those wanting one will be lucky enough to find an authorized Grado dealer that still has stock on his shelves, hopefully Todd may have some......

FAST !!!
cool.gif

Nice to see some impressions.  Not a lot of people commenting on this headphone, at least not as much as the GH-1.  Seems to be readily available just about anywhere that carries Grados at the moment.  Audio Advisor, Music Direct, and Crutchfield all have it in stock.  Even 4ourears has it in stock, so it's not exactly hard to find...yet.
 
Mar 26, 2017 at 11:57 PM Post #9 of 113

ESL-1

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I am extremely glad to hear that. It will become a case of "he who hesitates" but realistically if someone found themselves not liking them (highly unlikely IMHO) they would have no problem finding a good home for them.

Good luck to any and all with the itch.

:)
 
Mar 28, 2017 at 11:51 AM Post #10 of 113

LTSFBH

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I got the chance to listen to ESL-1's GH2 last night and I was quite impressed! I've owned several Grados before, most recently the 325e and PS500e, and have had the chance to listen to most of their top tier headphones. I'd say that the GH2 is probably the best I've heard so far. Very, very well rounded. Absolutely wonderful with vocals. All the lip smacking and breathiness you could ask for. Very realistic. Guitars are up front and forward, but never get harsh or fatiguing. Best Grado bass I've heard so far. Doesn't go deep into the sub bass, but it's right there. Waist deep in the bass pool, but head still above the water. Which is ok because you don't always want or need that rumble. I do like the added sub bass in live recordings, which helps with the "you are there" feeling. I listened to some live Phish that goes down deep and I was completely satisfied with how the GH2 handled it. That recording also has some brutal sibilance, that would have me rip the headphones off if I was listening with Beyer's or SR60. While they did not make the sibilance magically go away, it was no worse than any other headphones I've used before. Soundstage width and depth is also great. Wish I had a pair!
 
Mar 30, 2017 at 3:43 PM Post #11 of 113

TooFrank

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I can just confirm that the GH2s sounds very very good. And the looks are great too:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
 
Mar 30, 2017 at 7:00 PM Post #12 of 113

McPatD

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Just got my GH2s today.  Out of the box, starting with Streisand and Gibb Guilty, Babs never sounded so good.  To paraphrase Ned Beatty in Deliverance, "This corn is special," As an owner of the GH1, a nice compliment.  Very buttery sounding.
 
Mar 30, 2017 at 7:47 PM Post #13 of 113

nicdub

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smily_headphones1.gif
   As I have now gone past the 100 hour mark for listening and break in on my new GH2 I feel it is time to get into how I am feeling about this second model in the Limited Production Grado Heritage series.   I got my GH1 early in it's production run and have very much liked it and enjoyed it since that time.  For me one of the attractions that although still having it's roots in the Grado signature sonics it was another time that John Grado decided to stray a bit off the main trail and change it up a bit.  I feel he set out to do that and succeeded quite well with the GS2000e that was introduced last year.  When I had the opportunity to listen to the new Heritage Limited Edition GH2 I jumped at the chance.   Before I get into any attempts to describe the sound of the GH2 let me say this, "I am extremely glad I did".
 
I received my GH2 about two or so weeks ago.  As I mentioned earlier in the thread I found it to sound quite good and even keeled right out of the box.  I have probably already admitted that I am of the camp that believes that many things audio improve with use and time accrued, at least up to a certain plateau.  I feel this from my experience of having been in the Audio and Video industry for many years and that I have felt comfortable with my thoughts on that in many instances.  I am prone to be cynical with certain claims and I certainly did not "convince" myself just to back up my thoughts and opinions.  That said I think you would understand why I did not go into more than a very basic impression of the GH2 until now.
 
In my opinion the GH2 is yet another demonstration of Grado tuning a headphone to get to the place he wants to be.  Obviously as the GH1 has been highly regarded by many on the forum I would think there was a need to be related sonically to it's predecessor.  If that was part of the goal then John has certainly succeeded on that front.  There is an undeniable resemblence in sound between the two Grado Legacy models. 
 
With that said here we go.  First off any critical listening was run with the amps to be used and the phones after playing them at a moderate level for a two hour period.  The front end was my Theta two chassis CD transport/DAC combo, an extremely good sounding detailed and spacious sounding combo.  The amp I used primarily was the TEAC HA-501 dual mono Class A solid state design, it is a chamelion amp that is very clear and natural with excellent imaging and soundspace capabilities.  I did not adjust the damping switch, leaving in the next to bottom second position that I generally find works very well with all my Grados.  In between I tried some listens on a Schitt Valhalla and Maple Tree Audio MAD Ear HD+ (a generally recognized good match with Grados in general).  As you are likely aware, both of these are tube designs.   I used several discs that are references for me for their excellent sound and variety.  First is the Burmester - Art of the Sound which covers a variety of genres but all with great recordings.  I also used for rock the first Black Sabbath album, Guitar Pete's Raw, Nils Lofgren Live.
 
There is no doubt in my mind that the GH2 is related to the GH1 it replaces and the more expensive GS2000e.  It is very transparent overall and extremely fast and open.  The depth of the soundspace is impressive in both depth, width AND height.  The bass may be the best I have heard yet from a Grado but I will need to do more comparison as I have the time.  The bass reaches impressively low, has good impact and very good detailing of the bass, impressive indeed.  This is one of the main differences with the GH1 which although detailed very nicely in the low end department cannot match the GH2 for bottom reached or impact achieved.The mids and highs are very well integrated and natural, there was no tendency towards stridency.  The flamenco piece sounded so real, especially the impact sounds of the heels on wood.  Here the GH1 comes up a bit thin and less realistic sounding but still very natural.  The female vocal off the Burmester disc likewise sounded very good on the GH1 but lacked the more filled in natural voice of the GH2. 
 
If you listen to rock and roll and good driving guitar then the GH2 bears a special consideration from you.  Without losing any of it's very natural sound quality it just wails with good hard driving old fashioned rock.  Grados are known and recognized as a great reproducer of electric quitar.  Although the GH2 may be less in your face than some it thrives and does a excellent job, I would like to nick name the the Rock Grado but they are really SO VERY MUCH MORE.  The GH2 has handled every type of music I have thrown at it so far and continues to amaze me, especially now as it is reaching it's prime.  The wood is beautiful, they are very comfortable as are all wood Grados in my opinion and the value is superb.  These reach far beyond their pricepoint of $650.
 
I highly recommend this to any lover of Grados and more importantly think it could become the first Grado that attracts and gets good notice for those who are not in love with Grados, get to listen to a broken in pair of these and I am betting that there will be some newcomers into the Grado fan club. 
 
Don't forget that Limited Edition means just that, just ask the people that missed out on the GH1, don't let that happen here, your loss will be even greater, this is one superbly balanced and excellent sounding headphone and the value factor is over the top.
 

 
Sorry for the poor cell phone pic below....
 

 

Have you tired the GH-2 with the Pan Am much?  Curious as to the synergy there.
 
Apr 5, 2017 at 11:16 PM Post #14 of 113

Uri Cohen

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Posting here since I got my pair today from Moon Audio stock cables.  
 
I have about eight hours of break-in atm.  Not much for a review, but enough for a quick impression.  The best way I can explain the sound currently out of the GH2 is "smooth."  When I mean smooth, I mean the lows/mids/highs are balanced, and not one of them is sticking out to be annoying to the listener.  We know that Grados are known for their in your face sound, and some times the highs will come out with knifes in your ears.  However, I am not having this issue with the GH2 at this time.  Currently, when the highs are tamed with the Grados, it is usually means that the highs isn't detailed with the drums, etc.    Right now the highs aren't as detailed as some of the other Grados I currently own (SR225e) or had (RS1e, RS1i, RS1e, PS500), but to be honest I kind of like the slight lay-backness of the GH2 highs.  The mids are slightly veiled but slowly opening up via break in.  I'll have more on that when I'm above 100 hours.  The lows/bass is quite nice.  More than any Grado that I had in the past.  This was one of my biggest issues when I had my RS1e, really lacking low-end impact (but keep in mind I had an early model RS1e with the black headband and the drivers slightly sticking out a bit).  The GH2 more than makes up with the low end response.  Will this make bassheads happy?  Not really.  
 
I was about to get back in the RS series, but I wanted to get something different.  So I chose the GH2, and right now it is quite nice. :) 
 
Apr 5, 2017 at 11:43 PM Post #15 of 113

joseph69

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I received my GH2 this afternoons as well and have only been listening for 2hrs. They sound nice, thats about all I can say right now.
I also returned my GH1 back to its original state (with the exception of the 4-pin XLR) by putting the stock rod blocks/gimbal and L cushions back on. I've been listening to my GH1 w/G cushions from almost day one. I want to do a comparison between the two after sufficient burn-in of the GH2 using their stock cushions.
 
One strange  thing I immediately noticed while listening to The Doobie Brothers "listen to the Music was reverb in the vocals which I've never heard before, and I've listened to this song a million times?
 

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