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SR60-Mod part II

post #1 of 3331
Thread Starter 

 

 

Hello gang, I've started this thread so we could pick up were we left off (http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/508459/sr60-mod). Welcome to SR60 part II! 

 

 

Firstly, here is a link to markkr's "How to: Grado cable mod" thread. http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/563355/how-to-grado-cable-mod#post_7618070 

 

 

 

 

Secondly, below are twenty plus posts by Bilavideo "lifted" from the original SR60-Mod thread to help get us started off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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  • 3,135 Posts. Joined 2/2008
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A friend of mine asked me to modify his brand-new SR60i (which he bought and had sent to my door).  We talked about the SR60i as the perfect Grado to mod because of its low cost ($79) and family resemblance to the higher-cost Grados.  We also discussed how the SR60 has the mellowest HF performance against other Prestige Grados, something that was important to him, since his favorite can is the DT770/80.

 

PrestigeGrados.png

 

He sent me the Grados and I got to work.  At first glance, the SR60s aren't much to look at.  They come in a little pizza box that only Grado lovers can appreciate.  As everybody knows, the best pizza comes from New York - in this case, Brooklyn.

 

32-box.jpg

 

Like the Koss PortaPro, the SR60 is a model of minimalist efficiency.  The headband is just vinyl over wire.  The cushions are modest "comfies."  The cups are plastic imitations of the classic shells of the RS1.

 

32-inthebox.jpg

 

31-cups.jpg

 

If the SR60 doesn't quite dazzle like some of its more expensive brothers (or sisters), it's partly because it's a box of compromises: plastic shells, plastic grills, standard wiring and itty bitty cushions.

 

29-outofhtebox.jpg

 

As a former owner of the SR80, SR225, SR325i, RS1, HF2 and GS1000, and as a current owner of the PS1000, I know you can always buy your way up the product line.  But if you're a high-school or college student, you may just have to make the best of what you have - or of what you can get.  That's where modding comes in.

 

Like cars on a used-car lot, "everything" on an SR60 "is priced to go." 

 

 

Second post:

 

QUARTER MOD

 

The pads on the SR60 - the C-Cush or "comfies" - are, in fact, just that.  But who wants a filter between their ear and the driver?  (besides Sennheiser lovers)  The comfies provide a nice place to park your ears.  The quarter mod lets you "open things up," if just a little.  Just pinch, cut, bite or laser-beam a portal for your ear canals.

 

27-quartermod.jpg

 

 

 

Third post:

 

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TAKE IT ALL OFF, BABY

 

If, after quarter-modding your SR60, you still feel a veil between your ears and your driver, it's time to take intimacy to the next level.  Every Grado headphone - from the bottom to the top - has a grill cloth.  Whether these grill cloths are identical from model to model is anybody's guess, but I've never been partial to the ones on the SR60.  With the edge of a sharp knife and a little care, you can strip off the grill cloth.

 

27-grillcloth.jpg

9-grillcloth.jpg

 

Removing this cloth is a bit of work.  While the bulk of the cloth comes off easily, there are always little snakes that will cling for life.  To get rid of them, it takes a little work with the tip of your knife (where they're glued in) and fingers like pliers.

 

8-spaghettigrills.jpg

6-spaghettigrills.jpg

 

Well, if that isn't a poster for headphone abuse, I don't know what is.  Still, with persistence, you can get something like this:

 

5-clengrills.jpg

 

I'm not wild about the plastic grill, but I prefer it liberated of its loin cloth.  To my ears, the sound is a tad cleaner.  Dust gets in a little easier, but it blows out more easily as well.  I may be the only guy on the eastern seaboard telling you to blow your phones on a regular basis, but if you're like me, you'll do almost anything for good sound.

 

 

 

Fourth post:

 

 

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  • Location: Florida

TIME TO VENT

 

Every Grado - from top to bottom - has a series of ten tiny holes ringed around the driver.  The purpose of these holes is to allow the driver to vent.  On the low-end Grados, every single one of these holes is covered by a semipermeable paper or cloth.  As a result, if you were to hold the SR60 up to a light source, you could look through the back of the driver, but you wouldn't see much light.

 

17-unpopped.jpg

16-unpopped.jpg

 

On this particular SR60, there was a certain mismatch between the two rear driver cloths.

 

15-unpopped.jpg

 

Ironically, the holiest of Grados are also quite holey.  Take a look at my PS1000:

 

PS1k-holes.jpg

 

Well, screw that.  Even the HF2 has at least one hole, so - as Pharoah said - "So let it be written; so let it be done."  Or as Joe Pesci might say, "You want holes.  I got your holes, right here."

 

10-holespopped.jpg

 

These holes are easier to pop than it is for seniors in South Florida to vote for president.  But we've skipped a step!  To vent your driver, you'll first need to get the cups apart.


Edited by Bilavideo - 8/21/10 at 10:07pm  

 

 

 

Fifth post:

 

 

OPENING UP YOUR SR60i

 

Fortunately, the SR60i is one of the easier Grados to open up.  Its cups are held together by rubbery glue that's heat-sensitive.  Softening the glue is simply a matter of steaming the cups till the glue loosens up.  I've ruined a few shells by putting them in boiling water (bad idea).  You don't need a full boil, just steam.  A few minutes of a shallow steam bath will do the trick - at least with the SR60i.

 

23-streaming.jpg

 

I filled a teapot with water, got it hot an d steamy and then poured a shallow layer of water into a cake pan.  That's the objective.  Of course, to place my cups in steamy water, I had to first prepare them.

 

26-unhooked.jpg

 

The minimalist design of the SR60 makes it easy to take apart.  The forks that connect the cups to the headband just clip on - and what clips on can as easily clip off.

 

25-unhooked.jpg

 

Okay class, quick question: Which side would you want your cups facing when they hit the water?  Top side up or Poseidon Adventure?

 

22-steaming.jpg

 

If you said, "Top side up," you should register to vote.  But I digress.  

 

20-inside.jpg

 

Give it just enough time to do its thing and you'll be able to pry your Grados apart WITH YOUR BARE HANDS.  (Chuck Norris can do it without the steam.)  It's a little drippy but it wipes right off, revealing undamped plastic chambers, the magnet plate, those holes we want to pop and some wiring we're going to mess with before this story is over.

 

19-inside.jpg

 

18-pieces.jpg

 

 

Sixth post:

 

 

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WHY VENT?

 

Closed cans are usually great with bass but not always as great with HF.  Open cans, on the other hand, are often great with HF but have to find a way to recover the bass they leak by having "open" backs.  Grados often get a bad rap as "bright" or "shrill" when new users crank up the volume hoping to get the bass they seem to be missing.  What they get is a head full of HF.  On the other hand, that would be the case if someone judged the HD600, HD650, HD800, K701/702 or T1 on the same basis.  High-impedance headphones need a good amp, not just for volume but for tone control.  In the absence of a classic "shell," all you've got is a driver, and if all you have is that driver, that driver needs power to deliver.

 

But Grados aren't exactly electric guitars looking for a place to plug in.  Grados are more like acoustic guitars.  They use an "air chamber" to amplify the bass and release backwave resonance at the same time.  It's a tricky little trick, which is why Grado's best cans use aluminum, mahogany and mahogany-aluminum chambers to deliver bass while tossing out extra treble.  Some argue that they're better with the latter than they are with the former.  Not many would continue to make that argument if they heard the same Grados hooked up to a decent amp.  That's because the amps fully power the Grados to get the most out of their drivers.  In a word, what they provide is "airflow."

 

Venting the drivers increases airflow.  This provides certain advantages in obtaining a better tonal balance.  It also gives Grados - even the lowly SR60 - an undeniable kick.  It may not be lowest grumble, but it's a slam that goes down like fine wine.  The result is a bass that satisfies the bass craving, which has an effect on how loud the cans really need to be to fully satisfy.  With a more dynamic bass, it's funny how the HF becomes so much less problematic.


Edited by Bilavideo - 8/21/10 at 9:32pm
Image is nothing.  Style is nothing.  Sound rules supreme. 

 

 

Seventh post:

 

 

DAMP IT ALL TO FELT!

 

Once you increase the airflow, the sonic qualities of the chamber become much more important.  That may have some bearing on why the lower-end Grados don't vent.  What, exactly, are the sonic qualities of plastic?

 

Once you vent an SR60, you'll want to make sure you're not adding a "canny" resonance, the very stuff you're trying to avoid by going "open" instead of "closed."  There are expensive and inexpensive ways to pull this off.  My cheap-and-easy method was to follow the lead of those who found a solution in adhesive felt.  Hardware stores - from Lowes to Home Depot to Builders Square to Ace - sell little felt "feet" that can be attached to the bottom of anything you don't want to scratch or scuff.  This material is fairly cheap $4-5/bag.

 

2-MagnetBacks.jpg

 

Green or black would have been cooler colors, but this is what I found close by.  Putting it over the metal magnet plate added weight to it (to help damp its vibrations).  It also kept it from becoming a source of secondary vibrations as backwaves emanated into the air chamber.

 

1-buttons.jpg

 

The same material adheres easily to the back of the rear-grill button, preventing it from becoming a hard surface from which to launch backwave resonance back into the driver.  I ran out of perfect little circles (which I used on other projects), so I cut out some circle-like blobs, all of which look like cat crap.  Fortunately, their effect on the sound is much more appealing. 

 

 

 

Eighth post:

 

 

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THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING

 

SR60-closeup.jpg

 

Grados mod like no other can.  Just with these few mods, the process has begun - at least with this little pair.  Whatever you can buy in a better Grado, you can build into the Grado you already have.

 

This little Grado has yet to receive any cosmetic upgrade, but it's already a different can.  The cushions are modded.  The front grills are cleaner.  The drivers are more radically vented and the chambers are now damped.

 

It is closer to being a window of sound.

 

SR60-closeup2.jpg

 

As light passes through, unhindered, so should the sounds of the driver, moving in both directions unimpeded.

 

The wiring upgrade begins tomorrow.  I have obtained four feet of a four-wire weave of 24 AWG 99.99% pure silver wiring sheathed in teflon.  (Total cost, with nylon mesh and shipping: $60.)  With a shorter, more conductive wire, using separate grounds for most of the signal path, I'm hoping to end up with a svelt, lightweight, low-impedance signal path for the unamped listener.  We'll see if it works. 

 

 

 

Ninth post:

 

 

100x100px-LS-821b4ade_Us.jpg
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FELT DAMPING UPDATE

DampingUpdate.jpg

This is an $8 mod involving small, felt button pads (for the magnet back and back of rear-grill button) as well as a roll of felt liner.  The felt liner had to be cut to the right length and then clipped, in width, a few millimeters, to better facilitate the sliding together of the two halves of the cups.  This mod may not look like much but it makes a very pleasing difference in the sound.  Spikes are smoothed out and the bass feels tighter.  Both effects seem reasonably related to the reduction of inner-chamber resonance. 

 

 

 

Tenth post:

 

 

100x100px-LS-821b4ade_Us.jpg
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SILVER WIRE MOD

 

I've been eager to test the hype surrounding high-end silver cables.  I've long been something of a fine-wire skeptic.  I have trouble reconciling myself to the idea of paying $500 for interconnects and headphone cables.  Given the right diameter, copper will love you red, but given silver's higher conductivity, there's something attractive about trading in the garden hose for a svelt little light saber.  

 

SilverWireAndSheath.jpg

 

After analyzing the "active ingredients" of the big boys, I'm still skeptical of everything that isn't the actual wire.  I don't care how your mom made up her special batch of silver cabling, just give me 24 AWG 99.99% silver wire, four-braided and wrapped in teflon, with a nylon mesh.  If that doesn't do it, I'll stick with my garden hose.

 

SilverWireBetter.jpg

 

Thanks to the kind folks at Homegrown Audio Co., I get to check this out for myself without breaking the bank.  The four-wire braid cost me $47.40.  I couldn't decide on the color of the nylon mesh, so I bought a black one and a clear one for $1.25 each.  With $9.50 for UPS Ground, it cost me a total of $59.40.  (The dirty socks are mine and are not part of the upgrade.)

 

RadioShackItems.jpg

 

With the help of my favorite surly cashier at Radio Shack, I grabbed up some gold-plated connectors to make these cables detachable.  

 

CableWireCloseup.jpg

 

I was initially unsure of how I'd tell my wires apart, but since two of the wires are sheathed in silver teflon while the other two are sheathed in white, it makes it easy to assign one color the common ground.


Edited by Bilavideo - 8/22/10 at 9:55pm
Image is nothing.  Style is nothing.  Sound rules supreme.
 
 

 

 


Edited by Big Bill - 7/19/11 at 6:32pm
post #2 of 3331

Bill,  Thanks for getting us rolling again.  My heart sank when I saw the lock on the old (previous) thread. 

 

Sadly, I don't have any  perceived mods coming up this weekend.  I guess I'll just enjoy the fruits of my labor with lots of music listening.  However, I'll be around to try and answer questions that people might have within the thread. redface.gif

post #3 of 3331
Thread Starter 

 

 

Eleventh post:

 

 

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!

FinishedCable.jpg

THE SILVER MAFIA RULES!!!!

 

I hate to admit I was wrong.  I hate to admit the hype was real - or at least based in something other than a love of jewelry.  I thought after copper, I couldn't love another, but silver is amazing.  The presentation is more open.  Little details pop.  The bass is tight.  All hail superior conductivity!  I'm impressed!

 

Right now, I'm listening to Bob Marley's Three Little Birds and the bass is both kicking and more articulate.  I never realized Guns N' Roses' Welcome to the Jungle was such a textured, detail-driven track.  When I die, I want to live in those guitar riffs.  The Fixx's Changing is so crisp, it's hard to believe I'm listening with comfies on.  On Weezer's Freak Me Out, the first verse sounds like this, "City streets at night [cough] can be so intimidating . . . " (I never heard it before.)  The slam on The Cars' Night Spots is like a baseball bat to the skull.  Kiss's Cold Gin sounds practically live.  Avenged Sevenfold's Dear God is mellow but sparkly.  The Clash's "All The Young Punks" is practically holographic.  Grado grit meets the HD800's floating tracks.  Michael Jackson's Human Nature doesn't miss that odd electronic xylophone track hovering over the track.  Dolla's Feelin' Myself comes complete with that sandpaper squish.  You can hear somebody call out at the beginning of Journey's Dead or Alive.  The guitar plucks on Godsmack's Serenity just pop, as does a fret slide I had never heard before some 34 seconds in.  Devo's Working in the Coal Mine has a more palpable echo to its in-studio reverb.  On One Republic's Apology, the cellos just resonate.  Ozzy Osbourne's Mr. Crowley not only shook me with that opening organ but I was again surprised by the illusion of soundstage - on a Grado!  

 

Oh momma.

 

 

Twelfth post:

 

 

Woodies are next.  I'm retooling to create some woody shells.  The only catch is that I don't want to use the plastic cages the drivers are housed in.  I'd rather connect them as directly as possible to the wood.  When I go that route, I'm going to use matching metal grills fore and aft.

 

In the meantime, I've got another item for my wish list.  I contacted onlinemetals.com for a price on an aluminum housing 40mm in diameter and 50mm deep.  We'll see how that goes.

 

jumbosOnSR60.jpg

 

 

For now, the latest upgrade is to swap out the comfies for jumbos, which I've borrowed from my PS1000s.  This is a nice choice for acoustic material but is overkill with electronica, especially after upgrading to silver in the cabling.  The silver already brings out a wealth of details that blow my mind.  With the silver, the jumbos are not necessary to capture that HF detail, which keeps surprising me.  One thing I CAN say about the combination of full driver venting and silver: These cans still have tremendous kick, even with jumbos.  The HF2 has kick with bowls but doesn't quite make it to jumbos with that kick intact.  Nothing short of the GS1000 does - but these do.

Image is nothing.  Style is nothing.  Sound rules supreme.

 

 

 

Thirteenth post:

 

 

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GOING BUTTONLESS

 

As a follow-up to the issue of a slight sibilance with the jumbos, I traced the issue to the back button and the plastic rear grill.  Intent on at least removing the button for now, the button resisted arrest so I nuked the whole grill.  This leaves the SR60s backless - for now - but the jumbo sibilance is gone, giving new meaning to the phrase, "Don't make me go back there."

GrillFree.jpg

I'm currently shopping for more airflow-friendly grill replacements.  Lowe's wasn't much help.  Tomorrow, I'll scout out Home Depot.  For now, I think I'll just enjoy Dizzy Gillespie's "Man from Monterey."

 

 

Fourteenth post:

 

 

  • 3,135 Posts. Joined 2/2008
  • Location: Florida
Originally Posted by baka1969 View Post

Oh man! I keep eyeballing my poor innocent 225i. I have ten thumbs, two left hands and the dexterity of an elephant trying to text message. I'd almost certainly destroy something.  The one question I do have is, wouldn't the steam used to open the rear housing damage the driver or wires in any way? I'd really like to woody mine and add a nice headband. Maybe Blu-Tack the back of the driver. A recable is out of the question.  Keep up the good work!


Thanks!  I'm the elephant trying to text.  I've destroyed several Grados, though each act of wanton destruction is an educational experience.  Venting and amping are easy.  Recabling involves soldering wires, which is not so difficult once you muster the courage to get started (It took me several days to do that).  I was surprised, both at how cheap I could get silver wire and by the improvement it brought.  Silver is only 7% more conductive than copper wire of the same gauge.  While I doubt it provides more than 7% improvement, that 7% is noticeable - and not just in subtleties that remain indistinguishable from a placebo effect.  In all fairness, I also shortened the cable 60% and used a four-wire braid to provide each cup its own ground.  Whatever the case, I've been bombarded with too many sensory treats - and often unexpected ones - to write it all off as mass hysteria.  I still think the commercial cables are vastly overrated and overpriced, especially when you can buy the wire, yourself, and "roll your own."

 

I'm now onto woodies, which are currently kicking my butt.  I recently purchased some hole saws of various diameters and went to work making woodies in my utility room.


saw.jpg

 

It's really the little things that matter, like being able to create circles that look like circles.

 

start.jpg

 

So far, I've created - and botched - three of these but I'm getting better.  I don't know how many I'll go through before I hit paydirt, but I'd have to wreck a lot more of these before I'd want to give up in shame.

 

BoardsAndHoles.jpg

 

No success yet, but the only way I can fail is to quit.  Where's the fun in that?

Image is nothing.  Style is nothing.  Sound rules supreme.
 
Fifteenth post:
 
 
  • 3,135 Posts. Joined 2/2008
  • Location: Florida
Originally Posted by baka1969 View Post

Oh man! I keep eyeballing my poor innocent 225i. I have ten thumbs, two left hands and the dexterity of an elephant trying to text message. I'd almost certainly destroy something.  The one question I do have is, wouldn't the steam used to open the rear housing damage the driver or wires in any way? I'd really like to woody mine and add a nice headband. Maybe Blu-Tack the back of the driver. A recable is out of the question.  Keep up the good work!


Thanks!  I'm the elephant trying to text.  I've destroyed several Grados, though each act of wanton destruction is an educational experience.  Venting and amping are easy.  Recabling involves soldering wires, which is not so difficult once you muster the courage to get started (It took me several days to do that).  I was surprised, both at how cheap I could get silver wire and by the improvement it brought.  Silver is only 7% more conductive than copper wire of the same gauge.  While I doubt it provides more than 7% improvement, that 7% is noticeable - and not just in subtleties that remain indistinguishable from a placebo effect.  In all fairness, I also shortened the cable 60% and used a four-wire braid to provide each cup its own ground.  Whatever the case, I've been bombarded with too many sensory treats - and often unexpected ones - to write it all off as mass hysteria.  I still think the commercial cables are vastly overrated and overpriced, especially when you can buy the wire, yourself, and "roll your own."

 

I'm now onto woodies, which are currently kicking my butt.  I recently purchased some hole saws of various diameters and went to work making woodies in my utility room.


saw.jpg

 

It's really the little things that matter, like being able to create circles that look like circles.

 

start.jpg

 

So far, I've created - and botched - three of these but I'm getting better.  I don't know how many I'll go through before I hit paydirt, but I'd have to wreck a lot more of these before I'd want to give up in shame.

 

BoardsAndHoles.jpg

 

No success yet, but the only way I can fail is to quit.  Where's the fun in that?

Image is nothing.  Style is nothing.  Sound rules supreme.
 
 

 

Sixthteenth post:

 

 

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Well, it's happening.  On my fourth attempt, I got a ring I could use.  On my fifth attempt, I got a better one.  That gives me half of what I'm looking for.  Whoever said to go slow and keep the angle steady was right on the money.  Better advice was never had by any man with a saw in his hand.

 

I'll upload pics after making the next two rings.  They won't be pretty (sanded, stained or lacquered) but they'll be both functional and suggestive of where things might go from here.  The two shells I've already installed on my SR60 fit right over the plastic like a shoe.  I'm still interested in liberating the drivers from their plastic prisons but that's a delicate matter for another day.  I don't want to push my luck at the blackjack table.  Right now, I have a poor man's HF1.  In a few minutes, I hope to have a poor man's RS1.  My Droid X is dead so I'll post the pics after I've finished the cutting.  This is an exciting turn of events for someone as carpentry-challenged as myself.

Image is nothing.  Style is nothing.  Sound rules supreme.
 

 

 

 

Seventeenth post:

 

 

THE HUMBLE ROUGH AND TUMBLE OF MY FIRST HOMEMADE WOODIES

 

WoodiesJustGlued.jpg

 

They say that politics and sausage are two things you don't want to see made.  If so, my woodies must run a close third.  To get a full shell, I created pairs of wood rings for each side, then glued them together.  I can now understand why every one of my high-end Grados came with sloppy glue drips aplenty.  

 

WoodyCloseUpDriversUp.jpg

 

Like any construction site - or delivery room - the moment of birth is a drippy, disgusting, mess - but one that can be wiped with a rag and pushed further into the world.

 

WoodyVerticalDriversUp.jpg

 

I really like how these driver shells - plastic or not - slide right in like a hand to a glove.  Johnny Cochrane said, "If it don't fit, you must acquit."  But what if it fits like a pair of Bruno Maglis tracking through a rose bed?

 

WoodyDownTheShaft.jpg

 

I'll need to pull the drivers back out and sand, stain and lacquer these shells into something worth looking at.  I'd also like to drill them for mono jacks so I can make the cable detachable.

 

WoodyRuggedTurbines.jpg

 

Right now, my expectations are modest.  I needed to know I could woody these SR60s.  Clearly, it's feasible, even with a drill and a pair of hole saws.  My next investment will be a vertical station, to make the cuts more precise.

 

WoodyTurbines.jpg

 

All in all, I'm thrilled that I got results this decent from a few consumer tools and a few hours.  The last ring was the easiest.  By that point, I had made practically every mistake I could imagine anyone making.

 

WoodyGlueBalls.jpg

 

With a little TLC, these could end up passably workable.

 

 

 

Eighteenth post:

 

 

  • 3,135 Posts. Joined 2/2008
  • Location: Florida
Originally Posted by Mochan View Post
If this is true, have you found a way to get the refined sound of the MS Pro into an SR60 or SR80? I haven't quite figured it out yet.


When you pay $79 for an SR60i, you're getting a good deal for the money but you could make it more of a bargain with a few worthwhile modifications.  Quarter-modding, or upgrading, the pads will open up the HF.  Venting the drivers will give you better bass.  Removing unnecessary obstacles - like the back grill and button - will improve the SQ.  Silver wire, purchased online, will give you surprisingly faithful sound (but without a cable that weighs more than you do.  On that same note, a shorter cable 4 or 5 feet instead of ten will reduce the signal path.  To the extent that upgrades are built into more expensive alternatives, buyers should consider whether they want to buy the more expensive headphone or simply upgrade what they have.

Image is nothing.  Style is nothing.  Sound rules supreme.
 
 

Nineteenth post:

 

 

Originally Posted by BobSaysHi View Post

Wow, no wonder people say cables are for finishing touches. for 55 dollars I'll save for new IEMs.  With the cost of a 1/4 plug you can easily pay more on your cable then your headphones.

 

Glad you enjoy them though.

 

Also, 100th post ftw.

 

Congrats on your 100th post.  With respect to the $56 cost of silver wire ($47 + $9 for shipping), the question is not, "How much does this wire cost in relation to the cost of a $79 SR60?"  The question is, "Will the cost that this wire represents give me that much more value?"  My answer is, "No, the $56 spent on silver wire will not give you $56 in value.  It will give you $500 in value."  Now, before you cough up your Top Ramen, or whatever it is you're munching on between study sessions, keep in mind that people are paying a cool grand - and beyond that - to hear little coughs and breaths and off-mic comments and some guy opening up a bag of nachos in the fourth row.  For me, the switch to silver was not a subtle thing.  It was not audio hype and a bag of phantasms.  I would have been more than happy to have heard nothing special and laughed in the faces of all those smug cable groupies and their $500 magic jumper cables.  But when I put in silver wire - which was nothing more than a four-wire braid straight from a distributor - I was blown away.  Little complexities in texture popped out, as did mistakes, breaths, rhythm accompaniments previously buried by everything else, etc.  There's only a 7% difference in conductivity between silver and copper, so I'm not suggesting that copper sucks and silver is Jacob's Ladder with a gold-plated connector attached.  But there's obviously something in that 7% that wasn't there before - and for $56 it's going into my gear.

 

I own a PS1000.  Till a few weeks ago, I concurrently owned an HD800.  Till a month or so I ago, I concurrently owned a T1.  With the exception of the T1, all were purchased new.  Throw in the three M^3s and the B22 my son and I are building.  What does $56 really mean to me?  Would I even blink over $56?  Obviously not - and I'm hardly Diamond Jim when it comes to audio.  When you consider the cost of a pair of jumbo pads, plus shipping, $56 for a silver cable is a pittance.  Believe me when I say this, "I will never go back to copper.  Ever.  Period."

 

I'm not mortgaging my house to buy a fancy cable, but silver is here to stay.
 

Image is nothing.  Style is nothing.  Sound rules supreme. 

 

 

 

Twentieth post:

 

 

100x100px-LS-821b4ade_Us.jpg
  • 3,135 Posts. Joined 2/2008
  • Location: Florida

AFTER A LITTLE SANDING

 

CupsSanded.jpg

 

With the weekend came the chance to finally do a little sanding.  

 

CupsSanded2.jpg

 

These are not the acme of great woodwork but they're a far cry from that glue mess I started with a few days ago.

 

CupsMounted3.jpg

 

I want to get a decent belt sander.  After I've gotten these to a smoother finish, I intend to stain them and hit them with a glossy lacquer, at least for the outside. 


Edited by Big Bill - 7/1/11 at 12:42pm
post #4 of 3331
Thread Starter 

 

 

 

Twenty first post:

 

  • 3,135 Posts. Joined 2/2008
  • Location: Florida

I'm away from this place for five minutes and people start talking "placebo."  Fair enough, but if it's a placebo for me, it must be a placebo for Grado, who vents four of those ten holes on its best headphones - and none of them on the cheap plastics.  

 

In the meantime, I got a new drill, a bigger one after killing my old drill trying to tear up harder wood.  After nearly taking my foot off (I really need a drill press), I got to finally try out something that isn't merely an imitation of something Grado already sells.  It's a thicker, wider shell.

bigwoodyconcept.jpg

 

This little experiment is derived from a single sheet of oak plywood.  It represents the idea of thicker, wider chambers, rather than longer ones.  It also represents the idea of liberating the driver from its plastic prison.

 

bigwoodycloseup.jpg

 

I've not had the time to pretty this up.  Like me, what you see is what you get - but it's not what you see that matters.  I used a fairly banged-up driver I'd previously liberated from a pair of SR80s, a driver I've been waiting to install in something worthwhile.  The finished headphone will have a metal mesh to protect the driver, but plastic is just out of the question.

 

bigwoodycloseupbasic.jpg

 

I'd always wanted to provide the driver with a wider baffle, something capable of adapting to the baffle effect.  I was going to go with a wider aperture in back, to allow a freer, less congested air chamber.  I'd read somewhere that the tube design was disfavored among loudspeakers.  But sometimes, things just take their course.  Instead of achieving the wider, thinner baffle, I ended up with this.

 

bigwoodycloseupcool.jpg

 

What's the big benefit of a thicker chamber?  It isn't a larger chamber so much as a stabler, more solid body.  There's less of a hollow feel to it.  It's less like a drum than a block.  Can you hear a difference?  Assuming we're not talking about another "placebo," yes.  In fact, my yes is such a yes that I quickly outgrew the comfies I'd started with.  Why?  Because the bass was overwhelming.  It was so substantial that I felt justified replacing them with the jumbos none of the plastic Grados could ever handle.  The result was surprisingly decent.  Big thump met big sparkle and the two had lovely children, kids you wouldn't have to bag in public, even while dangling them from a balcony.

 

bigwoodycomfies.jpg

 

The big block and comfies made a nice combo, but I much preferred the open sound of the jumbos.  Ironically, I thought it actually improved the bass, something I hadn't expected when drinking this particular Kool-Aid.  With the jumbos, the bass isn't laying claim to everything.  It's there when you need it, but gives way to all that wondrous sparkle.

 

bigwoodyjumbocushionshot.jpg

 

bigwoodyjumbos.jpg

 

bigwoodyheadband.jpg

 

With this wider shell, the forks would either go on the back (as seen here) or be dispensed with in favor of a gimbal drilled directly into the wood.  I'm more inclined toward the latter as it would be less likely to stretch out the headband.  

 

bigwoodyinterior.jpg

 

These could easily be drilled to make the cable attach through the bottom.  I'm inclined to install jacks for detachable cables.  I'm also inclined to cut an appropriately-sized metal mesh to give the back a slightly classier feel to it.

 

bigwoodystare.jpg

 

Notwithstanding the blue-eyed devil staring back at us, the dimensions of this wider woody seem appropriate.  Unlike some of the longer designs, there's no immediate comparison with Frankenstein's bolts (which, were actually tubes for giving the big goon a bloody fill-up).  

 

So, how's the sound?  Too pronounced for any talk of placebos.  I would need a matching channel but from what I'm hearing, the most immediate comparison is to the GS1000.  Whether this mod will create that same distance - with recessed mids - is to be seen (and heard).  This is just my first attempt to try a different approach.  If it's not quite what I was aiming at to begin with, I must say I like what I see thus far - amateurish workmanship notwithstanding.  My next try should be cleaner, and once I've given this pair their audition, I'd like to move on to the original idea I had.


Edited by Bilavideo - 8/31/10 at 9:41pm

 

 


Edited by Big Bill - 7/1/11 at 1:54pm
post #5 of 3331

Thanks for starting a new post Bill, I was inspired to try modding my 225's (Huge success IMO) from the old thread and I love to see what people can come up with for their own headphones.

 

Darren C

dgcrane

post #6 of 3331

I think it's straight silly why the other thread was locked. Sadly all of everyone's hard work will be lost into oblivion. Think I'm going to be leaving this site soon. Seems as if that's always the case here; issues being made out of nothing. Oh well. Glad to see that this thread surfaced so fast

post #7 of 3331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bill View Post

Oh, does that rosin free solder you bought tin wire well?


Yes, but I do flux the wire slightly.  It's a larger plastic container for about $6.00.  I use a Q-tip to apply the flux.  Works flawless.
 

 

post #8 of 3331

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvins View Post

I think it's straight silly why the other thread was locked. Sadly all of everyone's hard work will be lost into oblivion. Think I'm going to be leaving this site soon. Seems as if that's always the case here; issues being made out of nothing. Oh well. Glad to see that this thread surfaced so fast


Actually, I'm kind if surprised it lasted as long as it did.  With so many references to cups made by others, it kind of snubbed the advertisers that contribute to this site.  With so much discussion of these "other" cups, the mods took notice and applied action that they saw fit.  However, with that being said, I don't really see any paid advertiser links on this site that direct us to vendors who sell custom wooden cups.  So, really, we were not in violation.  Now, if there were ads up for 3 or 4 vendors that provided the service, I could see where there would be an issue.
 

 

post #9 of 3331

Thanks Bill, for opening up the new thread!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 


Actually, I'm kind if surprised it lasted as long as it did.  With so many references to cups made by others, it kind of snubbed the advertisers that contribute to this site.  With so much discussion of these "other" cups, the mods took notice and applied action that they saw fit.  However, with that being said, I don't really see any paid advertiser links on this site that direct us to vendors who sell custom wooden cups.  So, really, we were not in violation.  Now, if there were ads up for 3 or 4 vendors that provided the service, I could see where there would be an issue.
 

 


I'm quite confused too about the closing of the old thread. So is one not allowed to comment on quality/build/things in general about cups (or products in general) made by members that are not themselves advertising on the site?

 

post #10 of 3331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bill View Post

Hello Wayne, good to see you. I'm sorry to see it locked as well. Perhaps one of our more computer savvy members can save the thread contents to a wiki as the mod suggested?

 

Bill.


I'd really like to see this happen. I wish I knew how to save some of it.. I'm really clueless.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 


Actually, I'm kind if surprised it lasted as long as it did.  With so many references to cups made by others, it kind of snubbed the advertisers that contribute to this site.  With so much discussion of these "other" cups, the mods took notice and applied action that they saw fit.  However, with that being said, I don't really see any paid advertiser links on this site that direct us to vendors who sell custom wooden cups.  So, really, we were not in violation.  Now, if there were ads up for 3 or 4 vendors that provided the service, I could see where there would be an issue.
 

 


 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by kongmw View Post

Thanks Bill, for opening up the new thread!
 


I'm quite confused too about the closing of the old thread. So is one not allowed to comment on quality/build/things in general about cups (or products in general) made by members that are not themselves advertising on the site?

 


Exactly what I was thinking...  I follow the thread very closely, but I never saw advertisement from any members. Nor did I feel like anyone that was running a "business" didn't make it clear..  All I know is if posting impressions of shells made by a member that so happened to put out some shells for a few people caused the thread to get locked, I'm sorry. Deeply sorry to any future modder that could have benefited from that beast of a thread. It really bothers me to see it locked. OH... wait.. It is probably locked because of bilavideos stuff.. He had an awful lot of business going on that was pretty much being run through that thread. That makes sense. Damn it all. 

 

post #11 of 3331

I really want to make some post summing up everything I have in my head as far as grado modding goes.. While it is all still stuck up there.  It would basically gather all the overall impressions of all the different mods and what my experiences were. I guess we need a wiki then? That seems like a good way to do that. Unfortunately I'm not sure how to wiki. 

post #12 of 3331

 

Quote:

(chrislangley4253)
 
All I know is if posting impressions of shells made by a member that so happened to put out some shells for a few people caused the thread to get locked, I'm sorry.

 

Chris, you have no reason to apologize. From Currawong's comment it's clear that it was closed for two reasons: MOTs showing their products in the thread (and thus breaching the TOS regarding MOT postings), and one or more non-MOTs that probably should have registered as MOTs doing likewise. You aren't an MOT and you aren't selling for profit.

post #13 of 3331

Terms of service are pretty clear:

Quote:
"Member of the Trade" includes (but is not limited to) manufacturers; individuals selling items he or she made for more than the cost of parts and/or actual shipping charges; individuals selling items acquired (or made by the individual and/or his associates) for the primary purpose of resale; individuals performing services (like modifications or any other service) for which the price charged is more than the cost of parts and/or actual shipping charges; dealers; distributors; manufacturer's representatives; importers; magazine and e-zine writers.

The thread wasn't closed earlier for reasons only a mod should explain.

 

However, hopefully this thread will have a more healthier life span.

 

The wiki is something I thought of getting involved with pretty soon into the birth of the thread. The fact that it's taking forever for me to actually get anything modded in the "gardo" world never drove me into it. frown.gif

 

The Ortho team might give us a hand though as they have a fantastic resource put together.

post #14 of 3331

well i'm happy that theres a part two.

i will be able to inform you guys on any updates.

post #15 of 3331

Here are pictures of the "RS1 styled clones" from Marty that are coming my way biggrin.gif

 

 

 

rs1clone.jpg

 

rs1clone-2.jpg


Edited by markkr - 7/1/11 at 10:36am
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