Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Discussions › Upgrading Grado SR80 cables
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Upgrading Grado SR80 cables

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
After hours of reading threads on making your own cables,
I decided to take the lazy way out and buy cables. Since it's the SR80 i am changing, i do not wish to spend too much. Main reason for cable change is not because of acoustics but stiffness of the cable which also easily tangles on me. Are there any good options available?
If so are most of them relatively easy to solder?
I have a very little background in cabling, and bit skeptical.
any help will be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 16
Grado's are easy to recable! Just pop the housing and resolder the wires. Just don't use Neotech UPOCC. I just did mine with it and it's horrible..
post #3 of 16
Recabling is easy. Bonthouse nailed it. You pop the housing and resolder the wires. The hard part is sorting through the options. Whole empires have been built on the wire hype. Then again, testimonies about as to great improvements brought about by great wires. What are your priorities? Are you looking for a more inexpensive option, a good deal, better durability or most audioholic snazziness?

Depending on how into Grados you are, a recable on an SR-80 may be the perfect opportunity for an upgrade. In the Prestige Series, the major difference between the SR-60 and SR-80 is the switch in cushions from flats to doughnuts. As you move up from the SR-80 to the 125, 225 and 325, the major differences are air-chamber ventilation and wiring. Even before it swaps out the plastic air chamber for metal (on the 325), Grado swaps out the plastic rear grill for metal. This is supposed to allow greater air flow since plastic needs to be thicker to hold up. Some people say this makes a big difference; others scratch their heads in wonder.

On my SR-60, which I bought on the cheap, I just took off the rear chamber. This created a momentary problem of re-attaching the prongs that hold the cups to the headband. I just superglued them to the cushions, which weren't going anywhere anyway. I ended up with a flatter Grado (with a lower profile) and - to my ears - much better sound. With no rear grill at all, my SR-60s were as open and resonant-free as Grado gets. This was supposed to kill my bass response but instead it actually improved it. It was the headphone equivalent of an infinite baffle. The only bass I got was straight off the driver, making it tighter. I could be strung up for saying this, but my SR-60 sounded so good, it put the big guns (the RS-1 and the GS-1000) to the challenge.

As far as wiring goes, the key wiring advantage of the higher Grados is the use of better wire - UHPLC copper wire - in the voicecoil and connecting cable. You can't do anything about the wiring in the voicecoil, but you can certainly upgrade the wiring in the connecting cable. You can spend a lot of money on high-end cabling. To me, the cheap alternative is to buy a Grado extension cable ($45) and chop off the length you like. This will give you the best wire Grado has, and for less than you'd pay for the most expensive headphone cable.

Whatever you do, here's a video that takes you through the process of recabling a Grado. http://www.metacafe.com/watch/212265...cabling_part2/
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips. I am gonna have to check out the grado cable first. I can play around the diy wiring if grado cable won't cut it. Soldering does look pretty simple (opened the cups)
post #5 of 16
Mogami and canare star quad is cheap and available by the foot from redco
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilavideo View Post
Recabling is easy. Bonthouse nailed it. You pop the housing and resolder the wires. The hard part is sorting through the options. Whole empires have been built on the wire hype. Then again, testimonies about as to great improvements brought about by great wires. What are your priorities? Are you looking for a more inexpensive option, a good deal, better durability or most audioholic snazziness?

Depending on how into Grados you are, a recable on an SR-80 may be the perfect opportunity for an upgrade. In the Prestige Series, the major difference between the SR-60 and SR-80 is the switch in cushions from flats to doughnuts. As you move up from the SR-80 to the 125, 225 and 325, the major differences are air-chamber ventilation and wiring. Even before it swaps out the plastic air chamber for metal (on the 325), Grado swaps out the plastic rear grill for metal. This is supposed to allow greater air flow since plastic needs to be thicker to hold up. Some people say this makes a big difference; others scratch their heads in wonder.

On my SR-60, which I bought on the cheap, I just took off the rear chamber. This created a momentary problem of re-attaching the prongs that hold the cups to the headband. I just superglued them to the cushions, which weren't going anywhere anyway. I ended up with a flatter Grado (with a lower profile) and - to my ears - much better sound. With no rear grill at all, my SR-60s were as open and resonant-free as Grado gets. This was supposed to kill my bass response but instead it actually improved it. It was the headphone equivalent of an infinite baffle. The only bass I got was straight off the driver, making it tighter. I could be strung up for saying this, but my SR-60 sounded so good, it put the big guns (the RS-1 and the GS-1000) to the challenge.

As far as wiring goes, the key wiring advantage of the higher Grados is the use of better wire - UHPLC copper wire - in the voicecoil and connecting cable. You can't do anything about the wiring in the voicecoil, but you can certainly upgrade the wiring in the connecting cable. You can spend a lot of money on high-end cabling. To me, the cheap alternative is to buy a Grado extension cable ($45) and chop off the length you like. This will give you the best wire Grado has, and for less than you'd pay for the most expensive headphone cable.

Whatever you do, here's a video that takes you through the process of recabling a Grado. Grado Lab "The Dark Art" Project-Episode 2-Recabling Part2 - Video
Seems that the person in this video covers the whole cable with clear heat shrink... is that correct or it is another kind of material?

Cheers!
post #7 of 16
Mogami 2534 is nice, I also like good quality mil-spec SPC.
post #8 of 16
Gotta love it.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilavideo View Post
Gotta love it.
What?!
post #10 of 16
This is my take on a relatively cheap bang-for-the-buck solution Grado headphone cable, which utilizes a dual independent starquad cable. 8-conductors, no crossfeed. Very flexible by itself, but the dual wires together might make it stiff
It should look something along the lines like this John Grado recabled HP-2

1) 14 ft of Mogami W2893 or W2534 (VERY flexible, and doesn't crimp), cut in half, so you are running x2 7ft. per channel
2) Optional: Sleeve it in something nice, like techflex or nylon multifilament. I'd just sleeve the channels indepently (x2 7ft sleeving)
3), Apply heatshrink at the Y-joint, and every 6 inches or so down the cable so it holds the dual cables together.
4), Terminate in whatever plug. I'd suggest a G&H 1/4" TRS plug, as it uses a solid copper core, so it should technically be the best sounding. It's also pretty cheap, seen some on eBay.

Overall, should cost around $25 less shipping, and should be an improvement over the Grado cable
post #11 of 16
Xan7hos - looks very nice but I'm afraid it would be too bulky. I had a Grado RS-2 with 2x Grado JGSUWBRC running in parallel to balanced termination. It sounds great, just a little too bulky for my liking.
post #12 of 16
yeah it'll definitely be bulky, i guess a more labor-intensive solution would be to strip the pvc tubing, and bundle the starquad together in a single nylon multifilament line
post #13 of 16
I've actually just stripped some Mogami 2534 and didn't bother to sleeve anything. Just held it together with some heatshrink at the ends and at the Y-split for a pair of HFI-780. Will post pics of the results tomorrow, I think it's pretty nice, maybe a little microphonic though.
post #14 of 16
I just recabled my sr80i with 22 ga. jumper wire from dh labs. Just braided it up, terminated, and installed. Sounds great too. For $30 bucks it was a great improvement, especially after 50 hours or so.
post #15 of 16
I recabled my SR80i's recently. It was my first DIY electrical/audio work, and I was pleased with how it turned out. Here's what 4.5 feet of Mogami 2893 inside some nylon multifilament with a Neutrik 3.5mm jack on the end looks like on the Grado's:



New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Discussions › Upgrading Grado SR80 cables