I've been trying to mod the DJ100 for months and was so impressed with my latest results that I just had to post it in it's own thread. The mids are now more forward and it feels as if the clarity has been improved slightly. The mids are not as fatiguing as these were in previous mods. Even the bass feels a bit better, but not in quantity. For me these have the best mids on any headphone under $200 that's closed. Female vocals are just amazing on these. Fans of asian pop music will love them. You've just got to try Utada Hikaru's Japanese music on these. It's my favorite headphone I've ever owned and it's only $80! There's some things I prefer an open headphone for. I want an open headphone with this driver!
For those that don't know, this headphone has a fun signature, but one that still feels fairly balanced. It reminds me of my Sextett LP, but with more detail, more bass, more forward mids and a bit better clarity. I can't think of many headphones that sound similar to the DJ100. On paper the HD-598 might be, but not when you listen to them. The HD-598 is a favorite though and I use it mostly for gaming. DJ100 has a more aggressive sound signature I think.
Since the DJ100 is so under-appreciated, I doubt this thread will be of interest to many, but that's OK! BTW these sound great (when amped) but even better with the mods. These headphones I've found very unforgiving of poor quality files and badly recorded music. Previously I'd try and put the blame on the headphone but it's the actual recording. I still can't get over how bad some classical music albums sound. I have some piano music that sounds like it's recorded in a cave.
Here are the first mods I've tried, but were not good enough for me:
(feel free to skip this section if you want!)
1) Covering the entire round center and outside ledges with blu-tack.
RESULT: More forward mids and better quality bass, but not in quantity. I didn't want that. I used this mod for a month and it was fine. Eventually I felt the mids were too forward, but I absolutely loved the resulting bass. At first I thought the soundstage was improved, but it really wasn't. Something had me fooled! I only noticed this after removing the blue-tack from ONLY the ledges. I think too much blu-tack on the ledges caused the mids too be too forward and negatively affect the soundstage, however that's possible.
2) Added Akasa Foam to the center and sides.
RESULT: Minor improvements in sound. Not worth it.
3) Added Akasa Foam to the round center and Blu-Tack to the outer ledges.
RESULT: Mids far too forward and fatiguing after an hour or so. Even more so than mod 1. The most forward mids out of any headphone I own. I don't really want them THIS forward. The bass wasn't as good as mod 1.
FINAL AND BEST MOD
Just a few warnings first:
Take extreme care with opening and closing the shell. The internal wires are super thin. Be 100% sure not to accidentally close it and cut the wires.
Do all mods with the cups completely flat or you will pull out the wires!
Be sure that the screws don't fall into the exposed driver. I did this and thought I killed my driver, but it was a wire that got cut. Luckily I could fix it easily.
All of these mods sounded best to my ears with the Sony MDR-V6 pads which have thin foam on them. Your results with other pads may vary.
Now the mod..
First apply Blu-tack to the outer ledges. Make it paper thin. This is extremely important! Too much and it will screw up the mids and make them too forward. When it's there, press down with your thumb as hard as you can. You can bend the Blu-tack around the inner edges if needed. Don't put any blu-tack on the outer edges or the cup is hard to close.
Take a small Phillips screwsdriver and with it's edge make lots of indentations on the Blu-Tack so that it's not flat. I don't know what this does, but it can't hurt.
Next take a square piece of foam and place it in the center. Make sure it covers the whole area. I used the type found in the Auto section of any Wal-Mart that's used to apply wax to a car. It's the perfect size and thin. It only costs $1.50. If you use a different material make sure it doesn't touch the back of the driver.
Here's some pictures:
Here you can see the "ledges". Ignore that Akasa foam. That's from a previous mod that didn't turn out.
I made a complete mess out of my poor DJ100's guts. Oh well. This is the final result. Don't be dumb like me and try cheap modeling clay. Oops.
The Blu-tack is actually thinner than it looks.
Here is what I used. $1.50 in the Auto section of any Wal-Mart. It's the perfect size.
An old picture I took months ago of the DJ100 folded and before I beat it up with mods. I love the simple design.
BTW did you know that it's headband fits the Grado SR-80? My old DJ100 headband is used on my SR-80
You just need to make the SR-80 holes larger.
EDIT: Today I tried swapping out the foam with a super thin piece of Blu-tack for the inner circle. It INCREASED the bass and there was even a very slight mid-bass boost. The biggest different is that somehow it increased the level of detail, but muddied up the sound. How the heck does that happen?! The mids were at least not too fatiguing. The results were not really good and this ruined the sound clarity. I added back the foam and the mids were just so much better and more clear. So the final mod in my original post works best.
Edited by tdockweiler - 9/2/11 at 10:17pm