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REVIEW: JMoney Audio Genuine Leather earpads for Beyer DT770/880/990

post #1 of 322
Thread Starter 
Ahhh, the Beyer earpad saga continues. Is there a headphone in the world as fussy about its earpads as the big Beyers? I’m tempted to say no, but on the other hand, many headphones don’t offer the chance to “pad roll”, so maybe they ALL are.

But the Beyer earpads do make an ENORMOUS difference. And Beyer itself sells a lot of different varieties, which is actually kind of a problem. The pads for the DT880 and 990 are different from the ones for the 770, and to make matters even worse, the genuine leather pads that are sold on the US Beyer website are for their Communication headsets, and sound BAD on the audio headphones. They make the bass too wooly, truncate the soundstage, and fuzz up the treble.

The leather earpads you get from the real Beyer Manufacture website sounded great, but they could only be ordered with headphones, and now are not an option with DT880’s. The main difference is that the underside of the leather pads on the good sounding ones was full of small ventilation holes, whereas the Comm headset earpads were solid underneath. Also, the padding material in the 880 pads was different from the 770.

Then there are the velour pads, which when used with the 880’s yield a VERY bright tonal balance, with very reduced bass output. That’s fine if you like that sort of sound, but I don’t. So what to do if you want the amazing clarity of the DT880, but with some bass, and with a leather pad?

Well until recently, I thought you were out of luck. And I had posted as such. Then I got a PM from Jeremy at JMoney Audio asking if I’d like to try some leather earpads that he developed. I said yes, but I had limited hope.

BOY WAS I WRONG. His pads are absolutely THE best pads I have heard on the DT880’s. Bar none. They are the first I have ever heard that get the tonal balance JUST RIGHT. All the clarity of the DT880 is there, and no reduction in treble detail or soundstage width or depth. There is also enough bass to satisfy – still less than with the DT990, but the mids are not at all recessed, which they are a little on the 990. With the JMoney pads, I actually think I prefer the 880’s over the 990’s, which I never thought I would.

Oh yeah, the pads are nice looking, too:

Amazingly, they are even shaped better than the Beyer pads – very slightly oval, but I think the shape is right on. They fit my DT880's *better* than the Beyer leather pads, which are really hard to get on. Quite funny, actually.

Sonically, I think the pads are the exact right thickness. If they had a little more padding they might a little more comfortable, but they are pretty comfortable as it is, and the sound is just right. I’d be worried that if they were thicker they wouldn’t sound as good. And they are plenty comfy (Beyers are hard to mess up in that regard unless you do something odd).

It's hard to get across just how different the sound from the DT880 can be with different pads unless you have tried it. The difference between the pads is orders of magnitude more than the effects of different cables. I have owned 2003 DT880/250, 2005 DT880/250, and my current DT880/600, and they all were significantly effected by pad changes. And it had gotten to the point where I wasn't using them. They didn't sound right with any of the pads I had available except the one pair of old-style "good" leather pads I have, and those I use on my Darth Beyers.

So for me this is a revelation. While I like the look of the Beyer leather earpads, only the now-extinct Manufactur pads specifically for the 880 were good sounding. The currently available Beyer leather pads sound BAD. So bad I hacked a pair apart to try to get them to sound better, which they did, but then they looked awful. But I can’t deal with the super-bright balance of the velour pads. These JMoney pads are just the ticket – they really, really sound good - actually BETTER than even the "good" Beyer leather pads. I am loving my DT880’s again!

I tried them on the DT990 as well, and the pads from JMoney also sound excellent on the DT990. The 990's have a little less bass, but a little less recessed midrange, and a better soundstage, when using the JMoney pads versus the Beyer leather pads. But overall I would classify it as an improvement.

I further tried them on my Headphile VXD4 extra-deep Darth Beyers. Larry has been shipping these with the aviation pads, which I think is not the best choice sonically. I have my main listening pair of VXD3's with the Beyer DT770 "Manufacture" pads, which sound much better. So I tried the JMoney pads on these too. They are GREAT with the VXD4's. GREAT. My favorite pad. The VXD4 don't need bass reinforcement of course, and these pads actually serve to clean things up a bit in the upper bass without reducing the deep bass at all. VERY highly recommended for Darth owners. In fact I need to get another pair for VXD4 use

Lastly, I tried the JMoney with the 770/600. In this case I prefer the Beyer leather pads that came with them when I ordered from Manufacture. The issue is that with the Beyer leather pads there is more bass, and the 770/600 are kind of lean in the bass on their own. The JMoney pads are good, and I think they are the best pads for the 880 for sure, and outstanding for the 990 as well. But in the case of the 770, the Beyer leather pads that came with them are better, IMO. HOWEVER, with the 770 the JMoney pads are better than the pleather pads, and the velour pads, and FAR better than the awful "Aviation" leather pads you get from the US site.

But the 880's are the toughest to get right, IMO, so the fact that they sound so good with the DT880 is major news, and I wanted to get the news out. These pads are TERRIFIC - highly recommended.
post #2 of 322
Thanks, Rob. Now I have to go out and re-purchase the DT880 and DT990 to hear these pads. Dammit!
post #3 of 322
Where to buy, and for how much?
post #4 of 322
Thread Starter 
Actually I am not sure - mine were a review sample, so Jeremy from JMoney will have to advise on price and availability.
post #5 of 322
Having two Beyerdynamic pairs myself, these interest me...

Would they reduce the harsh treble of the DT770 '05 250 ohm or warm it up at all? If so, I might grab a pair of these...
post #6 of 322
Did they lessen the amount of customizations options on the manafaktur beyerdynamics? I just went to the site now and I seem to recall their being more.
post #7 of 322
last time I spoke to a beyer PM, he said they would offer manufaktur pads on their webshop within a few months...but these ones look even nicer
Originally Posted by Oggranak View Post
Would they reduce the harsh treble of the DT770 '05 250 ohm
you need to dampen the cups to do that! there's WAY too many plastic reflections

the manufaktur leather pads increase the isolation, are comfy as hell and increase the soundstage too! considering they're thicker than velours.

if priced around $60, these JMoney pads would really sell like hot cakes!
post #8 of 322
I'm not surprised about the different sound with a pad change.
In the IEM world, different tips can vastly improve the sound as many default tips usually suck (except for certain Sony and of course Shure tips, both of which are popular as third party tips) so applying it to the full size headphone world isn't that big of a jump conceptual wise.
post #9 of 322
If Jeremy could offer a slightly larger radius for the earpads then they would fit the K240 and K340 as well. I would be very interested if this were possible.

I think $60 is a bit expensive for them. I think $40 is more reasonable.
post #10 of 322
Nice review as always. I actually just received my DT990/600 ohm custom Beyers from Germany today. I am interested to see pics and/or a nice little comparison to the velours.
post #11 of 322
Sounds awesome. I love the original DT880 pads too.
post #12 of 322
Great review, always nice to find a new product that synergizes well. Being custom made, and seeing how much AKG and Grado charges for their pads, I think $60 is more than fair
post #13 of 322
thanks for the review
post #14 of 322
Originally Posted by XXII View Post
If Jeremy could offer a slightly larger radius for the earpads then they would fit the K240 and K340 as well. I would be very interested if this were possible.

I think $60 is a bit expensive for them. I think $40 is more reasonable.
yeah, custom leather pads for my sextetts would not be a bad thing!
post #15 of 322
I would want some for my darths. Look forward to your review of them on 770.
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