DIY Earbuds

  1. ozkan
    Well I tried Blu-tac mod and it seems to work on Vido as well. :)

    Needless to say it sounds better. What we have now is a more refined Vido. :wink:

    endia and DBaldock9 like this.
  2. DBaldock9
    Does Blu-tac remain pliable?
    Is it stickier than Play Doh?
  3. ozkan
    No worries mate. You can remove it very easily and doesn't leave any traces. :wink:
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
    DBaldock9 likes this.
  4. vladstef
    I am new to earbuds, but have an idea (which is very likely quite terrible). I've listened to FAD Piano and was just impressed by how realistic they sound and how comfortable the housing is. I have a theory that sound that comes out of them has relatively little to do with drivers and more with the shape of housing and the way it reshapes the sound coming out of dynamic driver. So, I am thinking of creating my first diy earbuds using Vido driver (unreal value, 4$ earbuds, amazing sound, just disgusting looking and feeling) and FAD Piano housing (costs a bit over 30$) with some nice budget-y cables. So, these would cost about 50$ in total. Would it be worth it, could it improve sound, build, feel of it, would this end up being somewhat of a mid-fi earbud? (I would find a way to wrap or paint the outside of FAD casing, that is for sure, so it would look quite premium - in theory)

    I am aware that this is very unorthodox thing to consider, so all of this might be more realistic if I were to use a better driver (this would increase the price a lot, especially as this would be my first diy project, so that might end up being an upgrade a few years down the road, just replacing the driver?)
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
    noknok23 likes this.
  5. MusicplayerHK
    Where can i get Egger LP/H Modeling paste?need a good price,
  6. slappypete
    I like the idea. I just ordered a pair of FAD housings to try it out myself. I've never heard the FAD piano series, but always wanted to try the design out. As far as how these will sound, well I don't think anyone is going to be able to tell you that until someone tries it. They could be great, could be terrible, who knows. I will make a post in here sharing my impressions when they are done.
  7. vladstef
    These shells will have an impact on the sound, that is for sure. Hopefully it will be a positive thing. Also, it would channel all of the driver sound to your ear canal, something that earbuds generally struggle with. They are the most comfortable thing you can put in/on ears, nothing comes close to them, you feel their weight, but they stay nicely put and there are no edges.
    I am gonna do this a few months from now, so, it would be nice if you could take a few photos of your progress. I have a few concerns, like, how would the driver fit in the housing. Potential issues could happen if the driver is too thick near the edges and the casing wont fully close. I'll put some photos here from aliexpress feedback post, 16mm driver that is not exactly thick wouldn't fit. Vido driver is 15,4mm, but it has plastic around which is next to impossible to remove without damaging driver, so it would have to fit with the whole plastic part. Maybe I could "shave off" some of the plastic around driver without removing it...


    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
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  8. slappypete
    I will post photos for sure. I was thinking about the driver fit as well. I think I will be able to make it work somehow. Removing the plastic front cover from MX500 style drivers isn't all that hard actually. I have done it a few times now. I just used an exacto knife to cut the plastic off about half way around the perimeter of the driver, then carefully pried the edge of the driver up to get it out. You need to make sure whatever you use to pry only touches the side of the driver and doesn't slip and damage the driver membrane. The driver membranes have a metal outer ring on them that rests on the rear part of the driver. The membrane and rear part of the driver are not glued together. They just sit on each other, so you need to be careful not to pull them apart or twist them because you will damage the tiny voice coil wires. It is a little tricky to do, but with patience doable.
    endia, vladstef and golov17 like this.
  9. vladstef
    I am 100% sure now that it is necessary to remove that plastic, at least to some extent. Maybe it will be enough to remove the overhanging plastic lip that goes around, to keep the driver thin on the outskirts. But, removing plastic entirely, even if I have to go through couple of earbuds to get the drivers out without damaging them it will still be ok, as the total price of this project has very little to do with driver cost. How much glue is used to keep driver inside that plastic, or is it just friction that keeps it from falling out? When you have driver in 2 pieces like that, connected with the tiniest of coils, does the membrane stay put nicely on the metal/magnet, or is it flimsy and needs a physical barrier next to membrane to kinda keep it close to the magnet?
    If the membrane can easily dislodge and get separated from the rest of the driver, completely removing plastic is not the way, then we need to put it inside with plastic on top of membrane, or need a different sort of driver for it, closer to what is in the original Piano Forte, something like:
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  10. slappypete
    There is very little glue used to keep the drivers in place, but it is enough to do the job... more than just friction. The glue is very gummy, so the drivers pull out easily when pried. The two pieces of the driver stay together well enough when they are liberated from the plastic, but I think it would be necessary to have some sort of barrier touching them around the edges when the drivers are in use. My plan will likely be to sand the plastic down to the point that it will snugly fit in the housings. This will be easy enough. I'll just tape off the front of the driver first to protect it from sanding particles. I might still try a liberated driver just to see how they differ in measurements. The plastic cover over the drivers likely has an effect on the frequency response. It could be better or worse without it. I haven't experimented with that sort of thing on earbuds yet, but I know from playing around with full size headphones that the holes in the plastic grill in front of a driver can play a role in shaping high frequency response.
    vladstef likes this.
  11. vladstef
    Thank you for all this useful information, you kinda saved me. This project is perhaps too much for someone who has never done anything diy related to audio and this conversation cleared a lot of things for me (although, we are talking about a very specific thing). Can't wait to see how yours end up looking/sounding. I am slightly too hyped for this, it really has the potential to be amazing or a total disaster :D At least they are gonna be beautiful and the casing can be reused for a nice decoration of some sorts, an homage to Final and their unconventional designs.
  12. slappypete
    I am excited as well :) I am mostly hoping I'll be able to get a fairly full range response out of them. I haven't heard any of the piano forte series but I've read a lot of reviews saying they roll off way early at both ends of the spectrum. I don't know if the reviewers were used to high end IEM's though, which obviously have better extension in both directions compared to an earbud. It would be interesting to me to hear your thoughts on how they sound compared to a typical good quality earbud if you can remember. I read a lot of reviews praising the soundstage, and I wonder how it compares as well since a good earbud will have a much more expansive and out of head feeling soundstage compared to a typical IEM.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  13. vladstef
    Slightly off topic, but it touches on what we are trying to achieve in diy way. I do remember how these sounded quite clearly, as I didn't even know they existed before I saw them and heard them moments later. I was in shock, to say the least, they sounded way too real, analog, old school (roll off on both sides). I specifically remember how percussion instruments and trumpets sounded, there was a sort of timbre in the background, not something that can be easily explained, almost to say artificial and colored, sounds bouncing and getting better with it, almost bigger than life - this is why the soundstage and presentation of sound is close to perfect. Also, they don't extend into sub bass and that didn't bother me, but higher tones lacked audible refinement, maybe I needed to adjust more to them, maybe they really do lack in that area. They are special but offer terrible value.
    I didn't hear any earbuds worth mentioning, waiting to receive Vido and Auglamour RX1 to see if it's right for me, earbuds are way too praised as of late. I suspect that driver of Vido is technically better all-rounder than Piano Forte VIII, I know it sounds crazy to compare 4$ earbuds vs 1000$+ "earbuds", but keep in mind that Piano driver is colored and specifically tuned for that housing/desired sound/mid-centric music. If the casing ends up adding that special sauce to a regular inexpensive driver, we might end up with something amazing and far more valuable than the sum of its parts. Maybe the casing ends up revealing driver flaws, we can't know for sure, yet.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
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  14. slappypete
    @vladstef thanks for the sound impressions. Basically what I am most curious about is whether or not the piano forte driver was actually designed to be very mid centric, or if that is just a result of the weird housings. We will find out soon enough... well maybe not soon enough, aliexpress shipping to Canada takes some time haha.
    vladstef likes this.
  15. fairx
    After little modding on my ty 320 yesterday I'm curious about getting shoehorse type of foam for driver filter. I remember seeing them on aliexpress but not very sure now. Anybody bought them before? How's your finding?

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