I'm going to resurrect this old thread since it's helping me quite a bit. I bought a knockoff ETSW9 for less then $25. It's a decent copy, but the drivers suck (of course). So I opened them up and tore the old drivers out (they were glued in, so had to really pry them out). Then I dug out my old Sennheiser HD495's, got their drivers out and am in the process of putting them in and recabling the whole thing with canare's as per the info above.
Audio Technica ATH-ESW9 Recable Step-by-Step w/ Pics - Page 3
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I have a pair of fake esw9s as well. A nice copy - when comparing them to the lists of ways to tell your esw9s are fake, it seems like they are real! Of course, the sound quality is the real teller - these sound lousy. Turns out Audio Technica will sell you a replacement pair of drivers for $40 plus shipping. So, I'm going to pull the original fakes out and try to figure out how to install the replacement real models. I have already done a re-cable with canare cable, so once this driver exchange is completed, these should sound fairly close to the real product and be much cheaper.
Edited by dmort - 10/2/12 at 11:45am
My replacement drivers arrived from Audio Technica - the parts department was very responsive - I guess the shipping worked out to about a week. Of course there was a holiday weekend in there. I'll post comparison pictures of the fake drivers as compared to the real drivers. I have a brand new baby, so these headphone projects can't happen immediately!
[from the 1st post of the thread]
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... I didn't use any additional adhesive to put the black felts back on. Just line up the edges and smooth them out.
Since this thread is showing signs of life again, I'll note that after I performed the re-cable on my ESW9, I tried the phones both with and without the black felt. I found that these phones sounded better without the black felt in place. In particular, the upper treble was less rolled off. I'm sure the headphone's designers wanted to protect the drivers from possible damage by installing the felt, but I find it hard to believe that they listened to the phones both ways and preferred the sound with the felt. Or maybe the sonic benefits of leaving off the felt aren't apparent with the stock cable. (I never tried that.)
Of course, any given modder has the option of partial felt, by cutting holes in it or only using pieces of it. Don't assume that you have to reinstall it as it was originally.
Edited by Bostonears - 2/18/13 at 2:18pm
I'm not sure what you mean by "braid", but if you mean the cable, yes, it can affect the sound. In my case, I installed a 24 gauge silver-plated copper cable, which increased treble detail compared to the stock cable.
I don't have internal pictures, but here's what the finished product looks like. The cable is covered with multi-filament Techflex sleeving (softer than regular Techflex). Originally, I had shrink tubing around the cables as strain relief where they exit the earcups, but I found that made the cables more microphonic, i.e. slight rubbing on the cable was quite audible in the headphones. Since the cables normally hang straight down from the bottom of the earcups, they don't get flexed very much, so I decided that the Techflex sleeving alone was adequate strain relief.
Edited by Bostonears - 2/21/13 at 9:16am