The GRADO EXPERIENCE (Comparing the GRADO line)
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Little J040

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Yes, yes, as suggested by a fellow head-fier, i went out and about yesterday in boston looking for the few hi end audio stores that carried the juicy grado name. Considering it was a holiday yesterday me and a friend called up to make sure the 5 around Cambridge were open, they all said yeah.

Long story short, only one out of 5 were open, but luckily they had the whole range of Grado headphones for me to oogle over. For about an hour or so, (oh yes i came prepared with ipod, pocket dock, and Supermacro) I tested out the grado's that ive been yearning for. ---The chump that worked there seemed to be impressed with all my gear, probably thought i was just some stupid college student---

So I immediately grabbed the 325 because i noted there nice aluminum cone. Ah yes, hooked it up to Ipod and first listened to Tool, Aenima. Right off the bat i was surprised by the impact the drums had on these (what seemed like little drivers) compared to my 595s. The track moved on and i slowly but surely noticed how indeed narrow the sound stage was. Fairly dissappointing compared to my 595s, but the music seemed like it was in my eyes, and not the back of my head like the senns. So i continued on with the song, enjoying a good 3-4 songs from the Aenima album with the 325. Ok, Ok, put them down now i thought and i went for the lower end...

Sr60, well the one they had at the store had the flat pads, which immediately made me say S*** these are uncomfortable. Yes i know it seems most dont like the bowl cups, but the flat pads to me were much more unbearable. No room to get air in my ears. Anyways i decided to change genres for these cans and went on to something more laid back, Tom Petty Free Falling, Running Down a dream, and lastly You dont know how it feels. The guitar riffs in all the songs were astonishing, it seems like its true the highs are very crisp and clear, even in the Sr60s which i was shocked. However, due to the lack in soundstage, i was quickly regretting putting those warm pads on. The music was engaging but it sounded so thin compared to the "thickness" from my senns are used to. Overall the difference between the 325s and the Sr60s was mainly the low end, and the mids werent as punchy on the Sr60s. Overall, however for there price, for newbies they do do music quite well, just something that i dont think competes with 595s\325 obviously.

Next i listened to the SR 125s. Having heard lots of praise about these i was excited to see how they sounded. Again i switched up the music, to Dj tiesto, one of my favorite Trance djs. Talk about in your face! Every bass drop every snare or drum synth seemed to come out and literally smack you upside the head. Very cool. Compared to the 325s there was a fair difference in bass impact, a step up from the SR60, but not as good as 325. The mids, i thought sounded better than the 325s. They came out in one song, Just be, were there is a female vocalist, and her voice sounded very smooth with no articulation.

Then came the renown 225s. Again, the bowls along with the Sr125 and 325, i found them actually quite comfortable. After reading everyones oppinions on the bowls i thought they would be horrid. Not to me, maybe its a difference on size of peoples ears. Mine almost fit completely into the cup itself, so it wasnt too bothersome. The 225s got to strut there stuff to some Guns N' Roses, namely Knockin' on heavens door, Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Old child o mine. The 225s Were almost kick fro punch hand and hand with the 325s. The only major difference that i noticed was the 225s didnt go as high into the upper frequencies. Despite this i could not hear much of a difference between the two. Soundstage was slightly greater than the 325s but it may have just been the recordings, still NIL compared to Senn's


Lastly were the Rs-1 which i was surprised to see that they had. An old guy looked at me with wide eyes (almost saying to himself, damn this kid knows headphones) He went in back and came back with a fairly dusty box, which pissed me off, that they werent being used.

Ah mahogony? Nice very nice. They looked cool placed em on and listened to some Pink Floyd. Welcome to the machine, Have a Cigar, Shine on you crazy Diamonds. Oooh, mids = killer, low end impact = killer, highs = not as high and crisp as 325s. Despite my liking of highs, the Rs-1s defintaly take the cake. If i were to choose to add to my collection RS-1 would be on top of the list. But ouch 6 bills. eeck. 325s are good, but at 250$ i think id go for 125's instead. I favored the 125s over the 225s. The Sr60 and Sr80 were very good value, and there flaws really werent all that horrid.

I think i might have to get me some now!


Cheers!
 
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Jahn

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just to avoid confusion, what you are calling c-pads or c-cups are actually Bowl pads. Headroom and other places also call them Large pads. dunno why.

what you called flat pads are also actually Comfies. they didn't have a hole in the middle, right? those comfies are actually the least popular of all the grado pads, so no wonder you didn't like them on the SR60.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Little J040
Yes, yes, as suggested by a fellow head-fier, i went out and about yesterday in boston looking for the few hi end audio stores that carried the juicy grado name. Considering it was a holiday yesterday me and a friend called up to make sure the 5 around Cambridge were open, they all said yeah.

Long story short, only one out of 5 were open, but luckily they had the whole range of Grado headphones for me to oogle over. For about an hour or so, (oh yes i came prepared with ipod, pocket dock, and Supermacro) I tested out the grado's that ive been yearning for. ---The chump that worked there seemed to be impressed with all my gear, probably thought i was just some stupid college student---

So I immediately grabbed the 325i because i noted there nice aluminum cone. Ah yes, hooked it up to Ipod and first listened to Tool, Aenima. Right off the bat i was surprised by the impact the drums had on these (what seemed like little drivers) compared to my 595s. The track moved on and i slowly but surely noticed how indeed narrow the sound stage was. Fairly dissappointing compared to my 595s, but the music seemed like it was in my eyes, and not the back of my head like the senns. So i continued on with the song, enjoying a good 3-4 songs from the Aenima album with the 325i. Ok, Ok, put them down now i thought and i went for the lower end...

Sr60, well the one they had at the store had the flat pads, which immediately made me say S*** these are uncomfortable. Yes i know it seems most dont like the C cups, but the flat pads to me were much more unbearable. No room to get air in my ears. Anyways i decided to change genres for these cans and went on to something more laid back, Tom Petty Free Falling, Running Down a dream, and lastly You dont know how it feels. The guitar riffs in all the songs were astonishing, it seems like its true the highs are very crisp and clear, even in the Sr60s which i was shocked. However, due to the lack in soundstage, i was quickly regretting putting those warm pads on. The music was engaging but it sounded so thin compared to the "thickness" from my senns are used to. Overall the difference between the 325i's and the Sr60s was mainly the low end, and the mids werent as punchy on the Sr60s. Overall, however for there price, for newbies they do do music quite well, just something that i dont think competes with 595s\325i obviously.

Next i listened to the SR 125s. Having heard lots of praise about these i was excited to see how they sounded. Again i switched up the music, to Dj tiesto, one of my favorite Trance djs. Talk about in your face! Every bass drop every snare or drum synth seemed to come out and literally smack you upside the head. Very cool. Compared to the 326i's there was a fair difference in bass impact, a step up from the SR60, but not as good as 325. The mids, i thought sounded better than the 325s. They came out in one song, Just be, were there is a female vocalist, and her voice sounded very smooth with no articulation.

Then came the renown 225s. Again, C pads along with the Sr125 and 325, i found them actually quite comfortable. After reading everyones oppinions on the c pads i thought they would be horrid. Not to me, maybe its a difference on size of peoples ears. Mine almost fit completely into the cup itself, so it wasnt too bothersome. The 225s got to strut there stuff to some Guns N' Roses, namely Knockin' on heavens door, Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Old child o mine. The 225s Were almost kick fro punch hand and hand with the 325i's. The only major difference that i noticed was the 225s didnt go as high into the upper frequencies. Despite this i could not hear much of a difference between the two. Soundstage was slightly greater than the 325i's but it may have just been the recordings, still NIL compared to Senn's


Lastly were the Rs-1 which i was surprised to see that they had. An old guy looked at me with wide eyes (almost saying to himself, damn this kid knows headphones) He went in back and came back with a fairly dusty box, which pissed me off, that they werent being used.

Ah mahogony? Nice very nice. They looked cool placed em on and listened to some Pink Floyd. Welcome to the machine, Have a Cigar, Shine on you crazy Diamonds. Oooh, mids = killer, low end impact = killer, highs = not as high and crisp as 325is. Despite my liking of highs, the Rs-1s defintaly take the cake. If i were to choose to add to my collection RS-1 would be on top of the list. But ouch 6 bills. eeck. 325i's are good, but at 250$ i think id go for 125's instead. I favored the 125s over the 225s. The Sr60 and Sr80 were very good value, and there flaws really werent all that horrid.

I think i might have to get me some now!


Cheers!




There is no way you gonna find SR325i new in a retail store for $250 what you must have listened to was the SR325 with silver cup. Sr325i has proper soundstage (when you push it with the right equipments)
 
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Helter Skelter

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I think you may be confusing your pads.

What are commonly known as the C Pads are custom made and only available from Larry at Headphile. The pads on the 225 and 325i were probably the stock bowl pads. Also, the SR-60 most likely sported their stock "comfies" (I don't think they're that comfy, either). The flat pads have a hole in the middle.

Otherwise, an interesting little writeup.
 
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Jahn

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chesebert
There is no way you gonna find SR325i new in a retail store for $250 what you must have listened to was the SR325 with silver cup. Sr325i has proper soundstage (when you push it with the right equipments)



in other words, that store might have had the original SR325. the SR325i looks more like a "fatboy" in that it has huge flanges on the side, and are a Gold color.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jahn
those comfies are actually the least popular of all the grado pads, so no wonder you didn't like them on the SR60.


Jahn, what is it about the pads? I've tried the comfies both flat and modded and the Senn 414 flat and modded, but it's a gnat's breadth imo.

Ian
 
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the reviewer should have aquired some proper knowledge before audition and writing his/her comments, misinformation just makes a confused headfier. Furthermore, it is inapproriate to test high end headphone with source such as Ipod, and amp that was designed to be portable. Grados are always picky about the amp and the current source as it is a low imp phone. The reason why RA1 uses such a high current opamp is percisely for that reason alone. Bad source, bad amp, makes an unreliable review. sorry if I was little harsh
 
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Little J040

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eh, im sorry, i thought they were c pads, your right i meant bowls. As far as the 325i's I called back today and they said they were the 325i?? They were silver and not goldish, could the man have been mistaken?
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Little J040
eh, im sorry, i thought they were c pads, your right i meant bowls. As far as the 325i's I called back today and they said they were the 325i?? They were silver and not goldish, could the man have been mistaken?


The sales people more often than not do not have the knowledge of the exactness of what they are selling or they could be just flat out liers and want to decieve a customer with errorous information. I tend to think former as I believe ppl are generally good
 
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Little J040

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lol yeah, the man musntve known , i made the corrections, didnt want it to mess anyone up. Oh well i tried
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by iancraig10
Jahn, what is it about the pads? I've tried the comfies both flat and modded and the Senn 414 flat and modded, but it's a gnat's breadth imo.

Ian




hmm i'm a bit lazy to look up the big Grado Pad shootout, but here's the lineup-

Comfies. No hole in the middle. Mod them with a hole in the middle, but they'll still sound spongy.

"VWAP" pads. That's the Senn 212 yellow pads. most folks will mod them to have a hole in the middle. These are the "poor man's Flats" and carry alot of the attributes, and some folks prefer them over any other pad, since they are the most comfortable.

Bowl pads. These have a hole in the middle, and are curved to look like carved out bowls. thick looking, but actually the airiest with most soundstage because they get your ears away from the driver. hurt like a mofo on the lobes tho (YMMV).

Flats. oh yeah. not as thin as the VWAP but thinner than comfies. have the hole in the middle. used to come stock on older grados, but now you can only get them from Todd the Vinyl Junkie. Other stores do NOT carry them anymore - if they call them "flats" they're probably selling comfies to you, don't do it!

C-Pads. Circumaural - they use woody parts from Headphile and the Beyer DT770 pads to wrap around the ears, instead of on them.

Grados will have a drastic change of sonic signature from pad to pad, made more obvious if you have a good source/amp hooked in. Always give your ears time to acclimate before passing judgment - your brain will resist the big changes at first listen.

Edit - and yep if the 325 you tried was silver, it was the old 325, not the 325i.
 
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Little J040

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I did notice a big difference from comfies to bowl pads. I definately preferred the bowls. I found the comfies more uncomfortable lol on the Sr60s
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by chesebert
the reviewer should have aquired some proper knowledge before audition and writing his/her comments, misinformation just makes a confused headfier. Furthermore, it is inapproriate to test high end headphone with source such as Ipod, and amp that was designed to be portable. Grados are always picky about the amp and the current source as it is a low imp phone. The reason why RA1 uses such a high current opamp is percisely for that reason alone. Bad source, bad amp, makes an unreliable review. sorry if I was little harsh



the viewer should have acquired some leniency before reading said comments knowing fully well that they aren't on stereophile.com and therefore were not going to be of a professional manner. aside from that i really don't see what is so wrong with the setup he took with him. the ipod has always received great reviews for having excellent sound output for a portable. there aren't too many people i know that carry around a Blue Hawaii or Maestro ZR in their trunk. sorry if i was a little harsh.
 
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lol!
 
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I tested some upper line Grado's too, along with Senns and lower line Grado's. I used an iPod, a CD player switching between sources (I think it was a cambridge audio) and a tube amp by Antique Audio.

I found Grado's to be very forgiving of poor source material. The iPod was connected via line out, never using its amp. The difference between the high bit MP3s I carry on my iPod (ripped at 320) and the CD was negligible.

I admit I'm a headphone noob. I own the Sr60s and love them. I've been a (little a) audiophile for years and years, and the headphone reviews I conducted were more a review of the "headphone experience" as a ways of listening to music. However I am very impressed and now addicted to the Grado sound. I love 'em. Many of my conclusions were the same as Little's.

http://www.hometheaterfocus.com/blog...05/28/205.aspx

Cheesebert; if only we could rid the world of ignoramus's eh? Nobody would ever need to have a conversation again.
 
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