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post your grado mods.... - Page 143

post #2131 of 7728
Originally Posted by GM325i View Post

I used the UHPCL cable that grado uses on the stock cans because well, Grado cables are already pretty darn good. I believe the point of the 8 conductor is to decrease the resistance. After putting that cable on I could hear a big difference in bass and treble response so I would recommend getting that if you can. I was going to use two neutrik plugs for a connection but i decided to keep the cost down and just hardwire the drivers. ( it is kinda a b*#@% getting a cable to run through the thick headband)  


Think you could post a pic of your setup? I love seeing what others do and yours sounds pretty nice

It made me happy for you to ask to see them, I've put a ton of work into 'em:




Grado 60i's (only a month old lol):


Beyer headband (you should have gotten this, it's $9 shipped and much easier to run cables through)

RQ mod 414 pads

New aluminum grill

Single cable mod w/ Neutrik plug (Waiting for other terminator to get in to do other side as well, as of now it's just heatshrunk to the original Grado cable)

Nylon cable shielding

Spraypainted the entire thing to get all colors even and then sanded everything except the ring with the lettering on the cups. Looks really nice. The ring is shiny and the cup is a dry black, really cool but hard to tell from the picture.

6 hole vent mod


The only things I really wanna do yet is dampen it but I dont have any dynamat and don't wanna buy a huge box of it or whatever (still looking for someone on here who could ship me some for postage or whatever)

and get some L-cush'es cause this yellow is hideous haha...

I just used some random crappy blue wire to finish the single-cable mod. I could have done a better job with it, there's a little more exposed wire in the cups then there should be, and I also made it about 1/2 inch too short but I don't think I'll ever mess with it


Oh yeah, and I broke the right gimbal. There's electric tape holding it together haha... Grado's mailing me another one for free. Great company.


I'm not really an audiophile but I like making things look cool I suppose, nothing I've done has made any change in sound that I can really recognize but I do it regardless cause I can biggrin.gif


post #2132 of 7728

anyone try reverse quarter modded comfies?

i have a killer problem w/ all grado pads burning my ears

the rq comfies aren't too bad though as they're kind of circumaural

post #2133 of 7728

Those look great! I really like those wide open grills and Ive always wanted to sand a pair of cups but I guess I am too afraid blink.gif Nice selection of mods on these cans, looks like it was a fun project.


A few tips, take those back apart and color the back of the drivers black and if you hate the yellow pads go to walmart and buy some black powder dye. Boil some water add the dye and throw in the pads. Theres a few tutorials out there on how to do this. I would recommend the L pads, they take the pressure off the ears. I have reversed quarter modded the comfy pads and its not much better, I hated those pads with a passion.


I would send you some dynamat if I had any... I did exactly what you are wanting to do. You could put some sticky tack on the back of the driver, it works almost as well as the dynamat if you are not very critical. 

post #2134 of 7728

dynamat honestly doesn't do that much, and to say it's even an improvement is debatable. 

post #2135 of 7728

I may not even bother with the dynamat unless someone here offers me some, I doubt I'd notice anything haha.


When you say color the driver, were you talking about the silver magnet? Not sure what you're referring too. And how well does dying the 414's work if you know? I heard it often comes off on the ears.

*edit: you know what, I see what you did with the Grados in your avatar. Pretty interesting! Good idea. Maybe blue would look cool? Haha. Did you just use sharpy for that? Also, when you routed your wire out the cups, how did you do it without the cables getting stuck on the gimbal? I routed them UNDER the gimbal and sanded the bottom of the gimbal (I did it too far on one, hence how I broke it) which works.. unless you F it up.


I think I'll get some L-cushes one of these days (paying 25 for foam is ludicrous to me, i'll use the comfies or 414s for now) and paint the mesh BLUE so it matches the wire more. Last time I tried painting mesh it was a disaster, but this is much more sturdy aluminum.


I vented the holes (6 of them in each cup) and didn't really notice much. I noticed an INSANE bass improvement when I put my 414 pads on normally w/ the quarter mod (so they're like flats) - it really blew me away... I'm trying to decide if I like that sound or the more tamed I guess sound of the reversed 414's. This is the biggest nuissance to me now, is figuring out which pads I like. I suck at making up my mind.

Edited by pevsfreedom - 3/28/12 at 9:35pm
post #2136 of 7728

Oh and where did you find that awesome yellow/black cable and plug combo? I want the same thing but in blue, maybe you could point me in the right direction? 


Oh and you'll all laugh at me, when I painted them I painted the metal rods too because I wanted to see how it would look. 


Bad idea, thank goodness for paint thinner haha.

post #2137 of 7728

Sigh, everytime I think I'm done with these things I come on this thread and add 5 things to my list of to-do's

post #2138 of 7728
Originally Posted by Melvins View Post

dynamat honestly doesn't do that much, and to say it's even an improvement is debatable. 

I could agree with that, I did it just for the sake of doing so and the great placebo effect I guess. 



Peves, I absolutely love the idea of coloring the posts! Cant think of a way to do that without increasing the od of the posts confused.gif Bule would be a great selection for the screen / drivers and you can get the same sleeving I used in blue (it is from Viablue, get the smallest) you will need to ask for a special order through these guys, it will take forever because viabue is german, but they are great people there. ( I assume you are in the U.S) The plug only comes in gold, its a little pricey for a plug and can be pretty hard to solder up but it looks great. 


I routed my cable to the inside, closer to the pads up to the headband. Either way you go it will not be perfect but you should be able to find the right way to fit your head. Also the best paint to use would be some model paint one of those small bottles. 


"paying 25 for foam is ludicrous to me" me too but they are the best for the application

post #2139 of 7728

Crap, the link to the plug didnt work. http://viablue.de/com/phono_plugs_3_5_t6s.shtml


AV outlet has them on stock cheaper than anyone else

post #2140 of 7728
Damn, that is some sexy sleeving.
post #2141 of 7728

So I finally got cracking on my SR80s.  The cups were a little more difficult to pry off (I dented the mesh in doing so), and I had to drill bigger holes for the cable entry (more on that later), but the gains in SQ is all I cared.


This is what I did ....


1) I pried them apart, and ripped the cables out.

2) I vented half the holes in the back.

3) I damped the back of the driver with dynamat and silverstone acoustic foam.

Coincidentally, the back of the driver is the same size as a penny, so you can trace the materials with a penny and get the exact right size to use.

IMG00030-20120331-1647.jpg  IMG00032-20120331-1655.jpg


4) Next, I lined the side of the cups with silverstone acoustic foam to cut down on the echo around the SR80.




5) I placed a 2.5mm mono plug in the cable entry area, then hooked up the driver to the plug.  The patch on the left side of the driver (blue cable) is the ground, and the right side of the driver (red or white cable) is the channel.  I cut out strips of wire from the stock cable for the hookup wire, as I am still waiting for the bare wires to come in for a recable.  I also attached 2.5mm mono male jacks to the end of the now cut grado stock cables.  The stock cables aren't that bad, looks like 28awg or so stranded copper wires.


6) I then drilled the cable entry hole on the back cups (the side with the mesh) to a larger size so that I can fit the mono plugs in.  This was a messy job, and scratched the cups up pretty good. I am probably going to get some varnish to clean up the mess.


7) I then cut out a piece of dynamat the size of a front driver, and punched holes in it that matches the holes in the grado driver.  The way I did it was the way Markl did it for the D5Ks.

I bought a hole punching kit:



I traced a piece of paper on the front of the drivers and created a profile of the holes



I then placed the paper on a piece of dynamat, and used a pencil to poke holes in the dynamat according the the profile of the grado drivers



I cut out the dynamat, then used the right hole punch for the different sized holes.  The result is this.



I then placed the dynamt on the front of the driver, and placed a ring of acoustic silverfoam on top of it.



8) Finally, placed the reversed sennheiser 414 foam pads on, plug the drivers it, and the mods are completed.


The entire process, including the planning and such, took me about 2.5 hours (I am slow, I guess most people can do it in about 1 to 1.5 hours).


How does it sound?


The sound is much much better than SR80 stock.  While I see the appeal of the stock cans, there is an echoey sound to it, and what sounds like resonance.  Also, it's a very sibilant headphone, and the highs are shrill and fatiguing.  It's a fun headphone, but I can't wear it for more than an hour listening to music.


Obviously, I cannot A/B the mods, but I took a set of songs to test them out before and after mods, the songs I used are:


1) Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

2) Kid Rock - Bawitdaba

3) John Lennon - Woman

4) Mum - Weeping Rock Rock

5) The Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock



The major differences are:

1) A much faster headphone, the echo is pretty much gone, or at least significantly reduced

2) Tighter, clearer bass.  I was surprised at how much bass the SR80 has, given its reputation.  The modded phones have about the same quantity of bass, but it sounds cleaner, much less muddy.

3) Tamed highs.  Some people may love the shrill highs of the SR80s, but not me.  It's just way too much for me.  After the mods, the headphones sound more refined, with the highs still present, but with much better quantity.

4) The mids are more prominent.  I felt like the mids have about the same amounts, but because of the lower amount of highs, and the tighter bass, the mids sound mush more prominent now.

5) Larger soundstage - maybe it's a product of the cleaner sound, but the sound seems to come from a wider area.

6) Slightly tougher to drive.  This headphone needs a little more power to drive.  While I can still use the iPod directly to drive it, it benefits more with amping than before.



Overall, I am very happy with the mods, and I am now looking to get some wooden cups from a head-fi member to compare against my mods.  The looks could be improved, especially with the drilling of the cable holes and the dented mesh, but the sound is all I am after.


EDIT:  I use a G4 iPod and an ALO Rx MKII to drive these, and I compared them with my modded Fostex T50-RP, Westone 3s, and UE Triple.fis later on.


The modded Grados are not as nice as the Fostex T50-RPs, not as clean, with a much more V-Shaped sound.  The mids are just no where close the Fostexs.

It does not sound as refined as the W3s, but is funner to listen to for rock and hiphop.  Does not have the same amount of detail though.

It sounds better than the UE TF10 in general.  While the UE TF10s are an excellent set of phones, especially for its going price now, I would rank it last amongst my 5 phones (I have two sets of modded Fostexes, which sounds slightly different).

Edited by ambchang - 4/2/12 at 8:06am
post #2142 of 7728

@ambchang - When I used a similar amount of foam inside the chamber on an SR60i I noticed a rather large reduction in bass volume which I believed to be due to the reduction in spacial volume of the chamber; so I'm a little surprised that with just half the vents opened you say there the same bass but more tightness. I can certainly understand the bass volume being balanced out by the venting, but in my experience with the SR60i venting just made the bass muddy and ever so slightly boomy. Your results are intriguing. 


post #2143 of 7728

The bass is much tighter with the foam and the venting.  I could use a little more, but I am happy with the amount, and especially the quality of the bass.


I felt, SR80 (not the i version) is a relatively muddy and resonant phone.  I was going in, expecting very clear and crispy, if not outright bright and shrill sound with no bass, but that is not true for me.  The bass was boomy and muddy, and the highs were just a little painful for me.


The mods helped a lot, and giving a moderate amount of highs, mids and lows to the cans.  I personally felt the dynamat and the foam at the front of the driver did as much as the stuff in the back, especially with now it killed the resonance.


The 414 pads are most definitely not a good match, but the acoustic foam in the front helped a little.  I have ordered some leather pads and see if it would 1) fit the phones, 2) improve the sound.

post #2144 of 7728

Hi, I'm new in town.


Wow. What a wealth of information and so many great mods. After pouring through the 140 or so pages, I wish I had taken notes, and I definitely want to mod my SR60's with the long term plan of upgrading to SR225i's and upgrading those. However, I'm thinking it is probably better to cut my teeth on my existing cheaper cans. Before progressing I was hoping that I could ask the following questions without getting yelled at. You all seem pretty willing to share, so hopefully you can bear with yet another n00b asking silly questions:


Foam Pads

What is the best source for these, and what kind should I get? My current ones are worn through, and rather than just replace them, I'd like to see if I can add to the package. I recognize that there is no one right answer for this one, but feel free to pile on with just your view of the world.



I'd like to put on wood cups, and was wondering what's reckoned to be the best sources, and how much I will have to shell out. I don't have the equipment, nor the skills, to make my own.



Any good guides for how to replace those, including where to get them?


Headphone Amp

What is the absolute best, and what's good for the money? I currently have SR60s (no "i"), but anticipate moving up to 225i's at some point. I had planned to do the other mods first, but I figured I might as well throw this question in there.


Again, I am sorry if you feel this has been answered over, and over. I have read and read, and have been unable to synthesize. I listen mostly to alternative/indie rock, and fall into category two, of not requiring absolute perfection from the recording, and also don't listen to a lot of resampled music. I don't currently anticipate using my setup on the go, so mobility is not a huge factor.


Any and all input appreciated

post #2145 of 7728

@Lessthanpower - For my grills I destroyed a sieve, as it's actually rather difficult to find loose woven wire mesh sheets in general. But sieves can easily be found in the £1 shop (or $1/€1 etc depending on where you are in the world). The metal wasn't as shiny or thick as the sr225i but it worked really well.


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