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PS1000 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by dmac03, Nov 2, 2010.
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  1. dmac03

    The sole purpose of this thread is to bring together those of us who appreciate the PS1000 headphones . Please share your experience with music, components, and modifications that allow you to get the most out of your headphones.
  2. priest Contributor
    Sign me up. I am still getting to know these headphones, but I'll subscribe to this.
  3. purrin
    Unlike many other folks who vigorously defend stuff that they own, I'll say that the PS1000s do have some problems and aren't perfect (then again- what doesn't if we are honest with ourselves). The best way to really know about stuff and actually appreciate it is to know its faults. Yup, I still have mine, even though I was thinking about selling them a while back, that is until I found a way to get everything in my main rig to play nice with them. I do love them for their very special qualities though - mainly that the PS1000 are the ultimate of what can be done with the Grado (lightweight, hyperactive, underdamped) driver design. You would need to like Grado's in the first place to appreciate them, but then again some folks feel that the RS1 is the true ultimate Grado because it's got more midrange attack. However the PS1000 is in another league when it comes to lack of congestion at high SPL, detail retrieval, and cleaniness of sound (non-linear distortion) when compared to RS1.
    The basic issue I was trying sorting out (on my main rig) was that I changed my source to something more neutral (now currently a AMB Gamma 2 DAC) and integrating an old Melos SHA-1 I grabbed from Audiogon. I had already found a good combo with my "heavy travel rig" with the Sony X (very warm source, almost tube like response, but without the harmonic richness of tubes) and M-Stage Matrix (modded to be perhaps just a hair warm of neutral).
    Basically the old Melos SHA-1 had sounded like garbage. The tubes were stock, were old, but were still working OK. Despite what Stereophile said in their review of the SHA-1, it's got serious problems in stock form, one of them is an awful upper midrange-treble glare. Guess what that upper midrange-treble glare + PS1000 (especially GS1000, or any other Grado) means? It means your ears are going to bleed and the combo going to sound utter $h17.
    Well, long story short, I modded my Melos and matched some decent tubes to make it sound like how I wanted. Now my PS1000s have got a ton of slam (only when called for), more present midrange, and a smooth upper midrange-treble. The resolving ability of the PS1000 along with their quietness (blackground) are now begging to me to upgrade my DAC.
    Moral of the story: you got to take some effort into making your components play well with the PS1000 to truly appreciate them.
    P.S. It's nice to have one headphone that you can enjoy listening to Gould's renditions of Bach (with a fairly accurate piano presentation) one minute and be in a fricking booming dance club with Lady Gaga or Daftpunk the next.
  4. dmac03
    I think it is a very realistic approach to discover what a headphone is lacking, regardless if you're talking about the ps1000 or any other hi-end headphone. This is the only way to compensate with other components.
    Like you suggested, purrin. Since day 1 with my headphones I have been in awe with the versatility of these cans. They sound stellar with laid back vocal music, but I decided to play some megadeth that I came across in my music library. I am no fan of metal, but these headphones literally rocked.
    One thing I have found very useful is my woo wa22 headphone amplifier. It allows me to roll tubes to fit the exact signature of my headphones. Has anyone tried the ps1000 with balanced termination?
  5. priest Contributor
    Did either of you guys have a rough time in the beginning with the bass on these headphones? I didn't notice it at first when I got them, because I was so impressed by everything else, but the bass is noticeably muddy to me. I think it's getting better sometimes, and other times I'm a little worried. I've read in other threads that people have experienced a period of bass burn-in with these, so I'm just looking for a little confirmation on that. Everything else about them is great.
  6. purrin


    Most definitely yes. I even bought mine used, but lightly used. All Grados have this problem with the initial bass muddiness which usually takes about 24-40 hours of use to clear up. The PS1000 however, with its apparently more damped driver, probably takes around 100+ hours. I could only guess that the original owner of my pair had about 40-50 hours. Mine took an additional two to three weeks to totally clear up (with about several hours a day of use.)
    It was troubling to me, given the price of these cans, but I assure you not to worry!
    Finally, I don't think the PS1000 will ever have quite the bass articulation of the RS-1/2 though, mainly because the PS1000s are more bassy and extend lower; but the PS1000s do come very close, and it's a worthy trade off given what you get back. Then again, it could be that I'm using tubes (organic bass) now instead of the solid-state (controlled bass) in the past with the RS.
  7. priest Contributor
    Thanks for putting my mind at ease. I'm definitely below 100 hours on these. I've never noticed the bass burn-in on any other Grados I have owned, but probably I was just not paying enough attention.
    I decided to take a night off and give them a 24-hour official burn-in at Ye Olde Burn-In Station.
  8. majkel
    I own the #202 piece. Once repaired (free of charge!) due to amp failure (a cheap Chinese one) and high DC current passing thru one driver. What can I say? These are the best sounding headphones I know, including all Omega II's flavors and Sennheiser HE90/HV90 driven from a serious four figure systems. I use a CS4397 DAC and a DIY SS headphone amp which surpasses by a decent margin the most suitable tube amplifier for Grado GS1000 and PS1000 I know, the Cary SLI-80. I mean it with the stock tubes and have no experience in rolling them. I rate the PS1000 half a class above the Beyerdynamic T1 in spite of the latter upgraded with the Furutech jack and cable shield disconnection. Then I think the T1 are about a class better than the RS1 - directly compared in a rig consisting of mbl 1431, Atlass Voyager RCA cables, Cary SLI-80 or my amplifier at a time. The spatial, textural and tonal complexity of the PS1000 is above the RS1 abilities. People with damaged hearing might appreciate the RS1's midrange forwardness but I don't. Low level listening abilities is another strong point of the PS1000. The weight and the slight self-disassembly tendencies are their obvious drawbacks. There are the LCD-2, HE-6 and ED10 still on my list to audition and compare so include it in my thoughts presented hereby.
  9. not_sure
    You rate PS1000 half a class above over T1. Just interesting how do you rate O2 and HE90/HV90 against PS1000? I have never heard electrostatic headphone but it seems like you do not like electrostatic headphone I am sure you are not alone and I am also sure there is many people who will highly disagree with you who thinks that quality system around O2 blow away T1 for example.
    What diy amp are you exactly using for Grado?
  10. priest Contributor


    I think that might have been almost enough to push them over the edge. The slight muddiness in the bass is almost gone, and the other frequencies have opened up even more. I am astonished by these headphones. I still wonder whether I can justify the cost and the price and keep them, but there is no doubt they are the best headphones I have ever heard. Of course, next to what majkel has heard, that might not mean so much, but it does to me.
  11. majkel

    Quote:Originally Posted by not_sure [​IMG]
    You rate PS1000 half a class above over T1. Just interesting how do you rate O2 and HE90/HV90 against PS1000?
    The Omegas and the HE90 are two different worlds IMHO. The Orpheus is the reference headphone in several fields like frequency response, bass texture and its presence being like a touch of the butterfly wing. They have kind of surround imaging while the Omegas are forward oriented, with good soundstage depth. What I realized on myself and between the HE90 owners is that these headhpone aren't the go to piece of gear. I'd probably use the gold-brown Omega II mkI more often due to more fun and music wieght but less refinement. I think I rate the Omega II slightly above the T1 but it's from memory rather than direct comparison. The Orpheus is the top in a couple of terms and I respect it, including the top class build quality. I think it's overall higher than any Ultrasone Edition headphone up to number 9. The PS1000 simply sucks in these terms but overall sum of fun, refinement and fidelity to the music makes them the headphone of choice for me. I haven't heard any hifiman ortho, LCD-2, R10 and L3000 so my statements are limited to what I know - HD800, T1, ED8 & 9, D7000, W5000 and what stands below

    This is my own design high bandwidth solid state device. It's very tricky to make it stable so this is probably why nobody on the web went this way. But the results are top notch when you succeed and it took me some time. Of course, you can match other amps with the PS1000 with good success. I heard of Cary Xciter and PS Audio GCHA in this role. The latter was available in Cullen mod versions as well while the Cary gives you possibility to replace the tubes.
  12. dmac03


    I've had mine since early October and have since put at least 50 hours on them. I can easily say that the base has tightened up considerably. I have not listened to any other high end cans, but I can't imagine how other headphones can have a better low end (but this may change as I will have have the hd800 and lcd-2 to compare at a local meet in a few weeks). At first I was a bit ashamed that I payed so much for them and that they weren't "a whole lot" better than my sr80's. However, today I can no longer listen to the sr80's. Everything from tonal quality to sound stage is leagues better.
  13. priest Contributor
    Thanks, I've noticed a huge difference since I posted my original question. I guess I should have been more patient. [​IMG]

    And my prediction is that you will not feel that the HD 800 have a better low end.
  14. sling5s
    To all PS1000 ownders: 
    I see you used to have or still have the grado rs1?  Is or Was it redundant having both?
    Can you get the RS1 sound with PS1000 on bowls (L-cushion)?
    I'm planning to get the ps1000 but wondering if than my rs1i is worth keeping? 

  15. purrin

    It is not redundant having both. PS1000 have less midrange energy, attack, and crunch compared to RS1/2, although overall, the PS1000 are more dynamic sounding (and better at everything else). The classic Grado RS sound is not fully there with the PS1000.

    No. The PS-1000 do not work well at all with the regular bowls. The PS-1000 driver has been tweaked to work with the jumbo pads. With the regular bowls, the bass becomes excessive and muddy, and the treble drops off too much. Basically, the PS-1000 sound like garbage with the regular bowls.


    I sold off my RS way before I got the PS1000 because I tired of the classic Grado sound (grating lower treble). What got me interested back into Grados was the HF-2 (which is the "dark" Grado). To me the PS1000 go in a different direction (more but still articulate bass, less congestion, very clean and detailed, smoother frequency response), but retain just enough of the classic RS midrange/treble qualities to making the RS series not worth keeping. Many others may differ in this opinion. It's up to you whether they are worth keeping.
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