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MS2i thoughts


Absorbine_Sr
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I received my MS2i's on Saturday and got some flats today. I really like these cans. My first Grado's, I had shied away from them not for any specific reason but just because my interests were elsewhere. Boy, was that a mistake. I've listened to Grado's at meets, but at home in my own rig is the only way to go.

Listening with the bowls for the last week, I was enjoying them, but they've tended to sound bright on a lot of things. But other things just clicked so well. The California Guitar Trio cd's were astounding with the bowls. So musically engaging it's hard to describe.

Now, with the flats these things have become bass and midrange monsters. And I like that too. Wonderful rock & roll cans this way.

I know I have a pair of HD414 pads around here somewhere, but can't find them. Quarter modded, do these land in the middle ground between flats and bowls? Does that middle ground exist? If it does let me know.

I now know that I will buy more Grado's, but this first step has honestly been the most satisfying I can remember since I started throwing money into the headphone back hole. I'm kicking myself for waiting so long.

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I received my MS2i's on Saturday and got some flats today. I really like these cans. My first Grado's, I had shied away from them not for any specific reason but just because my interests were elsewhere. Boy, was that a mistake. I've listened to Grado's at meets, but at home in my own rig is the only way to go.

Listening with the bowls for the last week, I was enjoying them, but they've tended to sound bright on a lot of things. But other things just clicked so well. The California Guitar Trio cd's were astounding with the bowls. So musically engaging it's hard to describe.

Now, with the flats these things have become bass and midrange monsters. And I like that too. Wonderful rock & roll cans this way.

I know I have a pair of HD414 pads around here somewhere, but can't find them. Quarter modded, do these land in the middle ground between flats and bowls? Does that middle ground exist? If it does let me know.

I now know that I will buy more Grado's, but this first step has honestly been the most satisfying I can remember since I started throwing money into the headphone back hole. I'm kicking myself for waiting so long.

yup, the 414 pads are the middle ground between the bowls and the flats. If you find the highs a little recessed, then you can quarter mod them.

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I received my MS2i's on Saturday and got some flats today. I really like these cans. My first Grado's, I had shied away from them not for any specific reason but just because my interests were elsewhere. Boy, was that a mistake. I've listened to Grado's at meets, but at home in my own rig is the only way to go.

Listening with the bowls for the last week, I was enjoying them, but they've tended to sound bright on a lot of things. But other things just clicked so well. The California Guitar Trio cd's were astounding with the bowls. So musically engaging it's hard to describe.

Now, with the flats these things have become bass and midrange monsters. And I like that too. Wonderful rock & roll cans this way.

I know I have a pair of HD414 pads around here somewhere, but can't find them. Quarter modded, do these land in the middle ground between flats and bowls? Does that middle ground exist? If it does let me know.

I now know that I will buy more Grado's, but this first step has honestly been the most satisfying I can remember since I started throwing money into the headphone back hole. I'm kicking myself for waiting so long.

As you know, I bought an MS2i at the same time you did. They are a great first Grado, and I can easily say they are the "sweet spot" in the sub-$300 Grado line up. Not nearly as bright as the 325i or 225, might even be called "rolled off", but this is a pleasant sound. Not as resolving as the RS-1, but they are still detailed and pretty airy for a Grado. The bass and the midrange is where it is at here. Marvelous! I'm loving listening to beat laden electronica, but even better, rock vinyl, since vinyl shows off those low frequencies so well. Also, the MS2i can be listened to at high volumes (relative to other, brighter Grados) for longer periods of time without being fatiguing. This also makes the bass that much more impactful and exciting.

As for pad choice, I think flats are definitely the way to go on this one. Bowls take some of the oomph out of the bass. I also have the reverse quarter mod "vwap" hd414s, and like you say, they exist in the land between bowls and flats. To be honest with you though, I've never been a huge fan of the vwap with any Grado, now the MS2i included. YMMV, of course, it may be worth picking up a pair just to have around, but flats have pretty much been the winner on all the Grados I've heard (GS1000 being the exception, bagels win here, and I've never heard the PS-1).

Glad you are enjoying the cans!

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Guest sacd lover

As you know, I bought an MS2i at the same time you did. They are a great first Grado, and I can easily say they are the "sweet spot" in the sub-$300 Grado line up. Not nearly as bright as the 325i or 225, might even be called "rolled off", but this is a pleasant sound. Not as resolving as the RS-1, but they are still detailed and pretty airy for a Grado. The bass and the midrange is where it is at here. Marvelous! I'm loving listening to beat laden electronica, but even better, rock vinyl, since vinyl shows off those low frequencies so well. Also, the MS2i can be listened to at high volumes (relative to other, brighter Grados) for longer periods of time without being fatiguing. This also makes the bass that much more impactful and exciting.

As for pad choice, I think flats are definitely the way to go on this one. Bowls take some of the oomph out of the bass. I also have the reverse quarter mod "vwap" hd414s, and like you say, they exist in the land between bowls and flats. To be honest with you though, I've never been a huge fan of the vwap with any Grado, now the MS2i included. YMMV, of course, it may be worth picking up a pair just to have around, but flats have pretty much been the winner on all the Grados I've heard (GS1000 being the exception, bagels win here, and I've never heard the PS-1).

Glad you are enjoying the cans!

I love the MS2. :-* .... and I concur with all the posts so far. I prefer flats but the quater modded senn pads are good too. This headphone is ridiculously good with my Extreme and the Supra 392. I would really like to be able to try the MS Pro. But something tells me this is the headphone for me. I just got done listening for almost three hours and my outer ears do not hurt. Comfort was my biggest issue but I seem to have adjusted. 8)

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I love the MS2. :-* .... and I concur with all the posts so far. I prefer flats but the quater modded senn pads are good too. This headphone is ridiculously good with my Extreme and the Supra 392. I would really like to be able to try the MS Pro. But something tells me this is the headphone for me. I just got done listening for almost three hours and my outer ears do not hurt. Comfort was my biggest issue but I seem to have adjusted. 8)

I've had minor comfort issues during multi-hour sessions with the bowls, but the sound has been so good it's been easy to overcome. Sometimes we must suffer for our music. ::)

And Earl, I have to thank you. Your praise of the MS2's in one of the last Meet threads was what made me zero in on this model. I don't regret it. The Zana seems to love them.

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Does any know if there's a significant difference between the MS2i and the MS1s? I had the MS1s awhile ago, but sold them after a few months. I thought they sounded like toys compared to my other headphones. I liked enough about them, though, to be curious if there's something better in the same line.

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The MS2i is definately in the below 300 sweet spot for Grados. One of my favourites.

Earl - Looser101 has both the MS2i and the MS Pro and could probably give you some impressions. I haven't spent enough time with the MS Pro yet myself.

Boomana - The MS2i is a big step up from the MS1. Looser101 would probably give a better description of the sound though as he has owned both for some time. Maybe I'll send Renato a PN and ask him to check in to this thread...

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i had an ms2i for a few years, and was my favorite can, still one of my favorites. I had it moded by headphile with the silver cable and it sounded pretty awesome. So detailed, smooth top end (compared to the 325's) and great controlled bass (though not over powering).

btw, i thought it sounded pretty bad with flats, i only liked them with bowls. Flats made them sound so muddy, and I can tell they were designed with bowls in mind. Not the case with rs1's which I think sound more natural with flats.

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I received my MS2i's on Saturday...Listening with the bowls for the last week, I was enjoying them, but they've tended to sound bright on a lot of things. But other things just clicked so well. The California Guitar Trio cd's were astounding with the bowls. So musically engaging it's hard to describe.

Hi Mike,

Glad you are liking the MS2i I sold you. It is interesting how we hear differently. Using the bowl pads only, I found the MS2i to be too bass heavy in my system...

Music Hall CD25.2 (as transport) -> Ack Dack 2.0 D/A converter -> Kimber Kable Silver Streak IC -> HeadAmp GS-1 (with DACT stepped attenuator).

I also found the treble to be a little too rolled off compared to my MS-Pro and SR225. I think I may have some upper frequency hearing loss. :-)

I spent some time A/B comparing the MS2i with my MS-Pro. IMO, the MS-Pro is far superior. The biggest difference is the soundstage...the MS-Pro sounds cavernous compared to the MS2i. The MS2i has a flat compressed 2D soundstage in comparison. The MS-Pro accurately reproduces the decay of notes. I just don't hear that with the MS2i. The MS-Pro has brighter treble and the bass is deeper and tighter. The MS2i is slightly boomy. Keep in mind the above comments are from doing direct A/B comparisons. If I didn't have the MS-Pro around, I would have been thrilled with the MS2i. ;D

What's the build quality like on the MS2i's? Do they have the leather headband of the RS series or is it the crappy plastic one?

I was very impressed with the MS2i's that I had. Other than some tiny nicks on one of the metal cups and some scarred plastic on C-shaped cup holders, the build quality is very good. It really is a beautiful looking headphone. TMK, the MS2i uses the exact same leather headband as the RS-1 (as well as RS-2, GS-1000).

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Excellent responses all around. Kontai, I really am loving these cans. And we can probably account for at least some of the difference in what we hear with different source, amp, tubes, cables, on and on... Not to mention the music you listen to vs. what I listen to.

I of course can't find the 414 pads anywhere (damn messy room!) so I guess it's time to order.

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Ordered 414 pads. And I'm just having a blast with these cans. It's so easy to change pads that I almost don't care about the pad battles -- I just swap according to what the music seems best with. I just popped in Tapestry by Carole King and with flats it sounded rolled off in the highs, and muddy down low. Swap over to bowls and all is well. These things really have become my favorites in just a matter of days.

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Ordered 414 pads. And I'm just having a blast with these cans. It's so easy to change pads that I almost don't care about the pad battles -- I just swap according to what the music seems best with. I just popped in Tapestry by Carole King and with flats it sounded rolled off in the highs, and muddy down low. Swap over to bowls and all is well. These things really have become my favorites in just a matter of days.

they are remarkable cans. Different enough from the RS-1 to justify owning both. The RS-1 can do midbass better, but the MS2i does low bass better. Maybe a bit boomy, but its fun to hear a big bass "vhooom" against my ears when Lesh hits that right note. :)

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I've been thinking about getting a pair of these as well. There are a pair in the for sale forum on head-fi right now. He wants to sell them cash in seattle and I only live an hour away from there. He's asking $270 is that a fair price? I can't find any pricing information out there for these little buckaroos.

Wow that is quite a bit for MS2i IMO. I've seen them go for as low as $225 and around $245 on the higher side. Those on the low end usually go really quick, like within in the hour. I know because I've missed 3 sales in the last month :P. But, I think I'm finally getting one soon :).

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