I responded to a PM from another head fier yesterday with regard to how these modded 60's stacked up against other Grado's. I used the 225 as my reference point. IMO the stock 225's sound much better than a stock 60 but they are very very similar in terms of their sound signature they are just more Grado. The bass ia a little better, the mids are smoother and more liquidy, and they offer a little more clarity and definition. Overall it's just a better headphone. I think a good analogy is it's sort of like the difference between 128kps and 256kps and they seem to have a little more dimensionality to them, they are airier sounding.
The modded SR60 though bridges the gap. Some are still going to prefer the 225 and the no muss no fuss approach, plug and play. My impressions on the 60 I modded is, recabling it with the 4 braided silver brought out more details and improved the clarity quite a bit, and the punch mod added some bass. The big difference is the tonal quality of the wood versus plastic. The wood is much more organic and has a more natural resonance. Not quite sure about soundstage yet though. I've done some extensive listening with jumbos and it adds quite a bit to the soundstage. Moreso than a 225 with bowls. It comes at a sacrifice though because they diffuse quite a bit of the Grado energy. They dont completely suck out the mids like they did when I tried them on the HF2 but they do get recessed. It also provides for a little darker presentation. It tames the highs, which to some extent is not all that bad of a thing.
I did some tinkering yesterday and switched some pads around. I posted on this above. Right now I'm using the comfies but I would like to find a compromise somewhere between what the bowls present and what the jumbos present. Any thoughts on that yet Bill?
And my HF2 got some head time yesterday too. I absolutely love that headphone.
I'm having trouble getting the thoughts out. Somebody (ahem) sent me Joe Bonamassa's The Ball of John Henry and I'm currently having an out of body experience. With so much forgettable, avoidable radio noisy in my life, it's a pure listening pleasure to hear this track, with its perfect-live-recording quality to it. I'm test-driving a headphone using Brazilian rosewood shells and, while my mind tells me I'm listening unamped, my ears think I'm getting it amped. That guitar on Last Kiss is just incendiary. It ought to be illegal is seven states. Why isn't THIS playing on the radio?
Coming back to the point, I agree that the sweet spot is going to be somewhere between the bowls and the jumbos. The jumbos sound terrific off an amped source where all that air comes as a relief to the claustrophobia of heavy bass. With unamped sources, the bowls give better bass, but you do miss the soundstage and air. I had a good experience creating a toilet pad of one half of a pad on top of a bow. slipping in some extra air without losing too much energy and/or bass. This weekend, between projects, I'm going to see what I can do to leather up some pads. I do believe that the saving grace of the little pads (comfies/flats) is that they hold onto the bass, but at a cost in soundstage. The bowls are the golden mean of pads. The jumbos are harder to use on unamped sources because the bass has trouble keeping up. If (oh my God, there goes Jockey Full of Bourbon) the cushion were leathered up, you could afford the luxury of distance. I'm going to give it a try before the weekend is up.