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How to make M50's mid less recessed & increase soundstage (56k)

Poll Results: Did the mod make the mids less recessed?

 
  • 43% (7)
    Yes
  • 56% (9)
    No
16 Total Votes  
post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 

Edit: Apparently I had a defective M50 that had very recessed mids. This mod does not apply anymore. 

The M50's recessed mids always annoyed me because most of my cans have decent to smooth midranges. The M50's mid just didn't do it for me. 

 

Here's a way to make it less recessed.

 

1. Take earpads off M50.

img0790g.jpg

 

2. Peel back the pleather.

img0791pk.jpg

 

3. After peeling back the pleather, the layer of  foam is exposed. Peel the foam off. Warning: If you peel it fast, the foam will rip (in case you want to reverse this mod). I've already peeled it off before, I'm only putting the foam back for demonstration. 

 

img0792vr.jpg

 

4. Peel pleather back.

 

img0793bi.jpg

 

5. Done.

 

img0794v.jpg

 

 

 

Here's a comparison picture, notice the vast difference in opacity.

img0796fd.jpg

img0797xw.jpg

 

To my ears, the mids improve, not radically, but noticeable. I've noticed it mainly from 600Hz - 3000 Hz. The highs also improve IMO. They also make the M50 more comfortable as the pads don't touch the ears as much. If you want to compare, peel off one pad and leave on the other.

 

 

Another mod is to take apart the M50 and remove the acoustic foam blocking the back of the drivers.

 

1. Take off earpads and screws.

IMG_0798.JPG

 

2. Flip the cover, BE CAREFUL WITH THE WIRE. If you pull or let them swivel too much, they will break off from the solder. Loose the three screws on the back of the driver. 

IMG_0799.JPG

 

3. Flip the cover and you will see a white acoustic foam disk inside the plastic enclosure. 

IMG_0800.JPG

 

4. Take the foam out. 

IMG_0801.JPG

 

5. Here you can do one or another:

  A. Cut the foam as shown in the picture, then take out the foam.

  B. Use a soldering gun to take off the wires, and then take out the foam. Solder the wires back on.

IMG_0804.JPG

 

6. Screw on the plastic enclosure and you're done.

IMG_0805.JPG

 

According to my ears, this mod mainly improve the soundstage, timbre of instruments, and the mids . This mod might also increase the amount of bass(well, I did hear more bass, like 5% more). Another thing you can do is to take out the black foam in the middle of the driver. I haven't deeply analyze the change of sound by taking out that little foam piece.

 

With all these mods, it makes the M50 sound more fun IMO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by FearSC549 - 7/16/11 at 5:17am
post #2 of 58

Another way, one that I use that isn't permanent.

 

Warning: large-ish quote (Click to show)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robjrock View Post

Hi y'all,
I've posted a bit here and there about some experimenting I've been doing with my M50s. They're great cans at $99 (ebay) but I don't think anyone can deny, they are a little heavy on the bass and a recessed in the mids.

So basically, I slipped off the pads, had a poke around, tried a few different things & this is what I've come up with:

I tentatively call it the 'M50 Balance Mod'

This mod is fully reversible.



Start by removing the pleather pads. They are pretty easily removed, but I guess the one risk here is you might stretch the pads a little. Its hard to say whether thats happened to mine, I don't think so, but unless I had a stock pair to compare it to, its difficult to be sure.

Anyway, just hook a finger inside the pleather bit and 'scoop' it out. I usually work from the top, narrow part.



So this is what you'll see. Those little holes around the driver? Well, to cut down the bass a little and bring the mids forward, all we do is cover a few of those holes with a little masking tape. The more you cover, the less bass you'll have.

This is the combination I liked best.



I'd say it has about 5% less bass and 10% more mids (vocals really)

Don't worry about damaging the plastic, the masking tape seemed to leave no residue I could see.

And thats it! Pop the pads back on and enjoy!

***

BTW, I did a little experimenting with adding extra dampening material behind the driver (see pic below) but I didn't really like the sound too much, I thought the bass wasn't hitting as low. I'm guessing the Audio Technica engineers got the volume of the earcup perfect, they just ported too much bass in through the small holes.

 

 

post #3 of 58

Wait so there's a layer of cloth that's adhered to the foam which is retained when you rip out the foam? How easily does that cloth rip?

 

Edit: subbing to this thread to see if anyone else daring this mod churn out satisfied.


Edited by jerg - 4/28/11 at 8:05pm
post #4 of 58

I'm guessing it isn't easy to rip off but it isn't hard either because it looks glued. So Its moderately attached, and if you give it a 5-10Lbs pull then it may start ripping. Probably like pulling off Duck tape or a little weaker is my guess.

Anyways, if you take it off, you can always glue it back on if you don't mess anything up as your detaching it.

 


Edited by eriktheg - 4/28/11 at 8:17pm
post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by eriktheg View Post

I'm guessing it isn't easy to rip off but it isn't hard either because it looks glued. So Its moderately attached, and if you give it a 5-10Lbs pull then it may start ripping. Probably like pulling off Duck tape or a little weaker is my guess.

Anyways, if you take it off, you can always glue it back on if you don't mess anything up as your detaching it.

 



Will you try it? :p

post #6 of 58

No because I don't think the mids are receded enough to even bother(at least to my ear, the mids are barely receded). And either way, I have an equalizer to try to fix things up even if it isn't always the best solution. But the reason I know how hard it is to pull off is because of the fabric that it it is bonded too and how deep the glue seeped into it just by looking at the picture. =]


Edited by eriktheg - 4/28/11 at 8:34pm
post #7 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eriktheg View Post

No because I don't think the mids are receded enough to even bother(at least to my ear, the mids are barely receded). And either way, I have an equalizer to try to fix things up even if it isn't always the best solution.



If you don't think they're recessed, then you must've not heard other headphones before. 

post #8 of 58

Well 70% of the headphones out there make me think that the mids are forward soooooooooo, maybe my eardrum is just sensitive to the mid range? Oh yeah, also to note that my left ear is hard of hearing since I was a child. So my ears are probably different from most in this forums, but I have my opinions =]


Edited by eriktheg - 4/28/11 at 8:36pm
post #9 of 58

Also could be due to amping. I bet there is an amp out there that brings forward the mids slightly. This could explain why some people don't feel they have recessed mids..or they have different hearing.

 

With my D2000 and my Asgard the mids didn't sound even sound remotely recessed, but everyone said they are.

 

My M50 did have recessed mids. Not that big of a deal, but enough for me not to love the headphone. I prefer slightly forward sounding mids.

 

When I was new to headphone and only had a few, sometimes it's hard to tell when they have recessed mids. For example, the first time I had the AD700 I had no clue the mids were slightly recessed.

post #10 of 58

Thats a good point you made because they are plugged into my titanium HD sound card most of the time which favores the mids with the stock op-amps which are actually really good.


 

post #11 of 58

This mod makes me fear the potential for Ultrasone treble.  

post #12 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

This mod makes me fear the potential for Ultrasone treble.  



IMO, the treble is not piercing sharp after the mod.

post #13 of 58
Thread Starter 

Added another mod. I've seen people talked about this mod on the forum somewhere before.

post #14 of 58

Removing the foam actually improves the mids? That's strange because on my DT-235 (closed), covering some of the holes on the back of the driver actually made the mids MORE forward.

 

On my DT-235 I put blu-tack in the shell and covered 2 "vent" holes. This actually reduced the bass and brought the mids forward. They DT-235 now has really nice mids.

 

Maybe someone can try that with the M50 to see what it does. Remember, this is on the back of the driver under that foam. You can use masking tape since air doesn't flow very well through the masking tape. I thought it did!

 

I bet my new amp (Headroom Micro) will really bring out it's mids. Maybe not. It sure did for my HD-650.

 

It'd be nice to try the newer M50. I've always heard the bass isn't as bloated as the older pair I had. Modding can really transform a headphone. it sure did for my DT-235 and more so than modding my SR-80!

 

Now I just need to mod the AD700 to bring forward the mids. On an open headphone that might be a challenge!

 

BTW now you should mod your DJ100 k701smile.gif It's a bit more risky though and kind of a pain. Adding blu-tack really helps, but too much can alter it's signature too much. Add too much and it'll have the most forward sounding mids you'll have ever heard...and NOT in a good way! I'm talking about painfully fatiguing...from the mids! I use a thin layer and it really makes them sound good.

 

I just put a giant snake cable on mine, but I need to change it to a smaller one since it's so annoying. I stole the Canare cable from my Sextett!

post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

This mod makes me fear the potential for Ultrasone treble.  



X2.  Removing the foam will give you more treble and the M50 already has a bit too much treble IMO.  I am curious to mess with the damping though, I've never played with it much. 

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