DIY Earbuds

  1. headjelly
    So, you soldered two different ground wires to the connector? Is that what everybody does or do people also use three wires (L,R, ground) and then connect two wires to the ground one inside the splitter?
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  2. headjelly
  3. DBaldock9
    I was assembling a Balanced cable (using a Ranko 2.5mm TRRS 4-Pole Plug), so each of the 4 wires was soldered to a separate pin on the plug:
    Tip = (L-)
    Ring1 = (L+)
    Ring2 = (R+)
    Sleeve = (R-)

    If you're assembling a Single-ended cable (3.5mm TRS 3-Pole Plug), then you can make the choice of:
    1.) Running a single GND from the Plug Sleeve to the Splitter, solder both earbuds' GND wire to it, and then run 2 wires (+) (-) to each earbud driver from the splitter.
    2.) Solder GND wires for each earbud driver to the Plug Sleeve, and run 2 wires (+) (-) to each driver.
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  4. DBaldock9
    I haven't used the new wire yet, but I'll be rewiring my Qian25 (as Balanced) this weekend.
  5. DBaldock9
    I used the blue pre-twisted 4-strand wire this afternoon, to rewire one set of Qian25 for Balanced use.
    While it does look nicer than the stock black cable, it's not really any larger wire gauge, so there's no real performance advantage to using this particular cable. I won't buy any more of this wire.

    One thing about the blue wire that's a nuisance, is that the insulation melts and shrinks away from the wire when tinning or soldering the wire. So for closely spaced connections, like on a 2.5mm TRRS plug, you have to be extra careful that adjacent terminals don't short, due to the insulation shrinkage.

    I've attached a photo of the stock Qian25 (with 3.5mm TRS 3-Pole Plug), the rewired Qian25 (with Ranko 2.5mm TRRS 4-Pole Plug), and the end of the blue wire (showing the 2-pairs of twisted wires, twisted together).

    With a quick comparison (using a 3.5mm TRS Plug -to- 2.5mm TRRS Jack Adapter), they sound basically the same when driven by my iFi Micro iDSD, playing FLAC files of my CDs. When the Balanced cable is connected to the Balanced output of my DP-X1, playing the same FLAC files, there is the usual slightly better Bass performance, and the more open Sound Stage.

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  6. weedophile
    IMG_20170502_011348-01.jpeg As requested by @headjelly, the modded Awei ES10 with MX500 shells. The ES10 OOTB is one of the better sounding buds. At 16mm, it sports the largest driver amongst earbuds (correct me if i am wrong).

    The reason i did the mod was due to the cheap feel of the stock shells. It wasnt easy though as the shells were glued to the driver. I didnt had a heat torch hence i just forced it open. Luckily it was the shell that broke and not the driver lmao.

    The MX500 shell was abit too small for the driver and hence i got around by using the trusty blutack.

    SQ wise i would say they are probably balanced with good bass and trebles. Mids are no slouch too. The change of shells didnt really affected the sound which idk why as the design of the vents were different. I used the standard horseshoe sound-block foam at the usual place with some added cotton at the hole where the cables were to reduce the cable movement.

    However the placebo effect of having a nicer shell kicked in as i felt it look nicer and had a "premium" feel. Japanese has a saying "u eat what u see" so i would say "u hear what u see" lol. I didnt wanted to use the stock ES10 initially but after the change it was my go to desktop bud, no kidding.
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
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  7. DBaldock9
    Spent a couple of hours last night, un-twisting the remaining 9-meters of blue wire, into the 2 pairs of twisted wire.
    Then I doubled them over, and I'm now working on braiding the 4 sets of 2-twisted wires into a ~4.5 meter 8-Strand cable.
    Having twice as many wires per terminal, may help improve the audio performance of the blue wire.

  8. rggz
    Is there some tip to tin this wire? I got a similar one but it's not easy to tin it like a pure copper cable (cat6 style) I just can't get a secure connection. I'll appreciate any help!
  9. DBaldock9
    Well, I'm using an old XYTronic Auto-Temp 168-3C adjustable temperature solder station, that I bought back in the early- or mid-1980s.
    The temperature has been stuck (until tonight, when I managed to loosen the potentiometer) at a fairly high setting, between 300°C & 400°C, and I'm using WBT-0820 Silver Solder w/Flux.
    When I've had trouble tinning or soldering things, it was usually remedied by using additional flux to clean the surfaces.
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  10. flexy321
    Here my input about the "Ozkan Mod" with the SHE3800s. This is just my experience.

    * My SHE3800 had the "tuning foam" fixed to the housing, and not to the driver as in the original pic of the Ozkan mod.
    I got confused since I didn't see the logic in replacing the "tuning foam" with cotton...or is the idea here that the cotton works better than the foam?

    * The casing of my SHE3800 seemed slightly different from the one on the picture. (Aside from the fact that I needed to remove the "tuning foam" since it covered access to the casing. I first thought that the BluTac was for covering a larger hole at the bottom, but there is none, just the (tiny) hole for the wire.
    What is not clear to me is the purpose of the BluTack since it's not 100% possible to "plug" the already very tiny "wire hole" since when you reassemble the earbud, you will likely slightly need to pull the wire so you end up opening up this hole again anyway..respective can't 100% "plug it shut". (Is the idea here to plug the "wire hole"?)

    (Alternatively, you possibly have some other type of casing where the BluTack covers a bigger hole at the bottom but which is not visible on the picture??)

    * My main "issue" with the get the cotton as neatly covering the back of the driver as in the original post. I have not the slightest idea how he did this! I merely wrapped about 1/2 or so of Q-Tip cotton around the driver, but then merely stuffed it by shutting the casing again. Not clear to me what exactly he did and especially how he got the cotton to stick flat on the driver. (Did you possibly use a thin ear bud foam for putting on the driver? And what did you do with the tuning foam which on your pic is on the driver?

    * Opening the casing proved more difficult than what some said. (I opened cases in the past, like for my SONYs. They were not glued.). Here, I needed to use quite some force with my fingernails, they were glued shut, and it looks something did indeed break although the case still closes,but of course it's not "pretty" especially with some cotton still coming out on the sides. (Yeah a better description for simply saying it looks like shhh :) )

    * Subjective impression (Not meant as criticism of the mod at all! It's awesome we have people modding and sharing their experiences!). Yes the bass is less pronounced ("tamer", possibly the best word for it)...but really hard to say whether it made the sound "better", it's all subjective anyway. I am finding that I have possibly enough control using my EQ (I am on a PC with Soundblaster Z so I am using the EQ) which would outweigh what I get from modding. Or said differently, I possibly don't "need" the mod since I can do this with an EQ. Just my $0.02
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
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  11. ozkan
    I didn't remove the tuning foam. I just put a small piece of cotton on the foam that I tore from a cotton ball. Nothing more.

    Blutac is for reducing the resonance caused by the shell. For me the the cotton decrease the bass for the cost of being faster and less boomy. It brings the mids a bit forward, increase the treble extension and expands the soundstage. And the blutac does almost the same thing. I cannot exactly be sure now since it has been a long time.

    I'll take pictures of my mod again when I have time and post here soon
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  12. flexy321
    Thanks, that makes sense!
  13. flexy321
    Re: Ozkan Mod for SH3800 again

    It's hard to see from the pictures in the original post, but it's possible that the tuning foam you had on yours (which is glued to the driver and not glued to the shell like with mine) is a thinner type of foam? The picture sort of seems suggesting this.

    Mine is this horseshoe-type foam like here on the pic which seems a little thicker. Which again would mean there is possible different builds of this bud.


    Add: I found the "perfect" DIY "tuning cotton" substitute which is nice to work with: Organic cotton that you can get in vaping stores. They usually come in squares/blocks and you can pull off straight sheets of cotton in whatever thickness you want. You can cut a disk the size of a penny w/ a hole in the middle, then a slit etc.. I found it better to work w/ than normal cotton since this would "puff up" (unless you press it or something) and then takes away too much bass, in my opinion.

    Anyway I am a total noob here, and I am sure the pros know about other materials..I can see how different viscosity etc. could impact the sound. Sure a can of worms topic there to tune earbuds :)
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  14. Blueshound24
    edit, wrong thread.
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  15. DBaldock9
    This weekend, I re-re-wired the Qian25 with the 8-strand braided cable that I made from the 4-strand twisted wire.
    So, now the Blue Qian25 and Blue Vido look basically the same, except for the different colored heatshrink at the split, and the fact that the Vido shells say Vido on the side.
    The sound of the Qian25 and Vido are very similar, as well.

    Another 1.2m piece of the 8-strand braided cable is being used to re-wire the BHOBuds MAG7 that I bought from @vapman - also with a balanced 2.5mm TRRS plug.
    The final 36" of the 8-strand braided cable will be used to make a 2.5mm TRRS Plug to 2.5mm TRRS Jack extension cable.

    I still need to find a good, soft, flexible copper wire, available in multiple colors, to use for additional re-wiring projects. I'd prefer that the wire have a high temperature insulation, so it doesn't melt when tinning & soldering the wire.

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