How revealing are Grado sr-60s'?

I just bought a pair of these last month and overall they seem like decent headphones, but im still having problems with the overall sound of my system. I dont know if its the phones, or my electronics but im getting a somewhat bright, grainy sound. Electric guitars seem way too thin and dont flow smoothly enough ( cant think of the correct term).The bass seems sort of weak too, with a focus on treble. My amp is an Onkyo TX-8511 and a Toshiba SD-3950. My gear is not high end by any means, but do i really have to buy a $500 cdp and headphone amp to get good sound out of $70 headphones?
THey are pretty revealing. Chances are you are hearing the cheap opamps in the Toshiba. Take your cans to a stereo shop that has decent CDP's and plug into the headphone out of one.
It could also be that your source material is classic rock.
Loads of bad transfers to digital and just originally poor recordings.

Good luck!

Yes, most of the music I listen to is some sort of rock, with about 25 percent classic rock- stuff like Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Metallica. I know these arent the best recordings, but shouldnt they at least sound somewhat smoother with better equipment?

One more thing I noticed with these headphones ( and every speaker ive owned as a matter of fact) is that I have to turn them up way too loud to make them open up, by this point the sound becomes too unbalanced for me to handle. It may be my hearing as I have big ears and have REALLY sensative hearing.
I don't know those headphones, but Grados are supposed to be excellent at their price points. They might be just revealing the flaws in your amp & CDP--sometimes happens when you upgrade one component.....

*do i really have to buy a $500 cdp and headphone amp to get good sound out of $70 headphones?*
I have listened through more than one pair of Grado SR-60's, and there should not be any sense of suffering when listening to a good recording through these fine entry level headphones. But, as Bignerd100 stated, you can hear too well the marginal quality of some recordings, and some headphone jacks. There can be some variations in perceived frequency response due to unit variation, shape of ears, or shape of foam earpiece covering. Just a little plastic surgery on the phones or the ears should correct all that :>)
Also, could any of your personal perception of sound have been modified by exposure to very high sound levels at live rock concerts, or high volume headphone listening, earlier in life?
Finally, there is a new product from to optimize headphone output from the simple jack output on any player. Although at $100 (home trial money back offer) it is more costly than your particular headphones, it is intended to demonstrate how much more unexpected sound quality there is waiting to be passed through any headphone output jack.

I'm only 21 and have never been to a concert before. Maybe because im so young and my hearing is still good that these headphones sound bright to me. I bet to an older person with hearing damage bright speakers/electronics would sound normal since the brightness would make up for the hearing loss.

Either way it sucks having good ears and being broke =(
I don't think the Toshiba is a good match for the Grado's.
You shouldn't have to spend $500 on a front end to get decent sound out of them.
I get good results with a portable Aiwa (XP-EV501R) cd player that I bought off ebay for $30. I have read that a $60 Sony portable sounds similar to it but I don't recall the model #.
Instead of the Toshiba, I would also suggest auditioning the Pioneer DV-578a universal player, which sells for $100.

What would make the grados not a good choice for the Toshiba? I dont really see how buying another cheap cdp is going to help.
Grado house sound is definately more up front than say Sennhessier (SP?). For detailed help on all things headphones, check in at

Yeah, I also own a pair of Sennheiser HD-201 (Cheeeeap $20 phones) and they do sound better balanced than the Grados...but they also sound pretty boring which I hear is their house sound. Maybe I need something inbetween these two.
not sure you can expect more from $20 phones. Senns are more laid back and that may not be to your liking. With mid-fi equipment, maybe not a bad solution. i think that you should consider a moderate priced headphone amp as your first improvement, and see if you can borrow a mid-price pair of Senns to compare to the Grados.

I was thinking of trying a pair of Sennheiser HD 580's to compare to the Grado's.

I'm really trying to avoid bright speakers/headphones because they seem to really irritate me.
the hd-580s would be a good alternative.
I've owned the SR-60's for quite some time and love them. Very detailed and neutral to my ears. There is NO extremely low bass however. If that's a major criterion, look elsewhere.

I'm used to listening to music on my MTX 12" 3 way tower speakers, and although the mids and highs suck on these, at least they have bass.

In comparison the bass on the Grado's is anemic at best. Along with having no bass you have to really crank the volume for the sound to open up. By the time this happens the sound is way too loud for me to tolerate.
Grado SR60s are very good phones for the price but the bass improves quite a bit as you move up the Grado line. Bright and harsh I'd say you're hearing a cheap headphone amp. I love Grados but they don't flourish if not plugged into to good gear. Also, make sure you give the Grados a good hundred hours to break in. I agree Senns sound more laid back, but again, good headphones are only as good as the headphone amp you are plugging into. I personally think the highest end Senns are the only ones worth looking at. A friend has Senn HD280s and I wasn't all that impressed with them. I also feel that Senn's headphone cables are shoddy.

I see that you have MTX speakers. May I humbly suggest you are used to hearing hyped bass.

BTW I own Grado SR80s and 225s and have several friends with 60s so I am familiar with them all. Also have a friend who used 12" MTX floor speakers for quite a while.
Oh, and I also agree with the person that said many digital rock transfers aren't the greatest. I do find that some can be thin or grainy, especially digital recordings from the 90's. Hey, I love rock from hard ass metal to more laid back stuff. The heavy stuff in particular is mastered very hot and sometimes recorded with unacceptable amounts of clipping--check a nice, refined, good recording against some of the music you are having trouble with and make sure you are not simply hearing the reality of the recording/mastering quality.

Yes, there is a difference between my recordings, but it seems no matter what album I play im not satisfied. I even borrowed a few Diana Crawl cd's from my mom, along with other better recorded stuff, and im still not getting a good sound. Maybe because I dont like this music who knows?

Anyways, I guess youre right about the MTX's , but what if one were to like the hyped bass sound then what? Oh ya and how did your friend like his MTX's - which model were they?