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Rewiring an ER-6i just aint that hard, folks. Pics enclosed. - Page 5

post #61 of 79


My understanding is most customs are built with a "shell" method. 


They make a cast of the impression with a translucent silicone, pour in an acrylic that cures with exposure to UV light, cover the top of the mold and expose to UV for a period of time.  Since it cures with exposure to UV and the UV is coming from the outside, it hardens from the *outside*.  So this initial exposure hardens only the outside -- a shell.  They pour out the remaining liquid (remember they covered the top, so it didn't harden), then expose to UV again to fully cure.


So now they have an empty shell.  They drill the hole(s) for the ear canal.


I get a bit fuzzy at this point, but it seems they usually place the drivers and "glue" them in place.  Then they attach the faceplate and you have the drivers, basically "floating" in a chamber.


Alternately, I've seen a few which appear to use a tube to connect the driver to the ear canal hole(s). 


Personally, I think, like speakers, the size and shape of the air chamber matters, so I suspect that putting a universal into a custom shell might change the performance, and likely not in a positive way.  I suspect different designs will probably be affected to different degrees.


That said, with regard to the Ety drivers, while the plastic housing does create an "air chamber" of sorts, it seems to be mostly a "tube".  While changing that to a big empty space might have an impact on the sound, I suspect if you keep the general size and shape similar that the sound won't be hugely impacted.  In fact, I suspect the more drivers you have the more sensitive they are to changes in their airspace.


It seems that if you put a tube over the "barrel" of the Ety and connect that to the ear canal hole, you could fill all around it in pretty much any way you want.  I've thought about using this approach to "cast" the drivers in place.  Basically make a silicone cast of your impression, make a hole in the ear canal, and insert the tube (with driver attached) through the hole, and pour in your casting material.  When it is hard, you'd just trim the excess tube away and your driver would be cast into the material.


Other thought -- I don't think the Ety "filter" is the same kind of filter they talk about on other threads.  I think there are filters to filter out sounds, and their are filters to simply keep gunk out and I think this is the latter type.  I suspect the former is more useful when you have multiple drivers, and you want to mute certain frequencies from certain drivers to get an overall balanced effect.  With a single driver, it is less likely this would be needed.


In general, it seems the simplicity and design of the Ety makes it very DIY mod friendly.





EDIT:  Another thought.  After you nip down the plastic, the remaining plastic + driver is tiny.  I don't see a lot of benefit to removing the rest of the plastic and using the raw driver in most applications.  Indeed, the "tube" from the plastic provides a nice interface to the ear canal hole. 

Edited by ccfoodog - 5/27/10 at 12:38am
post #62 of 79

So I figured it would be better for me to rez this thread than to start a new one and end up going on and on about how I'm starting down the dyi audio path.



I've got a pair of er-6i that the cable has seen better days on.  My question to you all, as a student to teachers; would it be wise to put the money and effort into making a custom cable or should I just cannibalize a cable from somewhere else?  Getting the materials isn't a problem since I've started to build up my supply cabinet, I just can't decide if it would all be worth it.


So a wiser decision to make my own cable or cannibalize?

post #63 of 79
The tricky part is getting wire that works well. Most is too stiff. I might be inclined to just buy a Westone ES cable and use that.

post #64 of 79

I appreciate the reply.  I've got some general headphone cables I can use.  I feel I might get overly confident with the Westone ES cable and would try to modify the er-6i to accept a detachable cable.  Why stop there and not just try my hand at making an IEM shell .  Already complicating my situation and I haven't even gotten my new soldering iron.

post #65 of 79

That would work too.  I just suggested the Westone since they use a nice soft and flexible high quality cable.



post #66 of 79

I appreciate your help in this matter John.

post #67 of 79

So I have another question.  Here is the situation.  I rewired the er-6i with some cable I braided and then twisted.  Everything went smooth and though the cable is a bit stiff, it seems to work pretty good.


I have two questions that maybe someone could clear up.


The first question is that the er-6i sound like there is a little bit more bass.  Could this be because of attaching the new cable and putting the shrink tubing on?


The second question is that when taking the er-6i out of my ears there is some sort of suction on the triple flange ear piece.  Could this be because I did something wrong as well?



Thank you for your time fellow head-fiers.

post #68 of 79

There are two schools of thought on cables -- 1) cables can change sound signatures, 2)  you can't hear sounds between different cables of reasonable configuration.


I tend to be in camp #2, although if your old cable was damaged, perhaps it wasn't doing its job.


WRT your second question, AFAIK, part of getting good sound is getting a good "seal".  If you are getting some suction when you remove them, it is pretty clear you are getting an air tight seal.  While probably not directly due to the cable and heat shrink, it could be a secondary effect.  It could be the angle of the cable is slightly different, etc.  But this just means you accidental *improved* the seal.


While I doubt the cable itself changed the sound of your 6is, getting a better seal definitely could have improved the bass response.


Doesn't sound like you did anything wrong.  Don't worry.  Be happy!



post #69 of 79

Appreciate the response John.  I was leaning towards it was all in my head that the sound changed with a different cable, however a better seal could be the situation.  Again thank you for your response.

post #70 of 79

Thanks for writing this ericj. I've just finished repairing mine after both stopped working. I just used a weller gas soldering iron and everything soldered fine.

post #71 of 79
I'm finally getting around to fixing up my ER-6i -- my first DIY project with a soldering station -- and I have a few questions. I'm hoping some kind soul will help me here.
- what's the best way to remove the enamel coating from the wires of my donor iBuds?
- there's a fine thread (polyester?) bundled in with the + and - wires of the iBud cable. Does it have to be removed before tinning?
- what's the best temperature to use when soldering with 37/63 solder?

Thanks in advance.
post #72 of 79
Hi there,

I'm about to attempt this fix however the version of iPhone headphones I have are ones with a volume controller.

Do you think this will work? And do you think using this style of cable is a good or bad idea?

Thanks in advance
post #73 of 79
The extra wire of the mic should only run up to the remote control and not to the earpiece, so you should be fine.
post #74 of 79
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

The extra wire of the mic should only run up to the remote control and not to the earpiece, so you should be fine.

Great thanks, think I'm going to require a soldering iron upgrade!
post #75 of 79
Here's my take on recabling the ER6i: Etymotic ER6i + sockets + Westone removable cable.

The cable stopped connecting and it had to go buh-bye. I was going through 3 pairs of IEMs per year because of damaged cables - mainly because of my unicycle-downhill-riding habit wink.gif - so I decided to install a removable cable this time around.

It turned out the ribbon connecting the stock cable to the driver was ripped (?!, no idea how that happened :/). So I had to cut slightly into the plastic frame to bypass the ribbon and solder the socket dierctly to the joints on the driver. Before soldering I had glued the socket into the frame with superglue, and with hot glue after; have stuck the IEMs into heat-shrinkable sleeve and cut out holes for sockets afterwards.

They work flawlessly now: they are somewhat more dynamic, the bass is slightly more pronounced then with the stock cable.

Socket source: http://www.ebay.com/itm/110955385601?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649 (btw. the seller was a delight ^^)
Removable cable: Westone

Edit: I forgot to add that before applying the heat-shrinkable sleeve I've removed the stickers ('L', 'R' and 2x'ER6i'), cut an aluminium stripe out of a beer can, sandpapered it, and superglued it around the plastic frame and the (already glued in and soldered) socket - to enforce the whole structure and ensure that multiple removal of the Westone cable wouldn't eventually tear out the socket. Sry for not including a pic, but I was in transition between DSLRs at the time.
Edited by paulus germanus - 10/30/13 at 2:09pm
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Rewiring an ER-6i just aint that hard, folks. Pics enclosed.