I have quite a few headphones in my collection, but I have a soft spot for the Sony MDR R10. They are, in my humble opinion one of the greatest headphones ever made. This is why ive bought a couple of pairs in the last year.
I managed to snag a set that was once owned by MarkL. These still sound great, but they were in dire need of some TLC. I also have another set in mint condition which haven't seen much use (posted pictures in the R10 owners thread on headfi).
I wanted to get this much loved (and used) set overhauled and turned to a guy ive known now for quite some time. Frank over at Toxic Cables, who has made quite a few cables for me and terminated and recabled quite a few of my phones over the last year. Without sounding like im trying to 'big him up', he is really very approachable, very skilled and one of the best cable guys in the business. He is known as
So I spoke to him on the phone and he didn't make any guarantees, but asked me to send them over so he could take a look at them. I wanted them reterminated to XLR x3 balanced for my Ray Samuels B52.
He phoned me when they arrived with him and he said he felt confident that he could recable them from the drivers. Obviously I was nervous, but I trust Frank with my headphones so I just told him to do what he thought. I knew they were old and probably in quite a bad state inside.
Frank calls me back later that day to tell me that the original foam inside had basically disintegrated over the 20+ years. Not a shock really. I asked him if he would send me some pictures. In the meantime we had a chat about the cable that was on the R10's and he told me that it was really nothing special. Quite a surprise to me, considering these are (were) flagship headphones at the time. We both discussed that we should not make the move to pure silver but use a higher grade copper than Sony had on the original cabling job. we opted for Silver plated copper. I didn't want to change the sound signature, but more just make sure that it was sending the best signal to the amplifier as possible.
Frank explained that the drivers were very delicate and that one of them had adhered to the sides. I read other threads that some people had torn their drivers. Frank explained that it took some time to get them out without damage, but he managed it.
I have attached some pictures of the various stages. and the original state of the insides, then Frank's work afterwards. Frank even managed to work some new foam into them, although we will replace that when I get the new foam and pads from Japan shortly.
They really are delicate inside, no doubt about it.
Frank is still working on the phones, so ill post some pictures when they are finished. I bought some high grade mineral oil for the wood and it really helped improve the appearance. Also got some excellent leather treatment for the pads, but ill be replacing these also.
ill let you guys know how it goes when Frank has finished and the new cable has burned in.