not sure if I like my Grado's....
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Freddy

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I recently just purchased a set of Grado SR-80's after doing some research and talking with people here. Unfortunately, I was unable to audition them before buying, so I just ordered them from a place that offered a 30 day money back guarantee.

Now that they have arrived, I'm not sure I am satisfied with them. When compared to my bass-heavy Koss KTX Pro's, the Grado's seem to lack that nice 'punch' when listening to hip hop and other types of music with lots of bass. However, I've found that the Grado's are better with the midrange (not so much bass added) and they don't give me a headache (I'm guessing because they have a better soundstage). The Grado's do seem to be a bit too harsh at times for my taste though. However, all this is based on only an hour or so of use with my pcdp and dad's stereo, so my big question is: will the Grado's get better with a little break in time? If so, how would I go about doing such a thing? The Grado's are OK right now, but I just don't think I can afford to spend $100 on a pair of headphones that are just "OK".

Another thing that I have been considering is acquiring an amp. I'm assuming that this would help the sound, but I don't want look into getting an amp made for the Grado's only to find that the Grado's are the wrong headphones for me.

Thanks to anyone who can help sort out this mess for me!
 
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Magicthyse

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My rule of thumb is generally if you don't like it when you get it, it won't get that much better - but that's just my opinion.

I'm more inclined to look at the quality of your sources, rather than fault the phone at this stage. It could be that the phones are faulty, you never know - but I would first ask what the PCDP is, whether you're using any amplification with it, and what your dad's system is.

With most modern PCDP's (sporting 5-10mw@16ohms), the SR80 would be a borderline choice *without amplification* - the PCDP will be at the minimum usable level with the SR80, let alone the (apparently) slightly easier-to-drive SR60. If you switch on Megacrappobass, then the limits will probably be exceeded and the phones will start sounding like $10 cans. I've certainly never used the SR60 on my PCDP after an initial attempt since I don't have a portable amp (yet).
 
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Freddy

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The pcdp is a SlimX, and on the box it claims to have a 12mw output (for both channels...does this mean its technically 24mw?) @ 16 ohms max volume. I was also using the built in equalizer set to "Rock" rather than deep bass. As far as my dad's stereo, its nothing special, just something he got when he was in college (which makes it probably 20-25 years old), but I used it because it has treble/bass controls and its able to go up to a louder volume.

Anyway, I have been talking with JMT about an amplifier for these Grado's, but like I said, I don't want an amp customized for the SR-80's if they're going back. Hmm....what to do, what to do.
 
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millerdog

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Break your grados in. They will not give you that "punch" you like in bass...they will deliver "accurate" bass though.
Through your slimx, the SR80s will probably sound weak. When I had my SR80s, I had to boost the bass to my liking.

As a post script, I used my SR325s with my slimx and a JMT CHA47 today. I usually use my KSC35s but I need new pads.
I heard things with this combo that I thought was nice. I found myself stopping what I was doing just to listen to the music.
Not everyone likes Grados.
Just my thoughts,
md
 
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Freddy

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Whats the best way to break them in then? What music source should I use, and what type of music is best?
 
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Magicthyse

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Well - ultimately the decision is yours.

If you don't like it, there's no reason to let the weight of recommendations here pressure you into keeping them. Headphones are a very personal thing.

For example, people here seem to love the HD280 Pros, which are the other highly recommended general purpose phones here - if you like, the closed-back option to the SR80 - which I also bought untried, and I just can't learn to love them. And I did ask for recommendations on a portable phone - and these are also useless without an amp.

Some of the reviews are flawed, some are jaded, some of the recommendations are parroting other people's views (i.e. poster hasn't got the gear, or anything like it either) so you've got to take the recommendations here with a pinch of salt.

Having said that, I'm a Grado fan - have the 60 and the 225 - and I wouldn't give them up for any number of Sennheisers that people care to push at me...
 
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millerdog

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plug em in to whatever source you have(radio, cdplayer) and let em go for like two days.
Remember, the Grados don't have a bass punch; they are uh..precise(INMO).
Just to let you know, I encountered some high end distortion on my Grados; it faded after a couple of days. Break in works.
md
 
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millerdog

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magict,
you should let cans break in.
I have heard it and was stupified by the difference. A one time audition don't count. Hey! My ATH A9X sounded way better after two days of break in.
md
 
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Freddy

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Thanks for the tips, guys. I think I'll try to let these Grado's break in over the weekend. On Monday I'll give Headroom a call and just see if they have any recommendations. Hopefully they'll be able to provide some more information and let me order some headphones to compare.
 
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Magicthyse

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Millerdog,

I'm fully aware of the break-in process. The 280's have been continuously broken-in ever since I got them. At least 100 hours of break-in time has been dedicated to these phones. Not happy still - I'd say the only thing which has particularly changed is the bass response, which no longer sound like castanets. It's the only phone I have which can really hurt my ears on the treble at a reasonably high volume. And the comfort is atrocious - during my testing process for these phones I had to wear them upside down most of the time.

Interesting - I've got the A9X on order too! Bearing in mind what people are saying about them, hopefully I should like them much more than the 280. I was originally looking for a closed SR80, if that's possible...
 
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millerdog

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getting a bit off post...
I was referring to your post about uh..

"My rule of thumb is generally if you don't like it when you get it, it won't get that much better - but that's just my opinion. "

As a Grado fan, I think you'll like your A9X. The soundstage is a bit larger, the bass is a bit louder, but I think you'll like it. I put mine up for sale and a few hours later could not live without it. Something about that brown leather......lol
md
 
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BenG

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Magicthyse, have you actually thought for a second that the recordings you are listening to may be more of the problem? A more accurate headphone and one that's used in recording, especially, should sound shrieky and harsh if it's revealing more of the garbage in the source.
 
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I own a pair as well for about 3 years now. I also own a pair of Senns HD600 as well. I like both cans, each has it own appeal. The only problem I have with the Grado is the comfort or rather lack of it after only an hour of use. Someone mentioned wearing them upside down! Interesting, I must try that later!
 
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millerdog

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upside down? Now there's a twist!
I have heard of compressing the pads in books, rinsing them in fabric softner, cutting the bowls to resemble the flat pads and changing to the comfy pads.
I would only wear my Grados upside down in the comfort and isolation of my home! lol...
md

okay, I tried, but my 325s are way to heavy and don't stay on my ears.
 
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Magicthyse

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Upside down = HD280. Headband presses down on your head.

No such probs with the Grados, but the bowl-shaped pads can be uncomfortable for some. Try moulding the pads by pushing and prodding them to fit around you ears - if you deform the pads into an oval shape, it's possible for the ears to sit partially inside the pads - which is more comfortable.

As an allergy sufferer and a prodigious moulter(!), I find the comfy pads a bit problematic, being pricked by hairs trapped in the pads...

You could also be applying too much pressure to the ears - Back off the pressure by carefully bending the metal headband. The beauty of such a ludicrously simple construction of the SR series is the total tuneability for fit.
 
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