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Started with muffled, scratchy sound on the right ear. Was pretty sure it would be a loose connection, but once inside the can, found no loose connections, no electronics, just two solder terminals and a round driver in the center. Hard to understand how something so simple can sound so good.

After resoldering both terminals, I now have NO audio from the driver.

Checking continuity between the 3.5mm stereo plug and the two solder terminals (ie, the ends of the wires in the cable), I found good continuity between one of the terminals and the sleeve, and between the other terminal and the ring.

Also tested for a short between the terminals; none. So between the plug and the can = good continuity.

Next I tested for continuity across the two solder terminals. That would be a measurement of the resistance of the driver coil, right? Found it was open.

Is it a bad driver, or is my test bad?

Grado didn't answer the questions above but offered to repair my headphones for $40 plus postage. Maybe I'm getting tired of them (after only 20 years), but starting to think about getting a new pair from a different company.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

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Steve, this sounds like a very similar design to the Beyer Dynamics. The thing to consider is that the terminal not only holds the solder tag for the cable, it is also the position for the driver wire, which is usually an extremely thin copper filament which forms the basis for the coil in the driver.

It is very easy to sever this filament when repairing the cable tab, so you should check to see if you have continuity through the driver as I strongly suspect that you may have fractured the coil filament from the solder tab. If this is the case, you may find further repair efforts fruitless.

  • Mark, thanks for the feedback. Along the lines I was thinking. As it happens, I decided my best course of action was to pay the $40 for Grado to fix it. Mailed them back the headphones late yesterday. Will be another week or two until they're back. Grado may not tell me, but I bet it'll be the driver. They probably replace drivers all the time, with just enough heat on the soldering iron to keep them from burning up. I'll come back here if Grado includes info on what the problem was. – Steve Kohn Jan 9 at 2:09
  • Did Grado fill you on on what was going on? – Mark Jun 7 at 11:17
  • No, but they did fix the headphones. Am pretty sure they replaced the entire cable, not just fixed the bad soldering I'd done, as it seems thicker than before. Am happy I went the repair route. – Steve Kohn Jun 8 at 18:59

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