Grado Hemp (2020) Measurements, Reviews, and Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Vtory, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Some have tried all the obvious cheap aftermarket pads, and none are worth the sonic trade-offs for more comfort vs f-pads / ttvj deluxe.

    However, I thought the Beautiful Audio hybrid pads were actually closest to a worthwhile trade off because they were very comfortable. I think the full-merino versions might actually sound good though Ive not tried them, but Id bet still not as good as f-pads.

    Shipibo Audio’s new pads look like cheap versions of the BA pads. I would try them out if I had a non-Hemp Grado.
     
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  2. elsordo

    elsordo Acquaintance

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    Dang, I've never seen those merino pads before!
     
  3. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Please keep useless content posts down to a minimum. You must earn some good will before getting some lee-way, or be entertaining. See the rules. Be content with just using the ‘like’ button.
     
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  4. shuto

    shuto Rando

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    Since these were about $11 on Amazon, I wanted to give them a shot, so I have an emergency set in the case the stock pads start flaking away.

    I actually think they're quite a bit more comfortable. It was the first time I didn't find the comfort distracting. As reported here and expected, the pads definitely did some weird things to the sound, unfortunately.

    While I understand that the Hemp is made by hand in the US, and it uses a great driver, and we're paying a bit of a premium since it's a limited edition model, idc. The pads on these are disappointing from a comfort and user experience perspective.

    Will need to more seriously consider @Philimon's fancy-pants pad recommendations instead.

    On another note, what amps are people currently using for their Hemp? I have a Jot 1 (post-silent revision, I believe) on the way to upgrade my Liquid Spark. I wanted a Jot 2, but I the Jot 1 was a good deal.
     
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  5. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    It's very frustrating that hemp default pads (f-cushions) still are a clean win over anything else in terms of treble control and lovely tone/tonality. See below.

    [​IMG]

    But I can agree geekria flat (holed) ones are the closest alternative if you can bear with compromises. +5-6 db on highs overall.
    I'd check three things below
    • Does it have sub-unity gain? (Gain <1)
    • Does it have a good quality or at least non-gimp unbalanced outs?
    • Does it have a good volume pot working robustly on lower ranges?
    I settled down with Magnius. No matter how awesome amps are, if any of three things above unchecked, that's quite downgrading experience with such an efficient driver like Grado. Jot 1 in my experience violates the first two bullet points.
     
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  6. shuto

    shuto Rando

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    Thanks for the information. My unit is balanced, so I don't have to deal with an inferior se output on the amp. The gain may still be a problem, since the Hemp is so sensitive.

    I was actually going to buy the Modius when it was first released, but the early impressions here were pretty critical, so I decided to wait out an amp upgrade until now.

    I wouldn't mind a bit more treble in the stock configuration, but I can see this being ploblematic on the og Jot. The unit I have in the way is a newer one, so I hope the treble issue I had with it in the past is resolved.

    If I hate the combination, I can just keep my Liquid Spark.
     
  7. elsordo

    elsordo Acquaintance

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    Hmm, I only briefly auditioned them so I guess I didn't spend enough time to get a good feel for their sound. Comfort for me wasn't much better because a part of my inner ear sticks out far enough for the edge of the foam around the center cutout to rub against it and I found it rather tickling and distracting. But I figured most people don't have that issue and it would be more comfortable. A bummer they mess with the sound so much. My guess then is that the flat pads are really the only pads most people will like the sound of. I don't find the comfort to be a huge issue since I can only listen to them when I'm alone and they're not headphones I ever plan on wearing all day long. But I can definitely see why you and others would be bothered by it.

    As far as amps go, I use the Vali 2 and I think it pairs fairly well with it, though I think something that adds a little more extension to the highs might be better, which is a funny thing to say when talking about a Grado.
     
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  8. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

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  9. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Na, I never thought that way. Both TTVJ and Grado-F (think them as sorta identical twins if not completely identical objects) use harder and rougher sponge material on surface, which start to give me exponentially-increasing fatigue after 30 mins or so of listening. Any of geekria pads use softer and plusher material which help in that regard. No way to get the best of both worlds (AFAIK). It all comes down to how users would deal with tradeoffs.

    As an aside, that and super-f**king thick cable eventually drove me away from Hemps although I still like how they sound. What a complicated love-hatred relationship.
     
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  10. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

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    Imagine if Grado could come up with a new version of the Hemp with a bigger/more resolving driver, a detachable/more comfortable cable, and more comfortable flat earpads...(With the same tuning)
     
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  11. shuto

    shuto Rando

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    These pads cover more of the driver than the stock pads. Do you know if anyone has tried modifying those pads by cutting the part that hangs over the driver to more closely match the shape of the stock pads? I'm sure they'd still sound different due to density of the materials, the size difference, among other things, but it might be worth it.
     
  12. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Good point. I thought similarly before.

    I didn't do that but instead reversed the very pads inside out (large hole toward ears). It had some interesting effects as shown below.

    F-cushions
    [​IMG]

    Reversed flats
    [​IMG]

    Note that the experiment done with SR80e but I believe deltas will mostly apply to Hemps as having similar driver-enclosure structure.
     
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  13. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

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  14. Ruined

    Ruined HD700 ruined my ear holes

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    incredibly, when a few months ago I was debating whether to keep this or not because it was too congested, about a month ago something clicked and I decided I really liked it. Now just ordered a 2nd pair for my daily "beater" driver to replace my HD25. First time I have ever bought two copies of a headphone to own at same time.

    I disliked HD600 because sounded too dull/flat to me. Something about hemp gives just enough zing and extra bass to make it exciting. Also, the smaller size makes it attractive when you don't want big thing on your head. Right now I got Hemp + HD800S + HD820 and this combination seems to work for almost every music type , situation, and mood.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  15. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

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    Believe it or not, I prefer the Hemp over the Verite Closed for pure musical enjoyment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  16. Ruined

    Ruined HD700 ruined my ear holes

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    I still like the HD800S/HD820 best for "music quality enjoyment."

    BUT there are frequently times that having a big contraption on my head is undesirable and the Hemp has proven perfect for those times. And I guess that would speak to "music comfort + quality enjoyment". They are sort of like what I remember the PX100 being, except on steroids.

    They seem really good for synthwave.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  17. Orkney

    Orkney Acquaintance

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    The Hemp is a great, fun phone for sure. I bought one recently to go with my GH-4, and while I prefer the GH-4 overall they're different enough in tone to be good stablemates, and the Hemp just feels more solid, perhaps due to the more compact cups.

    Owned and came to loathe various Grados years ago but these are a blast sonically, if not ergonomically (cabled) and the GH-4 especially is comfortable over a decent duration, if you can get past the occasional rusty-car door creak.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  18. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

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