So I finally ended up modding my AKG K518 DJ headphones (AKG K81) adding a detachable cable socket. I wanted the ability to use different cables depending on situation.
Thought I would document the process as I consulted so many sources on headfi to do this mod. Thanks to "cyberspyder" for the advice and pics of his own modded K81!
Hope this helps anyone wanting to mod their AKGs or any other headphone for that matter with a detachable cable! :)
Here is a mod I already had, the blue tack mod using white tak. I recommend this mod, I noticed a reduction in boomy bass and greater soundstage, didn't notice other changes as my ears aren't as finely tuned as others on this forum. :p
These are the Pallics I bought on ebay from China. I am in the UK. about £2 in total for 2 plugs. they look nice. I haven't got round to using these yet as I want to take my time to make some cables I really like. Just the detachable cable first! not even sure how to solder onto that tiny bit of metal, looks difficult.
These are the 3.5mm chassis sockets from ebay uk seller. 4 for around 2 pounds. The first ones I bought just happened to be the right size for the K518. The circular better quality ones would have been to big to fit in the cup. Bent the terminals to fit in the cup.
Cut a hole to match the threaded part of the socket. I placed the socket here and not the existing cable holes because the solder pad was in the way and I would have to cut away a lot of the plastic to make the chassis fit.
Snip the existing wires away on the left cup. This is the first time I have soldered anything so after watching several you tube videos and hearing horror stories about burning out drivers I decided to spend as little time as possible soldering onto the solder pad. So no de-soldering necessary!
Used Cat 5 solid core copper cable just because I had some at hand. Routed round the cup even though the solder pad was right next to the 3.5mm chassis just so I could leave more wire if anything went wrong or if I decide to change connections in the future, this way I don't have to touch the solder pad again.
For the right cup I didn't want to touch the solder pad on that side either so I just re routed the existing wire for that cup up to the top and route it round the headband. Saves effort and the existing wire looks nice enough.
Get the right length of headband wire from "right cup" and solder the wire into left cup terminals. I found enamel wiring really difficult to use - I burned with a lighter and wiped with tissue then twister wires, then tinned. Is this even the correct method?
Get the length of wire right. I am going for a sort of HD 25 look. Need to buy some head band pads which I will eventually use to hide the headband wire. Sello tape headband wire temporary.
Use a glue gun to keep all the wiring in place. Glue socket onto the cup. the true extent of my first time soldering skills can be seen here :p Maybe I will clean it all up someday.
Spend a bit of time here getting the external hole right for the 3.5mm chassis, make it look as neat as possible. Don't mess this up as this is the only external part of the headphone which is visibly modified! I think I done ok here. For the pre existing cable holes I used a 6mm Airsoft BB pellet which fits perfectly and looks not bad.
With the Pallics Plug installed. Finished!!!!
The irony is that after putting in so much effort to make it look aesthetically pleasing, it suddenly occurred to me that I have no decent cable to use so until I can be bothered to make a nice looking cable I have to use this ugly cable I found. :p
My soldering skills could be improved but I am quite happy everything worked first time. Working with enamel wiring is a real bitch. Wouldn't like to use that again! I think most people can do this mod as long as they are decent at soldering and they have common sense to determine wire lengths and cutting etc. Sounds the same but I expect that to change slightly when I use different cables.
If anyone has any comments on the mod or tips for what I could have done better I would appreciate it.
Hope this guide helps! If anyone has any questions then please feel free to ask.