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Speaker Cone Diaphragm Fabric "Driver" Mod for IEMs, both Dynamic and Balanced Armature type... Try It!

Discussion in 'Archived Blogs' started by ananalogspirit, May 3, 2009.
  1. AnAnalogSpirit
    Hello All,

    After the tremendous successes I've had testing out these modifications, I've made them permanent on quite a few of my IEM models; the JVC HA-FX300R, The Phonak Audeo Perfect Fit Earphone, The Sleek Audeo SA-6 2009 edition, and the etymotic ER*4-P...

    I originally was inspired by JVC's wood diaphragm in the Victor HB-FX500 "woodies" after seeing a diagram of their driver assembly and thought , well why not use a paper cone? So I was able to use a cap on the treble stems held in place by the Phonak Audeo Silicone Tips locked in place to act as a speaker cone diaphragm made of Receipt Paper, letting it become brighter as needed and speedier, too, by allowing air to pass through micro perforations made with a sewing needle.

    That was the basis for the Mod's redefinition today: Using the fabric that holds paper speaker cones together in real speakers as the diaphragm material.


    My IEMs sound easily $100 to $200 bucks more expensive, and more like stereo speakers than headphones.

    In addition the Balanced Armature model IEMs have the best of both world sound characteristics... the airy treble and precision of a balanced armature, and the layered bass subwoofing of a real dynamic driver. YUM!!

    The JVC Bi-Metal HA-FX300R's sound like a total Hi-Fi sound setup, 2.0 Stereo System nestled inside my skull rather than IEMs. They pound the crap out of any BIG BOY Can I've EVER had resting on my head.

    I believe that's due to the direct funneling and amazing design of the Bi-Metal Driver, coupled with the Fabric Driver Diaphragm stretched over the treble nozzle, effectively making it a dual-dynamic driver.

    I'm going to be very judicious as to whether or not to micro perforate the JVC's Fabric Diaphragm Mod, as it already has enough sparkle in the treble. It could open the mids if I did very tiny pinpricks, maybe four.

    How to acheive the Modifications:

    1) Obtain a good speaker, smallish size. I repurposed a dead SONY Bookshelf system's speaker for this purpose.

    2) Open the Speaker, with whatever tools are necessary, I only needed screwdrivers...

    3) Remove the Speaker Driver from the Wooden or Plastic Housing: You just want the fabric diaphragm & paper cone.

    4) Use an X-Acto knife and cut that stuff carefully (so as to avoid injury to self and material) from the Speaker Driver (you'll need to free the paper and the fabric from the center of the Cone and the edge of the Frame.

    5) Once free, you'll want to cut squarish sections for your IEM nozzles from the surrounding Diaphragm Fabric surrounding the Paper Cone.

    6) Use Krazy Glue, Liquid Skin (which I used) or anything that bonds anything to anything quickly...

    7) For Example we'll cover the JVC HA-FX300 series Bi-Metal Dynamic Driver IEM.

    8) Use the X-Acto knife to cut the paper covering the nozzles / treble nozzles (after removing the sleeves) from the IEM Drivers.

    9) This is similar to the Kramer Mod you'll find on HeadFi.org, but decidedly different...

    10) Once free of the stock paper which tore really soon after using the Bi-Metal's anyway, adding a wee bit too much sparkle in the extreme treble range, you'll need to clean the housing of the treble nozzles with denatured alcohol or I suppose rubbing alcohol will do.

    11) Make sure the glue that held the paper in place is clear from the rim of the treble nozzles. Scrape with the X-Acto knife if you must.

    12) If you scraped, or sanded, please re-clean with alcohol.

    13) Make sure your piece of Diaphragm Fabric is Oversized for the rim of the treble nozzle of the Bi-Metal.

    14) OK, now use the glue/bonding material of choice and apply copiously (i.e. generously) to the rim of the treble nozzle of the Bi-Metal.

    15) Press the Nozzle against the Inside Curved side of the Diaphragm Fabric (Back Side) for at least 60 seconds, and pick up the Fabric which should now be somewhat bonded to the Bi-Metal treble nozzle, and press your finger against it and hold it making sure there's a lot of pressure exerted for a good bond for another 60 - 120 seconds. Good.

    16) Now Do the Other Driver's treble nozzle...

    17) Let the bond settle for around 2 to 3 hours.

    18) Now it's time to glue down the extra fabric in a foldover/circular pattern until satisfied with the overall shape and security of the gluedown.

    19) I suggest gluing 2 opposing sides at a time so your finger and thumb pressure gets the job done quicker.

    20) About 3 min for each "pair" of bonds here... Don't go quickly, you'll only risk the fabric lifting, and get frustrated if you peel it off the treble nozzle completely. Be patient!!

    21) After both Drivers have the Diaphragm Fabric glued down totally to the treble nozzles all the way around, it's time to use some Clear Nail Polish to seal the fabric bonds down && recuce any likelihood of the new Diaphragm Fabric Driver Mod from ever coming free. We want a permanent thing here.

    22) Once coated with 2 or 3 heavy coats which have sit well enough (dry to touch) between each coat, Let the IEMs sit & cure for a Day or Two before further modification. We want that Polish to cure.

    23) Once cured, we want to use a sharp skinny pointed needle and put four very tiny micro-holes in a square pattern in the center of the new Fabric Diaphragm. ONLY do this if the volume coming out of them is very low from your player/source, or if the highs/treble sounds muffled.

    24) A safe and sane way to approach this is to try one hole total, then four holes total, then 8 holes total, then if still not enough, punch a full needle diameter hole in the center of the diaphragm. The volume should go up as well as top end sparkle in a big way. but the other micro perforations should give enough mid to counteract and provide a smooth tonal range for your musical pleasure.

    25) For Tips: Use the Phonak Audeo Perfect Fit Earphone Silicone Tips in the size that provides the best seal for your canal. I use the Small size. Its easy enough to get them on the JVC Bi-Metal: THEY STRETCH A LOT!! Peel back the rounded part so it is inside out, then push & force the end of the Phonak Tip over the very edge of the rather large treble nozzle of the JVC Bi-Metal and force the Phonak Tip up, around, & over the JVC nozzle. It'll wiggle on when you push gently with enough even pressure. It stays on tight too.

    26) You could use other Tips if you like I guess, but You WONT want to go back to other tips after trying the Audeo PFE tips. They're the best out there. Cleanest, Most Musical, Most comfortable, Best sealing. And, they jiggle with the music.

    Notes: There’s quite a bit of OVERALL sound quality enhancement, rendition improvement, range smoothing and extension, and bass resonance enhancement, as well as treble detail articulation from these mods. You should really really really consider it!!

    Best In Any Manner Of Things!

    And Happy Listening!!!
  2. pyrokid
    can you post some pics? I'm pretty confused.
  3. AnAnalogSpirit
    ...in the coming month!

    I apologize that it won't come sooner, but I want to do a decent job of visually depicting and revising the mod process and theory behind it.

    I feel that's fair... so bookmark the page and be here at the end of July!


    Best In Any Manner Of Things...
  4. reddoni
    are those pics coming any time soon bud?

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