Grado GS1000X Loaner Program @TTVJAudio
Jan 10, 2023 at 10:42 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16


Headphone Vinyl Meister
Sponsor: TTVJ
Jun 21, 2001
HI All,

We will have a Grado GS1000X headphone available for our loaner programs. Sign up following the rules listed below and have a listen to these fine new headphones from Grado Labs. The GS1000X is $1195. you can read about it here on our website. Here is your chance to hear the Grado GS1000X in your system and decide if it is for you. We will accept 6 participants for this program. We hope you all have fun auditioning the GS1000X!


Loaner Program Rules:

Our loaner programs are for those who would like to try the available demo item before purchasing from TTVJAudio. These products are purchased by us and belong to It is our hope that through hearing these products in your own environment, in your own system, you can make a decision on whether or not to add it to your system. And if you decide to purchase, will be your destination for your acquisition.

How to sign up! Pay attention and make sure you supply all the info in your email

Send your name and address, telephone number and your Head-Fi user name to me (Todd) at Do NOT PM me as you will not be included in the program without an email.

You will get the loaner for 1 week to use in your home with your system. After your one week is up, you must send it to the next loaner participant. Email me ( the tracking info so I can pass it on to the next recipient.

You MUST write a review and post it in this loaner thread. It must be posted in the same thread as this announcement for the loaner program. Please post the review here first and feel free to post it somewhere else if you like!

Once you have received the loaner, email me to let me know you have it and I will send the address for the next person soon thereafter.

Our loaner programs are USA only. We are restricted from shipping/selling outside the USA on most products.

Todd Todd Stay updated on at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
Jan 10, 2023 at 7:40 PM Post #3 of 16
Fantastic, I've always wanted to see if I'd like a pair of Grados. Email sent.
Jan 10, 2023 at 9:05 PM Post #4 of 16
I'd like to try them.
Jan 19, 2023 at 12:12 PM Post #6 of 16
Hi All,

I have 2 spots left for this loaner program. Email me to sign up.

Here is the list so far...

Grado GS1000X Loaner Program Participants

1. Adydula

2. wormsdriver

3. miter53

4. jim723

5. Wolfhawk46

The headphones will ship out next week to AlexD. Have fun!

Last edited: Todd Stay updated on at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
Jan 27, 2023 at 5:16 PM Post #10 of 16
I will write up a review in the next few days and post in this thread as Todd has requested.
The two different colors are examples of the choice of wood color you can choose when ordering a pair according to Todd.

Very light cans...typical Grado for sure...

Jan 27, 2023 at 5:31 PM Post #11 of 16
It would be nice to learn how the original HP 1000/HP2 compare to those. My HP2 are flawless and sound as good as ever - neutral uncolored sound. Not for those lusting for any particular flavor of euphonics.

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Jan 28, 2023 at 10:57 AM Post #12 of 16
Grado GS1000x Statement Series.
"Bright and Vivid"

Simple boxing:


I have had several Grado headphones in the past, years back. I was just starting out looking for the perfect headphone for me. Most of the early cans I tried were often veiled, dark and warm. So when I discovered Grado, Beyerdynamics and some others made headphones that were less warm, dark and more on the bright side I had to give them a try. I bought the lower end cost Grado’s the 80 series and then the newer 325 series. I did have a set of Hemps here for a week. Nice wood but again IMO just that Grado sound. In summary here, they were good but just too bright of a can for my ears, the treble was a bit too emphasized and the bass was well, not what I was looking for.

So, we moved on. Having gone thru so many headphones since then I have settled in on Final Audio D8000 Pros, , Rad 0, ADX 5000’s and HD 650’s. I never decided to spend more money for the higher end Grado’s back then thinking it would be just more of that “Grado” sound signature. So, when Todd announced a loaner program for the GS 1000x series, well count me in, time to see if Grado has changed in their sound signature, overall comfort etc.

So what are these newer Signature series headphones? Well they sure do look like Grado’s. I never had any issue picking out a Grado headphone from the crowd of others. Simple elegance. Common traits of non removeable cord, foam cushions of differing sizes and comfort level, and decent light weight. The earlier Grado’s I had were the on the ear type earpads that to me were not that great. They always felt scratchy to my skin, and not that comfortable after a few hours of listening….not due to the weight just the feel of those pads on my ears. Sorry just not likable here at all.

New 12 conductor cable. A bit stiff. Not detachable.

So these are typical dynamic headphones. Open Air. They do bleed sound a lot. My wife comes in from an adjacent space and tells me she can hear the sound out there! Not an issue if your in a private listening room, but to some this may not be ok. I just shut the door! Lol!

Two color choices to choose from:

The drivability of these headphones are 1mw / 99db. Impedance of 38 ohms. They are easy to drive. The drivers are well matched at .05 db spec wise. Hand built in Brooklyn by the Grado elves. Grado states these two-decade old series is now a hybrid GS1000x with new X Drivers, new cables and for the first time a combination of mahogany and ipe wood. They weigh 372 grams or 13.5 oz. Really light compared to my other HEAVY planars!

The cord is different. Its heavier in girth and has a nice outside covering. These being new they still are a bit stiff and it will take a few weeks of being wrapped up to loosed up. The splitter is substantial, but the flexibility for it to the drivers is well, pretty stiff to me. The cord is 15 ft long and terminates into a ¼ plug. Its made from a 12 conductor cable with that braided exterior sheath. Metal gimbals.

They have an upgraded black leather headband with white stitching. Very Nice. Simple elegance. This set of Grado’s is well built, the wood is beautiful. They are very comfortable and feel like I could wear these for hours. The G cup cushions are huge! Compared to my early experienced these are a BIG, BIG improvement in the comfort factor. Gone is that scratchiness. The amount of sound chamber created around you ear IMO is big, cavernous. Circum-aural. I think this really helps with their exceptional sound-stage. Replaceable for $50! Not too bad.

BIG earpads. Very comfortable, light weight.

The drivers are 4th generation X Drivers. The largest used ever by Grado. Grado calls the “de-stressed” 50 mm drivers that are specifically tuned to bring out the warmth of mahogany. More powerful magnets to deliver more power and better dynamics. The voice coil was changed to have less effective mass and the diaphragms were re-designed for improved efficiency. Supposedly to reduce distortion etc. Only your ears might tell. Sound is so subjective.

Ok so how do they sound?

Well all my comments are very subjective based on my years of listening to many headphones and my musical tastes.

They definitely are warmer than the other Grado’s I have had. This IMO is good. The overall brilliance and bright sounding signature is still present. So have the best of both works, that Grado edginess that removes the veil is there with a nicer warmer less strident sound.

They are very resolving and articulate. Nothing escapes detection. Tambourines that get lost in many recordings were detectable…these get unnoticed in some music. That poor musician that shakes the tambourine or shakers! Ha! I can hear your contribution now! Micro-details, excellent!

Leather white stitching:

One of the best traits IMO of the GS1000x is its ability to reproduce guitar and strings very well. Simple guitar licks and light jazz from Larry Carlton to Lee Ritenour are just a marvelous listen. All the details are there in the total sound…. the small drum swishes, light bass in the background…all are there in the way the music was recorded. Light saber nice here.

Listening to Double’s Blue CD, Woman of the World…the hand claps and overall presentation was excellent. The soundstage is wide, and the depth front to back is very good. Reverb and decay are well brought out. Sounds pop out on the extreme left and right. The imaging, separation and depth are really very good. The horn in the center comes in tonally accurate and not sibilant. This is a pop tune but it has many delicate sounds going on…these Grado’s are light saber resolving here. A very good trait.

Light jazz assembles are where these cans shine for me. Slow deliberate music well mic’d is a joy to listen to. Why? Because you hear ALL the instruments that are there contributing to the piece. Excellent.

Switching over to Carlos Garnett and Fire CD, fast bright, trumpets glaring etc.…wonderful wide soundstage. Trumpets like your there. You ever sit next to a real trumpet. It can hurt! With high energy musical instruments like in this CD your going to hear that brilliance. You may or may not like this. Metallic hanging chimes gosh they come through very lifelike…brilliant.

Guitars in Justin Johnsons Bootleg Series, Volume 3 "Son of a Witch" is close to as perfect as a guitar can sound. Guitar solos. Nothing else. Dobro resonator guitar....gosh its so sweet here.

Simple Elegance:

Listening at low levels is really good. Some cans are that great at lower volumes, but these do work well here. You looses some of that low end, but if your music isn’t sub-sonic your fine.

The only issue I have with these newer Grado’s is in the bass department. Compared to other cans these Grado’s are a bit shallow on the low end. Its not that they are inaccurate. They are. The heft that one hears with a high end planar or higher end dynamic is just not the same. I am not a fan of Eq’ing but I think these cans with a tad boost on the low end might be close to what I like. So I remembered I had the ability with my iFi ICAN Pro amp to add some “bass” boost. I tried this and its better but still not what I really am looking for.

I have to add this bass issue for me is very dependent on the source for instance Chet Atkins CGP CD. Light guitars, dynamic drum kicks all sound very good along with the excellent details going on. Its just that low end organ like stuff that is lacking here.


Equipment used was PassLabs HPA-1, iFI ICan Pro, Schiit Vali 2 +, Nitsch Piety and iFI IDSD. Dacs used were Soekris 2541, Schiit Modi Multibit 2, iFI IDSD, MHDT Orchid. I will say that these GS1000x to me were resolving enough to expose differences in these devices. This for me is well….excellent. My favorites were the Schiit Modi Multibit 2 with the Nitsch Piety. This for me was the best overall sound and helped somewhat on the bass end. Jazz music was really good to listen to. I have to say with good jazz these cans are superlative..due to their resolving and articulation. Nothing goes unnoticed. This is their strong trait for sure.


All in all, I really like what Grado has done with these newer GS 1000x’s. Way better than my years back Grado experience. If you get a chance give them a listen. You might just fall in love with these.


Many thanks to Todd, a great person who sent me these to audition. Todd is a great person to deal with and has shared many items on these loaner runs.

Thanks Todd!

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Feb 15, 2023 at 6:09 AM Post #14 of 16
Hey everyone!

I stepped out of the hobby for what seems like a year ago and recently found myself browsing headfi once again. I stumbled onto a post by Todd Green of TTVJ about these Grado Gs1000x and jumped at the opportunity to try these cans for myself!

First of all, thanks Todd for these loaners, I appreciate the opportunity to listen to these at home with my own gear. You rock buddy!

Like I said I stepped out and I’m barely getting back into things. I’m taking baby steps admittedly. I had sold pretty much all gear so a couple months ago I bought a pair of Westone 80 which I do like but I don’t listen to them much since I rarely listen on the go. Jump to a couple weeks ago, I decided to go for an ifi idsd Diablo so I can have a transportable that can drive a good range of headphones that I would buy in the future so all listening impressions are done paired with the Diablo.

About the Grado Gs1000x. They are lightweight, comfortable to wear and I find them very aesthetically appealing. Historically the biggest gripe of Grado headphones you’ll come across on the web is their cable. These newer Grados have changed their cable and now they are sleeved but to me personally I like the old cable better. YMMV.

First impression:

The first time I put these on I connected the Diablo to my phone and fired up Tidal. I put on “my tracks” and hit shuffle. At first listen I definitely wasn’t feeling these.

Most of the songs popping up were hard rock, and heavy metal stuff and these were not hitting the mark at all. I felt they were severely lacking punch to drive the music. Mids and highs were very prominent compared to the lows and I was left feeling extremely dissatisfied to the point I didn’t really want to listen to them.

Everything that played came sounding like the Gs1000x and not the music itself. I’d say they are mid forward and treble forward. Some of the drum sounds I was hearing seemed somehow hollow or just plain off to me. I’m not quite sure how to describe the soundstage other than the music does go a bit past my head. Imagining in my opinion is not very precise from what I can tell. It somewhat reminds me of the hd800, as far as having a big soundstage (not quite as big as hd800) and like the hd800 not very precise imaging.

Round two:

A big part for me stepping away from the hobby was that I wasn’t listening to music much outside of the car. I find this to still ring true and coming back to these felt more like a chore in all honesty but since I signed up for this tour and agreed to write up a review or in my case some listening impressions so I did. This time around I came a bit better prepared since I learned that I got easily fatigued the first time likely due to the volume being a bit too loud and the music getting pretty hot quickly.

I stared the listening session with the White album (2018 mix) by The Beatles. Yes, these definitely have a big soundstage. Plenty of room for instruments to breathe and be distinct from one another. The stage does have some depth to it also, which is great since I remember a couple generations back of these cans where mostly two dimensional. Vocals are upfront and not recessed. The vocals could use a bit of warmth in my opinion. Both male and female voices did not really shine for me. Paul’s bass guitar sounds good, each note sounds distinct from the other. Guitars sound clean, sometimes too clean maybe for my taste. The cymbals on the drum kit sounds properly articulate and not a splashy mess like some old Grados I remember from my past. I feel like the over all resolution on these cans are on point for the asking price but for me they are still lacking something. I am simply not connecting to the music the way I wish I was. They’re still lacking some magic. Perhaps a nice tube amp that matches well with these would bring out something more human for lack of a better term. I wouldn’t say these are necessarily cold sounding but perhaps in the end since the balance is tilted upwards they end up sounding too lean and missing some soul.


Grados can be very divisive cans because of their unique sound. I myself in the past have been a big Grado fan but my personal preferences have changed and now I can’t seem to get past certain shortcomings. While I most certainly don’t hate these, they are not a good fit for me since I am need of a more well rounded headphone that better suits my taste. If I had several pair of cans for different purposes then by all means I would consider them but not as my all rounder which I am looking for.

Thanks for reading this and hopefully as the tour moves along more people will chime in so you guys can get a better picture of these cans.
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Mar 2, 2023 at 12:58 AM Post #15 of 16
Thanks to Todd for including me in this loaner tour. I was interested in hearing the Grados as I’ve never had the opportunity to listen to any of them before, and there really seems to be some divergent opinions on the Grado line.

Most of my listening is on my ZMF Verite Closed, which I usually run on a LTA MicroZOTL 2. I quickly discovered that the Grados are kind of the anti-ZMF VC, being open back and strongly tilted towards the high end. Out of the gate, I really didn’t care for them, finding the top end strident and harsh. One of the first tracks I tried had some not particularly well recorded cymbals, and on the Grados the sibilance was extreme. I then switched from the MZ2 amp to a Shortest Way 51, and the harshness I was hearing subsided some. The rest of my time listening the Grados was with the SW51, which I found to be a much better match than the LTA for the Grado profile. After spending some time with them, I grew to appreciate their strengths. They certainly need a source with clean and smooth highs, as they will quickly reveal any harshness present. Bass was solid and strong, though not as solid and strong as the ZMF VCs. On my usual playlist of test tracks, ranging from “Hunter” by Bjork to “The Same Thing” by Muddy Waters to Malcolm Arnold’s Sussex Overture to “Over the Hills and Far Away” on the How the West Was Won live album, what I noticed was the remarkable sound stage the Grados presented. Where they really shined for me was on recordings that were somewhat closed and cramped sounding, then the expansive presentation of the Grados could really open things up.

All in all, I enjoyed my time with these headphones. Thanks again Todd for organizing this tour.

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