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Ultra disappointed with Alessandro MS-1. [UPDATE: purchased Goldring DR150, vast improvement]

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by blacknile, Jul 27, 2011.
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  1. blacknile
    I listen to rock/jazz/classical/folk on flac using foobar2000/wasapi. My collection includes poorly mastered hyper-compressed rock/jazz recordings (think about the Stooges-Raw Power or anyone of the early Blue Note RVG remasters) as well as audiophile classical/acoustic recordings - and everything in between, SQ-wise. So I'd say this pretty much rules out the possibility that what I'm about to say is influenced by the source material I use.
    I tried to enter the Grado world purchasing a pair of Alessandro MS-1. I don't want to go through the details, but I found them quite horrible, even for the price. Grainy texture to the sound, lack of body, occasionally bright transients, etc. I found them so unpleasant that I found myself going back to my humble Porta Pro for listening pleasure. As a comparison, my ATH-M50 were superior in everything but comfort (being much heavier and claustrophobic).
    Given the fact I seem not too like the Grado sound, would you recommend a pair of Sony V6 for general listening? This would include portable usage using mp3s and a Creative Zen mp3 player, as well as office usage using flac files and the headphone jack of my desktop pc.
  2. MalVeauX
    I'm confused.
    You say you have `poorly mastered and hyper compressed' source material. And that the sound texture is grainy, lacks body, bright, etc.
    Well, yea, I would expect it sounds like butt. It's rendering it exactly like it should. Garbage in, garbage out friend.
    Very best,
  3. tdockweiler
    I think that even with lossless they'll still sound bad enough for you to not like them. I don't have the MS-1, but if it's anything like the SR-80, then it will always have a slightly grainy sound. For $80 it's still quite good.
    The MDR-V6 is more of a side-grade. My pair had some bloated bass, harsh treble and some slightly recessed mids. This seems to go against whatever everyone else says. My 7506 sound better yet everyone says they're the same. Who knows..
    The V6 doesn't really sound any better than my modded SR-80 IMO. Probably at the same level.
    I do believe in garbage in and garbage out, but to a point. I've never been a believer that lower quality files (192 etc) can make you dislike a headphone.
    If you like the Porta Pro, you should check into the Koss Pro DJ 100. I've found it a lot more clear than the SR-80 and better balanced. Needs an amp though. I did a comparison of it to the MDR-7506 (v6) a few months back here:
  4. blacknile
    I didn't say that.
    English is not my first language so apologies if that was confusing. I said I have all sorts of music *ranging from* poorly mastered recordings *to* audiophile recordings. This includes LP pressings from Classic Records, Sundazed, Speakers Corner, as well as 24/92 flacs purchased from HDtracks.
    I meant I have a wide range of material. Regardless of the recording, the Alessandro MS1 sound bad to my ears. 
    So no my friend, here we have good stuff in, garbage out, too.
    Very best,

  5. blacknile
    Hi, thanks, how about the KRK you reviewed in a recent thread? Would they be better than the Sony V6 in your experience? Also, are they heavy? Heavy closed headphones are a deal breaker for me.

  6. Ikelmonster
    How long have you used them, in other words, did you burn them in? Just wondering because for me it took quite a few listening sessions for my SR60i's to open up and for me to get into the sound. As tdockweiler pointed out though the "graininess" is part of the grado sound, so perhaps burn in won't effect your experience at all for the better. I own the V6's as well and enjoy them quite a lot, they are great headphones for the price. I don't think they would be an upgrade per se - again, as tdockweiler said, probably a side-grade.
  7. tdockweiler


    Well, I prefer them to everything else I've tried, including the SRH-840, ZX700, V6 and even my SR-80. They are quite neutral, but I love their mids. They're not as forward sounding as the SR-80 (or MS-1?) though. The treble is probably going to be a lot more smooth. These things are quite light, but due to the design, not good as a portable for commuting or whatever. They look a bit goofy on my head. It at least gets my vote for the clearest and most detailed headphone I've heard (un-amped) under $200 or so that's portable.
    They might be hard to find in your country if you really live in Europa [​IMG]
  8. LCfiner
    I almost sold my MS-1s after listening to them for the first time. but I held off, burned them in for a week and then came back to them and was surprised by how much less piercing and scratchy they sounded.
    And then I got hooked on the sound and started moving up the Grado ladder
    Here is the FR graph for reference future discussion.  The Sony V6, IMO are very analytical, bright but not quite offensive ( harsh) with good recording that I've  listened to ( Most of Diana Krall CDs, Cassandra Wilson, Dire Straits, The Fourplays, and some hard rocks such as AC/DC, Queen...) I am kind of fond of them for being not to add a lot colour to the original recording. Listener' fatigue ? Yes, for any bright side of neutral sound, the longer and the louder you listen, it ( listener  fatigue) will kick in faster.
    I am a strong believer in GIGO only if  one  has a neutral sounding system .  For example, if you listen to Vienna Acoustics speakers and you want a faithful reproduction then you are a dreamer but a lot of people love Vienna Acoustics speakers for not being bright ( HF roll-off) when their ears are sensitive to HF. 
    There is no exception in HPs as well as in 2 channel audio that to achieve the sound that one desires there will be a trail and error. All the glorified reviews and recommendations are just a guide but you ultimately will have decide what's in there for you .
    Happy listening and good luck.
  10. JamesMcProgger
    the MS1 are one of my all time favorites.
    and I kind of dislike the portapros for being too dark and lacking sparkle. SR60 are that way but without lacking all the sparkle, perhaps those if you want grados.
    V6 is fun, very different from the grados.
  11. blacknile
    Hi thank you all for your suggestions. I had my MS1 for 2 months, and used them roughly every second day for 1-2hrs.
    I really wanted to like them, and I would consider going for a real Grado, maybe a 225 if somebody told me those defects I heard in the MS1 (grain, lack of body etc) are no more there as one moves up the Grado ladder.
    If I have to say something positive about the MS1, I found them light and rather comfortable. Much better than my M50 which gave me a headache after 1 hour. If I could get the M50 sound in lightweight, portable frame I'd be a happy camper.
  12. tdockweiler

    I wouldn't call the second one a defect. Some like me, like a thinner sounding headphone at times. Weird, I know. Most likely you just won't like the Grado sound. Some don't. I love it, but not the comfort. Sorry. Probably because I wear glasses? I don't suggest making the same mistake I did and trying to upgrade to the 325i or something. Isn't there a Grado headphone that's completely unlike what you'd expect from a Grado? Is it the HF-2? Why do I hear it always compared to the ATH-AD2000?
    I would just suggest selling the MS1 and trying other headphones. Or demo another Grado first if you can.
    BTW for those that know, what's the clearest sounding Grado under $500 with the smoothest treble? HF-2? I can usually tolerate a lot of treble, but I couldn't deal with the treble on the K702 and 325i. Yet I'm ok with the treble on the DT-880 and DT-990?!
  13. bcasey25raptor
    those saying burn them in should know the following.
    every single pair i let burn in got worse over time. every pair sounded best out of the box.
    i like my alessandro ms1 but they are not as good (not even close) as they were before.
  14. joelpearce
    Not everyone likes the Grado sound.  It is probably worth finding something with a bit of warmth, that will smooth over the edges a little without damaging the overall experience.  I'm not really sure what to recommend, except maybe the Shure SRH 440/840.  They are detailed but mellow sounding--might be just the thing for you.
  15. 200poundsofamp

    Maybe you could try the 4 hole mod? I just bought some sr80is with that done and they sound pretty close to neutral compared to the thin sounding sr60s I used to have.
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