Grado RS1i Impressions thread
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obobskivich

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i used the WA6-SE with my RS1i, it was a good combo, though i'm sure there are better sounding pairings out there. Had aggressiveness without being bright or forced. Good overall.

I feel like the RS-1i sound similar (I'd use the word "radiant" but "aggressive without being bright or forced" also works for me) via my Musical Fidelity; which is not tubed. I felt like the CIA amp did a good job with the SR-225, when I had that setup. In general I'm not a big proponent of "amps are a night and day sonic difference" though - so yeah.

Regarding Beats Pro versus RS-1i; where to begin. :xf_eek:

The Beats Pro are closed, and fairly closed-in sounding as a result; they aren't as comfortable (clampier + heavier), but the build quality doesn't feel that bad. Sound is different - both are able to be punchy, but the Grado are more refined and airy, perhaps a bit faster, less bass slam, better midrange voicing, and (imho) more engaging and textured bass. The Beats Pro are more of a "wall of sound" - they aren't really distorted though, and play LOUD with ease. I think that the RS-1 are a "superior" headphone, but it's a tough comparison - you're talking open v closed, different sound sigs, etc (before you even get into the "Beats suck" discussion). The Beats Pro are probably a better choice if you need something to truck around on the bus, or if you want to play them stupendously loud (which will wreck your hearing, so I don't suggest it); the RS-1 are very likely to give you a better sonic experience assuming you're going to use them at home or somewhere else that's relatively quiet and where they don't have to stand-up to a lot of rough handling. Cost is also a factor (the RS-1 are nearly double the money), so that should be considered.

Overall I think you won't find a much better open headphone than the RS-1, especially around their price, but I think you can find a better closed headphone than the Beats Pro, especially around their price. If that helps.
 
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Chris J

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Quote:
I feel like the RS-1i sound similar (I'd use the word "radiant" but "aggressive without being bright or forced" also works for me) via my Musical Fidelity; which is not tubed. I felt like the CIA amp did a good job with the SR-225, when I had that setup. In general I'm not a big proponent of "amps are a night and day sonic difference" though - so yeah.
 
I agree, there is not a huge difference between a good quailty tube amp and a good quality solid state amp.
And I don't really hear a huge difference between a good, low cost solid state amp and a good, high cost solid state amp.
 
Usually I hear a big difference when I am using (for example) a high output impedance tube amp with a low impedance 'phone.
Or the amp is underpowered WRT the 'phones.
 
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desertblues

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I agree, there is not a huge difference between a good quailty tube amp and a good quality solid state amp.
And I don't really hear a huge difference between a good, low cost solid state amp and a good, high cost solid state amp.

Usually I hear a big difference when I am using (for example) a high output impedance tube amp with a low impedance 'phone.
Or the amp is underpowered WRT the 'phones.

Have to agree-I enjoy the RS1 with my solid state amps and Bellari HA540 tube amp. My preference is the Bellari but the Grados are quite good straight out of a Kindle Fire or ipod too!
 
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stacker45

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I'm surprised that they're aren't more peoples using the Grado RA1 with they're RS1i, because from what i've read, the RA1 was ''voiced'' to pair well with the RS1i.
 
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Dubstep Girl

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Quote:
I'm surprised that they're aren't more peoples using the Grado RA1 with they're RS1i, because from what i've read, the RA1 was ''voiced'' to pair well with the RS1i.
 
LOL, this is why.......
 
 

 
u gonna pay 350 bucks for that?
 
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kramer5150

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Quote:
Have to agree-I enjoy the RS1 with my solid state amps and Bellari HA540 tube amp. My preference is the Bellari but the Grados are quite good straight out of a Kindle Fire or ipod too!
I've been a "closet" solid state RS1 user for a very long time.  The RS1 needs a lot of current reserves and "oomph" to get the lower bass sub-tones to match the slam and energy of the rest of the spectrum.  Still enjoy my RS1 with a Larocco ppa.  Discrete current buffer and OPA627s is a very dry and empty sounding amp with my HD580 and K701.  But IMHO a "dry" amp with lots of current reserves is a blank ebauche' and  sets the stage nicely for the RS1 to fill in its color and slam.
 
Lately I have been using the darkvoice 337 as a preamp to feed the PPA.  Very groovy effect.  I get the even order harmonic distortion and subtle midrange thickness of tubes and the bass-slam + current juice of the PPA current buffer.  Really fun setup for certain kinds of tunes. 
 
The headamp GS-1 is my fave RS1 amp.  I never really cared for the RA1.  I chose the larocco PPA over it at the time.  Better amp for the same $$.
 
Listening to Paul Gilbert Space ship One as I type.
Quick pause for a snap shot.
 

 
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Chris J

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LOL, this is why.......





u gonna pay 350 bucks for that?

LOL!
$350 for what is basically a CMOY in a nice wooden case!

BTW, anybody got any suggestions for a good low cost amp for the RS-2i?
 
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whirlwind

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I am just using my RS1i from my soundcard, an Asus Essence ST, and the cans sounds fantastic.
 
I may someday think about setting up aliitle listening station in the living room, and getting an amp.
 
What should I expect in the sound differences ?
 
I have heard that Maple Tree amps are a great match for the RS1i...but isnt it really a preference, and without being able to actually hear them....how would one know?
 
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obobskivich

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I'm surprised that they're aren't more peoples using the Grado RA1 with they're RS1i, because from what i've read, the RA1 was ''voiced'' to pair well with the RS1i.

According to Grado, the RA-1 are backordered (and have been for a while); something has shut the production line down for quite a while (and I'm guessing the hurricane didn't help restart it). So ignoring that the RA-1 gets its teeth kicked in around here (mostly the same echo chamber effect that has people ignoring Grado in the first place), they're basically impossible to buy brand new anymore (they've been OOS for almost a year through my preferred dealers, and Grado is estimating at least another 6-8 weeks (and I think that's for production to resume) based on the last time I spoke with them).


LOL!
$350 for what is basically a CMOY in a nice wooden case!

Actually it's more like:

"$350 (or 425) for what is basically a name-brand O2 with better customer service in a nice wooden case with potentially better build" (not that any of this, by itself, should = $400, but it's not the same as an altoid tin amp with a $400 sticker). :xf_eek:

I'm not trying to champion the thing, $425 is quite a lot for a headphone amplifier (of any type); I just think it gets the lion's share of abuse over being a perceived bad value, despite being in a segment that's almost universally characterized by high mark-up. I get the complaints, I just don't think the RA-1 should be alone in fielding them, if that makes sense.

BTW, anybody got any suggestions for a good low cost amp for the RS-2i?

V-CAN. Stereo receiver. Good PC soundcard.


I am just using my RS1i from my soundcard, an Asus Essence ST, and the cans sounds fantastic.

I may someday think about setting up aliitle listening station in the living room, and getting an amp.

What should I expect in the sound differences ?

They're still gonna sound like RS-1i; how's that?
 
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whirlwind

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OK....I am going to take that like they are basically going to sound like they do coming from my Asus Essence soundcard....thanks again.
 
That is enough to keep me from buying an expensive amp in the future.
 
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Chris J

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"$350 (or 425) for what is basically a name-brand O2 with better customer service in a nice wooden case with potentially better build" (not that any of this, by itself, should = $400, but it's not the same as an altoid tin amp with a $400 sticker). :xf_eek:

I?

No, Grado design is very similar to the CMOY.

The O2 design is quite different and more sophisticated.

I'm not going to try and say one sounds better. The best one is the one you like.

I do agree with the Grado amp getting too much of a beating, it does have very good quality input caps, and, let's be real here, the Grado case is a very noce looking case and is not a case which is cheap to build.
 
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DefectiveAudioComponent

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Quote:
"$350 (or 425) for what is basically a name-brand O2 with better customer service in a nice wooden case with potentially better build" (not that any of this, by itself, should = $400, but it's not the same as an altoid tin amp with a $400 sticker).

 
I just can't see what's better than the O2 in that build. ( I have an O2  and it cost nowhere near 400). Entertain me. Please.
 
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Chris J

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stacker45

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Quote:
 
LOL, this is why.......
 
 

 
u gonna pay 350 bucks for that?
 
I'm no expert, but i've learned not to judge a book by it's cover, also, i've read numerous times that the ideal amp would be a straight wire with gain, so the RA1's symplicity might actually be a good thing, i remember hearing the RA1 at the Montréal Hi-Fi show, it was driving a pair of PS1000 and i tought it sounded pretty good.
 
Regarding the price ,$300-$400 is not cheap, but it's not THAT expensive either, is it worth it?, are the RS!i worth $700?, it's subjective i guess.
 
If i was in the market for an amp, i'd sure would give the RA1 a listen, you never know, that Grado magic works in mysterious ways

 
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wemedge

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New here; lurked and read but just joined a few days ago.
 
Just picked up the RS1i tonight for a good price new; listening to them now (ipod through an Alo National). Mainly jazz (Metheny trio type). Feeling the pain, because I just got a pair of SR225-I a few weeks ago.
 
I also listened to the PS500 and RS2-I tonight, and these made the cut. I'm going back and forth between the RS1i and 225i trying to justify this crazy spending (to me it's big deal. ha). I could be happy with just either, but it's nice to have both!
 
Airy and excellent clarity, but not harsh at all- my impressions of the RS1i so far. The SR225i is more more "immediate", the RS1i has better separation of the instruments, I think. I lack the proper vocabulary to describe it properly. All I know is that it puts a smile on my face.
 
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