Grado RS1i breakin
May 18, 2014 at 7:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3


500+ Head-Fier
Mar 20, 2014
Knoxville, Tn
Hello everyone.  I have been an RS1i owner for about two months now.  Before that, I owned a set of 225i's...
The RS1s were very disappointing out of the box, compared to a pair of well used 225s.  The sound of the RS1s changed dramatially over the course of the first 10 hours or so, and then settled in.
Well, I thought all the break in was pretty much over with then.  And yes, for the last couple months they sounded the same.  That is, until the last few days.  I have noticed that the sound has 'opened up', if you will.  Wider staging, and the treble seems to have smoothed out to a degree, and albums that at one time sounded a bit harsh and fatiguing seem smoother and much more listenable.  
Then it hit me.  Based on my listening patterns, I am right at about the 200 hour mark.  I believe I have read that the Grado's need 200 hours of break in.  That does indeed seem to be the case. 
All I can say about these headphones now is extremely positive.  They still have that forward upper mid bite that is characteristic of the brand, but gosh, they sound sweet.  
Anyway, if you are considering these cans, or if you have recently purchased a new pair, give them time.  With some patience, you will be rewarded with a stellar performer.  
As far as my associated equipment, I am using an iFi iDSD nano powered by the iUSB....
Back to listening!
ps... i am quite willing to consider that this is all in my head.  One reason why I think this may be an actual phenomenon is that I wasn't looking or listening for any changes.  I have just been listening as always, and noted something new.  Only then did I even think about break in...
May 18, 2014 at 8:12 PM Post #2 of 3
Before someone else yells I'll just say there is a dedicated RS1i topic here (somewhere) but as you are finding out Grado's probably take longer than any other brand of phone I have ever owned to burn-in, by far!! I have the RS2i and I have had them about the same length of time you have had yours and I am not so sure that they aren't STILL getting better week by week. Main point of this post though is to ask, how do you like that iFi Nano. I really like the form factor of the iFi stuff and been thinking of getting the dac or the Nano along with the headphone amp they make. Seems like it would be a very high quality but compact system.
May 18, 2014 at 9:01 PM Post #3 of 3
Sorry, if this needs to be moved to the dedicated thread, that is fine, mods.  
iFi... killer stuff.  Designed by a master designer with an ear for good sound.  There is a bit of irony there, too.  Thorsten (lead designer at AMR/iFi) isn't what you would call a DSD fanatic, by any stretch.  But iFi brought to market an amazing little DAC that doesn't just have dsd as an add on feature to keep up with the jones's, so to speak.  
The iDSD has a BB DSD1793 chip, that has a unique method.  It has a true multi bit ladder style circuit for the upper bits, and a 5 level, 256fs delta sigma modulator for the lower bits.  And here is the really cool part.  In an ingenious twist (from the guys at Burr Brown, back in the day before TI bought them out) the upper switches that are used for PCM become the FIR filter for DSD.  So you get optimal DSD filtering and optimal PCM filtering in the same device on a single output.  My understanding ends there.  It gets too technical at that point.  
Actually, I think many BB chips since then have used a similar scheme, but according to Thorsten, they for whatever reason don't perform as well as the 'originals' from back in the old days.  
Anyway, I can vouch for the sound quality.  Amazing at the price.  Would be acceptable sound quality if you paid 2 or 3 times as much.  The iDSD also supports quad rate 256 DSD and ASIO direct DSD now.  Again, for the price, nothing that I know of can match the combined feature set and quality.  

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