DIY Custom IEMs : Part 2

  1. akiroz
    So some of you may already be wondering "where the heck is part 1?"
    Well... I never made a thread for it.
     
    Head-fiers who hang around the members' lounge forum with me and people in the "post pics of your builds" thread probably already know that I made a custom IEM from Ear Impressions, various raw materials and a pair of TF10 Drivers I got in the FS forums.
    Here's some pics from part 1:
     
    IMG_6641.jpg   IMG_6654.jpg   IMG_6800.jpg
     
    If I already have a completed CIEM, why am I starting a part 2?
    ...... Because it looks fugly!!
     
    So this time, I'm making a deal with my local Audiologist to make me custom acrylic shells.
    ($26 for impression, $64 for the shell, $90 total.)
    and I'll start from there.
     
    Instead of "cheating" and using the TF10 assembly like last time,
    I'll get my own BA drivers, crossovers, sound tubes, and dampers and "design" an IEM.
    but It all depends on my budget at this point, I do want to get separate BA's and tune them myself.
    (BA Drivers are Expensive for a student like myself...)
     
    EDIT:
    I'll most likely be getting my BA Drivers from Knowles Electronics.
    A guide of their products can be found here for those interested. (Flip to page 17 - 26 for BA Drivers.)
    I've actually laid my eyes on the GQ Series because it's a Dual driver system with 2-way crossover.
     
    And last but not least, a Custom Faceplate!
    I may embed all sorts of stuff in there, like wood, metal, etc. 
    but for this first attempt I'll just put a piece of paper with my custom Artwork.
     
    So right now I've already made my ear impression and the custom shell will arrive in a week's time.
    (before Aug.24)
     
    I'll update this thread again when I've made some progress. [​IMG]
     
    UPDATE 21/8/2012:
     
    Cable - Done!
    3.5mm TRS --> Y-Split --> 2x 1.3mm Coaxial power connector @ 90˚ to cable
    m4fk5.jpg   TBlZH.jpg
     
     
     
    Faceplate Test 1: 
    - Print artwork using laser printer
    - Laminate paper with transparent sheets
    - Cut out faceplate shape
    - Pour a thin layer of resin on the Laminated faceplate
    *Note: the pouring was done using a needle-tipped syringe.
    *Note: For this test, epoxy resin was used because that all I had in the house for now.....
     
    The resin is currently curing.
    I have no idea why it looks blurry and yellowish....
    Hope I can fix that after they fully cured.
    BxBii.jpg
     
    UPDATE 22/08/2012:
     
    The resin for test 1 never cured and it turned yellowish.
    I repeated the test thinking I may have not mixed the 2 parts properly...
    the result? EXACTLY THE SAME.
     
    So now I'm suspecting that the hardener part (B) may have reacted with something else causing this to happen.
    Because the hardener part is not the most stable substance to begin with.
    White smoke comes out of the container the moment I open it, this is caused by a reaction with water vapor in the air.
    (I do all my stuff under a stove hood of course.)
     
    So anyway, to test this I placed a drop of the hardener in the plastic transparency film I used to cover the paper with.
    and.... as I suspected, it turned a red-ish color meaning some reaction must have occurred.
     
    Now I'm back to square 1 with the faceplates.... Damn.
     
    After that I went to see if the hardener would react with the surface of a photo-paper
    since it does not absorb liquid and I could print on it.
    So far, nothing unusual happened. I went ahead and added some epoxy base (part A) in the mix to see if it'll cure properly on a photo-paper.
    Results will be in by tomorrow.
     
    That's all for now.
     
    UPDATE 23/08/2012 - Pt.1:
    The epoxy on the Glossy Paper cured this morning, It seems to be fine.
    Just Laser-printed the Artwork on 240g/m^2 HW Glossy Paper and cut out the faceplates.
    Going to do the resin pour when I get home later today...
     
     
    UPDATE 23/08/2012 - Pt.2:
    Just got home with the artwork-printed glossy-papers and poured some epoxy resin on them.
    Here's some pics:
    9bMdQ.jpg   AF6oJ.jpg
     
    sI2DS.jpg   HzSjd.jpg
     
     
    UPDATE 24/08/2012 - Pt.1:
    Behold! One of the main characters of this project!
    The Custom Acrylic Shell.
     
    2pUrC.jpg
     
    If you're wondering why I didn't make my own shell, I tried...
    Look at the end product in part 1 of this project....
    This is the reason why I started part 2.
     
     
    UPDATE 24/08/2012 - Pt.2:
    Obtaining the Faceplate Shape.....
    1. Scan custom shells
    2. Vector-trace shape (by hand)
    3. Add artwork
    Zxytp.jpg   PCmNV.jpg   fd9lc.png
     
     
    UPDATE 24/08/2012 - Pt.3:
    Finalized Artwork.
    Credit goes to Head-fier VortexBlast for Art design.
     
    FaceplateFinal.png
     
     
     
    UPDATE 25/08/2012:
    The other main character walked in this morning!
    Knowles GQ series Dual BA Drivers:                       Drilled Holes in the Shell for sound tubes and connector:
    9CCMm.jpg   c6Ey7.jpg
     
    Sound Tubes + Dampers (Knowles Green):              Connectors + Wires:
    T0EMB.jpg   kqpxd.jpg
     
    BA Drivers out of the bag:                                     All put together:
    lIsFG.jpg   062XS.jpg
     
     
    UPDATE 27/08/2012:
     
    Just printed out the faceplate artwork and cut it out.
     
    I won't have time to work on this project for sometime because of school work. 
    (EE and IAs if you know what I'm talking about.)
     
    Life as a highschool student sucks [​IMG]
     
     
     
    UPDATE 31/08/2012 Pt.1:
    Just finished assembling all the components together.
    (Drivers, Soundtubes, Dampers, Shells, Connectors.)
     
    Finally get to listen to these CIEMs [​IMG]
    Initial impressions: 
    - Lacks sub-bass 
    - Bit too much mids for my liking
    - Good treble extension (but covered up by the mids)
    - Big sound stage
     
    They actually sound really good after some tuning.....
     
    ScreenShot2012-08-31at2.50.32AM.jpg
     
     
    Because I'm using 1 dual driver unit, I can't physically tune it.
    (I can see why manufacturers'd want multiple drivers now....)
     
    I'll compare them with my UE11Pros when they come back from repairs..... [​IMG]
    (No idea how they broke.... )
     
    Well, that's all for now.
    I'll add the faceplates and post some pics later today. 
    (It's 3AM here in HK, getting some sleep for now.)
     
     
     
    UPDATE 31/08/2012 Pt.2:
    Alright, Here's some pics of the CIEM w/o Faceplate:
     
    3ByO6.jpg   z87Me.jpg   AqPcK.jpg
     
     
    Add Fix Faceplate on shell using general purpose glue. 
    (Faceplate is made of Glossy Heavyweight paper.)
    Then incase the faceplate in epoxy resin, apply using syringe.
     
    Zt6dl.jpg
     
     
     
    UPDATE 6/9/2012:
     
    It's been a while since I posted here... 
    My last attempt at making the Faceplate was a failure, the resin didn't cure properly, 
    I suspect the hardener may have reacted with the toner.
     
    After that I tried a few methods of stopping this, including putting clear tape and plastic foil in between.
    but both of those methods failed as well, there was a reaction with the clear tape and I couldn't get a flat surface with plastic foil.
     
    So this time I decided to wax the surface of my paper faceplate.
    Results are not in yet, but I have confidence in this one.
    (because the paper cups I used to mix the resin is wax coated and the resin DID cure properly in those.) 
     
  2. MrKitty
    Cool idea, I'm looking forward to see how will it come out =)
     
  3. bowei006 Contributor
    DIY Fi!
     
    Looking forward to it! Update us on the thread as well Borisu!
     
    I thought you were fully broke?
     
  4. akiroz
    Quote:
    Sure.
     
    I WAS.
    Until my grandmother just decided to give me some allowance for no apparent reason.
     
  5. bowei006 Contributor
    Quote:
    I love Asian grandmothers :) She must have given you quite a lot.....
     
  6. akiroz
    Quote:
    Yep :)
     
    $128 to be more accurate.
     
  7. bowei006 Contributor
    Quote:
    If I was in HK and like you. I would love $128 CIEMs... :frowning2:
     
  8. akiroz
    Quote:
    No, my CIEMs would cost more than $128.
     
    I got $128 from her.
     
    The BA drivers alone would cost $128.......
    I estimate the total cost to be around $220
     
  9. Tilpo
    ...
    Which is still ridiculously cheap for a pair of CIEM's
     
  10. akiroz
    Quote:
    Uhhhh.... No.
     
    LEA'R : LCM-1x series → $258
    1964 Ears : 1964-D → $325
    I'm sure there are other cheap CIEMs around.
     
    @ everyone 
    By the way, LEA'R does not have their own custom studio.
    Their CIEMs are made by Melody Speech & Hearing Institute Hong Kong.
    Which is also where my custom shells are being made
     
  11. nikongod
    please keep the thread running (post at the end) raher than editing the OP. it makes following difficult. 
     
  12. akiroz
    Quote:
    I'll do it the same way as my other project thread (See Corona-Fi in my Sig)
     
    Because if I post it at the end, it will be very hard for newcomers to follow,
    especially as this thread gets bigger with multiple pages.
     
  13. Tilpo

    Ok how about this:

    DO BOTH.

    Just copy pasta. It ain't hard.
     
  14. bowei006 Contributor
    wow. panda jelly
     
  15. akiroz
    UPDATE 21/8/2012:
     
    Cable - Done!
    3.5mm TRS --> Y-Split --> 2x 1.3mm Coaxial power connector @ 90˚ to cable
    m4fk5.jpg   TBlZH.jpg
     
     
     
     
    Faceplate Test 1: 
    - Print artwork using laser printer
    - Laminate paper with transparent sheets
    - Cut out faceplate shape
    - Pour a thin layer of resin on the Laminated faceplate
    *Note: the pouring was done using a needle-tipped syringe.
    *Note: For this test, epoxy resin was used because that all I had in the house for now.....
     
    The resin is currently curing.
    I have no idea why it looks blurry and yellowish....
    Hope I can fix that after they fully cured.
    BxBii.jpg
     

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