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Audio Technica ATH-ESW9 Recable Step-by-Step w/ Pics

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
I'm posting some step-by-step instructions for those who dare to recable their pristine ESW9s *Updated Method, details at bottom*

Most importantly, this thread demonstrates a clean cable entry into the cups without having to drill or file those precious woodies!

Important Tools Used:
Soldering Stuffs
Heat Gun
Hot Glue Gun (Tie Wraps in updated method)
Micro Philips Screwdriver
Multimeter
Finger Nails

Materials Used:
26 AWG silver-plated copper twisted pair (without any shielding/sheathing)
1/8" and 1/4" Nylon Sheath
1/4" Heat shrink Tubing

First off, let me state that my finished cable is tangle free but maybe a tad bit too rigid. This is mainly due to the duel layers of nylon I used. The cable will be much more manageable with only one layer. Either way will work fine for the cup entry.

Now, lets rip apart those beautiful headphones!
Begin by removing the ear pads. To do this, gently tug one side of the pad outwards until the leather "lip" comes off the lip on the cup. The pic below shows the underside of the pad.


The next step is where you'll need those fingernails. Work your way around the edge of the black felt, scratching up the edge until you have enough free to tug on. Gently pull the felt up, working your way around the edge to remove it. You might want to try a tool for this, but my fingernails worked fine without damaging the felt. Leave any residual adhesive in place for later.


Next, remove the 4 tiny screws with your micro screwdriver. Careful not to lose them!

NOTE: I only took pictures of re-assembly so the wires you see are not stock, but my recable wires. The actual stock wires are practically microscopic and probably wouldn't show up on my camera!


When the fourth screw is removed, the driver assembly will easily lift off the cup. There is plenty of slack with the cable to flip the driver over and put it next to the cup. To make soldering easier, carefully remove the yellow matting from the back of the driver. It is lightly adhered to the driver, but will fall apart very easily (fiberglass insulation).


Now, desolder the wires from the driver. Make note of which wire goes where first! Green is left signal, Red is right signal, and Copper is ground.

The stock cables have a knot in them that must be a crappy form of strain relief. Fart around for about 20 minutes trying to get the knots out. Then pull the cable out of the cup and also pull off the strain relief plug.

Now for the moment of truth! I'm assuming that you have your cable assembled at this point. In order for your cable to fit into the cup holes without modification, you should leave the ends with about 3" of unsheathed wire. Note that I have used 26 AWG wire. You may have a hell of a time cramming anything bigger into there.

Use a piece of 1/4" heat shrink, about 1.5" long. Shrink it on so that about 1/2" is covering just wire, with the rest covering wire+nylon.


Feed the wire through the cup holes until the tapered point is snug in the hole. You may have to bend the heat shrink portion up as you feed it through, as it may get stuck at the plastic ā€œUā€ shaped slot. Push the cable down into the slot for a nice tight fit.


Fire up your hot glue gun and drop a bead into the square opening as shown below. Be mindful not to heap too much glue here. It should end up being flush with the rest of the frame.


Once your glue is nice and cool, you're ready to solder the new wire to the driver terminals. Reassemble as above, in reverse order. I used a little hot glue to put the yellow insulation back on. I didn't use any additional adhesive to put the black felts back on. Just line up the edges and smooth them out.

Hope this helps cure some anxiety for prospective recablers. With patience and the right tools you won't put a single scratch on these beauties!


UPDATE: I tweaked the cable by forcing the full cable with sheath through the opening in the cup. I used a tie wrap instead of hot glue. The result is a more durable cable entry with no need to heat shrink. The 26 awg twisted pair will fit with 2 layers of nylon/techflex (1/8').

The finished product!

post #2 of 57
nice writeup mate appreciate it and its bookmarked =D
post #3 of 57
Clean work and a nice write-up! Should help anyone who is willing to recable his Audio-Technica. Thanks!
post #4 of 57
How is the sound now compared to the old cables? Any major differences?
post #5 of 57
Has anybody recabled ESW9's with a Silver Dragon? If so - does it "sparkle" them up a bit without getting rid of this wonderful "pouring sweet honey in your ear" feature they have?
post #6 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acroyear View Post
How is the sound now compared to the old cables? Any major differences?
I can't say I'm a believer in cables drastically altering the sound of headphones. They still sound fantastic. The main reason for the recable was tangle issues with the stock POS.
post #7 of 57
Excellent step by step re-cable write up Joelby!
post #8 of 57
Awesome guide!! this has great pictures!! Nice work Joelby!
post #9 of 57
Awesome guide, thanks a lot for posting.

btw, anyone know if the ATH-ES7 uses the same housing design on the cans?
post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 
I've updated the cable entry with an improved version. You can force the sheathed wire into the opening in the cable housing without having to modify it. 26 awg, 2 layers (1/8"). Eliminates the need to use heatshrink and is more durable. I also used tie wraps instead of hot glue this time. Either could be used.

I did this as I was changing my Y split to an improved design. 6mm cable pants from partsexpress.com along with some heatshrink. Probably one of the best DIY Y splits around.
post #11 of 57
Yeah the default cable leaves alot to be desired!

What cable are you using with yours? I'm thinking of doing a re-cable on mine so if you could share you parts list that would be awesome!
post #12 of 57
I'm slightly bothered by the earpads... Are those the official earpads?
post #13 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayk View Post
Yeah the default cable leaves alot to be desired!

What cable are you using with yours? I'm thinking of doing a re-cable on mine so if you could share you parts list that would be awesome!
I used 26awg twisted pair silver plated copper from seller navships on ebay. You could use any 26awg, really. If I did it again I might try Canare or Mogami star quad.
post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelby View Post
I used 26awg twisted pair silver plated copper from seller navships on ebay. You could use any 26awg, really. If I did it again I might try Canare or Mogami star quad.
Ahh cheers, I think I will go with mogami W2893 if I can track it down in AUS.
post #15 of 57
Anyway I tracked down Canara L-2E5 cable here, which is a dual twisted pair. I'm assuming each cup of the ESW9 (haven't opened mine yet) has 1 channel and 1 ground.

Since it looks like you are also using a twisted 2 wire cable, are you connecting the grounds from each cup to the cables shield at the Y split? or is your main cable a quad?

Thanks!
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