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Grado modders go Magnum - Page 128

post #1906 of 3215
I received my late/refurbished full Magnums v4 (and Rhydon said "an improvement over the v4" about the driver; maybe he was referring to the difference between the gray and the black colored ones), and I'm sad to announce that they trounce all my John Grados (Super Vintage RS-1, Vintage SR200 and 2005 SR325i) in terms of raw performance.
 
Next A/Bing I will do will be an epic duel with my HP2i; which I don't have with me where I stay (sorry I've postponed the whole HP2i review because of that).
 
Still, I think any comparison between the Magnum drivers and the HP 1000 driver is quite relevant and needs to be done; the Magnums have more in common with the HP 1000 than any of John Grado's previous efforts.
 
The Magnums are excellent. They are cleaner sounding, a bit more neutral in that they have a deeper, tighter, and more articulate bass, (which Grado lacks in their non "-1000" current production headphones), and smoother, faster decay treble. They are fuller and more balanced sounding with the bowls than my 2005 SR325i, and a lot less U-shaped.
 
The HP 1000 on the other hand is a different beast, and very good. I think they have superior resolution, clarity and neutrality, while Magnums have better extension at both ends, more bass slam/authority, which makes them so much fun. They are both great with every genres and transparent, so you "loose the headphones and drown yourself" in the music.
 
My HP 1000 comes complemented by the Magnums, but the former is more complicated to have sound right, and for the reasonable price of a Full, Light, or just the Magnum v4 drivers, I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone, before recommending a used 1500-1750$ HP 1000 (which I used to do openly and all the time, if you remember). You don't even need a headphone amplifier for the Magnums to shine.
 
Oh and yes; I, LOVE, THE, MAGNUMS! I couldn't have hoped for a better alternative to the PS-1.
 

1000


Edited by devouringone3 - 11/3/12 at 4:19pm
post #1907 of 3215

 

Wow, I did not realize you had never heard these before. You have been hanging around here for so long I just thought you had a set. 

I agree with everything you said, but I would add that the Magnums warrant comparison to HP's other than Grado. They stand up to almost any modern headphone for close to $700, plus you don't need to spend a fortune on amps to enjoy them at near their peak.

Quote:

Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

I received my late/refurbished full Magnums v4 (and Rhydon said "an improvement over the v4" about the driver; maybe he was referring to the difference between the gray and the black colored ones), and I'm sad to announce that they trounce all my John Grados (Super Vintage RS-1, Vintage SR200 and 2005 SR325i) in terms of raw performance.
 
Next A/Bing I will do will be an epic duel with my HP2i; which I don't have with me where I stay (sorry I've postponed the whole HP2i review because of that).
 
Still, I think any comparison between the Magnum drivers and the HP 1000 driver is quite relevant and needs to be done; the Magnums have more in common with the HP 1000 than any of John Grado's previous efforts.
 
The Magnums are cleaner sounding, they are a bit more neutral in that they have a deeper, tighter, and more articulate bass, (which Grado lacks in their non "-1000" current production headphones), and smoother, fast-decay treble. They are fuller and more balanced sounding with the bowls than my 2005 SR325i, and a lot less U-shaped.
 
The HP 1000 on the other hand is a different beast, still holding well on his own. I think they have superior resolution and neutrality, while Magnums have better extension at both ends, more bass slam/authority; I also think most would find them more "fun" to listen to (seeing many people seem to find the HP 1000 boring). They are both great with every genres and so transparent, you loose the headphones in the music.
 
HP 1000 comes complemented by the Magnums, but the former is more complicated to have sound right, and for the reasonable price of a Full, Light, or just the Magnum v4 drivers, I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone, before recommending a used 1500-1750$ HP 1000 (which I used to do openly and all the time, if you remember). You don't even need a headphone amplifier for the Magnums to shine.
 
Oh and yes; I, LOVE, THE, MAGNUMS! I couldn't have hoped for a better alternative to the PS-1.
post #1908 of 3215

I just caught up with you all :P, finally! I realized that even though I was trying hard to save up money, deep inside me I wanted to have a full aluminum Magnum. When something is out of production I'm struggling hard to resist opening my wallet to it.

 

So I bought SR325is cups + v2.5 metal inserts/chambers (I also had the v2.5 drivers in them and a cable; they first left Head-Fi from there with the inserts) through a ad I placed here (for aluminum chambers mainly), and Rhydon kindly sold me a full headband assembly (rodblocks, metal arc, Grado leather), the metal gimbals (that he still has in stock, both colors), and even updated my drivers from v2.5 to v4 for free.

 

I'll take and put here on the internet at least one photo of them, as soon as I find a something to wash my metal grids and then glue on  the "M" emblems.

 

 

I can't speak in comparison with any other popular high-end headphones, because I've only interested myself to, owned and listened Grado headphones, (my lame Head-Fi story, lol), but I think the Magnums are a good notch above the current RS-1 (hearing what many people from different backgrounds have reported in the past year), and definitely better than the SR325is.

 

It should be accepted as an unofficial (made by a third party company) Grado flagship for those who were unhappy with the GS1000 turn they took. These people will get all that they initially asked for / complained about not having on the GS1000, including an all metal design reminiscing of the PS-1 (which is really the reason why I gave up my last economies on it, as a huge fan of Rhydon and HP 1000 user).

 

For the others a SR60, Magnum V4 drivers, Vibro Labs wooden cups (± leather headband and ± MartinCustomAudio's metal gimbals as ergonomic supplements) and Headphonelounge cable must be an incredible quality for money ratio. Looking at the measurements, these drivers, magically formidable music-emitting plastic cookies, are quite amazing (the best matched ones I have ever seen on such graphs; lower distortion and much better square waves than Grado), regardless of which cup material they have been implanted in.


Edited by devouringone3 - 11/3/12 at 1:43am
post #1909 of 3215
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post
 

 

I'd really, really like to see your face with my magnums on your head. But, I'm afraid you wouldn't send em back :P

Would you maybe be interested in doing a little demo sometime in the future? Mine are in limba cups (which I find to be better than the aluminum) and they have a plain copper grado cable, which I also like more than silver :P Basically, they are the opposite of the pair you have on. Super light, limba instead of aluminum, copper instead of silver and they have a lightweight sony headband instead of that heavy grado one with aluminum gimbals. Oh, and no tape on the pads.

 

I'd be interested enough to get your opinion on them that I would definitely consider sending them to you for a week or so, after you get used to the aluminum ones and get them nicely burnt in and whatnot :) Let me know. They are super light and small so, shipping shouldn't be too bad, even to canada. It would definitely make for some interesting impressions for everyone in the thread. Give it some thought while your aluminum ones are burning in :)

*edit* Maybe this should wait until the weather warms up a bit.. I'm not sure I like the idea of my magnums being as cold as it is outside. I don't know X.x


Edited by chrislangley4253 - 11/3/12 at 8:17am
post #1910 of 3215
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

 

1000

 

Glad you're enjoying them. I agree with you that they're better than any John Grado I've heard (60, 80, 225,325, RS1, GS1000). I haven't heard the HF2 or either PS though. They're a lot more refined, but still retain the fun sound. 

 

I don't think they're close to the HP1000 though, which is among the very best headphones I've ever heard. But hey, at the OOP prices that they're fetching nowadays, not sure they're as good a value as the Magnums. 

 

It would be cool to see what you thought of Chris's limba Magnums as well (and vice versa). From listening to a handful of builds that sluker had at the LA meet, the sound on them changes depending on the build. Not change enough to be completely different headphones, but there's definitely some fine-tuning that can be done. 

post #1911 of 3215
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

Still, I think any comparison between the Magnum drivers and the HP 1000 driver is quite relevant and needs to be done; the Magnums have more in common with the HP 1000 than any of John Grado's previous efforts.

I recall PCF saying he now ONLY listens to his HP1000 and V4 Magnums. I'm sure you can prod him for some comments...

post #1912 of 3215
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislangley4253 View Post

 

I'd really, really like to see your face with my magnums on your head. But, I'm afraid you wouldn't send em back :P

Would you maybe be interested in doing a little demo sometime in the future? Mine are in limba cups (which I find to be better than the aluminum) and they have a plain copper grado cable, which I also like more than silver :P Basically, they are the opposite of the pair you have on. Super light, limba instead of aluminum, copper instead of silver and they have a lightweight sony headband instead of that heavy grado one with aluminum gimbals. Oh, and no tape on the pads.

 

I'd be interested enough to get your opinion on them that I would definitely consider sending them to you for a week or so, after you get used to the aluminum ones and get them nicely burnt in and whatnot :) Let me know. They are super light and small so, shipping shouldn't be too bad, even to canada. It would definitely make for some interesting impressions for everyone in the thread. Give it some thought while your aluminum ones are burning in :)

*edit* Maybe this should wait until the weather warms up a bit.. I'm not sure I like the idea of my magnums being as cold as it is outside. I don't know X.x

 

To see if my face/expression/smile would stretch even further? Haha, maybe it would.

 

I've gotten used to ship things back and forth; I think I still have your address somewhere from the previous parts you sent me (that I sold back to Sluker after). You're not too far away from me, I will think about it. Does it matter to you we do that in the Christmas period, when there will be snow outside, where I am? I don't have a postal box so they would reside at heat in the post office until I pick them up, but they could still spend the night inside a truck, exposed to a bit of cold [*edit, I just read your edit after refreshing my browser; if you want to hear my pair I would also suggest that we wait for later in spring/beginning of summer to do this!]. Christmas is to give me more time to listen and post impressions and maybe a review on Head-Fi.

 

Oh I'd be super interested into trying them; they must be fantastic and I know you did investigate quite lot for the cups and have been following the Magnum development + Grado modding scene for a while. They do indeed look like the antithesis of my Magnum build, lightweight, copper cable, wood, etc. However know that I have gotten fully accustomed to the heaviest Grado comfort ;), so it doesn't irritate myself or impact psychological perception of sound quality anymore, like it does to some people. I have non-taped bowls to make fair comparisons in my eventual impressions (or I could put my taped bowls on your Magnum if you don't mind; as I'm more used to listening to these).

 

 

I wouldn't say that they're on par with the HP 1000 yet (for it's great resolution, neutrality, midrange and clarity). I'm saying that Rhydon must have been working toward that direction, and the sound signature of the Magnum approaches that of the HP 1000.

 

(not accounting for the cups in which the drivers are enclosed)

 

Orenholz Magnum V4 Bowl Pads - DIY modified - Mullet

 

1000

 

Grado PS-1 with HP1000 drivers - DIY modified - LFF

 

1000

 

Grado RS-1

 

1000 (my 2001 RS-1 lacked bass, though it's not much apparent on this graph)

 

Grado SR325i

 

1000 (mine sounds U-shaped, though it's not much apparent on this graph)

 

Also when you read old posts by Rhydon (that one out of my head: http://www.head-fi.org/t/174274/okay-so-whos-made-the-gs-1000s-an-impulse-buy/150#post_2082959), he too is a "fan" of Joe and his headphone.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by parbaked View Post

I recall PCF saying he now ONLY listens to his HP1000 and V4 Magnums. I'm sure you can prod him for some comments...

 

Yep, four parts of HP 1000i for one part of black SR325 full Magnum v4 :P.


Edited by devouringone3 - 11/3/12 at 3:48pm
post #1913 of 3215

My magnum drivers were in full aluminum, I was simply trying limba (very skeptically, mind you). I listened a bit, popped the drivers out of the aluminum, put them in limba.. Listened a bit, and never went back to aluminum. 

The next week I returned the aluminum inners to Rhydon (which was totally awesome of him to buy back). And I sold my ms1 outters and that was that. Some 40ish dollar limba cups replaced 260 or so dollars of aluminum.

I'd still be interested in hearing yours, but only if I got to compare both at once. Like, if you could maybe send me your pair, I could have em for a week, and then send you both pairs, you could have em a week, and then send me back just my pair.

We definitely should wait until spring :)

post #1914 of 3215

You mean MS2i cups? Anyway I think the inner chambers matter a lot more to the sound than the cups/outters.

 

Okay let's do that!

post #1915 of 3215
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

You mean MS2i cups? Anyway I think the inner chambers matter a lot more to the sound than the cups/outters.

 

Okay let's do that!


I would imagine that the glue that holds the inners and outers together would matter more than the outers. I know Rhydon uses some insane anaerobic glue that is supposedly harder to break than the metal in the gimbals (I wanted to remove the tips and change the rodblocks). I would imagine that Grado's hot glue likely has some interaction between the plastic inner and metal, plastic, or wood outer. I would bet that the effects/resonance of the wood effects the inner, which would effect the sound more than the outers.

post #1916 of 3215

No wood outters made by Grado ;), only by MCA

 

Interesting about the glue I didn't know; he use it for the end-caps to make them permanently attached but I'm not sure he would also use it to permanently attach air chambers with Grado cups; he might use something lesser to leave the parts separable.

 

 

I know that the inner chambers also had numerous upgrades and are precisely tuned:

 

Quote:


Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Just FYI, in my conversations with Rhydon, he spent a lot of trouble getting the air chambers right and they are, as I understand it, an important part of the design as much as the drivers are, so you may want to consider that. Interesting that he has caught the interest of modders though. Now if only Headphile were open to doing his Beyer mod with Rhydon's drivers...

 

 

700

 

 

But I don't feel my v4 pair slowed down too much by my v2.5 chambers:

 

700 vs. 700

 

The v4 drivers are about 0.5 millimeter taller though, and stick out a little more (not shown in the photo).

post #1917 of 3215
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

No wood outters made by Grado ;), only by MCA

 

Interesting about the glue I didn't know; he use it for the end-caps to make them permanently attached but I'm not sure he would also use it to permanently attach air chambers with Grado cups; he might use something lesser to leave the parts separable.

 

 

I know that the inner chambers also had numerous upgrades and are precisely tuned:

 

Quote:


Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Just FYI, in my conversations with Rhydon, he spent a lot of trouble getting the air chambers right and they are, as I understand it, an important part of the design as much as the drivers are, so you may want to consider that. Interesting that he has caught the interest of modders though. Now if only Headphile were open to doing his Beyer mod with Rhydon's drivers...

 

 

700

 

 

But I don't feel my v4 pair slowed down too much by my v2.5 chambers:

 

700 vs. 700

 

The v4 drivers are about 0.5 millimeter taller though, and stick out a little more (not shown in the photo).


Don't the RS1/2 have mahogany outers and plastic inners?

post #1918 of 3215

Nope both are "monoblock", the GS1000 too, and the PS-1 as well; like the VibroLabs cups:

 

 

 

You could put a Magnum driver in there if you wanted (pcf did it):


Edited by devouringone3 - 11/3/12 at 10:31pm
post #1919 of 3215
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

Nope both are "monoblock", like the VibroLabs cups and the PS-1

 

 

1000

 

You could put a Magnum driver in there if you wanted:


learn somethin new every day!

post #1920 of 3215
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

You mean MS2i cups? Anyway I think the inner chambers matter a lot more to the sound than the cups/outters.

 

Okay let's do that!

 Yup, ms2i cups indeed.

 

I had the aluminum inners too, but I think you knew that.. and I agree, the inner chambers matter more.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scootsit View Post


I would imagine that the glue that holds the inners and outers together would matter more than the outers. I know Rhydon uses some insane anaerobic glue that is supposedly harder to break than the metal in the gimbals (I wanted to remove the tips and change the rodblocks). I would imagine that Grado's hot glue likely has some interaction between the plastic inner and metal, plastic, or wood outer. I would bet that the effects/resonance of the wood effects the inner, which would effect the sound more than the outers.

 

I'm pretty sure Rhydon doesn't use glue at all. I think he pressure fits them somehow. I've never quite understood the process, but from what I understand, they'd be mighty hard to get apart.. Maybe I'm wrong though, it's been a while.

FWIW, I used a piece of electrical tape on the inner to make the outer shell secure on my aluminum magnums.

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