Grado GS1000i or PS1000 as the step up from RS-2?
Jun 14, 2011 at 8:23 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

AVR4000

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Time for a new thread about this.:wink:
 
I am planning to upgrade my headphone setup and go for a solution based on Musical Fidelity M1HPA and M1DAC (or VDAC) together with a new pair of headphones. My original plan was to keep my RS-2s but when I made a long listening test (as a part of the evaluation of the new DAC etc), I realized that a higher end Grado would be a good addition. The reason was especially the clarity of the sound, an area where I felt that the RS-2 (buttoned model with flats) wasn't totally up to the task. I felt that something was missing, especially the instrument separation on some tracks.
 
I then decided to audit the Grado GS1000i (I am totally into Grados) and even if I tried them unamped, I felt that the sound was very good and detailed. On the same time, I felt that the general tonal balance from the RS-2 with flats is intact.
 
But then we have the PS1000, a model where it seems like Grado "corrected" some "mistakes" made with the GS1000 (the midrange etc) to get more of the house sound back. And that's where I begin to be a bit confused.
 
I own the Grado SR80, SR225i and RS-2. My impression of them is that the SR-80 and SR-225i are more "bright" while the RS-2 with flats sounds warmer and not so bright. I have even audited the RS-1i and it sounds more like the SR225i rather than the RS-2. I like all of them, especially the RS-2 which I think has a nice balance between warmth and the traditional Grado sound. It's a bit "HD600" balance injected I feel.
 
But the question now is if the GS1000i or PS1000 is the right step upward. I like the GS1000i (my first impression was good) but is very interested in auditing the PS1000 too. My impression is that the GS is sounding like a refined RS-2 (flats) while the PS model has more of a RS-1 styled sound in comparison. That means the impression that the GS is more "warm" and the PS more "bright". Is that correct?
 
I listen to different music like classical, country, older rock, reggae, folklore etc and I feel that my Grados handles it well. I am pleased with the sound.
 
So simply put: what is the best choice out of GS1000i or PS1000 as an upgrade from a pair of RS-2, buttoned with flats?
 
Jun 14, 2011 at 8:47 AM Post #2 of 15

bumblingbooby

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If you are in a position to audition the PS1000 then I recommend that you do so. It really is the only definitive way to answer the questions that you have posed. 
 
I've not heard the GS1000(i) but I have the PS1000. Both headphones represent a deliberate departure taken by John Grado from the Prestige and Reference series, with an emphasis on a more refined presentation with a larger soundstage and notable instrument separation.
 
The PS1000 is supposed to redress the so-called recessed midrange of the GS1000, however, it is not an RS1. The PS1000's mids are not as forward in my opinion and for some die-hard fans, that's what a Grado headphone is all about.
 
Jun 14, 2011 at 9:34 AM Post #3 of 15

bbophead

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Subscribed!
 
Jun 14, 2011 at 3:51 PM Post #4 of 15

AVR4000

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I have now more time to describe my impressions and preferences. I tried the GS1000i again today at B&H Photo Video here in NYC. For the sake of curiosity, I compared with Sennheiser HD800 and Denon AH-D7000. The music is not my style, though so this audition doesn't say me too much about them but one thing is obvious: I am totally into the Grado sound - they simply sound as I like. Both the Senns and the Denon sounds too "dark" for me while the GS1000i give a very "open" sound. But with the music used, there's some impression of elevated bass and recessed midrange. I didn't got that impression with my own music, though so my basic impression is that the GS1000i sounds very good when the music quality is high. It handles recordings made in large rooms very well (a church for example).
 
My relation with Grado began a couple of year backs when I decided to get a more PRaT optimized headphone for mobile use. I audited different options and went for the SR80 (bowls) in the end. It's still with me but later, I went for the SR225i to get more refinement. That's my mobile part. For the stationary listening, I went for the RS-2 and now I have decided to take the next step up. I have tried the RS-1 (bowls) and my impression of them is that the sound is a little too bright for me. The RS-2 with flats sounds more balanced, i.e warmer and not so bright in the treble area. I feel that they are offering a comfortable balance between the Grado sound with some small "Sennheiser taste".
 
What I search now is more refinement and better instrument separation. The reason for this is that my latest audition of the Musical Fidelity V-DAC and V-CAN revealed the impression of more details and the possibility for a more refined sound beyond the capabilities of the RS-2. I decided to audit the GS1000i and I feel that they correct the shortcomings, which is the instrument separation, increased soundstage and a better "blackness" (I would describe that as a better background for the music, it handles the transition between silence and instrument sounds better). But the criticism of the GS1000i means that I have decided to evaluate the PS1000 too to see what it provides with my own music. But I feel that I miss a really good image of what it provides compared to the GS1000i. The impression I have got is that it's basically a GS1000i with more prominent midrange and less treble which gives a smoother frequency response. It's not the "smile" that is used to describe the GS model.
 
My idea is to power the Grado with a Musical Fidelity M1HPA and a M1DAC from my MacBook Pro. The reason for the choice of those products is two: I have good experience of the Musical Fidelity since before AND I can audit it before purchase.
 
When I made the basic auditing of the GS1000i vs AH-D7000 and Sennheiser HD800, I certainly preferred the Grado.
 
Jun 14, 2011 at 4:26 PM Post #5 of 15

WhiteCrow

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from my impressions of the GS-1000 the RS-2 is a step up from them, they are harsh, shrill, and ugly sounding for lack of better word. They sound like one of the lower end grados that they decided to jam into disgustingly large wooden cups.
 
Jun 14, 2011 at 5:03 PM Post #6 of 15

AVR4000

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That impression differs from mine. I think it can be dependent on the music used and amplification. My RS-2 sounds very good but I have the impression that the GS1000i is an improvement, that's my impression. But that's based on an audit without amplifier which makes it impossible for me to draw any conclusion right now. But the "basic sound" I experienced from them indicated increased refinement compared to the RS-2. That means a more clear sound and better instrument separation etc. For my ears, that is.
 
I didn't got any "SR80" feelings when I tried them. They sounds way more refined.
 
Jun 14, 2011 at 7:30 PM Post #7 of 15

WhiteCrow

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For me, it felt like I was having my ears drilled, This from a Woo2 With Paradisia 3 from a Mac book in store. Same as what I auditioned the HD-800, LCD-2, RS-2,RS-2i, RS-1,GS-1000,and HF-2 on.
 
Jun 14, 2011 at 8:22 PM Post #8 of 15

bbophead

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It's unfortunate that you felt like you were having your ears drilled by the GS-1000i.  I did not have the same experience.
 
 
 
Jun 15, 2011 at 1:32 AM Post #9 of 15

priest

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I agree that it is a shame that someone had their ears drilled by the GS1000. I auditioned the GS1000i and did not have that experience. But OP, to answer your question: It has been a couple years since I owned the RS2i, but I really miss it. I remember it as being warmer than the RS1i. In my book, the PS1000 is a natural upgrade from the RS2i, and I see the RS1i as being more in line with the GS1000i sonically. Keep in mind that I like them all. I just see myself as more of a PS1000/RS2i person than a GS1000i/RS1i person, mainly based on the highs. This is one man's opinion, based somewhat on questionable memory.
 
Jun 15, 2011 at 7:12 AM Post #10 of 15

detoxguy

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And to muddy things more...
 
I auditioned both the GS1000i and PS1000 and to be honest I much prefer my RS1is to both the 'higher' end Grados. I owned the RS2i and loved it but fell in love with the RS1i and haven't looked back...now if only the postal strike in Canada ends soon, I spent all my money on a MAD Ear+ HD and now the mail service has stopped....just my luck
 
Jun 15, 2011 at 7:57 AM Post #11 of 15

bumblingbooby

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It is indeed a shame that anyone would have their ears drilled. That's best reserved for one's teeth. In response to the OP, as I have said, the PS1000 is a more refined sounding headphone than the RS1i (I've not heard the RS2i). It is more detailed, has a more distant and spacious presentation with better instrument separation. Whether its highs are less prominent than the GS1000i remains to be heard. By most accounts, the mids that were reported as missing from the GS1000i have largely been restored with the PS1000. However, the mids are not as forward and lush as the RS1i in my opinion.
 
Jun 15, 2011 at 12:13 PM Post #12 of 15

AVR4000

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It sounds interesting with the observation that the PS1000 is more like a refined RS-2 while the GS1000i is more following the RS-1. It partly verifies my impressions after reading different threads.
 
My own impression of the RS-2 is that they are warmer sounding than the RS-1i, I feel that the later is brighter, almost too bright for me. The RS-2 has a perfect balance between the Grado sound AND pleasant warmth so what I am looking for is basically a "RS-2 Refined" - i.e the same basic characteristics of Grado sound AND warmth but with bigger soundstage and better instrument separation. It sounds like the PS1000 is the way to go to achieve that.
 
When I say "bright" - I mean that the highs are more elevated and dominant with the RS-1 while the RS-2 is more "allround" without the same dominance. When I audited the GS1000i yesterday, I got the impression that the mid range is somewhat restrained in the meaning that the bass and the treble is a bit dominant. Unfortunately, the music is not my style really but the basic impression is that. That should mean that the PS1000 is more smooth in the meaning that the bass and treble don't dominate over the midrange in the same way. A more balanced sound with other words. Or rather - more RS-2 like qualities.
 
I certainly begin to turn towards the PS1000 now if I understand everything correctly.
 
Jun 15, 2011 at 7:27 PM Post #13 of 15

ghingus

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It's so hard to compare cans, even when they are all together in one room.  I've owned all the woody grados (currently own the GS1000i).  I loved them all.  One thing I've noticed is that pressing the cups on the GS1000i towards your ears makes a sound difference - the sound gets fuller and warmer the closer to your ears the cups get.  I sometimes wonder if the people that find them bright and piercing just don't have a good fit on their head due to the shape or size of their head.     
 
May 17, 2015 at 12:26 AM Post #14 of 15

acguitar84

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Pretty cool thread. I have the RS1i's and am thinking of "upgrading" to either the GS1000e or the PS1000e. I like the RS1i a lot, but would like to work with a full size headphone,

I really like the Grado sound, and am intrigued by both high end headphones. Decisions.
 
May 17, 2015 at 12:53 AM Post #15 of 15

mikey1964

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Holy thread resurrection, Batman!
eek.gif
 
 
 
Anyway, I have the three cans that OP had mention, that is, the GS1000i, HD800 and Denon AH-D7000. I can understand why the OP described the latter two as being dark after listening to the GS1000i. It seems like the PS1000 keeps coming up whenever Grado cans are being discussed, maybe I ought to try to audition it myself. I will be sending my GS1000i to be modded with HD800 connectors, and at the same time, have my original GS1000i cable re-terminated with the HD800 plugs.....does open up my option to try different cables with the GS1000i.
 

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