I want to start off by saying I use a lot of sarcastic humor in my speech. I want to let you guys know ahead of time, it is mostly aimed at myself and my own stupidity in the project, and that it will never be related to the actual information you need to build your own set of headphones......enjoy
Back story (Click to show)
THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD BUY IS!!!!!!......safety goggles. I am one of those people who hates wearing safety anything ESPECIALLY goggles. But over the project I got so much crap in my eyes were red for days.
Drivers. A lot of people seem to ask this question on the Head-fi forums. The truth is that I ordered mine directly from audio technica. They aren't cheap. A pair of drivers that were supposed to go in the 900x cost me 63 bucks shipped to my door. I don't think that is a bad deal, but you want to be careful that you balance out the cost of your project. If your project ends up costing more than buying the headphones........well then I think you need to reevaluate your DIY ability. I have also heard that sennheiser and grado sells their drivers, but audio technica was the easiest for me because I was able to call them right up and get everything straight without having to deal with emailing a bunch of companies.
Here are the ones I got, you can see them among the other stuff
(((((Just FYI, a lot of these things can be found cheaper. These are just the parts I used, and I over bought by a lot because I know I have other DIY projects coming. The whole idea of this project is so that the reader can learn from my mistakes and improve the concept and design to make it cheaper and more efficient)))))
Hot glue gun (6-20 bucks depending on how fancy of a glue gun you want...chances are you already have one) http://www.amazon.com/Melt-Trigger-STICKS-EVERY-ORDER/dp/B0002KR9DY
Hot glue sticks (10 bucks *and I did use a LOT of this stuff*) http://www.amazon.com/All-Temp-Hot-Glue-Sticks-Package/dp/B000FAFJEW
DREMEL TOOL!!!!!: You should probably get one if you do DIY stuff regardless if you build these or other headphones. They do cost a bit of money, here is a cheaper one... http://www.lowes.com/pd_225167-353-200-1/21_0__?productId=3025616&Ntt=dremel+tool&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNtt%3Ddremel%2Btool&facetInfo= but I SERIOUSLY suggest that you invest in a better kit like this one. http://www.lowes.com/pd_116767-353-4000-3/34_0__?productId=3069949&Ntt=dremel+tool&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNtt%3Ddremel%2Btool&facetInfo=
Soldering kit (35 bucks *this kit is really freaking awesome. It came with a trigger activated 140 watt soldering gun, extra tips, a pretty nice case, and solder, for 35 bucks. When you pull the trigger, it gets hot very quickly and when you let go, it cools rapidly which will hopefully prevent burns and heat damage to things around you) http://www.lowes.com/pd_97541-273-8200PKS_4294772304__?productId=3135969&Ns=p_product_avg_rating|1&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_avg_rating%7C1&facetInfo=
Here is a picture after burning myself with that stupid orange handle one you see above.
Wire (now here is where I am going to say that I made a massive mistake. I used 16 gauge wire. It is wayyyyy to bulky and thick to work with. You can buy OCC stranded silver magic fancy wire for like 7 bucks a foot and spend 140 just in cable alone, or you can pick up some cat 5 e cable from lowes. They can cut you a length of Cat 5e cable for dirt cheap, and you can get the length you need (20 feet is good since you will be using a 10 foot length for your right cup, and the same for your left cup).
Wood (here is again where I made a stupid mistake in hind sight. I bought 2 2 foot by 1.5 feet by 1/4th inch thick wood from lowes for like 3 dollars a piece. I ended up making a bunch of concentric circles to make cups, but after putting in the dampening materica, I learned that the shape doesn't make an ounce of difference. I could have - and you can save a lot of money by buying 1 sheet of the wood and make a box based cup.)
A metal coat hanger (seriously, if you guys don't have a metal coat hanger in your home.....Idk what to tell you)
Some type of soft cloth ( I tried to mimic the classic stax headphones, so I bought some weird soft/light fake leather that had a brown almost wooly underside to it, and it worked perfectly. If my sewing ability was any better, it might as well be the same headband from stax headphones. It cost me about 5 dollars for a yard of it from Joannes.
Some elastic (this is something you guys will have to figure out on your own. Some people like their headphones to rest more on the heads rather than their ears, in which case you would need less stretchy elastic, and vice versa if you like your headphones to rest more on your ears. In any case, you will nee about a foot of elastic. I got some for a dollar).
Blank CDs (this is going to be a weird concept, but believe me, blank CDs were probably the most used thing in this project bar none. I have 200 of the stupid things and I decided to use them. It is only dumb luck that they actually turned out to be extremely useful and actually performed well in terms of sound quality ((((The ones I have linked are the cheapest on newegg only for the fact that they have free shipping and come in a 50 pack. If you want to go to walmart, you only need a 10 pack)))) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817131586
Polyfill (I couldn't find this stuff in town, so I would recommend that you don't waste your time looking for it. I myself ended up using a wool fabric that I tore up, but in hind sight, I would have rather have gotten this stuff and had some left over for other projects.)http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=260-317
The last thing is the material for the ear pads. Now you have two options. You can buy your ear pads (which is what I recommend) or your can make your own (which is what I did for the sake educating who ever reads this extremely long thread). If you are going to buy ear pads, you can either get something like these http://www.amazon.com/QuietComfort%C2%AE-2-ear-cushion-kit/dp/B0073H2WP4/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359424525&sr=1-4 which are pretty good quality for fairly inexpensive and comfy ear pads, or you could just go nuts and get some really expensive ones http://www.headphone.com/accessories/audeze-lcd-2lcd-3-vegan-earpads.php . Options for ear pads are pretty much limitless.
The materials would include leather (I got some fake black leather for 10 bucks for a yard, black thread, 3 bucks for some super thick stuff, and 3 inch thick foam 40 bucks...........yeah I said 40 bucks. This is why it is so much smarter to just buy the ear pads, but thankfully I had most of this stuff lying around the house).
Last but not least, you need an audio plug. I got a 6.3mm audio plug from radio shack for 4 bucks and some change.
Optional stuff: Cable sleeve: I had a ton of this stuff, but I think 20 bucks for some nice cable sleeve would not be a half bad idea. Heat shrink: If you don't know what heat shrink is, google it, it comes in so many varieties that it would take me too long to explain them all, but so long as it is the right size, you really can't go wrong.
Also, I think you will need a circular saw, or some type of powered saw. You COULD do this with just a dremel tool, but you will be working on these things way too much. I can almost tell every single one of your that you, your family, or your friends have some type of power saw. If you don't have one, barrow one.
BUILDING THE HEADPHONES!!!
Now that this post is a mile long, lets jump in to building the headphones.
I tried to base my headphone design off of a retarded love child of the audio technica ath-ad900x and stax headphones. Don't ask me why I didn't go with square cups, because I am stilling hitting my head against the wall over that over sight.
Step 1: Make the baffles.
The baffle is the part that holds the drivers in a headphones. It is just a plate with a hole in it for the driver. That might sound really easy to make, but when you start thinking about the requirements of a good baffle, it becomes a lot harder. For those of you who want to come up with your own design, the baffle has to be light, it can not vibrate, and it has to be pretty strong so that nothing flexes.
Now remember how I said that I used CDs and hot glue a lot......well guess what I made the baffles out of . What I did is I took two blank CDs and put a layer of hot glue on on cd and spread it evenly, and then I added a second layer which is what actually 'glued' the second CD onto the first one.
My thinking was that the CDs were pretty rigid, light, and since the hot glue is somewhat flexible, the vibrations don't pass through hot glue all that well. Sounds perfect right? Well I am not so sure that it turned out to be as perfect as what some members can probably do, but I was pretty happy with it.
For making the hole for the driver, I lined up the center of the driver with the hole that was already in the CD. Then I outlined the driver on the CD with a pencil. Then I took my dremel tool and sanded from the center out to my drawn circle. Little bits of crap went everywhere so if you do this, please make sure your wear safety glasses or goggles.
I did the same for the other baffle. I fitted the drivers into the holes I made, and VERY VERY VERY carefully I outlined the ring where the driver met the CD in hot glue. If you get hot glue in your driver, you are screwed. Period. So please take your time and do both sides of the driver (front and back).
If you can do me a favor and ignore the wire, here is a picture of the finished product.
Step difficulty: Average.
The hot glue dries quickly, so when you lay the glue on the CD and spread it out, you have to be quick. Also, using a dremel to get a circle in the CD for the drivers is easy, but it can be a very long process in order to achieve the best result.
Things I would change: BEFORE you put the drivers into the CD, I would cut a square out of it. I can not remember my math at the moment, but I know that there is an equation for maximizing the area of a square in a circle. You can use a circular saw or a dremel for that, but if you cut a square, you will drastically reduce the work in the next step.
Step 2: Making the cups.
This is the most annoying of my mistakes.
I am going to give you a quick insight into what I did, and then I will show you what you should do.
So first I started off with a trusty CD and a plank of wood and traces a circle. (you can see from the 3rd picture above). I then took a cup and made sure that the space from the outer circle and the inner circle would be about 1 inch and traced the cup......and yes I had to test a lot of cups. This made 1 ring. Please note that ring and circle is not the same thing in this step. Hopefully you will see why in a second.
The next circle I made was 1 inch wider than the inner diameter of the ring I had just made, and made sure that the inner diameter of the second ring was 1 inch less than the inner diameter of the first ring.
I think what I just said is going to be confusing to some of you. Just in case it is, what I am doing in this step is I am making concentric rings and using cups as my traces for the circle. The circles will be my guide lines for cutting.
After I cut out 3 rings, and 1 cap and glued them together, here is what I got.
Here is the inside view
After some sanding on my bench grinder, here is what I got.
And the inside view (just FYI, it is a lot smoother and spherical than what this picture shows.)
As you can also see, I made an indent in the CD for the the wire is supposed to go. I used a dremel tool and just put a bit out.
Now.....that was a lot of work, money, heart ache, and ultimately a waste of my life. Like I said, after putting in the dampening material, the shape did not matter, so go with a square.
Once I you figure out the maximum size of the square you can cut from a single disk, then you should be able to figure out the perimeter.
Cut out a rectangle, 1.5 inches by the perimeter plus 1/4th inch (the quarter of an inch is to make up for the wood that is lost by the saw) by 1/4th inch. Cut the rectangle into 4 equal pieces and glue them together BUT NOT TO THE BAFFLE. You will need to attach the wire first before you glue the cup on. What I would do from here is on one box drill a hole on the box for a 3 pin xlr jack. Then on both boxes, you can drill 2 holes at the top so that you can bring the wire from one channel up over the head band into the second channel and out the 3 pin xlr jack. That way you can have a single detachable cable which is incredibly useful. Once you have everything wired up like I will show you in the next step, feel free to attach just the box to your baffles.
Then cut out a cap for the cup. All that matters is that it is that it is larger than the hole it is covering. So if you want to make a square, that is fine, but you can make any weird shape you like really. But do NOT glue it on right away. You will glue it on later.
Edited by Tjj226 Angel - 1/30/13 at 6:10pm