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Interesting mod for the Sony MDR-V600 (56k)

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I know.. I know. I should probably be burned at the stake for even mentioning these cans. They were my first "real" pair of headphones before I knew better. At the time I thought they sounded very good and used them religiously for the better part of 7 years. Fast forward to today and they have been mostly collecting dust during my exploration of other variety.

Just the other night I decided to give these a listen for the hell of it... yuck! Muddied bass, harsh mids, and tinny treble. Now I remember why I left these alone! I reacted and promptly tore em apart. I wanted to find out why they sounded so bad. Other than driver engineering, I think I found part of the problem. This leads into the interesting mod I discovered.

Here they are and they have seen better days!

I need to order new earpads...

Let's pull those covers off!

On the bottom of each driver housing is a tiny screw. Take it out and carefully pry up the cover. While doing so, hold the housing in a vertical position. There is a tiny nut in a plastic setting; it is easily lost! Trust me. Once apart, the cover makes a great tray to hold the tiny bits. Repeat these steps for the other side.

Inside at last!

Nothing out of the ordinary here. A sony driver in all it's glory. Upon further examination I spy something odd in the center. Let's take it out!

Using a toothpick or tiny eyeglass screwdriver, gently pry the object out. Be careful! It is easily pushed in and we don't want that to happen! What worked best for me was to pinch the material against the side while applying upward prying force. You may have to "inch" it out until removed. As before, repeat for the other side.


It resembles a foam earplug for the driver?

Set both of these aside as they will be required for reversal of this mod.

At this point I was about to start reassembly of the covers until I decided to give them a listen... wow! Are these even the same headphones? Later I discover I prefer them without the covers. Several changes in the sound signature are immediately present.

Here is the setup I used during my listening session:

Foobar2000-->ASIO4ALL-->Fubar II w/ OPA627s-->Go-Vibe V6M w/ 24v Elpac. I listened primarily to Electronica.. Trance, DNB, Psy Goa, and Ambient.

Soundstage has widened significantly and there is an airiness about it due to the open nature of the v600s. Quite impressive IMO. Listening to some Psy Goa, I had to keep looking over my shoulder to make sure nothing was there. This is delightful!

There is loads bass of it and not the boomy type that is normally associated with these cans. To me it sounds rather impactful and controlled. These have earned a spot up there with my 770s in that department.

This next effect may be a love it or hate it thing. There is this midrange bump that is suprisingly pleasant and none fatiguing. The harshness is now gone. On a related note, the treble is no longer tinny.

These are my first impressions with this mod, I imagine more will come over time. Please keep in mind these are my opinions and should be treated as such. I am describing the effects of this mod to the best of my ability and how it sounds to my own ears.

I am looking to get impressions from other people who give this a go. Hopefully some more experienced users can chime in. Maybe I am just nuts!

I hope someone finds this post useful. Thanks for reading, have a good night.


Also open to constructive criticism so I can write better mods/guides in the future.
post #2 of 39
post #3 of 39
would new pads make differance?
post #4 of 39
V600 in same sentence as DT770 -- who'da thunk it?
post #5 of 39
So is this mod worth shelling out $20 for a new pair of ear cushions?
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 
To those wondering about the earpads. It's been a long time since I've heard these with good pads. The decay was gradual over the years. It's difficult to say how much the sound signature has changed.

I tried searching for replacement pads this morning without luck. I'll order a pair today if someone can provide a magic link. From what I remember, you can only get them directly from Sony.

FYI. I just remembered a reason why I liked the V600 so much in the beginning. Power. These badboys can handle loads of power. They sound best when pushing 60-70% of the rated 1000mw. Amplification is a must or they sound like garbage. That was why I built the diy headbanger headphone amp. I was deaf for 2 weeks afterwards

post #7 of 39

Re: Interesting mod for the Sony MDR-V600

Time to implement this mod: 5 minutes.
Time to scrape my jaw off the floor: pending.

This is freaking unbelievable, Zip. Fantastic job!

BTW, replacement pads can be ordered direct from Sony at:
Sony Direct Accessories - Model Information
post #8 of 39
I'm suprised that removing the foam would remove the harshness, I'd figure it would add to it, but I don't know anything about acoustics so..either way very interesting.
post #9 of 39
Nice quick mod! Thanks for the link to the replacement pads, carter. I've been searching for a while (at least 2 years) for a set...but then I didn't put much effort into the search.

I now have my first set of open cans. Am I impressed? Not as much as I had hoped, but it is a pleasant surprise. I guess I can't really expect miracles. I agree with zip, the soundstage is very much improved. Now I just need to figure out a way to protect the wiring and drivers.
post #10 of 39
So I'm confused, did you leave the cup off the back of the headphone or not?

(some people have done that)
post #11 of 39
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
So I'm confused, did you leave the cup off the back of the headphone or not?

(some people have done that)
I did, yes. If you're asking the OP, then, yes, he did as well:

(quoted from OP above) "Later I discover I prefer them without the covers."

It sounds exactly as ziplock described, airy with improved soundstage.

EDIT: I'd just like to add that I've listened to the V600's using the Ultrasone Demo FLACs and...well...yeah, I reiterate, soundstage has been hugely improved. (and yes I listened to before and after) Might just be my ears but...anyway.
post #12 of 39
Well it's interesting and all, I just can't bear the thought of putting those big sweaty pleather things on my head again.

HD570 velours look like they might fit. anybody know if they do?
post #13 of 39
Great mod, it's like a revelation! Wonder why they put that foamy thing in there in the first place. These may be obvious, but I just wanted to share a couple of tips I discovered along the way:

Why not try doing one ear at a time for comparison.

If you're going to leave the covers off and not just screw them right back on, don't forget that bolt that falls off he mentions at the beginning. This is the bolt that holds in the screw you just removed. Carefully put the bolt in a safe place before you turn the phone vertical again.

The covers slap back on and stay in place without the screw, so you can put them on and off anytime as you're listening.
post #14 of 39
Interesting. I have these as my dj cans. Have had them for years. My pleather is totally gone too. I think they are more comfy now hehe so I don't think I will replace them. Maybe I'll try the mod I don't know. I really don't use them for listening anyway. Just for cueing.
post #15 of 39
im going to definately try this out. Ill let you guys know what I think when I have some time to go buy a small screwdriver to take out that screw.
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