Want more bass from your HD 800? – Easy mod
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iDriveAGTI

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Of course SPC cable is brighter, its sickening and I hate listening to anything that uses SPC. I purchased a pair of SPC interconnects once and can promise you that they make music brighter and tend to have little or no bass.
 
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arnaud

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Quote:

Originally Posted by IPodPJ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Here's the link to the original thread. People really sidetracked it, but check out the first post if you haven't already.
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/hd8...thread-446585/



IpodJ, I have to admit I did not think much of the mod you posted. I felt you were quite pretentious claiming with a day and night difference with such a basic mod. Furthermore, physically, your mod can only make things worse as you don't want to increase reverberation in the earcup (the designers have worked so hard to make it acoustically transparent). Finally, you can't possibly expect consistent results with your mod as there will be large differences in absorption / blocking performance depending on actual cotton shirt used. So, I basically ignored it.

Fast forward 6 months, when I read Jazz's mod, I came to realize one clear area of improvement of the HD800 design (the reflections of sound on the frame at the back side of the phone). After having listened for a while, I am pretty convinced that the mod was no placebo effect, the soundstage has really come into place. I encourage you to try and see if that's any good in your book (I also recommend using actual sound absorption material rather than ruining your clothes
).

I think you took the heat in the thread you made because people don't want to believe a $1400 headphone can be improved upon with cheap tricks. Also, as I said above, there was no much physics in your mod so that did not fly well with the skeptics among us... For the melamine foam, I went further and created 3D finite element simulation I made for kicks. I will post the screen grabs at some point. The simulation clearly shows that things can be improved upon with the stock HD800 and the melamine foam on the frame has a very significant impact.

Quote:

Originally Posted by iDriveAGTI /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Of course SPC cable is brighter, its sickening and I hate listening to anything that uses SPC. I purchased a pair of SPC interconnects once and can promise you that they make music brighter and tend to have little or no bass.


I think I like warmer balance anyway (did not like HD600, liked HD650 although they lacked punch / dynamics, love my Edition 9 which are quite bassy). My modded HD800 have warm tonal balance in line with HD650 I recknon (can no longer compare though).
Also, BTW, I am using Blue Dragon cable at the moment, it's made a change from the stock cable (but the foam mod is much more dramatic though).
 
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post-6324104
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JaZZ

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Quote:

Originally Posted by arnaud /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My modded HD800 have warm tonal balance in line with HD650 I recknon (can no longer compare though).


I've just compared the two side by side. The modded HD 800 has almost as much bass as the HD 650, just with better control and extension. (I could easily get as much or more bass with the mod, though.) In terms of over-all transparency, accuracy, airiness and threedimensionality everything speaks for the HD 800. It's a day-and-night difference. I'd even say before the mod the difference was smaller – after all the HD 650 could add ear-friendliness in its favor.


Quote:

Also, BTW, I am using Blue Dragon cable at the moment, it's made a change from the stock cable (but the foam mod is much more dramatic though).


What difference exactly does it make? I'm considering a Silver Dragon or an APS V3.
.
 
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post-6324796
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The Monkey

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iDriveAGTI /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Of course SPC cable is brighter, its sickening and I hate listening to anything that uses SPC. I purchased a pair of SPC interconnects once and can promise you that they make music brighter and tend to have little or no bass.


Ridiculous.
 
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HeadphoneAddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iDriveAGTI /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Of course SPC cable is brighter, its sickening and I hate listening to anything that uses SPC. I purchased a pair of SPC interconnects once and can promise you that they make music brighter and tend to have little or no bass.


Quote:

Originally Posted by The Monkey /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Ridiculous.


Agreed. Sometimes I just don't know how to address a statement like his, so it's easier to ignore them. But, leaving them unchallenged can assist in putting more disinformation in the hands of other new members. In my case for a long time I assumed silver cables would sound bright and I avoided Moon Audio Silver Dragon Cables. Then last year I heard a Silver Dragon cable on the HD600 and I thought it sounded very good - it was transparent and detailed, not bright, with no lack of bass at all. How could that be, I thought. It was simply disinformation spread by people who don't what they are talking about, but weren't challenged about it by anyone. So, Thank You Monkey.
 
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arnaud

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Jazz was kind enough to try the melamine foam mod and he's got pretty sharp hearing... He noticed something right away which I did not pay attention to: slight bloating of the bass with the variable foam pad thickness. Long story short, I have settled on 5mm pad thickness and very happy with the results. Since the mod targets a different aspect of HD800, I created another thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/hd8...1/#post6342286

Please post there about the foam mod. I also recommend to try Jazz's velvet mod as it creates a different signature from my mod, some may prefer it actually...

arnaud
 
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arnaud

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JaZZ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What difference exactly does it make? I'm considering a Silver Dragon or an APS V3.


Jazz, I posted impressions here: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f21/re...ml#post6342434

I assume the Silver Dragon sounds closer to the Fidelity Audio cable than Blue Dragon.

arnaud
 
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JaZZ

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Thanks, Arnaud! So it's between Silver Dragon, APS V3 and FA now.

I haven't posted in this thread for a while because of the lack of time and because I can't present a definitive shape of the mod – also in view of the new Melamine prespective. Meanwhile I have tried Arnaud's Melamine foam for covering the bare frame parts according to his template – with a not so favorable result: a slight upper-bass bloat and no low-bass gain to speak of. (BTW, it was with a thickness of 0.5 mm from the start.)

Initially more bass wasn't in my agenda, but has turned out to be beneficial in the form of a rounder, more relaxed and less analytical sound without any sacrifice of detail resolution. So I tend to think that covering part of the steel mesh is essential for reaching my sonic ideal with the HD 800. Still there are more variants to explore, also with the Melamine foam, but till then, here's the latest state of my mod, with which I'm quite happy:

 .

A) is the basic self-adhesive velours, now reduced to about 3½ cm²; B) is an additional piece of black velvet of ~1 cm² attached to the steel mesh (by means of double-sided adhesive foil); C) is a layer of black velvet loosely covering the velours and the bare frame parts (thus reducing reflections).

The velvet part B) is dispensable – I haven't decided yet if I like the sound better with the bass increase it brings or without it. What I have found out, though, is that a significantly larger area of velvet/velours is too much (bass) for my taste. But if you want, you can get more bass than from the HD 650 that way. Furthermore it has turned out that a combination of velours and velvet attached to each other makes the bass boomy, similar to my first Melamine try. By contrast a loose layer of velvet on top of a velours layer doesn't do harm.
.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by arnaud /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Jazz, I posted impressions here: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f21/re...ml#post6342434

I assume the Silver Dragon sounds closer to the Fidelity Audio cable than Blue Dragon.

arnaud



Silver Dragon on HD600 was very close to the APS V3 on HD600 when I compared the two on Blutarsky's rig last year. In a separate comparison I found APS v3 to be much better than Black Dragon with HD600, where the cryo'd BD was grainier and harsher than the APS V3. As you know, on HD800 I have only been able to compare the stock vs Warren Audio Double Helix V1 and V2.
 
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JaZZ

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My latest development: melamination of the metal ring around the membrane.



It sounds promising: the treble is considerably tamed and smoother. So much so that I had to remove the piece of velours (A) underneath the velvet. The remaining slight tendency to accentuate sibilance is significantly reduced again.

The next try will be a velvetted ring.
.
 
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JaZZ

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JaZZ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The next try will be a velvetted ring..


And that's what has provided the best sonic result so far: amazing clarity and imaging.



This version consists of a ring-shaped piece of velvet on carpet tape (plus a less adhesive double-sided adhesive tape for better reversibility), the well-known Melamine part plus a ~1 cm² piece of velvet attached to the steel mesh.

Maybe a version with two or more layers of velvet replacing the Melamine foam will follow...
.
 
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ctemkin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Agreed. Sometimes I just don't know how to address a statement like his, so it's easier to ignore them. But, leaving them unchallenged can assist in putting more disinformation in the hands of other new members. In my case for a long time I assumed silver cables would sound bright and I avoided Moon Audio Silver Dragon Cables. Then last year I heard a Silver Dragon cable on the HD600 and I thought it sounded very good - it was transparent and detailed, not bright, with no lack of bass at all. How could that be, I thought. It was simply disinformation spread by people who don't what they are talking about, but weren't challenged about it by anyone. So, Thank You Monkey.


Maybe six weeks ago at a meet in the DC area I had an opportunity to compare my HD800, with a balanced Silver Dragon cable, against markmaxx's, with a balanced Blue Dragon cable. I tried both headphones on my gear, which I had brought, as well as on markmaxx's. It was particularly easy to compare them on markmaxx's, since he had a Singlepower with two sets of balanced output, and all I had to do was to take one headphone off and put the other on. I used classical, jazz, and rock CDs. I just did not hear any difference between the two cables. It may be that in a quieter listening environment with more time I could have noticed some differences, but I am skeptical that there are any significant differences.
 
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JaZZ

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Now here's the latest implementation of my mod – the definitive one.

HD-800-Mod.JPG


In short: A velvet ring on the pole piece surrounding the membrane and three layers of velvet on the bare frame part at the back – with carpet tape underneath/in between to hold them in shape and together.

Maybe the absorber ring doesn't look too beautiful, but it has to be made of velvet to sound like it should. The triple velvet absorber on the back makes the sound even slightly more accurate and lacks the hinted boominess of the Melamine foam. Covering the steel mesh isn't necessary at all anymore – there's all the bass I need without it now. I'm completely satisfied with the sonic result.
.
 
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Shahrose

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iDriveAGTI /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Of course SPC cable is brighter, its sickening and I hate listening to anything that uses SPC. I purchased a pair of SPC interconnects once and can promise you that they make music brighter and tend to have little or no bass.


 
 
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arnaud

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JaZZ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Now here's the latest implementation of my mod – the definitive one.



In short: A velvet ring on the pole piece surrounding the membrane and three layers of velvet on the bare frame part at the back – with carpet tape underneath/in between to hold them in shape and together.

Maybe the absorber ring doesn't look too beautiful, but it has to be made of velvet to sound like it should. The triple velvet absorber on the back makes the sound even slightly more accurate and lacks the hinted boominess of the Melamine foam. Covering the steel mesh isn't necessary at all anymore – there's all the bass I need without it now. I'm completely satisfied with the sonic result.
.



Hello Jazz, thank you for reporting back. On my end, for the ring part, I am using some kind of felt you use to place under chair or table. It is 2mm thick include the adhesive, I just cut two rings and attached back to back. For the "frame" bit on the rear side, I am still using melamine, although 5mm thick. I don't notice any deficiency with the bass although I admit I haven't gone back to stock for a while...
 
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