SR60 and SR80, myths or facts
Jul 9, 2008 at 2:41 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

Catharsis

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I just recently purchased a pair of Grado SR60s (although they gouge you in Canada), and I’m incredibly happy. I have this inkling in the back of my head though that I should have purchased the SR80s as I’m a bit of a techno freak and I’ve heard from the gradolabs website that the SR80s contain a better bass response.

I’ve been researching the differences between the sr60 and the sr80 on both headfi.org and countless other websites. The overwhelming problem is that there isn’t a single consensus on what the differences are. Please allow me to state the facts:

Facts:
  1. The SR80 uses a 4 conductor cable as opposed to a 3 conductor cable.
  2. The SR80 uses bowl pads whereas the SR60 uses the comfy pads.
Now please allow me to summarize the variety of comments I have heard regarding the differences that have not been verified through consensus:

Speculation:
  1. The drivers may or may not be the identical 40mm open-air dynamic transducers in both the SR80 and the SR60.
  2. The bowls on the SR80 account for the differences in sound between the SR80 and SR60.
  3. A 4 conductor cable may or may not make any difference in sound.
  4. The SR80 has more bass (this comes up often)
  5. The SR60 has more bass (amazingly this opposite statement is just as frequent)
  6. The SR80 has more bass quality (or bass response?)
  7. The SR60 has more bass quantity
  8. If you add bowl pads to the SR60s you have a pair of SR80s
  9. The SR80 may benefit from an amp because the drivers are pulled farther from the ears; however most headphones would benefit from a headphone amp.
  10. It would be ridiculous to assume that anyone could hear the difference between a 3 conductor cable and a 4 conductor cable.
  11. People who have tried the SR60+bowls and the SR80 have not been able to discern a difference.

Assuming that the SR60 and the SR80 use identical drivers, and with the ability of the SR60 to be modded with bowl pads, there exists only one major question to ask:

“Does the 4 conductor cable do anything to improve bass response?” If the answer is negative you should be able to conclude that there isn’t any difference between an SR60 with bowls and an SR80.

You could even extend this logic to the rest of the Grado line. All Grados (above the iGrado) use 40mm open-air dynamic transducers but have different frequency responses, subtle differences in sound and driver matched db. If the transducers are all identical, you could only conclude that the housing materials, physical structure and cables and wires used are different.

In all cases, the higher-end Grados need better equipment to sound their best. Would this logic not also apply to the SR60 as well?

If I’ve learned anything during my Grado research it’s that the Grados must sound exceedingly more similar than different as most people cannot agree on what they’re hearing.

Any help from members on this forum would be greatly appreciated!
 
Jul 9, 2008 at 2:47 PM Post #2 of 14

vvanrij

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Gradolabs.com:

'Built on the same features as the SR60, but utilizes a 4 conductor connecting cable and larger ear cushions, the result of which gives a more open stage. The SR80 provides an improved bass resonance, which enhances the overall detail. John Grado says he strove for the best sounding phones for the money, and with the glowing reviews the SR80's have received, who can argue.'
 
Jul 9, 2008 at 3:22 PM Post #3 of 14

Catharsis

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I've seen this quote before, but can the changes in bass response strictly be due to the bowl pads?

If I swap the comfys for the bowls on my SR60 I should be left with an SR80; presuming the cable doesn't up the bass any.
 
Jul 9, 2008 at 5:15 PM Post #5 of 14

progo

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They are nearly identical to my ears. So "yes".
 
Jul 9, 2008 at 5:17 PM Post #6 of 14

majkel

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SR80's vs. SR60 with bowls are colder, with more present treble, less alluring and coherent. 4-wire cable has got smaller channel crosstalk which affects soundstaging and instrument separation, however the transducers are different, too, so don't blame the cable for everything that happens.
 
Jul 9, 2008 at 5:28 PM Post #7 of 14

NoXter

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I had the chance to hear 4 different MS1 so far and 3 of them sounded different. So, in theory i don't believe that there is a difference between SR-60 and SR-80 with the same pads, but fluctuations in production could be one reason of those little differences which the people hear.
 
Jul 9, 2008 at 8:21 PM Post #8 of 14

BrookR1

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I've owned both and did an AB (both with bowls) for a couple of hours before selling my SR-60s. The reason I sold them? They sound nearly identical to my SR-80s. I thought I heard a very tiny amount of extra bass with the SR-80s, but it could have been placebo...it was that close and that difficult to pick up.
 
Jul 9, 2008 at 9:23 PM Post #9 of 14

Catharsis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by majkel /img/forum/go_quote.gif
SR80's vs. SR60 with bowls are colder, with more present treble, less alluring and coherent. 4-wire cable has got smaller channel crosstalk which affects soundstaging and instrument separation, however the transducers are different, too, so don't blame the cable for everything that happens.


WOW. I appreciate all of the brilliant help that all of you are providing. Majkel are you stating that the SR80s sound colder with more present treble, or the SR60s.

Anyone else care to comment on the coldness / treble levels of the SR80s versus the SR60s?
 
Jul 9, 2008 at 10:03 PM Post #11 of 14

Catharsis

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Are you serious?!

Does this now mean that only the bowls and the "8" are the difference on the SR80s?

Can you physically see 4 wires or something? I'm not sure what a 4 conductor cable would look like.
 
Jul 10, 2008 at 2:04 PM Post #13 of 14

Jingo Lingo

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My MS1's with bowls sound a lot more similar to my RS-1's than I thought they would... The RS-1's sound maybe $100 better, not $550ish better. Oh well, the wood is pretty. Sorry for the off topic...
 
Jul 10, 2008 at 3:49 PM Post #14 of 14

Drag0n

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The drivers are the SAME in 60 and 80.

Its just the pads, and the way theyre wired.

Rewire the 60's and put your choice of pads and save the dang $20.

I got the 80;s, and i could have just gotten 60's.

I got the 225's and end up using the 80's more anyway.

Sometimes i just use my Koss KSC75's.

Your ears also change day to day, so one day one sounds better, the next maybe the other sounds better.

If you already own a 60......no sense in "upgrading?" to an 80.
 

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