Grado Love or the RS2 (TTVJ Deluxe Pad) Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. udin

    udin Acquaintance

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    I would also be interested in the deluxe pads. Almost bought a pair recently for my 225e's but held off due to the price.
     
  2. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    Stop!! All this Grado talk had me looking for a pair....again

    The 2 I have loved to listen to (for short periods) are the revered Joe Grado HP1 /HP1000 and the vintage RS1. Came seriously close to picking up a vintage RS2 with all this reinvigored Grado discussion and am enjoying seeing the comparisons.

    Perhaps I will cave and own a pair yet again. The modded SR80 from @spwath I passed on to a friend has triggered another audiophiles journey and they had me thinking about Grado for a while too.

    .. dB
     
  3. YtseJammer

    YtseJammer Almost "Made"

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  4. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

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    Would be interested in impressions of the HF3. TTVJ had a tour going, maybe he can loan us a pair?
     
  5. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    SONY: MDR-V6 and its variants, V600, and similar headphones by SONY. The pleather, massaged to a leather-like surface finish, is more or less just foam. I've heard stories of broadcast studios ordering V6s by the case, with a corresponding case of velour pad replacements (Beyer DT-250, Pearstone, etc.), and replacing the V6 pads on each can upon opening.

    The dusting of the pleather pads is/was entirely predictable, usually occurring within a year, and depositing black flakes/dust on your ears that would smudge into permanent black marks on your clothes, etc.

    KOSS: Many headphones have foam that eventually dissolve, including the very famous KSC-75, KSC-35, and PortaPro and its variants. They also made the Pro 4X for a time that had drivers suspended on a layer of about 1/4" foam. That would also dissolve, even when never technically coming in contact with your ears.

    About Grados - I shared Dsavitsk's enthusiasm for a time, owning the SR-80, SR-225, HF-1, and finally HF-2. I agree that the HF-2 was the best sounding of the bunch. After a time, though, I just couldn't get past that distortion. It's the same thing I hear in the HD600 vs. 650: a crunch or grain on mid-high peaks.

    Even so, I've lusted after many of their special runs in the last few years, depending on which tree they decide to cut down, just haven't pulled the trigger again, yet.
     
  6. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    The pleather on my old Sony MDR-V2s did flake after 10-15 years. But that was 1980’s pleather and they got a lot of use. I haven’t had any of my Koss KSC variants dissolve yet but usually the headphones lose a channel within 3-5 years and then get replaced. I did experiment with replacement pads once on the KSCs, and they were cheap. I probably wouldn’t bitch about Grado replacement pads if they were cheap. I also thought that maybe foam technology had evolved since the 70’s. But I guess not. Maybe developers have underestimated the corrosive properties of head sweat.
     
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  7. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    Yes. This is certainly true about the Grado cost. At one time, I owned three at once: 225, HF-1, and HF-2. They would start dissolving in a couple of years, I think. I kept all the original pizza boxes and you could see the foam dusting inside the box when they started to disintegrate. Unfortunately for me, it would happen almost at the same time for all three phones. The recurring maintenance of replacing the pads was a huge re-investment. I think I did that twice and it hurt!

    I tried some of the after-market Grado pads (Chinese from Amazon, I think) and they were so loose, they wouldn't even stay on the cans. They are also not dual-density like true Grado pads, as mentioned in an earlier post. I think Grado paints a thinned-out glue or something similar on the outside of the pads until it soaks in a certain distance. That gives the bowls some stiffness so that they can hold their shape.

    The yellow Sennheiser HD414 pads worked pretty good and are fairly cheap - but they're flat, not bowls. So they didn't help unless I wanted to experiment with sound signature, etc.
     
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  8. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Free Agent

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    YES. After purchasing a pair of Sony "MADE FOR DIGITAL" headphones (LOL) around Y2K, I had friends laugh at me because I was walking around with these black Sony flecks on my face. :eek: May have been one of the reasons I waited until 2009 to try again with a different pair of headphones... Hope that material & process leaves the industry!
     
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  9. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    If for some reason someone wants an original box for an SR125i, let me know and you can have have it for the price of shipping.
     
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  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Maybe. I like the older style boxes better. These are the more compact newer style boxes:

    IMG_20200216_182319.jpg

    On the HF2: that special edition release from Grado was surely the most approachable Grado with the stock bowl pads. I definitely had my own HF2 phase, but sold them after realizing I they had been hanging on the wall for a while without any use. Unfortunately, I only have the early "V1" rig measurements, so can't analyze why this is objectively.
     
  11. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Personally we should be worrying about what happens when John dieds/retired. Who will take over making their TOTL cartridges.
     
  12. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    I hope he has a protege.

    I'd love to hear one of them, but I probably will never have the chance. I'd really like to hear what a 5 digit cost cartridge sounds like. Hell, I've never even heard a MC cartridge. Currently running an AT ATN440 on a vintage Technics turntable.
     
  13. ShaneD

    ShaneD Rando

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    I bought the SR325e's a few years ago. I thought they were a lot of fun, but very bright. I decided that I wanted to climb the Grado tree. I tried the PS500e's and while they had none of the brighness, they had none of the fun either. I was going to get the RS2e's and then came across the GH2's online. I fell in love with the cocobolo wood. I sent emails to several dealers across Canada to try and get a few dollars off. I got two responses and one guy agreed to tax free. Our tax rate here is 15%, so that was a nice break. Of course tax free to more like a 12.5 to 13% discount with the magic of math. So without ever hearing or seeing them in person I bought the most expensive headphones of my life at that time ($949.00).

    They are perfect! All the Grado fun, and very little of the noise. And cocobolo is beautiful. They quickly became my favourite headphones. Only thing was the L-cush pads hurt my ears. I tried some knock off G-cush pads and while it was more comfortable it was not exactly what I wanted. They were sloppy and the sound seemed a bit off. I had read a few times about Beautiful Audio pads in New Zealand. They looked great, but were expensive, landed in Canada. After several months I said screw it and ordered them. It was about $225.00, landed. WELL worth it! My Grado's are my favorite headphones and now, my most comfortable.

    I love them for all my music: New rock, Classic rock, Motown, Blues, Horn Jazz.

    I am hoping that my Elex's (arriving tomorrow) give them a run for # 1.
     
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  14. sidq

    sidq Rando

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    What amps around the place are pentode based? I had a bit of a read up on tube types and technology but am a bit awry on what and what isn't considered a pentode. I'm guessing you have a cool in house one tuned just for yourself - i know i would if i had the time or ability :)
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Here is a frequency response analysis of various pads, including the Sennheiser HD414, SR60 S-Cush, and a custom pad. As I mentioned already, I've tried all sorts of pads over the past ten years.

    The TTVJ Deluxe pads (red plot) remains my number one choice. The density of the foam is just right while retaining the openness and some of the character of the Grado mids. In case folks haven't figured it out yet, I am highly advocating for the TTVJ Deluxe pads for the RS2, SR325, SR225, SR125, and SR80 models. Yes, the PS500 and HF500 are quite listenable. Even the latest RS1e (review on that later). But, honestly I prefer the TTVJ Deluxe pads with the the mentioned models.

    It's been asked several times already. FWIW, I do feel that these Grados with the TTVJ Deluxe Flat pads can be used across musical genres other than guitar rock.

    SR60 S-Cush pads.
    IMG_20200217_164353.jpg
    RS2 Frequency Response of SR60 S-Cush pads compared with stock and TTVJ Deluxe
    GRAY = stock
    RED = TTVJ Deluxe Pads (most desirable IMO)
    BLUE = SR60 S-Cush Pads
    upload_2020-2-17_16-58-57.png
    The SR60 S-cush pads improve upon the stock bowl pads frequency response by pushing the highs down to the level of TTVJ pads. However, they don't have quite the foam density, so the mids and especially lows remain at stock levels, retaining the lean tonality of the stock bowls.

    IMG_20200217_164431.jpg
    RS2 Frequency Response of HD414 pads compared with stock and TTVJ Deluxe
    GRAY = stock
    RED = TTVJ Deluxe Pads (most desirable IMO)
    BROWN = Sennheiser HD414 upload_2020-2-17_17-3-26.png
    The HD414 pads so a job very similar to the S-Cush pads. Maybe attenuating the highs just a bit more. However, lows and mids are still lean compared to the TTVJ pads.

    Custom pads made by @stratocaster
    IMG_20200217_164323.jpg
    RS2 Frequency Response of custom pads compared with stock and TTVJ Deluxe
    GRAY = stock
    RED = TTVJ Deluxe Pads (most desirable IMO)
    GREEN = Custom Pad made by @stratocaster
    upload_2020-2-17_17-5-40.png
    Now this is interesting. We actually get some decent bass here with a response somewhat like the Audeze LCD headphones. The non-breath-ability of these pads do take away from the openness of the other pads though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Here is a comparison of all the pads with RS2 (except stock, which I think sounds the worst). I've zoomed into the graph so we can get a better sense of the differences, which are significant.

    Grado RS2 Frequency Response of various pads
    RED = TTVJ Deluxe Flat pad
    GREEN = custom @stratocaster made pad
    BROWN = HD414 pad
    BLUE = SR60 S-Cush pad
    upload_2020-2-17_17-21-55.png
     
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  17. SeanT

    SeanT Acquaintance

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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Here is a CSD analysis of the SR80 (vintage), SR225e, and RS2e using the TTVJ Deluxe pads. Note differences in distortion are seen here in this post: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...the-rs2-appreciation-thread.8952/#post-289921

    CSD for Grado SR80 (modded with wood cups) with TTVJ Deluxe Flat Pads
    FPC Grado SR80 mod Deluxe L.jpg

    CSD for Grado SR225 with TTVJ Deluxe Flat Pads
    FPC Grado 225 TTVJ Deluxe L.jpg

    CSD for Grado RS2 with TTVJ Deluxe Flat Pads
    FPC Grado RS2 Deluxe L.jpg

    Subjectively, the RS2 sound sharpest to me in the highs and the SR225 sounds the most mellow. This seems to be reflected in the CSDs more evidently than the FR. The RS2 has a well defined ridge at 11kHz. Both SR225 and SR80 (closer to SR225 than RS2) are better in this regards without a sharply defined ridge.

    However, the RS2 also sounds the most refined and lacking of grain. The SR80 sounds roughest. Could it be that the overall smoother decay and less jaggy CSDs are related to this?
     
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  19. SeanT

    SeanT Acquaintance

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    Interesting how the SR80 and SR225 have ridges in the CSDs (4K + 6K and 4K + 5K, respectively) that correspond to the peaks in their D2 measurements. The RS2 has none of that. I wonder if that has any bearing on how rough they sound subjectively?

    EDIT:
    Also, the SR80 CSD kinda looks like it has some reverb going on. Wondering if the wood cups are coming in to play.
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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