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Oppo PM-3 : The Portable Planar - Impressions

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  1. megabigeye
    Sorry, I've only done the ugly mod and put the new pad directly on the cup.
    Yes, the stock pads are glued to the retainer ring; so reusing the ring with the new pads necessarily means removing the old pad from the ring, which I've not done but others have said that the old pad is destroyed in the process. In order to glue the new pad into the ring, the pad has to be trimmed slightly to clear the clips on the ring. So you have to destroy your old pad and probably void any sort of warranty on the new pad.

    I think somebody made a kind of tutorial a while ago, but I'm in my phone right now (and it's midnight) so I don't feel like trying to find it at the moment.
  2. SteveOliver
    I did the full "remove old pads" upgrade. Perhaps if you are very careful you can remove the old pads from the ring without destroying them, I wasn't that bothered and just cut/ripped them off, in any case most times the old pads are completely worn out.

    I didn't take any photos of the process and the removed pads are long gone now, thrown in the bin.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I can say the pads are no longer a worry to me for longevity with the PM-3. I need to decide what I'm going to do with the headband, its started to peel in places. I can't cover it with with a headband cover because if I do it doesn't fit my mahooosive head. Wrapping it with tape of some sort is probably going to my best bet.
  3. wilsonlaidlaw
    Leather tennis racket handle self-adhesive tape is probably the easiest way to redo the head band. As long as you take your time and try to make the gap between each wrap of the tape even, it should look acceptable. Head and Wilson make real leather tape in various colours, that should work. Beware of some far eastern folk selling tape that they call leather when it is nasty PU fake leather. The alternative if you have a good leather man, like I do in Brighton, UK (Clever With Leather), he could remove the original head band covering and stitch on a new real leather cover, with the seam on the top side. He has added leather carry handles to Billingham leather and canvas camera cases for me and they look as if they were part of the original design - beautiful workmanship.

    SteveOliver likes this.
  4. SteveOliver
    Thank you that's what I was planning to look at too, if ever I'm visiting Brighton I will visit your leather man too, also your name is Wilson and you are promoting the use of a Tennis product. :thinking:
  5. wilsonlaidlaw
    Promoting my namesake's tennis products is the limit of my tennis abilities. :beyersmile:

    SteveOliver likes this.
  6. Charlie Norwood
    Ah ok! So yeah I have no desire to keep the old pads, they are already almost unusable (they were amazing pads when they were new and it's a shame the vegan leather wasn't able to hold up longer, but oh well). Basically, before I embarked on this journey, I wanted to get an idea of how much work it would be, and if the desired result would look good and work well, or just work well but look kind of janky. I'll guess I'll just have to find out.

    Which Brainwavz did you throw on there btw? Any photos of the finished result?

    As far as headband goes, mine is luckily in okay shape now but taking notes for when that actually happens. I'm hoping these cans last a lifetime.
  7. megabigeye
    I put the XL angled pads on mine. I don't have any pictures, but they're a lot bigger than the old ones and bigger than they appear in pictures. And the angle of the pads make them stick out in a funny way for me... But I have a strange head shape. They might not look so odd on other people.
    I haven't seen anybody mention it, but I wonder if the smaller pads would also work.

    EDIT: The angled only come in the large size, not XL.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  8. Charlie Norwood
    There are good leather workers all over the world that I'm guessing could do this for you if you ask. Have no idea what it would cost and could imagine it being $100-200 USD depending on time and materials, but if the work lasts, then should be worth it. Could probably save money if they just sew the new leather over the pleather (though that might create the same space issues as a headband cover). I would do some Yelp/Google research for any leather shops in your area and see what turns up.
  9. Charlie Norwood
    The XL? Wow I was thinking the oval, or even the small oval/sony pads would work best. In the meantime, I've emailed oppo to see if I can get those replacements, hopefully two pairs that should cover me for the next ten years. I love the feel of brainwavz pads but i'm aware of how they can alter sound, especially if they move the drivers further from your ears, and the first thing to go in that case is usually bass slam which I can't live with. I'll see what Oppo US has to say to me, but if they don't have any more, I might give the small ovals a shot and see what happens.
  10. megabigeye
    I misspoke. The angled pads only come in the standard large size, not XL. If the ones for Sony are smaller, they might work as well.

    I've not noticed any difference in sound except that mmmaaayyybbbeee a slight increase in soundstage. No decreased bass, treble, or anything else.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  11. Charlie Norwood
    ah thanks! The slight increase in soundstage is what I would expect. With the bass... well I always have anywhere from a +9 to +12 dB boost on the low end so I'm probably a little more sensitive to slight changes in that range, but good to know that if any it's only going to be a small change and not massive. I've put bw velour pads on my JVCSZ2K and the bass reduction was probably ~30% compared to the thinner (but less comfortable) pads.
  12. megabigeye
    Are you a basshead (no judgment at all if you are– your preferences are your own)? Or do you wear glasses? The only time I wish these had more bass is when I'm wearing my glasses and can't get a good seal. My guess is that when people think the PM-3 don't have enough bass it's because they aren't getting a satisfactory seal for some reason or another.
  13. Charlie Norwood
    I am a basshead (so I'm hesitant to do anything that could reduce bass) and judge all you want! :L3000: - I do wear glasses (thin rims though), but I've never felt the pm-3 are bass anemic like some have mentioned throughout the history of this thread. I just think they take power and EQ like champions (despite other comments in this thread lol) and the bass just keeps getting better the more I push it. I think the bass issues people have mentioned could be, yes seal problems, but also just that they aren't V or U shaped and hence not "fun" - especially if they're being powered by just a phone (yes I know that they can be easily driven, but a good amp turns them into completely different beasts).

    I feel like the PM-3 have mostly ever been compared to the wrong type of headphones, either much more expensive planars, or other headphones in the same price range that have aggressively not-flat tuning. To me, these are some of the best headphones ever made at $400 (and their current resale value, and mark ups for deadstock sets, prove this I think) and they really give what you put into them.

    Though everything I'm saying here was basically the opposite of the marketing for them. Which I think also led to people being disappointed or giving up on them too soon.
    Slim1970 and nick n like this.
  14. megabigeye
    Fine then! Judgment passed!
    Oh yeah, of course there are always people that just want a bassier headphone.

    I agree. Even though these were marketed as portable and usable with a smartphone, they sound way better with a more robust amp and way, way, way better than that with tubes. For me they were practically unusable without an amp. I honestly find them kind of boring with solid state, but with my Bottlehead Quickie+Quicksand (I'm saddened that both of those kits have been discontinued) setup they are my current favorite headphone. There is just something completely effortless about that combo. I think I remember reading that their max power limit is 2W, which (I think) also means they should do well with EQ and they're my only headphone I've consistently EQ'd.
    nick n likes this.
  15. Charlie Norwood
    Hmm, I've never really spent any time with tube amps. I've always needed amps to be at least transportable and I haven't even had a desk in my small apartment where I could set up a proper station for years - but you definitely have me intrigued. Any thoughts on amps that are a) available, and b) I don't have to be build myself? I've always been interested in the Dark Voice, and now that Alex Cavali tube amp on (Mass)Drop.

    And you are correct about the 2W max, the recommended long-term input is 500mW - but good to know you'll have to work hard at blowing the drivers. The 2W gives them an ungodly amount of headroom.
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