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DIY headphones, Should I try?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi, everyone,
 I've been following this forum for quite a while now, and decided to register a few minutes ago. First of all I'd like to tahnk you all for all the useful info that's posted all around the forums.

 

I am now in a personal quest for a superior SQ, but I live in Argentina. And here, hihg-end audio equipment is really really expensive. so I thought I could build my own headphones from scratch.
I'm planning on using the Pailiccs 3.5mm stereo plug, the "Pure Stranded Silver Plated 7N Cryo Treated UP - OCC Copper wire 26AWG", and I'm trying to get some good drivers from Sennheiser (like the ones in HD650 hopefully). I still don't know how to make the connection between the earcup and the cables, since I'm going to make them detachable.
For the cable, maybe two handmade twisted pairs, with sleeving.

 

Am I right with the components I want to use? Can you give me any advice regarding the cables or the design of the earcups/heaadband?

 

Thanks a lot in advance. And thanks for reading the whole post, even if you don't answer :D

Paul

post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naztuvieja View Post

"Pure Stranded Silver Plated 7N Cryo Treated UP - OCC Copper wire 26AWG"

This is the cable the guy from Toxic Cables sells on the ebay store.

post #3 of 13

Wait for a set of whatever you want (HD600/650/whatever) to come around used at a price you can afford. 

 

Building your own headphones is a lot of fun, but unless you are following a recipe (which usually requires the sacrifice of several pr of headphones {whose total cost is similar to the cost of the nicer headphones you could have just bought for guaranteed success}) it can be quite the adventure. Maybe you wind up somewhere nice. Maybe you wind up somewhere that is merely "interesting." maybe you just fail. 

 

Cables are BS. If you have any budget for cables you should probably be spending it on better headphones. If you have headphones you really like, and all of your friends really like, and a decent number of people on head-fi who have owned more than 12pr of headphones like: upgrade your amp or source. Or give it to a homeless person. Or just buy some music. Or go to a concert. Or just give it to an artist. Or spend it getting your bike tuned up for the summer. I could go on and on.... Flushing the money down the toilet is a better use than buying cables - at least you can watch it swirl the drain. 

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your advice. You actually made me laugh with the toilet flushing thing.

I actually have upgraded my source very recently, to a 160GB iPod Classic, rockboxed it, and am using Senns HD202. I have an old pair and I'm thinking of recabling it, anyways the cables are just a few bucks since I'm building it, not buying the manufactured cable from Toxic Cables, just the wires to make it.

I thought of buying a used pair of headphones, but it's hard to find some high end phones over here... Maybe I'll have to pay the full price.  

post #5 of 13

If you go down the DIY route, do not expect to save money.  You might even end up spending more than what you can pay for a pair of nice headphones.  However, you get the satisfaction and joy that isn't possible from purchasing.

 

DIY a pair of electrostatic headphones can be a lot of fun too.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/498292/my-diy-electrostatic-headphones

 

Wachara C. 

post #6 of 13

If you did a build based on a Grado design you could buy some magnum drivers and make the cups yourself. Cable and headband shouldn't be too hard to come by as certain headbands from other models would fit. Probably the most feasible.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinsettawong View Post

If you go down the DIY route, do not expect to save money.  You might even end up spending more than what you can pay for a pair of nice headphones.  However, you get the satisfaction and joy that isn't possible from purchasing.

 

DIY a pair of electrostatic headphones can be a lot of fun too.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/498292/my-diy-electrostatic-headphones

 

Wachara C. 

 

Well, then I think I'll just buy a pair of headphones for now, and leave the custom build for later. Maybe when I have more money, and some more used headphones to sacrifice.

That's a nice pair of headphones, I had already seen the post a few days ago. I thought of building a pair, but I'd need to build the electrostatic amp too. So once again it's more money, and ofc, it's not portable.

Thanks for the advice!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalHealth30 View Post

If you did a build based on a Grado design you could buy some magnum drivers and make the cups yourself. Cable and headband shouldn't be too hard to come by as certain headbands from other models would fit. Probably the most feasible.

 

 

I think I'll just buy a pair. With my little to no experience in building headphones, I don't think attempting to build a high quality headphone as my first project is the best option. But thanks anyway for the advice normal_smile%20.gif

post #8 of 13

Is it possible to make it though? I was planning on trying to make a pair of headphones as my senior project.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dluxe27 View Post
 

Is it possible to make it though? I was planning on trying to make a pair of headphones as my senior project.

 

Sure, it's possible to make a pair of headphones, but to make a pair to compete with a professional product is not easy.

 

Making headphones is more suited as a senior project in mechanical engineering than electrical or electronic engineering. You will have to put in a lot of effort to get a good mark nowadays, look at what people are doing in their spare time, for fun...

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/673999/designing-and-3d-printing-dt770-headband-yoke-replacement

 

You would have to do something sophisticated in terms of measuring your headphones' frequency response if you are thinking of an electronics project.

 

w

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dluxe27 View Post
 

Is it possible to make it though? I was planning on trying to make a pair of headphones as my senior project.

 

 

    Do they have to be "CANS" or would IEMs suffice.  There are plenty of Knowles drivers being offered on digi key that could be used in a DIY  IEM project.

 

But be aware, sometimes these DIY projects can get expensive, such as my 20 driver CIEM!

 

 

 

 

Wizard

Dr. John Moulton

Here at Noble, we craft some of the finest universal and custom in-ear monitors available today. 

Reply
post #11 of 13

Well I would perfer it to be a set of cans cause I feel like making iems would be harder. I feel like I shouldve mentioned this earlier, but I meant senior in high school not college.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dluxe27 View Post
 

Well I would perfer it to be a set of cans cause I feel like making iems would be harder. I feel like I shouldve mentioned this earlier, but I meant senior in high school not college.

 

 

    Actually, you could make some very hi fedility IEMs with the following

 

1) Knowles ED 29689 x 2  (drivers found on Digi Key)

2) Drinking straw

3) 2 mm Tubeing (small length, 2 inches would do

4) A salvaged IEM cable

5) AB Epoxy glue

6) 4-6 mm rubber Ear tips x 2

7) 20 ohm resistor x 2

 

Tools

 

1) Soldering iron

2) Tweezers

3) knife

 

The results would probably look ugly, but the sound would surprise you if not amaze u

Dr. John Moulton

Here at Noble, we craft some of the finest universal and custom in-ear monitors available today. 

Reply
post #13 of 13

Diy headphones shouldn't be too difficult of a project, so long as you follow a few rules of thumb on how they're made, "woody" phones would probably be the easiest, the type of wood can affect the sound a little but you can always compensate at least a little by tuning the design, simply trial and error, shaving off a little extra material here and there, figuring how it affects the final sound, and if you press fit the driver, you can try a few different cup designs and just reuse the drivers, hold them to your ears too when testing them so you don't need to fit and resize a headband to a bunh of different designs, just make sure you don't hold them in a way that would interfere with the sound (covering any vents, etc.), probably best by just using your fingertips where you would typically find the gimbal on the cup. The main thing when designing homemade phones, avoid any form of distortion. Closed backs typically reverberate sound and can cause some distortion so i wouldn't recommend those for a first project, open baffle designs, basically like a plate with a hole for the driver, can have low distortion so long as there's not a lot of flex, but sometimes can sound too open, or not very real/present. The grado design, like a short tube, is great in that it helps contain the sound to an extent but allows the sound to release from the phones instead of reverberating around  and back to your ear when it's not supposed to. I've seen someone use pvc pipe and layer larger tubes around smaller ones to create decorative beads around the rim and an edge to hold the driver and even a vent on the back, for that I'd stick to between 1-2 inches for the length at first and trial and error the length, thickness, shape, etc. until you find the ideal sound. I'm going to be making a website on a lot of homemade audio such as speakers and headphones, i'll post the url once i'm done if you'd like to see what some of the projects are like. Good luck with whatever descision you end up chosing, be it used, new, or homemade phones.

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