Another 580 mod for your enjoyment - dial up WARNING (photos)
Mar 3, 2007 at 7:19 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

JXBJXB

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Posts
108
Likes
0
I present to you "JXBJXB's Sexy Pantyhose 580 Grille Mod."

Ever since I took the grilles off of my Sennheiser HD580s, I've been looking for a way to preserve the much more open, airy sound and wider soundstage that occurs (to my ears) when you do so. One option, evidently, is to order HD600 grilles and use those instead of the ugly plastic 580 ones. But wouldn't no grilles be better still than the HD600 grilles?

Leaving the grilles off the headphones completely isn't really an option because a) that would be ugly and we don't like ugly and b) offers no protection to the back side of the driver.

I ordered a pair of 600 grilles from Sennheiser last week, but they'll take 4-6 weeks to get to me. I desire more instant gratification. So I asked Sennheiser to send me another pair of 580 grilles to try a completely reversible mod. If somebody else has posted something like this before, I completely apologize but I didn't see anything like it in various searches. Here goes.

What you need:

1 pair stock 580 grilles
1 pair black pantyhose
1 "krazy glue" pen or similar
Drill and large (1/2") bit
Dremel tool with sanding cylinder
Nibbling tool (available from Radio Shack)
Utility knife
Pencil, paper, scissors


Time involved:


About 45 mins/grille

Steps:

1) Get a large drill bit and drill two or three holes right next to one another in the middle of the grille.

DSC00047.jpg


2) Use the nibbling tool to (carefully) remove the bulk of the plastic mesh.

DSC00048.jpg


3) The nibbling tool can get pretty flush to the edges of the grille, so take off as much of the little plastic nubs as you can without damaging the grille rim.

DSC00049.jpg


4) Next, use the Dremel tool to carefully sand around the edge on low speed, removing the rest of the nubs left from the plastic mesh.

DSC00050.jpg


5) Take a sheet of 150 or 200 grit sandpaper and sand around the rim to make it nice and smooth, being careful not to nick up the lovely bluish-teal Sennheiser paint job.

DSC00051.jpg


6) Put your new "grille rim" down on a piece of paper and trace around the inside with a pencil. Cut this out with scissors - it is the template for your new pantyhose grille mesh. Put the template down on a one-layer section of the black pantyhose and carefully cut around it with a utility knife (fresh blade works best.) While you've got a fresh blade in the knife, you might carefully run it around the inside of the rim to remove any final little nubs from the sanding.

DSC00053.jpg


7) Here's where things get fun. We want to glue the hose mesh around the rim on the inside with the krazy-glue pen. Working with the pantyhose is pretty much like working with spiderwebs.
blink.gif
Plus, you can expect to glue your fingertips to the inside of the grille rim at least four times. But the idea is to use the glue sparingly and tack the pantyhose around the rim on the inside. I also made sure to keep the "grain pattern" of the pantyhose vertical to the longest dimension of the grille on both sides for aesthetic purposes. Be careful to not put runs in the hose, nor get excess glue on the hose.

DSC00055.jpg


8) After a while, it looks like this:

DSC00056.jpg


9) Here's what it looks like on the inside after four or five spots of glue:

DSC00057.jpg


10) Once you've tacked the pantyhose all the way around the rim, it looks like this on the inside:

DSC00058.jpg


11) And the finished product looks like this on the outside. The black pantyhose is almost see-thru but once it is on the headphone, the effect is actually quite nice.

DSC00059.jpg


12) The finished product mounted on otherwise-stock 580s. I like the stock cord over the HD650 upgraded cord - I find the overall presentation lighter with more "air" around voices and instruments:

DSC00060.jpg


How does it sound? Well, it sounds just like the HD580s do with no grilles. So if you like that sound, here's a way of making it more permanent and not having to spot the cash and wait patiently for HD600 grilles. When my 600 grilles do finally arrive, I will report back with a comparison.

Comments, ideas to improve, reviews after you've done this are encouraged. Thanks!
 
Mar 3, 2007 at 7:30 PM Post #2 of 22

Mrvile

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
Posts
3,391
Likes
13
Thanks for actually going through with this mod.

I've been thinking about doing something like this for a long time, but using stiff, wire mesh instead so it would turn out more like the HD600 grille. Since you used soft, flexible pantyhose mesh, does the driver unit poke out against it at all? Because the HD grilles themselves must have a slight domed shape to them so they don't touch the driver...at least I think so. If you could post a pic of the side-view of the mod that would be great.
 
Mar 3, 2007 at 7:38 PM Post #3 of 22

JXBJXB

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Posts
108
Likes
0
Side view:

DSC00061.jpg


The mesh is touching the small circular, hard plastic part of the back of the driver just slightly.

Since it is applying next to no pressure, and since it is just touching hard plastic, AND since the interface is between flexible hose mesh and hard plastic, I can't see how any vibrations will cause any detrimental sonic effects.
 
Mar 3, 2007 at 8:20 PM Post #4 of 22

ecclesand

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Posts
3,358
Likes
15
Very nice job! I don't have the stones to take a Dremmel to my beloved HD580.
eek.gif
so I have to wait for my 600 grills. I ordered them in January so I should be getting them soon!

Would some vinyl screen material work as well? You know, like a window screen?
 
Mar 3, 2007 at 8:27 PM Post #5 of 22

JXBJXB

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Posts
108
Likes
0
I don't know about vinyl window screen - I wanted a material that was as close to "nothing" as I could find, therefore, one layer of pantyhose mesh.

Mod is completely reversible because I asked Sennheiser to send me a pair of 580 grilles when I ordered my 600 grilles - so I still have my original grilles that I can snap onto these at any time. And 580 grilles are in stock.
eggosmile.gif
 
Mar 3, 2007 at 9:06 PM Post #10 of 22

RasmusseN

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
Posts
730
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by ecclesand /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Or do it ghetto style with a black Sharpie!
icon10.gif



I'd imagine that would look bad as it might not match the rest of the headphones.
 
Mar 3, 2007 at 9:12 PM Post #11 of 22

JXBJXB

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Posts
108
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nenso /img/forum/go_quote.gif
so.. I have to go out and buy pantyhose for this? o_O


Have girlfriend/wife accomplish that task if it makes you feel queasy.

Or use the condom-purchasing technique we all used in high school: Buy a bunch of other things with the pantyhose. Manly things. Bottle of Quaker State 5W-30, a Gillette Fusion razor, maybe a can of Dinty Moore beef stew. Put all of that on top of the pantyhose, and the checkout clerk is sure not to notice.
wink.gif


(Disclaimer: I am not at all affiliated with Dinty Moore, Gillette, or Quaker State.)
blink.gif
 
Mar 3, 2007 at 10:02 PM Post #13 of 22

Mrvile

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
Posts
3,391
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by JXBJXB /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I don't know about vinyl window screen - I wanted a material that was as close to "nothing" as I could find, therefore, one layer of pantyhose mesh.


I'd imagine that window screen is pretty close to pantyhose in "nothingness."
 
Mar 3, 2007 at 10:24 PM Post #15 of 22

Mrvile

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
Posts
3,391
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Time /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So what's the main difference in sound between the stock HD580 grills and not using the stock grills? Seems like it would be easier to just take the stock grills off and call it a mod.


Have you tried listening to the HD580 with the grilles off? That's about what the mod does.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top