Grado modders go Magnum
Mar 22, 2017 at 7:10 PM Post #4,381 of 4,981

les_garten

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  Well the pads came in today and 
 
1. The leatherette sound like crap, don't wast your time or money 
 
I can tell you this though.. At first blush, I very much prefer the sound and comfort of the EarZonk G-CUSH with the Symphone V7's... More testing needed before I can really stand behind that statement.
 
 

 
 
How much "spring" to that Headband?
 
Mar 24, 2017 at 12:28 AM Post #4,383 of 4,981

Gibson59

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Just received my Symphones V7!  I've got a quick question for those who put them in wood cups.  Are you putting any dynamat lining on the inner cups and/or blue tac on the back of the drivers?  I did this to my SR80e set and liked the result but those remained in the plastic cups.  I'm wondering and kind of assume the dynamat lining may reduce the positive sonic qualities of the wood cups. 
 
Here's what i'm going to be assembling:
 
Symphone V7 drivers
Spalted wood cups (from Rholupat)
Black leather headband (from Rholupat)
Aluminum gimbal & rodblocks (from Rholupat)
Custom Infiniti Series cable (Impact Audio Cables)
Ear Zonk L or G cushions (TBD)
 
Mar 25, 2017 at 11:43 AM Post #4,387 of 4,981

kejar31

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I also picked up some official Grado G-Cush pads.. These were more different than the Ear Zonk’s than that I had originally thought they would be.
 
The acoustic foam used is pretty different. The Grado’s are a much softer foam with a resin is used to harden both the front and back. While the Ear Zonk’s are a solid piece of stiffer acoustic foam.
 
The Grado’s are pretty much an enlarged version of the Grado L-Cush which most of us have used with more resin used to hold the larger shape together (the whole back is a pretty solid). This resin does offer a benefit though... It holds the outer and rear shape together while allow the center to squish and adjust to your head, keeping the drivers level with your ear but still hovering over them.
 
The Ear Zonk’s, on the other hand, when receiving pressure from the font lose their shape on the rear pretty fast… This can cause cups to dig into the pad not allowing the drivers to hold themselves at a proper level angle or position to your ears. I did also notice that the top end tends to break up and get a little hot on the Ear Zonk’s, I believe this may be to this improper structure to the pads when they are worn.
 
I think Ear Zonk tries to somewhat get around this by making the bowls more shallow than the Grado’s.. Although IMHO making them more shallow just kinda defeats the reason for getting the larger bowl pads..
 
Here are some pictures to show what I mean
 

 
The Grado Pads are on the right.. Notice how the Ear Zonk's are more shallow than the Grado's
 

 
Grado pad with pressure being pushed on the front. Notice the minimal dig in from the rear cups into the pad.. 
 

 
Now look at the Ear Zonk's and how the cups are just compley digging into the pads...
 
Mar 25, 2017 at 1:11 PM Post #4,388 of 4,981

kejar31

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My Pad preferences for the V7’s
 
Obviously, preferences would change with different drivers... but with the latest Magnum’s these are my personal preferences after testing all the pads side by side
 
Grado Flats vs Sen 414s
The 414 pads are much much more comfortable no real noticeable difference in sound Q.
 
414’s vs Grado L-Cush
Flat pads seem to slightly trim the top end giving a muffled sound to the overall presentation. Honestly the L-Cush pads simply sound better in almost every way. Also, I personally prefer the comfort of the L-Cush pads. I know many don’t but for my ears they just work better. If someone prefures the comfort of the 414 pads I would assume a quarter mod might make them very comparable to the L-Cush pads when it comes to sound.
 
Ear Zonk leatherette pads
These are very comfortable as one would expect but the sound is just horrendous. Bloated slow bottom end that bleeds all over into the mids .. They simply sound horrible... Cannot recommend under any circumstances
 
Ear Zonk vs Grado G-Cush
The Ear Zonk cause some sort of issue with the treble that makes the sound a little grainy and hot on the top end... I covered this in a previous post but when it comes to sound the Grado pads win...
 
Grado L-Cush vs G-Cush
This is hard cause both have their benefits… L-Cush offers a fuller thinker midrange but the G-Cush offers better instrument separation and seems to have a more cohesive midrange. Bass is a about the same on either which surprised me. The treble on the G-Cush is airier and slightly more prominent. With the treble and midrange changes the G-Cush has a cleaner dryer sound while the L-Cush has a thicker more in your face sound. When it comes to sound stage there is really no comparison... Honestly I am surprised at how much G-Cush pads improve the soundstage.
 
If it isn’t noticeable already I personally prefer the G-Cush overall, sadly when used the overall sensitivity drops and puts them in a range that requires amp.. This is fine as the headphones with these pads look silly as hell in public. Sooooo for me its L-Cush for work and outdoors and G-Cush for my desk.
 
In the end, it looks like this
Grado G-Cush > Grado L-Cush > Ear Zonk G-Cush > Sennhieser HD414 > Grado Flats > Ear Zonk Leatherette 
 
Mar 25, 2017 at 9:30 PM Post #4,389 of 4,981

les_garten

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  My Pad preferences for the V7’s
 
Obviously, preferences would change with different drivers... but with the latest Magnum’s these are my personal preferences after testing all the pads side by side
 
l..

 
 
Great analysis!
 
Thanx for the taking the time to write that up.
 
I'm surprised you didn't perceive a Bass roll off with the Grado G's.  I've never felt they sounded good with anything except a Grado voiced for them.
 
Mar 26, 2017 at 12:34 AM Post #4,390 of 4,981

kejar31

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Honestly I think the most of the SR grados I have heard (newer non pink ones) lack deep bass to begin with (I have owned the SR80, SR125 and SR325 “gold and chromes”) ... On top of that, they lean towards the bright side of neutral, as many know. The L-Cush pads pull the drivers very close to the ear (read literally on top of) which can compensate for these issues…  I guess when you are playing with that little bass to begin with a midbass drop-off any kind would be noticeable… The V7’s are voiced to be much more neutral from top to bottom and IMHO have a much better lower end. In fact I think they sound better if you give them a little room to breath :)
 
Mar 26, 2017 at 2:25 AM Post #4,391 of 4,981

les_garten

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  Honestly I think the most of the SR grados I have heard (newer non pink ones) lack deep bass to begin with (I have owned the SR80, SR125 and SR325 “gold and chromes”) ... On top of that, they lean towards the bright side of neutral, as many know. The L-Cush pads pull the drivers very close to the ear (read literally on top of) which can compensate for these issues…  I guess when you are playing with that little bass to begin with a midbass drop-off any kind would be noticeable… The V7’s are voiced to be much more neutral from top to bottom and IMHO have a much better lower end. In fact I think they sound better if you give them a little room to breath :)

 
 
I noticed I didn't like the G cushions the most with my HF-2s, which have some Bass compared to the ones you listed.  Went back to L cushions pretty quick on those.
 
I like the G's for comfort and really would like them to work on all the Grados since they are so uncomfortable to wear for the most part.  
 
I don't know how folks use the flats?
 
Mar 26, 2017 at 5:25 PM Post #4,392 of 4,981

7keys

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Well the pads came in today and 

1. The leatherette sound like crap, don't wast your time or money 

I can tell you this though.. At first blush, I very much prefer the sound and comfort of the EarZonk G-CUSH with the Symphone V7's... More testing needed before I can really stand behind that statement.

 


Interesting color on those cups, nice, what wood are you using?
 
Apr 10, 2017 at 4:43 PM Post #4,395 of 4,981

Gibson59

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Finally get to contribute to this thread... finished up my Symphones v7 build!
 
I love the sound.  So different from my modded Grado SR80e build.  By comparison to the my Grados, the best word i can think of to describe the Symphones v7 drivers is that they are polite.  Not laid back or veiled, but a little softer while not sacrificing clarity and resolution.  Not forward mids like the Grados have, and certainly not as bright.  The other huge difference is the bass, which is much more prominent, but still pretty tight and not bloated.  I wouldn't say these are bass heavy by any means but they offer much more of it compared to the Grado SR80e.
 
They are spalted maple cups, aluminum gimbals and padded leather headband from Rholupat, along with a cable from Impact Audio (Etsy).

 

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