It seems ages ago, but on 15 September 2015 I received the Grado SR-60e. I bought it on a whim as my first open backed headphone, since I had read they are better compared to the closed backs I was used to. The most recent closed back headphone was at the time the Marshall Monitor.
Additionally after doing some research on them I noticed Grados are very easy to mod and since I liked to tinker with my hands once in a while I was intrigued. After a while I discovered the 'Post your Grado mods' thread on head fi, and into the rabbit hole I went.
What you see here is the current state of events.
List of adjustments/mods:
- A set of L cush (official) and G cush earpads from ebay.
- A pair of wooden cups in Mahogany, GS1000 style, made by Bruce Mackenzie from Wabi Sabi Headphones. His instagram
- V6 drivers by Symphones
- Leather headband by Turbulent Labs
- 3.5mm to dual mono 2.5mm jack removable 1.5m cable from ebay.
- Drivers soldered to 2.5mm female jacks
How did I like this headphone with the L cush earpads?
The V6 drivers deliver an un Grado clean and slightly v-shaped sound signature that is musical and fun to listen to.
Compared to the stock Grado drivers the bass has much better quality and quantity. Especially if I compare them to my HD600's, the bass is killer on this set. I would position the Magnums between my HD600 and X2 in terms of bass.
Vocals are cristal clear and in balance with the lows and highs. Even though the others are a bit more pronounced, the mids are not recessed at all. Compared to the stock Grado drivers there was a better balance and a significant increase in detail. I would position the Magnums between the X2 and the HD600 for the mids, albeit it being very close to the HD600, almost on par with it actually.
If you think Grado, you think strong treble. With the Magnums, this is not the case. Very detailed, on par with my HD600. Soundstage: The soundstage can be described as sitting in the front row, with the musicians playing right in front of you, to the left and right. As a result it feels very intimate and enjoyable.
How did I like this headphone using the G cush (bowl) earpads?
To be honest I was underwhelmed by them. To much bass and treble making the mids feel veiled and recessed. I prefer the L cush pads by miles.
Cost (including shipping):
- Symphones drivers: $120
- Cups: $100 (made by Fleasbaby from headfi)
- Leather strap: $45
- Grado SR60e: $65 (used)
- Cable: $30
- Connectors: $5
While a real Grado GS1000 costs: $1299,-
I can recommend going into modding grados if you like to fool around with tinkering and such. For me it was an enjoyable and educational experience.
My next step will be getting a DIY measurement rig, since I'd like to mod based on measurements as well as my own hearing. For now just modding based on my ears was good enough, but I'd like to step it up a notch.