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E-MU Wooden Series Headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by bearmonster, Sep 22, 2015.
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  1. Pharmaboy
    No, never tried Dekoni pads. During the last Drop of the Teaks I got very interested in them based on one of the Massdrop discussion comments, but ended up not pursuing it--though I did purchase and test the Dekoni attenuator rings.

    If I have any opinion on Dekoni pads, it's just that there are a lot of contradictory things said about them by users. One Head-Fi post that was linked on Massdrop's Discussion was extremely positive (it compared 3-4 different Dekoni pads, though on which headphone(s) escapes me now). But you don't have to look far, either in Massdrop Discussion or Head-Fi, to find others with less kind things to say.

    Pad-rolling is kind a crapshoot. Even well designed & made pads (the Dekonis seem to be both) can sound pretty terrible on a given pair of headphones. I've come to see pad-rolling as an exercise in sonic "match-making": you make your best guess about which pads can help a pair of headphones, then put them together and see if any chemistry results.
  2. junki
    Thanks for your detailed response. I replaced the stock with Dekoni's purely for comfort reasons, and now I'm going to dig up the stock pads and see if I can hear any significant differences.

    I am also thinking about the Lawson mod, but I'm not sure if the Teaks really need them.
  3. Pharmaboy
    I've read about Lawton mods for this or that headphone. Some people love the resulting changes in sound (tho I never read user comments about the E-Mu Teak mod).

    Still, after hearing the E-Mu Teaks basically hit it out of the park (stock pads) on 2 different amps (Liquid Carbon; and even more so w/Lake People G109-A), I'm hard pressed to think of anything this design needs in the way of modification to sound good. I think the designer knew exactly what he was doing putting those deeper Teak earcups on the Fostex frame...
  4. junki
    Sounds about right!

    I did a bunch of A/B testing between the stock pads and the Dekoni sheepskins with and without the Dekoni attenuation rings. I had the Dekoni's waiting when I got the Teak, so I slapped them and the rings on on day 1, so I never really critically listened to the stock pads.

    Well, long story short, the stock pads definitely sound better. The bass is better defined, a tad bit stronger (SO MUCH BASS), and the midrange and treble are clearer and more dynamic than the Dekoni pads + attenuation ring. The latter's midrange and upper midrange sounded a bit muffled, less separated, perhaps recessed. But no matter how I adjusted the pads, my ears started hurting after about 10 min or so.

    I then tried the Dekoni's without the attenuation ring, and they sound... really good. I wouldn't say they sound better than the stock pads, but just different. Bass is a relatively subdued, but there's still a lot of bass, and it's less directional and more.. around my head, and less from my ears, like bass from a subwoofer. The midrange and treble sound... remarkably similar to my HD650: clear, smooth, well separated, tonally sublime. Soundstage was better than stock.

    And my ears are thanking me profusely.

    I wish the stock pads were wearable for me. Perhaps if I had smaller ear lobes, but that won't ever happen. In the meantime, the Dekoni's WITHOUT the attenuation rings sound incredible. I would describe the sound as a HD650 with more bass, but the sound does lose a sort of indescribable identity with the stock pads.

    I think I know why the attention rings sucked for me. They're too thin and too flimsy, and there isn't a mesh cover around the hole. The former is affecting higher frequencies than the stock attention rings, and the latter is causing more reflections than desired.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
    jaco61 likes this.
  5. Pharmaboy
    Thanks for a most interesting post. Which Dekoni pads are those? I know you said sheepskin, but there are so many models w/different names...trying to pinpoint the exact pads. If you're comparing the sound to an HD650 (which IMO is a pretty high standard for headphone quality), you must doing something right.

    Safe to say you got a little further than most w/pad rolling. I had pretty good results w/Brainwavz round pad (the Teaks sounded different, mostly good, but not 100% good). Another person on this thread got very good results w/a thinner/round pad. It takes real work to even equal the sound of the stock pads, much less better them.

    The stock pads are not very comfortable. It's almost like they're over-inflated w/air--they don't give much as all.
  6. escknx
    I just got Brainwavz Round Velour version for Fostex X00. Unfortunately I missed drop and don't have Teaks but I assume that Fostex is pretty much the same.
    So Wow, stock HD700's treble is nothing compared to what these Velour pads made to X00. This is extremely painful to listed phones now.
    I've tried w/o Dekoni attenuator, and with it, it does not change anything to that horrible 9khz peak. I've cut custom round shape attenuation rings from regular plastic paper but it doesnt change it.
    Once I put stock pads back - everything is normal. In order to bring sound signature to "ok" shape I have to lower 9khz for at least 5db down.

    Any ideas on how to fix that nightmare? Cause Velour Brainwavz Round are very comfortable.
  7. junki
    The Dekoni Premium Ear Pads for Fostex, a Massdrop exclusive I believe. There's a drop for them active right now. Mine are the Sheepskin (solid, not fenestrated) for the X00. The build quality is great, and proportionally it is very close to the stock pads, albeit just a bit thicker.
  8. Sladeophile
    I have the Dekoni sheepskin and love em. I haven't done any ABing because they just sound good so I don't care. Fantastically comfortable. I just bought the K7xx sheepskins, hope they treat me the same. Well worth the price IMO.
    jaco61 likes this.
  9. escknx
    Are sheepskins more comfortable that stock ones? They have almost identical shape
  10. Sladeophile
    They are softer, more plush, way better material feel against your skin, and more padding overall. Holding them next to a stock one, I'm not sure where you are getting the idea they are the same shape? Also, I never found the stock pads to be that much of a problem, just wanted real sheepskin.
    jaco61 likes this.
  11. escknx
    I've never said "same shape".
    By almost identical I meant opening size. Ear still touches padding.
    Wish there was a design similar to Senn HD700 but closed bassy can.
  12. Pharmaboy
    I only have velour earpads on 1 headphone (stock on Fidelio X2s)...always avoided them when pad-rolling because of so many user comments to the effect that they increase treble.

    I owned the TX00s last year and ended up selling them precisely because of their treble (just my personal taste).

    So I think you're on the right track (Brainwavz round pads were my best aftermarket pad for the E-Mu Teaks)--but you tried the wrong Brainwavz round pad IMO. If you got a pair of pleather or sheepskin rounds (the 100mm variant, not the 110mm XL), I think you're really get somewhere w/the sound of the TX00s.

    Another thing to try in the meantime is Brainwavz HM5 pleathers (seems like many Head-Fi'ers have a pair of these laying around). If you have a pair to try, you won't be able to use your custom attenuators, but the HM5s will fit on the locking retainer ring of these headphones. And I think you'd also find a lot more comfort w/HM5s, and relatively little sonic degradation vs stock.

    All guesswork based on my experimentation w/the physically very similar E-Mu Teaks.

    BTW, another poster here reminded me that he'd evaluated a thinner pair of round pleathers on his Teaks, and got really good result. His pads are round, like the Brainwavz; but are ~26mm thick/deep, rather than 30mm for the Brainwavz. Since most who pad roll the Teaks finds out sooner or later that thick earpads (ie, thicker than stock) activelyl degrade their sound, I think this person was onto something. He gave a link to his pads, which just cost $13, as I recall (his post is 2-3 pp earlier in this thread).

    Here's that post (#774 from previous pg of this thread): https://www.head-fi.org/threads/e-mu-wooden-series-headphones.781884/page-52
  13. Pharmaboy
    Well, these are nothing like the HD700, but I can think of a several candidates that might suit your tastes:
    • E-Mu Teaks (~$350-$450 used): I know you missed the drop, but these come up for sale now and then. Good news is they sound kind of amazing w/the right amp (world-class bass IMO); bad news is you'd have the exact same pad issues as w/TX00s.
    • New Nightowl Carbon (~$700 new): said to be a closed variant of original Nighthawk. There are some great reviews of the design
    • ZMF Ori (~$650-750 used): my personal endgame headphone...love that planar bass & clear, but not fatiguing midrange & treble. Slightly warm & bassy w/great soundstaging.
  14. escknx
    Yes I've had HM5's and they're great, but I just prefer velour feel.
    Especially 700's cups that eat ear completely, its comfort isn't even comparable to anything that I've seen on a market.
    I have average ear size but never used cans like 700 w ears not touching anything inside of the cup. Plus they're compact and light, they modded with HD 700 Mod Kit and now sound just great. I only wish there was some more bass extension.

    EMU and 00X are awesome in that, but comfort goes 1st for me here.
    Unfortunately, EMU Velour pads adds to comfort but destroys sound signature.
    Nightowl and ZMF both 100g heavier than 700, tho I'm pretty sure they sound great.
  15. junki
    Hi guys,

    I've been trying all day to get adjusted to the stock pads without avail. If I spend about 3-5 min adjusting the pads, 50% of the time I can get them just right so my earlobes don't hurt, but then my hair mats down a little with headphone pressure and suddenly they're misaligned, and my ears hurt. I needed the Dekoni pads, but they just didn't sound the same as stock. The pads with the attenuation rings sounded worse (a bit less bass, muffled/recessed midrange) and the pads without the attenuation rings sounded just different (less bass, slightly thinner midrange, but bigger soundstage).

    I spent some time thinking about what was making the oh-so-comfortable Dekoni sheepskin pads and attenuation ring sound worse than the stock pads. A few posts above, I threw out my hypothesis that the attenuation rings are "too thin and too flimsy, and there isn't a mesh cover around the pad opening [like on the stock pads]. The former is affecting higher frequencies than the stock attention rings, and the latter is causing more reflections than desired."

    Well, I had a ton of felt tape left over from doing the fuzzor mod for my M1060, so I tried something today. Voila:

    Junki's felt mod for the Dekoni attenuation ring:


    Basically, I cut felt tape such that it covers the exposed plastic of the attenuation ring. My reasoning was that this improves the attenuation ring in two ways: it adds thickness, which helps resonate with the bass frequencies better, and the felt adds dampening to better filter the midrange frequencies and upwards, resulting is less resonance, which results in less "muffledness."

    Turns out my reasoning was correct. These sound awesome. I did some hardcore A/B listening and I can't tell the difference between these and stock anymore. The mids cleared up, has proper body now, and separation is very clear. I think soundstage actually improved compared to stock. The bass also improved both in quantity as well as texture compared to without the felt.

    I'm pretty happy and I wanted to share this with the community.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
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