Grado RS-1i versus RS-2i
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robinje

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I'm trying to decide if I should spend the extra $$$ for the Grado RS-1i over the RS-2i.  Is there a significant difference between these models to justify the $200 price difference? 
 
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ZARIM

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The difference in sound quality won't be much but still worth to go with higher model and RS1i are amazing cans.
 
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oceanaudio

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to my ears, no! the difference is very small. i almost couldn't distinguish between the two. it does feel like the rs1 have slightly bigger soundstage and a tad more texture.
 
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Chris_Himself

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Quote:
I'm trying to decide if I should spend the extra $$$ for the Grado RS-1i over the RS-2i.  Is there a significant difference between these models to justify the $200 price difference? 


Honestly yes. The RS-2 to me doesn't even sound that much better over SR-325i. RS-1 will blow them out of the water. There is a reason I used to own an RS-2. That and I really like the plastic ones, you can treat them like crap and I just leave my headphones everywhere lol.
 
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Kevin Brown

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I think the RS2i's are a big jump over the SR325is's.  Those 325's are way too bright.  The Alessandro MS2i's are a lot more balanced than the 325's.  With that said, the RS2i's are a very balanced headphone will more resolution and detail than the MS2i's, but they are not brighter.  Just more refined treble, and almost warmer too.

As far as the RS1i's, if you go compare the graphs at headphone.com for those and the RS2i's, the RS1i's have both more bass and more treble than the RS2i's.  Personally, I find the RS2i to be a very balanced headphone such that $200 of more boosted lows and highs doesn't interest me.
 
But because I still do actually love the MS2i's so much, I got a pair of MS Pros to try out.  Liked them, but not more than the RS2i's.  In fact, what I heard from the MS Pros sounded like slightly boosted lows and highs over the RS2i, i.e., I don't think the MS Pros sound all that different from the RS1i's.
 
Anyway, everyone's ears are different too. 

 
 
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markkr

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I love my RS2i's and have owned them for quite some time now. They are MUCH better than 325i's in nearly every way (which I also own).
 
If I were to "start over" and own a single Grado that DIDN'T leave the house, it would be RS1i
 
If I needed a all-around Grado, I would go 225i without a doubt. (I wouldn't carry a wooden Grado outside)
 
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Quote:
I'm trying to decide if I should spend the extra $$$ for the Grado RS-1i over the RS-2i.  Is there a significant difference between these models to justify the $200 price difference? 


Yes the RS1i's are better to my ears. In fact, I think they are the best Grados in production.

 
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OP, personally, I consider the RS1i to be the lowest value Grado in current production, although a storied model. I would go with the RS2i, which I think is the highest (value, not Grado). To my mind, your extra $200 will get you an extension cable, an adapter, and a better quality pizza box, at best. I've bought them both twice, before I came to trust my own ears and heart rather than Head-Fi sloganizing and normalization. But that's just me, a common Grado lover. YMMV.
 
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I'm on the fence that the difference is subtle at best to go up one step up the Grado ladder.  My apologees for not conforming to the OP request with the "i" versions, so my two cents is based on the predecessor.  I had both, sold the RS1 and despite the RS2 being an anniversary present, I preferred its more balanced sound with my music and sources on a purely music lover perspective.  I guess, if was an audio engineer or performer, the extra areas that the RS1 is designed to exploit might be worth the extra coin.  Also, if your searching the used market for either one, the value gap gets much smaller versus new.
 
Funny, regarding the SR325,  I recall it gave me the biggest "wow" factor because it sounded so different from everything else in the Grado ladder.  I usually advise noob with Grado to start with the SR225 if the wallet allows to really get a feel of the Grado sound and its capablities.  IMO, I've always found it a little silly to have so many ladder steps for any product, but I digress.
 
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I have owned both the RS2i and the RS1i and while I definitely prefer the RS1i the RS2i was a great headphone. 
 
As far as value for money etc. there is nearly nothing in this hobby that actually is. If you cannot stretch the budget you will be more than pleased with the RS2i. If the money isn't a massive barrier I would encourage you to get the RS1i. 
 
It really matters that you like the Grado sound. What I get from my RS1i's is the simply the most fun I've had listening to music. They are a fuller and more exciting presentation of the music to my ears. 
 
Both are great. 
 
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CEE TEE

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OP, considering that you seem to have had some serious gear...I am glad that you are asking this question.
 
(But, is it really about the difference in price?)
 
I, too, preferred the RS2i over the MS-Pro while spending a week with both, side-by-side.  (Thanks, KevinBrown!)
 
I have not yet listened to the RS1i head-to-head with the RS2i, but I have heard the RS1.  
 
At this moment, I have RS2i, GS-1000 (on loan), HF2.
 
Prefer my RS2i and HF2.  With the Woo 6SE (also on loan) I keep going to the HF2 (while rolling different tubes as well).
 
With the Benchmark and iBasso D12, I usually gravitate to the RS2i.
 
When you ask "if there is a significant difference" between RS1i & 2i, what are you looking for?  
 
("Musicality?"  "Balance?"  "No peaks in XXX range?")
 
The PS1000 (on very short audition at a meet) extended really well in both directions but I worried a bit about vocal/midrange recession (as well as a much greater price difference )...
 
Any other clues about your preferences/front end/or current (no Eddie-pun intended) amp options?
 
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Quote:
I'm trying to decide if I should spend the extra $$$ for the Grado RS-1i over the RS-2i.  Is there a significant difference between these models to justify the $200 price difference? 


THe difference is minor, noticeable but minor, frankly by asking around here  won't do you any good. If you certain about grados, pick up used ones, rs2 if you wanna save the money, and when you can't help the curiosity of urs, than buy a used rs1 too and sell the you don't like, you won't loose much money this way. I just auditioned rs1 and sr325 again lol at my friends place this weekend. Frankly the Rs 1 to my ear is much better cans so frankly i believe it well worth the money, especially used ones. Although I have comfy issue with the rs1 but that just me. 
 
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BrucYSN

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Quote:
Yes the RS1i's are better to my ears. In fact, I think they are the best Grados in production.


ps1000 isn't that bad, just too much money for what it has to offer....might be good for some one only wanna rock XXXX out himself lol 
 
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MacedonianHero

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Quote:
ps1000 isn't that bad, just too much money for what it has to offer....might be good for some one only wanna rock XXXX out himself lol 

It's not that great either IMO. But it is better than the GS1000...I'll give it that.
 
 
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