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Want more bass from your HD 800? – Easy mod - Page 5

post #61 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post

Since the main effect of the mod is the reduction of inner reflections, the reduced treble intensity is the result of reduced parasitic transient corruption – the direct sound from the membrane has the same treble content as before. Hence it is the better solution than a cable with the same treble-reducing effect, which reduces the whole signal, direct sound and parasitic reflections. That's not to say that all a cable does is amplitude-response modifications, though, but it's one important component, and it certainly can't eliminate earpiece reflections. So independent of the desired sonic balance, in your case I would try the mod anyway and then start from there. The more so as it has a beneficial effect on the relation between mid-treble and upper treble. To my ears the original mid-treble emphasis has indeed somewhat outshone the upper treble – a phenomenon that's almost gone since the mod, not least because the 6.3-kHz peak now is perceivedly reduced to almost zero. Add to this the nice sparkle the Silver Dragon adds to the upper treble...

 

The only solution that comes to mind – if after the mod the result is still on the dark side for your ears – is active equalizing. Have you already tried different earpiece placements? I wear my HD 800 very low for optimal results.


JaZZ, thank you very much for these insights.  I don't really understand "parasitic transient corruption", but I do get the point about "a beneficial effect on the relation between the mid-treble and the treble", because reflections must produce some artificial enhancements that simply don't match the natural frequency outline of a voice, for example.  Driven by the Meridian (which I feel REAL lucky to have - I got it quite serendipitously at a deep discount), the LA7000s on the RP010 sound like a live mike feed to my ears on certain discs, but the timbral inaccuracy of the HD800s is so contrary to its delicious imaging and amazing clarity, that I just don't get it.  I'm about ready to order another pair just to see if I get a "bright" one!  And yes, I have tried different positions on my head/ears, which I agree can make interesting differences.

 

But I will indeed try your suggestion first.  What do you think -- melamine, Pima cotton or black velvet in my case?

 


 

post #62 of 85
Thread Starter 

To my ears black velvet served the purpose of minimizing reflections and creating a relatively neutral sonic balance best. Melamine also worked, but had a strange side effect in the form of a hinted boominess at mid- and upper bass. I have no experience with Pima cotton, but thanks to Google I know now what it is, and maybe it is also suitable. I tend to think that black materials may have slightly better sound-absorbing properties than white materials, after all they absorb light better, but I may be wrong on this.

.

post #63 of 85

yup, Pima cotton is grown in Arizona, and I see it every day in the field across the street -- OK, OK, that stuff is still in balls on the plant, but eventually it's the same thing!

 

and yes, acoustic energy carried by air molecules and electromagnetic energy carried by photons/light waves are both susceptible to noise and other rules of information flow, but there are some differences, though it's been so long since high school physics that I hope no one asks what the are.

 

Nevertheless, JaZZ, I may find some cotton or styrofoam or packing peanuts before I find some black velvet, so I may need some leeway here .....

 

and I'm still thinking about ordering another pair in order to make a direct comparison and see if mine are indeed different from the norm.

post #64 of 85


Jazz, I wish to thank you for this comment.  You convinced me that I might in fact have an odd pair of HD800s, since mine were the only ones that sounded dark and veiled, while in contrast you and others were trying to get MORE bass and less high frequencies.


So I called Headroom and they very kindly sent me a new pair.  Whaddya know!  The new ones are in fact so obviously different from mine - fuller, clearer, brighter, actual presence - they made mine sound like they had an actual cotton veil across the entire driver. 

 

I didn't open them up, though, I just sent them back.  I am very grateful to Headroom and to you.  NOW I know why so many people are fans of the HD800s.  Now I am too!!!  and now I understand why you would like a little less zing.  Way to go!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post

 

I doubt that such massive deviations are the norm; the posted individual FR graphs just show marginal differences. My friend Kurt's new pair had the same sonic balance as mine when I auditioned it, just showed the initial unrefinement I recall from mine.

post #65 of 85

Do you think something like a 3M adhesive strip would work well for dampening the metal screen improving bass?

 

11965104.jpg

They have a foam structure, probably has similar density to velvet, and doesn't leave residue.

post #66 of 85
I have tried both JaZZ and IPodP's modifications and I'm afraid they don't quite work the way I expected. I'm not so sure whether it'd actually increase the bass response but it certainly didn't get rid of the sibilance as I hope it would. HD800 is a great pair of headphones but the 6kHz spike really bugged me. frown.gif
Edited by Danz03 - 10/14/10 at 7:34am
post #67 of 85
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by haveblue View Post

Do you think something like a 3M adhesive strip would work well for dampening the metal screen improving bass?

 

11965104.jpg

They have a foam structure, probably has similar density to velvet, and doesn't leave residue.


Yes, if it's airtight (as it seems), it will provide the desired isolation against phase cancellation, thus the bass increase. Not sure about the sound absoption, though. I guess the upper surface of the strip is rather glossy, i.e. reflective. Any textile fabric on top of it will improve absorption properties – the thicker, the better.

 

Originally Posted by Danz03 View Post

I have tried both JaZZ and IPodP's modifications and I'm afraid they don't quite work the way I expected. I'm not so sure whether it'd actually increase the bass response but it certainly didn't get rid of the sibilance as I hope it would. HD800 is a great pair of headphones but the 6kHz spike really bugged me. frown.gif


Is your HD 800 already broken in? If not, the sibillance will reduce with play time. Have you really paid attention to proper sound absorption on the originally reflective surfaces (pole-piece ring and frame bar)? What material did you use? Although personally I don't hear much of the 6-kHz peak anymore, it may still be present with a different ear shape even after the mod. One last thing you could try is alter the earpiece position relative to your ears. I get the best results wearing my pair very low and shifted to the back.
.

post #68 of 85

Even if I had a pair of HD800's, I'm not sure if I would be willing to mod them at all. Just in case I messed something up!

post #69 of 85

Thanks very much for your reply. I'm not sure if my HD 800 has been broken in, what I did was connected it to a mini Hi-Fi with a detuned radio station for a week. Don't get me wrong, it's a really nice pair of phones, but because of the sibilance, I mostly used it for samples editing and picking out problems like hiss, hums and odd noise my in recordings, which the HD 800s are so good at, as they can pick out so much details; instead of listening to music.

When I tried your method, I didn't use sticky velcro and velvet as I was worried about cleaning the glue off afterwards and also I wanted something I can remove easily so I could compare the differences quickly. What I did was I cut out a clear piece of thin bendable plastic that covered the 2 mash openings at the bottom completely, following the curvature of the cup. Then I cut out a piece of velvet with exactly the same size and shape of the plastic and put that on top, they lied completely flat when I put the dust cover back on and quite neat looking. I suppose there was a small increase in the bass response but it also altered the sound stage a little, making it a bit more like a pair of closed headphones. However, I was mainly listening out to the sibilance which did not diminish after the mod. Maybe I will try wearing them like how you suggested too and see what happen.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post

Is your HD 800 already broken in? If not, the sibillance will reduce with play time. Have you really paid attention to proper sound absorption on the originally reflective surfaces (pole-piece ring and frame bar)? What material did you use? Although personally I don't hear much of the 6-kHz peak anymore, it may still be present with a different ear shape even after the mod. One last thing you could try is alter the earpiece position relative to your ears. I get the best results wearing my pair very low and shifted to the back.
.

post #70 of 85
Thread Starter 

 

Originally Posted by Danz03 View Post

When I tried your method, I didn't use sticky velcro and velvet as I was worried about cleaning the glue off afterwards and also I wanted something I can remove easily so I could compare the differences quickly.


Don't worry: at least with the adhesive foil I use there's no glue remaining on the earpiece after removing it.

 

What I did was I cut out a clear piece of thin bendable plastic that covered the 2 mash openings at the bottom completely, following the curvature of the cup. Then I cut out a piece of velvet with exactly the same size and shape of the plastic and put that on top, they lied completely flat when I put the dust cover back on and quite neat looking. I suppose there was a small increase in the bass response but it also altered the sound stage a little, making it a bit more like a pair of closed headphones. However, I was mainly listening out to the sibilance which did not diminish after the mod. 


I see. But as said earlier: covering the steel mesh only serves for increasing the bass, not reducing reflections. In fact they may even increase, although not necessarily at high frequencies.

 

1000x500px-LL-87a10914_HD-800-Mod6kompr.JPG

 

The reflections, which may be the main cause of the 6-kHz peak – as I see/hear it –, are reduced by covering the pole-piece ring and the rear frame bar with sound-absorbing materials such as velvet or melamine foam.

.

post #71 of 85

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danz03 View Post

I have tried both JaZZ and IPodP's modifications and I'm afraid they don't quite work the way I expected. I'm not so sure whether it'd actually increase the bass response but it certainly didn't get rid of the sibilance as I hope it would. HD800 is a great pair of headphones but the 6kHz spike really bugged me. frown.gif

You are not the first!

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/512020/hd800-is-hurting-me-sadly-i-m-in-love-and-unhappy

 

I sold the HD800 and got the T1 wich I like better in all respects, but they are also problematic to my ears in high mids/treble (hihats, cymbals, trumpets, bright strings..) - but much better in that regard then the HD800. 

 

They dealer who sold me my T1's actually also had the HD800 and had the same problem as you (and me) - He used them only for fast in - fast out - editing purposes 

 

I want to add to the above mentioned thread:

You could try this inexpensive DAC - I have ordered it - but not tried it. 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/512389/mini-dac-tda1543-x-4-nos

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/514782/bryston-bda-1-dac-vs-muse-dac-reviewed

You could of course experiment with interconnects - "VDH the First" is supposed to be very smooth/vinyl like. Dunno-but worth a try - lend one or buy it somewhere you can return it. Many countries have a regulated "you are free to return within two weeks"-practice by law (when bought on the internet). 

http://www.vandenhul.com/p_B25.aspx

http://www.avreview.co.uk/news/article/mps/uan/335
 

 

post #72 of 85

Having to mod $1400 headphones is RIDICULOUS.

post #73 of 85

Yet having to mod $140,000+ cars is not? Many have always done it, and many always will. 

post #74 of 85
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by nierika View Post

Having to mod $1400 headphones is RIDICULOUS.


At first glance this looks like a logical objection. But my own approach is more pragmatic. Some Head-Fiers are perfectly happy with their HD 800 as is, some are perfectly happy with other headphones in stock form. And this although none sounds really perfect, not even the most expensive. You have to deal with the least evil according to individual sonic preferences. So some people like or feel the need to adapt the sound of headphones they like (for their technical/acoustic merits) to their personal sonic ideals and HRTFs by trying to minimize the bothering sonic components – irrespective of the so-called design goals of the manufacturers, which some consider sacrosanct. Possible measures encompass acoustic modifications (damping), cable swapping and system matching.
.


Edited by JaZZ - 10/19/10 at 5:38am
post #75 of 85

To JaZZ and ardilla, thank you both so much for your advise, but I have now decided to keep my HD 800s the way they are.

Since receiving my LCD-2 yesterday, I've been doing a lot of comparisons between the two and I discovered some very nice qualities about the HD 800s which I thought are definitely worth keeping, they are absolutely amazing for classical, jazz and light acoustic music. What's bad about them is that they are hopeless for dance, hip-hop and some rock music.

The LCD-2s are exactly what I'm looking for in a pair of headphones, they are very neutral and accurate, so I guess I can now indulge myself with a pair that's a bit colored but excel in certain types of music. 

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