Upgrading from SR325 to RS-2...should I do it?
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Beagle

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Yes, I should use my ears but there are no RS-2's in the vicinity to do this.

After 6 weeks, my Cardas/HD600 seems to be turning out to be on the bland, polite, civilized side of neutral. Easy on the ears but rather unexciting. For now.

I like my SR325 and find it provides a significant improvement over my SR225, which I also like a lot. I like the bounce and dynamics and impact that these Grado's provide.

Is moving up the the RS-2 a significant upgrade, considering the desired improvements:

-more warmth
-more solid bass
-less harsh upper mids/treble
-a bit more space and delicacy, and midrange smoothness
-a less heavy headphone

I have searched and found varying opinions here, including many who prefer the SR325 over the RS-2. But they might be looking for something different than I am.

And does anyone know if the RS-2 is lighter than the SR325?

All opinions welcome. And I'd love to hear from anyone who knows both phones well.
 
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andrzejpw

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I haven't spent serious time with these phones, maybe 10 or 15 minutes each at the WOH, and I'm not qualified to give an opinion, but I like to talk.


Personally, being used to the sennheiser sound, grados in just confuse me. I Really found the 325, 225s, 125s, 80s, and 60s very bright. Think of that chipmunks cartoon. That's what grados are to me. The exception? The rs-1s and rs-2s. When I was done auditioning them, they really started to grow on me. Their sound was less harsh, and the highs were much less bright. They offered a very exciting sound. I'm sure that if i spent more time with them, and ditched my senns for a while, I would get used to the sound that grado's offered(maybe I'd like the other grados then as well.
).

So. . . I say yes. You're selling the 325s, right?
 
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NotoriousBIG_PJ

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But what you really want is rs-1's.


"But I need that money for food"

Well let me ask you this, havent you eaten enough?


Biggie.
 
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Fadamacka

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Yup, but to get the full, rich, lovely, but not so tight (but, as i said, lovely
) bass, i'd say reach for a pair of RS-1's. Pick them up at www.audiogon.com 'cos the prices tend to be a lot cheaper there.
I got my pair (used three times, almost brand new) for 400 bucks.

I also find the instruments to stand out more on the rs1's vs the rs2's. (please note that i have only heard the rs2's for about an hour.) A "blacker" carpet between notes are more present on the rs1's.

IMHO, the rs1's are extremly comfy as well (yes, i've tried those hd600's.)

Finally, it is only you that can decide on the purchase, and a decent audition is in place with these two cans.
 
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grinch

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i agree. i'd save and get the rs-1's used.. it's what i did.

also, i find them cropping up on ebay brand-new for $500-600 so keep an eye there too.

or, they're only ~$600 with free shipping at decibel audio
 
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post-174076
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The Quality Guru

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Get the RS-1's or HP-1's instead. Or both. That's what I may eventually end up doing after I sell my W100's. Though it will take a while to save up that much! But I'm sure it will be worth it for me as well as for you.

Many have said (namely at the WOH Tour) that the RS-1 was the only good Grado- and many others have said that the RS-2's are below the 325's. Also, many people thought that the RS-1 was one of the better headphones at the WOH Tour- many were ranking it quite high- even with comparison to some more exotic headphones (albeit with exotic amps too).

When I listened to the 325 vs. RS-1, I don't believe I listened long enough to really know quite enough about each's abilities. But with the short audition that I was allowed, I thought the RS-1 was more refined overall with an unquestionably more warm sound that along with what seemed to be not nearly as much of a treble boost as many other Grados- though I wasn't really able to tell that the 325 had *that* much of a treble boost because I didn't listen long enough for telltale fatigue to set in.

Though, for the record, Beagle, I liked the SR325's a lot too, though IMO they have totally different sounds and excel in different things. Some have even called the RS-1's "slightly less detailed" and "thicker," among other things. Alhough most people who say these things can tolerate the treble boost of the Prestige-Series Grados. I think it's the other way around, and think the RS-1's have better soundstage, probably the nearly same amount of detail, and more body to everything.

In brief, the RS-1 sells for less than the RS-2's retail price as used or near new condition. Fadamacka got his close to new for $400! The RS-2's retail; for $495. But if you want a spanking new pair, get them at Decibel Audio. They're the cheapest price out there from a dealer, not a private seller, meaning more reliability and support. TubeRoller has an affiliation there, too, FWIW.
 
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Fadamacka

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Uhm, just for the records, i could'nt spot ONE flaw on my pair when they arrived. I'd recommend audiogon.com

They had about 4 hours on their back i think. Don't remember it too well, though.
 
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Beagle

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Thank you. I am not going to rush into things, especially when I have to take into consideration the devalued Canadian dollar and the RS-1's retailing in Canada for over $1000.

So as a SR325 owner, I am in essence spending a further $700-$1000 for two wooden earcups, since the SR325 have matched drivers and OFC copper cable.

There is a new hi-end dealer in town who is getting the Beyerdynamic line and hopes to have them in in a couple of weeks. So I'll have to give those a listen as well.

Maybe I should just package my Cardas/HD600, AKG K501 and X-Cans (w/ upgraded JJ tubes) all together and trade for a good wooden Grado, and keep my RA-1 amp and my other Grados. The less choices I have, the happier I am.
 
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morphsci

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Well not too long ago I owned both the Alessandro MS II's and the MS Pro's. After about 6 months with both sets I finally sold the MS Pro's. I personally liked the midrange clarity better on the MS II's and I also enjoyed the increased treble extension. But remember that is with 45 year old ears. Just APOV.
 
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andrzejpw

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I'm one of the people that said rs-1s are the only good grados. But remember, that's just my opinion, and I've been brainwashed with the sennheiser sound. It's possible that grado's in general may grow on me someday. . .
 
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Blighty

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Beagle,

The RS-1 will do all those things you requested in your criteria. It has much more sophisticated treble with better texture and definition while possessing no glare. The bass is richer and with more body. The soundstage is both wider and deeper probably due to the large 1.5 inch air chambers vs. the 325's 1 inch. It is probably the most polite Grado while maintaining the famous midrange focus and silkiness that other Grados lack. If you can purchase them around $450 I would say go for it, however, if you are paying full retail of $695 I would rather examine other options. The ATH-W100 has a warmer, lusher midrange, even more body in the bass as well as finer texture and can achieve greater transparency if you have the right recording. The RS-1 does not have the W100's timbral realism but has better sparkle, texture and airiness in the highs. The W100 can be a frustrating headphone at times but is highly rewarding when you get it just right. When this happens, I doubt anything shy of the R-10 can beat it, IMO.
 
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Beagle

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You guys are awesome! I'm really getting some good feedback here, stuff I can work with
 
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andrzejpw

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Hmmm, I really wouldn't consider w100s a primary set of phones. They sound awesome with some cds and music types, and sound pretty bad with others. It's really hit or miss.

Otoh, I didn't think there was much of a difference between the rs-1 and 2s? Isn't it just the material?
 
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