Hi fellow Head-fiers.
I have been reading this forum a great deal and for quite a very long time, but have never joined the forum, i know....but hey, i am here now. I come from an electronics background (albeit a good 15+ years ago) but i kept a lot of my skills and enjoy tackling the odd soldering task every now and again (last one was a Nintendo DS power switch).
I recently got an iPhone 4, dont shoot me (or even judge me) as its has brought me to where i am now, in DIY mode for Audio.
I LOVE music, end of.
I particularly enjoy Rap, Reggae/Dancehall, Dubstep, D&B aswell as Classical and other types of music.
Anyways, i was using a pair of Skull Candy Hesh's for my listening and always knew they were quite cheap etc. SQ was far from decent, bass was good, mids and highs were past muddy. So when i got my iPhone 4, the SQ dramatically improved over any my other sources i had previously used; so i decided to make the listening more enjoyable.
After many hours looking for the right pair of closed back headphones, i settled on the Shures. And to be really honest, they absolutely ROCK!! The sound is awesome, superbly neutral and crisp. To be honest i haven't heard headphones this good (i have heard quite few, not lots, but enough to know what a decent SQ is like).
So, the first thing i wanted to do was change the cable, as 3.5metres of heavy coiled cable isnt for me, i use these cans as my everyday phones (i wear them on the bus, train, etc etc and at home). I need to shed that weight and also, to use something a little better for SQ wise. I am getting a Portable Amp soon and making a matching LOD for it (nearly complete - see post 2). So, below is the list of stuff i used (Bill of Materials).
See Post 2 for LOD connector build - coming soon!!
Bill of Materials
DHC Nucleotide OCC copper 24awg stranded wire - from doublehelixcables.com Thanks Peter
DHC 3.5mm Gold Plated Jack - from doublehelixcables.com Thanks Peter
2.5mm Gold Plated Jack
Techflex Gold Mylar - from qables.com Thanks Hans
Techflex Black Reflex - from qables.com Thanks Hans
My Techflex was originally ordered from hypex.co.uk;
But it never got to me, in fact my order was never processed, after nearly 3 weeks of waiting, i cancelled and re-ordered with Qables.com: THANKS HANS!!
I decided to fit a new 2.5mm connector plug, the original is lock fitting and cannot be sourced (anywhere). I thought about using the original plug and stuff, but i thought against it. I would prefer some kind of give in my setup. If i catch the cable on anything, then it will pull free, whereas in the 'locked' original plug, it would do something other than that like pull the phones off your head, or put stress on the plug, socket, cable etc (which i dont want at all).
To use a 2.5mm aftermarket jack plug, you need to grind out (or drill out) the existing socket for the 2.5mm in the headphones. Not bad eh, £200.00 headphone just butchered, but hey, its worth it. I also shrink wrapped the original 2.5mm plug so i can use it with a lot more confidence around the house, theres a lovely snug fit now on the original, no need to twist and lock, just plug it in!!
In the images, you can see i used a Nickel 2.5mm jack plug. I have since removed it and am waiting for a gold one, it will look much nicer with the Gold Mylar.
To be brutally honest, as this is my first ever build, i am quietly proud of myself as i think i have done a very good job. The soldering is very good and the techflex looks very slick.
Some close ups, all photos taken off my iPhone 4, so don't expect the most detailed images, but i think you get the picture (no pun intended).
I think the pictures speak for themselves, kind of step by step:
1. Cut three 112cm wires of Nucleotide
2. Soldered Each core to the 3.5mm Jack
3. Heatshrinked each core within the Jack
4. Heatshrinked all 3 cores within the Jack (for solidarity & protection)
5. Braided the 3 core to form the pretty braid
6. Covered cable with Gold Mylar (used heatshrink to keep it all in place at the joins etc)
7. Covered cable with Black Reflex (used heatshrink to keep it all in place at the joins etc)
8. Soldered the remaining 3 cores to the 2.5mm connector
9. Heatshrinked each core within the Jack
10. Heatshrinked all 3 cores within the Jack (for solidarity & protection)
11. Tidied up and heatshrinked the remaining bit.
Things to remember - for noobs (and others)
Dont forget to put things like heatshrink, plug barrel, etc on the cable before soldering the final end. I remembered and i can only assume it saves time and added pain.
Keep organised, and focused. Get everything that you need before you set up doing this. I had nothing, then some bits, then the final pieces. This could be easily done in a day (few hours) if all the bits are in one place.
Also, to make life easier please have the following tools available:
Decent Soldering iron/station
Decent Solder (i use Cardas Quad stuff)
Helping hand - They SERIOUSLY help you
Electronic Tools (Long Nose Pliers, Side Cutters, etc)
Decent Heat Shrink
These help, but this is me (i have lots of relevant experience):
Some previous soldering experience
Cable management experience
I have more pictures (for the fiends) like snaps of each stage (solder wire 1; solder wire 2, ect); i just posted a few so you got the idea. I will be happy to add more if anyone wants??
Edited by shokka9 - 11/11/10 at 7:35am