By the end of the interview it struck me just how family orientated the Grado business is and how little they really needed to change. I guess that is the charm of buying a Grado headphone; that feeling of buying into a heritage and a legacy.

Sure improving sound is a never ending business; just ask any audiophile how much they spend on the latest headphone and he or she will look rather sheepishly to the ground as the mental calculator revs up. It is remarkable when that mental calculator adds everything up there is always seems to be a few hard earned bucks happily spent on a Grado can.

If I could go back in time and start all over again in this wonderfully insane hobby of mine would I change things around and buy something different from that SR80? Not a chance, that $100 pizza box opening session at home an hour after I bought it was one of the most exciting moments as a budding audiophile.

Links:



http://www.gradolabs.com/

Grado PS1000e Hero

Notes:

Credit to Grado Labs and Eric Jones Studio for the wonderful pictures and to Jonathan himself for not only taking the time to speak with us but for actually taking some Grade A pics also!

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27 Responses

  1. Adrastos34

    Really enjoyed this article. I am going to have to give the new “e” series a try. I have used the Grado RS2i as my daily at home cans for years now. I have spent a ton of time with them on ear (if I am on the computer they are on my head) and absolutely love them. Its funny you mentioned the photography nut thing as it was my passion growing up and is now my profession. I think it definitely has to do with the reasons Jonathan mentioned.

    Reply
    • headfonics

      Thanks for the comment and glad you enjoyed the article. Glad your making money out of a hobby that I must profess to be a quiet fun thing for me but nothing on a pro level. I think Jonathan has a photography blog somewhere and he has a bit of talent in that respect. Hope you enjoy the new ‘e’ series!

      Reply
  2. donunus

    I am jealous Marcus! I would have had a million questions too if I were there. Although I am currently a Sennheiser type guy so far as headphones are concerned, Grados have always had a special place in my heart. My old sr60s and sr80s during the 90s were more enjoyable to me than Sennheiser hd580s and Koss ESP 950 electrostats back then. Now these E series cans have got me interested again Grrrr ado :D

    Reply
    • headfonics

      I know. Dang I have been thinking of the ps500 e a lot again :(

      Reply
      • donunus

        yah that and the rs2e is really calling out for me :D I dont like it when something out of my 200 dollar rule calls out hehehe. The B&W P7s have been bothering me as well so it is starting to become a sickness again.

    • skogber

      All Grados are better sounding than 95% of Sennheisers. I’ve tried several from both on many amps and most Sennheisers are not even close.

      Reply
  3. enu

    Grado, my favorite brand in Headphones. Seriously, when does Jonathan plan on making them more comfortable ? The age of surface modeling and 3-printers is here. Plastic mold injection via die is gone. I really really like grado’s for about 20 minutes then I have to take rest.

    Reply
    • ohm image

      I agree about their headphones. You really sometimes have to work it. But their earphones… dear me, more comfort than a grado earphone I can’t imagine.

      Reply
    • headfonics

      The way they make them can be almost as important as the end product itself. For some that old fashioned hand made process is endearing and to others it is old hat.

      Reply
  4. Les

    It is assumed the vulnerable plastic pins are still used for the driver/head band interface. It would have been nice to see a flanged female insert in the driver body and a threaded pin on the head band, this given a shoulder to allow head band movement. The present plastic pins either snap or work loose causing the driver to fall from the head band. To me this is the only weak point in the Grado design and I have been told that spare plastic pins are unobtainable. :-(

    Reply
    • headfonics

      When I spoke to the SG distributor he mentioned that he has no issues taking in Grado cans that have issues and fixing them and if possible keeping the charges really low or none at all. Might not help if you are outside Singapore though.

      Reply
  5. Josá Vitorino

    As a long time Grado user I find the adoption of a 3.5mm plug a mistake in hifi terms and more garbage in the signal path for the sake of fashion. It should be standard only in the lower range. Any respectable headphone amp, like Grado’ s own, needs a larger plug.

    Reply
    • headfonics

      I believe they kept the quarter jack for the professional series.

      Reply
  6. dalethorn

    I assume some of those paintings you see in that room are by Angelo Grado. Now, after owning Grado headphones, I wouldn’t mind having a genuine Angelo Grado painting. It’s all good….

    Reply
    • headfonics

      I would says that is indeed correct and they are Angelo’s paintings. A talented family.

      Reply
      • johnvictornunez

        It’s great to know that Grado is continuously holding on to their legacy. I distinctly remember the feeling of owning my first open back headphones in the form of the SR80, and until now, I still am a fan of their craft.

      • headfonics

        The sr80 and the Aiaiai Tracks are the only sub $100 headphones I am tempted to go back to just for that initial wow feeling.

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