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Koss Pro DJ 100 - The Budget King - Page 5

post #61 of 2238

I have been using them intensively the last month while modifying the Fostex T50RP and have passed the 100 hours listening barrier with these headphones without noticing any changes in the sound. The only change was when I changed to the M50 pads, which make a terrific job with these headphones, both in sound quality and comfort. I didn't experience any change either when I reterminated them with a much higher quality plug from HICON. So that means that I am still an atheist of that burn in process/procedure, that seems like some kind of voodoo for me. 

 

For a merely 1,4m long cable I'm not going to spend twice (or more) the price of the headphones in a 99,9999% silver wire. If we were talking about 3 kilometers of cable, maybe I would consider changing it. The only bad thing about the stock cable is that is a total pain to peel off the thick silicone covering, but it accepts well the tin solder once is peeled.

 

I really love these headphones as high quality and supercomfortable portables. Also I like the style of them, with the aluminium parts and the shiny black housing with the engraved silver letters.


Edited by SLaRe - 10/17/11 at 12:10pm
post #62 of 2238
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLaRe View Post

I have been using them intensively the last month while modifying the Fostex T50RP and have passed the 100 hours listening barrier with these headphones without noticing any changes in the sound. The only change was when I changed to the M50 pads, which make a terrific job with these headphones, both in sound quality and comfort. I didn't experience any change either when I reterminated them with a much higher quality plug from HICON. So that means that I am still an atheist of that burn in process/procedure, that seems like some kind of voodoo for me. 

 

For a merely 1,4m long cable I'm not going to spend twice (or more) the price of the headphones in a 99,9999% silver wire. If we were talking about 3 kilometers of cable, maybe I would consider changing it. The only bad thing about the stock cable is that is a total pain to peel off the thick silicone covering, but it accepts well the tin solder once is peeled.

 

I really love these headphones as high quality and supercomfortable portables. Also I like the style of them, with the aluminium parts and the shiny black housing with the engraved silver letters.



Yeah most pairs should sound good out of the box and not require ANY burn-in. I haven't been that lucky so I always suggest it anyway just to be safe. I mean seriously, putting them inside a drawer while playing music is not too hard for me to do while I'm sleeping.

 

One weird thing I noticed is that the Beyer Dynamic DJX-1 seemed to have the same symptoms of new out of the box DJ100 when I first listened to it. Very strange.

 

DJ100 is still my most used headphone by far. Stays on my head about 90% of the time now. HD-598 and K501 rarely get used much anymore. The sound of those are a bit more smooth, so it really depends on what I'm listening to. DJ100 seems to do well enough for me with all genres.

 

For most people there is no point to recable the DJ100 unless you want to risk it. Silver wire may be a very poor match for the DJ100. I drilled two holes in mine and use Mogami wire that costs $1.50 per foot. Totally worth it for me. Retains the same signature, but just improves the sound clarity and detail mostly. Second best I've tried was the Belden 1192A but it seemed to make them a bit more fatiguing. The wire was too thick anyway. To make a Mogami cable it would cost me about $10-$15. Just need to buy the plug, some heat shrink tubing and wire. Obviously recabling a DJ100 voids the warranty and you lose the stereo/mono switch and it's made to be dual entry. Stock cable is perfectly fine though.

 

Interesting that the DJ100's in Europe have silver letters. In the USA it's letters that are just black. I love the simple design of these and have no complaints about the looks of them other than the stock pads. What Koss really needs to do is offer ROUND memory foam pads for them! Probably not likely to happen, but who knows. It'd sure be nice. The DJ100 stock pads are actually comfortable compared to the horrible pads on the DJX-1.

 

I tried some super thin foam (found in the crafts section) to mod the cup, but somehow it made the mids a bit too forward. No idea how, but I guess I need to try Dynamat next. I found a cheap alternative at Home Depot that only cost $16. Most mods I've done changed the stock sound too much. I sure wish I knew why. Every tiny thing did and it's confusing me.

post #63 of 2238

Finally got my M50 pads for my DJ100s today.  I am extremely impressed.  For what I paid for these, they are amazing.  I have been comparing these with my HTF600s, my KNS8400s and my T50RPs (unmodded) and the DJ100s are pulling ahead of the pack.  Initially when I listened to these with the stock pads, I was just meh about them.  I thought my KNS8400s bested them.  Well, after the M50 pads, the DJ100s make the 8400s seem a bit thin in comparison.  I have modded my HTF600s and I don't think they can compare to the DJ100s right now, but I still am tweaking them.  As for the T50RPs, well they are stock right now.  So, they are very much in your face with the mids, rolled off highs and some bass.  After modding I will compare them.  So, we'll see.

 

I really like the way the DJ100s can give me deep, rocking bass while still delivering excellent detail in the mids and highs.  Man, these are great all-around.  The DJ100s aren't as comfortable as my 8400s but the M50 pads really help with the comfort level.  Although, I have a large head and I would have really liked a few more notches on the headband adjustment, but that is a minor quibble.  

 

I am really enjoying trying out all of these budget-friendly headphones.  The DJ100s has shown me that I don't need to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get great sound.  I am so glad to see such quality products at this price range.  It has changed my entire perspective when it comes to headphones. 

post #64 of 2238
Thread Starter 

Today I removed the foam I had installed because it didn't change anything really. Just made the mids a tiny bit more forward, which I didn't need or want. It's that 89 cent stuff in the craft store. Pretty worthless IMO.

 

Instead I use some Dynamat. Cut out a circle and pressed it down hard in place. I did not put any around the "ledges" of the DJ100's shell. In the past, adding anything to them could hurt the sound.

The circle is directly behind the driver and very thin. I actually did not use Dynamat but a $16 generic version called Quick Roof. It's found at Home Depot in the roofing section. It needs to be extremely thin material. I pressed it down flat as hard as I could. I have not used any on the back of the driver yet. When I added anything to the back of the driver it degraded the sound. No idea why. I had used felt and Blu-tak before.

 

I was actually surprised at how much different the sound was. Signature was basically the same, but improved. Seemed like the sound clarity shot through the roof. I'm going to be sure to listen to see for a good week and compare them with my other pairs to try to pick out the exact changes. Why would just adding this tiny bit of material make them sound so much more clear? Not sure how this is or if it's my imagination. I'll give it a week to be sure. Wasn't really a subtle change to my ears, but signature is basically the same. Bass seemed to be a bit better, but I need to do further testing.

 

Noticed a little extra detail and a tiny bit more treble. There is this song I was listening to and at first I thought it was adding too much extra treble, but now I don't think so. I switched to two other headphones and the treble was just as fatiguing. Same exact experience with the DT-770 Pro. The song is just mastered poorly and it sounds bad on most headphones. I was also listening to the song called "Lasidan" on a Ry Cooder CD and there is now this strange vibration sound at the start that's extremely hard to hear. Never heard it before. It's not the headphone. I don't even know what it is, but it's definitely there. What's funny about this track is that there is a bunch of metallic sounds at the start that disappear on dark headphones. On HD-650 they're almost impossible to hear. That's also a good album (called "Talking Timbuktu") that's good for checking the clearness of the sound. Too much bass and specific tracks sounds less clear or almost congested. That CD is very impressive on my old ATH-AD2000 and I've never heard it the same way since. Not even a huge fan of that type of music. Love acoustic music on the DJ100.

 

It seems like specific songs that are very bright, harsh and fatiguing are now made even more so. Not sure why this is or how. I'm guessing it's just more accurate to how bad the recording really is. Not sure. I do also now have a Mogami cable attached, which makes it even "worse". It doesn't make any of my normal tracks worse. Just the bad ones that are normally a problem. On the DJ100, some tracks that are harsh and fatiguing are normally made somewhat bearable with stock configuration.

 

I wonder what that material is doing to cause all this? I need to look into this. That tiny piece of Dynamat really seems to help, but if it stays on for more than a week, so I'll know for sure. I've listened to the DJ100 so much that it's stupid easy to now tell when somethings not right or "off".

 

Soundstage of the DJ100 with M50 cables and a recable really impresses me. I should compared the soundstage with the DT-770 Pro and KRK KNS-6400. DT-770 Pro's soundstage is pretty good for being closed. It has a lot to do with the pads though I think.


Edited by tdockweiler - 10/17/11 at 8:11pm
post #65 of 2238

I wonder if a dampening scheme (plasticine + paxmate), similar like the one that is done in the Fostex T50RP would benefit the DJ100.

post #66 of 2238
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLaRe View Post

I wonder if a dampening scheme (plasticine + paxmate), similar like the one that is done in the Fostex T50RP would benefit the DJ100.



It does, but it's very very tricky to get it right. Too much dampening material and the mids are so forward that it will give you headaches. I'm talking about the most forward mids you've ever heard in your life and not in a good way.

 

One time I over-loaded up the cup with Blu-Tak and that was the result I got. It seems like perhaps the less air inside the cup the more forward the mids are. The key is to make the dampening material ultra (paper) thin. Every tiny thing you do in the cup changes the sound. The worst result I got was when I put blu-tak on the back of the driver. Killed the sound.

 

The last thing I tried was adding a super thin layer of blu-tak to the inside ledges of the cup and then a thin piece of foam directly behind the driver. The results were good but changed the sound too much due to all the material being too thick.

 

Here's my old thread with various experiments:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/547488/koss-pro-dj-100-midrange-monster-mod

 

I even tried Akasa Paxmate but it did absolutely nothing from what I remember. I know this makes no sense. The Blu-Tak actually made more of a difference, but it's easy to make it too thick.

 

The area that made the biggest difference in the sound was the circle directly behind the driver. If the dampening material is too thick it negatively effects the sound. Not sure why. At one point I believed that ANY material behind it is a big no-no, but now this Dynamat has proven me wrong. This stuff is thin enough to not ruin the sound.

 

Later I may add some to the "ledges" of the DJ100. This may be my imagination, but it seemed to negatively effect the soundstage. How this is I don't have a clue. Behind those ledges there are those paper fabric covered holes. If you open those up you kill the sound completely. Weird huh? Reduces the bass and makes them extremely fatiguing.

 

I'll experiment more tonight and see if adding even more Dynamat helps. I think placing a circle of it directly behind the driver is enough and it's super easy to do.

 

post #67 of 2238

I can second that mogami cables can mke a headphone sound too brght. I've had good luck using sennheiser cables to 'warm' up a headphones sound

post #68 of 2238

Really? I found Mogami to be a smoother and warmer cable but still quite neutral on everything I have tried. I have not once heard it make anything brighter. Now with Sennheiser cables I noticed that they induce excess amount of distortion. The highs on stock Sennheiser cables can seem harsh to my ears. Just me though.
 

I've always found that Mogami and Canare to offer the best options for budget recables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ourfpshero View Post

I can second that mogami cables can mke a headphone sound too brght. I've had good luck using sennheiser cables to 'warm' up a headphones sound

 

post #69 of 2238
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like Mogami was making the DJ100 too bright. I'll have to check my wording  regular_smile%20.gif I think I may have gotten this as an early impression after going from a stock cable or attaching an HD-650 cable to it.

Going from stock HD-598 cable to Mogami and you could definitely say this, but it's not the cables fault really, but was a limitation of the stock cable perhaps? Who knows. Belden 1192A is definitely kind of bright to me and maybe it's just due to the thicker cable. I have no clue. Based on memory I think what the Mogami did was make brightly recorded and harsh tracks just as they should sound without taming them. On good tracks it doesn't make them suddenly sound too bright or fatiguing IMO. Perhaps just makes songs more revealing to how they really are. A lot of my Jpop music is very brightly mastered and gives my ears a fit on most headphones. I usually try to weed out those tracks.

 

Basically I think the Mogami to my ears is fairly neutral. I don't even find it all that warm like the Canare is. I myself HATE Canare, but it's good for specific headphones. I don't find it neutral, but some do. On my DJ100 it seemed to add in too much mid-bass. However that is.

 

It's funny to hear how a headphone changes when you attach an HD-650 cable to it! HD-650 on the HD-598 is quite nice if you want to keep it's stock smooth signature.

 

I really need to find more bulk cheap wire that's very neutral and good. There's a lot more out there than just Mogami and Canare. Gotham is another I've been looking into.

 

I need to do more experiments with Belden 1192A. That's another favorite wire, but I don't think it's neutral. They have a thinner version called 1172A but I haven't found a supplier for it. 1192A is really too thick for smaller headphones.

It's best for those that want a ton of detail and a larger soundstage.

post #70 of 2238
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

I was actually surprised at how much different the sound was. Signature was basically the same, but improved. Seemed like the sound clarity shot through the roof. I'm going to be sure to listen to see for a good week and compare them with my other pairs to try to pick out the exact changes. Why would just adding this tiny bit of material make them sound so much more clear? Not sure how this is or if it's my imagination. I'll give it a week to be sure. Wasn't really a subtle change to my ears, but signature is basically the same. Bass seemed to be a bit better, but I need to do further testing.

 

Maybe it brought out some lower mids or something? With the M50 pads the upper mids can kind of dominate.

 

post #71 of 2238
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 200poundsofamp View Post

 

Maybe it brought out some lower mids or something? With the M50 pads the upper mids can kind of dominate.

 



Could be, but I need to do more testing. I just bought and sold the DT-990 Pro and DT-770 Pro 80 within a week, so I haven't used my DJ100 much since the mod. SOMEHOW I actually prefer the DT-770 Pro 80 to the DT-990. DT-990 is more detailed and clear though with a better soundstage. I think the DT-770 Pro 80 is the first true basshead headphone I actually liked without an EQ. Not enough to keep it. If you want to drive yourself crazy, compare both of those headphones for hours. So annoying trying to pinpoint all the differences. DT-990 is technically better of course, or so they say. I like the DT-880, but it doesn't play well with my head due to the shallow cups. I should have done the pad mod when I had them. Duh!

 

Like the DT-770 Pro 80, if you over-amp the DJ100, there is a lot more bass than what's normal and it's sound is less clear. If I crank the high gain on my Micro Amp with the DJ100, there's a bit too much bass. I actually prefer the DJ100 with portable amps. I just bought the Fiio E7 for testing purposes to see if it's really a neutral DAC. I sure hope so. The DJ100 seems to do just fine with my E9, but as long as it's in the low gain setting. I never realized it before, but my docked Ipod Touch 2G adds in a bunch of extra bass to the DJ100. I thought the Ipod Touch was neutral, but maybe my dock is dying and screwing with the sound. I haven't used my Ipod Touch in 2 months. E7 should be a good match for the E9. At least I've found out that the DT-770 Pro is one of the most comfortable headphones there is. The cups are a lot deeper than those of the DT-880 and DT-990. Maybe even more comfortable than the HD-598!

 

It's funny to think that today I used my K501 again for the first time in maybe a month! I don't know why I don't use that more often. It's soundstage is almost speaker-like. It's just so huge. I kind of now wish I did attach an HD-650 cable to my HD-598. It was better with Mogami, but less smooth sounding. The HD-598 is annoying to recable due to it's really smaller soldering area. I'm surprised I haven't killed it yet.

 

After listening to all these Beyer dynamic headphones all night, I've been craving the HD-600 lately normal_smile%20.gif Too bad it's still $300. More people need to try a recabled HD-598. It's quite impressive compared to the stock cable.

post #72 of 2238
Thread Starter 

Tonight I experimented more with putting some old DJ100 drivers into an XB500 enclosure. Sure it sounds stupid, but I didn't use my open DJ100 in the HD-497 shell much. On the first day I found it painfully fatiguing due to it being kind of harsh with some songs. It turns out that my recable made the headphone even MORE unforgiving of poor source files that are super bright recordings or poorly mastered. Stock DJ100 these are somewhat bearable on the DJ100, but not so much with a recable. I'm not sure why.

 

Originally I used a Mogami cable and figured that was the problem. Switched to an HD-650 cable and the same issues occured. The difference was like 1%, but it killed the sound quality. Loss of detail and treble.

 

Tonight I switched to another wire that's even more revealing of crappy source files than the Mogami. It's Belden 1192A. It's really too thick to use with the DJ100, but I like this wire. It seems to offer the most detail and sound clarity of any wire I've tried. Probably because it's thicker, who knows. It doesn't something funny with the soundstage. You get the effect that it's much larger and you can much easier pinpoint where all the sounds are coming from. With some songs with the 1192A and the XB500 enclosure, the soundstage almost feels as if some sounds are coming from outside my head. There is this one song I have that seems like it's recorded in a shower while someone is singing. You can actually hear more water falling on the left than the right! Never noticed this before. It's an annoying Imogen Heap song. Imaging is just overall better, not sure why. This would be nice for gaming I imagine.

 

The problem now though is that the DJ100 is kind of turned into like a studio monitor with the Belden 1192A and the XB500 enclosure. So what's the point of doing this? It's just an interesting experiment. With this setup, the DJ100 doesn't even remotely lack treble. I think the Belden is not a neutral wire, so I'll go back to the Mogami and see what happens. I think the DJ100 will be back to it's old self, but a lot more less forgiving. This snake cable is annoying anyway. It's as thick as a Coax cable!

 

What stinks is the there is a loss of bass. This is why it's not more like a studio monitor. I'm about 90% sure it's the pads. Same reason the SRH-840 pads are terrible with the DJ100.

 

All my very well mastered/good songs all sound the same, but are a little different than how they normally sound on the DJ100. Less bass impact and less of an upper mid peak.

 

The XB500 pads aren't actually all that much more comfortable than the M50 pads after hours of use anyway. At first they were. Unless you want to turn your DJ100 into an even MORE unforgiving headphone, don't use Belden 1192A wire. It'd be great for a real studio monitor I imagine. Going to switch back to Mogami tomorrow. Love that wire and it's cheap!

 

 

post #73 of 2238

This thread is making it really hard not to tear apart my DJ100's. I already have one modded pair of headphones (SR-60), I certainly can't need to open up another.

 

My guess as to why opening the paper holes decreases bass is because they might act like passive woofers do on a speaker, similar to the passive radiators on the AKG Sextetts, they likely flex with the vibrations inside the cup, producing bass re-enforcement.

As to why adding foam and other materials decreases the lows/highs and pushes the mids forward, is because these are closed headphones. Open headphones like Grado's are more friendly to modification. This is because closed headphones, much like a car sub-woofer, are heavily dependent on the different Q values of the speaker, which among other things determine how much volume the speaker needs behind it to operate in an efficient manner.

 

I've got the parts to build a JDS Cmoy w/ rechargeable battery on the way to my dorm, and I'm pretty freakin' excited. Next step: v6 pads.

post #74 of 2238
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverickmonk View Post

This thread is making it really hard not to tear apart my DJ100's. I already have one modded pair of headphones (SR-60), I certainly can't need to open up another.

 

My guess as to why opening the paper holes decreases bass is because they might act like passive woofers do on a speaker, similar to the passive radiators on the AKG Sextetts, they likely flex with the vibrations inside the cup, producing bass re-enforcement.

As to why adding foam and other materials decreases the lows/highs and pushes the mids forward, is because these are closed headphones. Open headphones like Grado's are more friendly to modification. This is because closed headphones, much like a car sub-woofer, are heavily dependent on the different Q values of the speaker, which among other things determine how much volume the speaker needs behind it to operate in an efficient manner.

 

I've got the parts to build a JDS Cmoy w/ rechargeable battery on the way to my dorm, and I'm pretty freakin' excited. Next step: v6 pads.


Modding the DJ100 is a little tricky because of all the things you can screw up. Right now I think the very small and extremely flat circle of Dynamat inside the cup really helps. Mostly the sound clarity. I also listened to my Mogami recabled DJ100 last night for about 4 hours. Didn't want to sleep. It seems like a Sansa device + E5 is the perfect setup. I have a Sansa View and gave my Fuze away as a gift! How stupid is that! I need to try a Sansa Clip. DJ100 never ceases to constantly "wow" me. With a Mogami recable and the Dynamat it's perhaps one of the clearest sounding headphones I've ever owned. Overall with the DJ100 when it comes to modding..less is more. It seems that the more junk you put into the cup the sound quality is reduced. The paper thin "Quick Roof" is perfect. They say you can't get lots of bass, forward mids and decent treble, but the DJ100 has me thinking otherwise. Too much of one frequency and another has to suffer. I think the DJ100 gets away with it because of just having forward upper mids and that slight bass boost. Despite all this the sound is very well balanced.

 

If you use any dampening material like the "Quick Roof" it's best to test it first and not use the adhesive backing right away. That stuff is incredibly hard to remove! The absolute best upgrade to the DJ100 is the M50 pads and then the $1/foot Mogami. I've tried maybe 4 brands of wires with the DJ100 and that's the best. I drilled tiny holes in my cups for the wires.

 

For the DJ100, instead of those v6 pads I 100% suggest the M50 pads for $19. They seriously transform the DJ100 into something better.

 

BTW for those that have the DJ100, these things love ambient music (especially with Mogami for the extra detail!). Boards of Canada or something like Helios will do the trick. Itunes seems to have millions of Ambient albums you can sample. These headphones also seem made for the "On Stranger Tides" cd (Pirates of the Carribean). Of course they're best with female vocals of any kind IMO. With the M50 pads they're actually now a lot better for even classical. I like them for acoustic music too.

 

One thing I definitely noticed is that the sound clarity goes south if you over-amp them. Portables players and Portable amps are best. I guess it depends on a combination of many things. Lately I don't bother using them with my bigger amps. Total Airhead, E5 and the Nuforce Icon Mobile is perfect for them. Somehow I didn't like them with the E11 though. Not sure why. I'll see how they are with the E7 that I'm getting in today.

 

post #75 of 2238

I'm building my JDS with a gain of 6, do you think that'll be too much and I should move to a gain of 4?

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