As someone whose been reading this forum daily for at least a year now (but not tried all the various mods) I can say that there is consensus general agreement on a few points:
The main goal of all the mods is: to reduce reflections, resonances and standing waves caused by the empty plastic cups and at the same time flatten the frequency response hampered by the stock cups.
The primary mods are:
1. Adding mass to the interior baffles that holds the driver to reduce mechanical vibration. Everyone pretty much agrees that some form of plasticine (i.e. non-hardening modeling clay) is sufficient for this purpose and superior to bluetak type materials. There is some variation in opinion on the best amount but generally filling in the empty spaces in the baffle and optionally having a small tapered wall around the driver is sufficient.
2. Adding acoustic foam (paxmate, silverstone, or other) to the inside of the cups to reduce sound wave reflections. Most agree that the acoustic foams are superior in this role than other materials.
3. Pad replacement; most everyone agrees that sound quality is significantly improved by replacing the stock earpads; popular choices in order of expense are Shure 840, Fischer FA003, Sony MDR-5000, and Stax Omega 2. There are others in use as well. Secondary mods will vary with pad choice.
Secondary mods (no full consensus):
1. Cotton and/or fiberfill in the cups. I think it is almost reaching consensus that some amount of cotton in the cups helps sound quality (clarity and overall frequency flatness), particularly taming the infamous 1k bump. There is disagreement over how much cotton and/or fiberfill, mineral wool, etc. is best.
2. Vent tuning. Some people like the vents completely closed, some like them completely open, and some like them partially closed. Some leave the stock felt covering the vents, some replace it, some remove it completely. This will depend on the pads, etc. and will likely be the final fine-tuning. Felt covering the inside and electric tape covering most slots on the outside seems to be most popular variation but there are many others.
3. Replacement of stock material on drivers. This is probably the biggest variation. Some, like bluemonkeyflier (BMF), prefer the stock white material left in place. Some, like mrspeakers (rastapants) prefer replacing the stock material with stiff felt. Some like transpore tape, some like suede, some like their drivers completely naked.
4. Material on earside of cup. Most remove the felt covering the driver on the earside though it is thin. Some replace this with some other felt. Some surround the driver opening with a donut of acoustic foam. BMF recommends adding dynamat with a covering of felt to add further mass damping since that the driver is mounted on that piece of plastic. Many also put foam, cotton, or tissue under the back of the pads to raise and angle the pads which helps with soundstage
5. Adding mass to the inside of cups. Some add dynamat or plasticine to the back of the cups under the acoustic foam to add further mass and then cover this with acoustic foam. This is becoming less popular as our collective acoustic physics knowledge is increasing.
6. Reflective Dot. Some find enhanced treble frequency response by placing a round or square reflective surface over the very center square on the back of the driver (tape, furniture bumper, etc). Others do not like the effect this has on their mods.
7. Cable replacement.
I think that summarizes most of the mods. Start with the basics and go from there. Acoustic foam is the only exotic material that's really universally recommended and you can probably get some from someone else on this thread. Otherwise, it's $5 modeling clay, cotton, and maybe some felt and pads. Check the mod links page for shortcuts to the critical posts in this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/571549/fostex-t50rp-modification-summary-links wiki: http://www.head-fi.org/a/fostex-t50rp-modification-summary-links-wiki
Originally Posted by thelostMIDrange
yeah, it's like asking congress, could you just widdle down that 3000 page health care bill into just the basics so an human being can understand it? not gonna happen. These mega threads are great at creating confusion. There's probably a post or two that would apply to you and help you out, but damned if you'll have the time or luck to find it ! I'm wondering the same thing as OP......what are the 1 or 2 basic flaws of the stock phone, and what is the common sense concensus as to how to rectify using COMMON materials one can find at a hardware store or crafts center..........I'm not interested in re-inventing the wheel or swapping out entire housings or using materials with odd sounding names I've never heard of ! dynamat? does lowes stock 3" pieces of that ! what, felt and foam not good enough for you guys !
there should be a forum rule,,,,,,,after 100 pages, ther needs to be a poll to distill the findings and concensus of those 100 pages.......otherwise they are almost useless to someone who was not there at the beginning.......or who has a to go to work no less !
*edit: grammar and logical coherency!
*edit: updated link from old thread to new wiki: http://www.head-fi.org/a/fostex-t50rp-modification-summary-links-wiki
Edited by AnotherN00b - 12/4/11 at 4:50am