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DIY Custom Eartips

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I recently purchased a pair of Westone UM1s after I lost my Crossroads Quattros, took rather long to get used to the rather bass-deficient sound but I was quite happy with the overall sound signature. Switched from the comply tips to the Shure Olives, and found that that helped a bit. Then I was looking around and found this:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/466222/diy-guide-making-your-own-custom-iem-sleeves-tips-56k-get-outta-here

and this:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/custom-ear-molds-pics-course-212962/

Well I thought it was rather interesting to try out, but I lacked the money to go to an audiologist to get a bunch of ear impressions (paying a third of the price of the earphones for an experiment? I'd rather not) and didn't have the balls to stuff epoxy in my ear like that madass in the second thread, due to me coming across forums which warned against stuffing anything into your ear whatsoever.

 

I decided to try to make my own ear impressions using blu tack (figuring it wouldn't be that bad), and after a bit of trial and error I actually got something approximating a pair of impressions. DSC05363.JPG

I coated them with nail polish and tried out the steps which the guy in the first link did, but then I discovered working with silicone and oil is a horribly messy process, not to mention not for someone impatient like me. Aside from getting almost uncured silicone in my right nozzle (which thankfully didn't impact the sound once I removed the waxguard, I was panicking like crap), removing half-cured silicone from a silicone mould turned out to be a lot harder and messier than I expected.

 

After a while I came across another thread in which the guy replaced his eartips with blu-tack and actually liked the sound:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/299863/forget-the-audiologist-audiophile-holy-grail-heaven-for-just-1-blu-tack-and-in-ears-best-hack-ever/30

so I decided heck-it-why-not and started trying to poke a hole through the impressions I had, and then dig out a bit of blu tack to form an outline of my UM1s and stuck it in. And the result would be:

DSC05362.JPG

Yeah green and pink don't really go, but I'm a guy and I couldn't get my hands on black nailpolish. ><

DSC05357.JPG

The earphones stick out a bit more now out of the ear though.

DSC05379.JPG

Sorry for the slightly blurry quality, phone cam with my left hand >< But it fits like actual customs.

 

Sound signature wise.. IT ACTUALLY WORKS. Or rather, I'm happier with the sound now. On the overall, the sound quality has lost a bit of its neutral quality for a more organic sound; the trebles are less well defined while the mids have lost a bit of their shine, imo. But on the other hand the trebles on the earphones were slightly too tinny for my liking in the first place, and the mids still have their strong bodied quality. The soundstage has also improved quite a bit, with instrument separation improving likewise. But the most significant impact would be on the bass response, which was previously quite inaudible but is now quite defined. And blu-tack eartips actually don't really look or feel like crap after being coated with a nice layer of nail polish (coat it with a clear layer first, then whatever you'd like to do with it). The isolation has actually improved, too. I thought the foamies were great at isolating sound, till I tried these on and went deaf to the outside world. (:


Edited by Nightslayer - 5/10/10 at 1:33pm
post #2 of 5

honestly, that looks and sounds terrifying!!  

 

i read the professional custom earphone threads, i wouldn't even want that done due to the fact they put crap in your ears to make impressions.     so i definitely wouldn't be putting putty and caulk in my ears at home. 

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Haha well if it's the price you have to pay for a better sound, why not? And putting the putty in was completely safe, I didn't even push it past the first bend haha (: But caulk, now that's a different matter. NOT IN A MILLION YEARS. Messy, sticky stuff. Blutack is actually quite clean (:

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Going to cast them in silicon again to try, the moulds keep getting deformed in my earphone pouch and have to be readjusted. Anyone knows if regular silicon caulk is harmful to the ears when hardened?


Edited by Nightslayer - 5/18/10 at 7:08am
post #5 of 5

 

 

 

Hey, glad to see someone else tried this as well! beerchug.gif

 

I'm the OP at:

 

 



Quote:


Finally, some pics:




I'm willing to bet that this is EVEN BETTER than having a custom fit done for you by an audiologist. As we know, there are loads of people who have to go back to the audiologist to get a proper seal. Even when they do, as we all know, the shape of our ears change with time, due to several reasons, sudden increases in body fat and so on.

Blu Tack guarantees that you will always get a proper seal for HOURS, without any risk of infection for your ears.

Let me know how this works for you if you try this.


 

 

Forget the audiologist! Audiophile Holy Grail Heaven for just 1$. Blu Tack and In-ears: BEST. HACK. EVER.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/299863/forget-the-audiologist-audiophile-holy-grail-heaven-for-just-1-blu-tack-and-in-ears-best-hack-ever

 

After posting that, I'll add that the blu-tack mod worked solidly for me for another 2 years...! ksc75smile.gif

 

...until my UM2 cable broke (obviously, due to usage, not to the blu-tack mod, which doesn't affect the cable in any way).

 

During that time I enjoyed a wonderful listening experience. I used to replace the blu-tack covering every other week, for it's quite cheap. I never found any pieces of blu-tack entering the in-ear canal, though I used to pay close attention to it and clean the surroundings of the tip of the canal every other day.

 

I just wanted to say that I think I'm going to purchase the new UM2 with replaceable cable and definitely I'm going the blu-tack mod again! biggrin.gif

 

I wonder, Nightslayer, have you continued to use this mod? How's it been for you?

 

 


Edited by deafmutelame - 11/5/11 at 9:37am
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