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beyerdynamic DT880 re-cable guide(in progress)

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
Here's the full guide. Sadly I lost a couple pics that showed more info about routing wires but hopefully it's still useful for people.

beyerdynamic DT880 Re-Cable

Tools/Materials

Soldering iron
Multi-meter
Appropriate wire(Mogami 2534 in my case)
Appropriate termination(Canare F12 in my case)
Heatshrink(optional)
Nylon covering(optional)
Heat Gun(optional)

Disassembly:

The first step in re-cabling the dt880s is to disassemble the headphones. This process should work for any of the 770/880/990 series beyer headphones.

1) Remove the velour ear pads.



2) Remove the padded headband. First you'll need to unbutton the fasteners and then it should come off easily.



3)Unscrew the tabs that say "DT880 L/R". You will need a philips screw driver for this. Remember to set the parts in a safe place. This allows us to work with the drivers separately from the headband.

4)Remove the driver. The best way to accomplish this is to use a small thin metal blade such as in a pocket knife. Simply wedge the blade in along the out circumferance of the driver and wiggle it a bit. The protective mesh should come out first and then the driver itself. Use caution here, replacing a driver could be expensive.




We now have the headphone disassembled and ready to start operating on.



The Wiring

One of the first things you'll notice upon exposing the dt880 drivers is that each driver has 3 terminals rather than the standard 2 terminals.



The center terminal is just used as a neat way to splice the signal cable for the opposite earcup and is used only on the left driver. In my case, I will use 4 conductor cable and will therefore be bypassing the center terminal on both drivers. To me, this way is less degrading to the signal.
For the above driver(left driver), terminal #1 is the positive connection, terminal#3 is the ground terminal and #2 will not be used by most people.

The red/gold mark on the driver indicates the positive terminal. On the right driver the terminals are opposite. This can be seen by the mark. This is something very important to watch for, don't assume both drivers have the positive terminal in the same position, look for the mark.

Here are both drivers completely desoldered from the stock cable(right driver is on the left side of the picture):


Now, after you completely remove the stock cable you will need to prepare your new cable. In my case, using Mogami wire here is my procedure: Strip the outer sheathing and shielding off two feet of the Mogami wire. Of the revealed wires there will be two blue and two white. Cut one of each color to a short length of about 6 inches and leave the other two wires uncut.

All 4 of the wires will enter the left earcup from the bottom. The two long wires take the extra journey from the left earcup to the right earcup. It is kind of important that the length of wire between the cups be approximately 16". This measurement works well with the headband so aim for that as a result. Once you get the 16" of separation you will have some extra cable in your right earcup. If you've got more than 5" or so of wire going into the right earcup you can go ahead and trim it down a little. Make sure that if you are adding heatshrink or anything to the connecting cable that you do it now before we start securing things.



Once you start getting your cables in place you may as well implement some strain relief. I like to use little zip ties. You want strain relief anywhere a cable leaves an enclosure.



After your cables are tied in you are ready to strip them and start soldering. I like to use the white/clear wires for signal (+) and the blue wires for ground (-). Remember my note on polarity and solder carefully.



Once your wires are soldered you need to do one little check. Strip a small amount of sheathing off the opposite end of your cable(where the connector will go). Use a multimeter or other method to determine which white wire is carrying the left signal and mark it somehow. The blues do not matter because they get tied together anyway. Marking the left makes it easier to solder on the connector without getting left and right backwards. Or you can just guess and then change it if it turns out backwards, your choice.

Finishing Up

Now you're gonna wanna do little odds and ends such as adding heatshrink, covering to the main cable. After this you start reassembly. Everything goes back together the same way it came apart, the headband assembly can be a little tricky. Try to route your connecting cable as neatly and evenly as possible, it should fit well if it's close to 16".



Once this is done you just have to solder your appropriate connector on(remember to slip the barrel on first or you may get annoyed) and you'll be all done.

Finished Product




Beauty shots(thanks to kin0kin)





High-res Versions of desktop images

Thanks for reading my guide, feel free to comment or make suggestions.
post #2 of 69
great guide so far. i used to think that rewiring would be really complicated, but if all you have to do is desolder the old wires off, and then solder new ones to the terminals, then i have a fun job ahead of me. what would you say is the best guage to buy, will silver wire sound good on my 580s?
post #3 of 69
Thread Starter 
Hi,
In terms of gauge you'll probably want 22-26 AWG. Type of wire is a bit more subjective. Do a search for Sennheiser recables and you may get some opinions on what type of wire works best.

Thanks for the comments on the guide
post #4 of 69
Thread Starter 
I forgot to mention:

I've never re-wired Sennheisers but I believe they use a detachable cable design so you don't even need to open up the headphones. All you need to do is get those same little connectors that the stock cable uses to terminate your cable.
post #5 of 69
Nice ... thanks!!

I like to use a little piece of masking tape and mark the + terminal, I always forget (or at least second guess myself) half way through the procedure.
Garrett
post #6 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jam_Master_J
I forgot to mention:

I've never re-wired Sennheisers but I believe they use a detachable cable design so you don't even need to open up the headphones. All you need to do is get those same little connectors that the stock cable uses to terminate your cable.
i was thinking about just getting a replacement cable and snipping it, but if they sell connectors alone then id rather do that, thanks for the suggestion ill check it out
post #7 of 69
Thread Starter 
my mogami wire came in and I've got a Canare 1/8" connector I can use for demonstration before my 1/4" arrives. More guide coing soon
post #8 of 69
Thread Starter 
Guide completed. Check it out and share your thoughts
post #9 of 69
hows the new cable sound? looks very nice btw
post #10 of 69
Looks nice buddy, just one little concern. At the cup where the cable enters the headphones, it looks like only a little wire tie is holding it from slipping out, you might have a little problem if you pull on the wire and that tie slips off into the thinner section. Hopefully it doesn't happen, but something you might want to consider. Other than that, it looks great.
post #11 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenAngel
Looks nice buddy, just one little concern. At the cup where the cable enters the headphones, it looks like only a little wire tie is holding it from slipping out, you might have a little problem if you pull on the wire and that tie slips off into the thinner section. Hopefully it doesn't happen, but something you might want to consider.
Hi, I understand your concern but the wiretie would have to slip about 5" inches before it would be on the thin section. Although I may look for a more permanent solution to the strain relief.
post #12 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by XFxGeforced
hows the new cable sound? looks very nice btw
Thanks for the comments. The new cable sounds slightly more polite in the highs with more mid-range emphasis. I can't guarantee this wasn't due to some placebo affect though.
post #13 of 69
hey, i just recabled my dt990s and honestly found it was VERY easy to just go for the dual entry cable (one into each cup). i honestly PREFER this IMO to the single entry, as i find the single "pulls" down on the left ear noticeably. if you go for a dual entry, you dont have to take off the headband or take it apart even. just open up the cups the same way and unsolder the stock wire. with a pair of pliers and cutters you can simply pull the original crossover wire free from under the headband. then all you gotta do is drill out a 1/4" hole in the bottom of the R cup, insert your new wires, and resolder (im of course skipping out all the details on heatshrinking to make it look nice etc). anyways, if you had your mind set on keeping it single entry, afraid you gotta go the long route and do it Jam Master's way (at least he documented it well though! :P), if not, save yourself the time!
post #14 of 69
Thread Starter 
Yep dual entry definitely has it's advantages. I found that I like the simplicity of single entry, it seems like it's less obtrusive but I can notice the pulling on one side that you noticed too.
post #15 of 69
for dual entry, can't you just rotate the cups 180 degrees and use the holes from the stock wire? of course the words would be upside down then
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