B&W P5 Modifications

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  1. pjoliver182
    Hi Shaka
    I'm glad the mod convinced you to keep your P5's.  I remember being so disappointed with mine when I first got them; but at that time there were no forum threads containing anything useful about improving them - just a few posts saying how much people didn't like them!
    My own view is that the drivers themselves produce excellent sound quality; its the bit between them and your ears that fouls up the musical accuracy.  Interestingly there seem to be a second version of the ear cushions (according to some other photos posted by other users) where the foam does not obstruct the drivers.
    Regarding the foam and how much to trim, I would not remove more than is necessary.  What we're aiming to do is create a 'seal' around the driver that forms a 'tunnel' straight to your ear.  If you remove too much foam, the 'tunnel' will become larger than the driver and (in laymen's terms) you could create echoes within the tunnel.  That was my theory as to why the upper cavity needs to be filled in with something.
    On that score, I found that make-up removal pads are not the best solution.
    I took a pair of foam hearing protection ear buds and trimmed the sides to make oblong blocks (like bricks almost).  These are the best material I've used so far; the bass is so beautifully tight and realistic now - the bass pedal of a drum kit sounds really clear for example.
    I use these ear buds at work so it was easy for me to grab a pair to experiment with.  If you can't get hold of some, I would assume eBay have them.  Totally worth it!
    I wouldn't worry too much about the cable upgrade to be honest; its very fiddly - potentially a lot of work for only a small improvement.
    Spread the word - the P5's ARE as good as they were marketed to be!  They just need a simple mod to undo a poor designers over-sight!
  2. Thraex
    Hi pjoliver182!
    I've just reappear to inform you that a very expensive and high-end cable from Stefan AudioArt is avaiable for the P5 look here: http://www.stefanaudioart.com/headphone%20cable%20E%20Series%20P5 .
    It's handcrafted by a very competent and experienced engineer.
    Since I love so much my P5 maybe someday I'll give it a try.
  3. pjoliver182
    Ah yes I found that cable last year but decided it was waaaaay too expensive!
    Interested to know what difference it'll make though; let us know if you get one [​IMG]
  4. Thraex
    Now I'm in the process to upgrade pre/power amps, but headphone setup will come next, when I'll try it I'll let you know.
  5. Lorspeaker
    i had an old bottle of SETTEN diatonic carbon squalene oil  contact enhancer...
    ( its a decade old, not sure if its avail these days..)
    applied some on the internal plug and the external plug...clarity improved a notch to my ears.
  6. DarkSleip
    You all have reminded me of the reason I didn't enter head-fi anymore
  7. pjoliver182
    Hey people.  Custom Cable do a replacement for the P5 at a very reasonable £15.  I bought one and tried it against my own custom design and can't tell the difference.
    It looks the part, fits perfectly and is cheap.  No need to look elsewhere in my opinion.
  8. Jazz1
    God help me! I'm a sucker for custom cables :wink:
  9. rwmcjazz
  10. Firminator
    Put them around a big lamp (one roughly the size of your head) for a few days. It should loosen up a bit and start to fit nicely 
  11. Thraex
    Thanks again pjoliver182! I've ordered the Custom Cable for P5 and report back asap.
    For the preamp upgrade I've also find an amazing VFM piece, the SPL Volume 2, with the op-amp upgrade fom the stock TL071 to the much better TLE2071 it's a real high-end gear at just a few hundreds Euro.
    Nice way to end the year: cheap and big upgrades to my setups!
  12. Thraex
    Custom Cable for P5 arrived 2 days ago, from the first few hours of testing I prefer the B&W stock cable over it, the stock cable seems to me a little more open, dynamic and musical. I thought bass could be more datailed, but that's not the case here.
    pjoliver182 do you think it can benefit from a little more break-in? Till now not impressed.
  13. pjoliver182
    Unfortunately sound quality and tone equalization are extremely subjective; whilst I love the sound of my own P5's you may not like them if you listened to them.
    The biggest improvement for me was the ear cushion mod; if you have done that already then that's what the P5's sound like.  The other mods to cables etc will only make subtle changes in my experience.
    Break in - I'm not sure.  I bought mine 2nd hand so I don't know what they sound like when brand new.  I did break mine in for a number of days by playing frequency sweeps and white noise etc continuously through the night (under a pillow) using an iPhone app.  I remember that process making a significant difference actually.
    Hope this helps,
  14. Thraex
    A couple of days of working and now it's a little bit better than stock cable, bass is more controlled and detailed, not much more just that bit to be able to pump up the volume without booming and to understand more lower bass lines, also a clearer differentiation of variuos instruments playing at same time. Little differences, but now satisfied after a bit of burn-in. And the cable is more robust and less sticky.
  15. devoker
    What kind of scissors did you use for cutting? I tried but foam was too soft to cut.
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