Grado GS1000; trust your own ears
Jul 26, 2009 at 6:53 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20


1000+ Head-Fier
Dec 20, 2008
Hi folks,

I am basically writing this because I wanted to speak my mind about something that has been interesting to me here on head-fi.

I have been a Grado fan since my first purchase of the sr60s. They have something about them that just sounds so realistic, so clear, and of course exciting. This has led me to upgrading from the sr60s up to the MS1, Sr80 Sr225, RS1. Each time, the step up in sound quality was not monumental but i felt more and more satisfied with each step, eventually leading me to keep the RS1 as my ONLY can for at least several months. They were superb to my ears, giving me much satisfaction when paired with my Gilmore Lite.

I reluctantly sold my RS1 though because I was getting very curious about the HF-2 which I had heard at CanJam and was not very impressed with. However, since I know that I can always buy the RS1 again (and not the HF-2) I decided to sell the RS1 to fund my HF-2 purchase to give the HF2 another chance.

On an impulse buy (and a great price), I recently acquired a pair of GS1000s from a thoughtful member here on Head-Fi, mostly to see what the bad rep that head-fi has given these headphones was all about.

I've continually heard that these have recessed mids, too much emphasis on bass and treble, picky with amplification, and are generally worse than it's little brother, the RS1.

I have been listening to the GS1000 on my Gilmore Lite setup now for 4 days and I have found that my HD650 (which I like VERY much) is now getting lonely on its stand. In fact, the RS1 which I loved very much does not hold a candle to these cans IMO. The bass is deep and fuller than any Grado I have tried, the clear and detailed Grado sound is still present, and the comfort is so much better than all the other Grados (flats, comfies, bowls, hd414). Not only that, but these cans merge alot of the things I like about the HD650 like its large soundstage and fullness with the good attributes of the RS1.

I keep trying to convince myself that these headphones aren't that great because of collective hate that these cans have received on these forums (and by many members who are well respected and have a TON of experience with headphones). However, I am going to trust my ears on this one and say that these are much better than the other Grados I've heard and are EXCELLENT all-around headphones, probably the best I've owned.

Classical sounds right, Jazz sounds right, Hip Hop bumps, Rock is exciting, R&B emotional... You get where I'm going with this. What I'm trying to say here is that you should trust your own ears with each and every purchase and don't get rid of things that you found good just because everyone else collectively dislikes them. In the end, only YOU can judge whether or not something sounds good to YOU.

Now watching my finances ( which I'm being stupid about.. sigh... ), I will only keep 2 of my cans out of the 3 that I will have soon enough: HD650, GS1000, and HF-2. My initial impressions of the HF-2 weren't too positive but i am trying to give them another chance here to compete against these GS1000s. It will be a difficult decision though and I will give my impressions on these three once I have them all in my hands.

Thanks for reading!
Jul 26, 2009 at 7:03 AM Post #2 of 20
I actually kinda like the GS1000. They're far from being burned in, but they have a good deal of balance and bass. Totally not worth the money, but that's a different story. I hated the RS1, and I'll never know why others love them so much. The K702 remains my favorite of anything I've ever heard. The relatively low price makes them an insane value. My ears is the only ones that matter to me. I decide on my own.
Jul 26, 2009 at 7:34 AM Post #3 of 20

I think you're right when saying that we should trust our own ears.
I would like to try these cans someday.I had a chance in the past but finally something happened with the local grado retailer and couldn't audition them.

Reading all the comments here,i think that they must be sibilant/too much treble,and bass heavy,with recessed mids.But your experience is different...

When i tried the hd 800,i also didn't find them to be sibilant as many headfiers say,but maybe it was the synergy with my amp/source/cables.

Anyway,i don't trust other peoples opinions that much to tell the truth,because everybody likes different sound signatures...
Jul 26, 2009 at 7:50 AM Post #4 of 20
Glad you like them, same here, GS1000 are very good in many ways and to me was/is best in their line, however PS1000 seems to be even better, one day I will give them a try...
Jul 26, 2009 at 7:55 AM Post #5 of 20
Seconded. GS1000 seem to be hated for all the wrong reasons here.
Jul 26, 2009 at 8:35 AM Post #6 of 20

I am really glad that you like the GS1000 with the Glite. I have a similar setup and i was worried for a long time that the GS1000 will require a better amp to sound best. This reason kept me from buying GS1000. Your review is very encouraging. Thanks
Jul 26, 2009 at 8:48 AM Post #7 of 20
I auditioned the entire Grado lineup (minus the Alessandro) in a local hi-fi store, and I came to the same conclusion as well.

The SR-325i is good, nicely built, heavy and sturdy. But the trebles are a little too sparkly.

The RS-1 and GS-1000 are surprisingly light, the leather headband was heavier than the mahogamy enclosures. RS-1 sounds much more refined compared to the SR-325i, everything was more "even", or balanced. Treble and bass are equally as detailed across the spectrum, and the Grado mids are magical...

The GS-1000, however, have much bigger soundstage, deeper bass, and the treble is just as detailed, but nothing close to "sparkly" or "ringy". The jumbo pad distances the driver even further away from the ear, creating a bigger soundstage; thus losing some of the Grado's traditional "upfront and small soundstage" signature. But even with the increase in soundstage, the Grado mids are still there, just not as "loud" (or upfront) when compared to the SR-325i and RS-1. The GS-1000 sounds almost "flat" across the spectrum, where the three registers are equally pronounced. Bass are never overpowering the mids and highs, the mids are clear, and the trebles are detailed. If you're looking for a Grado sound with bigger soundstage and deeper bass, look no further, the GS-1000 is probably the best bet.

I am looking forward to buy myself a pair, when I save myself enough money.
Jul 26, 2009 at 9:11 AM Post #8 of 20

Originally Posted by xkRoWx /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I am looking forward to buy myself a pair, when I save myself enough money.

The good news is that people will be selling off their GS1000 soon to make way for the PS1000.

I heard the GS1000 at a meet. I like them very much. My initial thoughts while listening to them was "wow! space, what a sense of space, are these really grados?" The more I listened the more I was impressed with the sense of space they gave, it was as if I could measure the size of the room and instruments. I loved the sound of them as well. It was a meet so I didn't get to listen to as many different styles of music on them as I would have liked. There is always another meet down the road where I'll hopefully get to try them again with some different music.
Jul 26, 2009 at 9:20 AM Post #9 of 20
I was one of those GS1000 bashers critizing the heavily recessed mids and the Ultrasone-ish overall presentation. Meanwhile, I've come to the conclusion that is was propably a "bad" pair that we all commonly got to hate over here in germany.

However, that scenario would be another fierce symptom of Grado's infamous quality spreads.
Jul 26, 2009 at 9:34 AM Post #10 of 20
I have just sold my GS-1000i purely for financial reasons, and in my opinion they are excellent headphones and definitely the best in the Grado line (baring the ps-1000 - which I haven't heard).
Jul 26, 2009 at 10:30 AM Post #11 of 20
IIRC, people loved the prototype GS1000s, but the production version was changed for the worse according to the same people, so they ended up disappointed, hence the bashing. I'd really love to try more of the Grado range -- so far I've only heard the HF-1s, which required the right amp to shine.
Jul 26, 2009 at 10:57 AM Post #12 of 20

Originally Posted by Sakhai /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I actually kinda like the GS1000. They're far from being burned in, but they have a good deal of balance and bass. Totally not worth the money, but that's a different story. I hated the RS1, and I'll never know why others love them so much. The K702 remains my favorite of anything I've ever heard. The relatively low price makes them an insane value. My ears is the only ones that matter to me. I decide on my own.

Amen to that
Jul 26, 2009 at 1:59 PM Post #14 of 20
Trust your own ears, if the GS1000's do it for you then go with it.
People spend truckloads of dollars looking for that.
Hey not everyone will like the same sound signiture, thats impossible.
BUT.....I for one am enjoying the GS1000 very much,
for the same reasons as our freind xkRoWx mentioned.
I think he hit the nail on the head with his statement.
Jul 26, 2009 at 2:01 PM Post #15 of 20

Your advice resonates with me. I’ve just bought a GS1000i. Put more time into reading about these phones than any other piece of equipment I’ve ever had. I must have read all the professional reviews. Read all I could find about them at Head-Fi. The debate over these phones is totally bewildering (and speaks volumes about the hobby and the need for a forum like Head-Fi). I don’t yet think I’m ready to talk extensively about them, much less compare them to my other phones. (They’ve changed significantly during the first 20 or so burn-in hours.) There will eventually be a mini-review, if I manage to find the time. But I can say this much with confidence: To my ears, on my rig, with my material, the naysayers have been wrong. (Obviously, they may be right otherwise.) I don’t at all regret following the advice of those who’ve raved about them. Will hopefully get into the specifics eventually.

(A little philosophical fun on the side: You may wanna know about the paradox in the title of this thread. Let’s assume that this is a good paraphrase of that claim: “As regards the GS1000, you should only trust your ears (so, you shouldn’t trust what you read about them).” Notice: this is something you’ve just read about the GS1000. Should you trust the claim? Well, here’s the problem: If you do follow the advice the claim gives you (and deny your trust to what you read) then you don’t trust the claim. But, if you don’t, then you do follow that piece of advice, since you’ll be doing exactly what you’ve been advised to do. And that, of course, is an impossible situation. The claim does not offer you a possible course of action.
This is a version of the old Liar Paradox.)


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