Last Call for DIY Cans! Here's the Latest - Kojaku's Killer Grado SR225i

email dialog between Tyll and Kojaku

Hey Tyll,

I know you really hate Grados, but I have finally finished modding my cans and would like to know if you'd be willing to take a look at their measurements and give them a listen. They're Sr225i that have been placed into mahogany cups, recabled with 26 AWG Solid Core Cryo Silver, and then pad modded with a sock mod that is actually pretty popular but I'm pretty sure you haven't listened to yet. Let me know how I can send them your way if you'd be willing to do the measurements and listen to them.

Best Regards,



("Silver cable!?" I though to myself, "On Grados!? OMG, it's going to be like ice picks in my ears.")

Hi Kojaku!

Grados huh? Sure. You can send them to the addy in my sig. Make sure you put your name and addy on a piece of paper in the box.





Just a couple random questions while I've got your attention. Is there a common easy way you know of to check for channel imbalances? I think these headphones have an imbalance toward the right side and I want to have them be in the best shape possible when you receive them.

Also, just curious, why do you so greatly dislike Grados? Is it the coloration and the slightly edgy quality of their non-wooden models, coupled with the sub-par bass response of the lower-end units? Big fan of neutrality? I read your site faithfully and am subscribed to your YouTube channel and am simply curious :).



Don't know of a quick and dirty way to check channel imbalance.

Grados are too screechy sounding to me. Pretty much what you said minus the “slightly.”


I see. What about their mahogany models?

Also, I'd like to say that I really admire what you do for the audiophile community, and even the non-audiophile community. It's really great :)


Frankly, I don't like any of the Grados except the SR60.

And thanks, I'll keep working on it.


So according to my records you received my headphones today! Just checking to make sure everything is correct as far as the delivery confiration went. Hope you're enjoying them!


Yupper, got 'em. Prolly measure them tomorrow.

I hope I'll enjoy them, too.


Sorry for burdening you with more Grados =\


Just wanted to let you know I've decided to do a little post which will include your cans. Do you mind if I hang on to then until mid-next week?


Sure! No Problem.


---- Days and days go by, past the committed time. :( -----


Any news on my headphones? Just checking up.


Yeah, very sorry. The HD 800 articles took a lot longer than I expected, and I want to do a post and video of your cans to encourage folks to send in more before the April 1 deadline. I'll do the post tomorrow and ship your cans by tomorrow afternoon.


hm. Before april 1st? I thought that was only for orthodynamic headphones. I mean, I'd love to be allowed to enter...because I get by mostly on DIYing for Hi-Fi sound. Anyway, that'd be way way awesome. Thanks for appreciating my headphones :)


What's your user name on Head-Fi?




(end of dialog)


My Impressions
Well, the automated UPS tracking messages went out, but I didn't say a thing. Why? Because these are the best damn sounding Grados I've ever heard! And I wanted him to be surprised by my article here.

120224_blog_DIY_Kojaku_225iSquareWavesSure, the bass goes down hill fast, like all Grados---you can't fight physics---but the sound was transparent and smooth otherwise. "Smooth," you say! Yes, a lovely liquid sound, indeed.

If someone insists I recommend a Grado headphone, I always mention the SR225, but I don't really like them. I hate the Grado sound---way too harsh for me. I don't get why people like them.

To the right you'll see the normal 300Hz square wave response of the Grado SR225i. In the upper stock plot, you can see a severe spike on the leading edge of the square wave. If you look through all my Grado measurements, you'll find all Grado cans have this feature in one way or another. I think it's indicative of why my ears can't take Grado headphones.

Well, as you can see, Kojaku's modification has all but eradicated this feature. I could, and did, listen for hours to these headphones. It was simply the best Grado experience I've had, and an absolute pleasure in a general headphone listening way. Splendid!


In addition to the great sound, the whole look of these cans is groovy. Kojaku tells me the earpieces were turned from Sapele wood by Head-Fi member Cabillas; and the silver cables were crafted by member Chris_Himself. But it's Kojaku's brilliant foam with sock-mod surround that I think accounts for the great sound. Sweet! Headphones built by committee, and a brilliant outcome at the end. I. Just. Don't. Believe. It.

So, thank you, Kojaku, for your deft modding of these fine phones. I'm super impressed. Listen in Joy, dude, you've made a great pair of cans.


Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

Maxvla's picture

Those look great. Nice job modding. Only Grado I sort of like is the PS500, but I agree with you about the whole of their line. Not my thing.

Sean Sabino's picture

Glad you liked them so much Tyll! I really appreciate all your feedback :)

nick n's picture

I'm sure someone will come along and correct any misconceptions I may have posted in my descriptions that was not an easy feat..

One thing first I noticed you mistakenly used the Hakamichi graphs for the Pioneer Loops also(?) Those Loops were the ones I think I was most curious about. ( did I write "FTW" re: the Nakamichis or did you haha)

A HUGE thanks for taking the time to put some graphs to what I hear on this end. Really quite difficult with all the different materials and variables to deal with on the modding. In the end it's all about what sounds best to me.

I was worried I had blown out your eardrums or something! , either that or they measured and sounded so dismal.
I really had some imagery similar to the Ultrasone Edition 8's with that classic wincing face....DID you wince?

I'll have to take a serious look at those graphs and interpret them as best I can for future projects, though each donor shell will be different all over again but at least there's a few commonalities with materials I should be able to see with the graphs... Very interesting.

Once again this is really appreciated.


Nice work on those Grados that's no small feat from what I understand.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
I thought your cans were okay given what you were working with. That driver is pretty small, and the ear pads and enclosures are so critical that I'm amazed you managed to make them sound intelligible at all.

I thought the Alderwood ones were cool, and yeah they changed quite noticably when you plugged the holes. Soldering iron marks on the earpads are worthy battle scars—I liked them.

I might have added the FTW, don't remember. I do use my editorial privileges sometimes, but only in service of the writers intent, I hope.

Sorry about the graphs ... fxt!

Do'h! Looks like I forgot to add you guys measurements to the big list on the download page. I'll go fix that, too.

13mh13's picture

If some DIYer can make me like my ca. 1990-purchased Stax Lambda's (with SRM driver) ... I'll promise to try to take my meds to control my fu*king Tourette's.
But, as Pink Floyd said in Not Now John, "Fu*k all that"! ...
I'm most interested in DIY IEMs as IEM has been my fave can "format" since Senn came out with IE-8.
But "D*ck all that"! ...
WTF I want MOST from DIY is better CROSSFEED or another acoustical processor that better mimics HRTF of a KEMAR: