My first 'real' cans: Grado SR-125's
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chillysalsa

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I’ve had the SR-125s for about 5 days now, and put about 30 hrs on them (20h was for break-in, as they sounded a little congested and grainy right out of the box).

My initial impressions: heaven & hell.
Let me clarify.

Heaven: These sound incredible. I keep finding certain tracks, and just keep cranking it up and up. It just sounds better and better without getting harsh or painful (to a point, where it just gets too loud, of course). The detail is all there at low levels too, but it’s so much more fun to keep them at moderate levels. These just let you forget about frequency response, impedance curves, oxygen-free ultra-high purity long crystal copper coils & doodads - and free you to simply get lost in the music! This is what hi-fi is about - to me anyway.

Hell: I think my ear lobes actually have bruises. That’s partly because I’ve had them on so much (the music sounds too good to take them off, I’m so torn!). I’m looking into those Sennheiser H-19545 pads, and have bent out the band a little to accommodate my fat head. Do they get more comfortable because the pads wear-in, or because your ears wear-off?

I don’t really find that they have the sibilance in the 5kHz range that everyone complains about. Maybe my upper hearing may have been damaged at that one and only rave and the numerous jam-sessions of playing in a rock band in high-school (without ear plugs, with guitar amps cranked & clipping away). Well, I guess can hear SOME harshness on certain recordings, but I wouldn’t call it excessive, and am tolerating it.

I’ve noticed that overall, they have a peculiar timbre to them. Certain sounds, like the plucking of guitars has a very metallic sound to it - because of the metal diaphragms I guess? It’s not entirely unpleasant, but it makes me wonder what things should ‘really’ sound like. Strangely, voices aren’t very affected by this, they come across very natural.

Initially, I ventured off to get the SR-60’s. I wasn’t happy with them at all - they sounded bass-shy, and let too much of the outside sound in (probably because of the comfy pads). The SR-80’s sounded just about right, more bass & less harshness. Moving through the line, I noticed little difference between the 125 and 225’s. The 325’s offered much smoother sound, and had a lot more in common with the RS-2’s than the rest of the SR line. The RS-2’s of course, were the kings of sweetness. (unfortunately they didn’t have RS-1’s to try). In the end I settled on the 125’s because I could get them for only $25 more than the SR-80’s (and 325s were more than 2x beyond the budget).

Happy listening...
 
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wallijonn

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the pads wear-in with a little use. i'm still working on cementing a velvet cover on top of the sr80 bowl pads. i have all the parts - it's just that i haven't committed myself to do it right.

try this while listening to some music: with your index fingers (only) press in the front of the transducer into your jaw. how's the sounstage? how's the midrange?

i usally have no problems wearing my sr80's up to 2 hours. after that i have to take a break.

my problem now is that i'm auditioning audio technica ad10's and i find it hard to switch back to the sr80's. i have to get my ears accustomed to the new sound...

and yes, i ordered the senn replacement pads. hey for $8 i'll give it a shot.
 
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OneMalt

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Just be aware that if you change to Grado comfy pads or the Senn pads, you'll change the character of the sound on your 125s. The soundstage will collapse somewhat and they'll sound warmer. Not entirely a bad thing, IMO.
 
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Duncan

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Oooh, have I missed something here??

What model of Senn 'phones are you usings the pads from with the 125s?

I have both the bowl and comfy pads, and neither make the sound too compelling to me (sorry ~ I'm one of the people that can hear that peak
) and would be interested to hear if these Senn pads bring my rarely used Grados to life...

Ta!
 
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OneMalt

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There has been some talk of the H-19545 pads (HD-414 replacements) coming very close sound-wise to the Grado flats. I've ordered some to see for myself.
 
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Duncan

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Thanks OneMalt


So flat = comfy (SR60 pads)... yeah?
 
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OneMalt

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Nope. The flats are the old Grado pads (which I've never personally heard) and by most accounts are supposed to be superior to the comfys.
 
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the world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes and steal your dreams, it's Heaven and Hell.
I hope you know the band?
 
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the world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes and steal your dreams, it's Heaven and Hell.
I hope you know the band?
 
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I now use my Grado 225's at work...about 10 hours a day...and I've really had no problem with them. I know nothing about which pads I have...I assume that they are the pads that came with them (I bought them used).

Anyone have any experience with the bigger Grado replacement pads? I'd be interested in anything that might make the bass a bit more substantial.

 
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wallijonn

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maltone said, "Just be aware that if you change to Grado comfy pads or the Senn pads, you'll change the character of the sound on your 125s. The soundstage will collapse somewhat and they'll sound warmer. Not entirely a bad thing, IMO." exactly.

i've now bent the headband IN on both sides. more bass. transducers still have to be angled in, though.

E-T, yes, i want to hear about the oversized grado pads as i'm thinking of converting the bowl pads to enclose-the-ear type.

chillysalsa - get some velour or velvet material. cut a doughnut to same size as the bowl pads. spray glue onto the bowl pads. that should do it. (that's what i'm goint to do. i'll keep you posted on how it works out
 
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OneMalt

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Quote:

Originally posted by elrod-tom

Anyone have any experience with the bigger Grado replacement pads? I'd be interested in anything that might make the bass a bit more substantial.


The "biggest" pad made by Grado these days is the bowl pad which is stock for all Grado HPs except the SR-60 (& maybe the SR-40?). To my ears, they made my 325s sound excessively bright and lasted about 5 minutes before I replaced them with comfys.

Once, at Tyll's suggestion, I tried modifying a pair of bowl pads by "painting stripes" of rubber cement on them alternating with stripes of untouched pad. About half the area of the pads got cement and the other half didn't. The theory was that after the rubber cement dried, it would serve to partially seal them and make them warmer. It didn't seem to make a whole lot of difference to me.

I now mod my comfys by cutting a quarter-sized hole in them. That lets in more detail without making the sound shrill.
 
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But I think the comfy really shrinks the soundstage by quite a bit. Especially with vocals, where the comfy gives the listener the in your ear effect while the bowl makes everything sounds like its in front and surrounding you (still relatively close but in a much better way IMHO).
 
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chillysalsa

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Ok, after week 2 they're much more comfortable to wear, and I get far less 'listener fatigue'.

I still can't get over that magic that happens when have them playing already before you put them on. The moment you put them on it's like you've put your eye to a microscope, it's a whole other world.

But what the hell is wrong with my ear lobes!?! My ears were all itchy a few days ago, and now the skin is pealing a bit. I think I maybe alergic to the foam pads, or adhesive used in that white screen thing. Oh well, as long as I have good sound!


BTW: it's really interesting how horrible you can make them sound by covering the screens with your hands, or putting them on 'backwards'.
 
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If you are tired of the peaky highs and don't feel like changing pads, put the bowl pads on backwards (so that the drivers are closer to your ears) and problem solved.


Biggie.
 
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