UR40: The forgotten Koss 60 ohm headphone?
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mektarus

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With all the (deserved) buzz about the KSC75's there has also been a lot of talk about the other Koss 60 ohm headphones, namely the: KSC35, Portapro, Sportapro, Portapro 2 and even a little chatter about the KTX Pro1. But in the myriad of threads about these little gems there is one headphone that has been largely overlooked. The Koss UR40. Perhaps this is understandable as the UR40 costs nearly as much as the Portapro but isn't nearly as highly regarded. I have not heard the Portapro's myself but I have heard the KSC35, KSC75, Sportapro and the UR40 and I can tell you that with a little work the UR40 can hold it's own against any of them. Most of these mods are available in different threads but let me summarize all that I have done to mine.

First, I removed the thick foam from behind the drivers. This foam was so dense that it effectively made these closed headphones. This mod alone increases the sound quality so much that without doing anything else they sound like a whole different set of headphones. After removing the foam, however, I noticed two things. First, there was a slight tinny sound to the music, assumedly because now the sound was bouncing off the thin metal covering on the outside of the driver housing. To remedy this I took a standard sized cotton ball and pulled it in half. I then teased apart the two halves to form fluffy little clouds. I placed one of these little cotton clouds behind each driver. Voilà, sound remains airy and open but no tinny resonation. In fact, it seemed to actually tighten and extend the bass a bit. The other thing I noticed after removing the foam was that it was apparently what held the driver tightly in place. Without the foam the driver would sometimes rattle when I moved my head. To fix this, I took the driver out and put a VERY thin bead of poster tack in the depression that holds the driver. I then replaced the driver and pushed it down just hard enough to seat it in the tack. Ok, another problem solved. Next, I took an old pair of RS pads that I had originally bought for my SR80's and rolled them up and stuffed one under the back side of each of the UR40's earpads. Some people cut one of the foam pads removed from behind the drivers but my fear of commitment keeps me from making any change permanent.
This last mod actually serves two purposes. First, it makes the headphones more comfortable because it creates a better seal around the ear. Second, because of the better seal, it also increases soundstage.

At this point these are a great sounding and very comfortable pair of headphones. They don't really sound like any of the other Koss 60 ohm headphones (assumedly because of the housing). They are warmer sounding than even the KSC35's. They kinda remind me of my HD590's. Great bass, nice mids (less recessed than the the Koss' usually are) and nice, clear highs that are spared the sibilance and sparkle of the KSC75. For rock the KSC75 is still a more fun headphone. But as a all-arounder the modded UR40's are definitely the tops that I have heard of the Koss lineup.

One more mod. The only trouble I had with the modded UR40's was that the pleather pads got hot. I tend to sweat easily anyway and after a moderate amount of time with the UR40's on I was sweating like a donkey (donkeys do sweat, don't they?). So, I got to looking through my other headphones and came up with an old pair of Maxell HP-2000's. Almost exactly the same sized pads but made out of a nice velvety material (like my HD590's
). So I popped them on the UR40's and put the rolled foam under the back part and...oooooh, these are now one of the most comfortable, if not the most, headphones I have ever had on.

Well, there is my story. I didn't set out to write a novella but here it is. How about all you other head-fi'ers? I know there are at least a few UR40 owners out there. Most notably Lou (LTUCCI1924) and Garrett (KRAMER5150), although Garrett no longer has his. What about it, can we get some UR40 love all up in here?


PS - AND CAN WE PLEASE GET A KOSS SMILEY?!?
 
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kramer5150

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I for one like the UR40... and deeply regret selling mine.
They were so light and comfey. Seemed a little more open than the other koss phones, and didnt quite have that bass bloat.

Garrett
 
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silentshadow

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I also hav ethe ur40's(bought them while waiting for my er6i's and portapro2's)they are so light and comfortable that you can have them on for long perids an dthey won't hurt your ears. any music from them sounds great.ALl the mods sound good but i don't trust myself enough to do them.even when i try to be gentle i stil tend to break things.but over all I really like them alot.I'd say they are more comfortable than my portapro2's.heres a something..are the ur40's really portable or are they the leave them on your desk for listening?
 
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]|[ GorE

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I love my UR40's.Too bad i cant wear them in public.....
 
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LTUCCI1924

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Great post on the UR40. The UR40 are my longest owned headphones out of many that I have had. There is an other great mod for them. Its the Volour pads that you can buy for them that are much thicker than the stock pads and gives a better sound stage to them. I always seem to come back to the UR40 after buying much more expensive cans. They are so light weight and comfortable for me. I again have bought the Senn. 555 for my TV movies listening but still find the UR40 just as good sounding for that purpose. I think the UR40 are great budget headphones that are tops in my book.
 
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mektarus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LTUCCI1924
Great post on the UR40. The UR40 are my longest owned headphones out of many that I have had. There is an other great mod for them. Its the Volour pads that you can buy for them that are much thicker than the stock pads and gives a better sound stage to them. I always seem to come back to the UR40 after buying much more expensive cans. They are so light weight and comfortable for me. I again have bought the Senn. 555 for my TV movies listening but still find the UR40 just as good sounding for that purpose. I think the UR40 are great budget headphones that are tops in my book.


Hey Lou, where can you buy the velour pads?
 
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mektarus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LTUCCI1924
Great post on the UR40. The UR40 are my longest owned headphones out of many that I have had. There is an other great mod for them. Its the Volour pads that you can buy for them that are much thicker than the stock pads and gives a better sound stage to them. I always seem to come back to the UR40 after buying much more expensive cans. They are so light weight and comfortable for me. I again have bought the Senn. 555 for my TV movies listening but still find the UR40 just as good sounding for that purpose. I think the UR40 are great budget headphones that are tops in my book.


Ok, I did a little digging (yeah, yeah, I know, I should have searched before my first post). So are you talking about the DT250 pads? Do you use them on your UR40's?

PS - has anyone removed the "felt" that covers the drivers? How does it affect the sound?

:stillwaitingforakosssmiley:
 
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LTUCCI1924

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mektarus
HI: Yes thats them. You can get them at the beyer web site for about 20.00 I don't use mine anymore because they get hot and seem to box me in sort of to speak compaired to the stock pads.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by LTUCCI1924
mektarus
HI: Yes thats them. You can get them at the beyer web site for about 20.00 I don't use mine anymore because they get hot and seem to box me in sort of to speak compaired to the stock pads.



That's strange. I'm using the velour pads that came off my Maxell HP-2000's and I find them cooler and more comfortable than the stock pads (and the stock pads are pretty damn comfortable themselves). With the stock pads I seemed to sweat a lot.
Also, the velour pads I'm using have a thin piece of cloth attached to the back that covers the driver, which means that my phones had a double layer of covering. So, I just removed the "felt" material that comes on the UR40's from in front of the driver and it opened the sound up even more. Granted, these are now far from stock, but regardless, they sound fantastic and are the most comfortable headphones I have ever had on.

:wheresthatdamnKosssmiley:
 
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LTUCCI1924

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I think the problem I have with the velour pads is that they are narrower than the stock pads and I find the stock pads with their roomier space give me a Coller felling and more open sound.
 
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Well, spurred by another thread I just pulled out my Philips HP-910's to evaluate them for a possible mod (I bought them used and they don't work, I need to post a thread to see if anyone can tell me what might be wrong). As I was reassembling them I got an idea, The pads looked to be similar in size to my UR40's. So I removed the Maxell pads that I was using on the 40's and low and behold, the Philips pads fit as well! It's not a perfect fit, but it's close enough. These are now, officially, the most comfortable headphones I have ever had on. Plus, the Philips pads have a wider opening and are not quite as thick as the Maxell pads. That means that the driver is moved a little closed to the ear and that soundstage is improved.


I also noticed that the UR40's were still sounding just a bit closed (with whatever pad I used). So, I removed the cotton i had put in them and now they sound better. I thought I had detected a slight tinny sound when I left the chamber completely empty before but that is no longer the case. Boy, these sound great and are soooo comfy I can wear them all day and not even realize i have them on.

PS - Sorry, Garrett, I didn't mean to give even more of a reason to regret getting rid of yours.

:stillwaitingforakosssmiley: :howdoyoumakeasmileyanyway:
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by mektarus
That's strange. I'm using the velour pads that came off my Maxell HP-2000's and I find them cooler and more comfortable than the stock pads (and the stock pads are pretty damn comfortable themselves). With the stock pads I seemed to sweat a lot.
Also, the velour pads I'm using have a thin piece of cloth attached to the back that covers the driver, which means that my phones had a double layer of covering. So, I just removed the "felt" material that comes on the UR40's from in front of the driver and it opened the sound up even more. Granted, these are now far from stock, but regardless, they sound fantastic and are the most comfortable headphones I have ever had on.

:wheresthatdamnKosssmiley:




Yeah maxell HP2000 pads are very nice. It worth the $20 on ebay just to pull the pads and trash the cans. I never thought to put them on my UR40 (or MDRV6 for that matter) though.
 
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Quote:
Quote:

Originally Posted by LTUCCI1924
Great post on the UR40. The UR40 are my longest owned headphones out of many that I have had. There is an other great mod for them. Its the Volour pads that you can buy for them that are much thicker than the stock pads and gives a better sound stage to them. I always seem to come back to the UR40 after buying much more expensive cans. They are so light weight and comfortable for me. I again have bought the Senn. 555 for my TV movies listening but still find the UR40 just as good sounding for that purpose. I think the UR40 are great budget headphones that are tops in my book.


Ok, I did a little digging (yeah, yeah, I know, I should have searched before my first post). So are you talking about the DT250 pads? Do you use them on your UR40's?PS - has anyone removed the "felt" that covers the drivers? How does it affect the sound?:stillwaitingforakosssmiley:


Tried removing the felt. It exposed the titanium driver but it does not change the sound. :D
 
 
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