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Bad solder job or did I kill my A700s?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey all! So last weekend I forgot to take off my ATH-A700s before I got out of my computer chair and yanked the cable hard enough to break the plug. Not a problem I thought. 

 

So I clipped the plug pealed the cable, stripped the enamel with a lighter, and soldered it on to a new Switchcraft 35HDRABAU plug. It wasn't a pretty solder but I thought it got the job done. Closed up the whole deal and put them on.

 

Now I got less sound on the right side. So was it a bad solder job or did I jack up my headphones? Perhaps a problem with either stripping the enamel or a break somewhere up the cable? Any thoughts?

 

Thanks in advance y'all!

post #2 of 7

Do you have a multimeter?

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Not as of yet, but I can pick one up. It'll probably be a useful add to my workbench.

post #4 of 7

Do you have pics of your solder job?

Some of the cheaper TRS plugs I have used can be susceptible to excess heat.  So if you hold your iron too long on the tip/ring solder tab, the heat travels up the metal and melts/distorts the supporting plastic... so you can end up with a highly resistive contact.  I would be surprised a switchcraft plug suffers from this.  (Side note... those gold radio shack TRS plugs are horrible in this respect, I bought 4 of them once eons ago.  Out of the box 3/4 were defective and had intermittent contact between the tip and its solder tab.)

 

Anyways, to check your work, you need to meter through the plug, from tip to solder and from ring to its solder.  Resistance should be equal.

If that checks out, next step is to open the cans and meter from tip/ring on the switchcraft TRS, through the wire to the +R and +L solder pads in the earcups.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by switchbeat View Post

Not as of yet, but I can pick one up. It'll probably be a useful add to my workbench.

IMHO a decent meter is a must have in ANY modern house-hold.  Oh also, make sure you get decent quality probe leads too.  The affordable meters really skimp on leads/probes.  That drove me crazy for a while... pulling my hair out over a solder joint, when in reality it was faulty meter probes.  Just to throw some numbers and further opinions out... If you buy say a $10-25 meter, its WELL worth your investment to splurge on lead probes in the $20-30 range.

 

my local Frys has meter probes anywhere from $3 on up to ~$50-75.  There was one time I was cycling through meter probes, and just scaled up the ladder.  Bought the cheap one, ditched that in a heartbeat, bought the $10 one they worked OK but felt really cheap.  I spliced that one open and the copper wire inside was starting to corrode and tarnish, and they were brand new!!!  Ditched that.  I think my current lead set was around the $20-25 mark.  Make sure you get leads that are rated for current load higher than the capacity of your meter.

 

I used a $65 Sears meter for the longest time (like 2 decades).  Last year I decided to splurge / spoil myself with a Fluke 179...  I can;t say for certain if it technically was worth the $$$.  But one things for SURE, The added peace of mind using it around the house and on all my other hobbies is priceless and worth the investment.  it removes that seed of doubt from all my measurements.


Edited by kramer5150 - 3/22/13 at 10:02am
post #6 of 7

My best guess is a bad solder connection.

 

Instead of using a lighter to strip the enamel I found putting a decent size solder blob on the end of your iron and running the enamled wire through it until it properly tins is better. Clean off all the excess solder and dirt from the wire so it's nice and shiny before soldering it to the jack. 

Try this on all the wires and see if it helps. If not it's for good practice wink.gif

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies guys. So I clipped the new plug tinned the wires like Grumus suggested, except I used that little screw on my iron to hold the solder, On a hunch I busted out my test leads and a AAA battery and realized I had mixed up the wires for the ground and right driver. So I guess the lower sound on the right was just me getting return off the left driver through the ground? 

 

Long story short, soldered onto the TRS how it should be, learned to pay attention when picking up a hot iron, and now everything is good as new!

 

Thanks y'all!

 

In case anyone needed the info

 

On the ATH-A700

 

T=Blue

R=Red

S=Copper


Edited by switchbeat - 3/23/13 at 2:38pm
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