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

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  1. kimvictor
    Yup. That data is on Rin's website.
  2. Mooses9
    how deep do the inserts have to be installed? and when removing the upgrade damper i presume it will be unuseable after removeal?
  3. kimvictor
    Well, there is a stopping mechanism in the housing, so don't worry about how deep it goes. It should pop right in.
  4. Mooses9
    i donno i just cringe at the thought of damaging the housing or nozzle, im super anal about my headphones, i mean my headphones sit on egg crate foam lol.
    ive owned the se535-ltd-j asia version before. and i have the bronze 535 now. and amps/dacs/interconnects and cables have made a huge improvement.
    i do imagine the dampers make a huge difference, but imagine i would have to try a good ammount of dampers that work well in conjuction to my other equipment, to come to find a balance .
  5. kimvictor
    Yup. You should try few different dampers to see which one suits you the best.
  6. davee5
    I would be very surprised if the damper's physical location in the canal has any impact on tone.  I figure once the mesh is in-line it's doing its job, there's no obvious resonance tuning to the nodal location or anything like that (I think, but who knows).
    As far as insertion and removal go, I too had a ton of trouble getting the stock ones out (though less than some of you, clearly).  Once I was testing the Knowles dampers I inserted them pretty deliberately to make sure I could swap them easily for A:B testing.  I'm, not saying this was is "right" but that it worked for me:
    1. Remove the stock damper (somehow).
    2. Take a Knowles damper and place it gently, with no force, into the tip of the IEM canal with the MESH SIDE DOWN, leaving the curved, "open" end of the can facing you.  This is important if you want to ever get it out again.
    3. Just *barely* press the damper can into the canal, making sure not to pas by the little barb that retains the cans more securely.  Just pushing gently with my finger until it was flush with the end of the canal worked great.
    4. Listen.
    5. Remove the damper by hooking the ear-wax loop just under the edge of the damper can and pulling gently upwards.  This is easy to do if the open end is facing you and very hard to do if you have the mesh side up.  Be careful to do this slowly, as the wire loop acts like a spring and can fling your damper across the room (happened a few times).
    6. Repeat 2-5 until you find the color/resistance you love.
    I continue to be floored by the improvement in sound, and I too am waiting with baited breath for more listening notes from those more senior members (and anyone who took the time to really give different dampers a deliberate audition).
    :: Dave
  7. Solude
    Or buy the tool and have an easy go of it :wink:
  8. Mooses9
  9. muziq
    Eager to try this mod after having lived with my 535s for a couple years now--order placed for brown, white, and green.  Thanks for all the suggestions and links.
  10. kimvictor
    No problem!
  11. plyr
    Mine just came in.
    As far as installation goes, in one side of my earphone I managed to just slide the stock filter right out, it was inside the duct just by friction, I guess that the plastic brake that is created on the production is not present or is too shallow. So now I have a bit of a problem, the metallic filter fall out very easily on this side, so I just punched the inside-out of the metallic filter so he can stay inside the duct by friction.
     I'l update later with sound impressions...
  12. muziq
    My damper order arrived today, and I had zero problems popping out the stock dampers and dropping in the new ones.  Short of rehashing prior impressions at great length, I've settled on the brown/1000 ohm dampers--brought up and rounded out the lows, took the prominence out of the mids, and added ever so slight a warmness to the highs.  Was most impressed with the impact on the bass.  
    My tests for bass were Aphex Twin, "Xtal," from Selected Ambient Works 85-92 pleasantly smoothed out a bit of the original master's rough recording; and Andy Stott, "Numb," from Luxury Problems, which has wickedly deep and highly directional metallic bass thump that enters around 2:12--these dampers rendered a feeling of an unending stream of manhole covers dropping on my head like 1-ton raindrops.  
    A few other favs demonstrated the all-around nature of this damper.  Waylon Jennings' whiskey-soaked Taker/Tulsa came through deep and warm--like seeing him play again as I did when I was a kid.  Balmorhea's western americana All Is Wild/All is Silent felt more intimate and immediate--something I didn't think the Shures were capable of before now.  
    Kudos for the great instructions and suggestions for replicating this nice mod.  
    Edit:  rig for the moment is iPhone 5 - Alo Audio International - 535's
  13. kimvictor
    Lol. Considering that shure makes lots of good mics, I'm sure they are aware of affects of dampers on sounds. That makes me wonder why they did what they did with SE535/LTD.
  14. Zalithian
    To make money.:p
  15. kimvictor
    Well, obviously I guess. But have they not guessed that the users were going to find out that the only difference between SE535 and LTD is the filter?
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