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Grado modders go Magnum - Page 177

post #2641 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleasbaby View Post

My build was a pair of Cabillas cups (PS1000 clones) with a Headphonelounge cable. I had the drivers mounted in the cups using a foam strip along the edge. I used an RSA Hornet with it for a while (the original version, not the M) and those are known for a tube-like sound. The result was a very neutral sound, that sounded flat, but when fed bass, went to immeasurable (sorry, a little hyperbole there) depths.

 

It might partly be your amp, and it might be your build. I believe you detailed this a while back, but how have you put yours together?

 

Wood cups from Martin (pretty big & heavy).

Xev cable from Zynsonix.

I've used blu-tac to push the drivers in a tight way to the cups. And the amp is little dot 2.


Edited by eyalcat - 6/5/13 at 7:46am
post #2642 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyalcat View Post

 

Wood cups from Martin (pretty big & heavy).

Xev cable from Zynsonix.

I've used blu-tac to push the drivers in a tight way to the cups. And the amp is little dot 2.

I would remount the drivers with foam tape or electrical tape instead of Bluetak and see if that changes the sound.

That's how Martin does it (foam tape stuck to the inside of the cups).

post #2643 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyalcat View Post

 

Wood cups from Martin (pretty big & heavy).

Xev cable from Zynsonix.

I've used blu-tac to push the drivers in a tight way to the cups. And the amp is little dot 2.

 

The only thing I see out of place there is the Blu-Tac. It could be deadening the drivers and killing the bass. I have a massive strip of the foam I used. Shoot me a PM with your address if you want me to mail you some. If you would rather not, you're looking for something the width of the driver (or that you can trim to the width of the driver), and soft, and you just want a single layer of it around the driver. Your local hardware store might have something in their weatherproofing section.

post #2644 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by parbaked View Post

I would remount the drivers with foam tape or electrical tape instead of Bluetak and see if that changes the sound.

That's how Martin does it (foam tape stuck to the inside of the cups).


...didn't see your post when I typed mine, but yes, again, the Blu-Tac sounds like the culprit...

post #2645 of 3221

Well. it seems like there's a re-mount ahead.

Thanks guys for the replies I'll post soon with conclusions

post #2646 of 3221

I have my Little Dot I+ specifically for my Magnums

post #2647 of 3221

Well, re-mount finished with some foam tape, improved a little in details & balance but the lows are still missing.

Amp issues?.or few dozens of hours more in burning them in?

 

Thanks

post #2648 of 3221
My vote goes to amp/equalizing...
post #2649 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleasbaby View Post

My vote goes to amp/equalizing...

Shouldn't have to EQ. These should be easy to drive well - unless your source material is questionable.

I'd ask Rhydon if they have had any QC issues in your batch of drivers.


Edited by parbaked - 6/6/13 at 3:35pm
post #2650 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyalcat View Post

Well, re-mount finished with some foam tape, improved a little in details & balance but the lows are still missing.

Amp issues?.or few dozens of hours more in burning them in?

 

Thanks

What kind of headphones are you used to?

 

Honestly, when I had the V5 setup, its bass was very light and extended poorly - worse than an SR60i. I just assumed it was due to the cups; but part of me thought the drivers I had were bass-light, as most everyone else here seems to say the V5 is bassy.

 

I think I will try the V5 again and commission Marty to make a nice set of cups. If I get a build that has the uber clarity and detail of my last pair, but with proper bass extension and quantity, that'd be just golden!

post #2651 of 3221

If you find they are too mid-forward, you can always try the tape mod on the pads, which will drop the response at 2kHz a bit.

post #2652 of 3221

I am used to SR80i that had some modifications (almost all that exist).

My source is a computer playing with foobar2000 with bit-streaming to an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 s. card.

post #2653 of 3221
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrywild View Post

You will have less bass with the flats than taped bowls. I have both and keep my taped bowls on most of the time.

 

Taped flats ;), though it the effect of tape on that one is merely 25% of what it does to bowls. I just put tape around all my pads.

 

Personally I find that the flats have slightly more bass and much more fullness than the taped bowls.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyalcat View Post

I am used to SR80i that had some modifications (almost all that exist).

My source is a computer playing with foobar2000 with bit-streaming to an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 s. card.

 

It would have been a good diagnostic only if your SR80i was stock. If you punched holes in the felt on the back of the drivers of your SR80i, this one will inexorably sound bassier than your Magnum, and if you're used to listening to vented drivers it's normal that you feel like all the other non-punched Grado/Magnum drivers have less / lack bass.

 

Though I've never heard any driver with holes punched, I know that Magnum v3 and Grado PS-500 and GS-1000 (and certainly the PS-1000 too, but I have no photo-confirmation for that one yet) have three holes factory-punched. The effect is similar to that of porting a subwoofer, it increases of the bass power (which change revolves around the 100Hz hump for Grado-type drivers) at the expense of some of its tightness. It's a difficult balance to strike and it depends on how much bass you really crave. But many people like the mod, the PS-500 is hugely popular (as far as higher-end Grado models' popularity goes).

 

A common opinion about the Magnums is that they are more neutral, resolving and slightly bassier than the Grados. We need to remember that the original full aluminum Magnum headphone upgrade was marketed as an improvement over the RS-1. But to provide you with some context about when the Magnum came out... Grados have had their “bass-less” reputation starting from around 1999 (batches were getting less and less bass, and that year when the bowl pad made its debut, they became considered outright bright). Rhydon started selling Magnums in September 2009, and in this same year “i” improved Grados started seeing some serious increase in bass, but because people were used to the bass-light Grados of 1999-2009, they thought of the Magnums as having more bass. I don't know how much of that opinion still prevails, but I think that now 2013 both Grados and Magnums should have real close bass performance (quantity).

 

I hope this bit of history and knowledge of the fact that Grado (and Rhydon used to) also punch holes behind their drivers, give you more perspective on the bass quantity you can expect your Grado/Magnum to have.

 

And there's always the possibility of having faulty drivers too.

 

 

Before you take any decision on which pads to use to increase bass, let me tell you that my absolute favorite right now is a tape modded HD414 pads which has a small hole cut in the center (small enough not to allow driver and ear to make physical contact) just for the peace of mind of knowing that highs can flow more freely from the driver to my ear-canal.

 

I'm currently writing a full blown thread/post about it with YouTube tutorials on how to better/easier make it. It takes a small hour to do with your hands (cut the tape directly using the transparent tape-holder thingy, place the strips with your fingers), the easy method, and about 3 hours when you cut clean the tape with scissors and place it with plastic tooth-picks, which leaves no finger-print at all, the “better” method.

 

Photos:

 

 

 

 

 

I've tried various tape configuration, area coverage and apertures, but I always came back to this simple one-layer mod: overlapping 3M Scotch tape (red packaging) 1 1/4 inch strips on 2/3 of their width at the base (reaching between the rear of the pad and the edge of the cup to radiate toward the ABS plastic inner chamber) folding 90 degrees and going up to cover the area of the traditional tape-mod and ending up overlapping on about 1/2 of their width, to make sure there's no air gap. Right now the only two things I intend to make better for the final version is to make a single scissor cut of the tape segments going over, only after all the strips have been applied (instead of applying one and cutting the free-remainder right away, which gives that uneven line seen on the third photo above), and secondly avoid stretching the tape when applying it, because this is squishing the pads from behind (reducing their volume) and giving them to this conical/trapezoid shape (when seen from the side) instead of their normal cylindrical/thick-disk shape at rest.

 

It's a semi-permanent mod that I will call the sunflower mod, because of the HD414 pads' tint of yellow, because the tape is to be applied in a petal-like pattern (other patterns I've considered, although potentially a lot easier to do, I couldn't envision them making a seal as good with the headphone), and also because of the sunflower's heft (low-end and fullness). They have more bass than my previous bassiest pads the taped Joseph Grado-upgraded flats. To give you an idea of their sound, the mod brings two to 2.5 times the effect of tape onto bowls, onto HD414 pads. I'm using the HD414 pads because of their acoustical transparency and efficiency, they let the driver sit real close to your ear, almost like a close range AKG K1000. “Semi-permanent” because the mod is done with the pads on the headphone and they can't be removed without permanently altering the mod's integrity. I tried it, removing and replacing the sunflower modded pads, but forcefully passing the “petal grip” over the retaining edge literally breaks the seal, and much of the tapey-goodness is lost (and the only possible repair is to start all over).

 

But yeah I think it's a good deal totally worth taking the time to do it, that's why I've baptized it and I'm working on some thread for it. My video tutorial is just to quickly show how I do it, the short/easy and long/cleaner method, but also how I break-in my new HD414 pads (stretching up and removal of the foam particles), which is good to do if you intend on leaving the pads on your headphone for the years to come.

 

 

The reason why I started seeking for an alternative / became unhappy with the already-excellent Joe Grado improved flats was because I felt they sounded different at low and at medium-high volumes; with poorer articulation on the low volumes. The HD414 pads are awesome at disappearing, they don't mess with the sound at all and (best of all for me:) they sound constant at every volumes. They inherently lack bass, but the solution above fixes that issue pretty well.


Edited by devouringone3 - 6/8/13 at 7:13pm
post #2654 of 3221

Thanks devouringone3,

 

That was very interesting, but still the bass is missing (no kick). How can I tell if the drivers are faulty? can there be a faulty driver that only missing the lows?

 

Thanks

post #2655 of 3221

First I would try to isolate the problem, (if you can desolder and resolder cable and drivers) maybe by either trying your Magnum drivers elsewhere (in the air and/or in another pair of cups), and trying your MartinCustomAudio cups with another pair of drivers.

 

The Magnums should not lack bass... I can tell you that my own Magnum v5 has a lot more bass than all Grados I've owned (2001 RS-1, 1996 RS-1, 2005 SR325i, 1998 SR325 and HP 1000).

 

You can always send the whole thing to Rhydon or Turbulent Labs, maybe MartinCustomAudio too (which ever happens to be the closest to you) and have them verified; it's a service that they actually offer.

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