I’m curious as to what sort of impressions those of you that have added wood shells to your Grado’s can share about the sonic improvements you’ve netted. I’m guessing from the traffic in the SR60-mod thread and the post your Grado mod thread that a fair number of folks got wood.
I’m definitely a Grado head as opposed to being some sort of audiphile. My stock Grado journey started with the SR60, a 225i, an MS2i, and finally the HF2. I have also wooded my SR60’s with two different types of wood and put some wood on a pair of 225’s; and I’ve spent the last week comparing and contrasting my HF2’s and the “woodied” 225’s to a pair of MS Pro’s that were loaned to me by pbstefanandwhich. Thank You Stefan I really appreciate your generous spirit in offering me the opportunity to satisfy a curiosity.
The MS Pro is a great headphone and deserves all the accolades it gets. My first impression was sort of meh, until my head wrapped itself around the sound. The MS Pro has a very rich warm sound. The bass is typical Grado. The mids are warm and smooth and the treble fills in the details nicely. In some ways I think the MS Pro and the HF2 have a similar color. The bass on the MS Pro is tighter though while the HF2’s can be a bit sloppy some times and the MS Pro has an airier feel to it.
The gear used here other than the headphones was an Audio GD Sparrow via USB from my PC. The music is channeled via Media Monkey and from that configuration to my ears. I didn’t really A/B per se. So my impressions are sort of my psycho acoustic perception of each headphone.
I’ve been listening to the HF2 since October and really like it. I owned a 225 once before and it’s a good fit with the music I listen to, which is pretty much guitar driven bluesy stuff. The two biggest changes from plastic to wood IMO is the timbre of the presentation and the soundstage. It’s also more resonant. Unfortunately one of the drivers on my SR60 died on me. It still works sort of but it sounds like its being smothered by a pillow. Anyway the “woodied” SR60 could easily hang with its more expensive cousins before the driver issue occurred. I never really got to A/B the 60 and 225 but they were similar.
So Anyway I’ve spent a good amount of time this past week listening to the MS Pro as well as listening to different songs back to back to back with the three headphones and a couple of times entire albums. I just got the new Tedeschi Trucks album Revelator and that’s one I listened to with all three headphones. I think I preferred the HF2 with that one but my impressions have definitely been mixed. The MS Pro does a lot of things right but so does the “woodied” 225 for a lot less money.
The “woodied” 225 has a slightly brighter presentation and it doesn’t seem as colored as the other two. By colored, my perception is that the MS Pro had a more woody and earthy tone to it than my “woodied” 225. The African Blackwood tonally is a member of the Rosewood family. One of the comments I read when researching the tonal characteristics of the African Blackwood was, Brazilian Rosewood is to African Blackwood, what Indian Rosewood is to Brazilian Rosewood; which I guess makes it better than Brazilian at least in that guys opinion, who knows. It sounds good and looks good though.
Rosewoods supposedly resonate across the frequency spectrum pretty well and that seems to be the case. I had some driver housings fabricated from African mahogany to keep it a little Grado and emphasize the mids.
Anyway last week was a lot of fun and has me thinking that my next set of cups will be sourced from wood with a more earthy and woody tone. I’m thinking Limba (Korina) or Koa. Also a one piece design rather than a 2 piece configuration. I have another project rolling around in my head that adds some carbon fiber to the mix.
Enough from me what’s your story.
Edited by KneelJung - 6/15/11 at 9:08pm