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SounDesign Model 338 overhaul.

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for a little better headset for my pc.  I have a pair of HD681's and T50rp's, but those are going in other rigs.  I wanted something comfy, that would sound decent, and would cost me more time than money.  I am also a bit enamored with the vintage look, so I decide to grab a new project:



They were ~$15 on eBay, and didn't work.  No matter; I had other plans...



Donors.  What happened to them?  Well, I had some stuff left over from my T50rp's.  They will have to do for now.


Outside, the 338's were a bit ruff; had to clean them, replace a couple of nuts, and still need to tweak the headband a bit.  The earpads are weird.  Sort of empty, and plasticy to boot.  I switched them with my old HD681 pads immediately.  They are lighter than I expected, and don't have the quality feel I was hoping for.  They still feel better than most of the plastic hinged nonsense I've come across, though.  Hard to complain for the price, whatever the case.


Inside, I found another DIYer's attempts to salvage them, I think.  The volume controls were wired incorrectly, and the speakers look like tweeters from a loudspeaker:



Or something.  I don't know.  They were unpleasant to listen to, no matter what I did, so they got binned.  The rest of the cup was a very cheaply put together plastic noodle bowl.  The cup is a bit of a blank canvas, however; big and completely empty.  You could literally just suspend the cups from a superior headphone inside them.  I think I'll need to study up on sound design before all is said and done.  Next up, disassembling the HD201's.



Yeah, I've been working on those for a while.  As far as taking them apart, the little capsule that covers the back of the drivers is tricky; just be patient and careful when prying it apart.  Also, there is adhesive around the drivers themselves, so you have to use an x-acto knife to release the drivers from the housing.  I actually didn't need to do that part, as it turned out, but whatever.  It did allow me to compare the old and the new:



I have to admit, I was beginning to doubt my decision.  But those Senn's are pretty capable little drivers; not the best thing around, and not the answer I'm looking for, but still pretty surprising.


I ended up trimming the ends of the Senn' housings (can't remember what the ear side piece is called :/), and used some of that clay to suspend them inside the cups.  I first put the clay in after the housing, pushing the drivers down about to the ledge you see on the outside of the cups.  They sounded incredibly distant and weak.  The stock earpads add to the effect, which is interesting... but not desirable.  I was going to test that more, to see if the soundstage was improved for gaming, but I just didn't like it.  I then flipped the clay and the housing, but there wasn't enough clearance for my ears.  I ended up with this:



A lousy picture.  It's just slanted from flush with the cup on the front to the ridge inside the cup at the back.  Half an inch or so (maybe 12mm).  Sound wise, the Senn's aren't capable of producing the detail of my T50rp's, which is no surprise.  They are functional, with little bass, but without so much of the resonance that I so dearly hate.  I think the left side might be damaged as well; again, no surprise after what they've been through.  And the stock HD681 pads are terrible.  There is work yet to be done...


I'm going to live with them for a while and see if they are any good for games while I look for the next donor.

post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 

So now I want to ask what sort of cans I should look for to chop up next.  It would be nice to get some good ear pads along with the drivers, as well.


I would like some big, roomy ear pads.  The Sony XB5/700 look interesting, but I'm not sure about that kind of price for something I'm just going to hack up.  I'm watching the broken headphone listings on ebay; cut cord, broken hing, etc. (Lots of Beats and Soul in that search, lol.)  Do you guys have any recommendations?


Ideas for future mods and source for good info are welcome as well.  Thanks for reading.

Edited by bucket indeed - 10/2/13 at 10:06am
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