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Grado RS-2


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Hey guys,

Ive been lurking here for a few weeks now, trying to get the hang of your little bashing circle here...

I just picked up a pair of RS2i's and although am not finished building my M^3 amp am very impressed with the sound coming out of them and my CMOY...

What sort of music/ gear do you guys enjoy listening to these things with?

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I've always wanted a pair of RS2s. For some reason, I'm not digging my HF-2 anymore.

I thought my old RS-2 were a little more bland sounding than other Grados, kinda like a "Grado-ized HD600". I had Alex re-cable them with APS V3 which woke them up a bit, but the soundstage was just too flat to keep me happy for long. On the other hand, they're possibly less colored and more realistic in tone than the HF-2. I sold the RS-2 before I got the HF-2 so I couldn't compare them directly, and this is all based on my memory of them from before.

The RS-2 are not bad though, and I don't think you'll hate them. Still, I think that I'd rather re-cable my HF-2 or try a new source/amp for them before I went back to the RS-2 again.

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I've always wanted a pair of RS2s. For some reason, I'm not digging my HF-2 anymore.

I wouldn't bother. The rs2 is basically a handicapped very compressed in your face version of the rs1. Whereas the rs1 has legitimate soundstage, the rs2 is basically in your face and just sounds compressed. It's like someone took a pile of crap and smashed it in your face. The rs1 is way more refined sounding, and actually has a nice openness in comparison to the rs2.

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I never went back and listened to the RS-1i. Better? Worse?

I haven't compared the RS-1 to RS-1i. I'm not sure that I've even heard the RS-1i, unless Todd had a pair at CanJam 2009 in LA when I picked up my HF-2. At the time I was looking for a fun sounding rock headphone and the HF-2 fit the bill, even knowing these were a little more colored than a reference phone.

I wouldn't bother. The rs2 is basically a handicapped very compressed in your face version of the rs1. Whereas the rs1 has legitimate soundstage, the rs2 is basically in your face and just sounds compressed. It's like someone took a pile of crap and smashed it in your face. The rs1 is way more refined sounding, and actually has a nice openness in comparison to the rs2.

That's what I meant by a "too flat soundstage". It got much worse with flat pads, and sounded congested with flats as well; but I didn't think it was as horrible as you describe when used with bowls and an APS v3 cable. Nevertheless, I found it hard to enjoy them after a while and reached for my HF-1 and RS-1 more, which lead me to sell the RS-2.

Probably what I should have done was sell them all and kept my HP-1000 instead. Of all the phones I've sold, the HP-1000 are the ones I regret selling the most, followed by my Stax O2 Mk2. But with a kid starting college in 12 months I'm not looking to spend that much money on phones for a while.

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I'm loving the RS2i's... Ive been burning them in between uses (pink noise) and they are getting better and better... I am listening to some kraftwerk right now, and they seem to suit the music perfectly.

I picked up the RS2is last weekend and really like them. In fact I am probably going to upgrade to the RS-1i.

I find it hard to justify the extra cost at the moment and think that my money would be better spent looking for some different amps and experimenting in that manner...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Got a chance to listen to a RS2 (buttoned) and to be honest I was not impressed. At the moment I'm rocking with my male genitals out with a SR80i and I never did think that there's so much fun to be had for 99$. And it was the same with RS2, the sound was great but to my surprise the only improvements over my trusty eighty were more natural highs and a blacker background. I know that in audio sooner or later I hit the price/perf. peak after which the improvements are slight, but with Grado I feel like I've hit that peak right now. They were amplified so juice was plenty, and only weak spot was the source from my laptop, but still... I feel sad because because I was expecting more and maybe that let me down.

Music wise I guess then all Grado hp's are the same more or less. Anything 60's, that's my motto. Jazz, Rock, Blues. But god forbid, if anything you play is bright or "loud." In that case There Will Be Blood.

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Got a chance to listen to a RS2 (buttoned) and to be honest I was not impressed.

My RS-2 rig is the best I have ever heard. I use it with a special CMOY amp. I prefer this rig to my PS-1, HP1K, HD800, etc. Perhaps the pair you had did not have the yellow pads with the quarter mod? That makes a huge difference. Also, you should use a flat head screwdriver to pry off the button on the RS2 - that button really holds back the sound quality. Cheers!

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Well, removing the button was out of the question, but in any case I'm not telling that the sound I was hearing seemed bad in any way (maybe the bass qty.). It's just that maybe I got my hopes up to high or maybe I did not have enough time with them or my source was sucky. Beats me.

I would trade my SR80i for them no questions asked, but I felt that 400$ difference should yield something more. Regarding the amplification- they were fed through a VERY special M3 so juice was plenty. And I'm comparing them to an unamped SR80i. Though I have a hard time justifying amping for my Grado. Volume seems more than enough.

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I have owned my RS-1 for a bit over 6 years and it is a favorite of mine (currently listening to it btw). Having said so I felt that at times the RS-2 for certain music was the better sounding can. We all hear differently and thus what makes this hobby so much fun and challenging.

Edited by mrarroyo
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I recently heard the RS2is (or any RS2 version) for the first time. Like the entire Grado line it's difficult to decide what's worth an update/downgrade, but I thought on piano the RS2is had a strange glare compared to a late model RS1s.

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Nice to see you here on the dark side RÅ«dolfs. :)

Well, removing the button was out of the question, but in any case I'm not telling that the sound I was hearing seemed bad in any way (maybe the bass qty.). It's just that maybe I got my hopes up to high or maybe I did not have enough time with them or my source was sucky. Beats me.

Well we could remove them but I doubt Stuart would be happy... laugh.png He has an RS-1 which is supposed to be better so I'll "ask him" to loan it to me as well.

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Thanks, Spritzer- I wasn't sure about how long should I lurk and click on a certain link in high ranking member signatures to be deemed postworthy. But so far so good. My blundering hasn't broken any vases or anything, right?

And yeah, we could try the RS-1 and maybe it'll be better because of my now low hopes. To be honest I'm a bit suspicious how much one can improve a certain design by adding better matched drivers, cups of wood and a fancier headband. But still, I can't imagine not liking the sound. At least if the records are right.

In any case thanks for showing this oasis in the usual digital noise.

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I haven't compared the RS-1 to RS-1i. I'm not sure that I've even heard the RS-1i, unless Todd had a pair at CanJam 2009 in LA when I picked up my HF-2. At the time I was looking for a fun sounding rock headphone and the HF-2 fit the bill, even knowing these were a little more colored than a reference phone.

I was thinking RS-2 to the RS-1. No worries. I'm seeing some comparison notes in the thread. Thanks!

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Going to be selling my RS2i after listening to RS1.

RS1 extends better in both directions as well as fills out the bass + "low and mid-mids" better than my RS2i (to me).

Friend thinks there is a bit of a dip around 125hz on RS1 but that is the "muddy" region anyway, no?

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