That is very interesting. Tubes.. I had no idea. I will have to find photos of what you are talking about. I love my Grado but absolutely detest the thick cord. It prevents me from reaching for my Grado much. Ergonomics are important to me. Have people recabled these? Now you have me curious so I might try to compare when I have some time. Working on some other projects at the moment. I will warn you though... I am horrible at making comparisons. Usually I just put on the first headphone, become immersed in the music and hours later I realize it is too late to listen with the second one I tend to prefer whatever is in my ears or on my head.