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Headphone Manufacturers that give the worst Diminishing Returns as you go down their product line

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by hiyu64, Feb 20, 2013.
  1. hiyu64
    Here's some background on me/Story time!: 
    It was during the summer of my senior year of high school when I decide I needed a new pair of headphones for college since I'm a big boy now.  I browsed the web looking for headphones and at first I was going to buy an Ath-ES7 black.  It had style with the slick black color/metallic cups and its SQ is pretty good after reading many reviews on the internet.  However, its price was out of my league when I had only a budget of $70.  When I checked ebay, I found one for sale for $40 and I bought it right then and there.  When I received it I was ecstatic. it had a nice looking box that none of my previous cheapo headphones had and it came with a nice carrying pouch!  not to mention the SQ was better than anything I had previously heard.  However, I soon found out it was fake.  The cups were made of plastic and colored with metallic paint, the left and right signs on the headbands were plastic stickers, and there were several other counterfeit signs as well.  I returned it and got a full refund luckily.  Anyway, I was not phased and pushed on, which eventually led me to head-fi.  I browsed the forums and it seemed like every other thread was praising Grados and thus I bought a Grado SR-60 and I loved it. 
    ...That was 4+ years ago.
    Now, with more disposable income to my name, I registered on head-fi this time err last August (I regret this somewhat for all the money that proceeded to leak from my wallet).  I enjoyed the SR-60 for 4 years, but the pads have disintegrated and I needed something new.  Being a diehard Grado Fan now, I had to get something better down the reference line and I ended up getting the SR325is.  When It came in the signature Grado Pizza box, I was ecstatic.  The home made feel/retro look on the headphones was really nice, but then I heard them and I wanted to throw them out the window.  I had them for 3 weeks and tried to get rid of them for 3 weeks until I was able to sell them off.  The buyer had an ipod and a FiiO amp and he auditioned them in my living room.  I could clearly hear the blazing guitars coming through the grills of the 325is.  After he was done, he turned to me saying "I'll take them!" and I apologized to him under my breath.  After browsing Head-fi some more, I hadn't given up on Grado yet.  I bought the PS500 for their "darker" sound signature.  Once again that charming little pizza box, the homemade feel, that retro look...I enjoyed it this this time.  The bass had me going, the highs were perfect and not ear raping like the 325is, and the mids were pretty good too.....Then I fell ill...I fell victim...
    And with the Orthodynamic/Magnetic Planar Revolution spearheaded by Audeze and Hi-fiman, I had to get my hands on an Ortho.  I looked at threads on the HE-500 and LCD-2.2 and they were neck and neck.  Blow for blow, the two orthos fought.  In the end, however, the Audeze won me over.  I'll have to thank David Mahler for his 50 flagship thread it really helped me make the final decision.  Also, the sturdy LCD-2.2 traveling case was much more attractive than the paper/cardboard box or w/e the HE-500 comes in.  Anyway the LCD-2.2 came in their sturdy traveling box and the rosewood cups were gorgeous.   I've listened the the LCD-2.2s for a month now and I absolutely love them.  Also, I definitely can't agree with people saying that the LCD-2.2 is heavy and clamps hard.  They are very comfortable and do not clamp hard at all...or maybe my head is just so unnaturally strong after wearing Grado vicegrips for so long.   
    When I look back at my PS500 now, I think ugly, bland, and without any thought put into the design.  When I look at the Grado Pizza box I feel disgusted at paying premium price for a paper box, and I wanted to go back in time and kick myself in the shin for ever thinking the little pizza box was charming(yea, at the cost of my hard earned money).  When I imagine John Grado's face smiling back at me on the Grado website, as he secretly laughs and counts all the money he ripped off from me I feel a little fire inside.  Grado is the one of the cheapest/sleeziest "notable" headphone manufacturers around and is the king of Diminishing returns.  
    For me, the actual price of the PS500 should be $350-400 not $695 for the whole package, while the LCD-2.2 should cost $800-850.  I can't even imagine paying more than $800 for the PS1000 knowing that it'll come in a pizza box again.  

    I feel that the only Grados that are worth anything at all are:
    The SR60, which I would still pay $70 for ($80 for SR60i with slightly better cable? not a chance) . 
    The HF-2. I still wonder why John decided to make a worse version of the HF-2 aka PS500            
    The HP-1000, which I hope to get my hands on in the future.  I'm still shocked at how such a marvelous headphone, at least by objective measurements, ended up under the Grado name. 
    I wish Joe Grado would comeback, use his old man strength, and slap some sense into that scrub John, cue TLC "no scrubs"
    John is definitely not getting anymore money from me.
    Oh, Grado also did the low impedence thing right at 32ohms.
    Still, I just can't believe that John is willing to charge those outrageous prices with a good conscience for mid-high end Grado Headphones.
    Hope you had as much fun reading my story as I've had writing it.  What other manufacturers do you think give really bad diminishing returns? 

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