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Review: Woodied Grado SR-325i

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 


Today my wooden cups ordered @ Headcoverage.com arrived. They are mahogany medium-deep cups. Its was a great purchase from headcoverage, Cody is nice to do business with, and everything was in perfect condition and fast shipping!



First of all my thoughts of the normal 325i. I fell in love with these headphones, they have a certain splash to them thats really unique. Alot of time when I have listened to my K601's and sextetts I just urge for these headphones. They have a very big attraction on me, whenever I see them lying around I just want to pick them up, and listen to them. They always give me a certain 'live' and 'right there' sound, that Grado is famous for. First I was abit afraid after reading that multiple people had problems with 'unbearable and piercing highs'. I have to say I never experienced this. The only complaint I have with these headphones is that I miss the mid-bass range alot. This was most noticable with voices which I know how they are supposed to sound like. It was like a band-pass-filter was always applied to them.



The installation. First I had to detach the cups from the headband, this was quite easy, just a little force to bend open the c-clamps, and it was off. Now to open the cups (remove the golden part from the black part), was a different story. The instructions told me to warm it abit with a hairdryer, and then just wiggle and twist it off. After warming it up, I tried wiggling and twisting till my hands hurt, nothing worked. I applied some brute force with the spoon-twisting technique, and damaged the golden cups and black holders abit (nothing to worry about though, it were the parts that get covered by the earpads). But I couldn't get it off, I was becoming quite frustrated, and feared that if I continued I would break it. But after giving it a rest and letting the blowdryer heat it up very much, I could easily twist it off. So with this knowledge (that it really needs to heat up pretty much!) the second cup came off very easily.



Putting up the wooden-cups was very easy. You just slide the black part with the driver's in it, into the wooden cups with some glue, and you'r done. Also putting on the C-clamps around the wooden cups was easy. And they look pretty nice imo . Also immediatly after putting them on my head, I noticed how incredibly light it was compared to my metal cups, it feels much better!




Now the most important stuff, the SQ. I'm not gonna go easy on this and say, that the sound changed from a 'golden sheen' to a 'wooden sound' . I do have to say that I might take note of different things in sound than other people. So for the rest of this article the normal: IMO and YMMV apply.



The midrange and bass definetly improved. The whole 'band-pass-filter' kind of sound was gone, everything sounds much more natural. Testing it with voices immediatly gave this away, and it gives a much more 'relaxed' sound. There is much more warmth to the sound, but not at the cost of treble extension. Also the speed and 'live' feeling still remain! The soundstage did become a bit bigger, but not to a point where I would say that 'that' is the improvement of the wooden cups, its just a plus.



I tested it with alot of different songs, from relaxed music and jazz, to some classic and modern rock songs. Everything sounded much better, mostly because of the much more audible high-bass/lower-midrange. It makes everything sound more natural/relaxed/warm, and does so without losing any of the things I like about the grado's (live sound/first-row/detail/speed).



I hope this informed you enough, if you have any questions, please reply

Greetings,

Victor van Rij

Update:

This has now become my 'reference headphone'. Everything sounds so natural, and it seems like the whole frequency spectrum is equal, nothing is emphasized, but still it sounds so alive. I never imagined that new cups could bring such great improvement, I'm totally in love with these headphones now! This mod/upgrade is HIGHLY recommended!!

post #2 of 54
I hope you didn't damage the diaphragm with the heat applied.

I use a no heat/prying method- which is very easy (~10 secs), and wont deform the drivers.

But I look forward to the pictures you have. I'm sure they look very nice.
post #3 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnothingpoetic View Post
I hope you didn't damage the diaphragm with the heat applied.

I use a no heat/prying method- which is very easy (~10 secs), and wont deform the drivers.

But I look forward to the pictures you have. I'm sure they look very nice.
Pictures are up, and I'm sure I didn't damage the diaphragm, and if I did they have definetly improved haha .
post #4 of 54
They look really nice!
post #5 of 54
Thread Starter 
The pictures were made when it wasn't glued yet. So you can see the 'stopping blocks' on the cable, which offcourse should be inside the cups. They are now, and they are glued.
post #6 of 54
Thank you for the upgrade. But wouldn't that be the "high bass" rather than the mid bass? I think the mid-bass of the 325i is rather good, so it must be the high bass. The 325i also lack the very deep bass.

Now next: How does it compare to RS-1? It would be great with an RS-1/woodied 325i/325i piece by piece comparison. (We demand a lot, don't we?)
post #7 of 54
Good review, my curiosity about wooding grados increased recently. Your review helped me to understand the process more. Also anybody know the measurements of sr series cups?
post #8 of 54
Great woodwork!
Makes the SR-3251 a really nice looking 'phone.
post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solan View Post
Thank you for the upgrade. But wouldn't that be the "high bass" rather than the mid bass? I think the mid-bass of the 325i is rather good, so it must be the high bass. The 325i also lack the very deep bass.

Now next: How does it compare to RS-1? It would be great with an RS-1/woodied 325i/325i piece by piece comparison. (We demand a lot, don't we?)
Deep bass is good since I upgraded to the LD MKIVse. And you are right about the bass, its indeed the 'high bass'. Its as I said in the review, the area between the midrange and the bass. Alot of these frequencies are used in the human voice (male), and I seemed to miss, thus making it sound abit unnatural. This is solved with the wooden cups, and was exactly what I hoped . Now if somebody sends me a RS-2 or RS-1 I will happily compare them (objectively). But my headphone search/upgraditis is currently pretty low, as this is to me how music is supposed to sound
post #10 of 54
Bold statement! I am happy for you though - makes me want to try moving up the Grado line again.
post #11 of 54
Thread Starter 
Updated!
post #12 of 54
What finish did you choose on the cups? They look great btw, I'm gonna make the cups for my MS-1 MS-PRO style
post #13 of 54
Thread Starter 
I have no idea, the standard finish. They look funny imo, for me its all about the sound, and they have become my nr.1 headphones I listened to so far.
post #14 of 54
wow gorgeous. Has anyone tried to DIY a pair of these cups? Would be a great project that would be very interesting and fun. Would be cheaper than the $100+ that headcoverage is charging.
post #15 of 54
Thanks for the review Victor always appreciate some light shed here on head-fi.
Hopefully I can clear some things up, sorry I didn't spot this sooner, always glad to answer questions on these.

@ xnothingpoetic I've done just under 50 pairs now and always use the heat method, it doesn't take more then 30 seconds of heat and you actually don't need to apply heat to the driver only on the sides (plastic) of the driver. I've never had a pair defect after using this method, and I test every pair after assembly to check for any issues. Although if you want to share your method, it sounds good.

@ AGC, I charge a $105 which a lot cheaper then anyone else doing these. You should try to build your own. All you really need is a lathe, wood, chisels, and patience. It takes a lot of trial and error and practice pairs but it's really fun. I would suggest using something not to hard because they will shatter on the lathe when the become thin, if your not careful. I actually started making them as a DIY endeavor and had a few friends that wanted me to make a pair if I was successful. I ended up liking the work, and wanted to offer an affordable price for others to start making them for anyone.

@apatN Victors have the most popular finish which is Medium tone (My favorite 2). The depth is Medium-Deep, they have silver screens, and the Lip design is a GS-1000 slant. This is actually only 1 of 2 GS-1000 lip pairs. You can check out the other options on our site, and I will do custom orders as well. I just finished a black pair that looks awesome. Here's a shot of them:



@adm, there are few measurements you need to know, off the top of my head they're roughly 2" on average.

Hope that helps answer some questions, if anybody has a question you can email me @ HeadCoverageWood@gmail.com and I'll be glad to help.

Thanks for the review Victor I appreciate it
-Cody
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