I've temporarily shelved the carbon-fiber project until I work out the issues with the wood, but carbon fiber won't be a problem. The shells will be easy to mold.
Dammit Bill, you've created a monster. I'll be going up to Lowes to get some wood to try different shells. I'll be experimenting with different widths and lengths, and I'm going to write a review of each shell's strengths and weaknesses. Should I just add it onto this thread, or create another thread and link it here? Should I do all the experimenting and release it all at once, or just add onto it as I go?
Feel free to post here and to post as you go. That way, there's no wait. We all get to share in your adventures.
I've been listening to the cans for quite some time now and.. I still can't figure it out. I don't quite trust myself because its easy to hear what you want to hear, and I can't quite remember what my Grados sounded like before the extensive modding anyway. I know I love what I'm hearing now and I'm more than satisfied with what I have.. but does changing just the shell on the back drastically affect SQ? And how so, actually?
The shell isn't everything. It's a part of a larger whole. But as parts go, it's important. When you vent the drivers, damp the back plate, strip the driver cloth, upgrade the wire, and remove the plastic mesh and button, you can hear the difference. You don't need air chambers to get great HF. The cleanest sound you can get would be to go K1000 and simply positions the driver up to your ear. But then you'd have little bass. The chamber lets you baffle up (and avoid signal cancellations that decimate volume). It also lets you capture some of that runaway bass and redirect it. In this case, the material matters.
I think it's interesting that aluminum has such a high velocity of sound (16,000 ft/second), which is a bit higher than hard woods (13,000 ft/second). That's nothing compared to diamonds (39,000 ft/second) but neither is the price tag. Still, it's not hard to see the connection between the velocity of sound in aluminum and Grado's biggest hits: the PS1, the HP1000, the PS1000 and the HF2. The SR325 has had more mixed reviews, but I'm sure it's partly because Grado didn't vent the driver and, instead, left in a plastic ring and plastic button, both of which left a mark. When I modded my SR325is, I couldn't believe how much better it sounded after venting, damping and limited plastic removal. The hybrid design of the PS1000 and HF2 are undoubtedly based on the idea that wood is good for warmth, but that too much of it can produce an unwanted boominess. The MS1000 crowd seems to know this, which is why they drill holes or vents into their spacers.
Check out this site: http://www.islandone.org/LEOBiblio/SPBI1MA.HTM It says that carbon fiber has a velocity of sound two to four times that of aluminum!
Edited by Bilavideo - 12/25/10 at 8:40am