The L Cush pads open things up a bit, both in treble and soundstage but they’re not as comfortable. Make sure not to twist- just wiggle a bit and pull straight out. Oh, they’re beautifully craftsmanshipped in rough paper sent from Canada! 2) Place a small dab of hot glue on the back of the button, and then press on the felt circle. I digress. Please take all this as a second-hand impression as I have not had the opportunity to try all these cup types (and certainly not in a controlled test environment). 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. I say Grado-style because when a pair of Grados is modded, it frequently ends up having its headband upgraded with … 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. Basically, everything you hear. Part of Grado’s charm is not having to spend $500 to $5,000 on an amp. 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. And finally, as will all mods, there is a risk you might accidentally damage something during the process. I went through a big modding phase a long, long time ago and stumbled onto some cool tweaks. While you are in the cans, it is worth cleaning out the old bead of hot glue. This is also where the marks we made earlier are handy. Opening up (poking holes in) the fabric material covering the holes arranged around the rear circumference of the driver increases the quantity of bass that the driver delivers (although perhaps with a corresponding decrease in quality and control). Sounds like you are very well versed in Grado modding. Finally, not much of a problem to the user, because of the increased back venting more sound leaks into the environment. and the rod blocks (the square pieces that attach the gimbals to the band). This is kind of hard to explain without hearing it. How noticeable this is in not known to me, since I don't have an a-to-b comparison for this. 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. Visit us or call us at 877-548-2125 for more. Grado Labs is known for hand-making each of their headphones and it is where I began my love of high fidelity headphones. It's a great time to upgrade your home theater system with the largest selection at Just a couple of warnings: Doing these modifications will violate your warranty. A stylus under good working conditions has a useful life of about 600-1,000 playing hours. Sennheiser has the right idea with the HD800 (even if it places the driver further from the ear): No headphone needs a shell, whether it’s made of plastic, wood or aluminum. Fast & Free shipping on many items! I liked cocobolo and Indian rosewood the best. Grados are great. An easy way to open things up is to use the dime mod and cut a hole in the pad’s center. And on another note- Don't cut too large of a hole in the pad. Your lobes create a natural barrier to backwaves behind them. 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). Great deals on Grado TV, Video and Audio Parts. 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. Thanks for the kind words. Hardwoods like cocobolo are not just gorgeous. So why are these mods so good? There’s a sweet spot in there but it’s hard to resist the temptation to perforate all the holes. Very inexpensive but I’ve yet to run into any issues with them. It also makes the presentation more shrill. Archived. More importantly, it’s not open enough to get the top end or widen the soundstage to its full potential. I did a combination of all three and found the results to be superb. 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. Bass reaches lower, louder, but everything remains as clear as it was before the drivers were vented. 3) Using a small dab of hot glue, glue the headphone cable to the back of the driver magnet cover. But even with vented drivers, the G Cush pads have flaws. 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. For aesthetic reasons I had been shopping wood cups and polished aluminum rod blocks / gimbals. The modifications are going to be broken down into 3 different parts: The quarter mod, dampening mod, and venting mod. I make custom wooden cups for headphones. Whether you want a DIY or hassle-free upgrade, we're here to help. Transients come across too loud or even exaggerated in comparison to the rest of the music. As with everything, take it for what it is: this is just one person’s opinion. Wow, now I have the chance to restore my broken SR80e! Paint equipment parts are used to maintain, repair, and customize equipment such as paint sprayers and paint tanks. Grados have always been popular in the modding community. The cushions act as the baffle. About: Why fix it if it ain't broken? Resonance and reflection of materials are believed to affect the timbre of the music reproduction. The point of these mods are to use what we have to make the Grados even better. We have to make sure the two halves are straight (one is half is not crooked inside the other) and that the half that is pressed in is pressed in to the correct depth. Like a lot of headphonia, they were winner-take-all b.s. Repair kits include parts commonly needed to complete a repair. 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. They’re really just imperfect circumaural pads in disguise. Required fields are marked *. 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. 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. Where did you get the 3.5mm jacks shown installed in the wood cups in section ‘4. So I thought I’ll take the weekend to make a more proper-looking wood chamber for my Grado… No other brand of headphone has such an active community of DIY tweakers, modifiers, designers and custom part manufacturers. By holding the driver half up to the light you can see the holes I am talking about. Grado Mod Parts. When you’re building speakers, you’re supposed to want a dense, really hard wood—well, that’s not mahogany. Bass drum? on Step 1. It's 2019 and these instructions hold up perfectly for the SR80e. What this mod is is pretty obvious from the pictures-it's a hole in your pads. Just picked up a cheap pair of SR80e's to try the Grado sound. If the can feels warm in your hand it should be warm enough that the glue is soft. Typically reports are positive, although some feel that there are perceptible decreases in the treble with particular woods. The work was done very fast and I no longer think of selling my Grado… Reference Series. It is called and we design and manufacture headphone parts, accessories and mods, currently with the focus on Grado Labs headphones. The driver back doesn’t vibrate with sufficient intensity to merit damping. Fortunately, every headphone wearer is equipped with a shell: their earlobe. 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. 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. This mod satisfied my inner 'bass head' and made the music sound much more punchy and lively. As with most audio tweaks, I believe the difference is noticeable but subtle. Unlike the Beyerdynamic pads, which get their strength from the outer rim, which is not porous, the salad bowls are a big sponge. I decided to scratch all of these things until I settled on a driver and I’m really happy that I took this approach. None of Grado’s cushions are perfect. Ideally, you don’t want to hear anything but the driver. For clarity, stock Grado foam pads can be defined as: Typically (depending on ear size) the S- and L-cushion pads are considered on-ear and the G-cushion pads are over-ear. Pads can be found online or can be purchased through Grado. The ‘1 stop shop’ approach is exactly what I was going for… and strive for in many of my articles. Soundwise, it’s negligible at best in upping sound quality. The added airflow makes it easier to get good bass without having to use an amp. I found this page while doing some research before I started a Grado mod project and it helped in making a few decisions up front. This has the effect of increasing the bass output, while also making everything come across more clearly and crisply. Also, some of the modifications cannot be easily reversed. I really enjoy the sound but hate the build quality. Share it with us! They fit the Grado quite well but they fit even better if you modify them. They are solid and stay really well in place if you drill an appropriately tight hole. The ideal shell is the absence of a shell. 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. About Colaw RV in Missouri. But of course, the more expensive models also have better head bands and construction. Since the cable limits how car the cans can be pressed together, it's really just important to make sure they are straight. But this can be solved by turning it up. They seem to be descriptions of the material itself; perhaps the eyes of the user are impacting what they hear? The products pictured in this article make beauty a priority and have infused art into supremely functional objects. For the SR60i I would recommend 2 or 3. 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". Grado bands are thin and unpadded. 100 points for having Good Taste in music! The S pads are comfy and efficient bass catchers, but you still lose treble and soundstage. The openness that Grados are known for also increased, while highs became crisper and cleaner and lost a bit of glare. Enjoy the music. It’s complete overkill. 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. The Grados, before the mods, sounded very lifelike. I have been listening to them a great deal since then and they turned out to be an exceptional headphone! I have another project where those jacks may be a good fit. With a little free time and having read quite a bit on modding the Grado phones, I have decided to go about trying the mods I have read. I rediscovered my … “We went through quite a few species of wood before finding this mahogany—which type, we’ll just keep our secret for the moment. I use car stereo stuff. I did a combination of all three and found the results to be superb. Then again, I’ve decided the only sound I want is that of the driver. You can go too far with the holes but it balances out when you mod out the cushions. This is a fantastic article. 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. This means your roommates are listening to your music too. Right now, the best you can do is to wash and mash your way toward a smoother tonality. Call us at 4173585923. “The idea of using wood just came to me one night,” explained John Grado. It includes Mahogany cups, stainless steel cup surrounding, standard Grado cushions, headbands and all the accessories to repair your MS Pro headphones, or upgrade any low end Grado … Grado Labs, one of the oldest family-owned companies in the Audio Industry, has for over half a century been among the leaders in design engineering for the high-end audio and recording industries. If you find the balance fine, then you could get away with doing this mod as a stand alone mod. The cushions press out far enough. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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. 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. I don’t claim to have golden ears with magical properties, nor any ability to create music. Vocals also sound more natural, with everything in general sounding more airy and open. Close. 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. What you end up with is too shrill for everything below a GS-1000. But I do have a deep appreciation for music, founded at a young age, and curated over the years. Thanks for the kind words! This modification requires complete disassembly of the headphone as well, so keep that in mind. Grado has changed their driver design over the years. However, unknown to some, Grado is actually highly modifiable because of its DIY modular nature. For phono cartridges we sell replacement styli for the Prestige Series. Without a shell, there is no resonance to dampen. Let me state this in the clearest, most obvious way I can: NOTHING BUT THE DRIVER. So feel free to let your imagination run wild. ======================================================================================== So whats next? 1.25 Meter 1.50 Meter 1.75 Meter 2.00 Meter Cable Series. Any down sides? 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 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. Well, lets get started. Not using more hot glue during reassembly will make the cans easier to pull apart for further modification work. In my case, it was more than worth it since I found the bass of the Grados slightly lacking. Replacing the driver with a non-Grado offering has the greatest influence on the sound and character of the headphone. Ear Cup Material’?, and have they held up under regular use? Ultimately I spent a couple hundred dollars less in doing so and reached my objective sooner than expected. 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. to test Any sound system with. This is easy enough, since the cans are just riding on the two pins. This makes it a much more involved mod, and not one worth performing unless you are also doing the venting mod since the results of this mod are not as noticeable without the venting mod. 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.”. It’s just an imitation of something done to full-sizes speakers. You might be interested: Review: Grado SR80e. .....VERY good CD(album...Tape...) 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. They help accentuate bass for a driver whose bass easily slips out of the back of an open air headphone. I declare have never had such inexpensive headphones with this typical on face sounds! The mids are smoother but not smothered and are so intoxicating its easy to get sucked into the music. The sound could be little too 'forward'. It’s also just a prototype model that doesn’t have protective grilles. This creates weird microphonics when you move your head around. Less is more in my opinion and tread carefully before venting your drivers. Everybody hides their earlobe inside, which means that part of your ear is pressed up against the plastic grill. . Many of the mods I and others tried, were just blue smoke and mirrors. We are trying to heat up the plastic so the hot glue softens up and the cans can be pulled apart. It is going to be used later on for the dampening mod. I personally feel the differences are quite subtle between what I have tried. I cannot be found responsible for damages, so consider yourself warned. I have a quick question for you if you don’t mind. But for no money and an hour or two they can be made even greater. I have compared shell types and I’m pretty sure none of it matters except in a bad way. For headphones we offer replacement cushions, extension cables and plug adaptors. Mids and highs are still clean and crisp. 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. Your article helped me remain focused on the singular reason I started looking into Grado modding – the sound. If you ever have the chance to try Beautiful Audio’s merino wool or leather ear cushions (with replaceable foam inserts of differing densities) I suggest them. $ 138.00 $ 79.00 Add to cart; EDL PS1000e Professional Over-Ear Open Back Headphone DIY Kit Sale! Grado sr80i Prestige Series headphones full mod modification. I liked the sound of a homemade silver cable and I’m fond of braids. That gets painful. Some popular aftermarket wooden cups manufacturers include Shipibo Audio, SpinAF, Wabi Sabi, Turbulent Labs, Rholupat and Yew Woodworks. We make aluminum gimbals and … I make them for Grado-style headphones. All internal magnetic circuit parts are held to extremely high tolerances creating the desired stereo imaging. They aren't pretty and offer no sound isolation, but if you are after pure sound quality, almost nothing beats (haha get it?) Yep. Grado modifications are a slippery slope… there’s always just one more tweak you want to do! • L-Cushion (bowl) is stock on the SR225, SR325, RS1, and RS2… The problem is in the pads, which should rest on the head without ever touching the ear. Add the satisfaction of DIY, the unique hand-built style, improved comfort, and durability and it just keeps getting better and better. Aluminum or metal cups are often described as bright, tinny, cold or sibilant. We are just punching holes. Input your search keywords and press Enter. I am unable to discern any shortcomings as a ‘Grado-like’ headphone. Genuine Grado Accessories. I did all 3 mods and the sound is noticeably improved. By pulling the yoke apart, you can get the pins out of their holes and separate the cans from the headband. The remaining hot glue residue on the inside of the can is enough that a friction fit won't come apart easily without heating. Your build sounds terrific (to me – and likely in person as well)! 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). 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. They are basically circumaural (the C) Beyer velour pads on adapters for adding comfort, soundstage, etc to fit onto Grado headphones. I have had some success with my SR80e mods as well. Now its time to reassemble the cans. When you reassemble the can, you can use more hot glue or just friction fit them together. Bass guitar? 2) using a hair dryer or a heat gun on a low setting, slowly warm up one of the cans by blowing hot air on the sides. Company founder, Joseph Grado… If you want maple or mahogany or cocobolo, those are beautiful choices but they’re more about aesthetics than sound. Grados are known for having a ‘house sound’ of warm harmonics, rich vocals, excellent … It should combine style, performance, and luxury. I still laugh when I see my own pics taken next to the sink in my kitchen. Now just reinstall the pad on your Grados and enjoy! The marks we made earlier help accomplish this. Make sure to keep it moving to prevent over-heating the plastic. Grado may never give us a cup-like cushion or one with slightly less distance between ear and driver. Thanks by this clever article and now, from my 43 years in general popular music and my almost 63 years – from Brasil -, might desire to all of us the best in sounding headphones!! 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). The party piece though is the dynamics. You get greater thump at the cost of clarity. The cans are sealed together using hot glue. Thanks again for your 1 stop shop for Grado mods and build knowledge. I also liked to remove the front grill screens. There is one very good reason for changing the band: comfort. By highly recommended, I mean that they should be something to seriously consider if you own a pair of Grados. Pictured below you will find needles known to have been found in DUAL players and a list of models compiled at press time. Grado’s patented Flux-Bridger design allows the Black2 to have one of the lowest effective … The second camp is the “tone wood” supporter. Plus, these modifications are completely free to do- no materials have to be purchased. 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 punched 3 holes and low end is SO much more present now. Get your monthly roundup of our best articles right straight to your inbox. I should mention that the other items typically changed on a Grado are. 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 … 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?). That's where the real price difference lies. That's why I chose to have them mod my Grado GS1000i headphones so I could take advantage of the balanced functionality of my Pono player. As per my list above, I find cup changes to be one of the subtlest of the perceptible Grado sound modifications. 10389 Cimarron Rd, Carthage, MO 64836 Toll … 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. This reduces apparent harshness and cleans up the treble slightly. Mahogany is just an inexpensive, visually-pleasing element. These mods just further their value. 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. This isn’t to say that a change to well made wooden cups isn’t worthwhile. Grados, in their stock form, are some of the best value on the market for headphones. The choice is really to go hardwood or go chamber free. Great deals on .22LR Rifle Parts for Springfield Armory. It’s easier to cut and it’s pretty. Grado Labs SR80i, SR60i and SR125i Prestige Series on ear headphones mod - modification to single side cable. This is the most extreme mod of the three and has the greatest effect on the sound. Nor does the cabling make a difference. 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). But that costs money. 5 years ago To ensure that you always have a … 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. 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. I experimented with a wide variety of tone woods. Grado says the diaphragms are put through a special ‘de-stressing‘ process in order to enhance detail reproduction at lower volumes. 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!). ($285 at or you can build your own for less with the parts they sell). This relies on you having performed the quarter mod for the piece of foam you had cut out of the pad. Family owned and operated since 1977, Colaw RV has built a reputation for an excellent customer service experience from sales to parts, our expertise in the industry is second to … This will punch through the thin black cloth covering the hole and leave clean edges.