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Help req'd with HE-500 stock silver cable grievances

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


My HE-500 cable sounds great but is not ideal. It picks up every single sound of rubbing/tapping against clothing, tables, gear, etc. Its will-to-tangle is ungodly -- even after I suspend it from above and connect it as 'flatly' as possible, moving between instruments/PC has it arching and coiling in no time. My cats find it fascinating, and these fascinating things tend to die.


So I'm looking of ways to fix these problems. I'd like to retain its flexibility but be a little sturdier, thicker maybe, to stop it tangling so much. I'd also like to make it matte/dark -- when the kinkiness and silvery shine go, the cats shouldn't be so intrigued. The microphonics (?) can hopefully be stopped or at least lessened by whatever I use.


I'd appreciate any ideas you have on the subject. Can't afford to spend much cash but surely I can do better than wrapping it in cloth tape...?



post #2 of 17

I'm not familiar with HE-500 cables specifically, but you could cover it with some nylon multifilament:



It pretty much looks and feels like a shoelace. You'll have to buy diameter(s) large enough to slip over the plugs.


Add an inch or more of heatshrink to all ends and you should be good to go. I would be extremely careful with heating up the shrink, so as to not melt any existing cable insulation/covering. And I would stay away from adhesive heatshrink, so you can easily remove the shrink without leaving behind a residue, should you decide the return the cable to original state. Or you can go ghetto and tape it down.

post #3 of 17

+1 - that's what I did with my silver HE-500 cable. I used 1/8 inch techflex cable sleeving. 1/4 inch would work just as well. It expands so it is easy to work with. I used heat shrink at the ends and at the splitter. Good luck.

post #4 of 17

Quoam, we have the same problem with the silver cables. Asking for a solution from Head-Direct was useful; they are sending the HE400 cable which is Canare, well-shielded and not subject to microphonics. It took a few emails to persuade qingting to do this. At first he wanted to send another silver cable but I talked him out of that. I find the metal surround and the plastic parts elsewhere on the phones to be microphonic ( sensitive to rubbing, tapping, etc). I guess that comes from the materials ( I read that Head-Direct used to build some of their models with wood surrounds but gave that up because of problems with cracks) The Audeze phones are not sensitive because of their wood surrounds. But I like the phones and a cable change should solve that problem ( I know it will because Headphone Bar tried using the 400 cable with the 500 and reported it worked).

The aftermarket cables out there are tempting...

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all for replying. I have purchased enough (too much, but better safe than sorry) TechFlex 1/8" multifilament nylon braided sleeving + 6mm heatshrink tubing, which I'll put into action shortly. AUD$15 incl. shipping total. No Y-split thingie, but I'll see how I go without it.


Re the HE-400 cable, great idea. I'm glad to hear you could convince them! How much are they charging to send it? Might be an option if my DIY goes awry. The aftermarket cables are beautiful -- but too expensive for me. Most of the work in the DIY cable thread is absolutely stunning too. I'll post my efforts after I'm done, assuming it doesn't end in smouldering plastic / frayed silver / tears.

post #6 of 17

Some tips for when you get your techflex. After you cut it, make sure you burn the end with a lighter to prevent fraying. For threading it around the cable I found it easier to hold the techflex with the left hand at the inside end of the headphone cable (eg, the TRS jack) you are threading . Grab the feed end of the techflex with the right hand and push it in to create the expansion bubble then release the left hand to let the techflex move in. I hope that makes sense. A little bit of electrical tape around the joint before applying heat shrink also helps keep it in place. Cheers . . .

Edited by Terja - 7/14/12 at 11:45pm
post #7 of 17

It was no sweat to get replacement 400 cables for the 500's. qingting needed persuading on which cable to send but he went into action pretty fast. I would love to have some aftermarket cables but, until I can hear the difference by actually using one on the 500's, it seems chancy ( even though there is a lot of commentary on this forum and elsewhere in support of it). I'll let you know what the Canare sounds like on the 500's. It should be here tomorrow.


post #8 of 17

Hi Terja how did you thread the 1/8'' techflex past the TRS jack? I was in the same situation as OP and bought about 20ft of 1/8'' techflex, but found myself struggling for quite some time but still couldn't squeeze the sleeves past either the jack or the headphone connection (the part that connects to the headphone). I halted the project for fear of damaging the cable. Are you sure you were using the 1/8'' techflex?


Also to the Quoam, did you successfully sleeve the cables?



post #9 of 17

That's funny (speaks to self ...). I was sure I had gone through the TRS jack and I just tried to see what difficulty you're having and I can't thread the techflex sleeving via the TRS either.


Sorry for misleading instructions; I must have gone through the connector ends. You can put them in one by one and then thread the cable that way. Yes I used 1/8" techflex. Will post pics of my sleeved cable in a little while ...

EDIT: On second look and measurement it looks like the nylon expandable techflex I used is 1/4" not 1/8". I must apologize to anyone reading this thread and getting and thinking of getting 1/8" techflex. The stuff I used expands with a ratio of roughly 1:3 from 1/4" to 3/4" and is quite easy to work with. I just tried to get it over the trs end of the hifiman cable and had no problems at all this time, lots of room to spare -- strange. I think it depends on which side you thread in from. Sorry for misleading anyone.

Edited by Terja - 8/28/12 at 9:43pm
post #10 of 17

On second thought I must have gone through the TRS end. I noticed that my TRS plastic cap is trimmed off. I had trimmed it off earlier, before I did the sleeving, so it could fit on my portable amp. That must be why I distinctly remember holding the TRS end while sleeving. You may have to do the same (sorry). The Hifiman cable comes with a protruding cap around the TRS. It serves no useful function so it is not a great loss to remove it. You can cover the trim with heat shrink like I did, makes for a better finish. So definitely use the TRS end. I tried the connector ends and it was too cumbersome. I do not remember it being that cumbersome when I was sleeving. Good luck ...

post #11 of 17

Here is the picture of my sleeved silver cable. I have since converted it to 4-pin xlr but I kept the techflex sleeving I had added earlier. Hope you managed to sleeve your cable without additional difficulty fizban007; also quoam. Hopefully you can see from the pic what I meant about trimming the trs end:



post #12 of 17

Hi Terja, thanks so much for your suggestions and picture! Your sleeved cable looks very nice! I see what you mean now. However it looks like my problem with the TRS end is of different sort, since my cable has 1/4" jack, even after trimming the plastic it will still be very hard to sleeve the techflex through it. I guess technically I could order some 1/4" techflex, but I think that will make the cable too fluffy...


Anyways, I've been quite busy lately so guess I'll have to suspend this project a little bit. Meanwhile, I found myself getting used to the silver cable now, including its flexibility and microphonics (which is not too bad). I might simply put some heatshrink around my headphone connect to protect it from breaking and defer the sleeving till later.

post #13 of 17

Sorry to hear that. 1/4" techflex cable would work as well. I have a similar sized cable I used 1/4" inch for. You just have to pull the sleeving a little bit tighter to remove the slack. Cheers ...

post #14 of 17

Terja, it looks like you have used PET techflex, which i'm actually very surprised to hear has reduced the microphonics. I recommend my customers and users here on the forum DONT use it because it increases microphonics. the multifilament type that the OP has bought is much more suitable in that regard as its soft and full coverage, but it does not expand anywhere near as much as the PET type. it would be impossible to get 1/8" multifilament over either end without cutting the connectors off/desoldering them before sleeving and then solder them back on.

post #15 of 17

To be honest I've never had microphonic issues with the HE-500 silver cable. My concern when I sleeved it was essentially protection since the unsleeved stock cable looked very vulnerable and liable to be caught on something. Not sure what the techflex differences are, but the stuff I used is entirely made of plastic so I'm not sure how that would 'increase' microphonics. It expands very nicely and I do not recall having difficulties when I sleeved the cable, though I'm not surprised there are different versions of this stuff. Thanks for the heads-up though ....


PS - Desoldering and soldering is definitely not worth the effort to sleeve the cable ... it would be far better to get larger size sleeving.

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