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Grado GS1000e Statement Series Open-Air Stereo Headphone
|Price:||$1,343.25 & FREE Shipping|
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- Uses 50mm dynamic transducers and the new 12 conductor cable design
- Hand-crafted mahogany earpieces
- Warm harmonic colors, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end
- Hand made in Brooklyn, NY
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This item Grado GS1000e Statement Series Open-Air Stereo Headphone
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|Sold By||Entegron||Electronics Expo||aSavings||HiDEF Lifestyle||AUDIO 46||GRAMOPHONE|
|Color||Mahogany||Silver, Wood||Black||Black & Gold||Silver||Black|
|Item Dimensions||9.45 x 3.54 x 9.06 in||10.51 x 13.5 x 7.99 in||12 x 17.1 x 7.5 in||3.15 x 6.69 x 7.87 in||8.5 x 6 x 11.5 in||5 x 5 x 5 in|
|Item Weight||0.93 lb||1.05 lbs||5.5 lbs||7.76 ounces||0.79 lb||0.99 lb|
|Additional Features||Just released Grado "e" series headphones||Nanometer-thick diaphragm, so thin it is invisible to the naked eye, guarantees perfect dynamic response., Ergonomic and comfortable design fit for most people, with greater reliability and durability.||lightweight, tangle-free-cord||Premium wooden headphones||noise-isolation||0|
The large chambers fit around your ears, not on top of them, creating a private listening booth. Air flows with the music to keep you comfortable while marveling at the clarity and range. Our select Mahogany tone-woods are hand matched for aesthetic beauty, just as our phenomenal drivers are individually matched for sonic consistency.
…the company's ultimate art-not-science blend of style, performance, and comfort, with lightweight, oversized mahogany earpieces that would make your dad jealous — and sound that anyone with a discerning eardrum would kill for - The Verge, Paul Miller
The hand-crafted mahogany earpieces utilize an intricate curing process that optimizes the tonal quality while giving them a new look. The GS1000e uses 50mm dynamic transducers and the new 12 conductor cable design. The wood, driver, and cable designs, result in tight control and stability of the upper and lower range of the frequency spectrum to support the GS1000e's world renowned midrange. Grado's GS1000e cushion design actually creates a 'room' for the ears to sit, with a larger soundstage and greater spatial experience for the listener. It was most important to design the correct balance between the driver and our wooden driver housing to give us the pure sound we crave. We believe the GS1000e are one of the most comfortable headphones on the market today. The GS1000e retains a sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end. The presentation is very detailed, the bass is deep, and the music is very tight while non-fatiguing. All with stunning separation and layering of the music.
Top customer reviews
I've listened to the GS-1000 for at least 100 hours. The music I listened to was compressed in Apple Lossless format. I used my MacBook Pro with iTunes for playback. The differences in sound quality noted in this review were also heard on my iPod Classic with music compressed in AAC format at 256kbps VBR quality (iTunes Plus).
A headphone amplifier is required. I use the JDS Labs Objective2 as my reference. I've compared it against the Fiio E12 and the Denon DA-10 and the Objective2 provided the best performance. You can check out my reviews for the E12 and DA-10 if you need more specifics.
*Note that a Gain of 1x (or 0dB) is perfect for Grado headphones and the Line Out of an iPod Classic (6G). However, this is different for Media Players without a line out, such as the iPod Touch (6G). In this case, I set the Headphone Out to 75% volume and use a Gain of 2.5x (or 7.5dB). With the efficient GR10e, a Gain of 2.5x gives me use of 50% of the headphone amplifier's volume knob for songs with a dynamic range of 14 dB. With the less efficient GS1000e, it gives me use of 75% of the volume knob.
*Note that headphones have to be broken-in to see the maximum benefit of a headphone amplifier.
The Grado Lines
Having enjoyed the sound quality of the SR-325 for months, I wondered how much more pleasurable listening to music could be. However, I didn't want another gradual upgrade because it is much cheaper to just buy the most expensive headphone I wanted. The following points lead me to purchase the GS-1000.
- I was afraid of paying so much for the PS-1000 and not enjoying it. I had read in a few places that their sound was very unforgiving and they were too heavy to be worn for long periods. In addition, I was skeptical about how much better it could be than the GS-1000; and how much I would appreciate that difference. *Knowing the importance of calibration when it comes to video; the PS-1000, having the most neutral sound, would be the ultimate headphone. But I'm not rich enough to feel comfortable with the price of almost twice that of the GS-1000 (it might as well be twice, as far as I'm concerned).
- I was looking for improvements to the things I loved about the SR-325: separation of sounds; liquid smooth, airy bass. Amongst the claims of "masterpiece" and "very likely the best sounding headphones ever made", I had read that the GS-1000's improvements were: Bigger Soundstage, 3D-like Separation of Sounds, and Airy Presentation.
- When looking at the headphones below the GS-1000, I had reservations of going there as well. I've read at goodcans.com that the difference between the SR-325 and the RS-1 is not as significant as the price. I also didn't want to go with the PS-500 because I was limiting myself to comparing the top headphones of each line.
Below is my understanding of how each line compares. First, I break down the improvements one can expect to find from the top of each line as one moves up in price. Second, I describe the differences in Sound Signature and Soundstage. Please note that I have only listened to the SR-80i, SR-125e, SR225e, SR-325e; and the GS-1000e. Other descriptions are based on data from my research.
Prestige (SR-80) = Value Series
Prestige (SR-325) = Original Series (Improved Detail)
Reference (RS-1) = Prestige + Warmer Sound
Statement (GS-1000) = Reference + Bigger Soundstage
Professional (PS-1000) = Statement + Neutral Response
- Small Soundstage
- - Prestige Series
- - - SR-80 & Down
Fun (Grado Sound)
- Intimate Soundstage
- - Prestige Series
- - - SR-125 & Up
- - Reference Series
- Large Soundstage
- - Statement Series
- Professional Series
- - Intimate Soundstage
- - - PS-500
- - Large Soundstage
- - - PS-1000
Sound Quality (SR-325e vs GS-1000e)
Since I am coming from the SR-325, I will be comparing the sound quality of the GS-1000 to it.
When I first listened to the GS-1000, I listened to songs that I found most enjoyable on the SR-325. The first thing I noticed was how vocals sounded more vivid. I felt a sense of space around the vocals. It presents an image that is not intimate, yet more satisfying; whispers are not as conspicuous, yet vocals are easier to understand.
As impressed as I was with the quality of the voices, I was not impressed with the other qualities of the sound. Guitars and drums were no longer up front, which changed the excitement and emotion of songs. However, after about 10 hours of listening, things improved. I wasn't sure I believed in burn-in before this, but now I think that there's something to it.
The GS-1000 is the first model after the SR-125 to provide a much more natural sounding soundstage. When I upgraded from the SR-80's narrow soundstage to the SR-125's wide soundstage, I initially found it difficult to focus on the music as a whole because I felt bombarded with what seemed like stereo sources 180° apart. With the GS-1000, the soundstage feels seamless from left to right, which makes the stereo sources sound like the share the same space, instead of isolated by 180°.
The GS-1000's bigger soundstage also introduces the perception of layering. Layering is possible when you perceive sufficient space around sounds. This effect can be so powerful, that you can sense the space between a sound and the sound behind it. It is now significantly easier to isolate one sound in a group. The prominence of this effect is recording dependent.
An improvement not related to Soundstage is the warmth of the GS-1000. I never thought the SR-325 sounded too bright, but the GS-1000 can be played louder without resulting in fatigue.
I feel like there hasn't been an upgrade this significant since I upgraded from the SR-80 to the SR-125. The GS-1000's presentation of vocals is awesome, the 3D spatial experience is very impressive, and the reproduction of binaural recordings is convincing. Is it worth 3 times the price of an SR-325? Probably not; but If you want to hear the final frontier of sound quality, I recommend it.
Another improvement I noticed is the smoothness of classical music on the GS-1000. Going back and forth, it can be easily noticed with cymbals. The SR-325 almost seemed to gritty in comparison. This improvement is probably what contributes to the life-like sound I've noticed when listening to this type of music.
Look and Feel
When I first opened the box, I was surprised by how enormous the headphones were. Then I picked them up and I was surprised yet again by how lightweight they were. If you are looking to feel the price in its weight, you will be disappointed.
When I put them on, the G-pads felt very roomy. Initially, my ears rubbed against the driver, causing discomfort. Then, I read somewhere that it's best to position them down and forward, so that the top and back of your ears just touch the foam. Once I did this, I was able to listen to them on and off again for hours without any discomfort.
When I looked at myself in the mirror, I thought, "they are ridiculously huge"; "they can dwarf medium sized heads in a single bound". I can easily see some of each G-pad out of the corner of my eyes.
Similar to the SR-325, the headband is made of stitched leather with a rigid paperboard inside to support its shape, and lightly padded on the underside. However, the GS-1000's headband is more luxurious. The leather is not grainy and tight like the SR-325; it is thick, soft and smooth with a creased, delicate underside. It is colored brown to match the mahogany and is stitched with white thread. It has a pleasant leathery smell when brought to my nose. The paperboard support looks more durable and wood-like.
At first glance, the mahogany wood looked and felt very cheap. After a few days, I realized that it was a work of art. Photos do not do it justice.
The mahogany wood pattern has spots that remind me of a cheetah. From one direction, the wood looks dark; but from the other, it looks light. In addition, when light reflects off it, the wood emits a light golden shimmer that reveals a beautifully vivid brown.
The mahogany doesn't feel as smooth as I expected. At some spots, it feels rough like it's not properly finished.
The mahogany wood emits a semi-strong smell that can be playfully light from about 3 feet away. This is how they tease me. If they are nearby, the smell calls me to them. It also leaves its smell on my ears after a listening session. This is how they mark their territory. If the smell is on my ears, I am reminded of their sound afterwards.
The headphones are numbered in two places. It is written on the Chamber side of each driver with permanent marker. It is also carved (facing inward) on the plastic pieces that attach the headband to the metal rings that hold each driver.
Unlike the SR-325's plastic ring, the GS-1000 uses a metal ring of more consistent quality to hold each driver. It has a matte finish with small vertical ridges that I can hear when I run my nail across them. Although it looks more elegant than the plastic ring, it isn't as impressive as I thought it would be. Also, I am concerned that the metal ring can clamp on the driver's cable and damage the insulation over time.
Finally, the single cable (after the joint) has a slightly more matte look (less plasticky) and smoother feel on the GS-1000 than on the SR-325.
Unfortunately, the mahogany smell eventually goes away. I can still smell it when I bring it up to my nose, but it's just a shadow of its former self.
The box that they arrive in is made of cardboard with a sticker identifying the headphones on top. It feels more luxurious than the paper version that come with the cheaper headphones, but I think it has less character. It actually makes more sense that the cardboard was required because of the heavy extension cable packed with the headphones.
Since the headphones are open back, music can be easily heard by others and external sounds can be easily heard by you. External sounds will interfere with your perception of bass performance. This is typical of other sound sources open to the environment, such as car speakers.
The phone plug is 1/4". It comes with a 1/8" adapter so that they can be used with an iPod. If required, there is also an extension cord.
"The headphone cable is very thick, but sturdy. I feel like I need to be careful not to put too much stress on a 1/8" phone port." That's what I said about the cable for the SR-325. The cable for the GS-1000 is even thicker and about a foot longer (over 1.5' long with the 1/8" adapter). It's starting to become unwieldy.
I don't think these headphones are meant to go outside the home. The size and cost are big factors, but I would also worry about moisture ruining the mahogany or leather.
Grado doesn’t provide or offer a case for their headphones. The Official Grado Store, 4ourears.net, has previously offered expensive Mahogany boxes that were always out of stock. Recently, these boxes were made available along with a 25% price increase. Before this, I had to shop for some kind of headphone protection. I hate shopping for headphone cases because none ever seems to match the vision I have in my head for fit-and-finish. Most designs seem cheap and uninspired. It’s even worse trying to find a case that will fit the GS1000.
I first settled on the Goodcans Headphone Bag. This bag met my expectations for quality: the outside is a waterproof nylon layer; the inside is a thick super soft layer. It’s almost like a sleeping bag for the headphones. The only possible improvement might be the addition of a thick zipper instead of the hook-and-loop seal. Sometimes, the hooks can catch the headphone cushions. While this bag is great for basic protection, one obvious problem is that it isn’t a hard case.
When the Mahogany boxes became available from the Grado Store, I purchased one for my GS-1000. The box didn’t exactly meet my expectations, but it has potential. (1) It’s much bigger than I expected. I measured the following dimensions: 14-3/8” x 11-3/16” x 4-7/8”. It’s like a light-weight briefcase, without a handle, which doesn’t make it very portable. There are definitely areas that could have been trimmed. I wonder if this was made primarily for showcasing. (2) Taking the headphones in and out could be more convenient. The foam should have cable guides so it can be more easily tucked away. I can’t get the cable from obstructing the view of the headphones like the picture in the Official Grado Store. (3) The interior smells like glue. The headphones cushions will start to smell like glue as well.
The box was built by vanandcompany.com. I hope the Official Grado Store will improve on the points above.
Songs that sound exceptionally well with these headphones. Examples:
Cindy Lauper - Time after Time
Danny Elfman - Waltz to the Death [Batman Soundtrack]
Hole - Malibu
- Accurate - A more accurate sound means a better balance of all frequencies, resulting in conspicuous details.
- Brighter - A brighter sound is one with more treble.
- Intimate - A more intimate sound is one that sounds closer to your ears. This usually feels like the artist is playing for just you, rather than for an audience.
- Muddy - A muddy sound is one that does not have clarity. This can be caused by inaccurate sound reproduction or narrow soundstage.
- Soundstage - A soundstage is the amount of 3-dimensional space available for sound sources. A bigger soundstage will provide more separation between the track recordings of a song, which helps a listener to focus on each one individually. In addition, a bigger soundstage also increases the amount of perceived space around the listener.
- Soundstage Width - Imagine a sector of a circle whose central point is at the back of the listener's head and the arc length is at the front. This area illustrates the space for sources of sound. The central angle would determine the soundstage width.
- Soundstage Depth - This relates to Soundstage Width in that the radius of the sector would determine the soundstage depth. However, because of headphone design, the final shape may not resemble that of a sector.
- Warmer - A warmer sound is one with less treble and/or more bass. Warmer sound can be easily detected when listening to female vocals. Other sounds that are usually bright, such as cymbals are also a good point of detection.
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