Thunderpants mod vibrolabs
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Preface

I always wanted to do a Thunderpants but had no knowledge on wood turning so in steps vibrolabs.com who I discovered on the T50RP mod thread and he creates these stunning cups along with 3D printed baffle plates etc. along with damping kits.

A6S15uL.jpg

My T50RP History
I have some experience with T50's have owned a T60RP, Argon, Alpha Prime, Ori and now on a T-X0 which I will get converted to an Argon. My hope is that these will rival the upper end T50 mods which cost almost $1000 for about half the price.

The Vibrolabs Cups!
The cups are nice, a little narrow but have a very large diameter and will fit a Brainwavz XL or any large pad with ease. I wanted to fit a removable connector but the cup is not designed for it so I am sticking with a fixed solution. Vibrolabs is working on a new version that will have the connectors.

Dekoni Blue
I am also going to use a Dekoni Blue as the base as it has black rails and a nicer headband. The standard headband actually looks great with the off color silver.

Brainwavz XL

The pad of choice by Vibrolabs, I might be getting some samples from Brainwavz to see how they all differ including the new gel-microsuede. I think the lambskin, proteins will have a tighter sound with the most bass and the suede and hybrids will have a more open sound with elevated midrange.
:gs1000smile: Here we go!

1. I assembled the pivot pieces with the supplied screws.

AeYvSMy.jpg



2. I use heat shrink and heated on one end then pulled it through and affixed with some hot glue.

dlI8r7a.jpg

I also add the pivot cover this one here is from the v1 tuning kit, the v2/3 is more open.

VLqjBbf.jpg



3. Note this section that surrounds the driver is from the v1 tuning kit, I would like to see it re-added.

ZREODdW.jpg


4. Driver fitted with the original screws and one layer of felt and then covered with the baffle foam. I advise testing this with or without before committing to the foam as it secures the felt in place and once it's on it's staying on.

KuFEj2A.jpg



5. Headband and Modhouse Audio strap fitted.

oB9d9FD.jpg


6. Wires soldered into place.

teTZLIj.jpg

7. Snipped fiber insert about halfway through at the front so it fits around the cable, not all the way through. I also suggest adding a layer of felt behind the fiber. The tuning is open to each individual. I am still experimenting myself.

opzDV1p.jpgxt7jrw9.jpg

8. I used #4 x 1/2" screws not supplied to fit the baffle piece to the wood, this took a few goes and a bit of work as the baffle piece kept rising up so once you have the holes made then drive it home on a second time holding it firmly in place.

96I6zA8.jpg HJSqwob.jpg

9. Almost done, awaiting pads.

WLlMd5M.jpg

Current Tuning.
Inside:
  • Pivot cover
  • Backing felt star piece
  • Fiber star insert
  • Foam driver surround (v1)
Outside:
  • Baffle foam
  • Felt square
  • Pads..?
Brainwavz XL Pad Sound Signature comparisons (coming soon)

  • Velour
  • Hybrid
  • Micro-suede
  • Lambskin
  • Micro-suede Gel

Some Thoughts on the project

I would like to see a removable cable option(this is being worked on). I think the driver surround foam should be re-added as an option or you could use material from a mayflower kit to load it up like on a regular T50RP.

Compared to my T-X0 it feels much wider and spacious. I also notice where the low end kind of becomes loose or distorted on the T-X0 at high volume it remains tight on the Vibrolab headphone. I love the sound and does not need much equalization for my tastes. Of course now I can tinker with different variations just like a regular T50, It's an open book so to speak.

Awaiting other pads and will add a detailed comparison. That might include the new XL suede gels. I think the bass on the lambskin will be amazing but I am finding the standard suede nicely balanced accross the board.
 

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kintsaki

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This is a fast and great start!

I found an almost new Argon III in Europe, it is the only variation of the T50 I don't have.
Do you know whether Ryan is moding the driver itself?

Are these XLR connectors similar to the ZMF connectors?

Are you going to buy or do it yourself the cables?
 
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This is a fast and great start!

I found an almost new Argon III in Europe, it is the only variation of the T50 I don't have.
Do you know whether Ryan is moding the driver itself?

Are these XLR connectors similar to the ZMF connectors?

Are you going to buy or do it yourself the cables?
I believe he carries out some modification to the MK3 driver to get iit as close as possible to the MK2 Argon. I have added a link for the xlr which I will be testing that look similar to the Ori connectors. The other connectors are based on a lemo two pin design used on the Focal Utopia. Advantage: more narrow. Disadvantage: Cost.
For cables I might buy a prepared cable from redco and might have them fit the xlr and 1/4" on the end, then I will add a boot and the two connectors. I have one cable ordered for an Audeze so i will see how that is.
I asked them to use the cable they though would be best or if you are familiar with cable types like Mogami you can try build one here. You can also get reasonably priced cables from Aliexpress for that lemo type, here.
 
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This is a fast and great start!

I found an almost new Argon III in Europe, it is the only variation of the T50 I don't have.
Do you know whether Ryan is moding the driver itself?

Are these XLR connectors similar to the ZMF connectors?

Are you going to buy or do it yourself the cables?
I might get a fostex thx00 cable and fit that as they are really meant to house a fixed cable. It's a real shame that these cups do not easily work with a readily available connector or have a connector pre-fit instead of a cable which they sell.

I might get two right hand side t60 cups and fit the removable lemo connector to them much like the ZMF classic that has the tiny xlrs.
 
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Bit of an update

To fit tiny xlr correctly the cup needs to be wider and flat. I have asked Vibrolabs about making a wider cup but they do not answer any emails and want people to communicate through posts on instagram. I can't even find out what screws he uses as I was short some.

I might get a fostex thx00 cable and fit that as they are really meant to house a fixed cable. It's a real shame that these cups do not easily work with a readily available connector or have a connector pre-fit instead of a cable which they sell.

I might get two right hand side t60 cups and fit the removable lemo connector to them much like the ZMF classic that has the tiny xlrs.

The thunderpant did not have connectors either.
The best solution is to have a wooden ring 1cm tall and wide
enough to stick to the cup and drill a hole to put the connector in.

Whatever you do do not use 2.4 mm plugs or mmcx plugs they don't
last and the connections are intermittent.

Also cable is not important just inconvenient with the connectors hanging low and touching
your shoulders. Buy or build your own decent cable you will find plenty of sound advice on the web.

I am not sure you can fit mini xlr's on original thunderpants but you can fit 3.5mm ones on both sides.

The balanced issue is a mute point for me because to drive the T50 you will need 1.5 Watt minimum RMS into 50 Ohms, and much better with 6 Watt) and there are not many Balanced amps to do this at a reasonable price.

My Sony Pha-3 with its 320mw balanced output will not even drive the Verum 1. The Verum 1 will play with phones etc but not audiophile sound.
 
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Just wanted to chime in and subscribe since I got a set of vibro labs cups too.
If you dont mind I can put some of my experiences here too.

I decided to direct wire but instead of a boot on the split, make it a mini xlr 4 pin so it can be hooked up to a mini xlr to xlr patch cable for balanced or a mini xlr to 1/4 for single ended amps
Once my cable parts get here Ill post some pics for clarity. I cant wait to start tuning
 
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Finally got mine wired up today. I terminated with a mini xlr male so i can go balanced if needed.

When i bought my cups i was able to get both the original tuning kit and the v2 kit. Only thing i used from original is the padding that goes on the inside of the baffel. At the back of the cup, i cut shelf liner to fit identical to the white felt that comes with the v2 tuning kit and used the foam piece that goes over the bass ports and screws. Next i put in the white felt piece then 1 black felt piece. Nothing on the front of the driver. With only one black piece, the bass is way too over powering and bleeding into everything. Right now i have all three black pieces in both side and they sound amazing. Maybe a little hot in the treble but that could be cause ive been listening to my argons. They sound great now all i all. Great detail, great sound stage, hard hitting bass, just a treat. Only thing i might change internally is try 2 black felts instead of the three. They sound better then they did before the vibro cups and i spent alot of time tuning them. Ill post some pics once i get the work bench cleared off. Cabling turned out beautiful too.
 
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IMG_0768.JPG
got my 4 wire braid technique down now.
 
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got my 4 wire braid technique down now.
Your cable looks great! It's designed for fixed cables, I am doing another with a fixed TH900 cable that I'll terminate with XLR and then make an adapter from the end of that cable. It would be worth getting a modhouse deerskin or Alcantara strap.

My tuning was with baffle groove facing downwards. v1 and v2 etc are tuning kits used, he is on v3 now which is similar to v2. It's an open book for tuning.

1)
  • Lambskin Ori pads
  • Outside: baffle foam, one felt square over driver.(v2)
  • Inside: Semi closed pivot foam (v1), White fiber insert and the foam insert for around the driver (v2).
2)
  • Hybrid Pads Brainwavz XL
  • Outside: baffle foam, one felt square over driver.
  • Inside: Fully open pivot foam(v2), Layer of felt on back covered +White fiber insert and the foam insert for around the driver.(all v2)
Both are tremendous sounding, Sound-stage is not wide but feels tall so everything has space. Sub bass slam is ridiculous on 1 when EQ'd and tuning 2 even with no EQ is fantastic. Probably the best sounding T50 mod out there and better than many premium headphones. The overall sound is so musical and inviting. The sound I was getting rivals and exceeds the more well known wood cans and that is a big thing to say but it's true. I also sold them to a reddit user and he was amazed.

@kintsaki you need to get these cups and tuning kit, the sound is tremendous.
 
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Small update @kintsaki, went for a fixed cable like @Shroomalistic. Luke is working on a new version with removable connectors. I am waiting on some brainwavz pads to see how it sounds, I have a feeling the lambskin will be my favorite but the suede ones look appealing too.
 
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Fitted TH900 cable, will split into XLR and 1/4" adapter. I felt this was a more user friendly cable to use on a daily basis. Heart of Fostex, bloodline of Fostex.
I also removed the semi closed pivot cover and replaced it with the fully open pivot cover from the v3 tuning kit, this sounds more open to me and think this will be my finale tune.

I will add updated pictures once the XLR conversion on the TH900 cable is done.

BTW this amp has been kicking ass with LM4562NA opamps. So much power it's funny.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33040446809.html?spm=a2g0s.8937460.0.0.2eed2e0eOWYXdd
 
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