Head-Fi.org › DIY and Mods › How To Open Your Grado Headphones

How To Open Your Grado Headphones


There are several reasons why you might need to open up your Grados. Maybe someone pulled on the cable too hard and something came loose inside, and now it needs to be re-soldered. Maybe you want to totally replace the cable with a longer/shorter/more-spendy cable. Or maybe you are interested in modifying your headphones to unleash even more Grado sonic goodness. This is the first step.


Further additions to this article are welcome.


(The content below was originally a post by Bilavideo in his original SR60-Mod thread. I added some titles to break it into sections.)



The SR60i is one of the easier Grados to open up.  Its cups are held together by rubbery glue that's heat-sensitive.  Softening the glue is simply a matter of steaming the cups till the glue loosens up.  I've ruined a few shells by putting them in boiling water (bad idea).  You don't need a full boil, just steam.  A few minutes of a shallow steam bath will do the trick - at least with the SR60i.





I filled a teapot with water, got it hot and steamy and then poured a shallow layer of water into a cake pan.  That's the objective.  Of course, to place my cups in steamy water, I had to first prepare them.


*Another way to heat the water is to use a coffee maker. It might seem silly, but it heats the water to a perfect temperature and you don't have to mess with the stove*


Also, some members use a hair dryer or a heat gun and a spoon. Some people have melted their cups using this method. I have never seen anyone report any problem using the steam method. 





The minimalist design of the SR60 makes it easy to take apart.  The forks that connect the cups to the headband just clip on - and what clips on can as easily clip off.








Okay class, quick question: Which side would you want your cups facing when they hit the water?  Top side up or Poseidon Adventure?




If you said, "Top side up," you should register to vote.  But I digress.  



The Grand Opening



Give it just enough time to do its thing and you'll be able to pry your Grados apart WITH YOUR BARE HANDS.  (Chuck Norris can do it without the steam.)  It's a little drippy but it wipes right off, revealing undamped plastic chambers, the magnet plate, those holes we want to pop and some wiring we're going to mess with before this story is over.





Comments (17)

Is there any difference in the drivers between the the different Grado models? This is difficult to get to the bottom of without following your steaming instructions....what happens if you go Poseidon Adventure? Sorry, only joking....
I have quite an expensive model (if you live in England) and when you've spent that much on your headphone habit you're unlikely to want to combine them with any thing that looks like a fine dining recipe....no requirement to add bay leaves at the par boiling stage?
I've looked at some cheaper models and behind the silvery gossamer of camouflage that lies above the driver it is difficult to see any difference underneath. I love the sound of my GS1000i's but find myself wondering.......
first time I used an industrial hot air dryer and the cups melted and deformed a bit.
Last time I used a hot air hair dryer and it was OK, cups are like new. I'd be scared to put my cups in water, even its just a thin film of it.
I would keep them dry by maybe just putting each assembly into a small plastic bag.
In this method you are not exactly "steaming" the glue but rather you are using the liquid medium to transfer the heat more effectively (through conduction0 to the speaker housing.
The idea is to heat the glue to the state at which it is soft and pliable.
Stupid question, how you put it back on? Without the glue?
most of the times they just snap back together and hold OK without glue. is the fit is loosw, ^
Thank you very much, your guide is very helpful.
how to you open wooden grados ?
Good plastic bag idea maxtcc.

Most people wind up destroying the wooden cups in the process agoston.berko
You could also wrap them in some aluminum foil... same idea as steaming fish/veggies on a grill?
I cannot for the life of me tell how deep that water is.  How long do they need to soak?  5 min? 20 mins?
Can't get this to work at all.  Heated water up in the coffee maker.  Poured into Pyrex dish.  Submerged SR60's right up to the cable coming in to each earpiece.  Soaked for 10 mins.  Cannot separate the pieces.  Tried pulling as hard as I am comfortable with and I really worked at it.  Reheated water again.  Another 10 min soak.  Still cannot separate pieces.   
3 mins with a hair dryer on the sides worked perfectly.
I have a dead 325i driver. I believe I over heated them and the angel hairs have come loose. can I open the transducer further? it looks like there are two pieces but I am not sure how to get them apart so I can get inside the driver and repair the wires. Any help or suggestions appreciated.
So, I took mine apart and forgot to label the left and right. I see that one cup has blue and white wires and the other has blue and red. Anyone know which is which? Maybe a dumb question, but thought I would ask just the same!
Hi, I've only done this once, but it worked so well I thought I'd share. I figured the steam thing was kind of a red herring, that what was needed was to heat the plastic up enough so where it touched the glue it would soften the glue with the heat from the plastic. To do that you need to get the plastic hot enough to have the heat travel through it to where the glue was, without heating the plastic so much the plastic melted. Basically I made a 'double boiler' out of two pyrex lasagne pans like in the picture, one smaller than the other. I ran them both under hot water to heat up the glass, then put some boiling water in the larger pan, then put the smaller pan inside the larger and put more boiling water in that. My idea was to not lose any heat in the water by heating up colder pans, so the water was as hot as possible. It worked very well, I put the water a bit lower than the holes, and it took about 4 minutes to soften the glue enough to pull them apart. I have SR-60i's from about 2008. Thanks for all the help!
how about sending you cans to Grado HQ and be on the safe side...no mess no fuss no glue no steam. 
Head-Fi.org › DIY and Mods › How To Open Your Grado Headphones