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K340 KT88 mod guide :)

post #1 of 229
Thread Starter 
After getting the DV 336i upgraded I turned to my K340's.

During my first mod attempt I broke one part of the headphones. Since I had to order the parts from AKG in Germany, I bought a few extra parts for modding.

Before the package from AKG arrived I tweaked the elastics so the can will sit on my head better.

Yesterday the package from AKG finally arrived. First 2 thigs I did was put the new plastics where the old ones were, and put on the velour pads.

Unfortunatley, the velour pads affect the sound a bit, and I lost abit of the mid-high magic of the K340's.

Today I sat down to do my next mod, the screen mod. Since it is cheap, easy, and very good in terms of comfort and sound I wanted to make a guide, so there it is, the K340's screen mod guide:

First thing I did was use a very small cutter made for electronics to cut a rought circle in the plastic screens:

Next, I used a rounded file to smooth the surface until it was completley rounded:

Lst thing I did to preaper the screens for the fabric was to smooth the plastics completley with glass paper (I used a paper number 150):

At the end the plastic will look like this:


Now, after getting the plastic grills ready for the fabric, I had to choose the fabric. As expected, I used a very light fabric so it wont affect the sound. Applying the fabric is very is. you put it over the plastic, strech it a bit so it will fit well, and tie it in the back so it wont move. I used a special glue made for fabric and plastic. It costs about 5$ and will last for at least 10 grills

after letting the glue set for 30 minutes what I recived was this:


As can be seen in the next photo, the diffrence is amazing:


The diffrence once on the headphones is even bigger and the electret can be seen much easier:
before:

After:


Please pardon my bad English, I hope it is easy to understand this mod with the pictures

Now, to the most important part, the sound. Well, not yet. First I want to mention that since I have large ears, the plasric grills were putting preasure on my ears and after about an hour my ears would hurt. Now, the headphons are much more comfortable. The velour pads with the streched elastics, with the new screens make these cans one of the best in terms of comfort.

Well, now wee can go on to the sound

After a few hours of listening I can honestly say that this is the best mod ever! The bass in punchier and "fuller", yet very detailed and tight. The mids and highs are even better now with much better resolution, detail, accuracy, and decay. The sound also became much "larger" with wider and deeper sound stage yet very good imaging, the best I have heard so far in headphones (and I have heard many of them including the W5000's, O2's, and many others).

This is a very easy and cheap mod with amazing affect on sound. I do hope this guide will help others in getting it done. I will probably have a recable in the next few weeks once I'll decide on a cable. I will also play around with the filling of the cup, and the size/shape of the hole in the back of the cup. I also hope I'll be able to find a nice wooden part to make these woodies

Anatoli.
post #2 of 229
Nice looking mod and a great guide!

It seems like the K340 is the most popular phone around for modding, all the time there's a new mod or tweak for them. If you come up with anymore mods when you play around with the cups, be sure to post them too!
post #3 of 229
Thread Starter 
Hey Fitz

I am going to play around with them as I did with the DV 336i. I will add any thoughts I'll have to a large thread once I finish modding this can. It is a very uniqe headphone with great dtnamic and electret drivers. Playing with the cable, screens, cup filling etc. can get much more out of these amazing drivers.
post #4 of 229
I too would be really interested in what you do as far as the cable mod goes! I've got a stock set of these but wouldn't be opposed to trying some of these mods. I've mainly been thinking about a cable replacement but after seeing your mods to the screen, I may try that as well! Nice job! Please post any further developments!
Greg
post #5 of 229
Thread Starter 
Hey Greg,

I will post, dont worry. In the meantime, try the screen mod. It isn't hard, and it improves the sound in every way possible. If the recable is anything close to this in terms of affect on sound, these will surely be one of the best cans in the world once fully modded.
post #6 of 229
The screen mod is at least as important as the recable IMO. Great job!
post #7 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by swt61 View Post
The screen mod is at least as important as the recable IMO. Great job!
Not to mention both look incredibly nice too.
post #8 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT88 View Post
...it improves the sound in every way possible.
I'm glad to hear this since I just traded for a pair of K340's and the owner recommended this mod. I was worried that the mod, while improving the sound overall, might disrupt the sonics in a way that is nagging and unpleasant over time, but I see that this is not the case .
post #9 of 229
Hey KT88, you say in your post that you damaged some parts of the heaphones during the mod. Would you care to elaborate to possibly save one of us from doing the same thing?
Thanks,
Greg
post #10 of 229
Thread Starter 
Hey Greg,

I didn't really damage it, its just that I had some paint on the outer part of the headphones (the part that says "K340 electrostat-dynamic systems") so I tried to get it off with paint remover, but it melted the plastic. It was still usable, but ugly. It has nothing to do with this mod.

In this mod nothing can go wrong if you'll do it the way I shiwed w/o using any power tools.
post #11 of 229
Hey KT88, nice to see you back with your K340 I will do this mod as soon I can

Quote:
Originally Posted by KT88 View Post
Hey Greg,

I didn't really damage it, its just that I had some paint on the outer part of the headphones (the part that says "K340 electrostat-dynamic systems") so I tried to get it off with paint remover, but it melted the plastic. It was still usable, but ugly. It has nothing to do with this mod.

In this mod nothing can go wrong if you'll do it the way I shiwed w/o using any power tools.
post #12 of 229
Thread Starter 
Before I add my conclusion from the 2 mods I did today. I want to show people how to strech the elastics.

First, open this screw and remove the plastics behind it:


You'll see this part:


Just take some small tool and pull the elastics a abit. You should pull them more if you have small heads


Next mod I tried was closing the back of the cup. I used a material which is strong but a bit flexible to avoid it from reflecting the sound back to my ear.
I wont post pictures of this mod as it is very easy, just open the back plastic cover and put something in there
This mod gives a bit more bass, I am not sure I like it so for now I ledt it out.

The next and ardest mod yet was bypasing the cross-over circut, and replacing the internal wiring. I used a 22gauge copper wire covered with silver with teflon insulation.

Warning: Do NOT try this mod if you dont know how to use a solder!

First things first, remove the pads, and remove the 3 screws holding the grills:


I recomend marking the wire's so you'll remember which one goes where, the back will look like this:


Since the electret is blocking part of the cross-over, you'll have to remove it by desoldering the two contact points:

Warning: Do this step with absolute caution or you'll brake the contacts!

I did brake one of the contacts, but lucky for me it was the outer contact which is easy to replace as it coveres 50% of the electret.

Next thing you'll have to do is remove the soldering on the wire going from the cross-over to the headphones plug, you'll have this:


Now remove these 2 wires and replace them with better wires.
Congratulations, you just bypassed the XO board. Now we can go on with puting it all back together again

First, very carfully, put the electrets back in place, and resolder them.

Now, solder the wire coming from the headphone plug to the soldering point at the back of the dynamic driver:


The last step is to put everything in place, and put the screws anf pads back on.

Congratulation, you are done!

Now lets move on to the sound. First thing you notice is the detail and decay are even better now! I couldn't belive it could get any better, but it did
Second thing is that special "magic" that the K340's have is even better now. The sound is just so flowing, liquid, smoooooooooth
Yet I must make a note to these of you who are super sensitive to bright sound, the detail is so good that it might sound a bit bright on some recording, like going from veloure back to the original pads (just with much more detail ).

I am only listening to the cans after moding for like 30 minutes, so more impressions will come later.

Next thing is recable, I have order my 18gauge copper covered with silver wire already

Anatoli.
post #13 of 229
Nice, redleader and I hope to do up a similar guide when we upgrade his pair.
post #14 of 229
Thread Starter 
Now there's no need

I will keep you friends informed once I have them recabled. I will also try one more thing with the cup filling once I'll do the recable (or once I'll feel like it, which ever will come first ).
post #15 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT88 View Post
Now there's no need.
Well, we've been planning on doing this for some time now and will probably still go ahead... even if only for our own enjoyment.
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