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SR60-Mod - Page 15  

post #211 of 5003

Bilavideo: how did you end up securing the mesh inside the shells?

post #212 of 5003
Thread Starter 

 

Originally Posted by tisb0b View Post

Bilavideo: how did you end up securing the mesh inside the shells?


That turned out to be easier than expected.  By using the cut-outs as molds, I was able to cut a larger circle around each cut-out, then use the cut-out to bend the extra material to create a ring that rides alongside the inner walls of the chamber, like a kind of stand for the grill.

 

MakingGrills1.jpg

MakingGrills3.jpg

post #213 of 5003
Thread Starter 

ONE RING OR TWO?

 

I've been making single-ring shells but tonight, on a lark, I doubled the rear-chamber ring (The electrical tape is just a temporary measure).  It looks more Frankensteinian but not without a few perks.  Yes, the bass appears to have more heft to it but should I be hearing more detail?  Does that make any sense?  I'm hearing weird little details.

 

DoubleCans1.jpg

 

On Devo's Working in a Coal Mine, I hear more separation between left and right, more of that slight echo/reverb to the synthetic guitar that forms the structure of the song.  I'm hearing it again on Earth Wind & Fire's Shining Star.  I'm hearing more of that space between instruments/tracks on this funky old classic.  The vocals have an obvious echo/reverb to them, but so do the various guitar tracks, the electric piano and the brass.  

 

DoubleCans2.jpg

 

On The Beatles' I am the Walrus, there's just more space between the tracks.  The delineation between distorted vocals, strings, drums, trumpet and sound effects is stunning.  Is it possible there's some relationship between the size of the shells (either in length or in width) and the uncompressed clarity of the presentation?

 

DoubleCans3.jpg

 

I have this recording of the Peter Pupping Quartet, which I downloaded off of iTunes because it was on a Bose demo cd (My theory is that Bose stacks the deck, using tracks that are unusually dynamic to convince consumers that their headphones are practically magical).  I laughed when I originally picked up this song because it makes any headphone sound dynamic.  Barcelona Nights is an easy sell.  That said, it's practically a feast on these headphones.  My ears could nurse on these cans for hours.

 

DoubleCans4.jpg

 

And it isn't just on jazzed-up elevator music.  AC/DC's Hell's Bells is a cornucopia of Easter eggs - and even mistakes - buried by the simpler outline of the song.  You can hear the liquid transitions of the signature guitar riff in the left air, then hear a much more button-down reply in the right ear, followed a stray string before the drums kick out the mechanical metronomic rhythm track, which stands out by itself.  You can hear the mysterious suck-outs at 1:21 and 1:25 where stereo guitar licks go mono.  You can hear that scratchy pick in the left ear at [see the]"white light"[flashing as it splits the night] (2:40).  


Edited by Bilavideo - 9/20/10 at 9:05pm
post #214 of 5003

Thanks for all your efforts Bill.  This thread finally gave me the incentive to try and mod my SR80's.  I removed the cloths from the front of the drivers, vented the drivers, and placed felt in the back.  It really transformed the sound.  Count me impressed.  I'll finish with the silver recable later in the year.  Thanks again !!!

post #215 of 5003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilavideo View Post

 

DoubleCans4.jpg

Those wooden cups make me want to go cut down a tree and carve up some rings with my pocket knife. Congratulations, I am jealous
 

post #216 of 5003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilavideo View Post

 

 

DoubleCans1.jpg

 

 

in the past posts you said that you can't get the plastic ring to fit around the woodies. how did you get it to work?

PS. can't wait to get some SR60s now
 

post #217 of 5003
Thread Starter 

Originally Posted by nathanv View Post

 

in the past posts you said that you can't get the plastic ring to fit around the woodies. how did you get it to work?

PS. can't wait to get some SR60s now


It wasn't easy.  I killed a fork in the process.  I had to pop out the plastic bits that hold the prong onto the normal-sized shell.  Here, the fit was so snug, I didn't need the extra plastic to keep the prongs gripped to the wood.

 

As an alternative, I could have run the pins directly into the wood - without any need for the plastic prongs - but I wanted to preserve my ability to move the cups up or down to get a better fit for my ears.  A wood or metal ring would be a nice replacement for all that wretched plastic.

post #218 of 5003

Nice. Just to hear that the grados respond so well to minor adjustments has me searching for my first pair. I only have my senn 497's so I hope what I'm reading will translate to a great listening experience.

 

Thanks for sharing this info, and answering my Pm's about Grado's. 

 

Mod on senior Bill.....

 

 

 

post #219 of 5003
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Majestic View Post

Nice. Just to hear that the grados respond so well to minor adjustments has me searching for my first pair. I only have my senn 497's so I hope what I'm reading will translate to a great listening experience.

 

Thanks for sharing this info, and answering my Pm's about Grado's. 

 

Mod on senior Bill.....


Thanks!  I'd like to see (and hear) what a pair of Grados would be like if the chambers could be widened.  Double-ringed, I'm surprised at how well they pick up spatial artifacts.  A wider profile from the outset might reduce the amount of horizontal expansion necessary to provide a chamber with enough volume to duplicate what I'm hearing right now.  I'd also like to see a wooden gimbal maintain or improve the flexibility of these Grados.  Finally, I'd like to see about horizontally expanding the gimbal holder to avoid an over-stretch when these headphones are strapped onto a larger-than-normal head.

post #220 of 5003

Today I decided to mod my SR-80 a bit. I picked up some felt circles in the hardware department at Wal-Mart. You can also buy felt strips. These are the PERFECT size. I ended up cutting off 10% of them and cutting one edge off. Two of them inside the SR-80 fit perfectly while not covering up any holes.

 

I also removed the fabric "filter". If anyone does this, make sure to be careful when doing this and not accidentally poke the driver. I was so close to doing this.

After that I poked a few holes as described earlier in this thread. I think I made too many and that was a mistake on my part. More on that later.

 

I've found that when using a hair dryer it only takes about 40-60 seconds of heat on high to pop open the plastic. I tried previously without heating it, but would have been near impossible. The glue inside only needs to get soft and it gets soft very quickly. With the hair dryer method, there is still a small chance of damaging the plastic if you're not careful. I used a tiny screwdriver to pop them off.

 

I also put a piece of felt on the back of the driver/magnet(?) making sure not to cover of the two holes.

 

The stupid mistake I made was that I tried to take off the "SR-80" button. It can come off without destroying the grill, but it would take a lot of work and trouble. I ended up removing it, but there is now a tiny hole there. It doesn't look bad, but my goal was to redo this area instead anyway. I just didn't get the material yet.

 

When I listened to them with my amp I immediately noticed a HUGE difference in sound quality. You'd have to be deaf not to! I was trying to just think it was just my imagination, but definitely not. The only problem is that I think I poked too many holes. There seems to be almost too much midbass. It's quite annoying and only occurs on certain songs and it almost makes them feel "cheap". I'm not sure what caused this, but I can probably cover up some of the holes and see if that removes it. There definitely is a lot more bass and I like it. Luckily the midbass issue is just on specific songs, but it's not that bad. Kind of reminds me of the bass of the Porta Pro, but in this case it's not a good thing. I kept hearing it alot during some...Cantopop music! Never really remembered much bass being in that type of music before!

 

Overall it was definitely worth it. Now they sound much better then a $80 headphone for sure. I defininitely suggest everyone try these mods out. Just be sure to not poke too many holes at first.

 

BTW I just ordered the HFI-680. Hope I like them. I may not even need them now. They're too expensive for my wallet, so I'm having a guilty conscience right now.

 

Does anyone else think the SR-80 has somewhat poor imaging? Sometimes I hear a man's voice moving from left to right very fast on the "Slumdog Millionaire" soundtrack and it's a lot harder on the SR-80 to tell where it's coming from. It's just not as noticeable. I also had this problem when someone was playing a violin and moving around in a circle. On some other headphones I feel as if I could hear a pin drop and could spot what direction it came from. On my DT-880 I had in the past, it was like this, but of course that's a $220+ headphone. Sometimes the soundstage feels just non-existent also, even before the "upgrade". It's about as bad as the soundstage on the M50 and this is an open headphone. I guess maybe I expect too much from an $80 headphone!


Edited by tdockweiler - 9/24/10 at 12:02am
post #221 of 5003

 

Quote:
 A wood or metal ring would be a nice replacement for all that wretched plastic.

 

I agree, I think the circular wooden gimbal you were working on was looking promising.

 

I think an aim should be to get rid of as much plastic as is humanly possible, for reasons of ressonance and aesthetics. My least favourite part of the Grado is the horrible plastic L-R blocks so would personally like to see an alternative to those.

 

I've just got bought a second pair of MS1 (i version this time) from the classifieds for my MS1000, so when they arrive I will have my current non-i MS1 to use as a bit of "modding playground" without any worry about whether I break them or not (would still rather not obviously!). I might tackle trying to remove the baffle face entirely if I'm feeling brave...

post #222 of 5003

 

Quote:
 Does anyone else think the SR-80 has somewhat poor imaging? Sometimes I hear a man's voice moving from left to right very fast on the "Slumdog Millionaire" soundtrack and it's a lot harder on the SR-80 to tell where it's coming from. It's just not as noticeable. I also had this problem when someone was playing a violin and moving around in a circle. On some other headphones I feel as if I could hear a pin drop and could spot what direction it came from. On my DT-880 I had in the past, it was like this, but of course that's a $220+ headphone. Sometimes the soundstage feels just non-existent also, even before the "upgrade". It's about as bad as the soundstage on the M50 and this is an open headphone. I guess maybe I expect too much from an $80 headphone!

 

 

Well that's due to the supra-aural nature of them - the drivers are just too close to the ear to allow a proper soundstage. Obviously this can be fixed with jumbo pads (g-cush) although these can have their own problems - namely the mids go all weird and the sound thins out.

 

The ten-holes-punched scheme does very well to solve those problems but it does leave you in a situation where you have some extra mid bass with other sorts of pads, also if you use distancers and jumbo pads as well. There are some ways to cure this too which I want to do some proper listening to be sure before announcing them.

 

The best way to get soundstage is with distancers with some holes drilled in and g-cush pads - this mod works a treat on MS1 and MSPro but historically has been trickier to pull off with Grados - however now Bilavideo has introduced us to hole-punching - that may no longer be the case. Lining the g-cush pads with fabric is a whole new world still in an experimental stage - it is insane the number of variables arrive when you get into that.

 

I think the mid-bass thing is greatly exageratted by the Grado sound being typified by flat mid bass that lends the extreme clarity to their phones. Listen to a ten-holes-punched Grado after a holes-closed Grado and yes it might sound like a mid-bass orgy, but then go from a ten-holes-open Grado on to a set of phones like the HD650 and you might agree it is still a pretty modest amount! All things are relative.

 

I do agree with your advice to start with less holes, and the growing consensus on the MS1000 thread is four does the trick. It can't be a coincidence this is what Grado puts into his higher end phones as well. Ten-Holes is a lot of fun, and essential if you want to use g-cush without distancers, but four-holes is a lot more versatile.

post #223 of 5003

I agree, someone should mod his Grado SR-series a la the MS1000 mod. I think from what I have read the best candidate is the SR-225.

 

Oh and about opening up the cups I like to use the spoon method. Simply use the tapered end of a spoon and push the cups off. Use some cloth so as not to scratch the plastic.

post #224 of 5003
Thread Starter 

I'm happy to say I've found a new project for improving the Grados.  I haven't done this yet but it's next on my list.

 

Have you ever noticed how people complain about Grados and comfort?  I'm used to dismissing this as a bit of headfi immaturity.  People have become so spoiled.  There was a time, not that long ago, when most headphones were supraaural, and earaches from all the pressure on the pinnae were commonplace.  "In my day," as the old man would say, we just took a break.  That was when you hit the fridge, had a snack, used the bathroom and maybe checked your mail.  After a few minutes, you were ready to go back.  Anybody who has ever had a hot weekend can tell you, even the most pleasurable activities need a periodic break between sessions.

 

But in the last little while, I started noticing some legitimate issues - nothing I could dismiss by chuckling, "pansy," under my breath.  I noticed it on the HF2.  I noticed it again on the SR325.  And while sizing this latest project up for new improvements, it occurred to my that there's another reason Grados get a bad rap for comfort.

 

The headband is too narrow.

 

What must have seemed like an intuitive move - to run the gimbal straight down from the headband - may have produced unforeseen fitness issues.  Grado has a tendency to make minor changes and to prefer a backwards compatibility all the way through the production line.  I've noticed, when using the G-Cush jumbos, that the headband architecture hasn't really changed much - from the SR60 to the PS1000.  This presents some logistical problems.  The original PS1 and HP1000 series were designed for flats.  As the cushions have gotten larger, the headband has remained the same.  Nothing much, if anything, has been done to adjust to the fact that the cushions are now larger than before.  Certainly, nothing has been done to reassess the balance issues when carrying much bulkier and heavier shells.

 

Till now.

 

Playing with my new toy, I've noticed that the larger shells still have to deal with a headband designed for much smaller shells.  As the headband bends to accommodate larger equipment hanging from the gimbal, the stretch is one that forces the cups into a downward orientation.  It's because the gimbal assembly is simply too close to the skull.  Grado designed the plastic bridge between the headband and the gimbal to droop down, next to the side of the head.  The wire from the headband is given a slot that's centered over the plastic piece.  While this may have seemed like a good idea at the time, it is not designed for today's Grados - with bigger shells and bigger pads.  

 

It's a problem that could be easily fixed by simply allowing the assembly to shift laterally away from the skull.  The plastic bridge could be easily replaced with wood, and the positioning of the gimbal could be shifted laterally, to allow pads enough space to avoid pulling the headband away from the head.  The reason people complain of not being able to rock their skull while listening to the GS1000 and PS1000 is that the jumbo pads cause the headband to be stretched away from the skull, which forces a roll-off in stability.  As your head wedges the two ends of the headband apart, it makes these bigger cans easier to pop off.  When doing dishes (yes, real men clean up), I've found it more difficult to keep my Grados balanced on my head when I'm leaning over.

 

This is all because the big pads pry the headphones off your head.  They don't make for a snug fit because the headband has never been redesigned.  Grado is still using the old architecture for a new set of cans.

 

This weekend, as part of a project I'm finishing for a friend in California, I'm going to remake the headband.  It's not going to be a radical change, but it'll be fundamental.  My aim is to produce a headband that fits better and provides superior stability and support.  If I'm successful, the Grado comfort issue may go the way of the dinosaurs.

 

Time will tell.

post #225 of 5003

Can't wait to see what you come up with man. 

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