Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by james444, Aug 26, 2017.
How does it sound with the hybrid tips?
I just grabbed a pair some days ago. As expected out of the box the bass is rather impressive but I can't say the same about the treble, somehow staccato timbre with a short extension.
After trying the james' mod and basic nozzle damper (couldn't find the material for advanced method in my country) it sounded better but the treble peak at ~5 kHz kept buzzing my attention, so I figured out the dampers materials which I was using (tea bag and earbud foams) weren't enough to tame it for my taste.
But after modding the stock ear tips to hybrids (adding a small ring of 3M foam ear protector inside) and using 2 small layers of 3M micropore as the front damper and opening 2 holes with a toothpick it sounds really impressive!
One thing I really like about this IEM you have a natural bass-switch just using physics. Tape off rear vent = Amazing sub-bass for movies and electronic music. Tape on with a small hole = Reference bass. Amazing for jazz, classical and acoustic.
Thank you, James and 3M .
Tried something slightly different and loving it so far.. so I would like to share
Front mesh taken off but stock acoustic foam remains..
James's sorbothane mod but instead of going into the nozzle I inserted inside of the JVC spiral dot tips.
Instead of 3M Scotch tape I used 3M micropore tape with slightly bigger pinhole on rear vent.. front vent is poked.
Final verdict: Slightly U-shaped sound signature. Treble feels smoother yet well extended. Deep and articulate Bass.
Mids are not as forward as Sorbothane in the nozzle tuning. Soundstage is the biggest improvement, it is now quite large.
I mean it somehow became really wide and proportionally deep now, I am truly loving it!
I prefer this $10 BW-ES1 over Xelento that I paid around CDN$1450 now..
Tonally this feels even more correct sounding than my HD800SDR with Sonarworks Ref. 4 Custom Curve. -_-
Sounds great, thanks!
I have everything at hand, spiral dot tips, micropore tape, ... so I'm definitely going to try this and report back.
Forward mids are the current weak point of my mod, since it doesn't completely flatten the mid/high range. So, if you want good treble extension, you gotta live with somewhat elevated upper mids. And if you use more sorbothane to alleviate the upper mids bump, then you get less treble presence as a result. Your solution looks like an improvement in that regard, so I'm all ears...
Some further impressions having just returned from a trans-Atlantic trip with these...
Comfort and isolation: concern about both these aspects led me to take my Westones, but they never made it out of their case. Comfort (with my tips in my ears) is fine for long sessions and isolation, though not as good as non-vented equivalents, is adequate for the plane (sitting in front of the engines, anyway).
Forward upper mids/lower treble: yes - with my tea-bagged/tube-tipped ones, more up into the lower treble but maybe not as high as @oidua 's 5k. Will also be interested to try @tgx78 's variation.
Very revealing of source: the DAC/amp in my phone has seemed adequate for the relatively cheap IEMs I've used previously, but when putting a DragonFly Black in the chain the improvement was noticeable. Not sure whether it was DAC or amp, but as has been mentioned these are not the easiest to drive (the Fostexes too), so maybe the amp.
Head-to-head with modded Fostexes in the quiet of a hotel room: superior apart from the lower treble emphasis. Deep yet precise bass, dynamics, detail.
The big case is great too - enough room for the DragonFly and Android OTG cable.
I had only limited time to compare @tgx78's mod version, but can already confirm that it's an improvement over my original mod.
Well done! I'm changing the thread title to make people aware of your post.
@james444 Awesome! Great to hear and thank you. I am really hoping others can replicate and hear what I am hearing right now.
This made me to list all my AH-D7200, Vega & Xelento for sale, since they are all redundant now.
Also inquired Marvey to see if he can measure this set.
This is exciting! I’m going to buy a new pair soon and try the new mods.
Awesome! I've been using 3M micropore as the front damper and liked the result but I noticed a downside: After some days it starts getting wrinkled because of the movement of inserting/removing causing some imbalance and annoyance to replace it every time.
So definitely I'll move to Sorbothane solution. But, out of curiosity, is there any similar product as the sorbothane? I can only find it on eBay/USA and import it'll be more expensive than Blitzwolf itself but no problem at all just wondering if there's something similar which works too.
I think this mod is at the point of needing an official name. I propose 444/78
If you can find it, you could try 3M Transpore (which I saw somewhere for 97c per individual roll, but now I can't find the link). This stuff is clear plastic with about 28 small pores per inch. It's thinner than the fabric Micropore and more closely follows the contours of the nozzles. My impressions are that it cuts the 2-3 kHz region more than the tea-bag, and comparing my preliminary half-arsed measurements to @stratocaster 's, maybe also more (relative to the rest of the treble reduction, anyway) than the initial sorbothane mod did. Need to work on my measuring more to confirm though.
A 6.5mm strip along bottom 1mm of a foam tip? They're around 4mm thick. Or cut up the central rubber insert of a silicone tip, they're often about 1mm thick - for example these. I guess anything rubbery of the right dimensions would be worth a try...
I picked up two pairs and have performed all of the mods with the exception of poking the front vent (which I'm a little hesitant to do).
Even without the front vent mod I prefer them to my TFZ-5S's.
The bass seems a tiny bit muddy right now but might be my source (iPhone 6S+).
What effect will poking the front vent have?
Is the effect worth the risk?
Poking the front vent increases airflow and diverts more bass energy to the outside, so less of it will reach your ear drum. In short, it attenuates bass.
Here are some measurements of variants of the mod.
Focus on the differences between the curves rather than taking the absolute values too seriously. They were obtained with a coupler consisting of two bits of plastic tubing to step the 5/16" diameter of the Dayton iM06 mic up to an I.D. of 7/16 to suit medium-size tips, and although even after the mod the bass is strong with this one (heh) it doesn't seem quite that U-shaped to me.
All are with the modded bass vents, the rear vent being @james444 's original not @tgx78 's micropore-tape version (I have yet to try that one). Alas, no stock curve; I did the vent mods before building the coupler.
Brown is with Shure narrow-bore/long tips and stock grills
Purple is with Shure tips and 3M Transpore tape over the stock grills
Green is the 'Advanced' mod (sorbothane in the nozzle, stock grills removed obviously & stock tips)
Orange is the final '444/78' mod (sorbothane in Spiral Dot tips, stock grills removed)
The Transpore in combination with the narrow-bore tips seems to have the greatest effect everywhere above 2k; but the treble of the '444/78' variant seems to me the smoothest, in line with tgx's perception vs the 'Advanced' variant. Haters of 2-3k emphasis (or just treble) might want to add Transpore to either of these - a general plug for Transpore as a material here; where something more subtle than Micropore is needed it seems like a good solution - but I think I'll stick with 444/78.
Couple more pairs on the way, so I'll hopefully be able to add unmodded measurements to compare.
Edit: Just spotted the chart had curves with 2 different smoothings; fixed now.
Did someone try their hybrids?
I tried both side by side and for some reason felt that the hybrid's bass didn't quite sound as fast and clean as BW-ES1's. The difference was pretty striking, so I returned the former and kept the latter.
Received mine today, will make some measurements before I start modding them.
For me, it's always interesting to follow james444 in his quest for DD IEMs. I trust his opinions, I have similar impression to his on many DD IEMs and his mods I tried always worked nicely. So without too much thinking I ordered Blitzwolf last year, shortly after he posted this mod, but actually never got to mod them and they are currently just lying in my table 8000 km away from me.
Now, let's move to last week, when I was reading this thread again and got into mood to buy them and finally do the modding. Bad luck! Not available anywhere in China
But while browsing Taobao searching for them, I found these IEMs UiiSII HI820
While name and design is different, I think they might be quite close to Blitzwolf ES1. They also use Graphene driver, cable with phone controls looks identical and their images of exploded drivers are same as Blitzwolf's. And when I finally got them, I found same two air vents and body combining plastic front with aluminium back.
As first thing, I measured them stock(Dayton IMM-6 mic, setup close to what Crin uses for his measurements}. Not exactly same as stock measurement of Stratocaster. Listening confirms way too much bass, this will go through modding immediately.
Starting with mod, putting tape over rear vent, needle through front vent, remove mesh. And suddenly I see, there is no foam filter. Hmm, gonna skip that it seems.
After these three steps, sound changed to this. Suddenly it looks much closer to Stratocaster's measurements of modded unit!
Now comes some listening. While bass is now much more civilized than in stock form, mids and treble doesn't sound right. Because I have no sorbothane, I tried solution proposed by Biodegraded, cut some spare silicon tips and pushed these strips into nozzle of stock tips. And it worked pretty great. Here comes measurement again.
Been listening to them whole morning today and I must say, I'm really really impressed. Thanks James so much!
Of course, I must say I have no proof, that these are sounding as good as modded Blitzwolf. But it was fun for me, I ended up with great sounding IEMs and that's the important part.
Can you check if you can buy from them to compare, only thing I noticed was the sensitivity of both are different.
Just to add a bit of information that I couldnt find on this thread: if you're putting sorbothane in the Spiral dots, the length needs to be just under 12mm. Probably start at 12 and you might have to trim off 0.5mm
While I havent compared them directly (A/B) to my MD Plus, I am sure that they're less clear but so far on their own they sound quite good! Impressive headstage and impact in the bass for sure, and it makes me question how they managed to get this far from something so cheap
EDIT: I'm not completely sure I poked the front mesh properly. I still find the bass too much so how do i know i poked it properly? I dont see any hole in whatever I see through the front vent..
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