08-15-2009 04:28 AM
The mids and highs become more detailed and more forward. It seems the pad material between the drivers and your ear canals is actually muffling the sound - if you can believe it. For a long time, the preferred mod was to put a quarter on your existing pads - and cut around them with an exacto knife to release the sound. After two years of listening to them stock - for $15, it felt like I had whole new headphones. Though it'd be uncomfortable, you could preview the sound by taking off your pads altogether to get a sense of the possible improvement. With the bowls, the drivers sit flush against your ear - supported by the bowls (which in my case, don't crush my ear - a bigger ear might have problems).
Actually - there's been a long term debate on head-fi.org that the only difference between the Grado SR60's and the more expensive SR80's, is the pad. Since the price difference has usually only been equivalent to the price of the pads purchased from Grado. The opposition believes there's better bass from the SR-80 - but that hasn't been verified analytically. Others believe that Grado wouldn't create separate drivers for their two low end headphones.