Alessandro MS-2 Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer Alessandro Model MS-2
Headphone Type Open Supraaural Headband Type Single
Weight (g) 180 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Aluminium Isolation (dB) 0
Impedance (ohms) 32 Cable Length (cm) 72
Frequency Response (Hz) 18 - 24000  
Connector 6.5mm Street Price US$299
Buy from Amazon.com  
Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 7.0 Bass Impact 7.5
Bass Quality 6.5 Mids Quality 7.0
Highs Quality 6.0 Soundstage 4.0
Detail 6.5 Portability 4.5
Isolation 0.0 Comfort 4.5
Durability 6.0 Improvement With Amplification 6.0
Value for Money 8.0    
Overall Score 6.4 Total Reviews 2

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member Jahn on 26 Dec 04  23:00
Individual review
Bass Extension8
Bass Impact9
Bass Quality8
Mids Quality9
Highs Quality8
Detail8
Comfort5
Durability7
Value9

My review of the DT770 "Darth Beyers" is under that can, but I'd like to review the MS-2 (Full name is the Music Series Two) here by doing a comparison with the three cans below - the Beyers, the MS-2, and the SR-200, a headphone you can no longer purchase new.

Before I start, here's my system.

GSP Audio Graham Slee Solo Monitor Amp, modified by Pink Floyd and Lan to become "Pinkie" - 2004 spec, then bootstrapped, big caps, PSU modded with big caps, power and line conditioning, fat power cable, etc. No matter what the impedance, from 32 to 600, this amp will feed you the juice right at 9 O'Clock.

Toshiba 3960 DVD Player, modified by Voodoochile to become "Tushi" - Swenson and Vinnie mods, 8620 op amp, all caps upgraded, etc etc.

Interconnects - Audioquest Diamondbacks. After checking out all my ICs I still like these best of my collection with my rig.

And here are the cans.

Grado SR-200 with HP-1000 drivers. Stock from the factory - yep Joltin' Joe's outfit put those suckers in themselves, go figure. Using original Grado flats too.

Alessandro MS-2. Flats from Todd. Stock, designed by John Grado, tweaked on suggestions by Alessandro.

The Darth Beyers. Beyerdynamic DT770/600 Ohm, heavily modified by Larry of Headphile - new cable, tweaked drivers, new stock cups, new fluffy factory velour pads.

The music:

"No Scrubs" by TLC, off the import Arista CD release "TLC Now and Forever - The Hits." It's not compressed or too hot at all, nice. This track brings the subwoofer bass, and has a rap by Left Eye that requires the PRaT to be spot on. And the Pinkie brings it. And the Bass.

"Close to You" by Carpenters. I can't say enough about Carpenters Gold: 35th Anniversary Edition. Really well mastered. Karen Carpenter's close miked vocals would make a Koss sound like a Qualia. Just ask my KSC-35, they believe.

"Train in Vain" by The Clash from the remastered CD - London Calling. Did Mick Jones sing two different vocals, one for the left signal, one for the right? Ayep. Fun.

So here we go.

SR-200. Extreme detail. Extreme separation. Extreme realism. Extreme resolution. But not bright, not sibilant, not forward, not as in your face. This is the doctor bringing you a sonic clinic. He will tell you exactly what is going on, good or ill, with your song, your amp, your source, your interconnect. In fact, it actually helped me stay with the Audioquests over the Starquads. Very very balanced from highs to lows. Extension is far reaching with no discernable emphasis in any particular frequency.

MS-2. The fun little sister to the SR-200. Yeah, I said fun. Insert "very" over "extreme." Also not bright, not sibilant, but she IS forward and in your face. She will force you to listen to the music and get engaged. A more forgiving can than the SR-200. Not as extended in the bass as the Darth Beyers, and maybe a touch less than the SR-200, but it's hard to tell because the bass slam of the MS-2 is huge comparatively. It almost seems like there is a hump in the bass, hump in the mids, and hump in the treble, if that makes sense. Seems as even as steven when compared to the DT770, but colored when compared to the SR-200. This is the most neutral John Grado can I've heard. But that still makes it more "commercial" than Joe Grado's SR200.

The Darth Beyers. This can is out of control. Bass extends to the depths of hell. And it brought back the shriek harpies. Sibilance is hissypissy compared to the MS-2 and SR200. These highs are nigh piercing. Mids are actually quite nice. The bass rushes at you like a flood of mercury, but it's not as slamming as the MS-2. Meanwhile the treble uses your eardrums as a punching bag. But after a while you find yourself listening to them more than the SR200, because it's a killer fun can. And it's closed, so you'll listen to them over the MS-2 when the wife doesn't want to hear "No Scrubs" for the millionth time.

Here's some examples. "Close to you" just sounded way too good with all the cans, so I switched to "Superstar" by Carpenters. The intrumental intro has a high hat that sounds like "tis, tis tiss" with the MS-2, "SSS, SS SSSS" on the Beyers, and like a high hat with the SR200.

"Train in Vain" on the SR200 let me listen to the whole song actually listening to the differences between Mick Jones' different vocals in the left and right signals because they were separated so cleanly and distinctly. But the MS-2 was the can I bobbed my head to. The Darth Beyers were sort of unlistenable with this punk tune lol.

"No Scrubs." This is where the Bassmeister ruled. Subwoofer cans unite. Plus the highs didn't seem so crazy with the DT770 here. Head nodder track with the DT770. The MS-2 was fun too, just less so - where'd the subwoofer bass go? The SR200 said "here it is." But it didnt' say "YO HERE IZ DA SHIZNIT!" Also I think the SR200 sort of missed the point - it actually made the sampled bits sound like a snippet of an actual piano, a snippet of an actual bass guitar, etc. I couldn't groove - I was too busy listening lol.

End Result? The MS-2 will give you the best of both worlds - Both John and Joe. And give you more slam than the Beyers. Yes, what the SR200 does best and what the DT770 does best still isn't rivaled. But the MS-2 is the all-around champ.

Review by Senior Member TrevorNetwork on 17 Dec 04  10:58
Individual review
Bass Extension6
Bass Impact6
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality4
Detail5
Comfort4
Durability5
Value7

The MS-2 is a great entry level headphone. The bass extension, and impact are quite good. However, where this headphone lacks is the highs (can be harsh), soundstaging (poor), and general comfort.

Alessandro MS-2