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SR60-Mod - Page 23  

post #331 of 5003



I finally had some time to do a couple of Bilavideo's mods on my pair of 325i and thought I'd post my findings.



I used a right angle dental tool away from one of the holes to snag and then slowly lift the grill cloth until it tore. I was then able to pull off most of the cloth with my smallish fingers. The dental tool made quick work of the remaining threads. I thought I'd just live with this first mod for a few days before trying the hole mod so I did nothing else.


Listening, I could well understand how one could notice little sonic effect by tearing off these grills, especially if they don't have good aural memory or didn't listen to the same tune immediately before and after the mod. But thankfully I was able to notice changes. First thing that surprised me was that cymbals became sweeter and cleaner. Some high level transits that were a little rough before were less so now. There was more high and low level detail present...instrumental and vocal lines were easier to follow for instance. And I noticed imaging effects I hadn't heard before too. It also seemed the whole frequency range was louder (I was able to turn the volume down a notch) EXCEPT in the bass? To me the bass sounded a little drier, or less fleshed out. Even with the bass turned up on my Sansa Fuze player something still wasn't quite right compared to before (I think it was the EXTREME lows that were effected but I wasn't 100% sure). Why the bass was now a little anemic I couldn't say, perhaps the more noticeable mids and highs just obscured the bass a bit. Still with the increased detail and sense of ease I heard taking the cloths off was worth it. But I'm curious if anyone else who has just done the grill cloth mod also noticed reduced bass.     



I pulled off my medium length Head Coverage wood cups and used a bic pen to make the four holes as show. (If I didn't do the pic paste thing right the link is h**p://img218.imageshack.us/img218/5787/img26702.jpg). Oh, and I didn't do any damping. The very lightweight foam on the magnet back that you see was stuck on a couple of years ago but effected little to no change.


Listening. WOW...now there's the bass! Perhaps even a little too much bass. These longer (than stock aluminum) wood cups already naturally strengthen the bass so if you're using something similar I'd recommend you first try just two holes and go from there. The bass from these phones is now very satisfying compared to the pre-hole mod state. But it's only in bass strength and bass detail where I heard any change with the hole mod. All other improvement were wrought from removing the grill cloths I thought (but others may experience differently).


There is a little something extra about the hole mod that some might find difficult to believe tho. I'm slightly hard of hearing in my right ear...a reduced sensitivity across the entire frequency range if you will. With music systems and equipment without balance controls I'm always struggling with any headphone. In such cases I'm constantly pushing the headphones right driver closer to my ear trying to get a correct left/right balance. So when punching holes in my 325i I thought I'd try an experiment. On the left side instead of widening all four holes I left two of the holes with just the original pen point hole without widening. Well guess what, I definitely notice a balance shift and am not pushing the right driver towards to my ear anymore. It's now as it should be, some program material is slightly shifted to the left, and some program material is slightly shifted to the right...I'm very relieved and thrilled!


I've always known that ultra small tweaks in vinyl playback systems could make large sonic changes but I wasn't expecting this in a headphone...very surprising!


So I'm wondering just what the next Grado headphone mod will be. What I foresee is an inert adjustable 2 piece felt/fabric/paper system replacing the stock black felt/fabric hole covering. One semi circular piece fixed to the plastic and flanking the hole area (but not covering the holes) has a raised rail on each side of the holes. Another semi circular movable piece with holes rides underneath the first piece's rails. This movable piece with holes has at each end a tab with hole or loop that can be pulled to infinitely vary the amount of flow from all the holes at once. I mean pulling the tab on one end of this second slide piece would open all holes to whatever degree you want, pulling the other end tab would close all holes to whatever degree you want. Perhaps even a thin pin/rod could be used through the cups grill to mate with the tab's hole/loop for adjustment negating cup removal. Such a system would cater to those who like/need to tweak and fine tune for proper tonal and output balance.


Thanks again Bilivideo for these great mods. Cheers.       

post #332 of 5003

Found where I read you can peel off the material like Bill said....





Seems people have reattached them.


Edited by Majestic - 10/11/10 at 3:54pm
post #333 of 5003
Originally Posted by VinylCat62 View Post



Wow, I love those cups, where'd you get them?

post #334 of 5003
Originally Posted by zero7525 View Post

Wow, I love those cups, where'd you get them?

Thanks. Those were made by a nice chap named Cody Saffle and purchased through his company Head Coverage a few years ago. He used to post here now and then and I think may have even been a head-fi sponsor too. I got one of his last pairs before he shut down operation but he may be making them again (I haven't been lurking here much so I don't know).


They ended up costing me $167 CND which I thought was a little expensive at the time but have turned out to be good value, a good sonic upgrade, and are lighter than the stock gold 325i cups. I think they're made of mahogany.


I forget what his Head-fi handle name here was but I suppose if you search "headcoverage" you could get more info (there was a nice review of them somewhere on this site). His email was "HeadCoverageWood@gmail.com" (don't know if that's still active tho).  

post #335 of 5003

Nice. One day, I will have the luxury of paying a large wad of cash for wood - very nice looking wood. 

Hey, Bilavideo. I'm going to recable my sr 225s soon, using 4 feet of 4 braid silver cable from homegrown audio.
Any tips on the recable? Any words of caution? 

post #336 of 5003
Originally Posted by zero7525 View Post

Hey, Bilavideo. I'm going to recable my sr 225s soon, using 4 feet of 4 braid silver cable from homegrown audio.

Any tips on the recable? Any words of caution? 



Also, I cant believe you sold your PS1000s.

post #337 of 5003

Maybe it's this guy? Or not this site sells the same stuff and it looks like they are still shipping.




Bill where's the updates. 

post #338 of 5003
Originally Posted by Majestic View Post

Maybe it's this guy? Or not this site sells the same stuff and it looks like they are still shipping.




Bill where's the updates. 

I'd rather buy my cups from jmoney, it way cheaper that way. Have you checked that site?

post #339 of 5003



    I just barely bought my first set of cans. I'm more like the OP Bill. I like to make stuff but suck at it. I look at sites like Jmoney and others to get ideas then look around locally to see if I can find material to do something like it. 



post #340 of 5003
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by zero7525 View Post
Hey, Bilavideo. I'm going to recable my sr 225s soon, using 4 feet of 4 braid silver cable from homegrown audio.

Any tips on the recable? Any words of caution? 

Sorry for the delay.  Life has a way of hijacking your leisure.  Tips on recabling?  Homegrown has the wires in two colors - a clear and a white sheath.  It's good to have both.  Let one of those colors stand for you ground.  When you have your Grados opened, you'll see that there's a common color in each cup and that it's in the same polarity.  I take the four-wire braid and undo the braid for the length of the Y-split to allow two wires (one of each color) for each channel.  A question comes up as to what is what on the other end, but that's easy to handle as long as you wire up the terminator properly.  I have a song, The Who's Pinball Wizard, which I use to tell me which channel is left and which is right (On Pinball Wizard, the track begins in the right channel).  When soldering, make sure you take care of your tip first, then prepare the wire, then add some solder to the pads.  This will make it easier to do a quick and clean joint.  Don't try to steal solder from the pad and don't overheat the pad.  Also, if you're using a sheath, remember to put it on before you solder the terminator.  There's nothing quite like sealing the whole thing up and remembering you have this Santa stocking to put on.

Originally Posted by BobSaysHi View Post

Also, I cant believe you sold your PS1000s.


It has taken me a while to ungrip my fingers, which were tightly wrapped around those cans.  I had a sentimental attachment to them, but I've been trying to learn some Buddhist detachment and the need for cash - to fund my new projects - has finally allowed me to let go of them.  They're the best Grado has ever made (apart from the exotics) but they're not the best I've ever heard.  As arrogant as it may sound, I like what I've been making in my carport and I'm eager to keep that process going.  At this point, there's really no going back.  I can no longer be satisfied, even with a pair of PS1000s.

Originally Posted by Majestic View Post

Bill where's the updates. 


In the last little while, life has grabbed me by the throat.  I'm just now shaking off the mugging.  I've got some pictures I'm uploading tonight.  Nothing spectacular, by I'm quite taken with the idea represented by them.

Originally Posted by Majestic View Post

 I'm more like the OP Bill. I like to make stuff but suck at it


I'm humbled by the compliment.

post #341 of 5003

Ahh, more reading to come. I have to say you have opened up more possibilities to go outside the box and say "it's ok". Your adventurous roads make modding possible. And yes I have to say you have picked up some fun toys in  the process which make me a little jealous.    


Thanks and Mod on......

post #342 of 5003
Thread Starter 



With the new equipment, I've been using different sizes of hole saws.  In addition to imitating the dimensions of the RS1, I've found that I'm so much more enthusiastic about going wider and thicker.  




The idea is to get rid of the "cupness," first by liberating the driver of its plastic (cup and grill) and then by introducing an actual baffle to get away from the cylindrical, tubular design of an unmodified Grado.  Sound waves aren't uniformly "directional."  HF waves are more so than LF waves.  HF waves tend to be highly directional, which is why tweeters have a narrower dispersion field.  With tweeters, you want to be in that "sweet spot," which is based on where they're aimed.  With woofers and subwoofers, the "sweet spot" isn't an issue because LF waves are less directional.  They tend to radiate out in arcs.  The desire to vent HF waves helps explain the genius of an "open" design, particularly one that leaves as little as possible in the center of the back shell, so there's as little resonance as possible.  But what about bass?  What's happening as it radiates outward?




The narrower the shells, the more the sides of the shells are going to become a source of resonance.  Some folks may like it this way because it gives them more of that slam effect, but if you're not a huge fan of mid- and upper-bass, there's something to be said of going wider.




A wider air chamber is going to have greater volume.  And a thicker shell is going to be more rigid.  The idea is to get as much volume as possible without ending up with tubes so long they look like horns - or Frankenstein's bolts.




These shells are just in their formative stage.  I haven't drilled holes for the cables or glued all the parts together.  I still need to do a little more sanding, as well as staining and lacquering.  But the concept works.




Going wider with a baffle helps fight the baffle effect.  



If you've ever noticed, while cranking up the bass for a home theater, that the bass seems to be louder behind your system than in your face, it's because of this tendency of LF waves to radiate rather than disperse directionally.  Without L-Pads, you end up with bass chasing lots of treble.




Isn't that a frequent complaint of Grados?  People complain that the treble is "too efficient," even to the point of being shrill or grating.  But there's nothing wrong with the treble.  Grado's treble puts the filtered cans to shame.  The problem is in capturing the bass.  Closed cans solve this problem by using the backs to throw the back wave forward.  Often, what you get is boomy bass and highly-filtered (and canny) treble.  Open cans sound more natural, more "open," but capturing the bass is an obvious challenge.




A wider baffle presents a wider face, which will not only do justice to the HF and soundstage (which is one benefit of jumbo pads) but one which helps capture the lateral aspect of the bass in forward waves.  The idea is to use less "bass extension" (which mixes back-wave bass into the mix to even up the tonal balance) and rely more on the bass aspect of the forward wave - without having to resort to cups in front (which would introduce all-new resonance issues).



Edited by Bilavideo - 10/12/10 at 4:54pm
post #343 of 5003

Hey Bilavideo,


Just out of curiosity, how many drivers have you killed, if any?


I stuck a screwdriver all the way through my headphones, completely by accident of course. I forgot to secure the driver, and it had come loose, and was sideways inside the housing. It was dark, and in my haste I grabbed my little screwdriver right next to me and accidentally stuck it through one of the bass holes and straight through the other end. I was trying to wedge it down so that it would sit the way it was supposed to.


And I'll say it again, anyone need an sr80i driver?

post #344 of 5003
Thread Starter 

Your driver can be fixed.  I'll PM you.  And to answer your question, I lost count.  On the other hand, I've come to realize that the driver is more resilient than you think.  I don't mean to make a photo essay out of everything, but . . . . 



There's a lot of mumbo-jumbo mysticism when it comes to drivers but they're simpler than they look.




It's just a mylar diaphragm with a voice coil of flat copper, a magnet, a magnet plate and a vented driver back.




I took this precious mylar - this hyped-up potato-chip bag - and washed it in the sink.  Every wrinkle popped right out like a wash-and-wear shirt.




Diaphragm front.jpg

Edited by Bilavideo - 10/12/10 at 5:21pm
post #345 of 5003

bill the pictures are great. thanks. i was wondering if you could try to video tape the whole process next time your "helping out a friend" with their sr60s?

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