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Grado Reference & Master - Statement Series
5 Reviews
rating  4.4 of 5
Description: Grado Reference & Master moving coil cartridges, from their top of the line Statement Series


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ccchien2004 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Ironically, my set-up is completely the same as the previous post, Rega25/Grado Master, but I have complete different impression of its performance. Grado Master sounds dynamic, subtle, detailed, transparent, and above all, tantalizing. I have a highly regarded SACD player, Marantz SA-14, which is also wonderful. But everytime after I listen to my Rega/Grado combo, in comparion, the SACD in SA-14 becomes unlistenable unless I turn on the surround for aid. That is to say, in addition to the five virtues I mention above, the Grado Master presents a marvelous soundstage, with identifiable layers of width, depth and height. Its midrange, as everyone recognizes, is seductive; its highs, detailed and refined; its lows, robust. Even though I haven't listened to the "best" cartridge, I turn to believe that this Grado Master is one of the candidates of the best out there.
Besides, Grado's service is commendable. Whenever I have a question regarding its fine-tuning for optimal performance, I get completely satisfactory response immediately.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $640.00

Purchased At:   Audio-Video Logic

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by hukkfinn a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 8, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I thought the Grado Reference Master was a big disappointment. I used it with a Rega P25 (conrad johnson pv10-b preamp, rotel 1090 power amp, vienna acoustic beethoven speakers). it sounded dead. truly, lifelessly, DOA. the mids were admittedly incredible -- voices very real. however, bass was lacking and hazy, and there was absolutely no "kick" to the music. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. switched to a dynavector 20XH, $250 cheaper, and i am now happily tapping my feet.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   audio alternatives

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by johnny a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 24, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Being a (mainly british) turntable collector, I have and have had my hands on a great variety of analog products.
Over the years I have become a great admirer of Grado products. I have used the Master on my Michell Orbe before
I switched to the Statement. Every Grado product that I touch amazes me because I think each one is a price/perforance breakthrough at it's own pricepoint.
The Master I've had was the 0.5mv low output version.
I think it surpassed the high output Reference in sound.
It also embarassed a lot of coils, including all of Benz.
Yes, I said all, including the (ridiculously bad sounding and over rated) Ruby2. I preferred that Master over the Koetsu black, the Lyra Lydian Beta, Dynavector Ruby
Karat 23RS MkII, Madrigal Carnegie One or Clearaudio Gamma. If you think you need a coil and a new step-up transformer to accomodate it, think again. Think Grado.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Gary OShields a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 3, 1998

Bottom Line:   
Without question these are the best phono cartridges out there,REAL BASS,smooth non tipped up highs(like moving coils) the music has meat to it,sounds very real,as if you could step into the music.And despite what others have said it is fast and articulate,plus you don't need a step-up device,(less between you and the music).The only other cartridge that I have heard in this class is the Win FET,which I dont know if it's even being made anymore.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Rich Meier a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 26, 1997

Bottom Line:   
The Reference Master is next to the top of the line Grado phono cartridge, list price $800.00. One of the "wood-body" group that does not offer a user
replaceable stylus. What it gives in return is worth it.
This unit is a quantum jump in performance over the Signature series. The cartridge is as fast as many moving
coil units yet maintains the traditional full
rich sound that characterizes Grado pickups. Bass is deep & firm; the midrange
blooms into a lush, deep & wide soundstage; the treble is smooth and extended.
The imaging is pinpoint & very stable . I find my head shifting side to side to focus on an individual singer or
instrument. The dynamics are superb and
this cartridge has a high output (>4mV) for use with any phono stage.
Highly recommended!
System... VPI Mk3 with ET2 arm; Conrad Johnson PV-12; Muse 100;
Apogee Centaur - 8; Cardas Cross interconnect; Tara Quantum III+ bi-wired;

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast

Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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