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post your grado mods.... - Page 320

post #4786 of 5431

I'm going to recable my SennGrados when I get wood cups. How did you do Y?

post #4787 of 5431

I bought a Y splitter from ViaBlue, then just split the cable inside so it looks clean.

post #4788 of 5431

3D printed a little Y split thingy to match my cups. Looks pretty good I think.

post #4789 of 5431

Review: DROGO (Wood-modded Grado SR80i)
By: Frances Anne Layug-Haw 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gears used: Schiit Modi/Magni, Bravo Audio V2, iPhone 5s, MacBook Air using Songbird; Asus Netbook using FooBar. 
Cans used: Stock SR80i. Unfair if I include the PS500 and SR325is
Total listening time: 15-20 hours 
Albums: Prodigy - Fat of the Land, Sneaker Pimps - Becoming X, RHCP - Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic; The Wombats - A guide 
to love, loss and desperation; Motion City Soundtrack - I Am The Movie, Florence and the Machine - Lungs, Matisyahu.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I’ve been unfaithful to my cans.

It started innocently enough, as these things usually do. One thing leads to another and before you know it, you’re in balls deep.

’Twas a humid afternoon, in a dusty parking lot somewhere downtown. Sleepless from yet another all-nighter and hopped up on enough caffeine to get a mule trekking non-stop through the Andes, I dropped by The Founder’s place for a smoke and quick chat. We had scheduled a meet with a special pair of headphones - the hand-made "Drogo" - I’d been hearing a lot about. And the word on the street was all good.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Leaning lazily against a car, I lit a cigarette, my heavily caffeinated constitution made me acutely aware of pebbles crunching beneath the soles of my Chucks and the sound of city traffic close by.

‘Here ya go, doc,’ said The Founder, handing me an unassuming grey colored cloth bag. ‘Happy listening.’

I reached inside for my first skin to skin encounter with The Drogo.

The Eyeball:

He was a gorgeous fellow. Solid and sturdy in shades of brown; all sleek and smoothed-over burled wood. He was warm to touch, a tad heavier than my own SR80i. The smooth patina of varnish over mahogany cups gleamed softly in the afternoon sun. Holding the cups up against the light, I was surprised to see what looked like the outline of an arc reactor inside. His drivers had been vented.

I turned him over in my hands, and ran my fingers over the cleanly stitched seams of the custom leather headband. His maker had left no detail unattended to. Even the gimbals and the Y-splitter were cut and fashioned out of the same wood as the cups.

Color me impressed. I’ve always had a thing for pretty boys and the Drogo did not disappoint. His cable had been shortened, making for better portability, and reterminated into a Neutrik plug protected by heat shrink tubing. If I didn’t know better, I’d think it was stock. One of the cleanest, most professional jobs I’ve ever seen.

We’d gotten off to a good start, but proof of the pudding was in the tasting. Good looks don’t matter if you can’t back it up with an equal or better performance. Time to see what this pretty boy was made of.

Shaking the Founder’s hand, the Drogo and I went out for a drive.

Alone Time:

‘Give me a try, girl. Lemme show you what I got’ the Drogo seemed to say. Fair enough, I thought. I've always been game for a good time.

Powering up my trusty go-to DAP, the bang for the buck, rockboxed Clip+, I fitted the Drogo’s cups carefully over my ears. The stock SR80i S-cush had been replaced by L-cush pads - and as expected - it had made the soundstage a bit wider. What I’ve always loved about Grado was that each and every single offering they’ve produced thus far sounded good even unamped. As the Drogo was essentially a woodied SR80i, no surprises here. Typical Grado. Forward, dynamic, aggressive, and yet, this was not the SR80i sound that I was familiar with.

First off, the bass. Now, the SR80i has never been a basshead’s wet dream, but it was no slouch especially when compared to its baby brother the SR60i. It’s just that the SR80i’s bass has always been more about quality rather than quantity. The Drogo on the other hand was bassy; the lower frequencies being pushed forward with a distinct loss of control and grip in the kick. It didn't sound as tight but could still be considered punchy with a noted extension in decay. As its drivers had been vented, the Prodigy’s "Smack My Bitch Up" and Sneaker Pimps’ "Tesco Suicide" suddenly became fun to listen to with Grados; their rhythmic, pounding beat reverberating through my skull in a toe-tapping, head-bobbing irresistible rhythm, the bass kick slowly blooming outwards, the sub-bass going deeper than stock yet retaining its texture. While I hate to admit it, tracks from those two bands had always sounded a tad lifeless with my un-modded SR80i. Points for this. The boy done good with techno.

The use of mahogany cups had given the Drogo more coloration. In this case, the sound was made warmer but traded off a bit of articulation. There’s a definite and perceptible lack of detail in the higher frequencies, especially in the upper mids. Like a model student, the Grado treble was always present and seated in the front row. It was bright, it was energetic, although now it was not in any way harsh nor sibilant.

Trebles were now laid back, full, and fat. Overall, the Drogo's trebles and highs had been smoothed over, toned down, and suitably made for more comfortable listening. Instrument separation was acceptable as I listened to the drums slowly creep up from stage left in Explosions in the Sky’s "Your Hand in Mine" and gradually build into a crescendo. Through all this, the Drogo retained a good amount of control and definition, with the cymbals - though recessed - retaining their crispness.

I ran through the tracks on my playlists. I knew these songs by heart but the Drogo’s presentation taught me to enjoy more than what I usually look for, which was a brutally forward, fast, and aggressive attack which some call fatiguing but was and is music to my ears. The Drogo has taken the familiar and made it fresh.

The Verdict:

The Drogo is an excellent piece of work that borders on art - each cup carefully crafted and lovingly made. For those who want that forward, energetic Grado sound but aren’t willing to forego their bass, this mod is it.

I spoke with the Drogo’s maker and he assures me that the amount of bass can be tailored to suit one’s preferences. In my case, I think I’ll leave my drivers as is, with perhaps a harder tone wood making up the cups in an attempt to control the bass response. In its present iteration, it reminds me of a couple of my ex-boyfriends: Good looking, but not very bright.

These are not analytical cans, but they are FUN. Full and warm with a laid back presentation comfortable for extended listening sessions, I think this mod will suit a majority of Grado owners whose musical tastes encompass more than rock and its associated genres. I’ve only had a few days with the Drogo, but already it’s making me look eagerly into the modding horizon.

I had hoped the infidelity to be a clean one-night-stand. Now I no longer hold that certainty.

There may be a Lannister down the line. Now to find that perfect block of ebony wood…

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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post #4790 of 5431

Those look amazing! Would you by any chance be willing to share the file you used to print those cups? Did you tape the drivers in or are they sized to just stay in with some tension?

 

I've been thinking about 3d printing a pair of cups myself for my v5 drivers but it seems difficult to find the right software to make my own design.

post #4791 of 5431
Quote:
Originally Posted by simyau View Post
 

Those look amazing! Would you by any chance be willing to share the file you used to print those cups? Did you tape the drivers in or are they sized to just stay in with some tension?

 

I've been thinking about 3d printing a pair of cups myself for my v5 drivers but it seems difficult to find the right software to make my own design.

I posted them on thingiverse:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:257169

 

I put one layer of electrical tape around the driver housings to make a snug fit. I can change the shape too if you want to experiment!

post #4792 of 5431
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandeSwag View Post
 

I posted them on thingiverse:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:257169

 

I put one layer of electrical tape around the driver housings to make a snug fit. I can change the shape too if you want to experiment!

 

You're a hero!! Thank you so much. I'm going to see if I can find a program to open this when I get home to take a closer look at it! Now to find a 3d print shop near me... 

post #4793 of 5431
Quote:
Originally Posted by simyau View Post
 

 

You're a hero!! Thank you so much. I'm going to see if I can find a program to open this when I get home to take a closer look at it! Now to find a 3d print shop near me... 


If you don't have any luck with that, I can print and ship a set for $15 if you're in the US.

post #4794 of 5431

Next Mods.. Alessandro Ms1i and Grado Sr125i

 

post #4795 of 5431

Simple but beautiful walnut.

post #4796 of 5431
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7keys View Post
 

 

Simple but beautiful walnut.

 

Very nice!  I don't think "beautiful" is good enough.  They're well beyond that.  Just like wearing a fine piece of furniture on your ears.  :D

post #4797 of 5431
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post
 

 

Very nice!  I don't think "beautiful" is good enough.  They're well beyond that.  Just like wearing a fine piece of furniture on your ears.  :D

They really are very nice.

post #4798 of 5431
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post
 

 

Very nice!  I don't think "beautiful" is good enough.  They're well beyond that.  Just like wearing a fine piece of furniture on your ears.  :D

I love it, I think my next add  on eBay is going to read.

 

 Walnut tone-wood cups--------------fine furniture for the ears.

post #4799 of 5431

Alessandro Ms1i mod

Spalted Wood cup
Occ silvercoated 8strand , viablue stereo jack 3,5mm

Lambskin Leatherband
Dynamat Dumping

 

 

post #4800 of 5431

Much thanks to GrandeSwag, who sent me his 3D printing files, I now have some fun cups to house my magnum v5s. Stock sr60 cable attached.

 

yZyRIO9.jpg

 

I'm debating whether or not to put some foam into the opening, similar to what the pads are made of. I don't think I want to do mesh but I'm a little bit wary of dust getting into the drivers if I leave them open. 

 

Sounds does seem to have changed slightly, not sure if it's imaginary but they seem to have lost a bit at the low end with these open cups. Didn't do an actual A/B though.

 

They still sound great though.

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