Whiskey a Grado: The Company's First Closed-Back Headphone
I love the Grado SR60, it's one of the best sub-$100 headphones available, and has been for a long, long time. While the sound of the remainder of the Grado line isn't up my ally (a little too bright and lacking in bass tightness for me), these ear-pad, open acoustic headphones have garnered praise and a loyal following for decades.
Grado tends to do their marketing in a very low-key manner. They're rarely at trade shows, and they rarely advertise. I guess they reckon they don't need to spend the money, and I reckon they're probably right. They seem very happy to just serve their loyal customer base and dealers. Every once in a while though, Grado does do something promotional. For example, on two occasions that I know of they've produced special versions of their headphones for Head-Fi. Well...this time they seem to have taken promotion to a whole new level, and have produced the first ever closed back (vented, but not really sealed) headphone.
Evidently, Bushmills reached out to Grado Labs with the idea of making headphones from Whiskey barrelsswords into plowshares, or something like that. Elija Woods (movie star) and Zach Cowie (a DJ and movie soundtrack producer) were also brought in on the project. The Bushmills X Grado headphone went on sale exclusively at Turntable Lab yesterday here...and today it's sold out.
That worked well!
Evidently no reviewer units were released, but if anyone here in the US bought one and would like it measured I'd be glad to pay the shipping both ways and get them back to you within a week. Contact me at tyll(at)innerfidelity.com to arrange it.
I'll not pretend to have done any reporting on this and for more information will simply point you to:
Mario Aguilar's Gizmodo post here (probably the best story about it).
And lastly, this video with Elija Wood and Zach Cowie visiting John Grado at the factory.
As ButtUglyJeff said in this Head-Fi thread about the Bushmills X Grado, "I've never wanted to smell headphones before....." Yeah, me too, it's almost like you'd have to smoke a stogie to complete the listening experience.