I finally got my pair received on Thursday to exactly how I want them. I think. I'm ashamed to say I was up until nearly 4 trying every kind of configuration I could come up with. On my first attempt they sounded absolutely horrible. I didn't do enough research into this beforehand, but did apply blu-tack etc to the baffle and back of the cup. I also removed the foam on the vent. I was so disgusted with the results at first. I was going to use some Dynamat but I'm glad I didn't. Online that stuff costs only $19, but locally it's $30. I bought some because I'm stupid, but didn't use it and returned it for my $30.
I didn't have any felt at the time, so I used some thick foam. It's the kind you'd see in a $10 "memory foam" pillow. Believe it or not, it actually made them sound very very good! I was shocked at the difference in sound. They then sounded nearly as good as everyone was saying. Since my ears were so fatigued I went to bed.
Today I picked up some different types of felt and even some special tape (killed the mids, so I removed it). My plan was to start over and keep the blu-tack on.
First thing I did is to make sure I didn't go overboard on the blu-tack. I then put some felt like material inside the cup. It's Sham-Wow type stuff, but it didn't cost me $20! BTW they even sell that stuff at the dollar store! I put one piece down and then checked to see what it sounded like. Not good at all and it didn't "Wow" me like the night before. What the heck is going on?
One thing strange I've noticed is that when you close the side vents or add the vent foam, it kills the sound. At least for me. Mine is open. I tried closing parts of the vent to get a change in the sound, but I liked it fully open.
So I opened the headphone back up and added some more felt. Not overkill at all. Once again the sound just wasn't anything special. Still pretty good. I also noticed that changing out different earpad backings made a difference in the sound. I tried some AKG foam behind the earpad, but it killed the mids and made them bassier. I have some speaker fabric and that seemed to work the best, but I like them kind of without anything over them.
So anyway, the sound didn't wow me at all. Perhaps that foam I used before really made them sound great? Couldn't hurt to try that again.
I made a round cutout of some foam and cut out a square in the bottom to keep the vent open. This piece of foam is almost touching the back of the driver. Still quite thin.
I put everything together and the sound that really impressed me the night before was back! It's not the Aska foam and it's much lighter, but just as thin, but not hard. Why would that make such a difference? The mids are now sooooo good and maybe a little forward it seems like. The treble hasn't really been changed much. The sound is now fairly balanced and everything sounds natural. Bright songs that would drive me crazy on any headphone, still do. I want that. The bass is now not bloated and as good as I remembered. The bass is so good on these and makes my HD-650's bass almost like a joke. What's funny about these headphones is how clear they are.
Unfortunately my ears are now ringing and tired due to all this modding. I'll be able to listen to them more tomorrow. For some reason adding that foam was what caused the biggest difference in the sound! I tried some pillow stuffing but that was terrible and drowned out the mids somehow.
It's really quite amazing how every tiny thing, no matter how small can change the sound.
I don't know if this is my imagination, but it seemed like whenever I added more material to the cups, the mids would come forward a little more. Only when I added that foam (nearly touching the driver) did they sound extremely good. They may be very very slightly too forward now. Maybe if I trimmed a little off the foam, the mids will be less forward. I'll see tomorrow. It could be they sounded too forward because my ears were just ringing and I'm tired. I'm going to try these for gaming too, just for my own amusement.
Edited by tdockweiler - 3/25/11 at 5:09pm