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Creative Aurvana Live! 2 - Page 9

post #121 of 391

Thanks for posting the pics.

 

CAL!2 just looks like an overall improved version of the CAL!1 to me. Just look at the felt around the driver - it looks nicer finished and more even compared to CAL!1. There often were rests of glue on the felt of the CAL!1. I think production has been optimized. The few measurements that have been posted look very good - especially the left-right channel match in frequency response. CAL!1s often had some sort of imbalances.

 

-------------------------

CAL! Mods

 

I owned and modded about 5 CAL!s alltogether. I will try to sum up my findings here:

 

--  Stuffing the cups does reduce sub bass and slightly decreases precision and speed in sound to my ears. I never really liked it. Also adding stuff to the cups decreases their air volume and leads to more "closed in" or congested sound. CAL!2 seems to have a tiny port on the backside so this should not me as much of a problem there.

 

-  Adding dampening to the inside of the cups did never change the sound much. In my last mod a just added one layer of Micropore to the inside of the cup right opposite the driver. It decrease hollowness a little bit.

 

--  Sticking dampening materials to the magnet of the driver does significantly change the sound. I have tried different kinds of tapes and felts but if you do this you always need to leave the center hole open. Punching a hole with an office hole puncher will create a hole the right size.

The thicker the material you add the more significant the changes to the sound. Adding layers of Micropore, Dynamat or furniture felt pads will: decrease treble and make the hole sound smoother and the mids more colored, in other words "lusher". I believe it increases harmonic distortions, which can sound natural but if you overdo it it might sound too colored or unnatural. In my first mods I believed it dampens the driver and I thought, the more dampening the better. This is not exactly true here. The layer should not be much thicker than 1 or 2 mm ! My experience with standard furniture felt pads with a punched out hole in the middle is: they are usually too thick - sound becomes very colored and hollow with them.

 

-- The stock felt on the backside of the magnet is a very important part of the CAL!' sounding. Do not remove it unless you know what you are doing. Once removed it cannot be put in place again and you will not easily find a felt that will restore the original CAL! sound. It my opinion removing it will change the sound far for the worse. It will extremely improve speed and midbass but CAL! will lose it's balance, natural timbre and the  highs will be lost. Better leave it as it is.

 

--  The wire used in CAL!1 was very thin. I replaced it with a Cardas microphone cable with a higher conductor diameter. I believe it increased bass precision and brought forward the mids a bid. The cable mod is more or less irreversible and will void the warranty so that's probably the least one to consider.

Also soldering skills are needed and one needs to work fast. The driver housing starts to melt almost immediately when I start to solder at the connector. Even though I am experienced in soldering and I use high quality solder I often had troubles with cold solder joints after a few months causing channel imbalances. Resoldering was needed.

 

--  I installed ports, about 4mm in diameter into the cups. It clearly improved the sound. Bass became more precise and less boomy. It improved overall clarity and it significantly improved soundstage ! As it seems, the CAL2s already have small ports - there are openings on the backside of the baffle which end on the sides behind the earpads.

 

 

I think the CAL!2 is already optimized in most regards and it does not necessarily have to be modded. Modding does not necessarily improve the sound in technical terms but it might change the sound to your liking !

If you want to tweak the sound signature and get a smoother sound try Micropore or Dynamat on the backside of the driver (but leave the hole in the center open!). This mod is reversible so it won't void your warranty.

 

I have tested a CAL!2 already but I do not own one yet. When I get one I will post my mod experiences with it here.


Edited by zachgraz - 12/12/13 at 2:46am
post #122 of 391

double post

post #123 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachgraz View Post
 

 

No the D7100 has a different driver and different grill. Afaik he D7100 were not made by Foster JP.

 

-----

 

I agree to other posters, the bio cellulose drivers look a bit more like the ones used in speakers. I believe those drivers made by Foster are among the best ever made. Still love my modified CAL! more than all other portable headphones available today. Most natural sound.

 

I was wondering about one detail I found in this picture: http://twojepc.pl/html/Test-Recenzja-Creative-Aurvana-Live!2/36.jpg

There appears to be a rectangular gap on the back side of the baffle. Another gap on the corresponding cup.

To me this looks like a port ! Can one of the CAL!2 owners confirm this ?

This would explain higher precision, better bass and soundstage (I installed a port on my modded CAL!1 a long time ago and that was exactly what happened to the sound).

 

At the same time it would mean that the CAL!2 are not closed cans but half open...

 

 

Hi, you are refering to my picture :) 

These gaps are not the ports but the places where headphone's fork is attached to the can. 

post #124 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by NimnuL View Post
 

 

 

Hi, you are refering to my picture :) 

These gaps are not the ports but the places where headphone's fork is attached to the can. 


Yes. Nice picture btw ;)

 

What I mean is this: http://imageshack.com/a/img32/4904/rqom.jpg

 

Looks like a port to me. I have used your picture here to point it out,

I can delete the link any time if you want me to.

post #125 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachgraz View Post
 


Yes. Nice picture btw ;)

 

What I mean is this: http://imageshack.com/a/img32/4904/rqom.jpg

 

Looks like a port to me. I have used your picture here to point it out,

I can delete the link any time if you want me to.

 

Ah that one. You're right, this looks like a port, very thin, but still. It's impossible to spot it from outside though. 

Maybe this is some kind of bass refflex thing. I dunno. 

 

By the way, I don't think the driver is tweaked. They just played with the cushions, size od the cups and other small things which sum up to a big difference in sound. 

post #126 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by NimnuL View Post
 

 

Ah that one. You're right, this looks like a port, very thin, but still. It's impossible to spot it from outside though. 

Maybe this is some kind of bass refflex thing. I dunno. 

 

By the way, I don't think the driver is tweaked. They just played with the cushions, size od the cups and other small things which sum up to a big difference in sound. 


I also think it is the same driver. It looks a bit more carefully made though - on the pictures the drivers look very much seamlessly put together. Almost all of the CAL!1's drivers looked a bit "quickly glued together".Most of them had slight channel imbalances. The first measurements of CAL!2 look marvelous in this regard with a perfect right/left match in frequency response.

 

A small port, larger cups and thicker earpads can make a big difference in sound. I only wish they had made them a bit sturdier.

post #127 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachgraz View Post

 

CAL! Mods

 

I owned and modded about 5 CAL!s alltogether. I will try to sum up my findings here:

 

--  Stuffing the cups does reduce sub bass and slightly decreases precision and speed in sound to my ears. I never really liked it. Also adding stuff to the cups decreases their air volume and leads to more "closed in" or congested sound. CAL!2 seems to have a tiny port on the backside so this should not me as much of a problem there.

 

-  Adding dampening to the inside of the cups did never change the sound much. In my last mod a just added one layer of Micropore to the inside of the cup right opposite the driver. It decrease hollowness a little bit.

 

 

I got the opposite with the CAL! 2. Before the mod the bass was a bit boomy and slow, it become more noticeable when I turn on the bass boost on my C5, but now it's more accurate and don't struggle as much with aggressive bassy music. I can finally listen to Linkin Park's Recharged album with the CAL! 2.


Edited by RoMee - 12/12/13 at 6:17am
post #128 of 391

No comparisons vs other headphones huh... I don't mean to double post but how do these compare to the momentums and the likes. Not sound signature, but in terms of clarity and timbre. 

post #129 of 391

Why do I feel this headphone doesn't get enough attention? It's certainly better than the already excellent CAL1! 

post #130 of 391

I finally got some time so I made a cable for my CAL! 2. Here's some quick pictures.

 

I bought these two but I picked the cheap Radioshack sub-mini because it was easier to cut the plastic.

 

 

 

 


Edited by RoMee - 12/14/13 at 5:03pm
post #131 of 391
Do you notice an improvement with the new cable?
post #132 of 391
Nice work RoMee wish I could do that suck so hard at soldering.
post #133 of 391

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-5mm-Male-to-2-5mm-Male-3Pole-Record-Car-aux-Audio-Cord-headphone-connect-Cable-/310729934016?pt=US_Cell_Phone_PDA_Cables_Adapters&var=&hash=item4858f284c0

 

You cuy it from ebay. Looks nice with the red CAL2.

 

I am really considering waiting to buy CAL and wait for Cal 2 to pricedrop. Lol.

 

Doesthe original cable work well with amps?

post #134 of 391

Any bassheads in here? Would love to know how CAL2 sounds like if punching a hole in the small back foam pad on the driver roughly the size of the screwholes in the other foam ring (on other vented drivers that's usually the typical size so I assume that size is used for a reason). Usually a vent here increases bass response (quite common Grado mod).


 

That + some dampening in the cup may turn it into a pretty high quality basshead headphone of M100(+) level I'm thinking. This headphone is quite suitable for modding. Dampening in the back if you want better bass quality. A hole in the driver backpad for more bass, if that's your thing etc.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 12/15/13 at 8:40am
post #135 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post
 

Any bassheads in here? Would love to know how CAL2 sounds like if punching a hole in the small back foam pad on the driver roughly the size of the screwholes in the other foam ring (on other vented drivers that's usually the typical size so I assume that size is used for a reason). Usually a vent here increases bass response (quite common Grado mod).


That + some dampening in the cup may turn it into a pretty high quality basshead headphone of M100(+) level I'm thinking. This headphone is quite suitable for modding. Dampening in the back if you want better bass quality. A hole in the driver backpad for more bass, if that's your thing etc.

I have modded quite a few CAL!1s and I have tried mods of this kind too. I cannot recommend punching holes into or removing the foam pads as hey are a crucial part for maintaining a balanced sound in the CALs.

I have tried punching tiny holes into the pads but it led to left-/right-imbalances and in the end I had to remove both the pads. It is a very sensitive area and all changes made there do change the sound of the headphones. Punching holes into the pads means less acoustical dampening and leads to a crisper sound, enhanced mid-bass and a partial loss of highs. It is most extreme when the pads are removed completely - I did not like the sound at all after removing the pads as the typical CAL-smoothness was gone. The sound does not get better, just totally different. It took me a lot of experimenting to get back some of the original CAL! sound using layers of Micropore to replace the original felt.

Modding the pads might change the sounding to someone's liking but I recommend getting different headphones with another sound signature instead like M-audio Q40, Audio Technica M50, Beyerdynamics.

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