Audio Technica ATH- ES 10 Impressions Thread
Oct 6, 2014 at 12:06 AM Post #871 of 1,094

Bill-P

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Alright, here comes instructions!
 
First off, here is a photo of the materials necessary:
 

 
List of materials:
- A stock Audio Technica ATH-ES10 (a recabled version may not sound that different, but I wouldn't know to be honest)
- Replacement ear pads (optional). ESW9 and ESW11 ear pads fit
- Foamies 2mm thick foam sheet (color doesn't matter)
- Rainbow Classicfelt felt sheet (color doesn't matter)
- Dimensions wool felt roll (color doesn't matter)
- Realeather Crafts brown deertan piece (this particular piece is required)
- A long piece of dynamat (length matters)
 
Tools to use... well, scissors and screw driver.
 
So... let's get cracking!
 
First, you gotta open one side of the headphone up.
This isn't too hard. All you gotta do is pull off the ear pads and unscrew 4 screws:
 

 

 

 
 

 

 
See that yellow stuff inside the ear cup? That's fiberglass, the material Audio Technica uses to damp a lot of their modern headphones. They used to use wool felt and acoustic foam, but I guess fiber glass gives them a better balance between clarity, bass, and midrange. Either way, it's not doing your ES10 any favor in terms of clarity and all, so... let's take it out.
 

 
Much better! Now we can work with the ear cup.
 

 
Okay... bear with me here. See those 4 regions of the ear cup that's separated by the screw holes? Yeah... we are going to line the 3 top sides up with dynamat, leaving the bottom side with the opening for the cable alone. That means you need a bunch of long dynamat pieces. Also... make sure there is not too much adhesive with each piece of dynamat. You can just use your hand to pluck away some of the black adhesive/glue stuff.
 

 
Sorry, it's kinda hard to see, but I tried my best to show you how it'd look once you line the plastic inside of the ear cup with dynamat strips. You don't have to cover the whole thing. Just a thin strip will do. Overdoing it gives more clarity, but may cause harshness as well, so... tune it to your taste.
 

 
Now cut a piece of foam and wool felt about the same size as the lining of the insides again, but this time, the wool felt piece would be shorter than the foam piece. I have included a scale so you can see that about 1.5" for the wool felt and 2.0" for the foam piece is about the right length. Also, you would need a small V opening right smack the middle of the foam piece. That's because we are going to place it at the very bottom, and you need to leave an opening for the cable.
 

 
And once you're done cutting, the pieces line up just like that. If the wool felt piece doesn't want to stay, use a bit of the black adhesive/glue stuff that you plucked from the dynamat pieces to help it adhere to the foam piece. The foam piece by itself will slot in the opening between the 2 screw holes just fine, so you probably won't need any adhesive for it to stay.
 

 
See that circular opening that exposes the titanium cover of the ear cup? Cut a piece of leather and 2mm felt to that shape. They should each be slightly bigger than the opening, because that makes it easier to slot them in.
 

 
Slot the circular piece of leather into that opening, and it should fit snuggly.
 

 
And then you just have to lay the circular felt piece on top for it to stick.
 

 
Last step is to cover the sides of the plastic protrusion part with dynamat. You'll need a particularly long piece here, and... be extra careful. The wiring is very thin right there!
 
But after that, we're done! Just duplicate those steps for the other side.
 
----
 
So yeah, I think all of that is fairly easy to revert back to stock if you happen to not like the new presentation.
 
Though stock ear pads sound okay with the mod, I think it sounds best with either ESW9 or ESW11 ear pads. Each will give a different presentation, so it's up to you to choose whichever one suits your taste better.
 
And once again, thanks to Triggerfish for lending me his stock ES10 headphone for the photos!
 
----
 
Edit: I put the link to this post in my signature, so for future reference, you can always go back to the post with my signature.
 
Happy modding! 
beerchug.gif
 
 
Oct 7, 2014 at 12:12 AM Post #873 of 1,094

Bill-P

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Thanks!
 
I'm not sure if any of that would apply to the ESW11, but it sure does help the stock ES10 get closer to neutrality to my ears.
 
I couldn't quite get the stock headphone to sound like my pair, because the stock ear cups are a bit too shallow compared to my pair, but at least tonal balance is about the same for both.
 
Oct 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM Post #875 of 1,094

BuLLeT_BaiT

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  Has anyone tried applying Topcoat in the metal cups?

 
I tried something similar on a pair of Denons sanded back to the metal frame with various cans topcoat and automotive clearcoat, but never got great results. 
They looked great immediately after but chipped and peeled over a few months. I imagine you may get similar problems with these cups unfortunately.
 
Oct 16, 2014 at 5:05 AM Post #876 of 1,094

lbbef

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Audio Technica just released a new limited edition portable headphone under the EarSuit series, the ESW9LTD. :D
 
Oct 16, 2014 at 9:48 AM Post #877 of 1,094

lcats

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With regard to the 8th and 9th images in your posting and the dynamat strip around 3/4 of the ear cup, would you say that the strip shown in your images covers the top 1/2 or 1/3 of the depth?  As you say, it is difficult to see.  I am awaiting receipt of the modding materials and excited to try this.
 
Ed
 
Oct 16, 2014 at 12:29 PM Post #878 of 1,094

Bill-P

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  Audio Technica just released a new limited edition portable headphone under the EarSuit series, the ESW9LTD. :D

 
42mm drivers. Meh. 
tongue.gif

 
Honestly, though, I'm surprised they didn't make another limited edition 53mm portable headphone.
 
And why does the ESW9LTD look so much like a slightly lighter version of my ES10? Ah well, we'll never know.
 
  With regard to the 8th and 9th images in your posting and the dynamat strip around 3/4 of the ear cup, would you say that the strip shown in your images covers the top 1/2 or 1/3 of the depth?  As you say, it is difficult to see.  I am awaiting receipt of the modding materials and excited to try this.
 
Ed

 
The strips are actually as thin as the aluminum foil layer. I left just barely enough of the black adhesive stuff to affix the strips.
 
More of the adhesive can mess with the cups later on as it may bleed into the plastic housing and glue the cups and the housing together.
 
But more of it would absorb more vibrations, and hence will give a cleaner, but potentially harsher sound.
 
I left some room for air to "soften" that harsh sound, and give more of a refined, dark-ish signature that is still cleaner than stock. Whereas the ES10 will sound either a bit muffled or V-shaped before, it'd sound cleaner, more open and softer, less aggressive, which is just to my liking.
 
Oct 16, 2014 at 12:42 PM Post #879 of 1,094

lcats

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This is quite helpful information, as I had not grasped the exact import of your comments on removing part of the adhesive.  However what I was trying to ask had to do with the width (not the thickness) of the strips versus the height of the side of the cup -- it would appear in your images that the dynamat strips are about 1/3 or 1/2 the width that would cover the entire wall of the cup, that they cover only the top portions.  I hope I am communicating my question, and am not being confused by the image.  So, how wide did you cut the strips?
 
Ed
 
Oct 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM Post #881 of 1,094

lbbef

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Their new products looks very interesting.
Summarised them in one of my local forums.
Have a look if anyone's interested in more info. :)
 
http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/89276482-post1228.html
 
Personally I'm quite disappointed with the 42mm drivers, but they don't seem to have compromised on the other parts. :)
 
Oct 16, 2014 at 4:35 PM Post #883 of 1,094

Bill-P

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Oh, then
  Their new products looks very interesting.
Summarised them in one of my local forums.
Have a look if anyone's interested in more info. :)
 
http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/89276482-post1228.html
 
Personally I'm quite disappointed with the 42mm drivers, but they don't seem to have compromised on the other parts. :)

 
Well, I'm intrigued still. The ESW10JPN sounds very good despite 42mm.
 
 
Actually, it is their 3rd dimension that I don't quite grasp.

 
Oh, I understand now. The 3rd dimension is 1/2 the cup depth, just enough to cover the flat curve before the plastic tapered in with the cups' contour.
 
Oct 21, 2014 at 1:04 PM Post #884 of 1,094

lcats

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Well Bill-P, I did your mod; it was not difficult, and the immediate result is that my ES-10's sound much brighter in the upper midrange, and appear to have lost nothing in the areas of these phone's aural strengths.  Since I had previously recabeled with silver (TWag), the combo might be causing a bit too much brightness / harshness -- I'll have to listen awhile and see.  If so, which piece(s) of dynamat do you think I might remove first to tune it?  
 
But I basically like the result a lot.  Many thanks.  
 
Ed
 
Oct 21, 2014 at 6:19 PM Post #885 of 1,094

Bill-P

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Removing the top piece of dynamat (the one in the top quarter) or alternatively, cutting a strip of felt in the same shape and covering the top quarter with it (still leaving the dynamat in) should do the trick.
 
I feared the cable might have made a difference... so the mod had to be performed on a stock pair. But you can definitely play around with the dampening and get very interesting results.
 
For instance, if you'd like to color the midrange, you can try stuffing different materials right where the circular piece in the middle is... or stack more leather and felt for a thicker and bassier sound. You can play around with that more to customize for your own personal taste. Myself, personally, I have a lot of dampening in the back, and it all gives a very nice strong bass presence with a clean and clear midrange.
 
The ES10 turns out to be a very transparent headphone, so every little change would make quite a noticeable difference. And it can sound very very good.
 
My ES10 is now tuned to be so transparent that a non-audiophile can detect the difference in the headphone out port of a 2011 MacBook and a 2012 MacBook. That happened just a few days ago, and it totally made my day when he went like "oh wow, how is that possible?"
 

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