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[GUIDE] How To Properly Dampen Your Beyerdynamic T1 - Page 7

post #91 of 217

Okay - I've now tried the mod too!  I got my T1s the week before last and left them for about 5 days to burn in with the Isotek CD (track 2).  Then I exchanged the plug for a balanced one (my first DIY soldering job - not too bad!).... and all was set for a comparison to my other headphones:

HD650 - recabled with APS V2 balanced cable and modded by removing all foam from inside the cups and behind the backs of the driver per the APS website description (I find this makes them much faster, clearer, more open and less veiled than in the stock configuration)

HE-6 - recabled with a balanced AmpCity Fidelis silver cable

PS1000 - stock cable but re-terminated with a balanced plug

 

The other elements of my system are in my signature block.  The music I tried was pretty varied - classical, indie, rock, R&B, folk, country, jazz, African, pop, electro...etc. All in all, I think about three hours disappeared!

 

Everything that follows is just what I heard/my opinion.  YMMV.

 

Firstly, I tried the T1s unmodded:

- Vs HD650: T1 was (unsurprisingly) much more neutral and transparent with better clarity.  HD650 was warmer with more bass - particularly mid bass, less so down low.  With well recorded tracks, I'd prefer the T1 95% of the time.  With modern mainstream recordings, I think the t1 is too hot though and its time to reach for my comfy slippers (aka HD650).

- Vs HE-6:  Very tough one.  I was amazed to find my HE-6 actually sounded darker and less 'lit-up' in the treble than the T1s (I've always considered my HE-6 to be the brightest headphones I own, sometimes too much so).  The clarity on the HE-6 was also better than the T1 and they have a much larger and more open sound.  However, the mids on the T1 were definitely 'lusher' and although I couldn't really say why, I found my head nodding and foot tapping along to the music a lot more with the T1!  That treble peak on the T1 was bothersome though, particulary with any recordings prone to sibilance or that already had quite a hot treble.

- Vs PS1000: Polar opposites.  I love my PS1000s - they are incredibly open with a wonderfully expansive and realistic soundstage (much more realistic than the weird soundstage produced by the HD800 in my view!), crystaline treble with unbelievable clarity (the best clarity of any headphone here) and really fun bass that hits hard albeit not particularly deep.  Despite not being even vaguely neutral, I somehow still find them very 'natural' to listen to - the timbre of voices is very realistic and the bass is not exactly accurate but somehow seems more real and less 'in your head' than most other headphones.  The T1s are soooo much more neutral but they also have lusher mids (my main criticism of the PS1000 is that the mids can sometimes sound a bit sucked out).  I would say the T1s are the most neutral headphones I've listened to that are also fun to listen to (I didn't buy the HD800 for exactly this reason - I found it really boring, despite its technical strengths).

 

So overall, the T1 was shaping up to be the "most fun neutral headphone" I had ever heard...but that treble peak was making my ears hurt and I definitely prefered other headphones in my collection for any recording with a hot or even obviously present treble and that sssibilance was really bugging me.

 

I then tried the mod.  I used felt furniture floor pads for the rear part of the circle (about 4mm thick) and some art felt for kids from amazon (about 2mm thick) for the front section under the driver (which colour should I use? Even though no one was going to see it, I thought a crazy purple was kind of fun!)

Firstly I tried it with just a small circle of the thin (purple!) felt.  However, I found this didn't make much/(any?) difference so pulled everything apart again and went for a full purple crescent instead......much better!

 

To be honest, it was getting pretty late by now and my son is currently waking up at 5.30am so I knew I needed to get to bed!  I felt the comparison between the T1 and the HD650 and PS1000 were pretty much night and day, so I didn't bother repeating these and instead focused solely on the HE-6, which I thought was much more similar in nature.

 

With the mod:

I still find the T1 is brighter than the HE-6, but the gap has narrowed considerably.  Sssibilance is now much better controlled.  I would sum up the characteristics of the two headphones as follows:

 

HE-6: Superior clarity and blacker background.  More relaxed and smoother treble (even with the mod, My T1 treble still has some peak).  More open soundstage - for 'large hall recordings' this works really well and conveys much greater ambience than the T1, for smaller venues or studios, the HE-6 can sound a bit distant. The base extends deeper with more punch down low (my adams apple 'wobbles' much more with the HE-6 than the T1!)

 

T1:  More mid-range centric with a lusher sound.  Less open but still provides a realistic soundstage and images better (i.e. more realistic instrument placement).  Less clarity but somehow images better.  SSssibilance still occasionally present but much reduced and much less bothersome.  The bass seems tighter but also has more body to it.  Still not in HE-6 league for distortion free punch, extension and detail though.  Not sure if it's the mod, but they do sound a bit muddier when the tempo quickens and the volume increases?

 

Which headphone wins in each of the individual areas?

 

Treble - Clear win to HE-6

Mids - Clear win to T1

Bass - Comfortable win by HE-6

Clarity and detail - Comfortable win by the HE-6 (I am wondering if upgrading the cable for the T1 would improve things here - the magnitude of the win is similar to what I experienced upgrading from the stock HE-6 cable to the Fidelis)

Soundstage - HE-6 for large scale recordings (big halls, outdoor...etc), T1 for more intimate recordings

Imaging - Comfortably T1

Separation/layering of instruments - Hard to call.  Very different presentations.  The HE-6 never distorts and remains completely controlled even at volume allowing you to hear everything (it sounds as if you can hear every individual voice in some choral music!).  However, the T1s more intimate presentation can work better on some tracks where the HE-6 occassionally all sounds a bit too distant (possibly something to do with the waveform/shape/focus of the sound waves coming from the planar drivers??)

PRaT- Tie (both quick)

Comfort - Tie

Ease of amplification - T1 by a zillion miles (but my current setup is great with the HE-6 so this is not a factor in this test)

 

To sum up:  In terms of line by line specs, I feel the HE-6 beats the modded T1 in most areas.  If I want to really hear everything about a piece of music (i.e. 'analyse it') I will pick up the HE-6. BUT..... as I've said above, there's something about the way the T1 plays music that instantly draws me in and I suddenly find myself nodding my head, tapping my foot, playing air guitar or imaginary drums.... you get the idea!  For some types of music, the PS1000 remains the undisputed king in this area but its genre bandwidth is more limited.  For an all rounder with a neutral-ish character (or neutral-lush! See what I did there...?!), which makes you forget the equipment you're listening to and allows you to enjoy the music, I think the modded T1 is hard to beat.  I suspect it will be my 'go-to' headphone for some time.

 

[That said - I may keep playing with the mod a bit more.  Now that I have listened for longer, I feel the treble smoothing has possibly come at the expense of reduced speed and clarity.  I think it's worth experimenting further with different sizes and thicknesses of felt!]

 

Sorry this turned into such a long post.  I found it quite useful to write though; it helped me organise my thoughts!  Hopefully you'll find it somewhat useful too.  BTW, for anyone scared of doing the mod, don't be.  It was REALLY EASY and is completely reversible!

post #92 of 217
Thread Starter 

Teshlin,

 

Those felt furniture pads are a bit too thick and choke the driver. Try something much thinner.

post #93 of 217

I tried reverting back to the unmodded state again last night.  I think my T1s are still running in because the treble was mellower than when I last used them this way and the harshness was only really an issue listening to mainstream chart music (Beyoncé was unlistenable for instance).  Alison Krauss, Elbow, Michael Jackson, Mumford and Sons, Rebecca Pidgeon, etc were all fine and I was listening with a big smile on my face!  The clarity, speed and imaging all improved quite noticeably by removing the felt.

 

I will try again tonight with a complete circle of the thin amazon kids felt to see if it helps with the residual treble harshness without the side effects on clarity, imaging and speed.  However, these are all pretty important to me so if it adversely impacts any of them significantly I will probably stick with them unmodded!

post #94 of 217

Sorry... Completely forgot to add a rather important point that I also made another mod to the plug last night, which made significant improvements in the clarity, soundstage and blackness of the background.  As described here, this involved removing the wire shield connection from the plug and keeping the shield for the left and right channels separate.  I had previously had the + and - cables for each side connected to the 4 pins of my XLR plug and the two shields connected to the single ground terminal at the top of the plug.  My amp does not have a corresponding ground connection at this point so I don't think the shields were connected to anything external/grounded but the shield on the left and right channels were connected to each other and it must have been causing some kind of cross talk.  Anyway, with this connection severed and with the left and right shields completely insulated from each other, the sound improved very noticeably.  I would recommend the mod highly!

post #95 of 217

I'd never head of that cable mod. Might try it as well if I feel like playing with the sound some more.

post #96 of 217

how easy/hard is it to remove the felt once you've applied the adhesive?

post #97 of 217

Depends on how sticky the adhesive is, but shouldn't be hard. Just open and pull it off. It doesn't sit on any sensitive surface inside the headphone so you don't have to worry about it ripping something with it.

post #98 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by tashlin View Post

Has anyone compared this mod to the ADE (aka "Tampon"!) mod that Airwin describes here..?

http://www.head-fi.org/t/531401/ade-tuned-beyerdynamic-t1

 

Matrixnobu - it looks as though you have posted on both threads and didn't rate the ADE mod highly?

 

My T1s should arrive in a few days.  I really liked most things about the demo set I listened to (enough to buy them!) but found listening for a long period quite fatiguing so taming the treble peak is very interesting to me!

 

Hey guys,

 

Sorry for taking so long to answer. Been busy. But Yeah I thought the ADE mod killed the soundstage and really muddied the sound. This mod is just right. And to your question about the soundstaging. I think it's even better now with this mod.

 

Enjoy!

post #99 of 217

To me, for the most part, the T1 is a beautiful sounding headphone. Great transparency, detail, soundstaging, and balance. And sturdy and comfortable. But I do agree that the top end could be more refined. From that thread posted above though-- I find some of those comments way off the mark. It makes it sound like we've all been duped by beyer into buying a crappy headphone. This is not a crappy headphone. But can it be improved upon? Yes, of course-- most things can. As to their rationale for the way they are selling it-- I think one should be very careful in deciding on their motives.

post #100 of 217

Has anyone tried the J$ leather pads on the T1s?  Here is a look at the pads.  What you guys think?

 

 

 

 

 

post #101 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

"Has anyone tried the J$ leather pads on the T1s?  Here is a look at the pads.  What you guys think?"head-fi skylab leather pads on T1

 

 

 

It was tried and it did not work, the sound signature got worse. - http://www.head-fi.org/t/503560/beyer-t1-with-jmoney-pads-review-upcoming

 

post #102 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorin View Post
 

 

 

Thanks for that.  So I guess I'll keep them on my T70s instead.  

post #103 of 217
Thread Starter 

Yo,

 

As an update to this thread I have performed this on my T70. I left the stock "foam" in but put some craft felt over it. Make sure you cut it to be the same diameter of the pads, then lay it in the inside of the cup. Man this thing kills the spikes some people have described. It also fills the mids in and brings the bass more forward. The soundstage is the same, so it's a plus!

 

I also found rolling up some paper towel and putting it under the inside of the ear pads (to clog the vents on the pads) smooths the sound and gives you a little bit more bass.

post #104 of 217
This dampening thing truly is great. I makes the T1 more complete and a better all-rounder as well, imo.

If you haven't applied felt to your T1's you should do it. NOW. Btw, major props to Zombie_X.

On a different note, what did you mean by this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_X View Post

I also found rolling up some paper towel and putting it under the inside of the ear pads (to clog the vents on the pads) smooths the sound and gives you a little bit more bass.

Like is this inside or outside the chamber? I feel like I should be understanding what you meant, but its not clicking in my head.
Edited by itshot - 11/12/12 at 6:51pm
post #105 of 217
Thread Starter 

Hey,

 

You roll up a tiny bit of paper towel and line the underside of the ear pads with it. This somewhat seals off the ear pads and gives you more bass.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by itshot View Post

This dampening thing truly is great. I makes the T1 more complete and a better all-rounder as well, imo.
If you haven't applied felt to your T1's you should do it. NOW. Btw, major props to Zombie_X.
On a different note, what did you mean by this?
Like is this inside or outside the chamber? I feel like I should be understanding what you meant, but its not clicking in my head.
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