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#3122448 05/28/21 07:58 AM
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Grados are, in my opinion, the best deal going for inexpensive headphones. Their expensive stuff is also fabulous, but their budget stuff is pretty unbeatable.

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With the disclaimer that I am a fanboy: Grados are the best.

Take a Grado - any one, buy their G-Cushions (the $55 ones) and replace stock ear pads. Allow a settling in period - not a break-in, but for the listener to experiment. For Digital Pianos, the Grado open back is an amazing experience - try this for example with the CFX binaural sampling - I bet you'll be amazed.

Although the beyerdynamic are my favorite for their 'flatness' - the Grado experience is something else. One thing that was preventing me from using this all the time were the cables - which they have improved on now. I will be trying a model out.

Plus, Rich Grado is happy to respond personally to your queries - gives me a closer shopping/customer experience.


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Can you replace the stock ear pads with pads that don't itch like crazy? I like how the Grados sound, but my ears can't tolerate the bare foam rubber pads.


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Yes @Baltguy - in fact that's the first thing I do/have done with all my headphones. Pictured here (and I'm taking the opportunity to show off my Grados :D) are the headphones with stock pads replaced with the G-Cushions.

[Linked Image]


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The problem with Grado is that they're on-ear phones. That's ruins it for me.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
The problem with Grado is that they're on-ear phones. That's ruins it for me.

The stock pads that came with the Grados (even the Reference one) were all too small and rested ON ear, with pressure, thus making it uncomfortable and painful for long sessions.

The G-Cushions shown in that pic, completely cover the ears with enough room to not 'sweat' the ears. It's roomy, airy, no pressure and not stressful at all to wear. So I've converted them to "around the ear".

Or do you prefer IEMs Mac?


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I sold the Grado SR60e headphones I had on account of experiencing listening fatigue with them. They also cannot be used while laying down with head on a pillow as anything covering the outer mesh will color the sound quite noticeably.


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Those cushions still aren't big enough for me. Big ears? Perhaps that's why wifey says I have a big head. smile

It's too bad, though. Even the $60 Grados are supposed to be pretty good.

I'd give 'em a try if I ever found a retailer who auditioned them. But no! I've never had such opportunity.
Why don't retailers stock any Grados?

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When I got into vsts and started listening to different piano sounds, I decided to stop using my Grado SR80e and upgraded to Sennheiser HD599. Both my SR80e, and an older Grado I have, have some uneven frequency response in mid and highs. This made a few notes at the peaks in the response stand out, and made some lower notes sound bad because some other their higher harmonics got boosted too much. Parametric eq helped. I've always enjoyed the Grado's wonderfully open sound, but now its the HD599 I always reach for, they too sound great and require less eq. (NB The Sennheissers were twice the price.)


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No doubt the higher end Grado SR series are better than the SR60e and SR80e. In terms of price/performance, it is hard to beat a Sony Pro MDR-7506, perhaps the best headphones <= $100.


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You mean this guy makes headphones?

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Imho HP's don't have the frequency response range to do justice to a piano. <50hz doesn't have body on them.

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Pianos produce very little sound < 50Hz. The fundamental frequencies of the notes in the lowest octave only persist for about 1/2 second-- just the percussive attack and decay in the tone envelope. The soundboard does not resonate that low, and does not sustain the fundamentals of the notes in the lowest octave.

But headphones designed with relatively flat response have more bass extension than many speakers and monitors in use.


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Originally Posted by mmathew
for Digital Pianos, the Grado open back is an amazing experience

I never heard a grado, how would you describe this experience, especially compared to other good headphones? Right now i have a hd6xx and a dt770 pro which I think are both great.

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I’ve tried grados a few times but they always make my ears hurt. On-ear headphones are not for everyone. But even ignoring how uncomfortable they are, the ones I tried were nothing special. Well, headphones. Sennheiser are consistently better headphones in any possible aspect IMO.


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@CG: Where were you able to try a Grado in Bulgaria? Even though they're actually made here in America (few things are anymore!) ... they're as scarce as hen's teeth over here. Indeed, I've **never** seen one anywhere.

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My best man is an avid audiophile, he landed me some rather expensive Grado, I forgot the actual model, something single digit, maybe RS1. He introduced me to other audiophiles who organize listening parties. They are big fans of Grado. But honestly I never got what’s so good about on-ear headphones. Maybe my ears are badly shaped 🤣


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To me the flat pad on ear Grado are extremely comfortable. The sound is spacious but the frequency response is generally bright. It’s not hard to fix and there are aftermarket pads that are made to do just that. Check out Supe Best Audio Friends forum for more info. They are also exceptionally efficient and easy to drive— even a phone can take them to concert levels.

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The most comfortable headphones I've ever tried are Beyerdynamic big hemisphere capsule DT-series followed by some Sennheiser headphones. If it has to be technology or cars, I trust German and Japanese companies 😛


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Well as Mmathew points out apparently you can replace the earcups with those interesting looking ones, so they can be over-ear, which to me also, is important. I never thought much about it before, but since the h6xx I don't want anything else anymore if it doesn't have to be portable.

So as for the grado's, that leaves the sound quality/experience.

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