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dampening cups...is that what we want?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by leeperry, Aug 14, 2009.
  1. leeperry
    hi there,

    I've found 2 things to change the sound of my DT770 :
    1)dampen the cups to kill the plastic resonances
    2)angle the drivers to give a 180º headstage(a la cd3k)

    I've done and undone the first part...and I think it's a mixed bag [​IMG]

    on the DT770/Pro, it was no match as it's using low quality plastic..that simply sounds terrible! but the DT770/Premium uses ABS cups, which is also used for music instruments(clarinets, etc).

    it does kill the resonances, you get the same sort of sound as if you were in a studio cabin w/ these things on the walls :


    it gave a highly claustrophobic and a much drier/percussive sound...and when I took it off months later, it gave more of a room speakers ambience(especially w/ some very slight crossfeed in foobar).

    so I'm just wondering what kind of sound I wanna get from my headphones at this point....speakers in a resonating home room, or resonance-free like in a studio cabin?

    I guess I'll try to dampen them again...if anyone wanna share some thoughts.

    I have to admit that I love the studio cabin feeling, but it sounds less natural...and possibly less appealing/more fatiguing in the long run?
  2. haloxt
    Dampening my headphones made it more euphonious than I've ever heard it, but I started going crazy from not hearing resonances. If you keep tweaking maybe you could get the right amount of dampening for you. I went the vibrating route, I think partly for humor value (still funny after several months) and partly because I think the manufacturer intended the headphones to vibrate.
  3. leeperry
    yeah, we pretty much agree then [​IMG]

    I believe the ideal goal of headphones is to sound like loudspeakers in a room....but not a room as controlled as a studio cabin.

    on tight drums, dampening was sexy as hell...the sound was very tight and percussive as hell [​IMG]

    but it might have killed the overall acoustic response..beyer doesn't use ABS just for the helluvit [​IMG]

    PS: I wonder how wooden cups sound like...I guess they don't resonate at all [​IMG]
  4. leeperry
    anyone else feels like disagreeing?

    I know some ppl use dampening paint within loudspeakers cabinets so they don't internally resonate...they also use dampening triangles underneath the speakers.

    but well, you still get reverberations from the room walls..
  5. xnor
    I wouldn't enjoy listening to music it if it reminded me of claustrophobic rooms, thats for sure. [​IMG]
    So I'd go with undamped and ..

    Originally Posted by leeperry /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I believe the ideal goal of headphones is to sound like loudspeakers in a room....but not a room as controlled as a studio cabin.

    I think you've answered your own question. [​IMG]
  6. leeperry
    yep, I think so too. I've added pictures in the sister thread here: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/dam...e-want-440225/

    the question is whether cups resonances act as walls reverberation...and I'd dare to say "yes" [​IMG]

    but dampening was really nice on drums to get a clear and uncolored sound...very "impressive".

    so I think haloxt nailed it, I need to find an in-between....like adding some dampening in the middle at the back of the driver, but leave the surroundings untouched.
  7. xnor
    Sounds cool, waiting for the results. (on this dupe thread! :p)
  8. leeperry
    well, I've decided to dampen my DT770/600Ω all over again [​IMG]

    it's the same sound, w/o the messy cup resonances basically.

    I think I read that haloxt stuffed cotton wool into his Pro900, I don't use any filling....I applied some thin heavy-duty double-face adhesive(made for carpets) plus some.....papyrus stuck to it to the cups inside, that's the closest I could find to wood [​IMG]

    it's a triple win-win, because the adhesive dampens resonances, papyrus is totally immune to moist(it lasts centuries, right?) and it doesn't have a flat surface, so back-wave are "killed" as shown in these pics :


    it gives a much clearer sound, the same sound I was getting when I was working in a studio....drums are very percussive and not bloated, the sound is not "plasticy" colored no more [​IMG]

    it's always good to do/undo each mod several times, to make sure that it's not placebo...like angling drivers(a la cd3k) [​IMG]

    PS: the only reverbs I'm hearing now are the ones on the recordings, good stuff!
  9. b0dhi
    I find it interesting how nobody mentions/notices the changes to the bass response after doing dampening mods.
  10. xnor
    Guess you'd 'lose' some bass because it needs to reflect?
  11. leeperry
    well, my DT770 has very good bass response up to 20Hz, so it's never been a problem in the first place.

    I can't really comment on it anyway, as I've simultaneously rolled op-amps from the LME49720HA to the OPA2132P...both carry a very good bass response too [​IMG]

    but quite honestly, it's not the first phone I dampen, and I've never really paid attention to any bass response changes....what is very much obvious OTOH is that the mids are much more natural and less plasticy colored, also drums sound tighter and much less bloated.

    I know some HP manufacturers actually dampen the cups, and it's a great thing...why Beyer won't do it(or angle the drivers to give a 180° headstage) is beyond me [​IMG]

    and I've seen some ppl mentioning adding aluminium lining to the cups, I tried it...it gives very ugly trebles.
  12. Jeff Guidry
    I have given up on modding headphones...though in theory it seems like a good idea to try to tweak a pair of headphones, a team of very bright audio engineers designed the thing and took many things into consideration that the average guy simply doesn't, and any change to the structure of the headphone, while it will appear to improve things in one area, usually messes things up in another. In short, I have never found an acoustic modification that I thought was worth the time or trouble, as I think every headphone sounds as good as it can given its particular circumstances.

    Electrical modifications on the other hand I think can improve the sound of a headphone but in the end I still think these mods are not worth the money that one must put into them. Unless you are a very handy DIYer and can do your own mods for far cheaper than store bought solutions, I think one ought to spend time finding a synergy between pieces of equipment and forget physically modifying your gear.
  13. Punnisher Contributor
    Just look at ultrasones. I saw a picture of one of the higher end models disassembled. It's just a cheap plastic backing which has the same inner shape as the outside. No baffling, stuffing or anti-resonant material. You wouldn't think they'd be successful headphones by looking inside them.

    Modding my 770s in this way didn't make a night/day difference. There was a slightly more congested sound, less bass and smaller soundstage. The negatives seemed to weigh equal to that of the positives.

    Now they have Grado drivers, which is a whole different discussion. I think when you get right down to it, there's only so much you can do with the stock drivers inside the stock enclosure.
  14. haloxt
    Punnisher is right the pro 900 is just plastic inside the cups with a very thin layer of weird glue in RANDOM places there. I wouldn't be surprised if it was just randomly there from manufacturing but maybe it is some kind of dampening lol (makes me wonder because the glue thing doesn't match between left and right cups). But hey the plastic resonance is not that bad for me and I'm just constantly amazed at the performance of the drivers.
  15. leeperry
    well going back and forth between the stock DT770/600 and dampened was pretty amazing...when fully dampened, it'd give a slightly narrower soundstage, much more percussive/agressive sound and far less colored/hollow.

    so it's great for monitoring, as you can EQ so damn easily! and these beyer's come from the Pro world anyway, they shine in a recording studio plugged into a mixing desk.

    but recently I've got my cd1k(same drivers/cups design as the cd3k) back....and OMG, the first few minutes were pretty amazing, so much reverb! [​IMG]

    well, the cups are WAY bigger than the DT770 anyway, but I now come to the conclusion that dampening is great if you wanna monitor audio...but for euphonic enjoyment you'd need big ass cups to get as much reverb as you can get(darth beyer anyone? [​IMG]). This will increase the soundstage depth and the impression of using loudspeakers in a regular room.

    I will ditch the stock foam donut(that's behind the drivers) and dampen the cd1k cups(Germania told me it'd be a night and day, in a good way [​IMG]) w/ acoustic dampening foam...this will increase the SS even further, kill the plastic resonances and give a more "even" bass response.

    OTOH, the DT770/Premium has very sibilating/agressive trebles, very narrow SS and a pretty high isolation/claustrophobic feel, the cd1k leaks a lot more and is pure bliss [​IMG]

    in short, I'd agree...some phones cannot be improved. the DT770 is not worth modding, coz the cups are too damn small!

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