what the? grado sr80's sounding worse than koss ksc-35's
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poorimpulsectrl

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So I just got a new amp and have been a/b'ing my two present headphones, a pair of Grado SR80's (which I've had for a year) and a new pair of Koss KSC-35's (second pair of these I have). Hands down the new Koss sound much better, most noticeably in terms of bass. Grado's are supposed to be renown for their bass, is it possible mine have somehow gotten damaged ? How would I know? I don't recall them sounding this without "oomph" before. Right now they just sound painfully bright with very understated bass.

Help please?
 
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JaZZ

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Quote:

...got a new amp...


What sort of? Supposably not a dedicated headphone amp, but an integrated stereo amp. It's possible, though not common in headphone jacks of such that there is a mismatch because of the Grados' low impedance (32 ohms), while the 60 ohms of the Koss might suit it better. This phenomenon is almost normal with portables, but not so with static (integrated) amps, AFAIK. A solution would be an impedance adapter, like the one Jan Meier sells with his Porta Corda.

JaZZ
 
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Steve999

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I'm guessing that's just the two side by side. The KSC-35s emphasize mid-bass, the SR 80s emphasize treble. So you get a stark contrast.

That's why I feel like A/Bing doesn't always give you a fair picture. I have SR 60s that don't A/B against my other headphones too well but somehow I end up listening to them more often than the other headphones. I have some KSC-35s but I've more or less retired them... I just feel like I'm missing too much with them (low bass and mid-treble), even though they're so musical.
 
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poorimpulsectrl

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mid bass is highly relevant for the type of music I listen to (electronica) so that's probably why I feel as though they present the music better. In addition to the fact that I find Grado's high end uncomfortably bright. I guess that the fact that people always say Grado's bass is remarkable and the fact that the midbass oomph isn't there is what had me wondering.

JaZZ : I got a Creek OBH-11 amp. From what I read it handled headphones of differing impedence well, but I agree with your point that it may be the KSC-35's get more out of it than the Grado's. Neither I guess should / typically require amps to be driven. Can't wait to hear what my incoming Beyer DT770 sounds like.

Again though, is there any way to test to see if a headphone is busted, like the driver isn't doing it's job or something? Because again the bass sounds almost non existent in comparison.
 
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millerdog

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I think your perceptions on the two are correct. I have to turn down the bass on my player with the KSC35s; for me, the bass begins to sound muddy and irritating.
I think the 35s have punch in the bass but not a whole lot of detail. Then again I am comparing them now to SR325s which have a little more bass than the SR80s I had. I rememeber though, using the comfy pads with the SR80s seemed to enhance the bass somewhat, though not to KSC35 levels.
md
 
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poorimpulsectrl

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The sr60 pads are the ones I have on my grado's now. They do warm up the bass a bit and take a little off those highs. Still it just seems like a night and day difference, and while I was never blown away by the SR80's bass in so far as its detail and atmosphere, it just seems really imbalanced right now. Maybe it's just my personal preference in sound influencing my perception of the cans performance and the fact that the KSC-35 accentuates just that. Still it just doesn't seem right.
 
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poorimpulsectrl

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Bah. Continuing listening the bass seems to be back a bit, albeit the presentation's greater balance on the Grado's doesn't quite have the slant the KSC-35's do.
 
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LTUCCI1924

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HI all: Now no offense to anybody but I had the grado 60,80,325, and sent them all back and am sitting here listing to my koss portapros plug into my Max-Out META42 and am saying wow this sounds great. Pink floyd dark side of the moon, and also feel very nice to ware for hours at a time. Got to go comfortably numb just came on from the wall.
 
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SumB

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The importance of the source cannot be overstated. The Koss's are much more forgiving in that sense.
 
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poorimpulsectrl

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I understand SumB. I guess that while the Rio Volt SP250 and Hercules Game Theater XP represent the higher end of their particular product niches, there are still many components out there that would take better advantage of the SR80's. But since the majority of my music collection is in mp3 form whatever works best in that setup is going to seem better to me.


I have a pair of Beyer DT770's on their way to me, we'll see how that rates.
 
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MacDEF

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I think it may be as simple as the fact that you just like the sound of the KSC-35 better. I do, too. I think for a lot of music the KSC-35 sound as good as or better than the SR60 and SR80, both of which are excellent headphones, but both of which seem to be missing something to me. The KSC-35 are missing things, too, but I don't notice their flaws as much -- they just do it for me more. There's something very "musical" about the KSC-35 that really make them enjoyable.
 
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JaZZ

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I like both the Portapro and the SR 80. The Portapro clearly accentuates the bass, more than the SR 80 does (it also does a bit), but I don't perceive such a huge difference like poorimpulsectrl does. So could there in fact be any incompatibility? But I don't think that your SR 80 is damaged that way that both channels lack bass to exactly the same degree.

JaZZ
 
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