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Joe Grado HP1000 modifications

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 

One of the things I never liked about the HP1000s was a certain shoutyness that they had in the midrange. I came up with an idea a long time ago after measuring the liberated drivers of the SR80:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/566929/headphone-csd-waterfall-plots/105#post_7735041

I realized this shoutyness was caused by the cups and not the driver. In CSDs, we can see the shout as a ridge around 2-3kHz.

 

HP1000.txt.jpg

 

The way I reduced the shout on the SR-80 was to line the inside of the cup with good ol' Creatology Foam Sheet material (be sure to de-stick the adhesive side a bit by sticking it on your skin -ouch- or T-shirt first so the mod is easily reversible). So I did the same to the HP1000. In addition, I also applied a small circular piece on the back of the metal button. I wanted to eliminate, as much as possible, the sound waves bouncing inside of the HP1000 cup.

 

 

HP1000mod.jpg

 

The resulting changes were rather notable. Even more neutral than before. No more mid shout. In addition, this mod brought out some details which were masked by the midrange shout. Everything sounds super smooth and much more refined than before. In other words, I've sort of re-discovered the HP1000 and am listening to them a lot again.

 

Here is the CSD after the mod:

 

hp1000mod l.txt.jpg

post #2 of 107

Awesome work.  I could sure use a setup like that to test out my mods...

post #3 of 107
Thread Starter 

What's interesting is that someone who was familiar with the Joe Grado HP1000 "i" upgrade said this mod was along similar lines. It does sound good. I've been listening to them quite a bit recently.

post #4 of 107

You are a brave man lol.

post #5 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimChee View Post

You are a brave man lol.


Well, it is reversible. And the HP1000 were so smartly designed that it's easy to remove the driver (six hex screws hold it in place.)

 

post #6 of 107

I don't have time now, but in the next couple of days I'm going to try this. 

post #7 of 107
Thread Starter 

I had heard that Joe slopped some kind of goo on the back of them for the "i" version upgrade, so I just slapped on donut shaped Dynamat discs on the back of the drivers. I'm really loving the HP1000s now.

post #8 of 107

I'm ascared to death to disassemble my hp-2 but I may actually give this a try.  Any negative sonic effects?  As much as I respect Joe Grado I've heard his service costs $1.5k or something in that ballpark ><.


Edited by Mr.Sneis - 3/1/12 at 10:04am
post #9 of 107
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post

I'm ascared to death to disassemble my hp-2 but I may actually give this a try.  Any negative sonic effects?  As much as I respect Joe Grado I've heard his service costs $1.5k or something in that ballpark ><.


Just six hex screws around the driver - it should just fall out. No negative effects at all. Indeed it does sounds like the HP1000i that I once heard in distant memory.

 

post #10 of 107
Yikes... I'm not a good DIYer and you are indeed very brave. I'm even afraid to disassemble my HD-25
post #11 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post


 


Just six hex screws around the driver - it should just fall out. No negative effects at all. Indeed it does sounds like the HP1000i that I once heard in distant memory.

 



This just made me realize that the hp-2 basically pioneered the hex-screw design of the magnum!

post #12 of 107
I had sent my hp1000's about two months ago for the upgrade and just spoke with joe today, he plans on shipping mine back the end of the week!

In addition to a new cable, some remachining/polishing of enclosures, and other various tweaks, he told me today he has a new earpad he designed and is implementing in my set! Excited.
post #13 of 107

Quote:

Originally Posted by recstar24 View Post

I had sent my hp1000's about two months ago for the upgrade and just spoke with joe today, he plans on shipping mine back the end of the week!
In addition to a new cable, some remachining/polishing of enclosures, and other various tweaks, he told me today he has a new earpad he designed and is implementing in my set! Excited.


 

A new ear pad wow, this so cool. Made by Joe it's been a while since we've seen anything concrete from him, other than for his Holographic Scalera Scanner microphone.

 

I am standing on the edge about whether I should send him my HP2 or not. The "i" upgrade looks very promising and I believe in Joseph Grado's talent, and that he has the power to improve his headphone even if it's already godly.

 

I simply want to know more than just "He performs with usual magic on the headphone", I would like to know exactly what he does to it (I know I know, I should lend him a phone call)... and so, but not because I want to copy him and do the improvements by myself, far from it! I'm scared to death of opening this thing up but a good cleaning would already be nice.

 

I have read on another forum like Headphile that Joe does, among other things, some very specific burning in on the headphone (with special sets of frequencies). This I don't want it. My HP2 had less than one hour of use when I received it, I want to burn it by myself... and use it normally, because I stand against burning in of audio devices. I think that it shortens the lifespan of the gear...

 

It's like learning something quickly and forgetting it quickly thereafter, in the behaviorism theory. I prefer taking my time and errors on learning something but remembering it for longer. It takes progressive reinforcements and time. Slow burning in, only along with regular usage of the headphone, will improve it just as regular burning in does, but more slowly, more permanently. Burning in is wanting to skip fundamental steps. I'm sure it's highly destructive to leave them play 30 hours straight at high volumes.

 

Anyway back to the subject. I will collect the required money and inquire to Joseph. If he tells me his modification improves / resets the life expectancy of the headphone, I will send it to him right away -- while asking to not perform any burning in... or maybe just asking him how he does it and re-think about it for second, I might accept if it's not too dramatic, or refuse if I can already do it by myself.

 

This headphone is as old as I am, year for year, I think, 1989. I wish for it (or him) to live for as long as I do.

post #14 of 107

I sent mine previously to joe a few years ago to replace a busted driver. He put brand new drivers, and told me he ran them in on his special machine for 24 hours. This is my 5th set and was easily the best sounding pair I ever had. I believe it's essentially an oscillator that runs the whole diaphragm of the driver equally balanced across all frequencies. Regardless the guy knows a thing or two. 

 

Sending them in again for the Upgrade is a complete leap of faith for me, but joe was very open about the process an figured hey he has better stuff to do  and if he was willing to take the time it might be worth it, who knows. 

post #15 of 107

Busted drivers? How do those things end up failing? I thought only cables could go wrong.

 

Also I have read in a 2009 post, I think by Nik and his upgraded HP2, that he was told by Joseph on the telephone that Joseph had just used up the last pair of HP1000 drivers to replace his old drivers. So your replacement must have been before that moment.

 

What do you mean by leap of faith, you weren't sure if it was worth it, or you weren't ready for it yet? You're buying a service from Joseph, you should not care about whether he had better stuff to do or not, he gives his phone number and offers himself to do the upgrade on his personal web page.

 

 

I hope for you that it will be worth it every penny, even though the law of diminished returns apply, as it always does.

 

For me I could do it also. Let's face it, HP2 is a great headphone and it's creator is now offering an upgrade to make it even better. This guy knows everything about the HP1000, what happens when you push the bar even beyond the level of the HP2? Those must sound absolutely otherworldly. I want to collect the money and quickly decide whether or not to send my headphone to Joseph before it's too late... sadly.

 

Ideally I would buy a HP1 that has been used a lot more to get the upgrade. I would ask to disconnect the polarity switch and overall the headphone would benefit a lot more from a refreshment than my HP2 -- which has had very little use through its life -- would.

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