I'm reading head-fi on a regular basis, but it's my first post/thread.
I recently recabled old sony earbuds, and figured it could be a good idea to share some information.
We see plently of fullsize cans & iem recabling but old earbuds are good candidates too.
I own these Sony MDR-E575 since my teenage years, I bought these in 1991.
They were lying in a box somewhere because original cables self-destructed.
So, the first idea was more a repair than a recable.
These earbuds were top of the 5xx line and are solid performers, saphir evaporated diaphragms provided a wide frequency response.
> The things to fix
- Left & right cables were heavily destructed, thanks to the neck cord design these earbuds suffer from sweat acidity.
No sound on right channel, repaired many times.
- The drivers are secured with special (3 seals), round, rubber joints.
These joints destroyed when I took apart the drivers, thanks to time the rubber has dryed and became crispy.
- Cloths filters & grids on front of the drivers were dirty, soaked them in alcohool to clean.
- Original cable was 1,2 meters, a bit short for sitting at my desk
> The parts for recable
- 4 x 1,5 meters of AWG26 OCC Copper, silver plated stranded cable (teflon insulated, outside diamater approx 1mm)
Original cables were very fine enameled LC-OFC class2 litz cable, not easy to replace.
- A gold plated 3,5mm plug
I took a straight one but I'll replace it later with an angled one to match the original design ... and fit the earbuds box.
- 2x Baby bottle nipples (yes, nipples dont laught !)
I couldn't manage to save the rubber rings.
If it had to be redone, I would have made a clean cut on the middle of rings and put them back later with some adhesive.
The only silicon thing of the right size lying in my house were old baby nipples.
I've cut the extremities and stretched it over the casing to secure the drivers.
It's not very neat but gives good fit & good ear isolation.
> Work done
- Stranded cables by 4 on one meter, and by 2 on the next 50 centimeters.
- Covered the cables with heatshrink
- Put the cables in the earbuds housings, it was tricky. Used some lube to push them in the rubber cable port.
- Soldered them on the drivers with good old lead solder which was the norm back in 1990.
Need to apply solder quickly because these things are quite sensible to heat, pre-tinned the cables & used a bit of liquid flux.
> Relax & listen
- I got my lovely 90's sound back.
Comparing to my other top sony MDR earbuds (MDR-E888), mids are not on the same level, less clarity.
But I prefer 575's, better bass, better trebles, much more balanced than 888's as in my memories, very enjoyable.
Dunno if new cable makes things better because I've not listened to them since 10 years ... !
But these buds need good cables to attain the wide frequencies ... some sony buds shared the same drivers but top of the line had better cables.
> Some photos, including nipples !
Links to photobucket because it's my first post.
Edited by miig - 3/25/14 at 2:40pm