I remember having a pair of Realistic Nova 45's as a teen in 80's. They were not the best but I did think that they were unique and used them until I became aware of the Koss Porta Pro. Flash forward 20+ years later and I came across a pair on ebay for cheap so I bought them. I had this idea of trying to make them sound similar to my Grado SR60i and call them a "Baby Grado" so to speak.
I never paid attention specifications and cup design back them but I now know,through some web searches,that these are 32 ohm,open back headphones. As far sound SQ goes,they sound bass light and bland in their stock form. I had a feeling that I could mod them but I want track down another pair to take apart and experiment with. Once I found another pair,I went to work and took them apart to see what I could work with.
It all came apart easily when ripped the old pads off and took the screws out. The driver is about as big as a quarter with a metal grill that covered the plastic driver. The back of the driver has seven holes covered by a thin piece of felt and the cup has a thin piece of felt covering the back grill. The first thing I did was to line the cup with sound dampening foam.
I wasn't concerned with filling every little space but I do feel like I put a good amount in. The thing I tried was Bake Shop clay I could reduce vibrations and improve the bass.
The top pic represents my first try. I got much better bass but the treble went up way too much for my liking. What I did on second try was to remove the felt from the back of the driver and cover four of the seven holes to control the treble and then go around the circumference of the driver with the clay. I got the bass and treble that I wanted not to mention that the clay holds the driver and baffle together for when I put the whole thing back together. Once I put everything back together I added new pads.
The pads I came across while looking for pads for another set of headphones. They are circular replacement pads for the Bang & Olufsen Form 2 headphones. I rolled the dice and bought them and they fit perfectly with the help of some glue. As far as the results,I think they sound significantly better within the context of being 1980's lightweight headphones. The treble and mids are not harsh nor rolled off and the bass has better punch and control. They really came to life when I paired them with my E11 amp,Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 and ProPlayer app. With the help of some equalization,I got electronic based music and jazz to sound really good. Various genres of rock are hit or miss for some reason. Punk,Classic and Indie rock do reasonably well but Metal is too much.
Now did I achieve my goal of turning the Nova 45 into a "Baby Grado"? Not really but I do get a good feeling from making them sound better to my ears.
Edited by dwayniac - 10/8/13 at 10:08am