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DIY Earbuds

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  1. DBaldock9
    I found that some of the MX500 shells that I just received, have a very small opening between the inside of the shell, and the outer air passage.
    It's fairly easy to make an opening, to allow the the outer passage to act as a "bass port".

    I used a 7/64 drill bit, spinning it by hand, at the angle shown in these photos. Once the end of the air passage opens up some, the drill bit can be leaned (to the Right in the photos) but take care not to tear up the end of the cable passage.
    To make sure the new opening is clear, I used the curved end of a dental pick, holding the opening of the shell up, under a bright light, and looking down the passage (from the Left in the photos) with a magnifying lens.
    The 3/32 drill bit is the correct size to make sure the end of the cable passage stays clear & open.
    NOTE: The Helping-Hand was not used for anything other than holding the bit while I was taking the photos.

    DSC-170726-004047.jpg

    DSC-170726-004133.jpg
     
    GREQ, Merlin-PT, springbay and 2 others like this.
  2. knudsen
    In the earbuds-thread on facebook (I'm not on it, but its possible to read still) someone highly recommended this wire in the silver only version I think it was. Also 8 core and teflon. I've ordered it in pure copper to try something new.

    Btw seller writes

    "There are 8 cores, each core contains 7 strands x 0.1mm wires".

    Can "strands" be used for both meanings?:smile_phones:

    I've tried opening the earbud I glued together with silicone, it came together quite easily. Probably too easily, but I will maybe try 1 more time. Not sure if the problem was that I cleaned the house with alcohol, but did'nt clean the front cover because of the risk of damaging something. Real glue might be more tolerant to some old glue residuals
     
    slappypete likes this.
  3. slappypete
    Nice, it looks exactly like the stuff I used to recable my Vido. I don't know if it is the same but the specs seem to be and it certainly looks like it. I found this wire to be ok, but I would prefer something more flexible. It is useable for me but not quite ideal, and I wouldn't want anything stiffer for my tastes. The wire has a bit of coil memory after taking it out of a case. I did a tight 4 wire round braid for the left and right above the Y split. The cable is microphonic maybe partly because of the tight braid. I think some soft shrink tubing around the knot in the cable inside the housing might fix that though. I think what the seller means when they say 8 core is that it's an 8 wire braid. There are then 7 strands of conductor inside each insulated wire and each strand is 0.1mm diameter.

    Edit: I think it is safe to say the wire is the same as what I purchased. I just noticed the brand is listed as Acrolink where I purchased as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
    Merlin-PT, springbay and knudsen like this.
  4. knudsen
    Bugger, seems this is not the cable to rule them all then. I always have the highest expectations :ksc75smile:

    Agree, what confuses me a bit is that we have

    8 strand braid
    8 wire braid
    8 core braid

    all meaning the same:k701smile: And at least "strand" also has a different meaning
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  5. ozkan

    No offense but your measurement doesn't mean anything for me since you have a broken Vido to start with which one side doesn't work and you tried that mod on different shells which I think is misleading. That graph doesn't reflect the changes and what I hear after the mod.

    Well to be honest I find all those graphs nonsense which some posters here try to prove how these mods change or don't change the sound as I trust on my ears.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
    golov17 likes this.
  6. golov17
    Agreed
     
  7. Merlin-PT
    I find the graphs informative, but music is not a frequency sweep.
    I'm not informed about this, so please correct me if I'm wrong:
    To me the graph shows the quantity, but not the quality.
    For example, having bass, is not the same as having a good bass.

    I leave these questions:
    Do speakers respond the same way to music as they do to single frequencies?
    Can we equalize the freq. sweep, to get the same graph of a better driver?
    Do we get the same music quality using that equalization?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  8. DBaldock9
    DSC-170730-223404.jpg

    I've finished the Red & Blue sets of Earbuds that a co-worker is buying for her sons. I'm including small cases, and some full & donut foams.

    These were assembled with the "Bass" drivers, in the modified MX500 shells, using the foam "Tuning Cotton" (haven't yet received the white fabric tuning cotton), along with a bit of long-fiber acoustic stuffing in the housings.

    Using the frequency sweeps on AudioCheck.net, they have good Bass (starting at 20Hz), and fairly smooth response up to where my hearing drops off (13 - 14KHz).
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
    springbay, slappypete, fairx and 3 others like this.
  9. knudsen
    I've tried but don't follow your standpoint at all.
    Do you think all the measurements in this thread is nonsense too?
    All newer surround receivers uses some kind of room correction, measures the response with a microphone and calculates an eq correction per channel. Do you find this is nonsense too?
    Or is it just mods on earbuds that are impossible to measure?

    Afaik you use white or pink noise when measuring, not a sweep. Surely there must be many more parameters (which I don't know about), but something like decay, distortion, phase rotation and much more. But to say that maybe the most important of them don't matter I find strange.

    Btw I heard the 2k bump with the mod on both the monk and the vido before the graphs showed up, and did'nt like it on either.
     
    slappypete likes this.
  10. Merlin-PT
    Thanks, I didn't knew that.
     
  11. slappypete

    No offense taken. The Vido I used had one broken channel, I did the mod on the working channel. That should be a non issue. I don't know what you mean when you say I used different shells? I used a stock Vido shell.

    FR graphs are certainly not the end all be all. They don't tell you if something sounds good, but they do provide an objective view of the frequency response of a headphone or speaker. It allows you to compare the weight or quantity of any frequency point between two headphones, or in this case between a stock and modded earbud. They allow you to visualize the sound signature of a headphone you like and compare to others. If two headphones share a similar frequency response on the same measurement system, then they probably have a similar sound signature/tonality or whatever you want to call it. There are of course other factors that determine which will ultimately sound better, such as distortion, timing/phase issues etc.

    Its obviously fine if you like your modded Vido better than stock. I didn't say it wasn't as good, i still haven't even listened to it. I just said based on the graphs I am skeptical, and that is my opinion based on my experiences reading my graphs and listening to buds and my own personal view on how they relate to real life. And just to be clear, If the graph shows a 2k bump, I'm not saying it will be a 2k bump in your ear necessarily. By the time the sound goes through a human ear the bump may not be at 2k, but I do think there will be a bump and slightly less even response compared to stock. That is an opinion based on my experiences with other buds which have a 2k bump on my graphs and also sound peaky in my ears. Having said that, the FR changes with your mod vs stock were very small anyway, so I doubt there is much difference.

    I really don't want to mislead anyone in here. I have always said to take my posts with a grain of salt, and I try my best to be clear about stating things as opinion rather than fact. I know some people in here enjoy the FR graphs so I will keep posting them when I have the time. I don't see how they can be any more misleading than the majority of opinions thrown around in here. It seems to me that most people describe changes in sound after mods from memory of the stock sound, and in my opinion, that isn't likely to lend a very objective view of the results. Out of curiosity how did you determine the changes in sound of your mod? do you have two pairs of Vido's? Did you listen to the modded Vido back to back with a stock one?
     
  12. slappypete

    Your questions are really good ones. I will try and answer as best as I can, but I am not an expert.

    Speakers/headphones will respond to music in the same way they respond to a FR sweep. As you said, the FR graph will show the quantity of SPL at any given frequency. If a speaker/headphone FR measurement shows elevated treble response as an example, then you will hear elevated treble in music as well. Having said that though, you still can't take any old FR graph and say something like oh there is a peak at 10kHz so when I listen to these earbuds there will be as well. It does depend on the measurement system used and whether the FR graph has been compensated. My graphs are raw measurements, so while I think they are useful for comparing differences between earbuds, you do need to have a real world reference point, in ear, to have a better understanding of how they really sound. For example, if you own a Vido and you know how that sounds, then you could look at my FR graphs of the Vido compared to any other mx500 bud I have measured and infer the difference between them based on your understanding of how the Vido actually sounds and my graphs. This would give you an understanding of sound signature differences, but not necessarily sound quality and detail retrieval differences. I hope that made some sense. If you are looking at more sophisticated graphs such as those at innerfidelity, then you could probably look at a given graph, see a peak at say 10kHz for example, and expect in real life to hear a peak at 10kHz as well, still with headphones its never guaranteed to be exactly where the graph says.

    Can we equalize the freq. sweep, to get the same graph of a better driver?

    You can do this, but the type of EQ will determine how well it will work in practice. Parametric EQ's are known to cause timing/phase issues and can really ruin the sound quality of a headphone or speaker. I have used parametric EQ to compensate speaker systems to measure perfectly flat in room, and the result was terrible. It can honestly be so bad that it sounds like you are listening to music out of a tin can. If you use FIR filtering (finite impulse response) then you can achieve really good sound quality even with lots of EQ. This is because FIR filters can implement linear phase filtering, which means the filter will have no phase shift across the entire frequency band. I am no expert in this stuff, but I have used both parametric EQ and FIR filtering to calibrate loudspeakers to have perfectly flat responses in room. The difference between the two is huge, absolutely night and day. This perfectly illustrates how FR graphs aren't the end all be all and don't say how good something actually sounds. The parametric EQ compensated speakers measured perfectly flat but sounded like garbage. If using parametric EQ it is best to stick to EQing the bass only since it is harder for the human ear to hear details down there compared to the mid range frequencies. It sometimes works alright for taming treble spikes as well.

    Do we get the same music quality using that equalization?

    I would say no, not really. You may be able to achieve a very high quality result when using FIR filtering, but how good the final result is still depends on how good your speaker system is. For example I could EQ a pair of transmission line loudspeakers with 4" full range drivers to have a flat FR down to say 40hz or so, but I couldn't expect the bass texture and quality to be on par with an open baffle system with 4x 16" woofers handling the bass. The same would go for headphones. Depending on what you are trying to compare to as a reference you may get really close, or may still have some large differences.
     
    golov17, petan970, springbay and 4 others like this.
  13. slappypete
    Pink noise can be used to set your speakers/headphone being measured to the desired SPL level before measurement. Frequency sweeps are what you use to do the actual measurement.
     
  14. knudsen
    Thanks... if you press the button "Measurement procedure" on the link to IEM measurements it says they use white noise (as far as I can see..). Have you tried both (sweep and white noise)?
     
    slappypete likes this.
  15. Merlin-PT
    slappypete likes this.
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