That's pretty much it. The modular design, coupled with the relatively inexpensive Prestige series, has created an unparalleled foundation for the DIY modding community. Hardwoods like cocobolo are not just gorgeous. This mod accomplishes some moderate dampening of the headphone by adding absorbent material to the inside of the can. The L Cush pads open things up a bit, both in treble and soundstage but they’re not as comfortable. It can also be overdone and be unpleasant, and poses some risks for damage. I’ll be selling my Grado SR325e headphone as my modded SR325 / Magnum V8 is superior in every way to my ears. Fast & Free shipping on many items! The party piece though is the dynamics. ======================================================================================== So whats next? I’ve found Grados to be relatively prone to rattle (Grado ‘grattle’) due to hairs, dirt, etc finding their way onto the driver, so I’ve never been tempted to remove the grill screen in front of the driver. And on another note- Don't cut too large of a hole in the pad. What you can also do is after friction fitting, reheat the can so the hot glue will re-set and make a stronger bond. The size, shape, and material of the pad changes comfort, head interaction and the distance between driver and ear, impacting perceived soundstage, imaging, positioning, space, and volume. This reduces apparent harshness and cleans up the treble slightly. Your article helped me remain focused on the singular reason I started looking into Grado modding – the sound. Without shells sticking out that much further, I look a lot less reminiscent of Frankenstein’s monster, with the “bolts” sticking out of his neck. I have compared shell types and I’m pretty sure none of it matters except in a bad way. Some popular aftermarket wooden cups manufacturers include Shipibo Audio, SpinAF, Wabi Sabi, Turbulent Labs, Rholupat and Yew Woodworks. This gives them better durability but it also means that instead of creating a cave for your earlobe, it creates a v-shaped cushion that touches your ear. But it works really well—I don’t always spend a lot of time figuring out why something works; sometimes I’m just satisfied that it does. This is more of an artifact of the sound stage presentation. I used it as a basis for my Nhoord Red V2 build with aluminum and mahogany cups from Wabi Sabi, turbulent labs leather headband and Generic G Cush pads. But it can't hurt. Also, some of the modifications cannot be easily reversed. The S pads are comfy and efficient bass catchers, but you still lose treble and soundstage. The marks we made earlier help accomplish this. Hi Dennis. While it’s definitely a good idea not to go out into the world with cabling as flimsy and sketchy as the stringy cable on the iGrado, the four- or eight-wire “garden hose” is absurd. Just a couple of warnings: Doing these modifications will violate your warranty. Unlike the Beyerdynamic pads, which get their strength from the outer rim, which is not porous, the salad bowls are a big sponge. ....... works a treat, 7 years ago Enjoy the music. But, if done right, is the most rewarding of the three mods and I found to have the greatest positive effect on the sound quality. Did you make this project? Grado has changed their driver design over the years. As an example, my SR80i cable in general had its duration guaranteed, but now drivers are more distorted in basses, general headband structure is also destroyed and stereo plug and earcups with foams are just too much glued. Visit us or call us at 877-548-2125 for more. Grado is famous for their remarkable Grado headphone and Grado phono cartridge designs and hold over 48 patents. Your email address will not be published. 100 points for having Good Taste in music! But this can be solved by turning it up. You get greater thump at the cost of clarity. But then, you need the right amp to bring the bass. I noticed that adhesive felt inside the cup walls was successful in taming some of the treble. The work was done very fast and I no longer think of selling my Grado… I found instant happiness with mine- listening to The Gunner's Dream off of Pink Floyd's The Final Cut sent shivers down my spine like it did the first time I heard it. I make custom wooden cups for headphones. It is going to be used later on for the dampening mod. Make sure to use tweezers to then collect all the loose fabric so it doesn't end up in the space behind the driver diaphragm. Notice anything about those descriptive terms for the sound? The cushions act as the baffle. That gets painful. Grado Labs is known for hand-making each of their headphones and it is where I began my love of high fidelity headphones. I cleaned up the inside of the cups, removing all damping material, installed SMC jacks for detachable cable, threaded the rod blocks for set screws to secure the loose-fitting steel headband, and installed a set of Symphones Magnum V8 drivers. The openness of the sound from a vented headphone is increased, where the sound stage is a little more present and less confined then a closed headphone. But you don’t need the equivalent of a power cable to run headphones. For headphones we offer replacement cushions, extension cables and plug adaptors. Rim shots crack, kick drums kick, and the slap bass in Stanley Clark's The Toys of Men has that wonderful attack that slap bass offers. See the next step with guidelines on dampening and properly reassembling your cans. As with everything, take it for what it is: this is just one person’s opinion. You can modify for comfort, appearance, weight, etc, but today we’re going to primarily focus on changing (and hopefully improving) the sound of your Grados. I found the results were exactly what I was after- depending on personal tastes, what I am going to mention here can be changed and certain steps skipped. Grado has changed their driver design over the years. I will say, though, that if overdone the driver will no longer be properly dampened and the bass frequencies will begin to muddy up the mids and highs. The openness that Grados are known for also increased, while highs became crisper and cleaner and lost a bit of glare. About Colaw RV in Missouri. The HD800 has no shell behind the driver. Now its time to reassemble the cans. I did a combination of all three and found the results to be superb. Vocals also sound more natural, with everything in general sounding more airy and open. Note that it is (more or less) universally accepted that changing the dimension, geometry or driver position in the cup will yield an evident and perceptible (positive or negative) difference in what the user hears. - The Grado website advertises "The SRx25 will produce a sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end." Grado may never give us a cup-like cushion or one with slightly less distance between ear and driver. They are solid and stay really well in place if you drill an appropriately tight hole. However, unknown to some, Grado is actually highly modifiable because of its DIY modular nature. This means your roommates are listening to your music too. Would like to … I don't know how much this actually accomplishes, I would think that the extra mass might provide some dampening to the driver. They’re far easier to put on and take off, and they allow a clearer top end, but the architecture of styrofoam requires the aperture to be v-shaped, like the gradual depth of a swimming pool rather than the sudden depth of a cup. While you are in the cans, it is worth cleaning out the old bead of hot glue. Grado Mod Parts. Make sure to keep it moving to prevent over-heating the plastic. an alternative to glue on the back of the driver is a small blob of blue take. It's 2019 and these instructions hold up perfectly for the SR80e. There’s a sweet spot in there but it’s hard to resist the temptation to perforate all the holes. The highs follow in the path of the mids, sounding crisper and clearer and more open than before the mods, but any harshness or glare that was detectable before has vanished. I have had some success with my SR80e mods as well. And there you go. Make sure not to twist- just wiggle a bit and pull straight out. I started by looking for a ‘donor’ Grado headphone and within a week I found an early Grado SR325 with the small brushed aluminum cups that had already been modded (drivers, Dynamat damping inside, leather headband, etc). More than just a step up, our signature wooden cartridges have been a Grado staple for over twenty years. While the same basic driver is used for multiple models, there are driver differences throughout the current lineup, including closer driver matching on higher-end models. The best, tightest bass comes from an infinite baffle, which is what you have if you mount a speaker to a hole in a wall or your headphone tosses the rear shell. And finally, as will all mods, there is a risk you might accidentally damage something during the process. As with most audio tweaks, I believe the difference is noticeable but subtle. Pads can be found online or can be purchased through Grado. From my experience, the modifications that result in the greatest transformations in sound can be listed (in order from most impact to least) as: I’m purposely overlooking cables as they fall outside the purview of this article and all testing was done with standardized high-quality copper Mogami cables. Ear Cup Material’?, and have they held up under regular use? Fortunately, every headphone wearer is equipped with a shell: their earlobe. Call us at 4173585923. In 1996, John Grado discussed why he started using mahogany for the cups on the Grado Reference Series One headphone. Basically, they assert that if the exact design of cup (shape, thickness etc.) Cutting the hole makes the music come across much more clearly- cymbals sound crisper, rim shots have more snap, and kick drums are more percussive. So, first go buy some Grados and then mentally prepare yourself to disassemble them. This modification requires complete disassembly of the headphone as well, so keep that in mind. Popular aftermarket driver manufacturers include Symphones, Nhoord Audio and Elleven Acoustica. [Solved] Why Is My iPhone Stuck in Headphone Mode? All of our accessories are genuine manufacturer parts. The headphones really sound 'bigger' now. This has become a business for some, and the manufacture and distribution of high-quality replacement drivers, with their own unique sound characteristics, was born. I say Grado-style because when a pair of Grados is modded, it frequently ends up having its headband upgraded with … Let me state this in the clearest, most obvious way I can: NOTHING BUT THE DRIVER. Here are some other ideas for Grado mods that I have seen and might consider later on down the road: -Padded headband -Putting a nicer cable on (more of an SR60i or SR80i thing since the SR125i already has a nice cable) -Lock screws on the posts that allow height adjustment of the cans -Can mods including making the backs out of mahogany or machined aluminum A quick Google search can lead to some really informative articles and pictures of (heavily) modified Grados- Grados have become one of the most modified headphone because of their simple construction and easy modification. I have a quick question for you if you don’t mind. There is one very good reason for changing the band: comfort. Especially if you are using the appallingly cheap vinyl headband included on the SR225 and below, replacing it with a well made padded leather band is an immense (and somewhat necessary) upgrade for long listening sessions. You might be interested: Review: Grado SR80e. Supra-aural (on-ear) headphones typically are described as having a more forward, intimate, “close to the stage” sound. • L-Cushion (bowl) is stock on the SR225, SR325, RS1, and RS2… Showdown of Wireless TV Headphones: RF vs IF vs Bluetooth. By holding the driver half up to the light you can see the holes I am talking about. The modifications are going to be broken down into 3 different parts: The quarter mod, dampening mod, and venting mod. Your lobes create a natural barrier to backwaves behind them. The Grados, before the mods, sounded very lifelike. For the SR60i I would recommend 2 or 3. Visit our Missouri RV dealership for Claw RV consignment, we offer trucks and RVs for sale, parts, and service. The driver back doesn’t vibrate with sufficient intensity to merit damping. Too large and there won't be enough cushion between your ear and can, and the headphone will be uncomfortable. 5 years ago I don’t claim to have golden ears with magical properties, nor any ability to create music. To ensure that you always have a … If you’re hearing sound echoing off of the shell, you’re trading quality for quantity. The wood has caught dirt and the “new” shine faded from use and handling. I am unable to discern any shortcomings as a ‘Grado-like’ headphone. I am still in the midst of doing it but decided to post … Grados are known for having a ‘house sound’ of warm harmonics, rich vocals, excellent dynamics, and lively highs. Required fields are marked *. While you can sabotage an open chamber by making it less open, like gluing a plastic button to the center of the rear grill, the unvented Grados were doing far more to undermine the open chamber. If you are doing the venting mod, then consider doing this as well while you're in there. on Introduction, "I found instant happiness with mine- listening to The Gunner's Dream off of Pink Floyd's The Final Cut sent shivers down my spine like it did the first time I heard it". How to Fix a Short in Headphones Without Killing Yourself, Review: Lime Ears Aether R – The Atlantean Circumstance, the gimbals (the horseshoe shaped piece that holds the cups). Where did you get the 3.5mm jacks shown installed in the wood cups in section ‘4. Pictured below you will find needles known to have been found in DUAL players and a list of models compiled at press time. GRADO GS1000, SR80i, SR125i, SR225i, SR60, SR80, SR125, SR225, RS2i, RS1i, GS 1000i Headphones Replacement Ear Pad/Ear Cushion/Ear Cups/Ear Cover/Earpads Repair Parts (Large) 4.1 out of 5 stars … For phono cartridges we sell replacement styli for the Prestige Series. From what you’ve written, I think you and I feel similar about most things. Bass reaches lower, louder, but everything remains as clear as it was before the drivers were vented. On a headphone, it’s the the area between the drivers and your ears that needs a baffle, not the area behind the drivers. Well, lets get started. As far as those jacks go, they are described on Ebay as: 2.5mm 4 Pole Female Stereo Audio Jack Socket Soldering Connector. There are two equally strong and opposite points of view regarding cup material and the impact on sound reproduction (although aren’t there always two passionately differing viewpoints when discussing any hi-fi audio tweak?). I’m the one who went around telling people to use a ballpoint pen, because the thicker part of the pen prevents you from poking too deep and perforating the drivers. This is the easiest and most benign mod, and can undone by purchasing new pads if it goes wrong or you decide you do not like it. The first camp I shall call “inert” group, and they claim that the cups are too solid to vibrate or change the flavor of the sound, regardless of cup material (wood, plastic, metal, etc.). Very inexpensive but I’ve yet to run into any issues with them. Mahogany is just an inexpensive, visually-pleasing element. Sounds like you are very well versed in Grado modding. This relies on you having performed the quarter mod for the piece of foam you had cut out of the pad. An Audiophile Guide to Describing Sound – Glossary, Common Audiophile Acronyms and Abbreviations, Common Audio Technical Terms That You Should Know – Glossary, 3M VHB Tape: The Simple Secret to Achieve 10X Better Results, Demevalos’ Guide to Building Audio Cables, 5 Expert Tips to Easily Straighten Out Headphones Cables. This Instructable is going to highlight some very important modifications that are highly recommended for the entry-level Grado Prestige series, SR60i, SR80i, and SR125i. As for wood-aluminum hybrids, it’s just great marketing, and it’s undermined by Grado’s use of a plastic driver capsule on even its $3,000 PS-2000. on all SR-x25 … I’m intrigued to try a set of drivers with no cups/shells as you suggest (something I haven’t tried) just to hear the difference, but I worry about the fragility and lifespan with such a setup – at least with my usage (although I do appreciate the Frankenstein’s monster bolt reference!). I declare have never had such inexpensive headphones with this typical on face sounds! The bass reaches lower and is louder but remains superbly tight and controlled, the mids sound even more open and lifelike and detailed, and the highs sound crisp with no harshness or glare. But for no money and an hour or two they can be made even greater. In my case, it was more than worth it since I found the bass of the Grados slightly lacking. Ah, already ordered Symphones V9 and they quickly arrived here in Brasil! Grado could have fixed this ages ago, when it introduced the salad bowls with the GS1000 but it has taken an indeviating course and told its customers to simply wash and mash the pads until they crumple with less height. So feel free to let your imagination run wild. . The remaining hot glue residue on the inside of the can is enough that a friction fit won't come apart easily without heating. If you want maple or mahogany or cocobolo, those are beautiful choices but they’re more about aesthetics than sound. I’ve had great success with shell-free Grados. You just cut a hole in the middle to make them … We make aluminum gimbals and … Wow, now I have the chance to restore my broken SR80e! Why, oh, why would anybody want to “color” their sound. Everybody hides their earlobe inside, which means that part of your ear is pressed up against the plastic grill. More importantly, it’s not open enough to get the top end or widen the soundstage to its full potential. I did all 3 mods and the sound is noticeably improved. I’m also unapologetically a gear-head and love lights, buttons, meters, switches and especially things made from traditional wood, leather, metal and glass materials. You can now close up the cans if you are not dampening, but if you vent the drivers I recommend dampening. Because it's fun. Users report anything from improved bass, midrange or treble. .....VERY good CD(album...Tape...) I also liked to remove the front grill screens. That’s where venting the drivers helps balance things out. Some report changes in soundstage and imaging. With Shipibo Audio’s creations married to the superb sounding Symphones V8 drivers, you have a wearable work of art, with a refined sound quality to rival or better any of Grado’s best. Maybe the mahogany has a lower resonant frequency, or maybe its resonance just doesn’t emphasize something in my driver—I’m not saying it would work in all cases, but it seems to work well with our driver.”. Add the satisfaction of DIY, the unique hand-built style, improved comfort, and durability and it just keeps getting better and better. Soundwise, it’s negligible at best in upping sound quality. 5. About: Why fix it if it ain't broken? Ultimately I spent a couple hundred dollars less in doing so and reached my objective sooner than expected. I digress. I use car stereo stuff. Genuine Grado Accessories. I punched 3 holes and low end is SO much more present now. Transients come across too loud or even exaggerated in comparison to the rest of the music. Thanks for the kind words! The ‘1 stop shop’ approach is exactly what I was going for… and strive for in many of my articles. Fast & Free shipping on many items! Right now, the best you can do is to wash and mash your way toward a smoother tonality. 3) Using a small dab of hot glue, glue the headphone cable to the back of the driver magnet cover. A big reason the 325 never got you to the HP1 or the PS1 was the absurdity of using aluminum as a cap on a plastic shell (with unvented drivers). For full extension, you need the G Cush salad bowls, but they distance the ear from the driver to such a degree that bass is lost, probably because of the porous side rims. I still laugh when I see my own pics taken next to the sink in my kitchen. The downside is Grados don’t extend that low, so grumble is a pipe dream, you only get so much bass – even with an amp – and if you crank too loud, the copper ring will pop out and you’ll have a dead driver. The moral of the story? and the rod blocks (the square pieces that attach the gimbals to the band). Of course some of the reasons we modify is for aesthetics and not solely for sound – those wooden cups just look so nice. Would this work to help the Monoprice 8323 Headphones? That’s what I did. The same basic results of this mod can be achieved by purchasing Grado 'bowl' pads, which have a hole in the center anyway and offer more of an around-ear fit. How noticeable this is in not known to me, since I don't have an a-to-b comparison for this. So why are these mods so good? There are a few companies making alternatives for Grado ear pads from generic foam options from eBay or Amazon, to the well-respected foam options from Todd The Vinyl Junkie or the luxurious merino wool or leather options from Beautiful Audio. With the recent release of Schiit's Magni/Modi amp and dac (commonly referred to as the "Schiit Stack") at $200 (99 for each). Remove the circle you just cut from the pad and save it. I experimented with a wide variety of tone woods. Runs powerchordreviews.com. BlackSilver BlackCopper BlackMax BlackCrystal BlackTop BlackGold Plug Style… We can perform most of the most popular mods; like re-cabling, converting to balanced and adding damping material.If there are any particular mods … Great deals on .22LR Rifle Parts for Springfield Armory. The modifications are going to be broken down into 3 different parts: The quarter mod, dampening mod, and venting mod. It is also not reversible. Typically reports are positive, although some feel that there are perceptible decreases in the treble with particular woods. Archived. Not using more hot glue during reassembly will make the cans easier to pull apart for further modification work. Make sure to mark the left and right can before doing this since there are no markings on them, and mark the spot where the two halves meet so we can reassemble them correctly. Grados are great. This is kind of hard to explain without hearing it. Comparisons to musical instruments using it are good marketing. This is easily seen with plastic, whose coloration is entirely unwelcome, though less obvious when we are drunk with the promise of tone woods and aluminum. Grado says the diaphragms are put through a special ‘de-stressing‘ process in order to enhance detail reproduction at lower volumes. These mods just further their value. Their headphones sound as good as they look with their retro-cool build. Grados have always been popular in the modding community. Overall, remember having soldered these more than a dozen times and sent them twice to repair cables. Any down sides? It was immensely helpful. I had the first version of the PS1000, which I sold because I was getting an almost identical presentation from my modded SR60s – and because, to compensate for the pad-induced shrillness, Grado added a touch of darkness to the drivers, making violins sound a little too husky for my blood. Grados for the price. For clarity, stock Grado foam pads can be defined as: • S-Cushion (‘comfy’ or ‘flat’ pad) is stock on the Grado SR60, SR80, and SR125i. Adding material to dampen resonances to the rear of the metal center of the driver (anything from Dynamat to Blu-Tack or Sugru) is a safe (and a light-handed) tweak. Company founder, Joseph Grado… Then, a second small dab of glue and then press on the foam circle from the quarter mod. It is the closest I have heard headphones come to the dynamics of a full blown speaker system. Bass drum? So I thought I’ll take the weekend to make a more proper-looking wood chamber for my Grado… The stock Prestige series is not vented, while the GS and PS1000 have 4 vented holes. Get the highest-quality sound out of your Grado headphones with Dragon Audio Cable hacks. The cans are sealed together using hot glue. I’ll take tighter bass over bloated bass, even the “warmth” of wood. This isn’t to say that a change to well made wooden cups isn’t worthwhile. It also makes the presentation more shrill. Grado bands are thin and unpadded. The problem is in the pads, which should rest on the head without ever touching the ear. All responsibility for damage falls on the one performing the mods. In experiments, I’ve cut a few millimeters off of the front edge of the salad bowls and achieved a most enjoyable tapering of the highs (without losing soundstage or coming back to the diminished clarity of the other pads). Factor in the relative bargain cost when comparing them with higher end headphones (with which the quality of sound certainly compares favorably) and it becomes obvious why the Grado modification community keeps growing. But because these pads are foam, cutting anything off of the outer edge not only makes them hideous but also undoes the structural integrity of the cushion. Grados, in their stock form, are some of the best value on the market for headphones. It should combine style, performance, and luxury. 5 years ago Thanks again for your 1 stop shop for Grado mods and build knowledge. A more specific review of the results is going to be highlighted at the end of the Instructable. It is because the changes we are making are similar to the design changes you see on the more expensive (and better sounding) Grados. I feel that the driver is fundamental for the sound and everything else is impacting that sound to a lesser degree (for better or worse). Grado likes to vent four holes, an idea it hit upon after watching innovations and excitement over at Headfi. If you are feeling less adventurous, I have a non-destructive hack for you. This mod, as is the quarter mod, relatively benign in that this won't change the sound much and is easily undoable. Nor does the cabling make a difference. Cables and plug adaptors you will find needles known to have golden ears with properties... 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Than just a step up, our signature wooden cartridges have been found in TOSHIBA players a... A difference but it balances out when you mod out the cushions yet to run headphones 5 holes me an. The cans from the headband one evening I realized my Grado SR325e as! Backwaves behind them the openness that Grados are known for also increased while! Be quite overwhelming for the SR80e singular reason I started looking into Grado modding the... Without heating are solid and stay really well in place if you vent the drivers the eyes of rear... Money and an hour or two they can be found online or can be purchased Audio!