DIY Earbuds
Apr 5, 2020 at 7:44 AM Post #1,666 of 4,297

Themilkman46290

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Don't know if you guys have noticed jietu is back, they have the 130ohm beryllium for $15
 
Apr 5, 2020 at 8:02 AM Post #1,667 of 4,297

robar

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Don't know if you guys have noticed jietu is back, they have the 130ohm beryllium for $15
Yes fortunately they're back, I really liked shopping from them. Unfortunately they introduced really high shipping fees to my country in most of their products (2-3usd per product, even if the product itself costs less) so I lost my enthusiasm towards them. But you're right, they still sell the beryllium for less money than ghxamp, but frankly both stores sell it so cheaper than any other store that it hurts haha
 
Apr 5, 2020 at 8:30 AM Post #1,668 of 4,297

GREQ

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My new favourite FOTM shell.
Sony HPM-64
+ Vido driver = bass monster... only try this if you love excessive bass. It's surprisingly tasteful too.
None of the usual mid-bass bloat you find in almost every other shell.

Needed to grind the ends of the shells with a rotary tool to get the drivers to snap on.
Only grind away 1mm around the entire edge circumference, and it snaps on perfectly.

_DSC0960.jpg
 
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Apr 5, 2020 at 9:31 AM Post #1,669 of 4,297

robar

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Here's another fun tuning project I've made recently. This one was intended to be a temporary one until I receive the new shells, but it's quite nice actually. Not in my top 3 (19-21 in mx500 and qian69 shell, titanium 64 in mx500 shell) but better than expected, and very enjoyable as an all rounder backup set.

This is the same type of shell that for example RY4X or the Anonymous earbud uses, but this particular pair is actually about 10 years old. I got them as an accessory for a WayteQ music player.

This shell is another typical generic design which has insufficient vents by default, which creates compressed sound with too much upper mids. I added one 1.5mm hole on the side facing away from the ear, which smoothed out the frequency response. For the main vents I used thick jietu foam, and for the sides I added the regular type. In this setup with bare speakers, the sound was pretty flat and neutral (like flat-flat, not "harman-curve" ) with slight roll off on the treble. For a bit more excitement, I added a thin white horseshoe (salvaged from B40's speakers) to the speaker, which reduced a bit of the midrange, bringing forward the bass and treble in a controlled, tasteful manner. It added back the life and made the bass more punchy, and gave more presence to the treble. The speakers are my fav 19-21 heavy bass model of course.
By adjusting the length of the white horseshoe (how many holes it covers), it's possible to make a blend of the "flat" and "fun" signature. Be aware that if you leave some holes on the speaker exposed, than the rotation of the speaker will matter.

Overall it sounds quite nice and balanced, and the fit is much better than mx500. However, the same speakers with mx500 and qian69 shells provide somewhat wider, crispier sound with more perceived resolution. But it's still among the better builds I have and I would certainly prefer this than a build with transparent dp100 shell or putting a lesser speaker in mx500 for example.

P1320937_dxo.jpgP1320939_dxo.jpgP1320943_dxo.jpg

My new favourite FOTM shell.
Sony HPM-64
+ Vido driver = bass monster... only try this if you love excessive bass. It's surprisingly tasteful too.
None of the usual mid-bass bloat you find in almost every other shell.

Needed to grind the ends of the shells with a rotary tool to get the drivers to snap on.
Only grind away 1mm around the entire edge circumference, and it snaps on perfectly.

Awesome, I was always interested in this shell for diy purposes, sadly I couldn't find a cheap source to buy one. Where did you get one?
You should really try it with better speakers though, personally I can't listen to vido speakers any more since I started buying diy parts haha. The 19-21 and the titanium 64 has both better bass extension than vido so you wouldn't lose that part either.
 
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Apr 5, 2020 at 12:23 PM Post #1,670 of 4,297

furyossa

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Here's another fun tuning project I've made recently. This one was intended to be a temporary one until I receive the new shells, but it's quite nice actually. Not in my top 3 (19-21 in mx500 and qian69 shell, titanium 64 in mx500 shell) but better than expected, and very enjoyable as an all rounder backup set.

This is the same type of shell that for example RY4X or the Anonymous earbud uses, but this particular pair is actually about 10 years old. I got them as an accessory for a WayteQ music player.

This shell is another typical generic design which has insufficient vents by default, which creates compressed sound with too much upper mids. I added one 1.5mm hole on the side facing away from the ear, which smoothed out the frequency response. For the main vents I used thick jietu foam, and for the sides I added the regular type. In this setup with bare speakers, the sound was pretty flat and neutral (like flat-flat, not "harman-curve" ) with slight roll off on the treble. For a bit more excitement, I added a thin white horseshoe (salvaged from B40's speakers) to the speaker, which reduced a bit of the midrange, bringing forward the bass and treble in a controlled, tasteful manner. It added back the life and made the bass more punchy, and gave more presence to the treble. The speakers are my fav 19-21 heavy bass model of course.
By adjusting the length of the white horseshoe (how many holes it covers), it's possible to make a blend of the "flat" and "fun" signature. Be aware that if you leave some holes on the speaker exposed, than the rotation of the speaker will matter.

Overall it sounds quite nice and balanced, and the fit is much better than mx500. However, the same speakers with mx500 and qian69 shells provide somewhat wider, crispier sound with more perceived resolution. But it's still among the better builds I have and I would certainly prefer this than a build with transparent dp100 shell or putting a lesser speaker in mx500 for example.

P1320937_dxo.jpgP1320939_dxo.jpgP1320943_dxo.jpg


Awesome, I was always interested in this shell for diy purposes, sadly I couldn't find a cheap source to buy one. Where did you get one?
You should really try it with better speakers though, personally I can't listen to vido speakers any more since I started buying diy parts haha. The 19-21 and the titanium 64 has both better bass extension than vido so you wouldn't lose that part either.
Nice build. You said that the sound is compressed. Cavity size is obviously smaller then mx500, also in addition to the tuning foam, the cables also take up a lot of space especially when using a knot. Are you try these snap clips? It can improve airflow inside the shell
 
Apr 5, 2020 at 1:25 PM Post #1,671 of 4,297

robar

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Nice build. You said that the sound is compressed. Cavity size is obviously smaller then mx500, also in addition to the tuning foam, the cables also take up a lot of space especially when using a knot. Are you try these snap clips? It can improve airflow inside the shell
Thanks! I said that about the shell's performance before the drilling mod :) It didn't matter whether I used a knot or not. I realize that I didn't expressed it very well. I meant that due to the insufficient vents, the response had a big emphasis on mid/upper bass and upper mids, pushing every other frequency to the background, this kind of frequency response is what I called "compressed". By improving the airflow outwards with drilling an additional vent, this unevenness vanished and the response become balanced and smooth. This "insufficient vent symptom" is very typical of many generic shells and many cheap stock non-mx500 earbuds suffer from it. This is why I thought it is useful to describe a mod like this in more detail :)

In my experience, the presence of knot doesn't really influence the response. I can imagine if there were a bass port that is totally obstructed by the knot, then it would have some effect, but usually the knot doesn't interfere with the sound. This shell in particular has basically no airflow towards the stem, and it's constructed in a way that it's not really possible to utilize it. (I think this is why it won't sound as airy and wide as an mx500, besides the deeper fit) I couldn't measure any difference with the Qian69 shell either which has a bass port next to the cable hole. I think it would matter only in very extreme cases or when the main vent is directly behind the knot.
 
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Apr 8, 2020 at 9:56 PM Post #1,674 of 4,297

willyboyaudio

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Friends, I enjoy reading through this thread immensely. I am a tinkerer at heart, more than I am a music lover LOL.
I replaced the drivers on my Monk+ and I want to ask your input in tuning. I have the horseshoe foam on the driver holes. Without them, I remember the sound is dark but male vocals and heavy female vocals (Salena Jones) sound amazing. With them covering the holes, the sound is balanced out, bass is cut and the mids and treble come forward.

Here are my questions:
- What is the effect of moving the foam to the housing?
- If I undo the knot and replace it with a clip or cable tie, therefore freeing up some space in the chamber, how will it change the sound?
- What do you guys think about the white horseshoe foam as attached? Are the superior compared to the thicker dark gray foam?
Many thanks in advance.
 

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Apr 9, 2020 at 1:17 AM Post #1,675 of 4,297

willyboyaudio

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Answering my own question, I decided to play around with it during lunch break. :ksc75smile:

Foam on the housing:
Emphasis is now on the sub bass, slightly more rumble, but less punch. Vocal doesn’t change much, slightly thicker and moved forward. Staging/imaging doesn’t change much to me. I think this is the more neutral rendering.

Foam covering the driver holes:
Emphasis is on lower mid-bass, giving the impression of more bass quantity, more punch. Vocals take a step back. I think this is the more fun tuning, V-shape EQ.

Does that reflect the general consensus of horseshoe foam placement? The above is my impression using donut foams.

Oh, and I’d still appreciate your thoughts about the white tuning cotton and the cable clip. Thanks guys.
 

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Apr 9, 2020 at 8:59 PM Post #1,676 of 4,297

robar

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Answering my own question, I decided to play around with it during lunch break. :ksc75smile:

Foam on the housing:
Emphasis is now on the sub bass, slightly more rumble, but less punch. Vocal doesn’t change much, slightly thicker and moved forward. Staging/imaging doesn’t change much to me. I think this is the more neutral rendering.

Foam covering the driver holes:
Emphasis is on lower mid-bass, giving the impression of more bass quantity, more punch. Vocals take a step back. I think this is the more fun tuning, V-shape EQ.

Does that reflect the general consensus of horseshoe foam placement? The above is my impression using donut foams.

Oh, and I’d still appreciate your thoughts about the white tuning cotton and the cable clip. Thanks guys.
Yes it's about right overall. In my experience, putting the foam only on the speaker makes the vocals suffer quite a bit (become too thick on bottom, too thin, bright on top) and the bass is boomy for my taste. Also it usually makes the bud more prone to peaks, resonances. But I'm really picky in these, and it depends on the type of foam used :D I prefer a boost at 50-100hz and not around 100-300hz personally. Btw I speak about preinstalled foams on speakers (like with N50 N52) vs regular horseshoe on mx500.
If the speaker is capable of powerful bass, then the neutral foam-on-the-shell tuning will provide enough bass punch anyway, and the low region will have fast, deep tight profile with strong impact. The exact effect depends on the exact driver/shell combo anyway so it's always nice to try things out. There are quite noticeable differences between mx500 shells as well, and the strength of snapping matter too. Some sound very flat and some are really vs shaped even with simple horseshoe on the vents. The regular black shell usually has quite good bass with slightly bright but not far from neutral mids.
Very often the tuning efforts are about making the bass more powerful and preserving or improving the neutral-ish response in the mids and highs. This is where the sliced up foams, drill mods etc come into play. I usually like to boost up the bass below 100hz and tame the upper mids a little bit. This is where we can find plenty of opportunities to experiment and discover our own tastes as well. Comparing different tunings side by side can be very educational

The white cotton makes a similar effect to the foam on speaker but in a more subtle way. It's good as a secondary adjustment, for example making a mix between the "neutral" and "fun" signature. Generally if the sound is too midcentric or too flat, try putting on a white cotton. If it's too much, you can try a thinner variant or by cutting it into smaller pieces and leaving some hole untouched. I haven't tried it in conjunction with a full foam on mx500 though, but I'll make a test.

Regarding knots and clips, I haven't noticed any significant effect. I upgrade and downgrade the cables all the time in my builds, sometimes I don't even bother to tie a knot if it's a quick experiment, and I usually notice no difference in the measurements. A thick cable in a very tight hole can have an effect (if it seals the stem) but knots and clips - never seen any effect. Recabling a stock earbud can be misleading, because the disassembly in itself can change the sound considerably (breaking the glue, damage to front cover, snapping back differently etc)
Removing a cable clip can be really hard and you can easily damage the cable in the process (I did multiple times), so I avoid it at all costs haha. If you need a smaller knot and use a twisted/braided cable, you can tie individual knots on the sub lines. I discovered this trick when I made my first bud with mx760 shell.
 
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Apr 9, 2020 at 11:19 PM Post #1,677 of 4,297

willyboyaudio

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Yes it's about right overall. In my experience, putting the foam only on the speaker makes the vocals suffer quite a bit (become too thick on bottom, too thin, bright on top) and the bass is boomy for my taste. Also it usually makes the bud more prone to peaks, resonances. But I'm really picky in these, and it depends on the type of foam used :D I prefer a boost at 50-100hz and not around 100-300hz personally. Btw I speak about preinstalled foams on speakers (like with N50 N52) vs regular horseshoe on mx500.
If the speaker is capable of powerful bass, then the neutral foam-on-the-shell tuning will provide enough bass punch anyway, and the low region will have fast, deep tight profile with strong impact. The exact effect depends on the exact driver/shell combo anyway so it's always nice to try things out. There are quite noticeable differences between mx500 shells as well, and the strength of snapping matter too. Some sound very flat and some are really vs shaped even with simple horseshoe on the vents. The regular black shell usually has quite good bass with slightly bright but not far from neutral mids.
Very often the tuning efforts are about making the bass more powerful and preserving or improving the neutral-ish response in the mids and highs. This is where the sliced up foams, drill mods etc come into play. I usually like to boost up the bass below 100hz and tame the upper mids a little bit. This is where we can find plenty of opportunities to experiment and discover our own tastes as well. Comparing different tunings side by side can be very educational

The white cotton makes a similar effect to the foam on speaker but in a more subtle way. It's good as a secondary adjustment, for example making a mix between the "neutral" and "fun" signature. Generally if the sound is too midcentric or too flat, try putting on a white cotton. If it's too much, you can try a thinner variant or by cutting it into smaller pieces and leaving some hole untouched. I haven't tried it in conjunction with a full foam on mx500 though, but I'll make a test.

Regarding knots and clips, I haven't noticed any significant effect. I upgrade and downgrade the cables all the time in my builds, sometimes I don't even bother to tie a knot if it's a quick experiment, and I usually notice no difference in the measurements. A thick cable in a very tight hole can have an effect (if it seals the stem) but knots and clips - never seen any effect. Recabling a stock earbud can be misleading, because the disassembly in itself can change the sound considerably (breaking the glue, damage to front cover, snapping back differently etc)
Removing a cable clip can be really hard and you can easily damage the cable in the process (I did multiple times), so I avoid it at all costs haha. If you need a smaller knot and use a twisted/braided cable, you can tie individual knots on the sub lines. I discovered this trick when I made my first bud with mx760 shell.

Thanks robar for taking the time to reply. Like you, I prefer a boost at 50-100Hz, and not around 100-300Hz. I appreciate clarity in the mid and highs, and I like airy/spacious tuning, as opposed to intimate/close up rendering.

I want to ask further, would you mind sharing or point me to a thread/post that outlines the step by step of tuning a pair of earbuds?

For example, since you mentioned "if the speaker is capable of powerful bass", does that mean we start with the bare drivers and the shell, then trying with tuning cotton/foam on the driver/shell? When do we start playing with the full foam and donut foam, obviously these have major impact on the sound. Any approach the worked for you, I'm keen to learn. Also, what songs/tracks do you use to tune a pair of buds?

Sorry for the loaded questions, and thank you again. I've read this thread from page 1 (partially just scheming so apologies if my questions are already covered) and I appreciate the wealth of information and the friendly nature of the discussion.
 
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Apr 10, 2020 at 7:06 AM Post #1,678 of 4,297

robar

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Thanks robar for taking the time to reply. Like you, I prefer a boost at 50-100Hz, and not around 100-300Hz. I appreciate clarity in the mid and highs, and I like airy/spacious tuning, as opposed to intimate/close up rendering.

I want to ask further, would you mind sharing or point me to a thread/post that outlines the step by step of tuning a pair of earbuds?

For example, since you mentioned "if the speaker is capable of powerful bass", does that mean we start with the bare drivers and the shell, then trying with tuning cotton/foam on the driver/shell? When do we start playing with the full foam and donut foam, obviously these have major impact on the sound. Any approach the worked for you, I'm keen to learn. Also, what songs/tracks do you use to tune a pair of buds?

Sorry for the loaded questions, and thank you again. I've read this thread from page 1 (partially just scheming so apologies if my questions are already covered) and I appreciate the wealth of information and the friendly nature of the discussion.
Well I don't really have a formal method, I just do it for fun in my free time. :) I learned everything by experimenting a lot, reading stuff on the net, and chatting with hobbyists, and still have so much to learn.
Generally speaking, the tuning starts by selecting the right speaker and shell :) This is the most important and you just have to try out many things to find what you like. The fit in your ears has a strong effect as well, if it's too loose or too deep then you won't get optimal sound.
I like to start with bare drivers and play with the tuning on the shell. I didn't like the preinstalled foam on anything so far. (but there are certain shells that are designed for this kind of tuning so it can work great in some cases) White cotton is useful but I don't have many, just the ones I salvaged from other earbuds so I use it rarely.
What really helps is the ability to measure and analyize the graphs. This way you can really understand what's going on and you can build a library of experiments that you can browse. But this is a messy topic.
My main interest now is finding the best, most comfortable alternatives to mx500 and experimenting with shell mods.

I would advise you to find a speaker model you like, preferably one that doesn't come with preinstalled foam. Then buy multiple pairs of it with a bunch of different shells and tuning foam. This way you can try out things and test them side by side. It's also helpful if you give some time for the evaluation, sometimes our ears need some rest to reset :)

For me choosing foam is the last step, independent from the tuning. I usually stick with trig rain donuts every time. To be honest I havent found the best foam for myself yet
 
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Apr 10, 2020 at 8:50 AM Post #1,679 of 4,297

Themilkman46290

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Yes it's about right overall. In my experience, putting the foam only on the speaker makes the vocals suffer quite a bit (become too thick on bottom, too thin, bright on top) and the bass is boomy for my taste. Also it usually makes the bud more prone to peaks, resonances. But I'm really picky in these, and it depends on the type of foam used :D I prefer a boost at 50-100hz and not around 100-300hz personally. Btw I speak about preinstalled foams on speakers (like with N50 N52) vs regular horseshoe on mx500.
If the speaker is capable of powerful bass, then the neutral foam-on-the-shell tuning will provide enough bass punch anyway, and the low region will have fast, deep tight profile with strong impact. The exact effect depends on the exact driver/shell combo anyway so it's always nice to try things out. There are quite noticeable differences between mx500 shells as well, and the strength of snapping matter too. Some sound very flat and some are really vs shaped even with simple horseshoe on the vents. The regular black shell usually has quite good bass with slightly bright but not far from neutral mids.
Very often the tuning efforts are about making the bass more powerful and preserving or improving the neutral-ish response in the mids and highs. This is where the sliced up foams, drill mods etc come into play. I usually like to boost up the bass below 100hz and tame the upper mids a little bit. This is where we can find plenty of opportunities to experiment and discover our own tastes as well. Comparing different tunings side by side can be very educational

The white cotton makes a similar effect to the foam on speaker but in a more subtle way. It's good as a secondary adjustment, for example making a mix between the "neutral" and "fun" signature. Generally if the sound is too midcentric or too flat, try putting on a white cotton. If it's too much, you can try a thinner variant or by cutting it into smaller pieces and leaving some hole untouched. I haven't tried it in conjunction with a full foam on mx500 though, but I'll make a test.

Regarding knots and clips, I haven't noticed any significant effect. I upgrade and downgrade the cables all the time in my builds, sometimes I don't even bother to tie a knot if it's a quick experiment, and I usually notice no difference in the measurements. A thick cable in a very tight hole can have an effect (if it seals the stem) but knots and clips - never seen any effect. Recabling a stock earbud can be misleading, because the disassembly in itself can change the sound considerably (breaking the glue, damage to front cover, snapping back differently etc)
Removing a cable clip can be really hard and you can easily damage the cable in the process (I did multiple times), so I avoid it at all costs haha. If you need a smaller knot and use a twisted/braided cable, you can tie individual knots on the sub lines. I discovered this trick when I made my first bud with mx760 shell.
You're right about most of this, but you should try the foams ment for the speakers, they cover all holes and have different thickness and density, they are less peaky then the short foams, and depending on the driver, sound better then the cotton paper15865229026122127422388820479053.jpg1586522939848632895279764531791.jpg

Got them from yuming
 
Apr 10, 2020 at 10:32 AM Post #1,680 of 4,297

furyossa

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You're right about most of this, but you should try the foams ment for the speakers, they cover all holes and have different thickness and density, they are less peaky then the short foams, and depending on the driver, sound better then the cotton paper

Got them from yuming
Wow, you collect all of these :) Foams and cotton paper has totally different purposes. Semi-transparent ie thin paper is a good choice for the back of the driver to reduce ie to control the mids. I personally never use opaque white cotton paper. Foam only for shell tuning
 
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