Review: Grado Gold 1

Rocks your record collection

Grado Gold 1 is an obvious choice for those who want a colorful sound image with more impact.

Grado Gold 1

Our verdict

Full-bodied sound and potent bass reproduction.
Lack of resolution, dynamic contrast.
  • Type: Moving Iron
  • Weight: 5.5 g
  • Recommended pin pressure: 1.5 g
  • Output voltage: 5 mV
  • Recommended resistance: 47 kOhm
  • Elasticity: 20 ”m / Mn lateral
  • Channel balance: 1 dB
  • Channel separation: 35 dB 1 kHz
  • Frequency response: 10- 60,000 Hz
  • Grinding: Elliptical
  • Needle arm: Aluminum
  • Vertical tracking angle: Not specified
  • Pickup: ABS
  • Coil material: Copper
  • Magnetic material: Ferrite
  • Replaceable pin: Yes
Show more
Show less

Price: £ 275

Headphones, most would say if we mention Grado. But watchmaker Joseph Grado of Brooklyn, NY, actually started with handmade cartridges. Which he made at home and resold. In 1959, Grado had been making pickups for six years, when the first Moving Coil version in stereo was patented.

The rest is history as they say, and Grado Gold 1 is one in a long line of fine cartridges from the south side of Brooklyn. It is among the most affordable from Grado, and of the Moving Iron type, which, like the Moving Coil, has low moving mass, but the starting voltage of the Moving Magnet principle.

Here it means 5 mV that can be used on all MM inputs without a separate phono stage. The 5.5 gram light cartridge also has a detachable pin, which can be easily replaced when worn out.

The Grado cartridge is one of the few that can also be delivered with a P-socket, which is used on older Technics players, among other things. Then you do not have to mount, just push the pickup gently into place.

This has no threads, and the screws must be mounted with screws and nuts. This can be done without having to remove the pin guard.

The pin pressure should be 1.5 grams low and the Grado cartridge thrives well in most tone arms that do not have too high a mass. In practice, this means that everything from Rega, Thorens, Dual, Pro-Ject or Technics, will not present any problems.

Full all-rounder

What the Grado cartridge lacks in richness of detail and finesse, it makes up for in tone, warmth and fullness. For this is a cartridge that definitely does not sound either slim or shrill.

It fits perfectly with rock and jazz, for example, but can play classical if you prefer. But then you do not get the same resolution as e.g. Audio-Technica or Denon delivers, but you get a beautiful sound image with rich sound from top to bottom.

On Bob Dylan’s Oh Mercy, you feel the bass rhythms on your body. Especially on the opening track Political World, where the bass really takes hold. But the guitar chords sneak back a bit in the soundscape. The vocal reproduction at Radka Toneff’s Fairytales is beautiful. Warm, flattering and full of depth, but the piano does not sound quite as free and open as you might want.

The Grado cartridge is especially suitable for correcting the sound from a player who sounds shallow in the bass, and thrives like the plum in the egg on rhythmic music.

Conclusion

Grado Gold 1 does not bring out all the nuances of classical music, but it sounds very rich and sounds great on most of the music. It is not as fast to the bone and does not let through as much detail as other cartridges, but convincing bass dynamics, warm and beautiful sound, as well as a large sound image are its main strengths. A clear upgrade of the sound, especially for those with the most pop, rock and maybe a little jazz in the collection.

Thanks for reading Tech Reviews.

Create your free account or to continue reading.

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive mail with link to set new password.

.

Alternatives to Grado Gold 1

Denon AVC-A110 spread

The best Denon has made

Denon has never made a better surround amplifier, than the anniversary model AVC-A110.

Marantz SACD 30n

Best of both worlds

Marantz's latest CD player is also a network player, and an internet radio, and a DAC, and a preamplifier, and a….

Marantz Model 30

Silky soft crystal clear sound

Marantz Model 30 is a magnificent amplifier for both eyes and ears, and the quality goes beyond most things.

Denon DCD-A110

Denon's definitive cd player

Denon's anniversary player can take loving care of your records for many years to come. But your streaming is left out in the cold.

Rega io

The best budget purchase

The small Rega amplifier Rega io is an affordable entrance ticket and the sound is in a class of its own.

ECI 6DX MKII spread

Analog amplifier does digital tricks

Electrocompaniet has upgraded its best integrated amplifier. The ECI 6DX MKII can do almost everything.

Schiit Audio Heresy and Magni 3+

Adrenaline kick for your headphones

If you are not completely satisfied with the sound from your headphones, you may need a better amplifier. Maybe Schiit Audio Heresy or Magni 3+

Yamaha M-5000

Sublime Japanese sound art

Tired of hi-fi? Yamaha's high-end amplifiers Yamaha M-5000 and C-5000 will get you thinking better.