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Beyerdynamic DT-770 New Cable Mod (Pics)

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

I recently picked up a pair of DT-770s, and while I really like them, I couldn't stand the cable. It sounded ok, but the coil was too tight and short, so it was kind of a PIA when moving around.

I ordered some of the Belden 8412 that Jan Meyer recommeded on his site, but found it a bit too stiff and heavy, even though it does seem like a very nice cable.

I next tried some Canare L-4E6S. It's a bit smaller than the Belden, but much more flexible.

I picked up a Neutrik NP3C-BAG stereo 1/4" plug since it seemed to have enough room within the plug barrel for the cables. They don't seem to have a gold-plated version, but it still worked out very well.

The next thing I decided to do was go with two separate cables, one to each earpiece. The stock cable on the DT-770 is a separated design, with four conductors. Two stay in the left earpiece, the other two attach to a small PCB which then connects to the cable that runs to the right earpiece, across the headband.

The earpieces each had a round opening for the cable that went across the headband, and the left earpiece had a single rectangular opening at the bottom for the original cable. Trying to minimize the amount of cutting the earpieces, I ended up rotating them 180 degrees and opening up the round hole to fit the new cables. I sealed off the original rectangular hole from the old cable and put it all back together. Seems to fit and feel the same, so no harm done.

Of course, the nameplates on the earpieces were now upside-down, which bugged the hell out of me, so I popped them off, put some new adhesive on them and re-attached them right-side-up.

Getting two cable ends into the plug was a bit tricky. I had to remove the original strain relief and cut away some of the plastic clips that hold a single wire in place. Overall, it wasn't too bad, and adding some heatshrink finished it off nicely and helping with cable strain.

Overall, I am pleased with the mod. It may just be wishful thinking, but I find the soundstage to be even more broad and open. A bit of the heavyness on the bass has diminished (not much, but just enough to notice), and I think the highs are a bit less harsh. Again, could just be wishful thinking after doing the work on them, but I'm happy with the end result.

I took a few pics... unfortunately, I forgot to take pics of the actual construction of the mod. I still need to take the left earpiece apart and add the strain relief. These cans aren't going to travel around much, if at all, so I don't think it's absolutely necessary. It can't hurt, though, and I prefer the asthetics with it.

Pics:

Plug:



Earpiece:


Everything:
 


Edited by mhamel - 11/3/13 at 10:39am
post #2 of 33
wow thats cool. How does it sound compared to stock?
post #3 of 33
Excellent workmanship mhamel. They look like they came from the manufacturer that way!
post #4 of 33
Looking very good, Mike.
You could make money doing balanced conversions for people!
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Was ist los - As with many tweaks, I find the differences subtle, but noticeable. To me, the 770s sound more open after the new cable. Some of the heaviness is gone from the bass... its just enough for me to notice, but not a huge change. One of the things I don't like about these cans is that the treble can be harsh and sibilant. It can be tamed with EQ, but still has some edge to my ears. I think it's slightly smoother now after the mod. Overall, I think it has improved the cans a bit, and I'm happy with it.

N@Z - Thanks!

Voodoochile - Thanks... I've been thinking about that, actually. I may start offering custom-built amps and mods like the DT770 cable upgrade. I especially enjoy building amps into unusual or customized enclosures, and it'll be interesting to see if there's any market for that.

-Mike
post #6 of 33
You got one customer right here for a Cable upgrade.
post #7 of 33
Damn, Now I'll have to come over your house and listen to them again, and bring my SACD player along.

Scott
post #8 of 33
I love Canare cable. In a past life I did some pro audio work and preferred Canare over Belden for mic and line use.
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Scott,

Yes, indeed. We need to set up a listening day. I wonder if there would be any interest in a RI area meet - maybe we could get a group of people together.

-Mike
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Morsel,

I'm really happy with the Canare. It's my first time working with it. Build quality is first-rate, and it sounds very good. They also make a slightly smaller diameter version of the star quad. I'm going to order some to test as it may work out better for headphone cable use.

I'm also thinking of outfitting the cables with a locking inline connector, so that I could swap out cables at will if I want different lengths or want to try other types.

-Mike
post #11 of 33
I think I have seen at least one other RI person here, and I bet we could rope some Southern Mass people as well.
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
With regard to offering these mods as a service...

I'm looking into it now, to see what it would cost me if I purchased parts to do 10 at a time, how much labor would be and what options I could offer.

The obvious question is, "What's a fair price?" I'm estimating about 1 to 1-1/2 hours for labor, depending on the configuration, to cover the build, testing and packing/shipping.

Parts costs aren't too bad, so I'm thinking somewhere around $100 for a 10ft dual cable/single stereo plug - just like in the pics, including parts, labor and return shipping within the US.

It would be a bit more or less for options and alternate configurations such as dual mono, single cable instead of dual, longer/shorter lengths, etc.

Does that seem reasonable?

-Mike
post #13 of 33
If you are going to do this at a serious level for headphones with split wires you should try to figure out an elegant way of merging them near the phones in a Y configuration rather than having dual cables all the way to the plug.

It seems to me that strain relief is the major challenge. The Y should look good and not be too heavy or come apart if the cable is stepped on. if the earcup cables are a finer gauge than the main cable, both could be stuffed into a sleek metal tube which is then crimped and/or filled with epoxy and encased in thick heat shrink tubing.

Alternatively, you could mod the cups with a wire bridge across the headband so you only need to go from one cup to the plug.
post #14 of 33
Hmm I wonder if this would work on my Senn 280's
post #15 of 33
I was thinking of doing something simliar with the beyerdynamic DT-931's, of which greatly benefit from a better cable (Fills in the bass, and grinds the edge off of the highs) Perhaps filling the terminal of where the cable enters the 'phones with glue would make it look better.

And 100 bucks? You gotta be kidding. It costs 20-30 to make it.
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