Sony MDR-Z7 Upgrades and Mods Thread
Feb 15, 2017 at 5:30 PM Post #286 of 439

jirams

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I would guess that it's fundamentally a rubber based product so it probably has some use as a damper when it comes to vibrations. However that would make it more effective as a structural additive, absorbing vibrations but not necessarily as an acoustic damper. One absorbs physical vibrations whereas the latter slows sound waves down. The right damping material can increase compliance thereby increasing volume. They are both dampers but in different respects. Also there are other ways of using rubber such as making a foam out of it which increases its surface area making it a good acoustic damper.


Thanks - This makes good sense.  Probably far too dense to dampen air motion sound waves effectively.
 
Feb 16, 2017 at 8:50 AM Post #287 of 439

kartik7405

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Though i have not using Sony MDR-z7.So i have some preety good ideas which material good for damping while modifying my Sony MDR-1A.
 
Surgical tape-Reduce midbass bolt and also suck out mids so it gives false illusion that it makes sound clear.So all in all sound less engaging.
Bluetack-it reflects sound more than earlier.Your headphone will more boomy compared to earlier
 
For best result use either sorbothane "or" Aluminium sound deadner. 
 
Feb 16, 2017 at 10:02 AM Post #288 of 439

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Though i have not using Sony MDR-z7. I have good ideas while modifying my Sony MDR-1A. Surgical tape-Reduce mid bass bolt and also suck out mids so it gives false illusion that it makes sound clear.So all in all sound less engaging. Bluetack - it reflects sound more than earlier.Your headphone will more boomy compared to earlier For best result use either sorbothane "or" Aluminium sound deadner. 

The MDR-Z7 has a lot more mids,to higher low mids (500 hz to 2 khz) and a bothersome bump (for some - like me) around 1 khz. The tape modification helped with it, the MDR-1A actually has a dip in the mid that it would not work well for and Sorbothane may not do much for midrange issues. Aluminum could also reflect high mids, and highs and not be good in that way. Still, good ideas.
 
Feb 17, 2017 at 6:53 PM Post #289 of 439

thesmokingman

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I re-did the pad design to maximize the use of AC in the cup and w/o the need for anything to hold them in place. Try out the template. Print out to size, cut two, they are mirror images, left to right. In the pic below the cut out on the right under 4" goes to the driver lead. This template uses a bit more of the AC sheet. Work the pad in, press it into the cooks and crannies no biggie right? Trim here or there as needed. Hobby scissors and an exacto make it easy.

 


 
Feb 17, 2017 at 8:00 PM Post #290 of 439

TheManko

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The sheets I cut weren't circular, but also didn't flare out to fill in the outer edges like your new ones. I might try to cut new sheets tomorrow and see what kind of difference it makes! It's been more than a couple days now since I opened them, so I'm feeling the modding itch again.
 
EDIT: 40 hours later, instead of modifying the Z7 I played around with the op-amps in my DAC all day. I used the Z7 to evaluate the changes, and they performed very well for the purpose. Because there's so few resonances left, any changes I made on the amp or DAC was easy to zoom in on. I felt like I could trust that I was hearing a relatively unpolluted representation of the signal coming in.
 
These headphones are great! I wouldn't recommend them to someone determined to use them in stock form. But these are the most modder friendly headphones I've come across. You really get a lot in return when you improve them.
 
Mar 15, 2017 at 12:05 AM Post #291 of 439

emergencylies

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I'm looking at getting the mdr z7 if I can find a very low price and play around with them. They don't sound great out of the box (not bad but "funky"), but you can just sense the driver has everything if you can let it loose. Stock they sound a bit too distant, and you can really hear the details by pushing your hands on the back of the headphones and pushing inwards. Idk. I need to find a bit more sub bass and detail in the mids and I'll be happy. Another weird thing I've found is they sound amazing if your ears are at the very top of the earpad, so that the earpad is resting on your ears. More detailed & foward mids, more rumbly bass, not distant at all.
 
I don't know if that makes my sense but those are just my got reactions after a week of listening.
 
Has anyone tried replacing the chasis completely, perhaps with another headphones?
 
Mar 20, 2017 at 3:43 AM Post #293 of 439

emergencylies

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Yeah, I was thinking trying he400 Focus pad A, since its not as big as the stock pad so my ears would be closer to the driver and that sounded better to me.
 
I also wonder if some of the mixed reviews are in part due to how it sounds with your ears in the middle vs how it sounds with your ears at the very top. I haven't experience such a dramatic change in any of my other headphones.
 
Anyway, I'm both anxious and little scared because modding these will be the first -  I have a lot of reading to do first!
 
Mar 22, 2017 at 8:51 AM Post #294 of 439

mondrax

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Question for Thesmokingman.  I assume you removed all surgical tape and just placed the carbon filter, correct?   I have a pair of Z7s totally stock.   Currently ZeosPanthera has them to do a review, I told him that I was going to mod them, he wanted to do a review just as stock for now.  
 
Following this thread the only thing I have upgraded is the external cables to silver, and it improved.   Once I get the headphones from Zeos I will upgrade the internal cables, spacers, and to the carbon filter.   
 
So if you still have some of that carbon filter and can cut it to the template you showed before, I will do the upgrade and ask Zeos for another review
 
Send me a PM to give you my address
 
Mar 22, 2017 at 10:01 AM Post #295 of 439

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I would not recommend removing surgical tape. Thesmokingman had foam instead of tape he had removed, and it looks like some of it was left behind. A typical surgical tape mod is flat against the walls of the inside of the cup. They allow plenty of room for the air filter material I'd think. It has a different role. If not mistaken, the air filter cleans up the lower end while the tape tames actual reflections off the inner plastic that can give the headphones a ringing in the midrange.

At least that's my experience. The bass didn't reduce at all with the tape, but the honk and ringing I'd heard around 800 hz to 2 khz. Tightening up the stuff below that with the air filter material could make that area more noticeable. A way to hear the ringing I'm talking about is to put your thumbs over the vent holes on the outside of the ear cups when listening to music. This cuts the bass and those frequencies become more prominent, and it's not a fun sound at all then.
 
Mar 22, 2017 at 1:02 PM Post #296 of 439

Whitigir

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I would not recommend removing surgical tape. Thesmokingman had foam instead of tape he had removed, and it looks like some of it was left behind. A typical surgical tape mod is flat against the walls of the inside of the cup. They allow plenty of room for the air filter material I'd think. It has a different role. If not mistaken, the air filter cleans up the lower end while the tape tames actual reflections off the inner plastic that can give the headphones a ringing in the midrange.


At least that's my experience. The bass didn't reduce at all with the tape, but the honk and ringing I'd heard around 800 hz to 2 khz. Tightening up the stuff below that with the air filter material could make that area more noticeable. A way to hear the ringing I'm talking about is to put your thumbs over the vent holes on the outside of the ear cups when listening to music. This cuts the bass and those frequencies become more prominent, and it's not a fun sound at all then.


So far, you are correct :D
 
Mar 23, 2017 at 1:25 AM Post #298 of 439

tradyblix

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I know what people mean about the Z7. It's a little discombobulated. I havent' heard the Z1R yet. But honestly, for it's price, the Z7 is better for some music than alot of other highly regarded headphones, as long as you don't know the detail or smoothness you're missing. It's up there. 
 
Mar 24, 2017 at 12:58 AM Post #299 of 439

emergencylies

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I got these today and tried my Hifiman Focus Pad A. Although they are almost the same size, they don't have any grip on their plastic layer to stick around the Z7's plastic ring. You have to remove the Focus Pad A plastic ring, first, it's glued on but easily rips off. So, The only way I could get them onto the the Z7 ring would be gluing or maybe double sided tape.
 
Anyway I tried them by just holding them in place, which actually works well sit they fit right into the Z7 frame. It was very different, the upper mids were more foward, the lower mids were more back, or maybe more veiled by the midbass. I noticed symbols a lot more, so i think they have a minor treble peak with the Focus Pads. Unfortunately, no subbass and midbass actually got lower. Overall, the sound was more clear and coherent in my opinion. But, it did remove the gooey, candy like nature of the stock cans.
 
Maybe worth checking out if you have Focus Pads lying around.
 

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