Grado RS-1 / HF-1

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never heard or seen the hf1 but the rs1's are fantastic headphones, had a pair for five years and i cant see myself ever buying another set of headphones.
 
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where's TooNice, i always see him mentioning his HF-1's

give me the downlowlowdown, how good are they compared to rs-1, and how did you manage to get yours, and what price?
 
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The Hf-1's were a limited release edition Grado for the headfi forum. When they were sold they retailed for $200.

Unfortunately due to the limited production run It also created a market for them.Pairs often changed hands for much more than the retail price and that was them used. They went up to a wallet busting $400 on the used market.


Some people had them modded to give them deeper chambers and redo the cup housing in various finishes. These were called the hhf-1's.

Now people who own them rate them higher than the Rs-1's but really it subjective. The used market price has come down a little and last time I looked they were going about the $300 mark which is still $100 above the retail price.

There was a big stink about it.
 
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did people rate them above the RS-1 just because of some placebo of a reason, because they had this exclusive grado headphone they convinced themselves it was superior? Seems weird that they would be better than the rs-1 if they are so much cheaper than them
 
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Don't buy RS1s at UK prices, either get them imported or go for the Alessandro Music Series Pro instead. The RS1s are £650 in the UK which is over 50% more than the US price. For whatever reason Grados are really bad value in the UK. The MS Pro are based on the RS1 but Alessandro has the same pricing worldwide and delivery is included in the $699 price (under £400 I believe).

Of course you would need to read up on them to see how they compare to the RS1.
 
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yeah, i know about the pricing value in the UK, i own a pair of SR60's for use on my mcody mp3 player, and a pair of SR125's for music listening on my PC. I use a pair of sennheiser HD600's for gaming and movie watching, so i am fully aware i prefer the grado sound for music.

I am going to be buying a very nice hi-fi setup within the next month.

Naim cd5i cd player
Naim 5i amp
Rega r5 floorstanders

so i will be buying a headphone amp as well , which i am thinking about going for a Graham Slee solo on.

So when i have all that, i want a top notch pair of headphones from grado to fully utilise and enjoy it all when on headphones. So just trying to work out if i should try and get my hands on a pair of HF-1's or just get the RS-1's
 
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devilkazuya said:
yeah, i know about the pricing value in the UK, i own a pair of SR60's for use on my mcody mp3 player, and a pair of SR125's for music listening on my PC. I use a pair of sennheiser HD600's for gaming and movie watching, so i am fully aware i prefer the grado sound for music.

I am going to be buying a very nice hi-fi setup within the next month.

Naim cd5i cd player
Naim 5i amp
Rega r5 floorstanders

so i will be buying a headphone amp as well , which i am thinking about going for a Graham Slee solo on.

So when i have all that, i want a top notch pair of headphones from grado to fully utilise and enjoy it all when on headphones. So just trying to work out if i should try and get my hands on a pair of HF-1's or just get the RS-1's


One of the reasons why they Hf-1 is held in a higher regard than the Rs-1's is the Rs-1's have a very unique tone. For a lot of people this colouration of sound is not to their liking. Personally it is a preference thing that's why most people rate it higher. Not to mention not everyone can afford to splash out the US retail of about $650, when at the time the hf-1 retailed at $200.

Factor in an amp to drive them then the hf-1 listening combo is more attainable than the Rs-1 combo as that is a more expensive intro into the world of headphone listening based setups.

The Rs-1 is an acquired taste. It sounds different to the Grado range. The mS-pro is somewhat similar but it is more drier sounding.

When spending this kind of money you really need to find someone who might be able to demo you a pair.

If I remember correcty I bought my pair for something like 240 pounds a while back.

I use to have a graham slee solo. It was very good with the senn headphones. I didn;t like it as much with the Grado's. I prefer tube amps for the Grado's.
 
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what do you find to be the general benefit of tube amps for the grados. If you have the time, give a general overview of the different types of headphone amps, and their pros and conns relative to oneanother
 
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devilkazuya said:
what do you find to be the general benefit of tube amps for the grados. If you have the time, give a general overview of the different types of headphone amps, and their pros and conns relative to oneanother

It more a case of balance and preference rather than anything else. I like Grado headphones just as much as I like anyother manufacturer headphones.

Example.

Take the sennheiser 600/650 and the rs-1. Now with the senns I prefer the SS amplification with them. I find the senns a bit too laid back for my taste's, very good but polite. I like to pairt them with a fast, slightly brigt amp to negate the senns dark sound.

With the rs-1's I like tube amps in general. Even though I love the Rs-1's midrange the highs can get a little shrill at times. So I like to partner it with a tube amp which rolls the highs a little.

Nowdays the stereotypical tube amp still exists but there are otehr tube amp manufacturers which produce headphone amps which are just as dynamic as solid state headphone amps.

But then you have to factor in the cost of tubes. While there are some amps which use cheap tubes there are others which use costly and difficult to get hold of tubes.

Then there is an argument if amps really make a difference. Stuff like the Audio technica's and Grado's are really easy to drive and therefore some people don't necessarily use amps.

Stuff like the senn 650's are tougher to drive.

It kinda like the argument are high end sources better? It depends what kind of thinking you subscribe to.

But really you should audition before making any decisions. Naim produce a headphone amp. I only suggested this because most of your components are Naim.

Also I noticed you seem to have put together a nice balanced setup. What I mean is Naim is often regarded as forward, very much PRAT orientated. Yet you choose Rega speakers which often regarded as warm and polite sounding.

Remember with Grado's you can change the pads to affect the sound. I have lent out my grado Rs-1's to a friend but if I had known you were interested you could have lent them. What is important to remember is even though they are fairlt highly regarded what is more important that you like them yourself.

There are no gurantees that you will like them compared to your sr60's or 125's. Sr 60's are very much bang for buck and offer an insight into the grado world of headphones. Where you will notice a difference between the rs-1 and sr60 is the amount of bass impact. Wider soundstaging and arguably better seperation and detail. Also the tone is very much different.

Also if you swap the pads of the rs-1's to flat pads you get an increase in bass quantity and bass impact. The downside to this is that you lose some soundstage width. and bass becomes bloomy. But you do get a lot of body to the music due to the increased bass quantity.

Personally I use reverse bowls on my rs-1's as that seems to give the best compromise. the downside to this. It a whole lot uncomfier than using bowl pads or flats. Again this out of preference.

If you are seriously considering the rs-1's then try them out of the Naim headline. With the amoount you are spending you could at least ask for them to let you demo it. Also there might a few places which would let you demo some tube amps. See if you can demo these tube amps. Earmax pro or earmax pro anniversary. Singlepower amps. Ear hp-4 and theres a whole host more. You should aslo try demo the Graham slee solo to see whether that would be a good partner with the rs-1's. Personally I found it to bright and a little sterile with the Grado's but remarkable with the senns. There's also the sugden headmaster. An a whole bunch for you to try.

And even then some of them may do it for you or some may not. You might discover that the Rs-1's are not the cans you were hoping them to be for you.

Like I said it subjective.

Hope this helped.
 
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thanks for the reply.

I have done about seven or eight auditions in the last three weeks of the rega and naim equipment. I keep stepping up a notch each time it seems.

I found today when i was demoing the naim cd5i cd player against the rega apollo cd player, the brighter and livelier of the two was the apollo, surprisingly enough. The guy who worked there explained that this is unusual for most cd players against a naim, but nevertheless is the case with the apollo. The naim cd5i was much more full bodied though, and the instruments just had more meat, and the whole thing felt more cohesive. The detail from both cd players was on par, which is very detailed, the apollo seemed to provide more kick in the base. Overall i preferred the naim though.

As far as the speakers go. I have pretty extensively demoed the rega r3's and r5's. They are both remarkably detailed, which i would say was the most characteristic thing about them. When i was pairing them in the shop with the rega brio, then the rega mira amps, the sound was still ultra detaield, but a little thin overall. That's what made me try out the nait 5i amp, and this coupled much better overall, and made the experience much more pleasurable.

Are you recommending the naim headline amp simply because you think it will work well with my other naim stuff, or because it is regarded as a really good amp to your knowledge?
 
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devilkazuya said:
thanks for the reply.

I have done about seven or eight auditions in the last three weeks of the rega and naim equipment. I keep stepping up a notch each time it seems.

I found today when i was demoing the naim cd5i cd player against the rega apollo cd player, the brighter and livelier of the two was the apollo, surprisingly enough. The guy who worked there explained that this is unusual for most cd players against a naim, but nevertheless is the case with the apollo. The naim cd5i was much more full bodied though, and the instruments just had more meat, and the whole thing felt more cohesive. The detail from both cd players was on par, which is very detailed, the apollo seemed to provide more kick in the base. Overall i preferred the naim though.

As far as the speakers go. I have pretty extensively demoed the rega r3's and r5's. They are both remarkably detailed, which i would say was the most characteristic thing about them. When i was pairing them in the shop with the rega brio, then the rega mira amps, the sound was still ultra detaield, but a little thin overall. That's what made me try out the nait 5i amp, and this coupled much better overall, and made the experience much more pleasurable.

Are you recommending the naim headline amp simply because you think it will work well with my other naim stuff, or because it is regarded as a really good amp to your knowledge?


I have not heard the new rega cd players. I have heard their older stuff. I didn;t want to say Naim are bright as it depends on what your past experience is. Many people who are not naim lovers feel it is brighter than most while naim lovers feel it is fun. I don;t really want to get into that discussion as it counter productive.

You like the naim stuff so that the main thing. I suggested the Naim as I feel a retailer should allow you to demo one seeming you spending this kind of money.

It doesn't mattter what I think. That is for you to decide. If you go the Rs-1/naim headline and you think it sounds great and you got a good deal then why should I argue against that. Too many people these days get into arguments over frivoulous stuff as long as it makes you happy then that all that counts.

From my perspective I would be slightly weary partnering the rs-1 with the naim as that would be too fatiguing for me. But for you it could just be the ticket.

More than likely you would hate how I match my headphones/amps and sources up. And you would probably think it was the worst sounding combo ever.

I prefer a warm, rich sounding, easygoing sound. And my setups are based around that or rahter use to be as I am pretty much finished with headphones and will be going back to speaker based listening if I ever get my backside up to do it.
 
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what speaker/amp systems are you interested in trying out?

I think i would probably get rs-1's off ebay. I will get them brand new when i have enough money for them. I don't like the idea of getting things second hand to be honest, as a personal choice.

Thought the hi-fi set up i will be buying from the shop will cost me about £2300ish, i know there will be those on this forum who think it is silly not to get higher end things second hand for the same money. I like knowing that my stuff hasn't had a previous owner and hasn't been tampered with for my own piece of mind.

I am surprised nobody really talks about rega speakers on here, when people are asking for recommendations for new speakers. They are utterly excellent. I think b&w are really boring speakers, but the 600, 601, 602 always seem to be one of the top recommendations of people here. If you want a really good b&w speaker for under £1000, the cm1 is really good, it's a standmount/bookshelf speaker. Doesn't remind me of the series, and for those who want a LOT of bass at that price level, it really has it, and it's nice and detailed too. I just prefer the rega speakers, as they are more detailed the bass seems tighter and clearer.
 
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devilkazuya said:
what speaker/amp systems are you interested in trying out?

I think i would probably get rs-1's off ebay. I will get them brand new when i have enough money for them. I don't like the idea of getting things second hand to be honest, as a personal choice.

Thought the hi-fi set up i will be buying from the shop will cost me about £2300ish, i know there will be those on this forum who think it is silly not to get higher end things second hand for the same money. I like knowing that my stuff hasn't had a previous owner and hasn't been tampered with for my own piece of mind.

I am surprised nobody really talks about rega speakers on here, when people are asking for recommendations for new speakers. They are utterly excellent. I think b&w are really boring speakers, but the 600, 601, 602 always seem to be one of the top recommendations of people here. If you want a really good b&w speaker for under £1000, the cm1 is really good, it's a standmount/bookshelf speaker. Doesn't remind me of the series, and for those who want a LOT of bass at that price level, it really has it, and it's nice and detailed too. I just prefer the rega speakers, as they are more detailed the bass seems tighter and clearer.

I am thinking of either Burmester amplification partnered with wilson benesch arcs or sonus faber speakers.

May I suggest an alternative to getting through Rs-1's off ebay? Do you have any friends or realtives in the US? Or alternatively Goto the headfi forums and ask one of hte members there to help you. but remember to find a member who has credible feedback. A member there willing to help might also ask you to provide feedback references.

It would work out cheaper. I understand you don't want to buy used. But if you were to take leap of faith and maybe search out ads on audiogon or similar sites you would find a majority of people baby their equipment.


I have had B&W speakers in the past. Then I switched to dynaudio.

I think a new set of Rs-1's in the US can be had for $650 maybe slightly less brand new. A used pair for $500-550.
 
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devilkazuya said:
i haven't actually heard of those manufacturers. Clue me up, what makes you want to try them out?


They are more tonally on the warmer side of neutral. I can listen to the stuff like the DCS, the Emm labs and stuff like that no problem.

But these days I like a more romantic and easygoing sound. I understand why people like that kind of sound, a more cleaner, more accurate sound. But for me it just sound a bit clinical for my taste's.

So anyway about 6 months ago a firend was selling a Burmester 001 cd player. I had never heard one. From his description it sounded like something I might like. Previously I had owned other players. But I was look for a warm, rich sounding player. Sickly sweet even. I did have a Musical Fidelity tri vista sacd player.

I loved the warm colouration it added to the sound. But I found from personal experience the more you climb up the source ladder in general most manufacturers produce a cleaner and more accurate to the recording presentation. I am not into that.

So anywayMy friend got in touch with me saying he was sellling his his cdp. Only problem is he lives in the US. But at the price he was willing to let it go for I couldn;t resist.

The burmester 001 cdp retails for $16000 IIRC a used one usually goes for $8k But he was willling to let it go for a lot less. So I flew into New York and had the cdp shipped to a friend there. I went to a headphone meet and then carried the cdp back over to the UK.

Burmester 001

Seeming I like the sound of the cdp. I rather stick with that kind of sound. Like you have stuck with another naim component with your naim cdp.

I auditioned the wilson benesch a few months ago with my cdp and I liked htem a lot more than the b&w nautilus 805 signatures and 805d. But that is due to it not matching well with my cdp. I f I had been using my mark levinson the b&w would have been my choice.

I want to start auditioning sonus fabers as I hear they have a very warm midrange. But I am somewhat concerned they don't "rock" so I would have to take my time with those.

This is probably the last setup I ever build as I am not looking to change the system once I have finishing auditioning. I have had a keen interest in the audio side of things since I was a 12 year old kid and got a sony walkman. What made it worst I had to save up for 20 weeks for the ghostbusters soundtrack album. 50 p a week pocket money was a kings ransom and I could buy so many sweets, comics and crisps. But for the that ghostbuster soundtrack that was pricey. :)
 
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what has made you go through this massive headphone 'journey' ? and what makes you want to end it...just happy with the ones you have now? You started when you were 12, how long ago was that
 
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devilkazuya said:
what has made you go through this massive headphone 'journey' ? and what makes you want to end it...just happy with the ones you have now? You started when you were 12, how long ago was that

Hmm good question.

I think I like to hear things for myself. So I tried various different headphones and various amps.

Put it this way. How do I know how loud an ATI x1900 or whatever really is. I am relying on other people's opinion relative to their experience. And to their biases.

Same with headphones. You get the sony fanboys and the grado/senn fanboys etc.

I much rather try it out for myself and form my own opinion.

My headphone journey has ended because I don;t really hear things as better or worst per se just different. There is always new headphones being released and I think it would prove merely a sidestep rather better or worst.

Headphones offer more versatility than speakers in regards to finding out which headphones you prefer. Even relatively high cost headphones are always more attainable because you can three or four high ticket priced items without any hassle.

I mean could you imagine having three or four speaker speakers from different manufacturers just for you to play with. And given their small size nature of headphones you can ship it anywhere without too much hassle.

Shipping in and out 200lb speakers is not exactly my idea of fun. Also you don't have to contend with room harmonics, posistioning of speakers, WAF as much.

I can enjoy headphones just as much as I enjoy speaker listening. But I spend a lot of time with my young niece and I want her to be able to hear music as well. With headphones you just can't get a small kid to sit still long enough!

Let's see I started when I was 12, so that was 21 years ago. I have just recently retired so I don't want to keep funding my audio curiosity when I just can sit back and enjoy the music instead.
 
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do you know much about the grado rs1's when compared with the alessandro ms-pro ?

The ms-pro is a modified rs-1 right? do you think it is better value for money?
 
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