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Head-Fi.org › DIY and Mods › Grado Modification Overview

Grado Modification Overview

This Wiki page will provide links and other pertinent info for all the Grado/Alessandro mods discussed in the SR60-Mod page. The Grado/Alessandro prestige series headphones are open, entry to mid-level headphones popular especially for Rock music, but also for genres such as jazz. They are known for their sparkle and lifelike highs, but are often noted as lacking in bass. This is where modification comes in.


Most popular mods for the Grado/Alessandro headphones (links will be added as other wiki pages are created)


Basic Mods:


"Quarter Mod" of the C-Cush pads and discussion of alternate headphone pads: http://www.head-fi.org/wiki/grado-pad-choices-and-mods


Silk Veil Removal


Bowls vs. Comfies vs. Flats vs. Gs1000 pads


Mods which require opening the cups:

These modifications involve removing the drivers from their cups. The process is fairly simple and easily reversible because the only glue holding the front and pack half of the cups together is hotglue. A tutorial on opening the cups is found here: http://www.head-fi.org/wiki/how-to-open-your-grado-headphones


"Hole Punch" mod - Generally only suggested if you have plastic cups and you are looking for more low end response. You should punch holes one at a time. 


If you wish to reverse the hole punch mods, Muslin is a good cloth of choice to cover up the holes. It is much easier to poke holes than cover them up so take your time and make sure you want to punch the holes. 


Blu-tack mod/Dynamat/felt - A small pea sized amount of dynamat on the back of the drivers, avoiding covering the vent holes is the suggested amount of dynamat to use. Dynamat is typically the preferred material.


Replace/Remove grille & Button - You can replace the grille and button with a more open mesh or craft felt, or simply leave it off. The goal is to improve air flow to the driver. 


Re-cable - Some members claim to see improvement with nicer cables, especially silver. 


Mods pertaining to alternative cup materials:

Basic wooden cups


Slip-ons - Allow you to replace the outer plastic shell without recabling the headphones. The easiest shell mod.


Full shells - requires partial liberation of the driver from its plastic housing. The driver fits in a full shell and the cable must be routed through a hole and soldered on.



Benefits of cup shape on acoustics


Generally more massive is known to give a bigger bass presence.


Benefits of wood type on acoustics


Other cup materials




Carbon Fiber


"Liberations" of the driver:

Partial - Removing the driver from the inner and outer plastic shells


Full - removing the driver from the inner and outer plastic shells along with removing the plastic wave guide that covers the front of the drivers.


Grado Headphones Overview

The Grado series headphones are very similar in many respects. All use a similar design and the driver sizes are all the same. The drivers actually look identical in some cases, but small differences set the various models apart. Here is a frequency response graph of the 4 plastic-body prestige headphones:

Grado Frequency Response Graph

It's clear they are all related, but not exactly the same.


Differences (Subject to Revision):

  • New "i" classification: The new 'i" Grado's are similar to their predecessors. of notable difference, the sound-chamber is larger in its outer diameter, and the cup has a "mushroom" look to it. The SR-80 used to come with Bowl pads, as used on higher models, but the new SR-80i uses the same C-cush "comfies" as the SR-60 & SR-60i. Also, It has been discussed that the soldering pads on the drivers of the SR-60i's might be less prone to coming detached while doing re-cables as the SR-60's.
  • SR-60/i: C-Cush Comfie pads, 3.5mm plug
  • SR-80: Bowl pads, 3.5mm plug
  • SR-80i: C-Cush Comfie pads, 3.5mm plug
  • SR-125i: C-Cush Comfie pads, UHPLC (Ultra-high purity, long crystal) copper voice coil wire, 8 conductor cable
  • SR-225i: Bowl pads, UHPLC (Ultra-high purity, long crystal) copper voice coil wire, 8 conductor cable, Metal mesh rear-screen, drivers matched to .05db as opposed to .1db, drivers "de-stressed". Some believe the SR-225i drivers are the same as the drivers used in the Reference series RS-1, but this has never been confirmed

Comments (8)

Comfies are S-Cush, there is no C-Cush from Grado.
What an illuminating graph! I'm astonished to see the bottom-of-the-line SR60 has the most neutral frequency response! (And MUCH more bass response than any of its cousins.)
This is missing the tape mod for extra bass.... its really cheap and kinda ruins the top end sound but its worth trying out if you have ever got time to waste. I dont know why its not more popular
it's just a shame the i grados cripple ya ears because they are probably the best choice of headphones for an ipod..they sound as good as an expensive pair of shure headphones they bring a ipod to life with real hifi sound or you could always get the sr60i for indoors use they leak sound a bit..the klipsch image s4is don't sound very good with an iphone they sound better with a sanza clip..
i have the ps1000s so i don't need to mod anthing they sound very good out the box.. but thanks for the graph looks like there is nothing between them sound wise..
Still finding the holy grail for the Magnum build. Too many things to consider for maybe the ultimate Grado or Alessandro build. So a half moded PS500 will do for me now.
If my 325is had 50% more bass and a less fatiguing mid - highs, they'd be perfect. I use them with an ipad going to a Fiio E17 (via USB). I don't trust myself properly doing a major mod, but I did try the tape mod and it's good. Does anyone out there do hole-punch mods for people too scared to do it themselves?
if you "de-stress" and dynamat the sr60 drivers you then have rs1 drivers!
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