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Do driver in headphone degrade when age? - Page 4

post #46 of 54

http://www.englishforums.com/English/DoVsDoes/dnvzz/post.htm

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by whoelse View Post

Hi, Just wondering do driver in headphone age and degrade accordingly or it will stay the same sonic quality as long as it's working?

 



 

post #47 of 54

LOL, I don't think the guy speaks English as his first language, sounds more like he's just learning :p 

post #48 of 54

Oh, and measuring the headphones reliably gets hard below single digit dB difference unless you never remove them from head or ear.

So of course you'd have to measure many times and average again. I've never been able to get the error bars below 0.5 dB in our measurements at the high frequencies, so there.

(Note: I no longer have the access to that measurement set unfortunately. frown.gif)

Same woes here: http://www.stereophile.com/content/between-ears-art-and-science-measuring-headphones-page-4

post #49 of 54

suddenly, grammar nazis

post #50 of 54

I have a pair of Grado SR-125's that are from around 2002-2003. I used to use them all the time, and remember how much I enjoyed their sound. However, the earpads deteriorated to the point of unusability in ~2007, and I just kept them shelved in its original box for the next 5 years. I recently bought some replacement earpads for them (comfies), now 2012, and turned them on for the first time in years, hoping to be brought back to the old days of Grado bliss.

 

They sound terrible! The treble is piercing at times when the "s" sound is pronounced, vocals sound tinny and unnatural, and bass is much less substantial than I remember. These can't be the same Grados that I remembered loving so much years ago, can they?

 

I bought a new pair of Alessandro MS1i's, and they sound great. Even without having broken them in yet (or burned them in), they have a very full sound, with more natural vocals, more bass, and less tinny, piercing highs than my near decade-old SR-125. The two headphones sound completely different. Granted, the MS1i is not exactly the same headphone as the SR-125, but the sound signature couldn't be that drastically different between the two models, could it?

 

I'm wondering how much of this difference in sound could be attributed to deterioration over the years, or general use (or perhaps disuse), or what have you. No, I am not "imagining" these sonic differences. I have the two headphones in front of me right here, and one sounds bad while the other sounds great, period.


Edited by sTaTIx - 4/3/12 at 10:45pm
post #51 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by sTaTIx View Post

I have a pair of Grado SR-125's that are from around 2002-2003. I used to use them all the time, and remember how much I enjoyed their sound. However, the earpads deteriorated to the point of unusability in ~2007, and I just kept them shelved in its original box for the next 5 years. I recently bought some replacement earpads for them (comfies), now 2012, and turned them on for the first time in years, hoping to be brought back to the old days of Grado bliss.

 

They sound terrible! The treble is piercing at times when the "s" sound is pronounced, vocals sound tinny and unnatural, and bass is much less substantial than I remember. These can't be the same Grados that I remembered loving so much years ago, can they?

 

I bought a new pair of Alessandro MS1i's, and they sound great. Even without having broken them in yet (or burned them in), they have a very full sound, with more natural vocals, more bass, and less tinny, piercing highs than my near decade-old SR-125. The two headphones sound completely different. Granted, the MS1i is not exactly the same headphone as the SR-125, but the sound signature couldn't be that drastically different between the two models, could it?

 

I'm wondering how much of this difference in sound could be attributed to deterioration over the years, or general use (or perhaps disuse), or what have you. No, I am not "imagining" these sonic differences. I have the two headphones in front of me right here, and one sounds bad while the other sounds great, period.

 

I don't think Grado deteriorates or changes in sound as you let it be in a non dust-accumulating and non humid environment. I don't think it changes much from using them all the time either. At least not to a perceivable degree.

 

Grados pads though, they gets more supple and smooth the more you listen to them, from the compression, the heat and the oils generated by your ears once they a stranger body on them, and sweat too. The pads burn in, but never as much as your head. What have you been listening during these five years (gear you have used to listen to music)? Grado are known by some people to be harsh on the sibilant consonants, and I suspect that you simply forgot that your SR125 sounded this way ;).

 

So, yes and yes

 

There are a lot of different sounds for Grado headphones depending on the year it was manufactured, and among the same model number, like the SR325 a lot, SR60, RS1 incredibly much, and the "i" deserves it's meaning of "improvement" in my opinion (because it's definitely an upgrade from their immediate previous offering, especially for the Prestige "SR" Series). The bulk of the variations, tweaks they added if any, and changes in the drivers used --you can look inside your headphone for variations of the voice coil magnet metal cover, there is at least two colors and two shapes for them--, happened in the years 1994 to 2005 (when the SR325i was released)-(but with another change in 2009 for all the other headphones"i" changes), after that, it appears that they have stabilized a lot their practices. But your case definitely falls in that 1994-2005 time period. Your MS1i is like your SR125, but with a better drivers (causing most of change that you perceive), bigger air chamber, and some other addition that I would expect even though I have not seen them. It also has the "Alessandro" name on it, which means a darker balance and is a perceivable contrast to the "Grado" sound.

 

To conclude, even identical looking drivers inside the same headphone model, in the earlier years of Grado, made that same headphone sound perceivably different. The drivers got better, although some people prefer the older Grado sound because they feel that it is smoother.


Edited by devouringone3 - 5/28/12 at 2:10pm
post #52 of 54

I haven't had much experience with owning headphones for over 10 years. But I have bought vintage earbuds, for example Sony MDR-E282, which was sold in the mid to late 80's. At close to 30 years of age, these earbuds still sound great.

post #53 of 54

At least within my experience with orthodynamic headphones, the transducers do degrade after twenty or thirty years of continuous usage.

post #54 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolan View Post

At least within my experience with orthodynamic headphones, the transducers do degrade after twenty or thirty years of continuous usage.

 

Wow, I thought the orthodynamics were the most resilient of the bunch.

 

Wait, 20-30 years of continuous usage? Okay so that's at most a full human life worth of time, listening to it 8 hours a day, lol. Not bad! Plus it's not like the headphone would be listened to continuously either, even less 8 hours a day, so it could last longer... as long as they don't degrade from aging they could last many generations I think.

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