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AKG K518 K81 detachable cable mod single entry. Guide + lots of pictures

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Hello!

 

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!

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/479688/a-pic-by-pic-akg-k81dj-k518-recable-thread

 

Hope this helps anyone wanting to mod their AKGs or any other headphone for that matter with a detachable cable! :)

 

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01_.jpg

 

PIctures 01.

 

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

 

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02_.jpg

Pictures 02.

 

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.

 

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140546525845

 

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03_.jpg

Picture 03.

 

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. 

 

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220340534546&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

 

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04_.jpg

Picture 04.

 

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.

 

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05_.jpg

Picture 05.

 

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!

 

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06_.jpg

Picture 06.

 

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.

 

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07_.jpg

Picture 07.

 

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. 

 

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08_.jpg

Picture 08.

 

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?

 

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09_.jpg

Picture 09.

 

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.

 

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10_.jpg

Picture 10.

 

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.

 

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11_.jpg

Picture 11.

 

12_.jpg

Picture 12.

 

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. 

 

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13_.jpg

Picture 13.

 

14_.jpg

Picture 14.

 

With the Pallics Plug installed. Finished!!!!

 

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15_.jpg

Picture 15. 

 

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

 

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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.

 

Supergolf

post #2 of 32

nice mod, will maybe have to try this one day.

 

also, touching the solder pad is fine, ive desoldered and resoldered a few times, no damage.


Edited by ostewart - 6/24/11 at 3:08am
post #3 of 32

looks good i was actually thinking about doing this with my senns

post #4 of 32

I'd like to see a grommet to dress up that hole.

 

You might have to enlarge the hole slightly but it would look more complete.

 

Theres the rigid black plastic snap in variety:

 

  http://cgi.ebay.com/3-16-ID-Black-ABS-Snap-Bushing-Grommet-20-Pack-/300525273229?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45f8b3c08dThese:

 

These:

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/PACK-100-TATTOO-Rubber-Grommets-Nipples-Supplies-NEW-/300570789704?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45fb6a4748

 

Theres also the metal eyelets intended for vinyl or leather but the thickness of the plastic might not permit the 2 parts to be snapped together.

 

 

post #5 of 32

Actually after looking at that jack location the Plasticote rubberized paint could be EXACTLY whats called for.

 

I've seen it in the Hmore Depot and Walmart for re-coating handles on tools like pliers and the sort.

post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 


thanks for the comments guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Assimilator702 View Post

I'd like to see a grommet to dress up that hole.

 

You might have to enlarge the hole slightly but it would look more complete.

 

Theres the rigid black plastic snap in variety:

 

Theres also the metal eyelets intended for vinyl or leather but the thickness of the plastic might not permit the 2 parts to be snapped together.

 

 


I am not sure if you are talking about the hole where I shoved in two white bb pellets or you think the hole with the 3.5mm jack should be fixed up.  For the old cable holes I am planning to just find some black bb pellets to keep the black look of the K518. 

 

I agree the 3.5mm chassis could be blended in better.  I was thinking about just spray painting it black.  If you mean use plasticote to spray paint the 3.5mm chassis then that would also work.  I don't think I can add any sort of grommet to the casing because of the profile.  would be quite difficult and I really don't want to do any more drilling on the cups as I feel it looks ok already. 

 

Thanks for your suggestions! 
 

 

 

 

post #7 of 32

Really nice mod. I'll try to do it with my K519.

 

As for the 3,5mm chassis: I found this one, which might blend in better with the cans

730294_RB_00_FB.EPS_1000.jpg  It's a cheap one from BKL Electronics (1€)...


Edited by PinkysBrain - 7/11/11 at 5:14pm
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by PinkysBrain View Post

Really nice mod. I'll try to do it with my K519.

 

As for the 3,5mm chassis: I found this one, which might blend in better with the cans

 

It's a cheap one from BKLElectronics (1€)...
 

The finish on that chassis looks better than mine, but remember you are trying to get a chassis with a long "front part".  The front part on mine is where the chassis is threaded.  You want this to be longer so that it extends far enough out of the cups to allow a 3.5mm plug to connect with it and not have the cup block the path.  

The front part of your one looks a bit short compared to mine and mine only just reached past the cup rim.

I know that wasn't the best use of the english language but its early and am still fuzzy thinking.  Good Luck.

post #9 of 32

I actually haven't bought it, yet. I wanted a chassis from Neutrik, but they only have some for 1/4" plugs. This was the first one I could find in Germany that seemed viable.

post #10 of 32

Hi! First post! :)

 

Im using my akg k518dj, or rather was using them as my "drunkphones" :). I have a pair of HD600 for indoor listening. I use the akgs riding my bike to and from parties etc and since I live in Sweden the cord has experienced alot of extreme temperature changes. Thats why they are not working anymore since the cord isnt connecting. I want to change the cable therefore just to fix them.

 

My question is HOW do I open up the casing? I dont want to start forcing on the plastic in case I will brake them. 

 

Thanks /David

post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 


Pull off earpads (no danger of damage)

 

Unscrew the three visible screws.

 

Case will then fall apart (no force required)

Quote:
Originally Posted by totte View Post

Hi! First post! :)

 

Im using my akg k518dj, or rather was using them as my "drunkphones" :). I have a pair of HD600 for indoor listening. I use the akgs riding my bike to and from parties etc and since I live in Sweden the cord has experienced alot of extreme temperature changes. Thats why they are not working anymore since the cord isnt connecting. I want to change the cable therefore just to fix them.

 

My question is HOW do I open up the casing? I dont want to start forcing on the plastic in case I will brake them. 

 

Thanks /David



 

post #12 of 32

Really nice pics and walkthroughs, I'll be doing this to my sr80i's soon!

post #13 of 32

Nice mod. Made me do some of my own:

 

 

IMG_0483.JPGIMG_0485.jpg

 

 

 

post #14 of 32

This thread inspired me too :)  I'm still thinking about what I'm going to do with the cable going from the right to the left, any ideas? I tried doing what the person above me did, but I just had no chance in getting it under the rubber part. I've ordered a headband pad replacement for the Sennheiser HD25, hoping that will work.

 

 

tSFdeh.jpg?1

 

 

KWibqh.jpg?1

 

 

Unfortunately I too have to use this ugly cable until I can make one myself. 

jHktYh.jpg?1

post #15 of 32

I bought a hot air gun and heat shrink tubes in various sizes today. I figured I could at least try to use a heat shrink tube on the headband, to conceal the wire. Don't really have any experience with it, so I had no idea what to expect, let's just say, I'm blown away at how good it ended up looking. The cable runs on the shortest side on the back. To get the heat shrink over the 2-way joint (knee/elbow-like one, if that makes sense) I had to completely disassemble it, ended up having to cut off some rubber to make it fit back on again.

 

 

muGN

muGt

muGA

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