My journey with Grado might be a bit unconventional. While I wasn't particularly drawn to the sound signature John Grado aimed to achieve, especially in the brand's first and second generations, my perspective shifted a little when I briefly sampled the Alessandro MS Pro (a re-tuned RS-1; no idea which generation). However, its price was a stumbling block for my economic ability at the time (circa 2010 or so). Fast forward to 2020, and I discovered the Hemp LTD, pinpointing the Grado sound that resonated with me. Even though its ergonomics and thick, non-detachable cable weren't to my liking, its sound lingered in my memory. Now, as autumn 2023 unfolds, my recent positive experiments with the SR80e have drawn me back to Grado, but this time with a more discerning ear and specific expectations. I'm searching for a sound signature that bridges the gap between the MS Pro and the Hemp. My research suggests a stark choice: either opt for the vintage OOP product (HP1k series crafted by Joe Grado) or embrace the latest generation reference. The former's super hefty premium — I'm reluctant to invest another 2-3k for Grado-style ones — makes me give up. So, where does this leave me? Well, the RS2x is en route (ETA tomorrow), and I'm quite excited. A side note: My perspective on Grado's potential might differ from the norm. I posit that the right Grado pair, when finely optimized/individualized, can excel in many traditional audiophile metrics, like soundstage or balance, or at least surpass general expectations. Hope my time with RS2x would provide me with more insights.