Originally Posted by pfillion /img/forum/go_quote.gif Am I the only person to prefer the HF-2 over the RS-1 (the new buttonless version) ?
No - there were a few folks who expressed this opinion.
I probably think the HF-2 is better than the RS-1 because the HF-2 doesn't have what I would describe as a warm bump of the RS-1
That said, there's something about the RS-1 that has me thinking about going back to it
Honestly I would most closely compare the HF-2 to the old black metal 325 (my other primary grado can with flats and a factory installed grado reference cable) say over the RS-1 or the 325i or even the MS2i
- the black 325 and the HF-2 both share a laid back, yet not warm character
- the black 325 is slightly warmer, but nowhere near the RS-1 and slightly smaller in the head stage
- the black 325 does have a more organic, slightly more coherent sound but looses instrument placement and is more congested
- like the HF-2, the black 325 has bass in spades, faster but less low bass and less articulate bass than the HF-2
- both have snap, sizzle, and dynamics (kind of a perfected 325 thing)
- both avoid the syrup and bumpy hump of the rs series without the screeching fatigue of the 325i/is or even the mollified 'flatness' or the MS2i
- like the HF-2, the black 325 was called a mini hp or ps and like the HF-2 folks seem to either love or hate it
that's honestly the closest grado I can compare I can compare it to
I do really like the HF-2 but there is something slightly unusual about it to me soundwise that i can't quite put my finger on
I had bought the black 325, put a new headband (from a MS2i) and had Grado through moon put the grado reference cable on it and then added flat pads and really loved it - then came the HF-2, which I couldn't resist
Side by side the HF-2 is probably the better can, much like I prefer it to the RS-1 and in a way do - but at the end of the day my commitment to it, and now even the black 325 is not absolute
I had wanted to write some impressions earlier, and as you can see these are not really coherent, but that's kind of the spot this can has me at right now - it's great but I can't yet take the next step of selling of the black 325 or banishing the RS-1 from my mind, which I had planned on doing - worse still I can't articulate why (thus throwing my entire upgrade/system plans into disarray)
Originally Posted by Beagle /img/forum/go_quote.gif I went back and did some more listening with the stock bowls, and I am hearing what you are describing. The top end seems reticent, like it is supposed to be brighter but something is muffling it. At the same time, the highs have a bit of an aggressive nature. A warm sound usually is smooth and grain-free but this does not describe the sound of my HF-2. It has a bit of a cold, grey characteristic in the upper midrange and treble yet is laid back in this part of the spectrum. The extreme top end is not apparent, the sparkle that you got in the older Grados is gone. It is like something has been tweaked to tame the brightness of the older driver but it is affecting other things you didn't want affected. I'm also finding the HF-2 uncomfortable.
Anyway, I'll do some further listening and see what transpires..
I agree with you there. And I also found that your previous, longer review was most in line with my findings, although maybe a bit more negative in the end than my overall feeling of the HF2.
I think I need to burn it in more, as the slight strangeness I heard has really evened out since playing them. It might be a can that really needs to find it's own for some reason. I also agree about the comfort, and strangely, I tried a PS1 at a recent meet and found it much more comfortable. Not sure why. Maybe it's just the super wide lip, which widens the bowl pads, and so my ears fit inside and hit the grills. But I have weird big ears.
I still feel that even if the HF2 is not perfect, it far better the RS1 for me. Because the only way I can stand listening to it the RS1 with flats- with bowls the highs and upper mids are just crazy and insulting. But with flats, the bass muddies up and the soundstage decreases. So HF2 with bowls vs. RS1 with flats, I think the HF2 wins there.
It was too loud at the meet to really do much comparison, but I felt like the HF2 was the winner over even the vintage RS1 with pink drivers. But, this was based on the more obvious things, I couldn't hear well enough to compare subtlties.
Originally Posted by SemiAudiophile /img/forum/go_quote.gif they do sound warm to me. definitely warmer than the 325i and maybe just slightly warmer than the RS1i. not as warm as a HD650 but the warmest grado i have heard.
It is not saying much to say that something is warmer than the 325i, at least if we are talking about the treble/upper mid peak. It's like saying that a glass of cold water is warm cause it's not as cold as ice
. The RS1 has a warm midrange, but the treble...yikes
I just briefly listened to the same song, once with my worn in RS-2s and once with my new HF-2s, #130. All I can say is that I do enjoy the HF-2, but until they are burned in, they will not be as good as the RS-2s. The bass is significantly amped to another level with the HF-2s and they are not as "airy" as the RS-2s are, it seems that the added weight of the metal on the HF-2s also transferred to the sound signature as well. I do enjoy them, but they are definitely a warm grado that is for sure. Once they have 100+ hours on them, hopefully the separation of instruments is more defined, once this happens these headphones will sound great. But I am so used to the RS-2s it may be difficult to make the transformation. Only time will tell.
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils /img/forum/go_quote.gif It is not saying much to say that something is warmer than the 325i, at least if we are talking about the treble/upper mid peak. It's like saying that a glass of cold water is warm cause it's not as cold as ice
. The RS1 has a warm midrange, but the treble...yikes
ahh...i took it as you thought it didn't sound warm at all.
well if i were to put it on a warmness scale. 1 being cold like a SR325i and a 10 being warm like a HD650. i would place the HF2 on a 6.
just thought I'd throw this out there for anyone thinking of getting a portable for their HF2. I listened to them with Headamp's new slim at a recent meet, and I thought the pairing was fantastic, it improved everything I like about them, and seemed to balanced them out in a really nice way. I was really impressed, and wish I could afford a portable amp right now.