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Grado build quality

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
My friends sort of pointed this out(in a mocking, demeaning tone); Grado's headphones look cheap! They also FEEL cheap, other than the sound, of course. I mean, my earpieces fall off so much, every now and then I just give up and take them off the 50 cent headband and use them as satalite speakers for my computer. And that headband...I have the 325s, which cost me $300, and its cheap plastic on each end with a tiny piece of leather covering a strip of metal. Then boths sets of pads they offer are uncomfortable. I had to mod my 'comfies' to make them more comfortable. The plastic that connects the metal rod to the driver casing...CHEAP. Then I recently had to send mine back for warranty repair because the wire came loose in the inside. I would superglue the cord so it wont come out, but that might void the warranty.
The only redeaming factor is the solid metal around the drivers.

Anyone else upset about this? Sure they sound great, but for $300 you'd think you would get more in terms of a PRODUCT, I didn't pay purely for the research. I don't mind the way they look, and I like 'classic' designs, but when there is SO many obvious improvments that can be made....

edit: forgot to add, I just realized the little bottons on the metal grill on the back are PLASTIC, and the paint is coming off!

[Edited by Sirwar on 09-06-2001 at 05:28 PM.]
post #2 of 43
I don't think I would refer to the build quality as "cheap." I would use the term "utilitarian" or "spartan." I've never had a problem with any of my Grados as far as durability is concerned, but then again, I'm usually very careful with them when in use. Would they withstand as much abuse as my V6s have over the past ten years? Probably not, but I don't think they're meant to.
Grados are designed for sound...........pure and simple. If I have to treat them a little more carefully than my other headphones, it's a small price to pay for the enjoyment they give me. No complaints here.........................yet!
post #3 of 43
Haven't had a problem with my Grado's yet. Owned three pairs at one point and they're all still going strong. I even think they're comfortable, though I know I may be a minority in that respect.
post #4 of 43
some people seem to complain about the build quality, while others rave about it. i put my grados under a lot of abuse and stress and they refuse to break (except for the time i tried to forcefull pry the driver out with a big screwdriver... but they came back from the dead and are still going strong)
post #5 of 43
Sirwar: I can't help it, but I think you're right. Except from the RS-models they all make a flimsy impression to me. Nevertheless, the SR80 I bought yesterday sound fairly good. But that explains to me, why Grados aren't that popular in Germany: All AKGs, beyerdynamics and Sennheisers I've ever seen make a much better impression. I'm not sure whether they are more solid in the end, but at least they seem to have a better build quality.

Greetings from SF!

Manfred / lini
post #6 of 43
I changed the plastic thingies from the "antennas" to metal studs glued with crazy glue. Last week the headband fell apart and I just glued it again. I guess there's maybe a problem with Grado's estructural integrity, but you have to keep in mind that in most cases, or at least mine, the falling apart happens after extended periods of active use, and the Grados are more oriented to be used at home or the office, not moving all around the place.
post #7 of 43
Quote:
The only redeaming factor is the solid metal around the drivers
Solid metal around the drivers??? The drivers of my SR325 are surrounded by plastic housing with an aluminum outer covering on the air chamber.

I have had no problems with the quality of the build of my Grados. And my teenaged son, who does not take the best care of his gear, has had no problem with his SR80. I handle my headphones as delicately as possible as I consider them fine pieces of audio equipment.
post #8 of 43
Quote:
Solid metal around the drivers??? The drivers of my SR325 are surrounded by plastic housing with an aluminum outer covering on the air chamber.
Do you have the older black ones?


I have yet to have any QC problems with my 225s and I got them as open box units. (although upon arriving they did look as good as new) I use them with mostly with my portable CDP for late night listening in bed (and have even fallen asleep with them, on a couple of occations) but nothing has fallen apart on them.
post #9 of 43

I think the whole point...

...is that the materials used, along with being acoustically correct (in the Grado team's eyes) they are also lightweight. Personally, I would rather have a set of cans that is light and pleasant to wear, that disappears, rather than an ultra-sturdy tank build that weighs five pounds.

- Mayt
post #10 of 43
You mean HP-1s?

I can put up with 5lb HP-1s!
post #11 of 43
Auditioning grado's around town that's the one thing that struck me odd: the build quality. Sorry guys, but it sucks. If I'm going to spend big bucks (for me at least) on a pair of headphones I don't want to second guess any aspect of it.

my headphone priorities in order of importance:
1. sound
2. comfort
3. durability/build quality.
4. style


I'm sure 150 of you will reply saying that the grado's are very very durable. I'm sure they are - cheap plastic is surprisingly tough. But as soon as I spend more than 100 bucks on ANYTHING I don't want the product to look cheap, because it isn't.
post #12 of 43
Quote:
the build quality. Sorry guys, but it sucks. If I'm going to spend big bucks (for me at least) on a pair of headphones I don't want to second guess any aspect of it
Unfortunately, you alter the build design and the sound changes, often for the worse.
post #13 of 43
Actually, my main points of criticism are: The plastic of the earcups is not properly deburred - got some ridges. And the earpads are not comfy enough - there should be a better solution for that. But the sound quality of the SR80 is really good - and I probably made a good deal: cost here $ 102 incl. tax, cost in Germany 348 DM - so I saved more than 120 DM. Maybe I could have got them even cheaper by mail order, but in fact I like cute little hifi-shops where you can try and compare things - so I prefer to support the local dealer, if I can (and if the price premium is not too high). And the chat with the salesman was really nice, too. That alone was worth the extra bucks in my eyes.

Greetings from SF!

Manfred / lini
post #14 of 43
Check the flimsy Sennheiser HD600 cord!

Sometimes, so long as we get a great sounding product (at decent price), building quality can be put in the back seat. With extra $, RS series should be treat for ears as well as eyes.
post #15 of 43
I just received my MS-1's today, and they're much more dinky and cheaper-feeling than I thought, based on the pictures I've seen online.

On the plus side, the antenna length adjusters are tighter than I thought, which is a good thing; the fit is comfortable for a supra-aural headphone (might be because I don't have a large head, I'm only 5' 6.5" or almost 169 cm); and the sound is impressing me with the music I usually listen to.
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