Wow! Sennheiser HD 540 Reference are so good.
Sep 17, 2023 at 2:48 PM Post #4,291 of 4,297
How do you hold those cotton discs in place?
Good question. I would like to know how the felt disks on the Gold version are held in place.

I use a decorative ribbon of a fairly stiff plastic fabric:

Cut to size of outer diameter of the retainer ring:

Temporary attach with masking tape:

With the cotton in place insert the retainer ring and I put 3 small blobs of glue to fix the cotton to the ribbon:

Basically you could place tape all around and insert the ring in the pads like this but I cut the ribbon to the inner diameter of the ring:


now I can insert it in the pad after I install the ring:

Or lay it on the driver and install the pads:

The ribbon can't go anywhere after you install the pads because the ring will keep in place.
Last edited:
Sep 17, 2023 at 10:41 PM Post #4,292 of 4,297
Seems like AliExpress are on the ball, my single set (!) of new pads is on it's way, let's see how long from now and it will be nice if they actually get here, unlike the
nice looking velour pads (with the single row of holes in the back --- see several pages back in this thread) which somehow got lost around the planet and are now no longer available. Shame, they could have been a good option as a close(ish) match to the original cloth pads.
Sep 19, 2023 at 12:39 AM Post #4,293 of 4,297
New to the world of halfway decent headphones I saw these for $200 and decided ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I removed the ear cups because the foam was disintegrating. I ordered a couple sets of earcups from eBay (seller wang_yifei) based on the last comment here: I ordered the pleather variety with thinner foam inserts per his comment but I'm looking for a consensus--I just wanted to get something ordered ASAP. I do have the plastic rings that were holding the old cups on along with the felt pads that are still in good shape. The original cable came with it but probably going to replace it with something a bit less stiff and prone to tangling.

I plan to use these as "studio" headphones. Primarily w/ an audio interface (RME Babyface) or plugged directly into a YC88 stage piano. They're 600Ohms, would I be able to drive them properly with an audio interface/stage piano? For what it's worth, I'm not really listening critically as much as I'm noodling around with VSTs. Playing along to with songs, listening to music back thru the interface. Whatever deficiency they might have with regard to frequency response wouldn't negatively affect anything I manage to record any more than my lack of talent/ability/education.

I wanted them because it seems like they punch well above their weight at $200.

Anything I should know as a newbie going into "restoring" these headphones?


  • 20230918_190834.jpg
    560.5 KB · Views: 0
  • 20230918_190809.jpg
    703.9 KB · Views: 0
  • 20230918_190738.jpg
    785.4 KB · Views: 0
Sep 19, 2023 at 1:38 AM Post #4,294 of 4,297
Welcome to this thread and coming into it with what I reckon is a stonking bargain! Yes, the stock cable is a bit stiff, but it's also really strong! Once upon a decade I danced my socks off to these headphones, ripping the cable out of the capsules from time to time and never once has the cable broken, a plug come off or the capsule inputs been damaged. The cable did separate between the two channels down the middle for some of it's length eventually, but it still all worked for years afterwards (and still does) until I made my own with #2893 mini quad core Mogami. The Mogami may still not be as flexible as you might want, though it a fabulously 'quiet' (sonically, as in zero background hash, which it is why Mogami cables are used in so many studios) and extremely neutral, I prefer it over the HD650 cable, but that one may actually suit you better and is easily available on eBay. I have no idea though if your audio interface/stage piano will be able to drive the 600 ohms, you might want to add a good budget headphone amp such as a Schiit Magni 3+ or Heresy, even an older Magni 3 would do just fine for not much cash. All the best with them!
Sep 19, 2023 at 2:24 AM Post #4,295 of 4,297
I know nothing about amps/preamps. My audio source will be my computer, the piano, and the occasional synth or other musical instrument. I need an elementary education on the need-to-know basics. Folks like you are a tremendous help so thank you so much!
Sep 19, 2023 at 6:47 AM Post #4,296 of 4,297
Thank you, I'm glad to offer any suggestions that are useful.
Fortunately with something as simple as, say, a Schiit Audio Magni headphone amp as a example (though there are some suitable others that will drive 300-600 ohm headphones), all you may need to do is to take a simple stereo 6.5mm jack to Left and Right RCA cable from your headphone output and amplify the signal from there if you find that the headphones plugged into the RME distort or don't give enough volume, which I suspect they won't. The output from the computer headphone jack will be far from suitable, you'd need USB (or Optical) out from there to a separate DAC/amp, which a bit more complicated. I'm not too familiar with audio interfaces, I'd imagine they'd need more sensitive headphones, 600 ohm cans are not that common these days.
Going with my first suggestion, the Magni and it's later Magni 3+ version (I use the latter regularly, it's brilliant) can be happily used with 600 ohms, as I have done for years. Others here may have better, or just different, ideas.
Sep 25, 2023 at 3:55 PM Post #4,297 of 4,297
I ordered some polyester felt cloth of between 1 and 2mm thickness to create a poor man's Gold version of my Ref II.
Some tiny drops of glue on the black inner plastic ring hold it in place.

Before and after measurement:
Screenshot 2023-09-25 at 21.17.10.png

Dampens the high end somewhat.
Here is a measurement of the Gold I found on Youtube made on a system similar to a GRAS 43AG.

Screenshot 2023-09-24 at 09.39.59.png

Comparison with my poor man's Gold.
Red and Blue: Measurement of the Gold and HD800S by "DMS" from YouTube. Black: My Ref II with felt ring.
Screenshot 2023-09-25 at 21.37.16.png

Not too shabby. It actually measures like a GOLD. Of course it needs more attenuation in the highs so in goes a single ply of toilet paper:
Screenshot 2023-09-26 at 15.04.09.png

My favourite tuning so far. The cotton rings I posted before lost bass output. There's no loss of bass here and the highs are better than with the double ply of toilet paper.
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread