Grado GS2000e Loaner program

Discussion in 'Sponsor Announcements and Deals' started by todd, May 31, 2016.
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  1. Mshenay Contributor
    Guys what's the status on the loaner tour here? I should be set at the bottom of this one... who has gotten these so far?
  2. Daeder
    I have received and reviewed in the loaner program.
  3. messiach
    First off, my apologies to Todd for being so late in posting this review - life/work issues have kept me quite busy.
    Todd - excellent guy for letting these expensive puppies out in the wild for all of us to listen and give feedback - kudos sir and keep it up, we all appreciate it greatly!

    Build Quality

    To put it bluntly, I like Grado's style, but the price never matches the build quality to me - and the GS2000e is no exception.
    The wood cups are very nice for sure, but the remaining parts are standard Grado - mostly plastic and thin leather with some metal parts.
    To be fair, the headband is somewhat better than a SR60, but just barely, and the cable is very thick with an included adapter (not sure if thick is everyone's thing...).
    Overall, I was hoping for more having seen only one screenshot from the side before I got them, but it wasn't to be.
    Grado could do so much more with these premium models - I've seen it in the modding community and I'm not sure why they don't step it up here...

    Overall Opinion: Poor

    Sound, very different than any Grado I've heard.

    Starting with the treble - much less aggressive than I'm used to hearing from a Grado.
    Quite a bit more even sounding with a great deal of air.
    I'm not sure I'd say I heard much sparkle but the instrument separation and soundstage was very impressive and much less congested than I'm used to hearing even from an SR225.
    I can say that with G-Pads, even the lower models open up some in this regard, but the GS2000e simply did it effortlessly.

    The mids were, again, very even sounding with a wide presence and slight warm tilt.
    Not quite as forward or aggressive as the Sennheiser HD6xx line, and maybe slightly less soundstage than the HE-500, but overall excellent.

    Bass was notably light but there was some impact there with a slight mid-bass bump.
    I didn't expect much here but the bass was good, clean and had a little extension but nothing to write home about.

    The one thing I noticed right away was how powerful the drivers were - they threw that clear, even sound out there so effortlessly.
    Putting your hands over the backs even lightly and you can feel the pressure coming from that sound - more so than any other open back I've tried.

    Overall Opinion: Quality matches the price. Not your typical Grado - effortless and even sound, very easy to listen to with a great soundstage.

    Overall Value

    I wish Grado would do better with the material design on headphones like this.
    Yes, I feel that style doesn't really mean much if it sounds cruddy, but for the price, I couldn't justify this sound over competitors without a bit more, either in the overall sound or the design.
    I will say, if you're the type that likes a laid back but clear and airy experience, perhaps classical/jazz, etc.., this is a great option for sure.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
    Mshenay likes this.
  4. Mshenay Contributor
    Comment is a little late but some of you on the West Coast will hopefully appreciate this

    A few months back I got to hear both the PS2KE and GS2KE and I waited to post my review, the reason being is I really wanted to give my full impressions on February the 2nd, to pay respect to the memory and legacy of Joseph Grado who left us on 02/06/2015. Mr. Grado spent quite a bit of time as I understand in my home state of South Carolina! An so to honor the man who appreciated my homeland and whose unique presentation I appreciate,

    I have uploaded my full review of both the PS2000E and GS2000E reviewed together really!

    Each review has the same content, but the rating is based on the headphone it's listed under and the pro's and cons are again relevant to the headphone listed
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  5. sling5s
    GS2000e Review/Impressions

    First of all thanks to Todd (TTVJ) for lending/loaning a pair of GS2000e much after the loaner program ended.

    Grado RS1 has always been my favorite headphone. Hence I have owned pretty much all the various RS1 versions.
    Owned aftermarket grado imitated drivers (like Magnum V4, V5, V7, Nhoord Red, Ypsilon and Epsilon R1) but nothing gave me the engagement and joy of the RS1.
    I have also owned many other non Grado headphones (ATH-ADX5000, HD800, LCD-X, ESP 950, Stax L700, etc.) but found myself always returning to the RS1.

    I currently own:
    Beyerdynamic dt48a, a mid centric detail monster. I find it to be the most resolving, revealing and detailed headphone, much more so than the HD800, ADX5000, JH13pro or Stax L700.

    ATH-AD2000, a mid centric, euphonic, musical headphone that excels at vocals and is probably the most grado-like headphone.

    RS1 & RS2e (non button, pre “i” series). The RS1 and RS2e are very alike. RS1 has a slightly deeper soundstage and a little more lower treble and RS2e more clarity, upper bass/lower mids and detail than the RS1.

    Other Equipment/Gear:
    Chord Hugo 2, microZOTL 2S, Dragonfly Red

    General Impressions
    GS200e presents the music with a wide and somewhat deep soundstage, with ample separation vertically and horizontally. It’s easy to hear a sense of layers in the music.
    Imaging is quite good, everything sounds clean and transparent, especially the vocals.
    Another thing that stands out for me is the sense of air. This airiness in the GS2000e gives breath and life to the music, especially the vocals and acoustic guitar.

    The bass is tight, controlled and punchy. Sounds balanced to my ears. I don’t get the feeling that it either overwhelmed or lacks. It’s just right.

    The mids don’t sound recessed or forward. Sounds very neutral (especially for a grado). The low mids are not emphasized making it sound overly warm or thick, or the upper mids empahsized making it sound thin or overly shrill or shouthy. It’s very even for a grado.

    This too is pretty balanced sounding to my ears. As I said, it’s very airy but not sibilant. There is no harsh lower treble harshness. There is however enough presence for vocal accent, adequate bite and crunch to the guitar or snap to the drums when needed.

    Comparisons to RS2e
    The RS2e sounds warmer and brighter/more aggressive at the same time. What I mean is, the RS2e has slightly more upper bass and lower mids and hence makes it sound warmer compared to the GS2000e, and at the same time the RS2e has more forward mids, upper mids and lower treble, and therefore presents the music with more attack and brightness.
    Put it another way, the GS2000e sounds a little leaner and way more neutral than the RS2e. It doesn’t have the forward upper bass to give the music groove and bounce like the RS2e, nor the forward mids, upper mids and lower treble to give the music that crunch, attack and bite that you hear with the RS2e. On the other hand, the GS2000e offers greater soundstage, air and detail. Everything sounds more open, a little clearer and a little more detailed.

    Comparisons to ATH-AD2000
    ATH-AD2000 is a very interesting and unique headphone in that it presents the mids like if you put a pair of Flat Pads and at the same time gives you the soundstage like if you put a pair of G-Cushions. So while they both offer equal levels of detail and treble air, the AD2000 has mids and upper mids that are more forward. On the other hand, the GS2000e does offer slightly larger soundstage with slightly more cleaner presentation. The GS2000e images slightly better. I was hoping that the GS2000e would provide greater detail level than the AD2000, but that is unfortunately not the case.

    Comparisons to Beyerdynamic DT48a
    As I said in the above description of the DT48a, it’s both mid centric and a detail monster. The DT48a is able to give you detail behind the details. It’s amazing that way. So compared to the DT48a, the GS2000e is less mid forward and less detailed. I would say that it’s just enough so that you don’t feel like you are losing the details compared to other flagship headphones but it doesn’t give you that…. wow…never head that before like you do with dt48a, adx5000 or HD800. It just doesn’t dig into the mix.

    Comparisons to HD800
    I would say that the GS2000e sounds like the HD800 with similar soundstage, with less detail, slightly more forward mids (HD800 being recessed in the mids), with less sibilance, yet more punchy mid bass, a little more air, and finally more soul to the music.

    Comparisons to ADX5000
    Having said that, if anyone has heard the ATH-ADX5000 (new ATH Flagship), you would be surprised how similar they are. The ADX5000 being more detailed with more dense and weighty bass. But I can say the sound signature are quiet similar.

    Overall, the GS2000e is really a great Grado headphone to complement the SR/RS/GH series. If I didn’t have the AD2000 that gives me the soundstage I crave sometimes (while at the same time giving me the forward mids) or the DT48a for the details that I crave beyond the RS2e, I would definitely consider purchasing the GS2000e, but because I have other headphones that compliment my RS2e and RS1, I am going to wait until Grado comes out with another RS1 version.

    Again, many thanks to Todd for the opportunity to listen and review.
    gregorya and wormsdriver like this.
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