post audition: rs1, sr225 & ms1 [and um2 & e6i]
Feb 26, 2006 at 10:04 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

theobservatory.

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having been seduced by all the grado goodness [and i REALLY dig their vintage cosmetics], i had to do it... i had to get my hands on a pair of rs-1's [and sr225's] and audition them for crying out loud, and the opportunity finally came a-knocking yesterday.

i was browsing at one of the malls we have here that caters pretty much to hifi enthusiasts and audiophiles. initially i wanted to audition the sr60 and 80 once again, to see if my perceptions had changed. alas i lay me eyes on a pair of sr225's that lay atop a grace m902 and what seemed like a pretty high-end cd player [i think it was a cary audio player or something, the shop carried a number of these] – i just couldn't resist.

so i put them on, put on some james blunt in the cdp, and hit play. at the first instant, i wasn't really impressed. coming from the sr60 [which i enjoyed] and the sr80 [which i found had shrill highs and no fullness in body] i was kinda let down. [this is not a good sign, really, it seems that the higher i climb the more disappointed i get, i guess my expectations are just too dang high, anyway on to the case...].

these had the bowl pads, which as i've mentioned before don't cover me ear completely they rest on the edges of my ear, though i didn't find it painful at all. in terms of sound, i found intstrument seperation to be either extremely minimal or practically non-existent. the music just sorta melded together in a somewhat messy consortium. bass slam was there but not impressive. and i didn't get much of the liquid mid-range goodness that i really enjoyed on the sr60 [i reckon once again that all this might just be due to the pad issue, i think the either the senn 414 or the comfies or the flats are my only alternatives, but these weren't available at the shop so i didn't get a chance to try them on]. on the plus side though, i found the sound to sort of resonate in a very musical, foot-tapping and fun way. it was pretty subtle but detectable, and made listening to them a pretty enjoyable experience. i didn't get this on the sr60 and 80.

now on to the holy grail... the rs-1. which for the price was a pretty hard kick in the face [if anything, this audition has thought me the law of diminishing returns and its painful consequences, so far i've been able to discern the difference going up, save for the sr80, but the ratio between improvement and increase in price is one tight slap in the face... don't really have the right words for it, still recovering from the shock]

i found the sonic character to be similar to the sr225, with less but more refined bass slam, a slightly better mid-range, better instrument seperation and more of that enjoyable musical character. when listening to them i could just visualise the sound waves sorta resonating within that grogeous wooden enclosure. on the downside as i've said in the parantheses, for the additional price you pay, the improvement is embarrasingly dwarfed. it costs about 4 times more here, yet the improvement if i had to quantify it is nothing more than about 10-20%. gosh audiphilia is really biting my ass.

so i left the store pretty disappointed. [but not after trying out some awesome speakers, the cary 303 to cary sli-80 on a pair of stirling broadcast v2 ls3/5a and a pair of vienna acoustics haydan grands. i did enjoy them tremendously! though they do cost many times more, i really do think their worth the price, as opposed to my experience with high-end headphones, at least in the grado line. the music really jumps out at you and needless to say soundstaging/imaging and clarity, treble, bass..... my gosh everything is just better, save for the loss of intimacy which only headphones are capable of]

got to another store which sells alessandro's. dropped in to try the ms-1's again. previously i found them too uninvolving and boring. but this time around they were hooked up to a better cdp [some marantz cd99 or something, the last time it was some dodgy sony] to a firestone spitfire dac and then to a firestone icute beyond head amp. this time around i found them to be better over all. still pretty engaging and involving, but not as in ur face and shrill as the grado's can sometimes get. crux of the issue is that, i might have been too harsh with them last time around, and now i'm even considering them for my own setup.

also tried the um2's, which are amazing really, what i'm truly looking for in an iem, but the price once again was a little too hard to swallow, given the fact that my ex51's kinda come close [i know its def not true sonic superiority, but heck after modding them and for portable use, at that price i ain't got no bones to pick]. also tried the e6i, which as i'd suspected were too thin and anemic for my preferences.

oh boy, this is probably the longest post i've done here. please excuse me for any incompleteness or noobness. pretty shagged after a long day but i really had to post this up. pls do feel free to ask me any questions if they so arise.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 10:42 AM Post #2 of 14

spaceconvoy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by theobservatory.
i was browsing at one of the malls we have here that caters pretty much to hifi enthusiasts and audiophiles.


basshead.gif
You live in a place where your malls cater to audiophiles, with multiple high-end audio stores that stock Alessandros and let you demo an RS-1, and you're dissappointed?!?! I'd say you're lucky that you don't have to experience the same let down after spending a few hundred dollars and waiting 2 weeks for UPS. But honestly, a store is not the best place to do critical listening - I bet you'd hear a much bigger difference at home.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 3:19 PM Post #4 of 14

theobservatory.

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haha spaceconvoy, i guess one can never truly be happy. at least i'm thankful i never needed to waste the money and risk disliking my purchases. and to answer ur questions unearthed, yes they do mark them up by a bit. its 200 singapore dollars here, so that's about 125 us more or less.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 4:02 PM Post #6 of 14

theobservatory.

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haha sunny singapore, that's where it's at right now for me. and no it isn't in china or anything. its right in the middle of southeast asia, sandwiched between malaysia and indonesian and other sea countries. we have one mall that somehow over the years became a place for high-end audio stores. which is a pretty good thing. and the good thing is that most of these stores have pretty good customer service, which makes audition sessions and buying sprees that much better. however our sweltering weather [and tropical humidity] and somewhat draconian laws [thankfully it's getting better, but not as fast as i'd like it to] might be a little unsettling for some. in any case, home is home, and it ain't that bad. of course the audio mall, and somewhat reasonable prices [at least compared to some place in the eu] make the deal much sweeter for audio geeks.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 10:48 PM Post #8 of 14

leofahrer

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...it's really interesting how people hear things differently. When I was comparing a SR60 and a RS-2 in a store, I did not like the SR at all, while loving the RS-2, in fact I found the difference to be huge. As the RS-2 was way out of my financial league, I finally bought an MS-2 and am still very happy with it...

Leo
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 11:42 PM Post #9 of 14

nabwong

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Ahh...miss home...but i'm going back this summer
biggrin.gif


Are the headphone shops new? Are they the one at causeway point of something? Cos when i went there years ago, there weren't any.

Btw, in Singapore, there's a whole mall, dedicated for hi-fi. It's like 5 storeys and almost every shop is a dealer, except for the odd hair salon or restaurant. Heaven!
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 12:33 AM Post #10 of 14

hembergler

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Erm, where are these audio stores? I've been to Singapore many times, and have never found such excellent stores. Maybe I haven't been looking hard enough.
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Feb 27, 2006 at 12:49 AM Post #12 of 14

theobservatory.

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yo nabwong! good to see a fellow singaporean.

well there's this new store at causeway point. it's called stereo electronics. they sell other stuff besides headphones, but besides hung brothers at sim lim square [which i'm sure ur familiar with] this is the only other store i've seen that sells a wide variety of headphones. from grados to senns to akgs to sonys, pretty amazing collection. and there's this salesperson, his name is aron tan i believe, very friendly guy, excellent service and contrary to the usual sales people he actually knows his stuff.

there's also new one at the adelphi. it's called "jaben network". they sell firestone audio stuff, along with alessandro, westone, etymotic, some senns and akg's too. prices are slightly nudged a little higher tho. but factoring in shipping costs and taxes, the mark ups seem kinda ok. the alessandro ms-1 for example goes for about 200 sing. about 125us.

hembergler, the 'audiophile' mall we're talking about is called "the adelphi". hi-fi heaven it is.

it's located near the 'city hall' train station, opposite 'funan the IT mall' which is a pretty famous shopping centre that deals with nothing but gadgets and computers and the like.

the other stores i've mentioned above are 'hung brothers' 3rd floor of 'sim lim square' another famous IT mall, at super dope prices. 'hung brothers' sells almost nothing but headphones and earphones
biggrin.gif


and yet another is 'stereo electronics' at causeway point, a mall in woodlands, one of the northern parts of singapore. good selection and excellent service. what more can u ask for. however it's not in the central part of singapore. kinda like in the 'burbs. but with the mass rapid transit. it isn't much of a problem.

do let me know when ur in singapore the next time. i'd be more than glad to show u around. if u've got any more questions about this part of asia and the head-fi experience u can always drop us a line at www.sgheadphones.net
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 1:09 AM Post #13 of 14

courierdriver

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Ummm...sorry to bust-up the Singapore love-in, here...me, I'm from Canada, and I absolutely love my Grado 125's. I am looking at upgrading to 225's soon; but in the meantime, I'm just loving how I get taken-in by my 125's. Good (no, not great...but really-good) bass, and excellent detail. For the $135-US I paid for them, they have redefined what I expected to obtain from headphone sound.

To all you guys from Singapore...I'm happy for y'all, that you have these audio malls. You have no idea how lucky you are, to be able to go to one place, and have access to so many brands of components. Maybe I should open one here...
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Mar 1, 2006 at 2:13 AM Post #14 of 14

hembergler

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Quote:

Originally Posted by theobservatory.
yo nabwong! good to see a fellow singaporean.

well there's this new store at causeway point. it's called stereo electronics. they sell other stuff besides headphones, but besides hung brothers at sim lim square [which i'm sure ur familiar with] this is the only other store i've seen that sells a wide variety of headphones. from grados to senns to akgs to sonys, pretty amazing collection. and there's this salesperson, his name is aron tan i believe, very friendly guy, excellent service and contrary to the usual sales people he actually knows his stuff.

there's also new one at the adelphi. it's called "jaben network". they sell firestone audio stuff, along with alessandro, westone, etymotic, some senns and akg's too. prices are slightly nudged a little higher tho. but factoring in shipping costs and taxes, the mark ups seem kinda ok. the alessandro ms-1 for example goes for about 200 sing. about 125us.

hembergler, the 'audiophile' mall we're talking about is called "the adelphi". hi-fi heaven it is.

it's located near the 'city hall' train station, opposite 'funan the IT mall' which is a pretty famous shopping centre that deals with nothing but gadgets and computers and the like.

the other stores i've mentioned above are 'hung brothers' 3rd floor of 'sim lim square' another famous IT mall, at super dope prices. 'hung brothers' sells almost nothing but headphones and earphones
biggrin.gif


and yet another is 'stereo electronics' at causeway point, a mall in woodlands, one of the northern parts of singapore. good selection and excellent service. what more can u ask for. however it's not in the central part of singapore. kinda like in the 'burbs. but with the mass rapid transit. it isn't much of a problem.

do let me know when ur in singapore the next time. i'd be more than glad to show u around. if u've got any more questions about this part of asia and the head-fi experience u can always drop us a line at www.sgheadphones.net



Sounds good, I just bookmarked those few sites. I'll probably be there sometime around June/July. Usually I just go to the same places over and over and end up getting really bored... But, if there are a few Hi-Fi stores I should be set for the 2-4 weeks I usually stay there for.
biggrin.gif


Maybe I can snag an amp when I'm there for a decent price too, because I'm worried that my CMoy (assuming I ever finish it) might get confiscated by airport security. (I must admit, it does fit the profile of a concealed bomb very well)
 

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