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Grado GS2000e Loaner program

Discussion in 'Sponsor Announcements and Deals' started by todd, May 31, 2016.
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  1. Todd Contributor
    Hi All,
    Please post your reviews in a timely manner. The GS2000e is still out on the loaner program and there are quite a few people still on the waiting list. I will do my best to keep them moving and hope you will do the same. After all, I have not had a chance to listen to my GS2000e for quite a while and it is still going to be a while...
    TTVJ Stay updated on TTVJ at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  2. Harry Manback
    My review:
    Some context about me.  I have owned the following headphones:
    Grado: GH1, PS1000, GS1000e, RS1i, PS500e, SR125i, SR80e, RS1e
    Sennheiser: HD280, HD600, HD650, HD700, Amperior, HD202
    Sony:  MDR-7506
    Massdrop (Fostex): TH-X00 (Mahagony)
    I auditioned the GS2000e with:
    1. Queens of the Stone Age - Self Titled (CD - Vali2)
    2. Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork (CD - Vali2)
    3. Queens of the Stone Age - Rated R (CD - Vali2)
    4. Tool - Lateralus  (HDCD - Vali2)
    5. Tool - Aenima (CD - Vali2)
    6. Tool - 10,000 Days (CD - Vali2)
    7. Led Zeppelin - Mothership (CD - Vali2)
    8. Van Halen - Van Halen (HDCD - Vali2)
    9. Van Halen - Van Halen II (HDCD - Vali2)
    10. Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape (CD - Vali2)
    11. Foo Fighters - One by one (CD - Vali2)
    12. Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral (Apple Lossless - Vali2)
    13. Nine Inch Nails - Not the Actual Events (Apple Music (HQ) - Vali2)
    14. Nine Inch Nails - Further Down the Spiral (CD - Vali2)
    With that said, I would rank the GS2000 as similar to the GS1000, and RS1e.  Very little bass.  Perhaps for some genres it may be ok, but none that I listen to.  PS1000, GH1, PS500e all blow it away in my opinion.  All have more proportional bass, though, all are still too bass shy.  The most correct, to me, are the PS1000, GH1, and PS500e.
    Among the Sennheisers, I would place the GS2000 last among all aside from the HD700, which was just plain awful.
    The GS2000 is much better than the MDR-7506.  I hope I didn't have to tell you this.
    The TH-X00 is >>> than the GS2000 in every way. At $400 vs $1400, it's criminal.
    I have a theory.  Grado headphones probably sound much more balanced to people who may have some upper range hearing loss.  I do not mean this in an insulting way.  It's actually great that there is an option for those in that situation.  I can imagine, that the sound would be much more proportional if you had upper range hearing loss.
    I hate to sound too negative or harsh about the GS2000e, but, it is what it is.  It's a headphone that appeals to the eye, and to 10% of the population, it may sound great.  I would LOVE to hear a Grado with proper bass.  I love the retro style.  I love the simple materials.  I love the whole family business angle. 
    Sonically however, there are just too many flaws.  Detail isn't just lots of treble.  Better headphones (HD650, TH-X00) present details you won't ever hear on the GS2000e.  For $1400, I expect excellent sound.  To put a dollar value on the sound quality of the GS2000e, I would say it's worth $150.  It's not really that close to an HD650.  It isn't at all close to the TH-X00.  You don't even get the nice wooden case.
    I'm sorry Grado, I want to like you.  I want to believe.  Maybe it's time for some product improvement.  Grado has a retro style.  They need to update their retro sound if they want to remain relevant. 
  3. musiclvr

    Thank you for your impressions.

    So apart from not enjoying the treble and bass sections of the GS2000e how did you find the mids?

    What kind of DAC did you use to feed the Vali 2?

    It's very interesting that the TH-X00 surpasses the GS2Ke in every way for you. I also have a theory: For a headphone to shine it must be properly challenged. I noticed you used Redbook music files exclusively with the Vali 2. Maybe some hi-res music files would have displayed a different side to the GS2Ke for you. Too be modest, I found that my impressions contrast greatly with yours. Albeit my audio chain differs from yours quite a bit though too.

    This is the beauty of the hobby though as there are so many options to explore at all price ranges and value points that can be just right for one and appalling to the other.

    Cheers and Happy Listening!!
  4. Harry Manback

    My source was, for the most part, lossless. Playback was via cd or hdcd via an Oppo hdcd capable player fed into the Vali 2.

    I do not believe hi res audio would have mattered. I don't completely dismiss it as being possibly better, but current science says redbook is more than sufficient. Even moreso hdcd. Additionally, the comparison is valid because the music was consistent across headphones.

    Regarding the mids, they are very good. Acoustic and electric guitars sounded good. I did not feel it to be good enough to make up for the missing low end.

    Electrically, the GS2000e is like all other Grados I know of: 32Ohm impedence. It can be driven by an iPhone. The difference a DAC/amp can make will probably combine for about 10% or less.

    I am glad you enjoy the GS2000e. I, however, would have been quite upset after hearing what my $1400 bought. I used to defend Grado. I still enjoy my custo-grado. It is made from maple cups very similar to GS1000 cups, SR125i drivers, and an SR225 8 conductor 1/4" terminated cable. I often miss having my GH1. Pure sentimentality though.

    Pair the GS2000e with the wooden case and a nice DAC/amp, then the price tag would be more justifiable.

    I stand by my statement that the TH-X00 or HD650 are both so much better that you would have to hear it to believe it. I am sure there are many more.

    I do wish Grado would correct the problems and release a killer headphone at a reasonable price. I would be all over that.
  5. joseph69
    I can understand you're saying this.
    I have a lot of Cd's that sound excellent!
    They actually sound better/just as good as some 96/176kHz downloads I have from HDtracks.
    I would rather buy a used Cd in excellent condition from Amazon and import it to my libraries for way less than half the price of a download from HDtracks.
    As for the GS2Ke I've yet to hear them.
  6. aut0maticdan
    Are there still more reviews coming?  At some point my RS1is or HD600s are going to want a big brother so there will need to be a Senn v Grado showdown.  The HD600s and HD800/s have sub bass which I do appreciate and the Grados seriously lack.  Back in the day I much preferred the RS1i to the GS1000i when I was making a purchase to replace my 225s,  I found the 1Ks too lean, and that makes me think these may not be in my wheelhouse based on reviews.  Of course, I've come a long ways since then.
    These seem to be keeping in the spirit of the Statement series.  Controversial.  They turn off some Grado lovers while not really converting non-lovers.  There are conflicting reports on bass, so I think I'll need to hear them for myself.  I've recently acquired a .165Ohm balance amp that drives 2.6W into 32Ohm, so that makes the idea of a balanced Grado crazy interesting.  I wouldn't modify my RS1is, I don't think.  To me they are classics, my first true love, and wouldn't want to change them in any way.
    I have often wondered how much Grados care about output impedance when the house amps are 32ohms and in clear violation of the 1/8th rule.  If the Grados have a flat impedance curve, it probably doesn't make a whole lot of difference.  Obvi, you wouldn't want something over 32 as a minimum.  They sound great with my 16Ohm Bellari HA540--even compared to straight mojo output.  The Violectric v280 has brought them up a level.
  7. Dobrescu George
    Really really sad that the programme is only for within USA - we don't have any Grado demo units in Romania and it would have been interesting. 

    Oh well, I do hope that everyone will have a lot of fun in there! Best to you! 
  8. Dana Reed
    This could be true for me.  I Love my Grados way more than my HD600 for any kind of rock music.  My recently acquired GS2000e would definitely be the favorite overall (been listening to all Tool albums nonstop for the past few weeks).  But the 325e are better for walking around (except for the treble spike that can be painful for a few songs, depending on the amp used).  The HD600 just sounds boring to me in comparison.  The fact that I liked the 325e more than the HD600 over the past few years is what made me decide to get the GS2000e over the HD800.
    Still waiting for that new Tool album...
    Harry Manback likes this.
  9. aut0maticdan
    I don't think people love grados because they are 'balanced.' I love hd600s as well.

    It is all relative.

    I don't mean to speak for you, but you probably love grados for rock because they put guitars and vocals in your face.
  10. headfry
    Which gets back to my opinion thuat Grado's are designed to sound great
    at low to lower volume levels - some of those that complain about Grados sounding too
    forward, harsh and/or coloured are likely listening at what may be a normal volume for other headphones
    but too high for Grados to sound their best
  11. ruthieandjohn
    Here is the roster that Todd, host of the tour posted.  Those for whom I could find reviews of the GS2000e on this thread have an "R" after their name... those for whom I could NOT find a review do not. 
    GS2000e Tour Roster (R indicates Review Posted)
    AudioAddict R
    Wormsdriver R
    JoeDoe R
    joeq70 R
    Grizzlybeast R
    pbui44 R
    Oteil R
    Daeder R
    Kpfeifle R
    Allanmarkus R
    Ruthieandjohn R
    Harry Manback R
    So I would imagine that we can still look forward to reviews from Gunnerwholeife, reddog, Zive, and csdread.
    aut0maticdan and AWS Soul like this.
  12. Harry Manback
    10+ years waiting for "The Album".  I hope the long wait doesn't make our expectations too high.  I've seen Tool live 3 times in the last year (Dallas, South Haven, and Little Rock). Let's hope there are more to come!  2017 is shaping up to be a good music year for me.  Potential new Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, A Perfect Circle, and maybe Foo Fighters and Nine Inch Nails.  Almost beyond belief.  Just imagine if they could all get together for a whole album of this:
  13. Mshenay Contributor
    Hey Todd! I hope your still running this loaner! I'd love to hear how the GS2000E stacks agains't my HE 4, love that they are 4pin XLR termianted too 
  14. WhiskeyJacks
    Due to the conspiracy that the post is in on against me I was not able to pick up the GS2000e till today. Now, I am say it plain I have not listened to any grado's for a prolonged length of time, and the one I did hear was years ago for a short duration which I believe was the SR80.

    The good I hear about Grado headphones: Detailed, exciting sound, fast and sparkly midrange to treble, adequate soundstage(depending on model and mods).
    The bad I hear about Grado Headphones: treble bite/harshness, lacking bass depth, slam, and or punch, mediocre soundstage, uncomfortable fit, etc.
    This is in know way what I feel Grado is or is not depending on Model and mods, this is just what I have read over the years and I wanted to point that out before I went in to my initial impressions, so that you could see no matter how unbiased I want to be I have these thoughts and expectations going in to some degree.

    Impressions: I have sat for possibly 3 hours with them and listened to decent array of tracks, but before that first thing is first... these headphones are : light, very comfortable, adjustable and suitable for a large noggin, crafted beautifully, and these are all relieving and surprising traits.

    As far as sound, light and quick, detailed with a very balanced tone and signature that doesn't get too bright nor dull, has excitement without it being overbearing to certain mellow genres, midrange is very nice both in detail, spacing, and timbre. The sound stage is definitely a surprise and is more than adequate and definitely spacious and gives you the feeling of openness with your music. It is a fast and quick sound without sound too light or thin with the notes and though it is more if a reference quality sound to my ears, it is definitely not just for more critical listening and something I could enjoy my music with without just picking out details or macro/micro dynamics there or here. Which when spending +1k on a headphone I look for the ability to hear all the details, give me good separation and spaciousness, have even and balanced tone and a good balance with frequency range. ON top of the fact I want it to engage me with my music and bring me back to listening to tracks I have not listened to for years. Yes, so far this headphone is doing that, this is just my impression and 2 cents. I will be comparing to the ZMF Omni's walnut, the HD 6xx , and the Monolith M1060 revision 2. I will be listening from the Alo Pan am with vokshods, the R2R Ares DAC and Nfb 28 DAC/amp. Will post review with the comparisons and conclusion when I have enough time with these. Thanks for everything Todd.
    Mshenay and wormsdriver like this.
  15. Daeder
    Does anyone know how these compare to the PS1000e in classical and jazz? When I had the GS2ke in the loaner program, I was absolutely amazed at how good they sound and was wondering if the PS1ke would be better in those genres compared to the GS2ke.
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