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Grado modders go Magnum - Page 156

post #2326 of 3165

Something I was thinking about and wanted to post: There was a while back that somebody who owned the v4 magnums decided to ditch it for the HE-400. I had the v5 magnum and the HE-400 and the HE-5LE all side by side and I suppose I can see somebody preferring the presentation of the Hifiman headphones but....the difference in detail and clarity between the Magnum V5 and the Hifiman headphones was just too much to ignore. If on a scale of 1 to 10 for detail the Magnum V5 is a 10, then the HE-400 is a 6.0 and the HE-5LE is a 7.5. The HE-5LE was a noticeable upgrade in the clarity department from the HE-400 but the Magnum trumps them both hands down here. I'd like to throw this out there for people who are wondering where the Symphones Magnum stands in comparison to other headphones.

 

The only headphone I have heard with as much or perhaps better detail than the Magnum V5 is the HD800.

post #2327 of 3165
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleasbaby View Post

LMAO...it was a little sad, I will admit. I was going to keep my personal woes to myself, but since you're all strangers and friends at the same time...

I got everything back from Headphonelounge, opened the package with much glee, and set about wrapping tape around the drivers to make them sit in the cups.

Like a dingus I let them move about too much while I did it and the cables came away from one of the drivers. I believe the term the kids are using to describe this sort of thing is "epic fail".

Chris and his team have most generously offered to re-do the job. This time they will seat the drivers for me too, thus avoiding another episode of existential angst for me.

 

I give you one free hug. Sorry you're having so many problems, you seem like a rad dude.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq70 View Post

Something I was thinking about and wanted to post: There was a while back that somebody who owned the v4 magnums decided to ditch it for the HE-400. I had the v5 magnum and the HE-400 and the HE-5LE all side by side and I suppose I can see somebody preferring the presentation of the Hifiman headphones but....the difference in detail and clarity between the Magnum V5 and the Hifiman headphones was just too much to ignore. If on a scale of 1 to 10 for detail the Magnum V5 is a 10, then the HE-400 is a 6.0 and the HE-5LE is a 7.5. The HE-5LE was a noticeable upgrade in the clarity department from the HE-400 but the Magnum trumps them both hands down here. I'd like to throw this out there for people who are wondering where the Symphones Magnum stands in comparison to other headphones.

 

The only headphone I have heard with as much or perhaps better detail than the Magnum V5 is the HD800.

 

The important question to ask yourself is do you need a 10 in the detail department? That sounds great, on paper.. but when it comes down to it, many, many recordings can't stand up to that level of ruthless exposure. 

I know when I had the Stax Lamdba's they certainly seemed overly detailed and it made the music sound fake. Just, something to keep in mind.

 

I'm listening to pink drivers right now and they are totally rocking my world. Definitely the flatest grado I have heard, which.. I mean, usually people looking for grado aren't looking for flat. I think most people would be very underwhelmed by these drivers. I think they are magical.

post #2328 of 3165
Thanks Chris. Hugs are important in this day and age. I took it all as a lesson in trying not to get my panties too bunched up. They are, in the end, just headphones...right? At least that's what my shrink tells me. I will say Headphone Lounge rocks my world.

The pinks you got, what model were they from? After this I will be ditching some leftover parts and thinking about trying a pair out. It's all about the journey right?
post #2329 of 3165
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislangley4253 View Post

 

I give you one free hug. Sorry you're having so many problems, you seem like a rad dude.

 

 

The important question to ask yourself is do you need a 10 in the detail department? That sounds great, on paper.. but when it comes down to it, many, many recordings can't stand up to that level of ruthless exposure. 

I know when I had the Stax Lamdba's they certainly seemed overly detailed and it made the music sound fake. Just, something to keep in mind.

 

I'm listening to pink drivers right now and they are totally rocking my world. Definitely the flatest grado I have heard, which.. I mean, usually people looking for grado aren't looking for flat. I think most people would be very underwhelmed by these drivers. I think they are magical.

Nope, you don't necessarily need a 10. I just thought the relative lack of clarity and resolution of the HE-400 was too much to not be bothered by it. It's ultimately just a matter of taste.

post #2330 of 3165

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Edited by chrislangley4253 - 1/25/13 at 11:35pm
post #2331 of 3165
Interesting...LOL, it's going to be a while before I actively pursue a pair...I want to soak up the Magnums, and clear out the leftovers from this round before embarking on another quest. I also want to teach myself to solder (inspired by this latest incident).
post #2332 of 3165
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleasbaby View Post

Interesting...LOL, it's going to be a while before I actively pursue a pair...I want to soak up the Magnums, and clear out the leftovers from this round before embarking on another quest. I also want to teach myself to solder (inspired by this latest incident).


While absolutely a mediocre amp, building a CMoy is a great way to learn. Tangent has some great tutorials on soldering and board lay-out.

http://tangentsoft.net/audio/cmoy-tutorial/

post #2333 of 3165
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleasbaby View Post

Thanks Chris. Hugs are important in this day and age. I took it all as a lesson in trying not to get my panties too bunched up. They are, in the end, just headphones...right? At least that's what my shrink tells me. I will say Headphone Lounge rocks my world.

The pinks you got, what model were they from? After this I will be ditching some leftover parts and thinking about trying a pair out. It's all about the journey right?

 

Haha our job is easy. We do what we like for people we like. Look at my post count, I was a kid when I joined this site and I've made many friends here. I don't need an excuse to take care of people nor does Ted. He's a nicer guy than I am. I'm kind of a d*ck sometimes lol.

 

They really are just headphones, but they're a great stress reliever. I used to smoke and drink as a stress relief but now I just enjoy a quiet night in with my cans :)
 

So you're welcome bud, hopefully the stars line up for you next time around :)

post #2334 of 3165
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelostMIDrange View Post

finally a little modding talk in a modding thread at least ! but at the risk of adnauseum.......just a little clarification. devouring/chris has my theory correct for the most part although it's seems to have been made unecessarily complicated......but I can add, again - my advice was not arrived at 'theory first', the theory came after as a way to try and understand, and it really only applies to those  1. who love the RS sound signature that john stumbled upon, 2. who value/listen to 'traditional' music or 3. are 'musician minded' and want that quality of open air instruments to come through in a headphone (campB as it where)........Each camp is of value. So don't sweat these details unless you are hardcore in the above ways. At least for those reasons I can vouch for this approach. It may or may not also benefit modern non referential sounds but who would know when dubstep sounds 'right'.........All in all the driver is much more a factor in any of this imo. the cup details and how the driver mates up with it are ways to maximize/minimize qualities the driver brings to the table, unless the cup's qualities are so intrusive that they start to figure larger in the sound equation. The RS style cup seems to be of the minimally invasive variety as is my approach where transparency/lack of wood color are the guiding lights in addition to retaining the RS 'snap'/dynamics........

 

By dead I only mean cups that aim to be the most inert, non-resonant, hardest/heaviest possible. Completely dead could be exponentially difficult to achieve (the PS-1 has to be the best in that department, and a PS-1000 fully in metal would be better; you get the idea), and they fall into what I just labeled Camp A for convenience.

 

Joseph and John Grado, Rhydon, MartinCustomAudio and TurbulentLabs all make cups that fall into Camp A; some choose to make it this way (Joe Grado, Rhydon; huh, FreeSystems Germany [for the PS-1], lol), some fall into it incidentally (the rest).

 

 

Camp B never was a category in my mind until I stumbled upon your work sir, that is about making the cups smaller and fine tuning them to shape the final sound signature and some other driver behaviors (the stuff that appears as negative or positive on measurements). Cups influence sound (of a given driver), at least its direction, in Camp B; Camp A only increases that direction.

 

School B is not better strictly better than A; if all drivers were perfect and according to everyone's liking, School B would loose its purpose and fade away.

 

 

 

This is Head-Fi, it's about finding the best possible sound; I'm not defining what is "best sound" for anyone but I think that once you got your hands on a increasingly decent/good sounding driver, every details after are also increasingly important as they are equally permanent members of the same equation.

 

I'm pointing out that foam tape is a practical way of making a driver stay in a hole, but that I don't think that this method has been chosen among others for being the most appropriate, best sounding one.

 

Foam tape, in this scenario, the way I see it, will bring pretty much everything in the middle; it will lessen the effect of the quality of the cups (if such thing there is; I think there should) (quality in terms of the particularity/uniqueness of the cups as a member of the equation, not quality in terms of grade on a continuum), lessen the product of an eventual communication/interaction with a given driver, and ultimately lessen the amplitude of the final taste (good or bad; hopefully good, but here it will be slightly less than good, 'middle-good') of your new headphone. And I think that this influence/effect of bringing in the middle will be the same for any driver and in any cups. It doesn't have a sound on its own, it's an influence. Of course it's just details, do whatever you want.

 

 

Bad sounding cups will become less than bad sounding, 'middle-bad'... But when you meet someone or make a sculpture you begin with the whole block and you remove pieces, not the other way around (which would be like gluing back together the pieces of a broken vase) (you start by thinking the world of something and you progressively remove bits to shape it to what it is really as a mental scheme); so if I were you I would start with the assumption that your cups are good sounding, and I would avoid (living) using foam tape; of course you can always try it, undo it, proceed to try others, etc.


Edited by devouringone3 - 1/25/13 at 6:26pm
post #2335 of 3165

Joseph Grado's 150 dollars improved flat pads sound better in every way and make you realize Grado's current pad offerings are less than optimal. I feel like Joe's new pad are more honest, and not a color/side-step or anything, just a liberation of something that was held in cage.

 

For the HP 1000 it's great; I would dare anyone to call its highs (liberated, not increased) rolled off with those pads on.

 

But, for my, more sparkly, vintage RS-1, the same pads had for effect to make its highs glassy, in an artificial, not accurate and generally undesirable way.

 

Still I prefer these pads for it; not only because they improve every other spheres the same way they do for my HP 1000 and all Grados, but simply because they offer me the truth, which I am ready to accept and live with: the highs of my RS-1 are glassy, which I can now see.


Edited by devouringone3 - 1/25/13 at 6:56pm
post #2336 of 3165

So if i understand, those new pads only make the rs1 sound glassy? and not your magnums, vintage 100's or 200's in plastic ? The answer to that could be very informative. But 'glassy' in my research is not a quality that usually comes with a driver. Or at least not entirely. It could be an artifact from the cup at least in part and possibly 100%.

post #2337 of 3165
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleasbaby View Post

LMAO...it was a little sad, I will admit. I was going to keep my personal woes to myself, but since you're all strangers and friends at the same time...

I got everything back from Headphonelounge, opened the package with much glee, and set about wrapping tape around the drivers to make them sit in the cups.

Like a dingus I let them move about too much while I did it and the cables came away from one of the drivers. I believe the term the kids are using to describe this sort of thing is "epic fail".

Chris and his team have most generously offered to re-do the job. This time they will seat the drivers for me too, thus avoiding another episode of existential angst for me.

yeah, I bought the V5 Magnum drivers and a Grado cable from thelostMIDrange. I totally forgot to ask him to make sure the cable was soldered to the drivers since I had no soldering experience. I've always wanted to learn how to solder but I guess I was to chicken to try it out. Well if I was gonna start messing around with Magnums and eventually DIY cables and interconnects this was my perfect chance to take the leap. I bought myself a good soldering iron/station, helping hands with magnifying glass, soldering wick, good solder with flux in it(I believe?), and a couple other things. So far it has been quite rewarding to actually take part this way in putting my magnums together. Baby steps, I know, but it's pretty cool if you ask me. All you do is start watching some video tutorials, and it also helps that people who have experience with soldering are always very encouraging to us beginners.

post #2338 of 3165
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

Joseph Grado's 150 dollars improved flat pads sound better in every way and make you realize Grado's current pad offerings are less than optimal. I feel like Joe's new pad are more honest, and not a color/side-step or anything, just a liberation of something that was held in cage.

 

For the HP 1000 it's great; I would dare anyone to call its highs (liberated, not increased) rolled off with those pads on.

 

But, for my, more sparkly, vintage RS-1, the same pads had for effect to make its highs glassy, in an artificial, not accurate and generally undesirable way.

 

Still I prefer these pads for it; not only because they improve every other spheres the same way they do for my HP 1000 and all Grados, but simply because they offer me the truth, which I am ready to accept and live with: the highs of my RS-1 are glassy, which I can now see.


Arent't they basically flat pads soaked in something?

 

I heard that when you receive them, they come to you wet.

post #2339 of 3165
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq70 View Post

Something I was thinking about and wanted to post: There was a while back that somebody who owned the v4 magnums decided to ditch it for the HE-400. I had the v5 magnum and the HE-400 and the HE-5LE all side by side and I suppose I can see somebody preferring the presentation of the Hifiman headphones but....the difference in detail and clarity between the Magnum V5 and the Hifiman headphones was just too much to ignore. If on a scale of 1 to 10 for detail the Magnum V5 is a 10, then the HE-400 is a 6.0 and the HE-5LE is a 7.5. The HE-5LE was a noticeable upgrade in the clarity department from the HE-400 but the Magnum trumps them both hands down here. I'd like to throw this out there for people who are wondering where the Symphones Magnum stands in comparison to other headphones.

 

The only headphone I have heard with as much or perhaps better detail than the Magnum V5 is the HD800.

I have a set of Martin's FWJ RS-1 clones with V-4 Magnums and a pair of Hifiman HE-400. I will agree with you when it comes to clarity the Magnums win ! Also they win not by just a little, but by a large margin. However, there is more to music reproduction than just clarity. I guess that is why I own the magnums and the hifimans. I feel that the magnums do electric guitar very well, they also do hi-hat very well without being bright or glaring. With that said the 400s do bass and drums better, in my opinion. I also think the magnums sound better at lower volume levels. When the volume level gets up higher watch out, that's when I think the he-400s really kick in, full powerful sounding. I think it boils down to what you listen to, what you like, they a both great headphones just different. My next set of phones will most likely be HE-6 with my speaker amp. This is all just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

post #2340 of 3165
Quote:
Originally Posted by lugnut View Post

I have a set of Martin's FWJ RS-1 clones with V-4 Magnums and a pair of Hifiman HE-400. I will agree with you when it comes to clarity the Magnums win ! Also they win not by just a little, but by a large margin. However, there is more to music reproduction than just clarity. I guess that is why I own the magnums and the hifimans. I feel that the magnums do electric guitar very well, they also do hi-hat very well without being bright or glaring. With that said the 400s do bass and drums better, in my opinion. I also think the magnums sound better at lower volume levels. When the volume level gets up higher watch out, that's when I think the he-400s really kick in, full powerful sounding. I think it boils down to what you listen to, what you like, they a both great headphones just different. My next set of phones will most likely be HE-6 with my speaker amp. This is all just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

 

Well said!

I also tried the HE-400 and much of my experience resonates with yours. Although I chose not to keep it primarily due to its tonality. The dark mids / bright highs is a combination I found to sound strange and unnatural. Magnums don't have the last say in "natural sound" either, but I find the mids of the Magnums much more to my liking, and the overall tonality to be better balanced with itself than that of the HE-400.

 

The HE-500 I did like more than the HE-400. It sounded better balanced.

And, like you, my next headphones will most likely be the HE-6 with an Emotiva mini-X a-100. It seems we are on a similar journey.

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