Grado DIY Project by Starving Student Audiophile Gives New Meaning to Music
Editor's Note: A couple of weeks ago Head-Fi DIYer Kojaku sent in a pair of heavily modded Grado SR225i headphones which I measured and reviewed here. I'm not really a fan of Grados ... okay, I really dislike them, but these modded cans were very good. The best sounding Grados I've had the pleasure of hearing.
I asked him to tell his story ...
First of all, before I get started, I'd like to briefly thank Tyll for the opportunity to talk about my journey through the world of DIY headphone Hi-Fi. It's great to see that interest in headphones and headphone DIYing is growing.
So who am I? My given name is Sean Sabino. To Head-Fi.org, I'm Kojaku, a mysterious Grado-head. In reality, I'm a 21-year old college student and, well, to put it simply, I embody that ancient, trusty label in the title of this article: starving student audiophile.
Starving. Starving for something new. Strapped for cash. I had always wanted to partake of hi-fi, growing up to the soothing sounds of Al Jarreau and the soulful funk of Earth, Wind, & Fire. With no time and no cash with which to sustain my lifelong console-gaming hobby, I decided to liquidate and leave that past behind to hop onto the headphone hi-fi bandwagon. I went to the local game store and waltzed out with fresh bills burning a hole in my pocket, ready to apologize profusely to my wallet. "Sorry for your wallet," as we say on head-fi.
Student. I ran home and began the research. Grado SR-60: "best bang for your buck," "lush mids". . . all those buzz words. I scoped out a local dealer and brought my dad---the inspiration for my love of music---to sample their headphone line-up. I began at the top with the Grado GS1000. With those bagel-sized pads, it was like a comfy hay-ride through rural audio-town. $1300!?!? I dropped down to reality, tasted the SR-60, and worked my way up until . . .Bam! Like a cymbal crash in old Glen Miller big band it struck me. The sizzle of the SR-225, the king of the Prestige Series.
I ran back home to read that the SR-225i was "hot," "screechy" all those buzz . . . kill words. I had secretly bought a pair for my father for his birthday, and one for myself to begin my audio journey. He later moved on to the RS-2---the youngest sibling of the Grado mahogany models---but I refused to sit and let my love for the SR225i be labeled as ridiculous. I knew there was something warmer lurking at the heart of these headphones. I just needed to find out how to bring it out.
So, here's what I did ....