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Grado Facility Tour  

post #1 of 120
Thread Starter 
I lurk on here quite a bit, but figured you guys would like these pics since I haven't seen any recent ones.

We were lucky enough to take a tour of the Grado Labs facility in Brooklyn, New York last week. Grado Labs is one of the oldest family owned companies in the audio industry and their headphones and phono cartridges are world renowned. John Grado and his staff were extremely knowledgeable and just a great group of down to earth people.

All of Grado's products are still proudly made in the USA (with the exception of the iGrado).

John Chapais (Chief Engineer and VP of Grado) working in the heart of the Grado facility.

The CNC production machine.

John Chapais' office and test station.

Grado's 45 year old injection molding press that is used to make all of their plastic parts in-house.

Phone Cartridge assembly and packaging.

Headphone assembly.

More headphone assembly.

post #2 of 120
Thread Starter 

Amplifier quality control station.

Just a few RA1 headphone amplifiers. Like everything else the woodwork and finish on these was absolutely beautiful. Grado has all of their woodwork done by another family owned business that has been around since 1785.

The very first prototype iGrado headphones. John had mentioned that he may decide to auction off some of his prototypes and rare Grado items for charity in the near future.

Some of John Grado's assorted listening material.

A prototype Grado studio monitor that utilizes four headphone drivers and a woofer.

The Grado listening room.

This is a set of prototype speakers in the listening room. Each line array has 32 headphone drivers and a solid mahogany enclosure. They were an absolute joy to listen to and the subwoofers in the corners are made by Grado as well.

Prototype GS 1000 "Salad Bowls."

The best set of headphones under $50 that I have ever listened to.

It is very safe to say that the success has not gone to their heads at Grado and they are still very concerned about making each and every set of headphones the very best quality possible.

A huge thanks to John Grado and his staff for taking time out of their extremely busy day for us.
post #3 of 120
Wow, amazing!

Many thanks for sharing these photos!
post #4 of 120
Thread Starter 
No problem. I had a blast hanging out with John Grado for the afternoon and getting to check out the place where my headphones were born.
post #5 of 120
That is simply an awesome set of photo's Luke. I've tried many times to imagine what the inner workings of Grado Labs might look like and these more than satisfy any curiosity I had. Those salad bowl GS1000's are the nuts!

Thanks for sharing and taking the time to post these.
post #6 of 120
You don't know how many people really really hate you right now. I'm one of them
post #7 of 120
So those are the speakers with the array of RS-1 drivers. Nice photo set!
post #8 of 120
Thanks for the great pics! It helps all Grado aficionados like myself picture how our beloved cans were built. It was really cool of Grado to let you tour their factory.
I find these pictures of interest...

The color of the wooden cups differs between each pair, some pairs being very dark. Since the cups were assumingly built and stained at or near the same time and same way, it suggests that there is variation in the wood itself that accounts for the different shades, which can't be attributed to just an aging effect as widely believed.

I'm SO tempted to make an unflattering comment about something I see in nearly all the wooden cups pictured, but I'll bite my tongue for now. Ouch!
post #9 of 120
Those salad bowls are absolutely awesome. Did you get a listen?
post #10 of 120
WOW, great photos. Very interesting indeed.

One thing I found quite amusing was:

post #11 of 120
post #12 of 120
Originally Posted by NiceCans View Post
WOW, great photos. Very interesting indeed.

One thing I found quite amusing was:

I was thinking the same thing! The least they can do it let everyone listen to a pair of SR-60's...
post #13 of 120


Thank you Thank you!!!! Man... What I would do with a huge bin of RS1 drivers.

So they do outsource the wood earcups, thats something I suspected.

Do they fabricate drivers in-house? If you don't mind, I would really like to add this thread to my signature ... for all the other gradoheads to enjoy.
post #14 of 120
What's this thing used for?

How do they distinguish the different drivers on the production floor? Are there small part numbers on them?

WOW thats some OLD tooling.... Pre-dates the industrial standard of earth-grounding. Notice the ungrounded AC plug

How do they center the logo-buttons on the grilles? I suspect its done by hand...??
post #15 of 120
Awesome!! Thanks

This should be a sticky. I love the old rugged style of shop they have.

Great pics and nice of you to let us in on the factory.
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