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Koss PLUG Mods... WHOA!!!

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
I hate to create a new thread on such a HATED and DESPISED headphone... But I really feel the need to voice myself on this ... please don't lynch, tar, feather me..? I also am guilty of bad-mouthing these wretched headphones, in stock form.

Im SHOCKED how good these cheap plugs can sound with some simple and cheap mods.

I have done the mod to both the white spark plug and the older, original plug and IMHO the older version plug is noticeably better. I think they tuned the driver diaphragm and enclosure differently on the newer white spark-plug. The spark plug is MUCH bassier and the highs are no-where near as detailed. To my ears, the older plug is a MUCH better phone... worthy of head-fi-ness IMHO the white spark-plug is not worth your time... even for $5.

Deep bass thats controlled and resonant. Forward mids that are rich in detail. Treble thats crisp and detailed. Upper mids and treble can be fine-tuned to taste... read-on my friends

Anyways... Heres my pic... You can't tell from this pic but I have added a small foam piece in the modded ear-tube. It helps to tame the highs, and it also serves as a wax-filter. Cool thing is you can tune the highs according to taste. I used a KSC75 earpad foam and cut it into small cubes of various size. If you cram a larger foam cube into the tube, it filters more of the highs and makes the phone sound more distant. Smaller tube-filters (or no filters at all), give it a very bright and aggressive sound thats super-detailed. I found no-filter to be piercing and too bright for my tastes.

Basically you cut off the stock sound-tube, and super-glue a tube of larger inner-diameter in its place. Once the glue dries, use a dremel and smooth out the sound outlet port so there are no jagged edges. From there slip on a shure e2c tip of your choice.





Before you tar, feather and send me to the cookoos' nest, my cans of reference are my MDR-EX90, jays D-Jays prototype, shure e2c, and Koss KSC75. IMHO the modded plugs are certainly on par with those much more expensice portable cans.
post #2 of 54
LOL

It looks like u have built ur own earphones.
post #3 of 54
you've gone over the edge garrett. actually, i wonder how good they are with these mods. maybe in a fit of madness i'll pick up a pair to try these mods.
post #4 of 54
Man you're driving me nuts showing these things off.

You're going to force me to saw the noise-tube off my plugs and make a horrible mess of them and be filled with regret.

...or delight. Where did you say you got the replacement sound-tube?
post #5 of 54
Thread Starter 
I was able to find the tube at a local radio-controlled hobby shop. Airplanes and helicopters use this stuff for all kinds of things.

Heres a place on-line...
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/carbonfiber.htm

You have to be carefull with the stuff... it crushes easily in a vice. Found that out the hard way . Your best bet is to just hold it steady and brace it in your hand on the workbench and trim / cut it with a dremel. Use the standard cut-off wheel.

I can't really recommend it for those in the market for a new headphone. But if you have a koss plug already, and are at your witts end trying to get a decent sound out of them... For ~$10 it just might save you from throwing your plugs in the trash.
post #6 of 54
The machin known as Team Koss gains another weapon...
post #7 of 54
Ha! Thats cool! Good thread, and good idea kramer5150. I have an old pair of Koss Plugs from ~3 years ago that have found themselves stuffed away in the old-tech stuff between old hard drives and soundcards and forgotten about, replaced with more head-fi worthy material. I may just break them out and try this mod though for the fun of it
post #8 of 54
My mod is just about the same...but cheaper and less labor intensive!
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...ight=Koss+Plug
post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thought I'd bump this thread and make it more of a DIY tutorial... Enjoy!!

Use a sharp knife and pry the cans apart.... HERE... right next to the cable strain relief. If you choose to pry elsewhere you run the risk of cutting the tiny lead-in wires inside the driver housing.



Use caution throughout the procedure and avoid cutting the rubber adhesive... HERE.

This little bead of glue protects the thin lead-in wires. If you cut the wires your driver will be toast.

Use a sharp knife to grasp the metal part of the driver housing. Carefully pry the driver apart from the housing, working your way around the perimeter. Again, use caution and avoid cutting the lead-wires(!!) This here is the part that houses the small driver magnet/motor assembly. Be carefull, you dont want your knife to slip and pull up on the small green PC board.


Here are all the parts. You can see the modded sound tube. I used a dremel and removed the paint prior to glue-ing it with super-glue. That way the glue would stick better to the base plastic. Be carefull, the little magnets want to attract screws and stuff on your workbench. Try and keep the drivers away from hard metal objects... they'll damage the driver diapharagm.


Close-up of the modded sound tube outlet. use a Dremel and smooth the outlet, remove any jagged edges and round over any corners. For those of you into RC cars, its just like port-tuning your engine exhaust header... youre increasing laminar flow through the duct... reducing turbulence and standing waves.


I cut up an old radio shack earpad and made some small earwax filters. The filters keep earwax out of the enclosure, and help to attenuate the highs. Cool thing is you can make bigger or smaller filters to attenuate more or less of the highs. Experiment, fine tune to taste



Use a toothpick and gently push the foam into the tube so its flush with the tube edge. The foam doesn't need to be WAY inside the tube... just so its flush with the opening.


Slide the driver back into the housing.


As an optional mod you can add a couple layers of masking tape and fully enclose the back of the housing. This increases isolation and gives the driver a compressable volume of air behind it. Essentially youre tuning a small volume of air behind the driver, this increases bass impact. Gives the headphone a more "heavy-thud-like" sounding kind of bass, yet doesn't sacrifice too much extension.



Carefully snap the housing back together. Make sure you align the small lead-wire clearance notch with the lead-wires. if you don't you run the risk of severing the lead-wires.


Thare you have it!! I prefer shure e2c tips with mine.


Hopefully some of you will find this usefull. I'm willing to bet these concepts can be used on other phones as well.

Buy Low / Mod High!!
Garrett
post #10 of 54
Super-cool tutorial!
post #11 of 54
Very nice!

I should go find my clunky white version of a plug and try this out.
post #12 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic_rage
Very nice!

I should go find my clunky white version of a plug and try this out.
Go for it.... To my ears the white plug has a lot more bass than the older blue/silver/purple version. Which I find strange because the driver diaphragms look IDENTICAL, except for the voice coil epoxy.

????
post #13 of 54
Cool, very nice job, Kramer. You make new ideas to sparkle in my mind!
What is the inner diameter of the new tube?
post #14 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baycode
Cool, very nice job, Kramer. You make new ideas to sparkle in my mind!
What is the inner diameter of the new tube?
Im using 4mm inner diameter. But I imagine anything larger than the stock opening is a step in the right direction.

Garrett
post #15 of 54
I'm so glad I clicked to read this thread. I just so happens that I've got a pair of the old blue plugs that I stopped listening to long ago because I didn't like the sound too much. So now I've really got nothing to lose with those so I'm definitely going to try this mod....especially since I've already got the carbon fiber tubing from my rc helis at home!! Too cool, thanks!
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