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New Sennheiser HD 419 MOD

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi all


Just joined to share my modding tale with you.


I usually use Sennheiser HD 598s, however wanted an extra / cheaper closed-back headphone so decided to try the HD 419 for comfort reasons (felt instead of pleather, over ear etc).


Anyway, Sennheiser sell the 419 for the non-audiophile bass crowd, as an alternative to Beats etc.


However, that interested me as Senns are often too weak on the bass to my ears. I'm no bass head and like lots of genres, but whatever music, bass is of course an important mixture and I even find the kick drum on my 598s lacking oomph.


So, I burned my 419s in for about 60 hours, and sat and had a listen.


They sounded slow, distorted, snare had no snap, highs and crashes sounded like they were under a blanket in another room.


The bass from 60 - 120 was strong, but not very smooth. Not much sub to speak of.



So, I read through this thread on here http://www.head-fi.org/t/441191/new-sennheiser-hd-448/90  for modding the 448.


Then, I got to work.



I followed the above link directions (419 identical inside) and removed covers, screws, and then, slid the drivers out.




If you remove the the tape from all three holes on the back of the drivers, it would be way to bassy, and reverberate around the closed-back driver casing. BUT, of course the more air a speaker can move, the more quickly it can react and therefore sound much better.


So, on the casing side, I cut an eliptical shape around 3" long by 2" wide from a fairly thin but soft towel.


I then used double-sided sticky stuff that was thick and foamy (the type from auto stores for sticking the badges on cars). I chopped 4 pieces for each headphone side, to stick around the thin towel. Then, I put the towel into the headphone casing, sticking it down inside the eliptical gap in the casing (where the driver sits when re-assembled).


I then removed the tape from the back of the driver, so all 3 holes are exposed and clear to breathe.


When re-assembled, the towel stops the reverberation, whilst the sticky foam car tape helps remove resonance. But still allowing the driver to breathe through all 3 holes.


Reassambled then listened through some test tunes....






These things sound amazing!!  Better than my 598s, far more exciting.


They now have lush highs, massive bass without boom or resonance (really smooth - rock kick drum sounds live!), it has increased depth/spacial perception, MASSIVE improvement in detail (because they are reacting far faster), the snap on the snare is clear but not harsh (even with the most ridiculous bass at the same time), vocals are much clearer.


All wrapped in a really warm live sound. And without the Sennheiser weak bass of even their expensive models. Awesome!


Seriously, try it!

post #2 of 23

Nice mod. Does the towel have any area that is not taped down?

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Yes, I cut the towel into an oval shape to fit.


I then used 4 pieces around the edges of the towel, so the centre is not stuck down and is off the surface.

post #4 of 23

pictures please

post #5 of 23
Originally Posted by sofastreamer View Post

pictures please
Yes! Pictures!
post #6 of 23

bump for pictures

post #7 of 23

I too think that any mod other than leaving ALL 3 holes open, is a quality compromise. The thing with this mode is that it becomes too boomy and it vibrates (especially the 449) and reverberates. Since this can be dealt with, I think we have the PERFECT MOD for the 4xx series.


I still don't get the towel thing though, should it go on all the surface, even beneath the 3 holes? And "double-sided sticky stuff that was thick and foamy" what does this look like?


Seriously, PICTURES please!

Edited by pouskidis - 4/29/13 at 12:15pm
post #8 of 23


Tried the mod, 3 holes open and a piece of soft vetex underneath. Sticking glue holds it in place.

The results:


1) My HD-449 sounds AMAZING! The sound is not as thin as it used to be, due to the tape covering the holes. Completelly removing this tape gives better breathing, and the bass keeps in track due to the soft covering it bounces into. Honestly, the sound quallity is much more improverd and the highs do not irritade now. Even though they vibrate a bit, this is THE PERFECT mod for the HD-449!


2) My HD-439 didn't do well with the towel mod. They came out hollow, with a sence of lacking bass, although all 3 holes where open! I had to remove the towel, and left them with open holes and nothing else tampered with. Now they are PERFECT! The bass is a tad deep, but the sound is balanced and the soundstage just as it should be. You have to accept more bass in these to fix their soundstage which is not that good by default. They sound just like the moded 449 with a tad more bass. The clarity is almost the same. I think this is the best mod for them. And they don't particularily vibrate! Perhaps the velour pads make them handle the bass better than the 449.


A critical observation: Indeed, the 3 holes HAVE to be open for these headphones to really shine! Covering up any -or all- of these holes is a really really NASTY thing to do to them!

I will NEVER cover ANY of those holes again! Just let them breathe!


Nice! :)

Edited by pouskidis - 5/5/13 at 9:01am
post #9 of 23
Can you give us some pictrues?
post #10 of 23

Thanks OP, for giving me the courage to do my first ever headphone mod, on my HD-418's.  (Not yours - the original one, front hole open, middle hole mesh, back hole duct tape.  May do yours later though...)  All in all, a 20-minute affair, and easy as pie.


My first impressions after a bit of testing (Holst Jupiter; Rush Hemispheres and Tom Sawyer; Pink Floyd On the Run and Astronomy Domine [mono]; Sheryl Crow There Goes the Neghborhood; Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love; bits of Schubert Unfinished Symphony and Beethoven 7th; Misstress Barbara I'm No Human; AC/DC Hells Bells; Arcade Fire Crown of Love):


The mod seems to extend the bass.  Deep.  Yet it is very well controlled.  To this former treble-head, this feels like what good bass cans ought to sound like - visceral (as in internal organs, i.e. the heartbeats in Pink Floyd's DSOM), punchy (kick drums that feel like a kick), and yet doesn't colour outside the lines.  I never want to lose my mids, and they are there.


Soundstage seems improved, or should I say more suited to my taste.  I think it's because I'm getting some enhanced sub-bass resonance from the outer casing.  I don't mind this (yet) because as I said it doesn't spill into the lower mids, and gives my classical music more of a "concert hall" feel.  If I get tired of it, I'll pull the cans apart and try your "towel" mod.


Then again... No, not just "seems".  As I'm editing this post I'm convinced that the soundstage is actually better.  Not sure about width, but noticeably taller than the pre-mod 418's.


Now I have a problem:  Yeasterday I ordered some MDR-V6s because I wasn't too happy with these Senns as closed cans.  But now... the V6s might need to fight for their lives.  Who knows if I won't return them?

Edited by Delirious Lab - 7/19/13 at 12:24pm
post #11 of 23

Thanks a lot for this thread. I had just bought a new pair of these 6 days ago. I wasn't pleased with the bass so I decided to mod them and free all the holes without and damping. all I can say is I'm in love with them. The mids seem to be a little recessed after the mod but the bass is exactly how I want it. Maybe after burn-in the mids will improve.

post #12 of 23

Hey there! I recently got the HD 419's. Now I am interested in trying out this mod. I have one question. You have mentioned that you cut an elliptical shape out of a fairly thin soft towel. can you elaborate more on the towel you have used? Is it a foam towel? A styro-foam material or what exactly? and approximately what should be the tickness of this towel? is it okay if i use around a 3mm thick styro-foam material?  

post #13 of 23

can you tell me how the towel should be exactly? styro-foam material or what? and the thickness?

post #14 of 23
Originally Posted by sid2793 View Post

can you tell me how the towel should be exactly? styro-foam material or what? and the thickness?

I did not use any when I did the mod. I just uncovered all 3 of the holes. The Bass amount does improve ALOT, but at the expense of mids. they become recessed. If you really like engaging mids then dont bother doing the mod

post #15 of 23
I have a mod which can make this series headphone shine like hell

Buy acoustipack extra sheet 3layer damping and cotton balls

Remove the foam from front baffle and open the 3 vents at back

Then cut the the acoustipack sheet into the shape of front baffle and paste it

Plus paste the sheet at the wall where vents are present and at the wall of cup

Now fill the cups with teased cotton balls of equal weight(very lightly)

This mod will allow the drivers breathe completely plus stop the resonance inside the driver baffle and stop standing wave resonance from vent.

Teased cotton ball will make the port feel that they are in open environment(or) very large cup so there wont be spring resonance too and as cotton trap more air molecule and slow down thermal compression factor at the port(in this condition) the driver will breathe even more than before(like 6 vents instead of 3 and completely damped resonance)

U can beat the crap out of senn hd650 in mids, audio technica pro 700mkII in deep notes, skullcandy crusher in bass, will have treble like bower and wilkins p7 and soundstage like akg k701
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