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HiFi Man HE-400 broken cable replacement (broken connectors)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey all! This is my first post here, as I've just over the past few months gotten into high(er) end audio gear.  I purchased the HE 400 after looking at reviews on this site, and I absolutely love their sound.  However, the stock cable has left much to desire.  I'm not really looking or expecting to improve sound quality a whole lot, even at all.  My main problem is that the connections between the cable and the headphone have snapped or become disconnected.  It is on the cable side, not the side that mounts directly on the headphones.  I'm looking for cables that have been designed to protect the spots that have snapped on mine, or for recommendations on what to do to the headphones themselves (can I have the connections changed to something of a higher quality?)  I have attached pictures of my headphones and cable.  Currently, I am looking at cables from Double Helix Cables (Molecule OCC, Molecule SE litz), Toxic Cables, and the balanced cable available at the HiFiMan store (any other recommendations are more than welcome)  Alternatively, would it be possible to have the type of connector on the headphone changed to something more durable, like XLR (I don't really know what type, just throwing one out there), and also what cable would you recommend at that point as well?  I'd like to limit my spending to 170-200, but I can go as high as 270 TOTAL COST on the cable/headphone mods.

 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Also, just tried adding photos of the problem, but it seems that I do not have permission to do so yet.  Please let me know how to submit/display these photos if they are required for assistance.

post #3 of 11

If I understood correctly, the nut in the cable side detached from the cable, right? and you want to replace the cable......

 

how about something like this, http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-FEET-CUSTOM-CABLE-FOR-HIFIMAN-HE5-HE6-HE300-400-500-7N-UP-OCC-STRANDED-POET-/271303440483?pt=US_MP3_Player_Cables_Adapters&hash=item3f2af1f863

(I have the same cable, if you want I can give you the link for chinese manufacturer)

 

or this one, http://www.ebay.com/itm/HIFIMAN-HE-5-HE-6-HE-300-HE-400-HE-500-Hand-made-Headphone-Cable-Upgrade-Cable-/111160922481?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item19e1b51171

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubinstein View Post
 

If I understood correctly, the nut in the cable side detached from the cable, right? and you want to replace the cable......

 

how about something like this, http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-FEET-CUSTOM-CABLE-FOR-HIFIMAN-HE5-HE6-HE300-400-500-7N-UP-OCC-STRANDED-POET-/271303440483?pt=US_MP3_Player_Cables_Adapters&hash=item3f2af1f863

(I have the same cable, if you want I can give you the link for chinese manufacturer)

 

or this one, http://www.ebay.com/itm/HIFIMAN-HE-5-HE-6-HE-300-HE-400-HE-500-Hand-made-Headphone-Cable-Upgrade-Cable-/111160922481?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item19e1b51171

The connections that I currently have are the same as the ones in the 2nd listing you posted.  And correct, they have split in the middle of the connection, right below the spinning nut (the small wire in the middle has snapped).  I have a couple of questions, really.  Firstly, would the first cable you listed fit the HE-400 (the connection looks different)? And would I be able to change the connection on the headphone side to fit the type shown in your first listing? If not, would the 2nd cable you listed be more durable in the connection, even though it is the same type?

 

I am really looking for a cable that performs similarly to stock, or better (not really necessary to be "better"), but is more durable, especially in the connectors.


Edited by reized - 10/30/13 at 8:53am
post #5 of 11

I have this cable to be exact,

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.1.iHtNHS&id=14061086082&initiative_new=1

 

I guess, you could also post your query in HE 400 impressions thread, http://www.head-fi.org/t/604583/hifiman-he-400-impressions-and-discussion-thread

 

I was advised that neither tweak the cable connection between headphone and connector of cable very often and nor fasten the nut very tight by using pliers (if the connector from the phone snaps, then it is a big problem!).

 

Does your HE 400 still have warranty?

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately, I do not have my warranty anymore.  I understand about limiting connection adjustments, but is there a way / would it be practical to change the connections from the standard HiFi Man ones to something more robust?  Also, I am still concerned with the connection weakness as a hardpoint, especially with the price of the headphones and cables.  Do you think that something like the Triple Threat Adapter (http://www.doublehelixcables.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=37) from DHC would be worth the investment?  I don't want to spend money unnecessarily, but I do want a cable/headphone solution that would last a long time without much worry.  Also, the cable that you use looks like the connections are more substantial, am I correct in seeing this, or is it just the photo?

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by reized View Post
 

Unfortunately, I do not have my warranty anymore.  I understand about limiting connection adjustments, but is there a way / would it be practical to change the connections from the standard HiFi Man ones to something more robust?  Also, I am still concerned with the connection weakness as a hardpoint, especially with the price of the headphones and cables.  Do you think that something like the Triple Threat Adapter (http://www.doublehelixcables.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=37) from DHC would be worth the investment?  I don't want to spend money unnecessarily, but I do want a cable/headphone solution that would last a long time without much worry.  Also, the cable that you use looks like the connections are more substantial, am I correct in seeing this, or is it just the photo?

The first picture was of an Audeze cable with 4-pin mini XLRs, which are much more robust than the Hifiman connectors.  You could hardwire pigtails, mount mini XLR jacks, or really anything.  The plastic ring that holds the jack is fairly soft and easy to drill into.  I think BTG audio and Moon Audio do removable cable mods, though Moon Audio doesn't use something simple like a mini XLR.  You probably aren't going to get substantial improvements in sound.  I'd focus more on the ergonomics and aesthetics of the cable you want.  I'd avoid anything with a teflon insulation or something with solid core or very few strands.  I thought the stock cable on the HE-500 that I had was awful.  Stiff, kink prone, and ended up breaking.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post
 

The first picture was of an Audeze cable with 4-pin mini XLRs, which are much more robust than the Hifiman connectors.  You could hardwire pigtails, mount mini XLR jacks, or really anything.  The plastic ring that holds the jack is fairly soft and easy to drill into.  I think BTG audio and Moon Audio do removable cable mods, though Moon Audio doesn't use something simple like a mini XLR.  You probably aren't going to get substantial improvements in sound.  I'd focus more on the ergonomics and aesthetics of the cable you want.  I'd avoid anything with a teflon insulation or something with solid core or very few strands.  I thought the stock cable on the HE-500 that I had was awful.  Stiff, kink prone, and ended up breaking.


Exactly.  I'm not looking for any real or noticeable improvement in sound quality, or even a very pretty cable.  I'm looking for my best option for both making my headphones usable again, as well as increasing the durability of the connection.  By hardwiring pigtails, do you mean something similar to the triple threat adapters I mentioned above (hardwired instead, obviously)? And would those be a viable option, or just increase the number of parts that can break?  Also, I'm not sure how much I trust myself in modifying my headphones currently.  Would I be able to get the cable and headphone modded by someone professionally?  Sorry for all the questions.  I do agree with you though, ergonomics & aesthetics are primary over increasing sound quality (I think they sound great stock), but durability is still my highest concern.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by reized View Post
 


Exactly.  I'm not looking for any real or noticeable improvement in sound quality, or even a very pretty cable.  I'm looking for my best option for both making my headphones usable again, as well as increasing the durability of the connection.  By hardwiring pigtails, do you mean something similar to the triple threat adapters I mentioned above (hardwired instead, obviously)? And would those be a viable option, or just increase the number of parts that can break?  Also, I'm not sure how much I trust myself in modifying my headphones currently.  Would I be able to get the cable and headphone modded by someone professionally?  Sorry for all the questions.  I do agree with you though, ergonomics & aesthetics are primary over increasing sound quality (I think they sound great stock), but durability is still my highest concern.

If done properly, hardwiring pigtails should be fine and doesn't require any modification of the frame (unless the pigtails are really thick).  Installing mini XLRs would require making the hole larger.

 

In theory, installing mini XLR's would be a little bit more secure since they would be secured to the frame, but the pigtails should be secured if installed properly.  Either option is close to the same from a part standpoint, you are simply moving where the connection happens (still need to wire from the drivers to the mini XLR whether mounted to the frame or in the cable).

 

I think BTG Audio and Moon Audio offer modifications.  Doublehelixcables I think will do the hardwire of the pigtails, but I'm not sure.  It would probably be good to shoot an inquiry to all three to see how they would approach your situation and how much it would cost.

 

You could try your luck with the FS thread and see if someone else could do it, but when you go amateur, you open yourself up to a wide variety of quality of work and warranty.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post
 

If done properly, hardwiring pigtails should be fine and doesn't require any modification of the frame (unless the pigtails are really thick).  Installing mini XLRs would require making the hole larger.

 

In theory, installing mini XLR's would be a little bit more secure since they would be secured to the frame, but the pigtails should be secured if installed properly.  Either option is close to the same from a part standpoint, you are simply moving where the connection happens (still need to wire from the drivers to the mini XLR whether mounted to the frame or in the cable).

 

I think BTG Audio and Moon Audio offer modifications.  Doublehelixcables I think will do the hardwire of the pigtails, but I'm not sure.  It would probably be good to shoot an inquiry to all three to see how they would approach your situation and how much it would cost.

 

You could try your luck with the FS thread and see if someone else could do it, but when you go amateur, you open yourself up to a wide variety of quality of work and warranty.


Thanks for all the information.  Just wondering, from a personal stance, would you choose to hardwire pigtails, or directly mount the mini XLR?  I like the idea of a "soft" connection for my cable to the headphones, but like you said, it also seems like it could be just another weak point (relative to mounting them directly).  I'm leaning towards the direct mount, but I'll have to wait and see what the differences in cost are, unless the direct mount turns out to be the clearly superior method, in which case that is what I will be doing.

post #11 of 11
I'd go with mounted mini XLRs as that would be both the most secure and the cleanest looking.
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