Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Discussions › Help me to convert stock Hifiman HE-500 cable to balanced
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help me to convert stock Hifiman HE-500 cable to balanced

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

OK, I must confess that I never thought that in my entire life I would post in a DIY forum. DIY just don't go with me.

 

Well I am here finally driven by the exorbitant cost of balanced cables for the Hifiman HE-500.

 

Background is this. I have a HE-500 and I am planning to buy one of the Balanced DAC/AMP from Audi GD. They have 4 pin balanced XLR headphone out jacks. All the balanced cable solutions from third parties run into at least 150-200+ dollars plus shipping. Then I came across the cheapest solution from the Audio GD website.  So I thought I will modify my stock HE-500 cable to 4 pin balanced XLR using this (just $30):

 

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/Phoenix/ModifyEN.htm

 

I believe I can follow the instructions and with the help of friend, I can sum up the courage to modify the stock cables. The advantage of above solution is that the stock cable can be used both as a balanced cable or Single ended cable depending on the need. 

 

The only part I cannot figure out is to how to determine the L+, L- and R+, R-. The web site offers help as follows:

 

If you are unable to determine the nature of every wire in your headphone cable, you can use a ohms meter to test and verify, the L+ is short to "L", the R+ is short to "R", and the two GND is short to "GND" of the picture below. 

 

I have absolutely no knowledge of the tools mentioned like a Ohms meter. My friend has a solder gun and a multimeter. Will that suffice? Also how can I check the L+ and R+ using the Ohms meter or a multimeter (if it can be used). This is the part where I need the help.

 

Please be detailed as how I need to do it. Should I plug the 6.35mm TRS plug in to Ohms meter while testing? I tried to search using Google, but I could not find out.

 

Thanks in advance for any pointers.

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Elijah. My question is how to know which is L+ and R+. I know that L- and R- will become the cold wires and the others become hot. Just do not know how to determine which is what.

Yes Hifiman stock cable has a four wires.
post #3 of 14

alright its easy to figure out which cables go where.  using the multimeter you will need to check for something called continuity.  That is where you see if the two ends are connected or not. So the center pin in the Hifiman connector is your signal or L+ or R+ depending on which side it is on and the shield on your connector is your ground or L- or R- again depending on the side. 

 

Ok so to figure out which wire goes where you hold the multimeter to the pin on the L or R side and then touch the other side of the multimeter to one of the 4 wires down below.  If the multimeter reads 1 that means infinity or there is no connection. If it reads 0 or something close to 0 than that is the wire connected to that pin.  Repeat that until you find the wires for L+, L-, R+, R-.  

 

Also just a side note but once you figure it out, label the wire with tape or something so you know later what is what.  

 

Good luck and have fun.  

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zashoomin View Post

alright its easy to figure out which cables go where.  using the multimeter you will need to check for something called continuity.  That is where you see if the two ends are connected or not. So the center pin in the Hifiman connector is your signal or L+ or R+ depending on which side it is on and the shield on your connector is your ground or L- or R- again depending on the side. 



 



Ok so to figure out which wire goes where you hold the multimeter to the pin on the L or R side and then touch the other side of the multimeter to one of the 4 wires down below.  If the multimeter reads 1 that means infinity or there is no connection. If it reads 0 or something close to 0 than that is the wire connected to that pin.  Repeat that until you find the wires for L+, L-, R+, R-.  



 



Also just a side note but once you figure it out, label the wire with tape or something so you know later what is what.  



 



Good luck and have fun.  


 




Thanks, I won't pretend I understood fully. But I guess I have something to go by now.

Only problem I can sense is that since TRS will have L- & R- soldered to the same sleeve, I may have to unbraid the cable and then part the Left and Right channel cables separately to check. I hope I can braid them back on after the re-termination.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elija View Post

Without measure little tricky. Maeby colors help. Normal cables have white and red. White is L+ and red is R+. But this is not strickt order.


 



Thanks.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTV View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zashoomin View Post
 

alright its easy to figure out which cables go where.  using the multimeter you will need to check for something called continuity.  That is where you see if the two ends are connected or not. So the center pin in the Hifiman connector is your signal or L+ or R+ depending on which side it is on and the shield on your connector is your ground or L- or R- again depending on the side. 

 

 

 

Ok so to figure out which wire goes where you hold the multimeter to the pin on the L or R side and then touch the other side of the multimeter to one of the 4 wires down below.  If the multimeter reads 1 that means infinity or there is no connection. If it reads 0 or something close to 0 than that is the wire connected to that pin.  Repeat that until you find the wires for L+, L-, R+, R-.  

 

 

 

Also just a side note but once you figure it out, label the wire with tape or something so you know later what is what.  

 

 

 

Good luck and have fun.  

 




Thanks, I won't pretend I understood fully. But I guess I have something to go by now.

Only problem I can sense is that since TRS will have L- & R- soldered to the same sleeve, I may have to unbraid the cable and then part the Left and Right channel cables separately to check. I hope I can braid them back on after the re-termination.

I almost garuntee that you will have to cut off the connector anyway.  I doubt that they will make it so easy as to let you unscrew it off and see the soldering connections.  from there just wrap a piece of tape around the cable a little above where you cut it off and that will keep it from starting to un-braid.  From there strip each wire and start checking and labeling.  

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zashoomin View Post

I almost garuntee that you will have to cut off the connector anyway.  I doubt that they will make it so easy as to let you unscrew it off and see the soldering connections.  from there just wrap a piece of tape around the cable a little above where you cut it off and that will keep it from starting to un-braid.  From there strip each wire and start checking and labeling.  

 



Yes I have to cut the cables about one foot from the TRS connector and the add the male XLR pin to the TRS end of the cut and female XLR connector to the headphone connector side. Luckily the Hifiman cables are 4 separate cables braided. So I am planning to do it this way.

Mark a point about one feet near the TRS pin where the cable will be cut
Flatten all 4 cables into a row.
Mark the cables 1, 2, 3, 4 on both side (TRS side and Headphone connector side) of the cut line
Cut all 4 wires in a flat line
Unbraid the cable from Headphone side and separate the two cables each for the Left and Righ Channels
Test using the multi meter to find out the +ve wire for both left & right. Assign the L+, L-, R+, R- to to the numbers given.
Put the sleeves of XLR connector
Solder the XLR male and female connectors based on the diagram in the link
Close the sleeve

Hopefully this will go through smoothly.

Thanks again.


.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTV View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zashoomin View Post
 

I almost garuntee that you will have to cut off the connector anyway.  I doubt that they will make it so easy as to let you unscrew it off and see the soldering connections.  from there just wrap a piece of tape around the cable a little above where you cut it off and that will keep it from starting to un-braid.  From there strip each wire and start checking and labeling.  


Yes I have to cut the cables about one foot from the TRS connector and the add the male XLR pin to the TRS end of the cut and female XLR connector to the headphone connector side. Luckily the Hifiman cables are 4 separate cables braided. So I am planning to do it this way.

Mark a point about one feet near the TRS pin where the cable will be cut
Flatten all 4 cables into a row.
Mark the cables 1, 2, 3, 4 on both side (TRS side and Headphone connector side) of the cut line
Cut all 4 wires in a flat line
Unbraid the cable from Headphone side and separate the two cables each for the Left and Righ Channels
Test using the multi meter to find out the +ve wire for both left & right. Assign the L+, L-, R+, R- to to the numbers given.
Put the sleeves of XLR connector
Solder the XLR male and female connectors based on the diagram in the link
Close the sleeve

Sounds like you have it all planned out well. Let us know how it goes! Also perhaps take a couple of pics while you're at it, there will certainly be some people here that can benefit from seeing what you're doing ;) 


Edited by HiGHFLYiN9 - 11/5/13 at 11:44am
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sure, I will post the results and pics. I am yet to order the parts from Audio GD because the amp/DAC decision is only in the final stages.
post #10 of 14

You don't have to unbraid your cable!

 

I made a balanced cable for my HE-500 using the extra SMC connectors included in the HE-500 box and Canare Star Quad cable but modifying the original cable is easy.

 

Cut the TRS connector about 1 foot from the connector--keep the cutoff as you may want to solder on a 4-Pin Female XLR to use as an adapter cable.

 

Trim about 1/8 of an inch (3mm) of insulation from the 4 headphone wires.

 

Unscrew the headset's right SMC connector. If it won't come off with fingers a small wrench will work.

 

Using a multimeter's continuity feature (touch the two probes together and you'll hear a tone--this is sometimes marked on the multimeter's dial as a musical note) touch one probe to the outside of the SMC connector then touch each of the 4 bare wires. When the meter beeps you found the wire connected to the outside of the SMC which will be Right negative, so mark the cable somehow so you'll know what it is when soldering.

 

Touch one probe to the center pin of the SMC connector and look for its wire, that will be Right +

 

Do the same for the other SMC connector which will be Left - for the outside of the SMC connector, Left + for the center pin.

 

HiFiMan Male SMC connector (get extras on eBay):

 

 

Solder on the 4-Pin XLR connector. The pin numbers are actually molded into the XLR's plastic plug that has the 4 pins through it. Don't forget to slide on the XLR shroud before you start to solder. For braided line like this I would also recommend putting some heat-shrink tubing over the part of the cable that will be under the shroud. It will help the XLR cable lock grip the wires.

 

XLR Pin

1  L+

2  L-

3  R+

4  R-

 

 

 

The view when soldering the XLR connector:

 

 

I have a balanced cable DIY webpage here: http://robrobinette.com/BalancedCable.htm


Edited by robrob - 11/14/13 at 3:33pm
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks robrob

That saves me a lot of trouble. I was trying to figure out about Hifiman connectors to save the trouble of unbraiding, but your post makes it even more easier with additional information. I will check your site. I will post the results when done.

Thank you.
Edited by VTV - 11/8/13 at 10:42am
post #12 of 14

@robrob

Excellent website, very informative. I have been making my own custom cables for years and agree with your recommendations for bulk wire that that could be purchased by the foot and have excellent sound capabilities and relatively low cost. You provided very clear and easy to follow instructions with illustrations.

Great job!

post #13 of 14

Thanks Art.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

I converted my stock cable of the HE-500 to balanced. All that it took me was just 15 minutes and some careful planning. I have the best of both world with the stock cable now usable as balanced or single ended for 30 dollars. If you order the Neutrik XLR 4 pin male and female plugs and have some solder iron to spare, you can manage this for under $15 may be. 

 

I can now AB both SE and balanced to see if the sound is different because the cable is the same and termination can be altered as I need it. Balanced seem more louder definitely.

 

Thanks everyone who chipped in and helped me...

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Discussions › Help me to convert stock Hifiman HE-500 cable to balanced