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Sennheiser mods

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 
Because everyone likes a good mod, and you need a place to boast about your modding exploits. Tell us all about your favorite Sennheiser modifications.


Here's one to start us off: the insanely easy HD 228 center foam removal mod, aka, the astroid mod. (Credit to Head-Fi'er astroid, for bringing this to our attention.) This mod opens up the soundstage, restores muddled detail, and most of all, brightens up the sound of these otherwise dark cans. I highly recommend this mod!

Here's how it works: each ear pad of the HD 228 has a flexible plastic ring at its base, which snaps into place on the ear cup, thanks to eight little clips around the edge of the ear cup. This is a great solution, because it holds perfectly well during use, but it's also very easy (and safe; there's very little risk of damaging the pads or the ear cups) to just yank off the ear pads when they get worn out, and replace them with new ones. But we all know that's not what you're interested in; you just wanna get at those juicy innards and have your way with your new toy. It's OK, we all get that.

Before you start, make sure you have a clear, flat surface to work over, because there is a little grey oval-shaped sheet of very thin padding under each ear pad, which is loose once you remove the ear pad. Don't lose it, or you might void your warranty.

So, to get started now: the first thing to do is firmly grasp near the edge of the ear pad, and pull it away from the clips. Pulling straight up from the ear cup works, but I find it's easier if you pull at an inward angle, away from the edge of the ear cup. To minimize any risk of damaging the clips, you probably don't want to just yank the pad off all at once... I recommend you work your way around the edge, pulling the base out of the clips one at a time, until you're clear of the clips on one side (so, at least four of eight clips). At this point, you can safely pull away the ear pad, ignoring the last few snaps as the clips lose their grasp.

Now that the ear pad is off, that little grey oval sheet I mentioned earlier might fall out. Just put it back in the ear cup, shiny side down. Setting aside the headphones for now, focus your attention on the underside of the ear pad you just pulled off. You will notice that aside from that flexible, clear plastic ring running around the edge to hold the shape, it's all foam under there. You'll also notice that there is an outer ring of grey foam, and inside that, a black oval of foam. This black oval is a separate piece, and just slides right out. Use your fingertips to grasp it, and just pull! That was easy!

Now the ear pads are hollow, allowing the sound from the drivers to pass through without the blanketing effect from the foam, that contributes to the overall veiled sound. Good stuff!

Now all that's left is to put the ear pad back on. This is easy enough; just check to make sure the grey oval sheet is centered in the ear cup, and slide the ear pad back into those clips. After a few snicks, you're ready to give the mod a listening test. One side modded, the other not, you should be able to discern the difference in sound easily enough. If not, you can always mod the other side too.

I modded these headphones almost as soon as I got them, and proceeded to mod and un-mod them a few times in short order (the foam you took out is equally easy to stuff back in), to get a better sense of the difference it makes. Finally, deciding that while fairly subtle, I did like the alteration in sound, I decided to keep them modded.

Well, after some days of rockin' out with my new phones, I decided to stuff the center foams back in, just out of morbid curiosity. I needed to remember just how dark they used to be.

Well, boom! Maybe it's because I'd simply grown accustomed to the airy, detailed, comparatively bright sound they have post-mod, or maybe it's because the differences become more pronounced with burn-in, but whatever the case... the standard configuration was a rather unpleasant shock! Everything sounded compressed, blanketed, muddled, lifeless, lacking in detail, and just much too dark! I sat there, mouth open for a few seconds, and then, morbid curiosity satisfied, I quickly pulled them apart and executed the mod once again. I put them back on again, and... phew! It's like I've had a head cold, with a built-up pressure gathering in my ears, and now my ears just popped, and I can hear again! Aaaaahhhh, yes... this is the aural.

There are of course fit and comfort changes that come with removing padding from the ear pads, but I find them to be both minor and positive. Specifically, the pads seem to rest more securely over my ears -- no longer do I get the sense that they're trying to float off my head. It's not a huge difference, but it just feels like the additional give in the padding helps them to snuggle up to my ears better. The other change I notice is that... no, it couldn't be... could it? It seems to be.... More isolation? Yes, I think so. Probably a result of that snuggling I was talking about.


So... hope you enjoyed my narrative. And more than that I hope you'll offer your own insights on additional Sennheiser mods. In the meantime, happy modding!
post #2 of 87
Thread Starter 
Added a poll. I sometimes find that adding a superfluous poll to a thread helps to enliven the [non]dialogue.
post #3 of 87
My HD650s are 100% perfect. Any mod would, therefore, make them worse instead of better.
post #4 of 87
I like to tinker with my hp's sounds but Senns (and most open phones in general) are not usually the best candidates for modding. Usually they consist of just taking away something that allows the sound to get to the ear more freely.

As a HD580 owner, I'm perfectly happy with what I hear from them and as far as open cans go, they are the best all-around cans I've yet heard.


"keep your &%#@'ing HD800's away from me"
post #5 of 87
no mods here.. just a blue dragon cable upgrade
post #6 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
"keep your &%#@'ing HD800's away from me"

*Waves HD800*


The only mod I'm putting on these is a balanced APS V3 - cause I might want to try balanced pretty soon.
post #7 of 87
I am modder but to me a Grado is a can that lends itself to this while the Senns that I have been in don't seem to lend themselves to anything more than a recable. I am not an expert, just my observation.
post #8 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinan View Post
I am modder but to me a Grado is a can that lends itself to this while the Senns that I have been in don't seem to lend themselves to anything more than a recable. I am not an expert, just my observation.
x2.

i like my hd650's the way they are,but my poor ms1's.....
post #9 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
As a HD580 owner, I'm perfectly happy with what I hear from them and as far as open cans go, they are the best all-around cans I've yet heard.
It's funny, because it seems that a fairly popular "mod", if you can call it that, is to replace the stock cable on the HD 580 with an HD 650 cable. Well, that and people like to replace the ugly HD 580 grills with their prettier HD 600 counterparts. But none of this seems to be with sound as the primary motivating factor.
post #10 of 87
Thread Starter 
I knew when I created this thread that it wouldn't get the kind of response that you get from a similar thread regarding Grados, but I also couldn't find a good thread on the topic of Senn mods, so I was like, "meh, what the heck!" Surely there are some decent mods out there for Senns... after all, there's no such thing as "perfect" in the world of audio.
post #11 of 87
Here are just some of the mods you can do with spare parts (no headphone destruction required):

1) use PXC 450 earpads on HD 515, HD 555, HD 595, PXC 350, PC 350, HD 380
2) use HD 595/HD 555 earpads on HD 515, PXC 450, PXC 350, PC 350, HD 380
3) use HD 515 G4ME cable (1/8") on HD 515, HD 555, HD 595
4) use HD 415/HD 435 pads on the HD 205
5) use HD 600 grilles on HD 580
6) use HD 650 cable on HD 580, HD 600, HD 265, HD 535, HD 545, HD 565
7) use RS 140 earpads on the RS 130
8) use RS 130 earpads on the RS 140
9) use IE 8 series foam, lamella, flange or silicone eartips on the CX 200, CX 300 [II], CX 400 [II], CX 500, CX 95, CX 6, IE 6, IE 7, MM 200, PC 300, FLX 70, CXL series, CX 380, MM 50, MM 50 iP

I will post more when possible, feel free to PM or email me any questions.
post #12 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by applaudio View Post
It's funny, because it seems that a fairly popular "mod", if you can call it that, is to replace the stock cable on the HD 580 with an HD 650 cable. Well, that and people like to replace the ugly HD 580 grills with their prettier HD 600 counterparts. But none of this seems to be with sound as the primary motivating factor.
Well since you mentioned it, I have put HD600 grilles in my 580's and I will almost certainly get a HD650 cable for them, simply because I almost never use them with anything but my LD amp with it's 1/4" phone jack, and I'd like to ditch the adapter.
BTW, the grille "mod" was purely for aesthetic reasons and I could not hear any difference in SQ.
post #13 of 87
Wow great 228 mod applaudio/ astroid! Saved these phones for me.
post #14 of 87
By the time I still had my HD580 Jubilees, I modded them.
This is what they looked like before:



What I wanted to do: tighten the bass and lift the Sennheiser-veil which is present to me even ion HD580 ans HD600.
Lifting the veil a bit is easy: just remove the foam from the inside of the cups.
I tried tightening the bass by converting the phone to semi open. And what was the solution which suggests itself: right, use the just removed foam for this purpose as it allready had the right dimensions. If it is dense enough to achieve the effect can only be found out be trying. So I did.

Standard grill:


The foam, after a little bit of forming with force:



Foam inserted:


Grills replaced:


Yupp, there you go. Goal achieved, bass tightened!

Negative side effect: the headstage shrinks by a significant amount. It can be too much for some people as the Sennheiser don't even have big headstages in stock condition.
Positive side effect: it looks so much better!

m00h
post #15 of 87
I defoamed the back of my hd600s.
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