Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

the thin end of the wedge
Post Reply
cafe latte
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Australia
Posts: 11036
Joined: 11 Oct 2009 04:27
Location: Cattle property near Ravenshoe Qld Australia

Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by cafe latte » 30 Jul 2019 09:54

The blue 2 will arrive in a day or two, this is a test I have wanted to do for some time, hopefully finally answer the question if these two carts are really different. The red (above the blue) is supposed to be selected from the blue but better specs when tested. Then the silver2 apparently has different wire for the coils and the gold2 is the better selected ones of the batch. The blue coils measure the same apparently to the gold and the blue and the gold share the same stylus tip, but a blue stylus is much cheaper than a gold. Is this all smoke and mirrors or is there really differences?
I hope to work this out in the next days. Plan is to examine the gold2 and the blue stylus under the microscope, this will confirm if tips are the same. Next I will measure coil inductance and dc resistance for differences. I will weight the carts on a lab scale that cost over 1k.
Then listening tests.
I am not expecting big differences, question is there any difference?
We will see, watch this space..
Chris

pivot
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 4905
Joined: 27 Dec 2002 14:31
Location: Albany, NY USA
Contact:

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by pivot » 30 Jul 2019 15:55

Look at the cantilever. I suspect the major difference will be cantilever anti-resonance treatment and construction.

rewfew
long player
long player
Posts: 1243
Joined: 08 Mar 2009 16:50
Location: Kansas City Missouri

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by rewfew » 30 Jul 2019 17:43

Great idea. Maybe you could graft on to your new blue eventually one of those cheap Pfanstiehl 2x7 stylus tips on to see if that does some improvement. The Grado stylus replacement principal of their 3, (black, green) and 4, (blue through gold) piece cantilevers has seemed maybe dubious in nature.

cafe latte
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Australia
Posts: 11036
Joined: 11 Oct 2009 04:27
Location: Cattle property near Ravenshoe Qld Australia

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by cafe latte » 30 Jul 2019 22:35

pivot wrote:
30 Jul 2019 15:55
Look at the cantilever. I suspect the major difference will be cantilever anti-resonance treatment and construction.
Checking out the cantilever and tip is the first thing I will do, however construction is likely to be identical as they are both four piece cantilevers and any differences in cantilever construction would have been boasted about in the sales blurb for the higher models, but description in this respect is identical. All pics of Grado cantilevers I have seen appear to be the same too, but it will be good to examine them for myself.
Chris

cafe latte
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Australia
Posts: 11036
Joined: 11 Oct 2009 04:27
Location: Cattle property near Ravenshoe Qld Australia

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by cafe latte » 30 Jul 2019 22:45

rewfew wrote:
30 Jul 2019 17:43
Great idea. Maybe you could graft on to your new blue eventually one of those cheap Pfanstiehl 2x7 stylus tips on to see if that does some improvement. The Grado stylus replacement principal of their 3, (black, green) and 4, (blue through gold) piece cantilevers has seemed maybe dubious in nature.
Yes the reason I ordered the blue to examine and you are right if for some reason stylus is not good it is cheaper than the gold if I end up cutting the cantilever off and retipping it :D
I am very sceptical as many are re what differences there really is.
Chris

cafe latte
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Australia
Posts: 11036
Joined: 11 Oct 2009 04:27
Location: Cattle property near Ravenshoe Qld Australia

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by cafe latte » 05 Aug 2019 08:06

Ok the blue 2 arrived.
Initial checks show one obvious difference which is the so called black damping material on the cantilever of the blue 2. Close examination of the black stuff it looks like felt tip or paint, but I have no proof what it is so won't speculate too much but it will increase moving mass for sure.
Stylus tips look identical, but to know for sure I will need to remove the gold 2 from its headshell so I can get the lighting angle I need. I can say cut is the same and cantilever is the same. Just want to see if tip quality is the same, will report back on that.
Now the body... dc resistance is not as spec for either. I even went to measure another cart to confirm the meter. Spec is 475 ohms but gold 2 is 670 and 677 left and right channels. Blue 2 is 680 and 683 so channel balance is better on the blue 2. It is slightly highercresistance but the few ohms won't make any difference. Inductance is different from spec to spec for both is 45mH but both are around 68mH and channel differences are similar, but gold2 looking again. IMO these specs are for older gold1 as too far from specs not to be a change.
Anyway apart gold 2 supposedly having better wire for coils the bodies are identical with blue 2 measuring better.
Will post more later.
Chris
Attachments
20190805_154213.jpg
(125.2 KiB) Downloaded 166 times

cafe latte
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Australia
Posts: 11036
Joined: 11 Oct 2009 04:27
Location: Cattle property near Ravenshoe Qld Australia

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by cafe latte » 05 Aug 2019 09:02

Initial listening tests and I will for sure come back with other thoughts.. Both carts are very similar indeed. Gold 2 is slightly less wide as a tiny bit more refined, but the gold 2 is well run in too. Not sure what the damping stuff is doing ( paint) but it may be involved. What I will say is differences are tiny. Decibel meter reads the same too so output is identical. These are very similar carts indeed. I will be interested to see in a few hours of run in of the blue what differences are. What I will say though us for sure you money is wasted on a red. What are they measuring better from the blue if my blue measures better than my gold?
Chris

cafe latte
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Australia
Posts: 11036
Joined: 11 Oct 2009 04:27
Location: Cattle property near Ravenshoe Qld Australia

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by cafe latte » 05 Aug 2019 10:15

At this point ie blue needs,to run the gold2 is slightly less dynamic and also slightly more refined, being really picky they are both almost identical. Blue 2 is slightly more middy and wider, but I often hear this with new carts, I am expecting difference to be nothing in a Day or two. Even right now the gold 2 is a little more refined but tiny difference I have swapped back again and again. But the Blue is wider and better in highs too, but not quite as mc, but 100 hours from now IMO there won't be much difference.
Chris

cafe latte
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Australia
Posts: 11036
Joined: 11 Oct 2009 04:27
Location: Cattle property near Ravenshoe Qld Australia

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by cafe latte » 05 Aug 2019 10:18

Also checked dc resistance of my platinum woody.. It is as spec so the new 2 range has a higher dc resistance and inductance to the old 1 range.
Chris

Laila1
senior member
senior member
Posts: 294
Joined: 05 Apr 2008 22:08
Location: Sweden

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by Laila1 » 05 Aug 2019 12:47

cafe latte wrote:
30 Jul 2019 09:54
The blue 2 will arrive in a day or two, this is a test I have wanted to do for some time, hopefully finally answer the question if these two carts are really different. The red (above the blue) is supposed to be selected from the blue but better specs when tested. Then the silver2 apparently has different wire for the coils and the gold2 is the better selected ones of the batch. The blue coils measure the same apparently to the gold and the blue and the gold share the same stylus tip, but a blue stylus is much cheaper than a gold. Is this all smoke and mirrors or is there really differences?
I hope to work this out in the next days. Plan is to examine the gold2 and the blue stylus under the microscope, this will confirm if tips are the same. Next I will measure coil inductance and dc resistance for differences. I will weight the carts on a lab scale that cost over 1k.
Then listening tests.
I am not expecting big differences, question is there any difference?
We will see, watch this space..
Chris
Who told you that the Silver/Gold2 has different wire in the coils than the Blue/Red2?

/ Lars

rewfew
long player
long player
Posts: 1243
Joined: 08 Mar 2009 16:50
Location: Kansas City Missouri

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by rewfew » 05 Aug 2019 16:38

Laila1 wrote:
05 Aug 2019 12:47
Who told you that the Silver/Gold2 has different wire in the coils than the Blue/Red2?
Grado says the silver and gold have a machined turned generator for lower distortion/ transparency. One thing is. You won't get this information from reading sanctioned reviews online. The hierarchy will be kept intact from blue to gold. Making ones choice for fidelity always a step towards the higher priced offering. One could really take some account of Grado's marketing. I'm glad I only went to the red tier in trying out their Prestige line. It's a nice sounding cartridge, but I think Grado is co-opting their image with this marketing strategy. Audio Technica does well to offer an improved hierarchy of stylus tips with their well loved base line 95 cartridge. Much better getting performance for money spent. I'll be enthused with a hopeful eventual comparison of a finer styli grafted in place to the standard Grado offering. You the man Chris.

abs1
senior member
senior member
United States of America
Posts: 538
Joined: 08 Oct 2012 18:17
Location: Western Colorado

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by abs1 » 05 Aug 2019 16:59

I lost respect for Grado back when they came out with the Prestige Gold. It wasn't what I'd call a "great" cartridge and its reviews reflected that. So then Grado quickly came out with its Gold1 version (I have one) supposedly to cure the things that caused the negative reviews of the original Gold.

No cigar! The Gold1 was hardly better than the original, if at all. Just plain boring. And I mean BORRRRING!!

Now Grado upped the ante with the Gold2. I understand that it sounds a whole lot better but I've not yet heard one so I won't comment on what is supposed to be its improved sound over the Gold1. But c'mon Grado - how many revisions of this cartridge does it take to make it acceptable to most enthusiasts?

I can't believe that this is the Grado that we came to love in prior years. Too bad :(

Cheers,
Al

cafe latte
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Australia
Posts: 11036
Joined: 11 Oct 2009 04:27
Location: Cattle property near Ravenshoe Qld Australia

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by cafe latte » 05 Aug 2019 22:12

abs1 wrote:
05 Aug 2019 16:59
I lost respect for Grado back when they came out with the Prestige Gold. It wasn't what I'd call a "great" cartridge and its reviews reflected that. So then Grado quickly came out with its Gold1 version (I have one) supposedly to cure the things that caused the negative reviews of the original Gold.

No cigar! The Gold1 was hardly better than the original, if at all. Just plain boring. And I mean BORRRRING!!

Now Grado upped the ante with the Gold2. I understand that it sounds a whole lot better but I've not yet heard one so I won't comment on what is supposed to be its improved sound over the Gold1. But c'mon Grado - how many revisions of this cartridge does it take to make it acceptable to most enthusiasts?

I can't believe that this is the Grado that we came to love in prior years. Too bad :(

Cheers,
Al
I wonder if the compliance of the original gold was very high for the arms around at the time?
Gold 1 I agree was rather boring re highs the gold 2 and the blue 2 dont have this issue and going on the measurements ie inductance and dc resistance there are real changes inside the cart abd listening you can tell.
Chris

cafe latte
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Australia
Posts: 11036
Joined: 11 Oct 2009 04:27
Location: Cattle property near Ravenshoe Qld Australia

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by cafe latte » 05 Aug 2019 22:30

rewfew wrote:
05 Aug 2019 16:38
Laila1 wrote:
05 Aug 2019 12:47
Who told you that the Silver/Gold2 has different wire in the coils than the Blue/Red2?
Grado says the silver and gold have a machined turned generator for lower distortion/ transparency. One thing is. You won't get this information from reading sanctioned reviews online. The hierarchy will be kept intact from blue to gold. Making ones choice for fidelity always a step towards the higher priced offering. One could really take some account of Grado's marketing. I'm glad I only went to the red tier in trying out their Prestige line. It's a nice sounding cartridge, but I think Grado is co-opting their image with this marketing strategy. Audio Technica does well to offer an improved hierarchy of stylus tips with their well loved base line 95 cartridge. Much better getting performance for money spent. I'll be enthused with a hopeful eventual comparison of a finer styli grafted in place to the standard Grado offering. You the man Chris.
Thanks for kind words. This is a review I have wanted to read for a long time so decided to buy the blue myself and see what real differences were. Does anyone know which level in the range the "paint" on the cantilever is applied? I do know it comes off easily with a wipe with a stylus brush with alcohol on it (my Grado platinum wood), I was more careful with my gold2. IMO just about any paint would act as a damper. The goop inside looks like a tar based substance, call me sceptical but car under seal mixed with alcohol to thin out, then applied to cantilever with fine brush wont be far from the truth of what is on the gold 2 cantilever IMO. Question is it really needed anyway? I doubt it as I know of only a couple of damped cantilevers most are not.
If I get home early enough tonight I will try to get a better look at the stylus tips. They are the same cut, but want to compare the tip quality, not expecting differences but still want to check.
So far anyway bodies are virtually the same actually blue measures better than the gold so how can the red be selected from the blue etc etc? As I suspected all along all bodies are identical. Gold and silver may well have different wire for coils but measurement wise the special wire is not helping so a mute point IMO. I bet the black 2 body is just as good too, but dont have one to measure.
More listening tonight and hopefully a tip comparison too.
Chris

banerjba
long player
long player
Posts: 1016
Joined: 19 Mar 2009 16:25
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: Grado gold 2 vs blue 2 showdown any real differences...

Post by banerjba » 06 Aug 2019 04:35

First the Blue is the lower spec version of the middle model in the Prestige line up. The Red is the higher spec model. The Gold is the higher spec model of the top model in the Prestige line up. I own all 6 nd can can say each one is more detail, more open and provides a bigger sound stage. The Green and the Red are the best value and the cartridges I like the most. These are also very durable. Tip should give you over 2,000 hours of listening with clean records and a stylus that is kept clean.

Post Reply