The Grado Sound -- Round 2!
Sep 15, 2009 at 7:18 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

RagingForces

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Preface - This is a small chronicle in a set of chronicles as I walk though the headphone world. Also a quick thank you to the countless Grado fans posting their impressions that led me to lurk their threads for a long time. Here go some thoughts I jotted down.

So I found myself pulling on these funny looking Grado headphones again. This time I'm coming out of a Marantz receiver/amp and sourcing from a NAD cd player. Those damn Head-Fi folks have me thinking that the first time I listened to the Grado I missed something or had some bad synergy going on.

Hrm... Play button.. *click* BOOM! there goes my head.

I'm listening to the SR225i and some jazz i've never heard before. Apparently i've just been introduced to Tommy Flanagan. Clear, really clear. Surprising highs, bass seems cool. Doesn't really seem like its missing anything. There are details all in the sound. Its not the most refined sound i've auditioned, but its good. hrm.. these cups are not comfortable.. take the headphones off.. yeah. they leak like crazy.. put em back on..

Hrm.. Next Track *click*

Diana Krall. S'Wonderful. It is, but this headphone doesn't suit you Diana. Its too in my face. There is a depth to the sound though, I do like it. Good space in the music but its not flattering to Diana's voice. There is an airyness to the metallic hits of the drummer. The bass is fairly tight. I do dig most of the presentation, just the voice doesn't sound right.

*click*

wwoooaaahhh!! its something atmospheric.. its crisp.. oh.. its Nine Inch Nails.. Trent's voice sounds weird in Eraser I'm not sure i've heard it so clear before. The sound is very detailed. Its not really airy, its more like the headphones are cleaning up the sound and giving it to you on a silver platter. Its huge sounding. Hard to explain. Heaps and heaps of detail.

*click*

megadeth.. very fast megadeth - Tornado of Souls! This is good. This is hearing everything on the record. Plucks.. detail... i'm even hearing the bass guitar. Mustaine's voice is retaining its creepy edge. The cymbals though, too much.. yeah this is maybe too much for me. man the guitar though, its awesome. I've never heard an electric guitar sound this good! Enough.. These things are not comfortable enough for this experience.

Alright, so this is nice. It appears I'm finally having a positive Grado experience. I also auditioned the SR-80i and to a certain extent I appreciate them more than the SR-225i. Not in terms of overall audio quality, but more in terms of value for the money. Those SR-80i's are one hell of a good value for what you get in fun audio back. The sound between the two is a definite nod in refinement towards the SR-225i in all respects. The SR-80's also exhibit a bit too much bass for me.

So far I've only heard the SR-60i, SR-80i, SR-125i, and SR-225i. I'm looking forward to more auditions of Grado, as they keep notching forward in terms of refinement with each scale upwards in model. If it wern't for you folks here at Head-Fi I would have stopped on the first go around with Grado and thought they were just edgy, etching, harsh things meant for rock. I've a feeling i'll be a Grado fan if I can find a set refined enough to handle a myriad of music, and not something geared nearly directly at rock-ish genres.

Thanks Head-Fi,

The journey continues
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 10:50 PM Post #3 of 16

Ntropic

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I didn't find my MS1s to be mind-blowingly different in a variety of music. Mids are more forward than my A700s, but that's about it.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 4:03 AM Post #5 of 16

charliex

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Ahhhh....the HF-2
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Sep 16, 2009 at 8:22 AM Post #6 of 16

estreeter

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When I want to sit further back from the stage and just let it wash over me (the Diana Krall reference from the OP is a good example, Josh Groban is another), I have the K601. When I want the mosh pit, I have the MS-1 (the 325is are still en route - I hate the waiting game). Its all good.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 8:31 AM Post #7 of 16

Uncle Erik

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Give the RS-1 a shot some time. I think you'll love them. I prefer the HF-2 (hence the sale of the RS-1), but there are good prices on used ones these days. They're about the ultimate refinement of the Grado sound you love. The HF-2 is a little darker and warmer, but the RS-1 is excellent. See if you can get to a meet where you can listen to one.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 9:39 AM Post #8 of 16

estreeter

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Uncle Erik, I take it from your post that you dont see the GS1000/PS1000 as the ultimate Grados, or is it simply that they are very different cans from the other Grados ? I briefly considered spending 3 times my 'line in the sand' limit and getting the GS1000, but I simply couldnt justify spending that much money on one pair of phones. That said, the difference between the RS1 and the GS1000 here is less than the cost of an iPod Classic, putting both well over my limit.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 9:46 AM Post #9 of 16

roy_jones

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Give the RS-1 a shot some time. I think you'll love them. I prefer the HF-2 (hence the sale of the RS-1), but there are good prices on used ones these days. They're about the ultimate refinement of the Grado sound you love. The HF-2 is a little darker and warmer, but the RS-1 is excellent. See if you can get to a meet where you can listen to one.


I really wish I had a pair of RS-1's to compare to the HF-2. I've heard the RS-1 before, but it was a long time ago and under meet conditions. I'm assuming the RS-1 has a little greater sense of air and soundstage, but might have lacked some of the fullness and coherence of the HF-2.

It's funny, I didn't overly lament when I had to sell my HF-1's, being that I knew that the RS-1 was available and was a superior headphone. However, as of now I consider myself quite fortunate to have got the HF-2 and can't envision a scenario whereby I'd be tempted to sell it. There isn't an obvious "place to go" as the OP is describing.

The HF-2 has made me curious about some of the higher-end Grados. They're out of my league, but the PS-1 especially intrigues me. If you like the general sound signature, it's tempting to try to imagine how far you could conceivably take it.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 12:36 PM Post #10 of 16

moogoob

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Interesting comment with NIN and Grados as I've found they do NIN well too. These cans love detail and distortion, and for this reason I prefer my pair of 325i goldies over my HD650s for stuff like that.
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Sep 16, 2009 at 6:00 PM Post #12 of 16

analog'd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by estreeter /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Uncle Erik, I take it from your post that you dont see the GS1000/PS1000 as the ultimate Grados, or is it simply that they are very different cans from the other Grados ? I briefly considered spending 3 times my 'line in the sand' limit and getting the GS1000, but I simply couldnt justify spending that much money on one pair of phones. That said, the difference between the RS1 and the GS1000 here is less than the cost of an iPod Classic, putting both well over my limit.


hey. just read your post and saw the "90% gtr driven rock"
in your sig. I bought one of the 1st gs1k's that were shipped out from grado, and I loved them, but they are not tme(to my ear) rocking grados in the grado house sound tradition. in fact, wheni sold them to finance the PS1
my comment was that "the gs1000 are like the Grado classical can" (also amazing for acoustic stuff of all kinds).

the ps1's were for me the ultimate rocking grado in the rs1 tradition, but i found their weight too much for my pea brain. i just got a apir of RS1i's and can say that they are absolutely fantastic, more extended everywhere and faster than my '96 vintage (which were a bit mellower but then again i had em for almost a decade). my s1i's are already mellowing some, i noticed it a lot last night listening to a pro-use abbey road. i had expected to be still missing the ps1's (but not their weight) but the s1i is so good that instead i'm just grinning like a fool.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 7:58 PM Post #14 of 16

witness

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after upgrade rs1 from sr125 first i didn't notice quite differences,but after 150 hours the sound i heard is definitely much better then sr125. I don't care technical details. rs1 sounds perfectly transparent and realistic also with high resolution. So i highly recommend upgrading rs1.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 8:40 PM Post #15 of 16

RagingForces

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
See if you can get to a meet where you can listen to one.


I plan to attend the Chicago Canjam and any other meets within reasonable driving distance from where I live.

Oh btw, you nailed me in my other thread, almost scarily so. Yes, it is about the hunt, but its also about the journey and the experiences. I've always listened to everything I came across, this headphone thing is no different
smily_headphones1.gif


Quote:

Originally Posted by roker /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I love my 125s. I'll upgrade one day in the far future. But I can't picture it getting better than this.


That ended the minute I heard Sonus Faber. The sky really is the limit for me, and I won't really cap my price tags unless I am forced to ( ie, don't have the 40,000 ) I don't want to jump clean up to any flagships though, I enjoy the journey too much for it. Right now i'm listening to a pair of cans that I think will become my winners for a while, but I know eventually I'll have the means to buy the best the world has to offer, but like I said, its more about the journey for me.

Music and the accurate reproduction of music is one of those things that has gotten me through life up to this point. I can't imagine not having music in my life, so if I can do something to elevate that love, I'll push until it won't go any more.
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