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DIY Custom IEMs : Part 2

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 

So some of you may already be wondering "where the heck is part 1?"

Well... I never made a thread for it.

 

Head-fiers who hang around the members' lounge forum with me and people in the "post pics of your builds" thread probably already know that I made a custom IEM from Ear Impressions, various raw materials and a pair of TF10 Drivers I got in the FS forums.

Here's some pics from part 1:

 

  

 

If I already have a completed CIEM, why am I starting a part 2?

...... Because it looks fugly!!

 

So this time, I'm making a deal with my local Audiologist to make me custom acrylic shells.

($26 for impression, $64 for the shell, $90 total.)

and I'll start from there.

 

Instead of "cheating" and using the TF10 assembly like last time,

I'll get my own BA drivers, crossovers, sound tubes, and dampers and "design" an IEM.

but It all depends on my budget at this point, I do want to get separate BA's and tune them myself.

(BA Drivers are Expensive for a student like myself...)

 

EDIT:

I'll most likely be getting my BA Drivers from Knowles Electronics.

A guide of their products can be found here for those interested. (Flip to page 17 - 26 for BA Drivers.)

I've actually laid my eyes on the GQ Series because it's a Dual driver system with 2-way crossover.

 

And last but not least, a Custom Faceplate!

I may embed all sorts of stuff in there, like wood, metal, etc. 

but for this first attempt I'll just put a piece of paper with my custom Artwork.

 

So right now I've already made my ear impression and the custom shell will arrive in a week's time.

(before Aug.24)

 

I'll update this thread again when I've made some progress. etysmile.gif

 

UPDATE 21/8/2012:

 

Cable - Done!

3.5mm TRS --> Y-Split --> 2x 1.3mm Coaxial power connector @ 90˚ to cable

 

 

 

 

Faceplate Test 1: 

- Print artwork using laser printer

- Laminate paper with transparent sheets

- Cut out faceplate shape

- Pour a thin layer of resin on the Laminated faceplate

*Note: the pouring was done using a needle-tipped syringe.

*Note: For this test, epoxy resin was used because that all I had in the house for now.....

 

The resin is currently curing.

I have no idea why it looks blurry and yellowish....

Hope I can fix that after they fully cured.

 

UPDATE 22/08/2012:

 

The resin for test 1 never cured and it turned yellowish.

I repeated the test thinking I may have not mixed the 2 parts properly...

the result? EXACTLY THE SAME.

 

So now I'm suspecting that the hardener part (B) may have reacted with something else causing this to happen.

Because the hardener part is not the most stable substance to begin with.

White smoke comes out of the container the moment I open it, this is caused by a reaction with water vapor in the air.

(I do all my stuff under a stove hood of course.)

 

So anyway, to test this I placed a drop of the hardener in the plastic transparency film I used to cover the paper with.

and.... as I suspected, it turned a red-ish color meaning some reaction must have occurred.

 

Now I'm back to square 1 with the faceplates.... Damn.

 

After that I went to see if the hardener would react with the surface of a photo-paper

since it does not absorb liquid and I could print on it.

So far, nothing unusual happened. I went ahead and added some epoxy base (part A) in the mix to see if it'll cure properly on a photo-paper.

Results will be in by tomorrow.

 

That's all for now.

 

UPDATE 23/08/2012 - Pt.1:

The epoxy on the Glossy Paper cured this morning, It seems to be fine.

Just Laser-printed the Artwork on 240g/m^2 HW Glossy Paper and cut out the faceplates.

Going to do the resin pour when I get home later today...

 

 

UPDATE 23/08/2012 - Pt.2:

Just got home with the artwork-printed glossy-papers and poured some epoxy resin on them.

Here's some pics:

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 24/08/2012 - Pt.1:

Behold! One of the main characters of this project!

The Custom Acrylic Shell.

 

 

If you're wondering why I didn't make my own shell, I tried...

Look at the end product in part 1 of this project....

This is the reason why I started part 2.

 

 

UPDATE 24/08/2012 - Pt.2:

Obtaining the Faceplate Shape.....

1. Scan custom shells

2. Vector-trace shape (by hand)

3. Add artwork

  

 

 

UPDATE 24/08/2012 - Pt.3:

Finalized Artwork.

Credit goes to Head-fier VortexBlast for Art design.

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 25/08/2012:

The other main character walked in this morning!

Knowles GQ series Dual BA Drivers:                       Drilled Holes in the Shell for sound tubes and connector:

 

 

Sound Tubes + Dampers (Knowles Green):              Connectors + Wires:

 

 

BA Drivers out of the bag:                                     All put together:

 

 

 

UPDATE 27/08/2012:

 

Just printed out the faceplate artwork and cut it out.

 

I won't have time to work on this project for sometime because of school work. 

(EE and IAs if you know what I'm talking about.)

 

Life as a highschool student sucks frown.gif

 

 

 

UPDATE 31/08/2012 Pt.1:

Just finished assembling all the components together.

(Drivers, Soundtubes, Dampers, Shells, Connectors.)

 

Finally get to listen to these CIEMs biggrin.gif

Initial impressions: 

- Lacks sub-bass 

- Bit too much mids for my liking

- Good treble extension (but covered up by the mids)

- Big sound stage

 

They actually sound really good after some tuning.....

 

 

 

Because I'm using 1 dual driver unit, I can't physically tune it.

(I can see why manufacturers'd want multiple drivers now....)

 

I'll compare them with my UE11Pros when they come back from repairs..... frown.gif

(No idea how they broke.... )

 

Well, that's all for now.

I'll add the faceplates and post some pics later today. 

(It's 3AM here in HK, getting some sleep for now.)

 

 

 

UPDATE 31/08/2012 Pt.2:

Alright, Here's some pics of the CIEM w/o Faceplate:

 

  

 

 

Add Fix Faceplate on shell using general purpose glue. 

(Faceplate is made of Glossy Heavyweight paper.)

Then incase the faceplate in epoxy resin, apply using syringe.

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 6/9/2012:

 

It's been a while since I posted here... 

My last attempt at making the Faceplate was a failure, the resin didn't cure properly, 

I suspect the hardener may have reacted with the toner.

 

After that I tried a few methods of stopping this, including putting clear tape and plastic foil in between.

but both of those methods failed as well, there was a reaction with the clear tape and I couldn't get a flat surface with plastic foil.

 

So this time I decided to wax the surface of my paper faceplate.

Results are not in yet, but I have confidence in this one.

(because the paper cups I used to mix the resin is wax coated and the resin DID cure properly in those.) 


Edited by b1o2r3i4s5 - 9/5/12 at 11:15am
post #2 of 102

Cool idea, I'm looking forward to see how will it come out =)

post #3 of 102

DIY Fi!

 

Looking forward to it! Update us on the thread as well Borisu!

 

I thought you were fully broke?

post #4 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

DIY Fi!

 

Looking forward to it! Update us on the thread as well Borisu!

 

I thought you were fully broke?

Sure.

 

I WAS.

Until my grandmother just decided to give me some allowance for no apparent reason.

post #5 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1o2r3i4s5 View Post

Sure.

 

I WAS.

Until my grandmother just decided to give me some allowance for no apparent reason.

I love Asian grandmothers :) She must have given you quite a lot.....

post #6 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

I love Asian grandmothers :) She must have given you quite a lot.....

Yep :)

 

$128 to be more accurate.

post #7 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1o2r3i4s5 View Post

Yep :)

 

$128 to be more accurate.

If I was in HK and like you. I would love $128 CIEMs... :(

post #8 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

If I was in HK and like you. I would love $128 CIEMs... :(

No, my CIEMs would cost more than $128.

 

I got $128 from her.

 

The BA drivers alone would cost $128.......

I estimate the total cost to be around $220

post #9 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1o2r3i4s5 View Post

No, my CIEMs would cost more than $128.

I got $128 from her.

The BA drivers alone would cost $128.......
I estimate the total cost to be around $220
...
Which is still ridiculously cheap for a pair of CIEM's
post #10 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post

...
Which is still ridiculously cheap for a pair of CIEM's

Uhhhh.... No.

 

LEA'R : LCM-1x series → $258

1964 Ears : 1964-D → $325

I'm sure there are other cheap CIEMs around.

 

@ everyone 

By the way, LEA'R does not have their own custom studio.

Their CIEMs are made by Melody Speech & Hearing Institute Hong Kong.

Which is also where my custom shells are being made


Edited by b1o2r3i4s5 - 8/20/12 at 5:36am
post #11 of 102

please keep the thread running (post at the end) raher than editing the OP. it makes following difficult. 

post #12 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikongod View Post

please keep the thread running (post at the end) raher than editing the OP. it makes following difficult. 

I'll do it the same way as my other project thread (See Corona-Fi in my Sig)

 

Because if I post it at the end, it will be very hard for newcomers to follow,

especially as this thread gets bigger with multiple pages.

post #13 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1o2r3i4s5 View Post

I'll do it the same way as my other project thread (See Corona-Fi in my Sig)

Because if I post it at the end, it will be very hard for newcomers to follow,
especially as this thread gets bigger with multiple pages.

Ok how about this:

DO BOTH.

Just copy pasta. It ain't hard.
post #14 of 102

wow. panda jelly

post #15 of 102
Thread Starter 

UPDATE 21/8/2012:

 

Cable - Done!

3.5mm TRS --> Y-Split --> 2x 1.3mm Coaxial power connector @ 90˚ to cable

 

 

 

 

 

Faceplate Test 1: 

- Print artwork using laser printer

- Laminate paper with transparent sheets

- Cut out faceplate shape

- Pour a thin layer of resin on the Laminated faceplate

*Note: the pouring was done using a needle-tipped syringe.

*Note: For this test, epoxy resin was used because that all I had in the house for now.....

 

The resin is currently curing.

I have no idea why it looks blurry and yellowish....

Hope I can fix that after they fully cured.


Edited by b1o2r3i4s5 - 8/21/12 at 3:48am
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