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Looking for Grados less strident/peaky than RS1s

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by movi, May 13, 2011.
  1. movi
    just picked up a set of buttoned RS1 (vintage B).
    i'm finding them a little strident/peaky with a hump around the 10khz region that i find uncomfortable on many tracks.
    my understanding is RS2, HF2, and RS1i are all slightly rolled off in the treble region compared to RS1.
    1. can anyone comment on whether this applies to the 10khz area? are RS2, HF2, or RS1i noticeably less strident in this frequency range?
    2. would switching to jumbo pads help in this regard?
  2. sling5s
    Flats will fix it. It will give a little more warmth and bass, and tame the treble.
    Some songs may sound more muddy and congested but i think in most cases it will work for you.
    The Jumbo bowls will accentuate the highs and kill the midrange.  Try flats from ttvj.  You may also try tube amps as well.
  3. movi
    what about the squashing between books mod for the bowls?
  4. sling5s
    You can try reversing the bowls.  it will give you an idea of what flats sound like.  it's better than squashing it because it retakes its form.
  5. movi
    you mean if you squash it you have to keep another pair squashed all the time because eventually they go back to their normal form?
    hmm. i'll give reversed bowls a try and maybe pick up some ttvj flats
  6. Chris_Himself
    I have that same situation with my SR-60's and SR-225's. Both of them are recabled and terminated with silver which gave me more top-end which is good but I can completely relate to your post. I usually have to swap to my 580's for like 30 minutes to alleviate this if I listen for more than 2 hours. I get a little bit of listening fatigue over extended periods of time because Grados are rather bright to me.
  7. movi
    i'm not sure if i would describe it as fatigue. it's just painful in a particular band of the frequency range for certain songs. unfortunately it's probably 50% of songs. it's in the 10khz range too, not the top end. i like the top end of the RS1s the way it is.
  8. rhythmdevils
    Do your RS1's have pink drivers?  If so they were designed to be used with flat pads, and you should get some.  The modern RS1 gets a bit boomy in the bass with flats despite everything else sounding much better, but the pink driver RS1 doesn't get boomy at all with flats...
    Other than flats, your best bet is probably HF2
  9. Proglover


    Yes, definitely HF-2
  10. Arcamera
    I still have a pair of the venerable HP1000. Probably the most neutral headphone I've heard. No fatigue at all over long listening periods.
    But over time the earpads start to decay-- gritty black particles end up on your ears and hands. When I first went to replace them Grado just offered the bowls. I tried them, and was very disappointed. I was surprised at how much of a sonic difference (for the worse) it made. I'm surprised the folks at Grado don't hear it this way (unless they now stock the flats again?) Anyway, thank goodness for Todd The Vinyl Junkie! Flats all the way. 
    I would hope Grado rethinks it's earpads, and comes up with a more substantial (and still sonically excellent) alternative.
  11. movi
    my RS1 vintage B's do not have pink drivers.
    either way, i've ordered some TTVJ flats to try out. these headphones are too good to not properly investigate the different ways they can sound. despite the problem i have described, i find myself reaching for the RS1 over all my other headphones when listening to rock, folk, and alternative.
    my understanding was that HF-2 are less peaky, meaning less strident in the upper treble range. will they be less strident in the 10khz region?
  12. Zombie_X Contributor
    I thought the RS1's were very smooth to begin with...
    In my experience the HF2 is a very smooth sounding headphone with less treble emphasis than the RS1's. To my ears the MAGNUM V2.5 modded SR-325is are the smoothest of the bunch and also provide the most bass of the bunch.
  13. sling5s
    If you still find the RS1 too strident.  Try ATH-ESW9.  It's a warmer Grado RS1 phone.
  14. movi
    tried TTVJ flats. didn't work for me. i enjoyed the increased bass presence but it lost too much of that great mid-range, and the bass became somewhat muddled compared to standard bowls.
    but somehow my ears have gotten used to the sound of the RS-1s. there are still some songs that hit the right frequency range hard and are a bit painful, but for the most part i have no issues anymore. weird.
    i had this when i bought D2000s too. at first they were so peaky to me, and then a combination of break-in and my ears getting used to them took care of it. now they seem dark compared to my DT990s!
    here the RS-1s were already broken in though... so it was just my ears.
  15. Greeni
    I had the RS2i before, the treble was bright and shrill in the beginning but with use get tamed down.
    The member to whom I sold the RS2i also has the RS1..don't know which version, but he told me he preferred the RS2i to his older RS1 for being more balanced and not peaky.That said, I am not so sure if switching over to the RS2i would be all positive for you, as the larger chamber of the bigger bother seem to allow better range and a few things. In fact, a few members have alleged, over these forum and also my private chat with them, the "i" version is more tamed down from the previous models, so much so that the RS1i sound very close to the MS Pro. So besides RS2i and HF2, I would not rule out the RS1i.

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