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iGrado Teardown

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by fureshi, Sep 27, 2006.
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  1. fureshi
    This is the second pair of iGrado that I’ve gotten as my first pair developed a defect with the right driver where it would cut in and out. In the end, it just gave up and stopped working altogether. Luckily this pair did not have that same problem. Major kudos to TTVJ for getting this second pair to me so quickly!

    As you all know, these cans use the SR60 driver so they have the potential to shine and sound as good as the SR60. There are several things about the iGrado portable design that I felt was holding it back. First is the ultra thick foam covers. They are the cause of the bass bloat and the veiled highs that the iGrado exhibit. Replacing these with the Senn HD414 pads really made them sound so much more like the SR60.

    [​IMG]

    Although they look ridiculous with the senn414 pads, they have easily become more enjoyable to listen to. Not only has the veil lifted but bass notes are quite clean and very little bass bloat is present. Also gone is the far forward and congested feeling that they had out of the box. I did not cut holes into the stock foam pads as the senn414 pads are so much more comfortable. The interesting thing is that I remember the SR60 sounding horrible with the senn414 pads but the iGrado sounds great with them. I'm not sure if the clamping force or cup design that is causing this difference.

    Second, I believe that the wiring Grado chose for these cans is also leading to some deficiency in sound quality. I can’t confirm that until I recable them. I absolutely detest the stock wire. They are very thin and also very stiff, leading to easily tangling itself. Also, whenever I put on or off these cans, the wires get caught on my glasses. I’m about ready to rip them off right now for being so annoying. But, these cans are hardly burned in and I’ve only had them for a short while so I’ll resist the urge and listen to them as they are for the time being.

    The following are pictures of the iGrado taken apart. My curiosity and also my plans on recabling them someday led me to this.

    If you remove the button, you’ll notice the screw holding the driver/cup assembly attached to the headband by one screw. The button is held in place by some glue but if you rock them back and forth, you can break the bond and pull the button out with a jeweler’s screwdriver.

    [​IMG]

    In this picture you can see that the driver is held to the cup by 4 clips. The driver is very difficult to remove from the cup due to the tightness of the clips. I ended up having to cut slivers of the clips off with an xacto to be able to get them to release the driver. If you notice, the post that connects the driver/cup to the headbandare is notched. That means that they will not swivel. I think that this answers the question once and for all that the iGrado was not designed to swivel. An interesting thing is that there is another foam pad behind the driver. I’m not too sure what it’s for but hopefully some of you better acquainted with headphone design can explain why its there.

    [​IMG]

    Finally here is an image of the back of the driver.

    [​IMG]

    I think that at the $50 price point and with the senn414 pads, the iGrado are an excellent alternative to the SR60, which are about $19 more.
     
  2. tomb
  3. feh1325
    wow! very nice pictures and findings

    nice job bringing the grado ugly with the hd414 pads
     
  4. 003
    Could you make those HD414 pads black somehow?
     
  5. Mercuttio
    Any sound improvement with the foam behind the driver removed?
     
  6. shawntp
    I know I have read people used dye (like RIT dye for shirts and such) to change the color of the pads.
     
  7. fwojciec
    Another option for dealing with the iGrado treble problem: iGrados with Sennheiser PX100 pads...


    [​IMG]


    Looks good, and sounds better than any other portable headphone I've ever tried.

    Be warned though - while iGrados moded this way sound way better than the Senns, once you use the PX100 pads on the iGrados they will become stretched and won't fit the Senns anymore.
     
  8. FaBoLoUsRmX
    My pair of black iGrados are coming in a couple of days, and i would like to know if the pads on the ksc75s fit them? I definately dont have a pair of px100 pads so i was wondering if that would be a good alternative.

    Good pics btw. Maybe you could cut some of the foam on the hd414 pads to match the size of the iGrado's a bit better [​IMG]
     
  9. VR6ofpain
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fureshi
    An interesting thing is that there is another foam pad behind the driver. I’m not too sure what it’s for but hopefully some of you better acquainted with headphone design can explain why its there.

    [​IMG]

    Finally here is an image of the back of the driver.

    [​IMG]




    I would guess two reasons:
    - to keep some debris from getting in through the grill holes
    -to hide the ugly driver with the print on it, since it is so close to the grille in this design
     
  10. kramer5150
    Nice thanks for sharing.

    Wow that fugly knob thing doesn't look so BIG with the HD414 pads. Dye them black and it nearly hides that knob.

    that wire AWG does look pretty thin.

    How bout' a recable with an HD650 cable? That with dyed HD414 pads might put it on the same plane (in all aspects) as the SR60[​IMG]
     
  11. SilverCans
    do they stay on your head when say jogging?
     
  12. Usagi Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by VR6ofpain
    I would guess two reasons:
    - to keep some debris from getting in through the grill holes
    -to hide the ugly driver with the print on it, since it is so close to the grille in this design




    I would assume they're to add a tad more bass.

    I just received a pair today from Todd. They sound great for the cost, but the headband is extremely frustrating. If you angle your head slightly upward, your neck or shirt collar pushes the speakers off your ears. If you lay down it once again pushes the speaker off your ears. The iGrado would be close to perfect if it was designed with the traditional over-the-head band.
     
  13. Mercuttio
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Usagi
    I would assume they're to add a tad more bass.

    I just received a pair today from Todd. They sound great for the cost, but the headband is extremely frustrating. If you angle your head slightly upward, your neck or shirt collar pushes the speakers off your ears. If you lay down it once again pushes the speaker off your ears. The iGrado would be close to perfect if it was designed with the traditional over-the-head band.




    You are in direct contradiction of your own signature, sir.
     
  14. GlorytheWiz825
    Those look pretty sweet. Think I'll order a pair for myself. You guys know any good online vendors of iGrados for people living in Canada?
     
  15. Usagi Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mercuttio
    You are in direct contradiction of your own signature, sir.



    Not really, the headband on the iGrado is perfectly annoying.[​IMG]
     
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