Pioneer's First Hi-End Headphones: SE-Master 1
Feb 16, 2021 at 3:38 PM Post #1,892 of 1,923

Oregonian

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Great question musicday - I have these headphones and love them but hope there's an option for the pads.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 9:37 AM Post #1,894 of 1,923

RODG

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My headphones were sent to Pioneer Japan for repair so I’m not sure if the ear pads were included with the assemblies. I’ll have a closer look once they arrive.
Hi,

Unfortunately, Pioneer as manufacturer has used the cheapest of the cheap: The leatherette is used in the furniture industry for kitchen chairs with a retail price (not dealer purchase price) of around € 80. Right on time after the expiration of the warranty claims, the material begins to disintegrate.

I ordered the headband to be made for me and my M1 by a fine bag-maker. It is from the finest bull leather, pit tanned, vegetable without chrome, and split and sanded, so thin but strong, and sewn with Alcantara that rests on my head. That should last longer than the headphones. Who would like to have something like this, feel free to write me a message (gladly also in German), then I would request a small series.

I'm also trying to persuade this specialist to renew the ear pads as well. He is not yet taken with the task. Maybe someone knows a fine bag-maker or similar specialist who may take on the revision or new production.

Best regards
 
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Feb 22, 2021 at 11:22 AM Post #1,895 of 1,923

Benny-x

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Hi,

Unfortunately, Pioneer as manufacturer has used the cheapest of the cheap: The leatherette is used in the furniture industry for kitchen chairs with a retail price (not dealer purchase price) of around € 80. Right on time after the expiration of the warranty claims, the material begins to disintegrate.

I ordered the headband to be made for me and my M1 by a fine bag-maker. It is from the finest bull leather, pit tanned, vegetable without chrome, and split and sanded, so thin but strong, and sewn with Alcantara that rests on my head. That should last longer than the headphones. Who would like to have something like this, feel free to write me a message (gladly also in German), then I would request a small series.

I'm also trying to persuade this specialist to renew the ear pads as well. He is not yet taken with the task. Maybe someone knows a fine bag-maker or similar specialist who may take on the revision or new production.

Best regards
I have already reached out to Vesper Audio in Belarus about both those requirements as well. Vesper took me up on both fronts and I'm sending my SEM1s to them as we speak.

I'll be getting 1-2 pairs of earpads, all with fine leather, memory foam, etc. You can find many posts around with pictures of custom earpads done by Vesper Audio. This will be my first experience with them, but so far their presales service has been fantastic and I believe once my pads and headband are made any SEM1 owner would be able to reach out to them for a replacement.

Do you have any pictures of the new headband suspension strap? I haven't worked out all the details about that with them yet.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 12:56 PM Post #1,896 of 1,923

RODG

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That sounds great.

The original headband consists of three parts: on top the thin synthetic leather, underneath a transparent foil against tearing out the headband - with three punched out holes on each side, the middle hole has a diameter of 2.5 mm, the other two 4.5 mm each - and below a thin synthetic fiber fabric. All this is welded, so unlike STAX, you can not see a seam.

I have both a new band with the clear film in the middle and one without the inlay at all. By using Alcantara® and genuine leather, I think the clear film can be dispensed with. Also, the headband doesn't pinch on me, so I don't feel it like the original band.

The difficult thing in the manufacture is that the seam should be hidden. So you need to sew a tube, which is then turned upside down. I tried to capture the final result from the fine ashtray with the smartphone.
 

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Feb 22, 2021 at 8:50 PM Post #1,897 of 1,923

Benny-x

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I was eyeing this post recently in the For Sale forum, another owner had the headband replaced and there are some good and clear pictures of the work: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/pioneer-se-master1-headphones.950155/

But the one you just showed really takes the cake. That is some top-notch craftsmanship on your new headband :thumbsup:

The other details about the clear film, does it run the whole length of the headband? Like from left to right? If so, I guess the point is to stop the headband from naturally stretching over time and loosening. Even the new leather headband has that risk, though I'd say it would take a very long time.

You said you got 1 headband with the plastic/clear film inside and another 1 without it. In your experience so far, which do you prefer? I guess the one without the film running side to side would be more supple and flexible?

These are some of the best details on replacement parts in this thread in ages. I will definitely share pictures and feedback on my mods when I get everything back in a few months. I am having some other work done too, so I'll ask if Vesper can take pictures during the process.
 
Feb 23, 2021 at 5:01 AM Post #1,898 of 1,923

RODG

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The clear film runs the entire length and, in my estimation, serves more to a.) create stability as well as b.) prevent the really incredibly poor mix of materials from tearing out at the ends under the screwed plastic closures. One must remember that everything is welded. So you can't see exactly how it all comes together until you disassemble the original headband.

Personally, today I prefer the version without the plastic insert because it is softer. However, if you look very closely, it has the optical disadvantage that the headband slightly pushes up towards the edges over the entire length. The fine bag-maker wants to and will find a solution to this/my „problem“. (I know, that's millimeter pushing :wink:.) - A reinforcing, stiffening insert is no longer necessary in view of the really high-quality materials used. Alcantara® is so tight, or rather so tightly woven, that this material alone could hold the weight. Together with the bull leather, the result is a durable (sustainable!) combination.

When making replacement ear pads, the choice of leather is important. Over 90 percent of the leather traded on the world market is chrome tanned. This is causing huge problems not only in countries like Bangladesh (the No. 1 leather country). Who wants to have residues of this heavy metal on their head?
 
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Feb 23, 2021 at 6:01 AM Post #1,899 of 1,923

mrtim6

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Well I found out today that StarTrack or should I say Sh** Track had dropped off my headphones at the local post office without bothering to leave a note. I just picked them up late this afternoo. I had a quick listen just on my phone to ensure they worked. I’ll post some photos later this week. What is really interesting is I have complete new drivers, as well as my old drivers, new & old headband and it looks like someone removed one of the old headphone pads. Again I’ll post some photos in a few days. Unfortunately the brand new single ended cable arrived with the right headphone connector cable completely severed rendering it useless!
 
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Feb 28, 2021 at 11:39 PM Post #1,901 of 1,923

Benny-x

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Well, I'm really hoping that once Vesper has a go at them, they can take pictures showing what's up with the earpad removal, even if it includes using a razor to slice the adhesive or a heatgun to release it.

I've enjoyed the earpads so far, but I -love- real leather earpads so much.
 
Mar 3, 2021 at 10:38 AM Post #1,905 of 1,923

Benny-x

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Well, we can finally see the 2pc foam inserts. Those are glued to both the driver frame and the earpads, but they don't look too hard to remove. Likely the heatgun could release the glue on the pad side.

But no, no aftermarket pads besides custom ones.

As for the pictures, that's crazy that Pioneer included the old parts like that. Makes me wonder what the hell the revision ones are like for the old ones just to be tossed back in...

I wonder if there's a difference in sound signature~ After what serial number~ Hahaha
 

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