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SE530/535 Acoustic Filter Mod: More SQ improvement than cables? Dampers!

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  1. holsen
    Just ordered a set of whites and browns and receiving them this afternoon. Does it make any difference how far down the tube they are inserted. Does pushing them all the way in change the sound versus pushing them just past (flush) with top of the tube?
  2. mdtolic
    @holsen I don't think so. You do want to make sure that the damper side of the tube goes into the nozzle first though. Mine tend to move a little out after use. They have never come up far enough to be flush with the nozzle opening though. I pushed them back down a couple of times in the beginning but don't bother now because it doesn't change the sound for me.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  3. holsen
    Just got my set of Whites and Browns. Brown definitely accentuates the bass but at the expense of sacrificing airiness and the mids & trebles. I had them in for about 10 minutes then switched to the Whites ..... Ahhhhh - theres are the ones for me. They beautiful across the entire of spectrum of sound. The bass is there, bongos, bass strings have all come back back the mid through high are lovely. They might be direct replacement for the OEM wite filters from Shure, but I'm convinced, as others have said they sound so much better. Very Happy - I'm sticking with these Knowles White "Upgrades".
    skingg and mdtolic like this.
  4. Sunstealer
    I bought a pair of used SE535 just so I could experiment with the Knowles filters. I bought a few pairs off that auction site.

    Cayin N5ii (medium gain, sharp roll off, audio priority mode), balanced output, BGVP DX3 cable.
    Silicone triflange tips


    The Less I Know the Better - Tame Impala
    Jet Black - Channel Tres
    Human - The Human League
    Children Say (Acoustic Version) - Level 42

    I used a Etymotic filter tool to get the original filters out. Less than a ¾ turn is required to gain purchase. I used fingers to put them in, diaphragm down, to the level of the external flange.

    White 680Ohm: A clearer version of the stock sound. Certainly the bass and treble sound a fraction tighter and crisper respectively. Definitely an improvement but still warm and midcentric.

    Gray 330Ohm: Wider soundstage, I heard quiet female backing vocals that I swear weren't there before on Jet Black! Similarly, clearer more layered keyboard melodies on the Tame Impala track. Extended mid bass, edging into sub. The mids have been tamed and brought more into line with the rest of the spectrum. Overall, cooler sound compared to stock. More my preference (my personal faves are ER4XR at the moment). Probably at my comfort limit for the more crystalline highs.

    Brown 1000Ohm: This sounds more like my pair of SRH1540s! Not as cool and extended as the grays but less high end roll off than the stock / white. Sub bass is present and not too flabby. The mids are warmer than the grays but not as mushy and syrupy as stock. Those are the adjectives I'm using to describe the stock mid sound and I'm sticking to them. Overall, this profile is more "fun" than the other two. Because I have this signature with my 1540s, I'm less likely to keep these in.

    Green 1500Ohm: These are edging towards a more L-shaped signature (although I know this is relative to what is possible with these filters). Thicker, more elastic sub bass. Mids and highs feel level with each other in terms of expressions and warmth, with neither prominent or recessed. Vocals feel a little muddy.

    I went for the grays as they felt like I was getting more from the 'phones compared to stock. I think I have become less bass-focused as I've got older and find the Etymotics great for extended listening. I have a pair of IT04s for entertainment.

    I would still recommend a pair of white filters even if you prefer the stock sound. Brown if you like a little more bass and less edgy highs. The greens aren't worth trying, to be honest. YMMV.
    mdtolic likes this.
  5. mdtolic
    I'm listening to mine right at this very moment... with the greens in. :upside_down:
  6. holsen
    Nice concise post. Thanks for that. I'd concur with your findings.
    Ive had the SE535s for about 6 years and have generally been pretty happy with them. I always found them mid forward, a little thin on bass but beautifully clean and crisp (not shrill or sibilant in the highs) and with a bit of EQ could bring down the mids while giving a little texture to the depth to the bass. Then I tripped across the Filter Mods thread and became a little more than intrigued with the possibilities I had no idea existed. I ordered a complete set of the Knowels and after running through all of them settled on the white. They are clearly different than Shure stock whites. The Knowles White to my ears extended the bass tones the mids and kept all the upper end loveliness. I cant recommend them enough (I'm clearly not a bass head but I do love full, rich, textured and layered sound).

    So with my new found love for my trusty 535s and all of the cross references on this and other threads I began following the SE846 threads and began convincing myself I got my money's worth out of the 535s and could therefore justify an upgrade to the 846 and turn the 535s into my new BT IEMS for gym and cycling. Then came the MassDrop sale on the Ety ER4XR which I knew nothing about so I started following that, reading all the reviews and seeing many comparisons between them and both th 535 and 846 with many calling them superior. Well for $260 tax & delivery in.... they'll be here the end of June... I cant wait. The question is will the SE535s become my new BT Friends or will they continue to be my daily drivers? We'll see.
    Sunstealer likes this.
  7. Sunstealer
    I thought about a pair of 846 but couldn't justify the price, even secondhand. Modding them also looked a little more involved...

    The 3mm tips are why I like the Shures. They are light and comfortable. The grey filters are what really transform this 'phone for me. I genuinely do not like the stock sound! The stock cable is also horrible in feel and sound quality.

    The IT04 ports are bigger (6mm) so I can only wear them for a few hours. The soundstage is excellent but the overall signature is mildly U-shaped, as much as I don't want to admit it.

    I love the ER4XR. It was like the feeling you get when you step into a house for sale and immediately know that it's the one for you. The narrow stems fit my tiny ears. I love the Etymotic sound but would like a more 3 dimensional soundstage. I wish Etymotic would manufacture a multidriver earphone but I listened the Innerfidelity podcast with Dave Friesema of Etymotic and it didn't sound like that direction would be part of their ethos. Get yourself a balanced cable for the Etys!

    I might investigate the Westones at Canjam since they also use 3mm tips....
  8. mdtolic
    Ordered a pair of brown and grey today. We'll see. These 'phones are my "fun" 'phones. Got a little curious (again) about changing them up.
  9. mdtolic
    Whelp, I put in the brown filters and I am quite surprised at how much (better) they change the sound from the green. All my pre-set EQs are shot now. When I had first put in the green I loved the crazy bass. I wasn't using the 535's as my primary drivers though. The browns let through some serious detail, and the separation is much better, but they still retain a satisfying sub-bass thump. I'm kicking myself for not trying different filters sooner. I hear now how the green dampers push the mids out of the mix. Brown is much better musically but still a fun sound. Shure are the most comfortable IEMs for me. With these brown dampers in I will probably be using these daily now. They are absolutely stunning. I will have to try the grey at some point (my guess is they are not my style) but I'm enjoying these with the brown in so much I don't want to take them out of my head any time soon.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  10. Papa253
    Help please.

    I have the Audiosense T800's and I have brown metal filters/dampers installed and one I just can't seem to remove it.
    I have the tool but just can't get a good grip.

    Any tips or tricks will be greatly appreciated.

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  11. Slater
    Which direction did you install the Knowles dampers? They need to be installed with the colored filter side down, so that the tool can thread into the back side for removal.

    If you installed then the other way, you’re gonna have trouble removing them

  12. Papa253
    Thank you.

    I did install them correctly and was able to remove the metal one from the right side but the left side is a no go.

    Thought about putting it in the freezer to shrink the metal and or even Super Glue.

    I just don't know
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  13. mdtolic
    Super Glue?!
  14. Papa253
    I thought about it but HAVE NOT!

    I don't want to make things worse
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
    mdtolic likes this.
  15. mdtolic
    Try a sturdy sewing needle. Jab the inside of the filter cylinder and use leverage against the top of the earphone nozzle to ease it up. I do it that way
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