Removing blu-tak, oh... that's what the a900ltds should sound like
Nov 27, 2008 at 10:43 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

shellylh

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In my neverending search for a decent pair of closed cans, I bought a pair of a900ltds off a fellow head-fier sometime in the past year (maybe longer?). When I bought them, they had the blu tak mod done to them. I have been using them for all this time and wasn't really happy with them. They sounded congested, the bass was bloated, and they felt really closed in without much soundstage. It was ok for electronic music or any music without vocals but that was about it. Well, I finally got around to opening them up and see if unmodding them would help. (First, there was a screw missing when I took off the pads... that is now bothering me but shouldn't really mess up the sound too much). Well, it seems that whoever did this mod to the cans put a TON of blu tak (completely covering the silk screen)! It is no wonder they sounded so boomy. I took out all the blu tak and put the cans back together. Now they sound sooo much better. They are much brighter, have better mids, less boomy bass and the soundstage seems to have widened. They sound like a different can. The uber-blu taked cans sounded like (bad) closed cans. Now they sound much more like open cans. I am interested in comparing them to my D2000s (which are, unfortunately, at the office right now). I may try to put a small amount of blu tak back in the cans (only covering half the screen) at some point in the future.

That got me thinking about maybe upgrading to the W5000s (and selling my Darth Beyers which seem to be too bass heavy for me nowadays... must be old age
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). Unfortunately, I have a smallish head (the Denon D2000s are quite loose on me) so I am not sure I would be able to get a good fit. Then I saw that there is the ATH-A2000x that is coming out in December!
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Those look very intriguing, I think I will wait and see what people think about those.

Also, I am wondering if I may be missing any foam or such in the cans. The only removable foam I have is a thick grey donut shaped piece that goes around the black plastic part behind the driver. I don't have any very thin circular foam that goes around the outside of the cups (like in the W5000).

Does anyone have a picture of the inside of their A900ltds?

Happy Thanksgiving!
 
Nov 27, 2008 at 2:45 PM Post #3 of 5

darkswordsman17

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The blu-tak mod properly done should have been doing the opposite of what it apparently was for you (they should have been less boomy bass than stock even). Did the person dampen the outer part of the driver housing (you the know the part with the white paper over the slats)? If not, then that was your culprit.

Personally, I think every Audio-Technica that I've heard sounds better after a little bit of modding. That grey foam ring is awful at controlling bass. The blu-tak should only dampen the housing to help limit vibrations, and then you need to dampen the one part to limit how much makes it through. The end result should be tighter bass (that you can determine how much you want based on how much damping you put).

The lower A-T models all have the grey foam ring, its just the W5000 that has the white.

Oh, sorry, I'm an idiot, I just noticed what was done. That is the Fitz mod, which is different than the blu-tak mod (where you dampen the cup only, not the silk screen). Yeah, I agree, it does not sound good. I bought a pair of W5000s that had that done recently and I can't imagine how much the F5000 mod had to have changed them in order for people to say the F5005 sounded a lot more like the stock one. The F5005 sounded not good to my ears (like you said), and really reduced all the things I liked about the stock one. I use pulled apart cotton balls to dampen the back (not too much or else it gets too bright).
 
Nov 27, 2008 at 3:28 PM Post #4 of 5

shellylh

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I learned my lesson.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ph0rk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
This is one reason why I don't like buying modded cans.


I have never heard of the blu tak mod where one puts the blue tak on the outside of the cups (on top of the silk screen). Do you how to find this thread? I think the problem was that the head-fier that modded the a900ltds just put way too much blu tak, making it very congested (sk138 warns about this).

So, the lower end ATs do NOT have the really thin grey foam ring like the W5000?

Quote:

Originally Posted by darkswordsman17 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The blu-tak mod properly done should have been doing the opposite of what it apparently was for you (they should have been less boomy bass than stock even). Did the person dampen the outer part of the driver housing (you the know the part with the white paper over the slats)? If not, then that was your culprit.

Personally, I think every Audio-Technica that I've heard sounds better after a little bit of modding. That grey foam ring is awful at controlling bass. The blu-tak should only dampen the housing to help limit vibrations, and then you need to dampen the one part to limit how much makes it through. The end result should be tighter bass (that you can determine how much you want based on how much damping you put).

The lower A-T models all have the grey foam ring, its just the W5000 that has the white.

Oh, sorry, I'm an idiot, I just noticed what was done. That is the Fitz mod, which is different than the blu-tak mod (where you dampen the cup only, not the silk screen). Yeah, I agree, it does not sound good. I bought a pair of W5000s that had that done recently and I can't imagine how much the F5000 mod had to have changed them in order for people to say the F5005 sounded a lot more like the stock one. The F5005 sounded not good to my ears (like you said), and really reduced all the things I liked about the stock one. I use pulled apart cotton balls to dampen the back (not too much or else it gets too bright).



 
Nov 27, 2008 at 4:26 PM Post #5 of 5

darkswordsman17

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Oh, no, not on the outside of the cups, on the inside. You put this on the inside cups themselves, not on any part of the fiberglass housing (which is what the Fitz mod is). I don't think you'll find the sound you want with that one. By silk screen, I thought you were talking about the paper over the slats part that surrounds the actual driver (so the larger outer circle of the driver housing). The W5000s have a different material there than the lower models.

Correct, the W5000s have that white ring instead of the grey foam that the lower models use (so yours should just have the grey foam ring).

If you want to see what the regular blu-tak mod is, then put the tak on the cup, and then take some cotton balls and pull them apart and put them around that center housing. The more you put the less bass you end up with, so keep that in mind when putting it in. Or you could see how just damping the cups does for you with the grey ring.
 

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