Huge Comparison of [Almost] All Grado Headphones -- Post Your Own Comparisons Here (thanks, @giogio!)
Dec 3, 2020 at 3:50 AM Post #61 of 75

VinMAC

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Joseph69, I saw you have an Abyss 1266 too. Can you somehow compare the sound of Grado GH1 / GH2 with the Abyss 1266? Or are there so many quality worlds in between that it doesn't make sense? Thank you!
 
Dec 3, 2020 at 10:31 AM Post #62 of 75

joseph69

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Joseph69, I saw you have an Abyss 1266 too. Can you somehow compare the sound of Grado GH1 / GH2 with the Abyss 1266? Or are there so many quality worlds in between that it doesn't make sense? Thank you!
No, I don't own any version of the Abyss 1266.
I've only demoed every version (in home) at one time or another. The Abyss are on another level (price wise) and the price / performance ratio of the GH1 / GH2 can't be beat IMHO. Both are exceptional sounding headphones. I own some much more expensive headphones that I really enjoy with my gear, but I enjoy my Grado's just as much.

PS: Just a tip. Place an '@' before the username so that member will get a notification (if they've chosen to in their preferences) when someone mentions their name.
 
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Dec 4, 2020 at 4:35 AM Post #63 of 75

VinMAC

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Thanks! Then the Abyss plays in a higher league than the Grados in all respects?

Could you tell me something about the differences in high frequency and sound stage between GH1 and GH2? Does the GH1 have more highs and a larger stage than the GH2?
 
Dec 4, 2020 at 6:01 AM Post #64 of 75

joseph69

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Thanks! Then the Abyss plays in a higher league than the Grados in all respects?

Could you tell me something about the differences in high frequency and sound stage between GH1 and GH2? Does the GH1 have more highs and a larger stage than the GH2?
You're welcome. I really can't comment on the Abyss "playing in a higher league than the Grado's in all respects" because sound comes down to personal preference and Grado's have excellent soul and emotion to their sound in a very unique way. One thing is for sure, the Abyss plays in much higher priced leave than Grado's.

Using the Grado G cushions on both, the GH1 & GH2 I find the GH1 to have both, more upper frequency while being very smooth and a larger sound stage. With that being said, I have more than sufficient burn in on my GH1. being I've owned then since their introduction. I purchased my GH2 pre-owned +/-3mos ago (?) and don't know how many hours they have on them, but I do feel they need more burn in and will open up much further. Also, I'm finding the GH1 to have a more neutral sound, while the GH2 has a more mid-focused and punchier sound. Both sound excellent too my ears.
 
Dec 4, 2020 at 6:42 AM Post #65 of 75

VinMAC

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I have the GS1000i and the newly bought GH2. The midrange and bass are clearly better on the GH2 than on the GS1000i. Instead, it has a more stage and a slightly higher resolution treble. I would like to buy another Grado On Ear because I also had the GS3000e to test at home. The midrange and stage were perfect. But compared to my GS1000i, the bass and treble were too weak for me.

I am now wondering which On Ear Gardo should I buy now. I attach great importance to a punchy bass and especially detailed treble and listen to rock, blues and alternative country. Which one should i take? The GH1, the RS2e or even an old used RS1?
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 9:35 AM Post #67 of 75

Bernard23

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@ruthieandjohn the $420 question is have you tested the Hemps yet? I've been persuaded by this forum to get some over the Rs2e, I already have 325e which I will keep, as assuming will be quite different within the Grado spectrum. I've ordered a bunch of pads too, as I suspect that the effects will be somewhat unique, as our ears are all slightly different shapes, not to mention our tuning preferences.
 
Dec 9, 2020 at 9:43 AM Post #68 of 75

jshaevitz

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This is a comparison of the GS1000e to the GS3000e that I posted on the Grado Fan thread:

Grado GS1000e (1ke) vs GS3000e (3ke) comparison review

Preface:
I am a Grado fan. I have had many headphones over the past 25 years, including many of the high-end cans from companies like Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, Sony, Audeze, and Fostex (although 20 years ago high end had a different meaning and price!). I like treble-forward headphones and hate boomy/muddy bass. Everyone hears differently and has different preference for audio reproduction. I am also a classical brass musician. I like brass to sound, well, brassy with all their glorious harmonics. I also like to hear music that sounds like I am on stage with the musicians. I think most people would be surprised at how much a violin emits in the treble up close and personal as you hear the bow move against the strings. For me, no headphone company can reproduce this feeling like Grado in terms of openness and presence. The best advice I've heard over the years is to find people/reviewers who share your preferred sound signature and ignore anyone else. So, take it or leave it, here are my thoughts on the GS1000e vs GS3000e.

I have moved up the Grado line for longer than I can remember. For a very long time, I used the 225's, modifying them at points along the way. I never loved the L cushions (although I tolerated them forever) so ended up with some larger aftermarket G cushions on the 225. At some point the upgrade bug bit me (along with a larger paycheck), and I bought a used GS1000e. These are wonderful headphones and I was very content with them. Then I took another jump and bought the GS3000e when I found a great deal on a mint pair.

Summary:
Both headphones are great, but there are differences. The tl;dr: The 3ke has more bass extension, more defined bass, and less treble which make for an excellent listen. Orchestral strings are good on both but superb on the 3ke. Good orchestral recordings sound like I am on the conductors podium, and not 10 rows back in the house. On my copies, the channel balance is also better on the 3ke than the 1ke in the treble but this may be pair dependent. I can hear this easily when doing frequency sweeps but I am not sure it makes a real difference listening to real music. Most of all, the 3ke is more restrained but retains the openness, forwardness, and realism that I associate with the Grado sound. As both have increased treble, tape hiss from older recordings is more noticeable. Those of us over a certain age are quite adept at looking past this to hear the music but it is something to consider. The 1ke puts more color on the hiss due to its resonances which can make the hiss more noticeable. I will end by saying that both are TOTL headphones that are extremely light and comfortable on the head. Many high-end headphones are much heavier (looking at you planars) and I have trouble wearing them for long listening sessions. The Grados with the G cushions are comparably light as a feather and I can wear them all day without even noticing that are there.

Bass:
The 3ke has more bass which is quite noticeable in both tests and listening to music. It's not a huge effect but a little but goes a long way. It is not, however, boomy at all. For bass instruments (upright bass, electric bass, kick drum) the sound is rounder and fuller than with the 1ke. However, both models produce similar "slam" as the 1ke puts more energy into ~125Hz, but the 3ke sounds ever slightly more realistic. Compared to headphones with much larger bass extension, the only time I really notice a serious difference is with electronic music with frequencies in the sub-bass range. But as I don't listen to this kind of music or games/movies with my headphones this does not bother me.

Mids:
Both are excellent for me. Detailed and not recessed.

Treble:
Treble on the 1ke is harsher, with a more treble forward presentation. The 3ke has fewer and smaller resonant peaks in the treble when tested with frequency sweeps. This can be heard with some female vocals where the 3ke has less harsh syllables and sibilance. The same concept applies to sounds from the violin which are smoother but still present with the 3ke. Any changes in treble affect the timber and sound of cymbals and the 1ke and 3ke are different but I am not sure I prefer one over the other here. Lastly, distorted electric guitar sounds better to me on 1ke, they just have more grunge to them. My theory is that this is due to the small peaks in the treble.


Listening notes:
Good Times, Chic: bass notes are very round and defined without being boomy or muddy.

Beethoven Symphonies No 5, Carlos Kleiber and Winer Philharminoker: both are excellent. 3ke seems better defined for moving bass passages and better for high brass sections. Oboe and flute also very realistic in sound and localization.

Holy Wars...The Punishment Due, Megadeath: 3ke wins on drum reproduction (kick and cymbals), 1ke wins on guitar sound.

Stepping (Isise), Babatude Olatunji: Both excellent, but 3ke wins on definition and sound. More defined nuances (sounds of hands/sticks on drums, ring down of drum oscillation, room acoustics)

Daydreamer, Adele: Bass more defined on 3ke. Adele's voice is one where one the resonances on my copy of 1ke make her sound harsh. The 3ke didn't have this.

Run-Around, Blues Traveler: Great on both. Dropping bass note at beginning fuller on 3ke. Popper's harmonica less harsh on 3ke and voice also perhaps more realistic.

Over the Rainbow, Jane Monheit AND I can See Clearly Now, Holly Cole Trio: Much prefer 3ke as it has a more restrained vocal while still sounding "alive". Both cans do well on the bass here.

Beethoven Sting Quartet No. 6 in B-Flat Major, I: Allegreo con brio, Belcea Quartet. Violins less harsh and more even sounding on 3ke. Cello is wonderfully rich on 3ke. Both have great imaging.

And So It Goes, The King's Singers: For male vocal ensembles both cans are very similar as you have less of the extremes in frequency.

My One and Only Love, Houston Person: Ron Carter's bass is far superior on 3ke. It digs deep without any boom but the connection to the upper harmonics, string motion/ringing, finger sounds is great. Peterson's sax sound is also mellower on the 3ke in a very realistic way.

Stella by Starlight, Joe Pass: 1ke is more treble forward, but not necessarily a bad thing for the acoustic guitar sound. I still prefer the 3ke, but 1ke is very strong here, just different.

Chopin Waltzes, Op. 64: No 2 in C-Sharp Minor, Edward Auer: Both sound excellent on this piano recording and I hear very little difference.
 
Jan 2, 2021 at 8:08 PM Post #69 of 75

Rodat

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This is a comparison of the GS1000e to the GS3000e that I posted on the Grado Fan thread:

Grado GS1000e (1ke) vs GS3000e (3ke) comparison review

Preface:
I am a Grado fan. I have had many headphones over the past 25 years, including many of the high-end cans from companies like Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, Sony, Audeze, and Fostex (although 20 years ago high end had a different meaning and price!). I like treble-forward headphones and hate boomy/muddy bass. Everyone hears differently and has different preference for audio reproduction. I am also a classical brass musician. I like brass to sound, well, brassy with all their glorious harmonics. I also like to hear music that sounds like I am on stage with the musicians. I think most people would be surprised at how much a violin emits in the treble up close and personal as you hear the bow move against the strings. For me, no headphone company can reproduce this feeling like Grado in terms of openness and presence. The best advice I've heard over the years is to find people/reviewers who share your preferred sound signature and ignore anyone else. So, take it or leave it, here are my thoughts on the GS1000e vs GS3000e.

I have moved up the Grado line for longer than I can remember. For a very long time, I used the 225's, modifying them at points along the way. I never loved the L cushions (although I tolerated them forever) so ended up with some larger aftermarket G cushions on the 225. At some point the upgrade bug bit me (along with a larger paycheck), and I bought a used GS1000e. These are wonderful headphones and I was very content with them. Then I took another jump and bought the GS3000e when I found a great deal on a mint pair.

Summary:
Both headphones are great, but there are differences. The tl;dr: The 3ke has more bass extension, more defined bass, and less treble which make for an excellent listen. Orchestral strings are good on both but superb on the 3ke. Good orchestral recordings sound like I am on the conductors podium, and not 10 rows back in the house. On my copies, the channel balance is also better on the 3ke than the 1ke in the treble but this may be pair dependent. I can hear this easily when doing frequency sweeps but I am not sure it makes a real difference listening to real music. Most of all, the 3ke is more restrained but retains the openness, forwardness, and realism that I associate with the Grado sound. As both have increased treble, tape hiss from older recordings is more noticeable. Those of us over a certain age are quite adept at looking past this to hear the music but it is something to consider. The 1ke puts more color on the hiss due to its resonances which can make the hiss more noticeable. I will end by saying that both are TOTL headphones that are extremely light and comfortable on the head. Many high-end headphones are much heavier (looking at you planars) and I have trouble wearing them for long listening sessions. The Grados with the G cushions are comparably light as a feather and I can wear them all day without even noticing that are there.

Bass:
The 3ke has more bass which is quite noticeable in both tests and listening to music. It's not a huge effect but a little but goes a long way. It is not, however, boomy at all. For bass instruments (upright bass, electric bass, kick drum) the sound is rounder and fuller than with the 1ke. However, both models produce similar "slam" as the 1ke puts more energy into ~125Hz, but the 3ke sounds ever slightly more realistic. Compared to headphones with much larger bass extension, the only time I really notice a serious difference is with electronic music with frequencies in the sub-bass range. But as I don't listen to this kind of music or games/movies with my headphones this does not bother me.

Mids:
Both are excellent for me. Detailed and not recessed.

Treble:
Treble on the 1ke is harsher, with a more treble forward presentation. The 3ke has fewer and smaller resonant peaks in the treble when tested with frequency sweeps. This can be heard with some female vocals where the 3ke has less harsh syllables and sibilance. The same concept applies to sounds from the violin which are smoother but still present with the 3ke. Any changes in treble affect the timber and sound of cymbals and the 1ke and 3ke are different but I am not sure I prefer one over the other here. Lastly, distorted electric guitar sounds better to me on 1ke, they just have more grunge to them. My theory is that this is due to the small peaks in the treble.


Listening notes:
Good Times, Chic: bass notes are very round and defined without being boomy or muddy.

Beethoven Symphonies No 5, Carlos Kleiber and Winer Philharminoker: both are excellent. 3ke seems better defined for moving bass passages and better for high brass sections. Oboe and flute also very realistic in sound and localization.

Holy Wars...The Punishment Due, Megadeath: 3ke wins on drum reproduction (kick and cymbals), 1ke wins on guitar sound.

Stepping (Isise), Babatude Olatunji: Both excellent, but 3ke wins on definition and sound. More defined nuances (sounds of hands/sticks on drums, ring down of drum oscillation, room acoustics)

Daydreamer, Adele: Bass more defined on 3ke. Adele's voice is one where one the resonances on my copy of 1ke make her sound harsh. The 3ke didn't have this.

Run-Around, Blues Traveler: Great on both. Dropping bass note at beginning fuller on 3ke. Popper's harmonica less harsh on 3ke and voice also perhaps more realistic.

Over the Rainbow, Jane Monheit AND I can See Clearly Now, Holly Cole Trio: Much prefer 3ke as it has a more restrained vocal while still sounding "alive". Both cans do well on the bass here.

Beethoven Sting Quartet No. 6 in B-Flat Major, I: Allegreo con brio, Belcea Quartet. Violins less harsh and more even sounding on 3ke. Cello is wonderfully rich on 3ke. Both have great imaging.

And So It Goes, The King's Singers: For male vocal ensembles both cans are very similar as you have less of the extremes in frequency.

My One and Only Love, Houston Person: Ron Carter's bass is far superior on 3ke. It digs deep without any boom but the connection to the upper harmonics, string motion/ringing, finger sounds is great. Peterson's sax sound is also mellower on the 3ke in a very realistic way.

Stella by Starlight, Joe Pass: 1ke is more treble forward, but not necessarily a bad thing for the acoustic guitar sound. I still prefer the 3ke, but 1ke is very strong here, just different.

Chopin Waltzes, Op. 64: No 2 in C-Sharp Minor, Edward Auer: Both sound excellent on this piano recording and I hear very little difference.
Very interesting post as I was wondering what I may miss between the GS1000E and the GS3000E. I just purchased the GS1000E and just like you I am amazed by the presence and clarity of the sounds produced. I used to play the violin many years ago and I am familiar with the real sound of this instrument and I find the restitution of some good recordings extremely good. Whilst I admit that the cable size and the mechanical aspect of those headsets is retro and not ideal, the sound is as good as I ever heard.
I was puzzled by several very harsh reviews of people who present themselves as professional reviewers and they claim that those headphones are not worth their asking price.
This led me to purchase earlier the Sennheiser HD800S which is regarded as one of the finest on the planet. I put up with this for some time up to the point where I realised that a pair of uncomfortable 325i sounded better and then a few days ago; I took a leap of faith with the GS1000E. This was clearly worth it.
I had tried some G cushions on the 325 and did note the improved sound stage but the GS statement takes this further. I understand that not everyone’s ears are the same but I am still surprised by the hostility that some reviewers have with the Grados.
However, the first post of this thread shows the opposite extreme , when audiophiles appreciate the sound quality of the Grados then some of them end up acquiring the whole collection.
thanks for sharing your experience.
 
Jan 7, 2021 at 3:45 AM Post #70 of 75

VinMAC

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@ruthieandjohn
I have bought an unused old RS2 (not RS2i) and burned it in over 200 hours. In your comparison you gave it 100% for bass. The qualitiy of bass is indeed very precise but in comparison with my GS1000i, GH2 and RS2e it has much less substance in the bass.

Was that also your experience in your comparison? thanks.
 
Jan 7, 2021 at 9:48 AM Post #71 of 75

ruthieandjohn

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Thanks for that observation! I still have the RS2 (not i ... these are rare!), the GH2 (which I should compare with my new a Hemp’s that Ruthie gave me for Christmas), and RS2e.
 
Jan 8, 2021 at 4:10 AM Post #72 of 75

VinMAC

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Thanks for that observation! I still have the RS2 (not i ... these are rare!), the GH2 (which I should compare with my new a Hemp’s that Ruthie gave me for Christmas), and RS2e.

I only wanted to know if it is normal that RS2 has much less bass amount than the RS2e because I want to avoid buying a defect HP.

1610096672433.png


But your comparison of RS2, RS2i and RS2e shows clearly that RS2 and RS2i have much less bass than RS2.

1610096834907.png


Here you gave RS2 100% for bass. I think not because of bass substance but because of bass precision which I also have detected on the RS2.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 9:58 PM Post #73 of 75

atmfrank

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Thank you again for supporting the impression that, with the G pads, the sound of the GH2 is pushed back a little by the larger space, but is still essentially retained.

I got another new GH2 from a UK dealer. He is supposed to arrive on Thursday. Then at least 100 hours of burn-in time is required. First I'll test it with the L pads, then with the G pads.

Yes, enjoy listening to the HD800, but prepare for the sonic shock. Those who prefer Grado cannot love Sennheiser!
That's not true at all. I only have Sennheiser and Grado's, and I just committed to buying a used GS1000e to complement a RS2e. I also actively use a HD800s and HD600 (which I had for 25+ yrs). Grado sound is distinctly different, bit there are situations where one characteristic is preferred over the other.

For example, right now I am listening to an old piece of vinyl (Free - Fire and Water), which is mastered with this typical 70ties muddy sound (b/c the monitors in the studio were old JBL4311B's - hated those, I had them for years). Forget the HD800's, the only thing that works is that lively (and highly inaccurate) sound of a Grado. Now, if I put that 180g Daft Punk on my TT, the Grados would kill me instantly :)
 
Feb 23, 2021 at 4:46 AM Post #74 of 75

VinMAC

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That's not true at all. I only have Sennheiser and Grado's, and I just committed to buying a used GS1000e to complement a RS2e. I also actively use a HD800s and HD600 (which I had for 25+ yrs). Grado sound is distinctly different, bit there are situations where one characteristic is preferred over the other.

For example, right now I am listening to an old piece of vinyl (Free - Fire and Water), which is mastered with this typical 70ties muddy sound (b/c the monitors in the studio were old JBL4311B's - hated those, I had them for years). Forget the HD800's, the only thing that works is that lively (and highly inaccurate) sound of a Grado. Now, if I put that 180g Daft Punk on my TT, the Grados would kill me instantly :)
O.k., if you really have this flexibility in listening habits and recording quality, then it will probably work. Personally, the Sennheiser sound too dry and emotionless to me.
 
Feb 23, 2021 at 8:04 AM Post #75 of 75

Bernard23

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I find it enough of a challenge to swap between hemp and 325e, let alone a completely different brand of headphone.
 

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