Help! Grado or Alessandro?? Need help choosing!!
Dec 17, 2007 at 12:52 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 28

DocHamm

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Posts
956
Likes
11
To clarify, this is a request for help!! I am trying to decide on a new pair of headphones and need advice on these. Would some head-fiers mind sharing some info, advice and opinions? Please??

Grados vs Alessandro

Some basic principles:
Sound Quality (Clarity, Bass/Midrange/Treble)
Comfort (long hours?)
Amplification Requirements (?)

Grado vs Alessandro
*As compared to Koss KSC35/PortaPro/KSC75

Of Grado, I have listened to the SR125 & SR225. I noticed an appreciative difference in SQ and SS in the 225's. SS you say? I think in this instance it was the source (Muddy Waters). There was a HUGE difference in the presence of the music going from the 125's to the 225's listening to Muddy. Listening to Jake Shimabukro, the difference was significantly less.

Where do the other models fall in reference to the 125/225 sound? I have been told the 325i's are brighter, bordering on too bright. Upper frequencies can cause me serious vibrations in my inner ear, either just discomfort up to pain. Does that leave the 325i's out?

I've heard the SR60/SR80 are significantly different, the 80's with fuller sound and more comfortable. How do they relate to the 125/225?

I've noticed a number of MS-1 lovers here, especially many upgrading from Koss. I've been a Koss fan, so I'll start there. Is there improved bass over the 225's to a closer Koss sound? I love my PortaPro and KSC35's but my Portas are getting old (23 years+) and the bass is getting a bit floaty/mushy. The KSC35's sound great; I love them for my iPod on the go (I have a Shellbrook but prefer not to carry all that stuff). How does the bass on the MS-1 compare to the 225? To the PortaPro? Is bass more or less? Any midrange/treble loss or gain?

Basically I am trying to pick a respectable pair of headphones for home use. I was about to buy the SR225's, but when I went to the last local shop, they were already gone, out of business. I had hoped to listen to a few other headphones, but that's no longer possible. To note, I've also listened to the Senn PX100 and HD495. The PX100 was fine, but I already have the Koss for on-the-go. The HD495 were a bit large and, I think, beat up. They seemed decent, albeit very bassy, but the volume was quite loud and no volume conrtol. My main concerns are size and sound quality. I have neck and head problems so heavier phones are out as I can end up with severe headaches or neck pain in as little as 30-60 min. As for sound, I prefer clarity. Not antiseptic, but not over done in any particular area. Good bass, not overly deep and not real boomy. Good mids; I like clean vocals that are not "in-the-back-of-the-room" sounding. Good highs, just not overly bright or tinny. Some frequencies and pitches can cause my inner ear to vibrate (like a humming bird in my ear canal) and go from annoying to painful. Ergo my trying to use the Koss here as a point of reference. From what I've read about Grado and Alessandro, they sound like what I am looking for, but I'd like more opinions.

Lastly, as for budget, let's say $100-200 range. As for amplification, I have been considering the HeadRoom AMP/DAC combos for desktop. I've also given consideration to the Audio-Technica AT-HA25D and Fubar, but I'd have to buy a separate AMP and DAC to get 24-bit from Fubar. I've read reviews on others, including the Benchmark, but prefer to keep the cost under $800 and, if possible, have USB as well as digital connections.

Hopefully I haven't throw in too many questions, but when it comes to my listening pleasure, I am very picky. I prefer to be patient and hopefully happier in the long run rather than to buy on urge and sit in disappointment. So please, tell me everything about these headphones and/or what you would recommend. Also I would like to know about the Grado mods. Are they worth it? I certain like the looks, but I'm not sure some of those upgrades would be worth it considering they could go 3-5x the cost of the headphone. Thanks for all the input!!

Music Preferences: New-Age, Electronica, Rock, Jazz, Classical
[Mostly in that order but I love all kinds of music!]
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 12:59 AM Post #2 of 28

Mimesis

Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Posts
67
Likes
10
not to highjack, (although it does fit in), i own a pair of sr 225's and am slightly underwhelmed by the bass quantity (while impact is ok) would the 325i's be my natural upgrade?
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 1:07 AM Post #3 of 28

Zorander

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 14, 2004
Posts
5,491
Likes
25
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mimesis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
not to highjack, (although it does fit in), i own a pair of sr 225's and am slightly underwhelmed by the bass quantity (while impact is ok) would the 325i's be my natural upgrade?


Have you tried the flat pads?
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 1:32 AM Post #5 of 28

vesther

Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Posts
96
Likes
12
They're the same phones developed by Grado, except that Alessandro are rebranded Grados so unless you compare both of them side-by-side, it's really hard to say which one's better since both brands share the same Grado technology.
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 1:33 AM Post #6 of 28

worldman

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 29, 2007
Posts
270
Likes
12
Since you are moving up from Koss, I would recommend that you try out the SR-60 first because that in itself is a ver y big move up. After that, you will have a clearer idea of which path to pursue going forward. Grado has a distinct taste (which a lot of people like), and that's why you have to really feel comfortable before moving up the Grado ladder.
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 1:37 AM Post #7 of 28

DocHamm

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Posts
956
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by vesther /img/forum/go_quote.gif
They're the same phones developed by Grado, except that Alessandro are rebranded Grados so unless you compare both of them side-by-side, it's really hard to say which one's better since both brands share the same Grado technology.


I wish I could do an A/B test, but now no one around here sells them. Best I got was an A/B on the 125/225 and I was impressed with the difference, but only on some music. So would it be safe to say the SR80 is the same as the MS-1?
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 1:39 AM Post #8 of 28

SBD

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Posts
590
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by DocHamm /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I wish I could do an A/B test, but now no one around here sells them. Best I got was an A/B on the 125/225 and I was impressed with the difference, but only on some music. So would it be safe to say the SR80 is the same as the MS-1?


The only thing that's the same is their build and their Grado Labs name. Grado is more in-your-face with more bass while alessandro is more laid back and analytical. It's been discussed before...please do a search
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 2:57 AM Post #11 of 28

Zorander

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 14, 2004
Posts
5,491
Likes
25
Quote:

Originally Posted by BrookR1 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yeah...in general, people that want some punch and snap go for Grados, and people that want a more analytical and laid back sound go for Alessandros.


I would avoid the whole line-up if I really wanted laid-back sound. I personally chose Alessandro simply because the Grado highs are just too much for me (shrill) but that does not mean the Alessandro is laid-back (let alone neutral) at all.

Regards.
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 2:59 AM Post #12 of 28

warsurferX

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 23, 2007
Posts
139
Likes
0
Hmmm... perhaps you can consider getting the MS-1/MS-2i and if you can... go straight for the RS-1
smily_headphones1.gif
. At least that was the route i took. Hehe
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 3:28 AM Post #13 of 28

DocHamm

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Posts
956
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by warsurferX /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hmmm... perhaps you can consider getting the MS-1/MS-2i and if you can... go straight for the RS-1
smily_headphones1.gif
. At least that was the route i took. Hehe



Pardon my Alessandro ignorance here, but MS2i? I did not see that on the Alessandro web site. Please enlighten me!

I've considered the RS-1 (or RS-2) but that would be a big price jump and I had hoped to get a decent dac/amp for my computer now too.

My porta's are dying, otherwise I'd grab a serious dac/amp (Benchmark?) and upgrade the phones later. FYI.. I'm not a basshead, I just like punch and deep bass on some music and some phones I've tried (e.g. Audio-Technica) lack that bass.
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 3:47 AM Post #14 of 28

RBYRER

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 26, 2007
Posts
172
Likes
11
Go for the rs 1's. I have a pair and let me tell you they have alot of deep bass and they really have some punch to them. You should still have enough left over to get you one of those portable dac/amp combos from ibassio, or a used move dac/amp for instance. Good luck.
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 4:36 AM Post #15 of 28

Blackmore

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Posts
5,719
Likes
88
The biggest mistake people make is buying phones without having a good source.
You want phones for home use, so why dont you take your time and see what the most important to you:

1. SR80 and amp/dac combo
2. RS2 or RS1 without one

I would go for nr.1 without a doubt. Why? Well, I think that SR80 are very close to SR225, but they come with flats, which can be much comfortable to you for longer sessions. They do have enough clarity, detail and the bass is well present, imo. The amp/dac combo can only help you with all this.
If you want jump to higher level, look at SR325i at least, but they do need TUBES and an good source. I never had any single issue with them been harsh, bright etc... One thing that you not get is comfort and they are quit heavy, so RS2 or RS1 are your only option left. But than again, the better source / amp combo are more than welcome, I would say must, when you think of the high end phones.
Good luck.
cool.gif
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top