Ear pad issues.
Has anyone tried the SR-009 ear pads with the 007's? AFAIK the EP-009 are slightly (~3 mm?) larger in diameter (both inside and outside), but are about the same height.
Based on images I've found I couldn't figure out whether are they similar construction, i.e. can the EP-009 be mounted to the 007?
Then, some of you seem to be using the black EP-007 with also the 007 Mk1. Is there any sound difference between the brown and black pads? Again, as much as I could learn from these forums, the black pads are somewhat higher and a bit stiffer (more stuffing?).
I know this will sound intrusive, and there will be people scratching their heads, but I still share my 007 ear pad mod experiences. After months of experimenting with the old brown ear pads, the best sound I could get from the 007 Mk1 is this:
- removed the cloth grill and the spring, and mounted the ear pads directly on the frame. Looks better, sounds more open and more clear. Still a bit "shut in" compared to reference (HD800, SR-507). So far this is reversible.
- trimmed the inner foam (soft upper part) about 4 mm in the front and 2-3 mm in the back
- cut ~2mm from the inner circumference of the inner foam pads, making the opening larger.
That's it. Beware, these are destructive mods, but I thought it was worth trying.
Of course all this happened very slowly, with a lot of testing, mostly with all kinds of instruments.
- fine tuning was done by inserting small blobs (~5-6 mm diameter) of wool under the pads from the inside. The goal was to "dial back" the openness in favor of bass impact until the point of optimum. Ended up using one blob under the thick part of the pad spread over ~2-3 cm circumferal length. Yes, the difference is absolutely hearable, and also where you put the blobs :). That's the amazing thing with the 007.
These mods basically imitate the SR Omega ear pad design, AFAIK. Believe me, I tried to keep the springs with all might, and tested them with every mod I have made. To my ears, it always sounded better without them. Also, I kept my new pair of brown ear pads unmodified, and tested the mods against them every time.
After all was done, I have put the trimmed foam into the new skin.
- the headphone still looks the same, but the pads are softer of course
- sound stage wider and deeper, but not taller
- much, much, much more open and clear sound; actually now it sounds more open than the SR-507 and more natural, too
- bass feels having the same depth and impact, but the more open midrange balances the sound; actually the bass feels more freely extended and relaxed than with the more "shut-in" sound before the mods
- piano, wind instruments, big orchestra, percussions sound like real, with a slightly warm euphony (it's still a 007)
- I don't think I could find any fault with the sound now. I just enjoy the music. When I put them on in the morning, it's like fresh breeze to my ears.
- I am less eager to get a 009.
- irreversible mod, you may lose the price of an ear pad
- have to keep the headphones in the box when not used (it used to be there anyway)
- your ears may touch the metal; mine do not, but this may not hold true with many, if not most people.
Now the 009 ear pads inner diameter is a bit larger, and they are also the same bit higher than my current setting, so it might work equally well as my modded 007 ear pads, but allowing bigger distance from ears (good for most), and bigger volume - not necessarily a bad thing for sound stage either. If that assumption holds, I am almost certain the 007 Mk1 would be preferable to many over the 009. Unfortunately the EP-009 seem to be basically unobtainable, except singular opportunities asking (not necessarily selling at) exorbitant prices. Too high price for uncertainty at the moment, when my pads work for me, but there could be people out there who have already tried this.
Edited by zolkis - 4/15/14 at 3:15am