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Shure SRH-840 Custom Cable & LOD Build by shokka9

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

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

Cardas Solder

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)

Scapels/Craft Knives

Electrical Tape

Decent Heat Shrink

 

These help, but this is me (i have lots of relevant experience):

 

Patience

Steady hand

Some previous soldering experience

Cable management experience

 

 

Pictures

 

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??

 

Take care

 

Shokka9

 

IMG_0225.JPG

 

IMG_0756.JPG

 

IMG_0767.JPG

 

IMG_0236.jpg

 

IMG_0039.JPG

 

IMG_0072.JPG

 

IMG_0075.JPG

 

IMG_0076.JPG

 

IMG_0229.JPG

 

IMG_0228.JPG

 

IMG_0227.JPG

 

IMG_0226.JPG

 

IMAG0020.jpg


Edited by shokka9 - 11/11/10 at 7:35am
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

LOD Connector Build

 

I was never fully satified with the LOD cable, it works, which i suppose was a bonus, as i have never done this before. I have learnt some valuable skills, which i will use in my final model, which will not have any techflex, just the cores. It will be a side exit type, i have seen a few on the net and they look so much better and nicer to the eye (in my opinion).

 

So when i get around to it. I will add those pics to this topic.

 

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

Slim Line Dock (Glue) - from qables.com Thanks Hans (my first attempt was with an ULTRA SLIM)

68kOhm Resistor - from Maplins

Cardas Solder

Techflex Gold Mylar - from qables.com Thanks Hans

Techflex Black Reflex - from qables.com Thanks Hans

 

Steps

 

1. Cut three 30-40cm 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 SLIM Dock Connector

9. Cut resistor to shape to fit snuggly in Dock.

10. Soldered resistor to Dock Connector

11. Heatshrinked cores within the connector (for solidarity & protection)

12. Tidied up and heatshrinked the remaining bits.

 

I didn't get any pictures of the soldering to the newer SLIM dock, the pictures of the Dock Connector are all of the ULTRA SLIM version. I have since took the completed LOD (in pictures) apart and will make a ULTRA SLIM version with very little cable used. This has not started yet. I use my FiiO L3 in the meantime.

 

Here we go, pictures:

 

IMG_0125.JPG

 

IMG_0127.JPG

 

IMG_0130.JPG

 

IMG_0013.JPG

 

IMG_0023.JPG

 

IMG_0025.JPG

 

IMG_0028.JPG

 

IMG_0031.JPG

 

IMG_0041.JPG

 

IMG_0042.JPG

 

IMG_0044.JPG

 

IMG_0199.JPG

 

IMAG0023.jpg


Edited by shokka9 - 11/11/10 at 8:21am
post #3 of 17

the pics don't show up, but yes the stock cable looks horrid...and I'm personally against removable cables, I always get cuts in the right channel if they're not properly threaded like Ultrasone.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

I will fix it later, at work and cant log in to this site here. My LOD connector arrived today but no bloody Techflex.

Thanks for the heads up.

:)

 

PS - The cable to date is in my avatar picture....

 

Looks like i ordered the wrong LOD connector from Qables, as i received the ULTRA SLIM model, which is a tad too small to get the resistor in, but i will have a go first before i either buy a new one or rip apart a separate.


Edited by shokka9 - 9/13/10 at 11:49am
post #5 of 17

hey, im interested in this build, but I don't know how to work around the 2.5mm end either.  interested in how you did it, whether you just bought the terminating end or if you canibalized your existing cable?

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

@ stratowhammy

 

I just ground out the existing entry point in my Shure's ;) ; Not sure whether people wanna do that, but to be honest, its easier. Also, i dont like the idea of my cable being locked in, i would rather it release if put under some pressure.

 

Anyways, cable is complete, but i have cut the Nickel plated 2.5mm plug off, waiting for some gold ones........ Will look a lot nicer i think, together with the gold mylar.....

 

Finished my LOD cable too, just gotta fit the iPod Dock connector (do it during the week, no rush, i have NO amplifier, YET).

 

So i have amended and added to the first post. Together with some new pictures.

 

Enjoy, i have lots more pictures, but i think you all get the idea.

 

Cant wait to listen to it all when my amp turns up (only a FiiO E7, i'm new to all this so i wanna see if its worth investing in).

 

Take care

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Just sent message to forum admin, as for some bizarre reason, my images are not being shown. They look ok when i am editing my post, they are there, i can see them!!

 

But they dont show when i come out of edit mode.

 

You can see some photos here...post #15 CLICK ME

 

Shame, because my cable actually looks ok.

 

Take care, hopefully somebody will fix this and you will be able to see the finished product. I will update wih pictures of the gold plug too, and the headphone end too (a hole??)

 

Shokka9


Edited by shokka9 - 9/26/10 at 1:09pm
post #8 of 17

Very interesting, I too have the Shure SRH 840's and absolutely love them. Your re-cable looks fantastic, nice work! Does the re-cable provide any sort of improvement in performance, or is just an aesthetics thing? 

 

I'm also building an LOD, and just realized that since I have a 5th gen iPod nano, I'll be needing to add a resistor. Was the slim connector able to fit it? Cause I'm thinking of ordering the same one. I'm also wondering if you could let me know as to where you got the resistor. Could you provide a link?

 

Thanks

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well, to be honest, the cable adds a lot more clarity to my music. I am running it through a FiiO E7 at the moment.

 

But you can tell the difference when switching cables; to test i listen to a song a couple of times with one cable, then listen another couple of times with the different cable. There is a noticable difference.

 

Glad you like it.

 

After some time listening to my cables, i am very satisfied with the end result. So much so, that i am thinking of making a longer cable to replace the stock one, for listening at home. The stock one is VERY heavy and bulky.

 

Take care peoples.

 

LOD Connector

 

Going to update the posts above with some info...my first effort, with the slim connector, was no problem. But getting the wires out (for me) was difficult. I ended up snapping a pin. I could easily replace pin, the resistor fits no problem, see above.....i will post my screenies above (very soon).

 

In the end i used a bigger connector, its easier.

 

Ultimately, i want to make a sideways exit, very slim dock, with not much cable to play with, i feel they are the most tidy and most efficient. So that is next, when i get time.

 

I got my Resistor from Maplins (i live in UK).

 

Take care and thanks for taking a look.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Updated post 1 with couple new pics.

 

Updated post 2 with pics from LOD build.

 

Take care


Edited by shokka9 - 11/11/10 at 12:26pm
post #11 of 17

I am in the UK as well and have just done exatly the same thing as you, after extensive research on this forum - bought the 840's and a DAC/amp (quite possibly two actually, going to have a listen to the fiio e10 and compare with a Nuforce uDAC to see which I prefer). I love the look of the mod you've done and the increased portability and SQ would be welcome - but I have no experience soldering. If you're anywhere near London and have some time, would you be up for letting me try them out and possibly re-producing the mod (obviously I'd pay for parts and your time)? Sorry for the strange request - I'm just a big fan of improving good products to get as much out of them as possible.

post #12 of 17

any way to use the stock 2.5mm and just wire it to another cable?

post #13 of 17

id like to use a good quality audio cable. but keep the stock 2.5mm

post #14 of 17

Those gold cables look beaut. Wish I had that skill. Lets just say I tried once and I wont try again lol. Didn't ever realise before that my fingers shook slightly. Half way in...I knew alllll about it :(

 

Just wondering from the picks I have an almost identical setup with the smartphone -> Fiio -> AT's and with the same straight 3.5 jacks sticking out both ends. How do people carry this?? I take a briefcase to uni and put the taped together brick in that but I always feel like I'm shortening the units life when I take it out.

post #15 of 17

does anyone know where to get the 2.5 mm connector? it seems impossible to find it anywhere.

 

EDIT: solved another way, leaving this here in case anyone else needs to know this!


Edited by infinitesnow - 3/29/13 at 11:52am
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