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OPERATION : K-1000 w/pics

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Having been inspired to do this by posts from the past, last summer I took on a little side project on my K-1000's. I love to use my imagination, maybe beyond the accepted norm, hopefully for an added benefit of some kind.

My idea was to remove the stock electronics and recable the whole works of my beloved K-1000's. I couldn't decide on whether to use solid silver or copper magnet wire so I worked out a compromise, use both in parallel but discrete of each other, to dual terminations.

The first step was to take the K-1000's apart. By removing the two screws on the bottom of the ear speaker you can carefully expand the metal frame. It seems as if it would bend easily with one wrong move. Once that was placed aside, I realized the wire mesh had been glued on in varying degrees to the plastic casing.

The wire mesh seemed even more delicate now that the edges were exposed. Using a razor, I slowly and carefully cut through the glue to where I could hinge the mesh to one side, leaving the glue for the hinge. No need to go into the back mesh. Once inside you can see the binding posts where the PCB attaches. Great care was taken not to break the super delicate and extremely fine coil wire.

The PCB is soldered on to the posts in two locations. They need to be desoldered first. Remove the two screws next and the PCB can be carefully slipped out with cable attached being extremely cautious of the coil wires.

Red dots show where PCB is soldered to posts, blue dotted line shows how posts run under the plastic.



I then snaked my wires through the stock rubber grommet/bushing and soldered directly to the binding posts where the PCB was previously soldered. Putting that side back together was fairly easy until the frame. That took a bit of wrangling and patience. Repeat on other side.

After cosmetically finishing the cable, I terminated the copper magnet wire to one 4-pin XLR and the silver to another, leaving a foot or so to a "Y" where the cable runs in the same sleeve to the "Y" nearest the headphones.

I couldn't wait to hear them without the PCB and my choice of either silver or copper cable.

That led to the next step. After crafting a hardwood box and drilling a series of holes, I was ready for the next phase. I wired in three panel mount 4-pin XLR's to a set of bananas to connect to my amps mains.

One XLR is silver wired, one copper and one to the stock PCB which in turn used the original cable in parallel with the others to the bananas. That gives me twelve different hook up options!



First impressions have dimmed slightly in memory but I noticed a distinct difference right away. I thought these cans sounded good before, this was like getting them new all over again.

I was most eager to hear them without the PCB in the signal. They seemed even more dynamically musical and involving than ever. It was like I cleaned away some midrange mud. I couldn't believe that PCB was even put in there by AKG, what's the deal here AKG? Later, I could tell why.

There is a certain note that if played continously, can shimmer on your nerves. Rare enough I found that it was insignificent to me. But that was fine, I still had the option of using the PCB too. I found that using it with the copper and the silver in either of the other jacks was all good.

I'll have to say that I really noticed the biggest improvement in piano related music or anything else that had been previously masked by the PCB. It now sounded fuller, natural, real, musical, involving and more amazing than stock ever was.

I was hoping the PCB had some sort of bass attenuating but found that bass improvement was mainly due to improved cabling.

Testing the PCB, I found that it produced 13 ohms of resistance and the cones themselves were 120 ohms. I assume that like mine, if tested, all K-1000's will show 133 ohms or so. A slight gain in volume can be experienced when the PCB is not in line.

Since it is easy to A/B the 12 different combinations, a definitive difference can be heard and appreciated.

Maybe this will inspire someone else to take the leap, use patience and caution... too expensive to trash!

Was it all worth it? Most definitely, I would even go out on a thick limb and say these may be the best sounding and most versatile K-1000's around, (amp of taste). Anyone doing a recable on these I would recommend taking out the PCB but still have the option to use it in line...

Note: Upgrade is not being offered for sale.

...Larry



Edit: Renewed pics
post #2 of 17
Impressive. Thanks for the fascinating post.
post #3 of 17
Excellent job!

I don't know about adding an external box, though. Although, this headphone is not exactly for portable use.

Now replace those metal grills with something more acoustically transparent.

-Ed
post #4 of 17
Any idea as to what was the original purpose of the PCB?

Sorry for being dense, but are you saying you got all this improvement just by getting the PCB out of the chain? Or due to new wiring?
post #5 of 17
I read somewhere here there was some weird frequency response or something that needed attenuation. The PCB was supposed to correct for that. I'll go searching for that thread later.

Xanadu777, you've got ballz! Do you have any more pics like behind the box?
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Number9
Any idea as to what was the original purpose of the PCB?
...are you saying you got all this improvement just by getting the PCB out of the chain? Or due to new wiring?
From what I understand, the shape of each individuals ear creates a slightly different surface that created a standing wave (corrections?) at a predictable frequency. The PCB attenuates to compensate, at around 1-2khz (corrections?) basically stealing what was originally there. Obviously different earshapes would give different results.

Improvement is a combination of both, depending on which jack is chosen.

Behind the box, as in where the cable to amp mains comes out? Nothing but cable coming out there...
post #7 of 17
Aw, so its some kind of a notch filter.

Are there resistors or caps on the PCB? Hard to tell from the photo.
post #8 of 17
Larry,
So which do you like better, silver or copper magnet? I have asked the same question in a different thread about possibly recabling my SR-325s. Using your silver interconnects and amp adaptors I have had phenomenal improvements in the overall sound in my SR-325s. I am now only missing the last link in the chain. Have you tried recabling your 225s? Is the noise floor problem with Sharp amp still there with the K1000s?
Cheers.

Go Team Headphile Rules!!!
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 


Depends on my mood/source on which of the 12 combos I use, choices, choices, what a headache, NOT! I've setup my 225's basically the same way, though terminated to twin 1/4's. Sharp amp is extremely dynamic with K's, no prob's with noise at all. Same as with most know that have Senn's, recabling cans is all that and more...
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Xanadu777


Depends on my mood/source on which of the 12 combos I use, choices, choices, what a headache, NOT! I've setup my 225's basically the same way, though terminated to twin 1/4's. Sharp amp is extremely dynamic with K's, no prob's with noise at all. Same as with most know that have Senn's, recabling cans is all that and more...
Poor, Poor Larry. All those choices to make. I guess I should count myself as lucky. I'm just a silver guy all the way. Heigh Ho, Silver!
post #11 of 17
I wish I were that skilled. As it stands, I'm afraid to do *anything* to my system. I need to start learning this stuff
post #12 of 17
Xanadu777,

Way to go, Brother!

I also was thinking along the same lines, either having a silver wire return with a magnetic wire hot signal line, or having a magnetic wire and a silver wire soldered together as one wire / cable per signal wire.

I am most interested in your listening impressions regarding magnetic vs silver vs magnetic and silver.

I wonder if that coil uses magnetic wire, and if higher quality capacitors can be swapeed in for those capacitors. I wonder if AKG will give you the values necessary if you ask.

When can we expect a full music review?
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
wallijonn, I'd like to thank you for the one who most inspired me to take this on in the first place, mostly from posts you'd piped in on a year or so ago about wire and K1000's which led me down all kinds of other avenues through continued research.

Another special thanks to Auerbach (sp) for his original pics of the insides of K1's. With this post I was mainly passing on to others some tips and inspiration to take something like this on, as was done for me.

I would think the coil is magnet wire, though I haven't checked. A better PCB could be built, but not really interested in that since I rarely use that jack. Generally I use silver and copper together, seems to sound "right" to me. Copper by itself is not as dynamic.

I wish I would have had the time to write a review when I first did this, I was so used to the stock sound I could really hear a distinct difference. Keep in mind now when I do use the PCB, it's through copper magnet or silver from the box to phones, the stock cable goes back to the amp mains, in line with the PCB. I do still notice a volume drop when the PCB jack is used, assume it's the extra 13 ohms resistance of the circuit.
post #14 of 17
if this helps, I remember Nate from zu cable saying that when they were designing the replacement cable for the k271 studio he just sent an email to AKG and they were very helpfull with any information he they needed
post #15 of 17
Originally posted by Xanadu777
Quote:
the stock cable goes back to the amp mains, in line with the PCB.
I take it that when you say "stock cable" you mean the cable that was connected to the headset and not the extension cable. If you are using the extension cable then I strongly suggest at least using real OFC wire and not the crap that ships with the K1000.

What guage wires are you using inside the box, or as the silver/magnetic oxide coated copper? I would think that about 10 strands of 30 guage for either would make a nice cable. Then of course I wonder what you used to sheath the wires. Did you get the parts from Merketec?

I would think that some really high grade audio caps, or at least polysterene caps should open up the sound.

And I just have to ask why you didn't use another 4 pin XLR at the lone cable end (the cable is held down by a tie wrap)?
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