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Grado SR-60i ,Classical Music, and Me (Rant/Review)

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by rpajarr, Nov 13, 2011.
  1. rpajarr
    Hello Head-Fi!
    I've been a frequent reader of head-fi for maybe 6 months now, and I'll have you know that I've been kind to my wallet. As a college music major on a budget I've been keen about spending my money -- did I mention I was a music major? a performance major?!
    I've owned my Grado SR-60i's since the end of this past July (according to my invoice) and have always enjoyed listening to classical music on them, despite naysayers. Just a minute ago I was listening to the Aaron Copland Clarinet Concerto, as performed by Charles Neidich, and I was blown away yet again. I now know why.
    I understand that people like a big concert-hall feel when they listen to classical music, but as a performer I'm accustomed to being on stage. I frequent the concert-hall and listen to others, but for some reason I can never truly get lost in the music unless I'm on the stage performing. This Grado does just that (I think). It at least puts me directly in front of the orchestra, which really does appeal to me. Perhaps I'm more of a performer than a listener? maybe I'm just weird?
    (Because Head-Fi'ers are into this sort of thing)
    Just as a reference, I've modded my SR-60i's, and I listen unamped through an iPhone 3GS. I let them burn in for two days straight before giving them a real listen. Coming from un-modded Koss Porta-Pros and the Mee HT-21, I was happily met by greater clarity and a fuller sound. My only qualm with the SR-60i was the fact that the bass left me wanting. But being a smart little head-fi'er, I had already anticipated this and had some mods waiting long before I received the Grado's.
    I quarter-modded the comfies and removed the silk veil. When it came to removing the separating the cups, I hit a dead end. I tried bilavideo's steaming method about three times to no avail. I failed, but I would have my bass one way or another! I held the cup up to the light and thought to myself, if you can't get in through the front then why not go in through the back?
    Holding the cup to the light, I took a yarn needle, stuck it through a hole in the grill, and proceeded to poke four holes for each cup. Of course, I was careful not to poke through the driver. After the modding process, I put the Grado's back on my head and I couldn't stop smiling. My sister looked at me like I was stupid (I'm sure I looked stupid, though) but I was in some sort of state of bliss through the success of modding. 
    The sound was [then] just right to my ears. I love the Grado sound. Listening to Tokyo Jihen's Keshou Naoshi was quite the experience, as it is quite a detailed track. It is a Japanese bossa nova with many things going on at the same time (triangle, drum set, wood block, accoustic guitar (nylon string), piano, organ, Shiina Ringo's singing, bass guitar, a trumpet solo, shakers) with an electronic break at the end. I love using this song to remind me what detail the Grado's give me -- it cures me of upgraditis it seems. In fact, listening to these headphones in general cures me of upgraditis.
    I later poked one more hole in the felt because I was just feeling a bit more wanting -- hence the brackets in the prior paragraph. I listen to a lot of classical, K-pop, rock, and occasionally some mainstream (but only through my car stereo). For me, the Grado's simply do satisfy. Perhaps I'm a strange exception, but they work.
    Comfort-wise, the supra-aural fit doesn't bother me too much. The headband doesn't bother me either. I haven't had any feelings of pain, really. Maybe after an hour or two I'll feel the pressure of the cups and need to take them off for a couple minutes, then I'm fine. For fun, I want to get a dt770 headband on them. For experimentation, I want to buy some L-Cush pads or maybe even the G-Cush pads.
    In terms of upgrading, I've been eyeing out the ATH-M50, Ultrasone HFI-780, and Grado SR-225i. While the SR-125i is better fit into the other headphones price range, moving further up the Grado range will probably be more satisfying. I understand the ATH-M50 has quite mixed reviews, and the new white box M50's are different than their predecessors. Come to think of it, all of these cans have mixed reviews, haha. The Ultrasone is just so tempting with it's cable length (for portable use) and supposed sound signature. S-Logic, be it placebo or not, is also quite inviting. 
    I've been looking for a closed can, which is why I was drawn to the 780 and the M50, but I can't deny myself what the 225i might bring >.<. Now for the inevitable question: Knowing my tastes, which would be the most suitable upgrade? If I get a closed can, then I can use them on campus, but I'd be perfectly fine only listening at home with the Grado's. Help?

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