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Ahhhh...Vintage RS-1's


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Hmm? as i have seen, vintage's where toned and balanced for the flats, as when the new rs1 was sold and designed whit bowls for a reason i don't really know.

Bowls were a change to calm the bass for people who didn't have proper amplification. RS1s were designed with flats. Bowls is revisionist history. Plug ANY rs1 into a good amp, and flats are the way to go.

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Bowls were a change to calm the bass for people who didn't have proper amplification. RS1s were designed with flats. Bowls is revisionist history. Plug ANY rs1 into a good amp, and flats are the way to go.

actually i think they sound better with flats out of anything. crappy amp or good amp or whatever. i think the bowls are simply more comfortable.

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Bowls were a change to calm the bass for people who didn't have proper amplification. RS1s were designed with flats. Bowls is revisionist history. Plug ANY rs1 into a good amp, and flats are the way to go.

Ohh! ok, thanks for taking the right twist on that! :)

Finn W...

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Bowls were a change to calm the bass for people who didn't have proper amplification. RS1s were designed with flats. Bowls is revisionist history. Plug ANY rs1 into a good amp, and flats are the way to go.

Agree. Bowls were created because some of the reviews criticized the sound saying it sounded congested and muddy and too narrow. Basically reviewers who didn't really know what headphones could sound like with decent amplification. Rs1's with flats and good amplifcation sounds open, with nice depth to the soundstage. Its still a grado but the out of head experience is more evident on a good amp.

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actually i think they sound better with flats out of anything. crappy amp or good amp or whatever. i think the bowls are simply more comfortable.

im thinking the opposite of it..didnt like the flats at all with my vintage RS-2, i prefer bowls on them but flats are much more comfortable compared to the bowls

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oh goddamnit, I knew something was wrong :mikey2:

I've heard the RS-1 out of three good headphone amps (Beta22, Renato's Aikido, and Jay's Massive Attack, I (and I think all of us) preferred bowls.

Yup, deaf.

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What makes the vintage Grado's special compared to the current ones? I'm not knocking anything, I just really don't know the differences.

craftsmanship! they are built better with better material. the wood and it's finish, the metal instead of plastic, the leather headband, even the engraving of the letters, even the black mesh covering the drivers wont look as dirty as the new white ones. i think more attention was given to them all around and you had a better shot of getting a consistently well built headphone where as the newer models are almost a shot in the dark especially with the look and finish of the wood, again from my experience.

sound is a little tricky cuz im not sure people know whether it is in fact the drivers or whether time and use makes them sound smoother than the newer models.

to me and most the vintage ones sound and look better!

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yeah you are right, but it's hard to pinpoint the exact reason why they in fact do sound better. are the drivers different? is it more burn in? did you try them with bowls? impressions?

That is correct, but that does not change the fact that the vintage is across the board smoother and more balanced. The impressions are consistent and we are not talking about newbies with limited listening experience that are making these statements. Any number of reasons could be the result of why they sound different. Personally, I think they are the same drivers but may have been tuned just slightly different from current stock, but again I couldn't tell you the transition of when that occured. The wood itself, the mahogany looks so different from current stock that I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't play a part in it as well. I do not think its burn in because a lot of these vintage sets probably haven't been used very much (or I know that my last set of vintage rs-1s werent used very often at all and were probably forgotten in a drawer or something). Even with bowls they sound much smoother and balanced than current stock. Mulveling made a very similar statement as well, and believed that someone who could not tolerate RS-1's with bowls (such as myself) can now magically listen to vintage rs-1's with bowls perfectly just fine.

The reality of the situation is that we will never know and John Grado will never tell us. It is kind of comparable to what Klipsch used to do with his speakers back in the day. Take the cornwall I's - at one point Klipsch changed the drivers to something completely different yet didn't tell anyone. Another point he changed the crossover and never told anyone. Another time he changed the material of the cabinets and he didn't tell anyone. Guess what, all versions sound different. To make it worse, he did not record nor did he care about serial numbers and when he made those changes, so its near impossible to figure out which version is which by looking at the serial number, you have to look inside the guts and see yourself. Not coincidence either that the original version of the cornwall is the best sounding.

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That is correct, but that does not change the fact that the vintage is across the board smoother and more balanced. The impressions are consistent and we are not talking about newbies with limited listening experience that are making these statements. Any number of reasons could be the result of why they sound different. Personally, I think they are the same drivers but may have been tuned just slightly different from current stock, but again I couldn't tell you the transition of when that occured. The wood itself, the mahogany looks so different from current stock that I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't play a part in it as well. I do not think its burn in because a lot of these vintage sets probably haven't been used very much (or I know that my last set of vintage rs-1s werent used very often at all and were probably forgotten in a drawer or something). Even with bowls they sound much smoother and balanced than current stock. Mulveling made a very similar statement as well, and believed that someone who could not tolerate RS-1's with bowls (such as myself) can now magically listen to vintage rs-1's with bowls perfectly just fine.

The reality of the situation is that we will never know and John Grado will never tell us. It is kind of comparable to what Klipsch used to do with his speakers back in the day. Take the cornwall I's - at one point Klipsch changed the drivers to something completely different yet didn't tell anyone. Another point he changed the crossover and never told anyone. Another time he changed the material of the cabinets and he didn't tell anyone. Guess what, all versions sound different. To make it worse, he did not record nor did he care about serial numbers and when he made those changes, so its near impossible to figure out which version is which by looking at the serial number, you have to look inside the guts and see yourself. Not coincidence either that the original version of the cornwall is the best sounding.

Yes, thanks for the info. I'm ready to travel down the RS-1 road in the near future, and was wondering how different new vs. old could be. So I guess I need to look for older, but the recent price elevation is scaring me off just a bit. Always late to the dance....

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Yes, thanks for the info. I'm ready to travel down the RS-1 road in the near future, and was wondering how different new vs. old could be. So I guess I need to look for older, but the recent price elevation is scaring me off just a bit. Always late to the dance....

Definitely - I am just glad I was able to get my 2nd set right before the huge price inflation. I mean if you are the King of Juwabahabalab and have all the gold in the world then fine be my guest and pay $1000+ for a set of smoother balanced RS-1's, but there comes a line where you are better off getting something else (HP1000, L3000, PS1, etc.) if you are willing to shell out that much dough.

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I'd look on audiogon for an older pair...perhaps you might get lucky with someone selling without realizing their current market price.

btw, it's funny or perhaps not how all the headphones I own or would like to own are no longer made. I know this has been covered by other threads...but think that's why there is this price inflation.

For the most part, the cans that people eventually want to migrate to end up being headphones that are no longer made. There is no headphone currently being produced that I'd want to own right now.

Hopefully, that will change but who knows when...

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