HD800 (S) Ultimate Mod

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by Maxx134, Apr 27, 2018.

?

Are you satisfied with HD800 bass?

  1. yes

    13 vote(s)
    34.2%
  2. Its ok

    8 vote(s)
    21.1%
  3. Not really

    9 vote(s)
    23.7%
  4. Hell no, I want planar bass

    10 vote(s)
    26.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    This is an HD800 to an 800S mod, made more clear than past mods,
    plus secrets learned along the way.

    I will first post the performance evidence, then followed by the procedures, and discoveries made alone the way...


    HD800 to an HD800S mod:

    FR:
    HD800 Ult FR.PNG
    notice elevated lower spectum to bass, and gradual elevated upper spectrum, no dips... previously impossible to have without the 6k ringing..


    CSD:
    30db down.
    HD800 Ult CSD.PNG
    Notice decay is faster than .5ms all way down to 1k, no 6kringing like stock and even 800S

    Here is a screenshot of the best fabled never released annax mod:
    pic
    Annax2.png
    At 50db down a slight 1-2ms decay in trebles, (arguably the cleanest ever made)

    Now here is mine 50db down:
    HD800 Ult 50db Right CSD.PNG
    (click to expand as looks too big to post large)
    At a deep 50db down, a .05-1ms most delay in WHOLE trebles range is proof of no ringing(!)
    Yes it is possible but MUST be done specifically as I recommend, or you will waste your time.


    Distortion:
    HD800 Ult Distortion.PNG
    Notice that the harmonics below noise floor,
    And also to see is unique is the horizontal linearity of the harmonics.

    In this one, the ambient noise was too high, so the white line (THD) reflects that,
    and I removed the bass as debatable points because of the noise, but it was a gradual incline with the bass.
    So the Bass measurements were too skewed because of the dam ambient noise so I will try update in future post.

    One important point to note to make,
    is that no other HD800 has ever had a linear distortion (no spike) in the trebles range,
    and also stay below the noise floor... ever..(that I know )..

    This was the last HD800"S" Mod I made before I sold mine.

    I have been planning to post this mod to the comunity when I have the time, which I finally have this coming week.

    EDIT:
    Hear is my Impulse response.
    HD800 Ult Impulse4.PNG
    I put the mouse to highlight the more important 20db and the 500ms markers..
    They are considered more important areas.
    I found and posted key notes about impulse, and posted further down next posts.

    *There is Less negative overshoot than an 800 or 800S.
    *Lesser second upward spike after the initial transient than an HD800 or 800S...
    *The Impulse has tighter rise & fall of the lines (to the red line), compared to stock.
    All after second spike is below the 20 mark.
    All after 500ms is less than an 800 or 800S.


    About this mod:
    There was no mod available, to make an HD800 sound similar, (but better) to an 800S...
    So this was the goal... To have that hallmark Sennheiser trebles and better bass than the 800S...

    This mod WILL give you the bass, without the added blurry harmonics of the 800S(!).

    This mod WILL preserve the treble "air" and signature Senn trebles, that other mods either kill off(rug liners & creatology foams) ..

    This mod NOT intended to replace the neutral "Super Dupont" mod,
    which flattens and evens out the trebles...In order to also lessen the 6k resonance.

    This mod CAN be partially applied to FURTHER REDUCE riging in the "Super Dupont" mod..
    Essentially making it superior to the fabled never released specs of the annax mod.

    This is the only mod that eliminates the resonance problem WITHOUT killing, or neutralizing the trebles...

    I had bits and pieces of this mod scattered everyhere but will compile into this one thread.
    This is an all unique mod comprising of nobody else tweaks, liners, etc..
    It was a year long project that me and another member @ Olegausa finished about over a year ago,
    so is about high time it gets revealed.

    The measurements here are from his headphone, to be impartial.
    The upgrades revealed will be up to the user to try.
    :)

    next posts coming soon...
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
    Jimmy24, TwoEars, Walderstorn and 3 others like this.
  2. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    Preface:
    This was to be called HD800 (Wuotan) Mod... too much.
    Then I just called it the Ult "S" mod.
    Call it whatever you like.

    WARNING,
    THIS THREAD CONTAINS INFO THAT WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY (Of course),
    AND MAY BE DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO REVERT, AND POSSIBLY DAMAGE YOUR HD800 IF NOT DONE CORRECTLY ...
    USE MATERIALS/PROCEEDURE AS SUGGESTED FOR SUCCESS!

    I WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE AS YOU HAVE BEEN FOREWARNED..
    NOW ONTO THE MODS....

    This mod will retain and preserve "presence" and treble air without fatigue,
    as the resonance is Eliminated!!!
    All while the upper trebles range is preserved without the inherent dips of the 800 or 800S.

    Once completed, you will now have now a more focused solid sound with more bass! Than either stock 800 or 800S

    This is THE ONLY Ultimate 800*S* mod in existence.
    Upon completion,
    You will now have the deepest and best quality HD800 bass.

    You will have most lazer sharp imaging sounding of any the HD800 mods.

    It WILL NOT kill Soundstage(!)...
    Thats the big pink elephant in the room,
    That many deny,
    in their quest for a flatter frequency response...

    Specifically, many other HD800 mods( by the inherent usage of special rug liners, fillers, or other materials)...

    They all work by covering up or filling up the inside(!),
    so they all have the side effect of killing the spaciousness and soundstaging,
    Which is the hallmark of the HD800.
    This approach, is more accurately described,
    as "absorbtion".

    After trying those other "great" methods, I was unsatisfied, as after initial joy of peak loss,
    I found the signature overall sonically dead and not as lively.

    This forced me to chose another path.
    Instead of absorbtion, we go to the root of the resonance problem, to stop it with dampening, not absorbtion.
    Sound damping, and sound absorbtion are two very very different things.

    That way, we preserve more of the HD800 Soundstage, by keeping interior dimensions untouched and spacious,
    and also keeping the upper FR range preserved,
    which is responsible for treble "presence" and "air"...

    It is also already proven (from this site), that the HD800 driver FR is actually smooth when tested apart from its enclosure.

    This aludes to the obvious problem of the enclosure.
    So the solution was damping, just like the HD650 was later proven here to improve with dampening.

    Due to the complexity of the HD800 design, it was never considered or accomplished successfully untill now..

    *****************

    List of all modifications:
    (sonic mods numbered 3-8):

    1-Removal of stock connectors.

    2-installation of mini XLR connectors.

    3-Replacement of Internal wiring.
    Replacement here is like a magnifying glass effect.
    Care must be taken in replacement wire selection,
    as this WILL affect the headphone signature tonality from sweet to dark, but not in a FR way. In a cable sense way.

    My advice is to NEVER replace unless you're sure.
    This is a HD800 secret unknown before.
    This wire has resistance.

    4-Metal ring replacement Mod:
    driver edge metal ring removal and replacement with vibration damping ring and felt.
    The problem in the past was that it was not thought out, and done alone...
    Done alone solves nothing, just like trying to clap with one hand.
    You need equal and opposing mass, which is the Anti-Resonance Mod.

    5-Anti-Resonance Mod:
    specific resonance killing material on specific areas back of driver.***
    Not any will do!

    6-rear grill Anti-reflection mod:
    Yes those mesh metal screens affect sound, but you don't have to take them off (idiot approach).

    7-sub-bass seal and Impact mod, inserted to the inside of ear pads.

    8- 800"S" Resonator Mod:
    Custom center driver "resonator" mod to simulate and outperform the 800S signature,
    using a special Sennheiser material only(!)

    They are shockingly similar in signature to the 800S, while cleaner and better at addressing the treble peak reduction than the 800S(SD has more effect lowering trebles).

    The material should still be available, SO when I post,
    get them while their hot,
    before Sennheiser pulls them out of production (after hearing about this!)

    One more note before Mods:
    IMHO the SD mod is the most neutral version.
    It is actually the most Excellent for neutrality.

    Compared to this "S" mod, the SD mod is naturally more tame (less lively) in comparison.

    So this last step of "center driver" material insertion,
    is for those that prefer the 800S type signature, for a more " full ", lively or engaging sound.
    Those with "SD" can benifit from all other mods listed while keeping "SD" linear signature.
    Actuall Mods Next..
    ********
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
  3. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    Now onto the Mods:
    To DO IN ORDER, VERY IMPORTANT.

    Sonic Mods:
    *1-subbass mod.
    *2-rear grill anti-reflection mod,
    using micro liner by grill
    *3- Rear dampening Anti-resonance mod.
    (do after 2)
    *4- Metal ring replacement.
    (Do Only after 1-3).
    *5- The "800S" Resonator Mod.

    Supplemental Mods:
    *6- Internal wiring replacement mod.
    *7--installation of mini XLR connectors.


    Disclaimer,
    These mods not for the faint-hearted.
    Try at your own risk and it helps if your have some competence in modding and patience.

    *************************************************************




    1- First off,
    is the "BASS Pressure/COUPLING SEAL" MOD (!):

    Take about an 8" long & 1" wide "rubber tape", and fold in half.
    *Pic*
    [​IMG]

    *pic*
    [​IMG]

    *pic*
    Insert into pads, working your way around the inside,
    keeping the rubber flat,
    without crushing the tape into a roll:


    [​IMG]

    *pic*
    [​IMG]

    *pic*
    [​IMG]

    Sonic results are an increase in the bass "seal", providing a more palpable presence of the subsonics, not noted in measurements, and so the air pressure/ bass feel of impact escapes less thru the foam pads.
    This mod is easily reversable.
    Next steps involve pulling off the pads and opening unit, which is why we did this one first.

    ******************


    2nd- REAR GRILL ANTI-RELECTION MOD.
    Next mods involve the dismantle of the unit, and while not hard at all, still I will assume you already know how to do this.
    Pull off pads,
    Unscrew the ring but be careful as the rear plastic assembly will come off,
    so hold unit together and gently remove plastic rear which house the rear grill.
    Carfully slide out rear grill & plastic while holding driver unit to its base.

    You will be using a micro sized "shelf liner" by the grill.
    It is easily attainable at stores.
    Cut shapes of thin shelf liner
    *pic*
    [​IMG]
    Insert by grill and leave rear of unit open for next mod...

    This will erradicate listening fatigue due to reflection of Upper frequencies.
    This is both absorbtion and dispersion, without killing soundstage and clearing depth.
    This is suggested also to improve all 800 mods.
    Make sure you get this finest "liner" as this:
    20180507_160627.jpg
    As this thin pattern worked well enough to sound as if metal was removed.

    ******************


    3rd- the Rear Dampening, Anti-resonance mod :

    This most important mod will require the most skill and competence, or just patience.
    This is THE mod to improve the SD mod as well.

    The specific choice and layout of materials is very important.
    We will be using Only
    "DYNAMAT EXTREME"...(!)

    VERY VERY IMPORTANT IS THE SPECIFIC USAGE OF THE "EXTREME" VERSION OF DYNAMAT ONLY...
    Do not use normal dynamat, or other brands, which are noted to be thinner.
    Do not believe claims of better materials either, as that is not key.

    We specifically need the thickest possible, for a specific reason which is "mass loading".

    The objective here is to "mass load" the rear area of the driver coupling to the basket...
    This application of the physical vibrational control of the structure, which will shift and eliminate the structure's resonance problem.

    This is not "absorbtion" of existing sound. This is vibration attenuation thru deadening AND Mass loading.

    Changes to the mass loading affects the vibration of the structure,
    and thus the resonant frequency of the structure vibration.

    That means the shift & elimination of the resonant frequency is a measure of the density of the structure.

    Killing structural resonance will attack the problem itself,
    rather than to bandage it up thru sound "absorbtion",
    like the existing HD800 mods of past.

    Sennheiser is supposed to know this.
    It baffles the mind how they have not addressed the enclosure resonance with a simple change of materials...
    Like carbon fiber, ceramic or metals.

    Big companies usually choose to reak profits,
    Rather than upgading materials, for sonic gains that they won't believe consumers would notice...

    Anyways,
    First, we get some specifically cut pieces of DYNAMAT EXTREME!
    Make sure it is "Extreme" version, and keep the silver on the outside.
    The silver part of this material is necessary for "vibration attenuation" thru change of layer density(usage of different layers).

    *pic*
    [​IMG]

    The basket frame is generally a difficult area to dampen,
    So here are the specific locations for this mod:
    Don't waste your time to do this halfway, or by using another material.

    First off,
    At The Back of driver inside area,
    apply dynamat extreme in these sections:
    *pic*
    [​IMG]
    *pic*
    [​IMG]

    Once done, set aside and position rear grill mod2 over it, to get ready for closing with next mod...


    *************

    4- Driver side damping, ring mod.

    We replace the metal ring with a same shape ring using dynamat extreme (!):
    *pic*
    [​IMG]
    NO MORE WORTHLESS METAL RING...
    *pic*
    [​IMG]

    All previous mods must be done and position in place before placing these sticky rings on.

    Once front is covered, you won't be able to find the screw hole!

    No problem,
    just shine a light from the backside, and see how the four screw holes line up exactly with the frame:

    *pic* later as its on my phone.

    So you wont miss any hole location when putting screw back thru dynamat...
    You WILL NEED to use RUBBER CUT pieces, for washers to hold driver in secured,
    And for the long screws that need the washer depth.
    Then cover the silver side with any color choice of adhesive felt, for looks:
    *pic*
    [​IMG]

    There you go... done.
    As you see, I tried both flelt and creatology strips over the ring.

    The felt is more neutral and way to go.
    While the creatology strips as they suck up sound a bit.
    Using felt first, is suggested.


    This mods which increase focus, is a bit of a "double edged sword"...

    Because the stock HD800 relied on some "euphoric" diffused trebles to extend a bit of false "soundstage air" to an extent..

    So with increased focus, layering & separation,
    comes a bit less of the extended false diffused airy soundstaging and replaces with more depth,
    For a noticably more palpable and greater experience.

    This whole mod is also reversable if ever need.
    Only messy, as you would have to clean up the dynamat.

    I highly doubt anyone would want to reverse this mod after listening to the lazer pinpoint imaging and clearer textures though...

    All mods up to this point can be used on SD moded headphones.



    **** **** ****



    5- The 800 "S" resonator mod:

    This part of mod will give the sonic character and signature of an HD800S.(!)
    Use ONLY these specific Sennheiser "ear-tips"!

    *pic*
    [​IMG]

    Make sure the serial number is same.
    No other material will do.

    Cut the rounded edges off,
    to necessary depth (of an SDmod), and then Insert these tips :
    *pic*
    [​IMG]
    Easyest part of the mod.
    Install same as you would an SD mod.
    Please refer to the SD thread for installation.
    Here is pic with SD on left, and "S" mod on right:
    [​IMG]

    Get them, fresh from Sennheiser directly:

    OR these other sources, while you still can..

    This would be a major upset for Senn obviously,
    If people were to use this method, over buying an 800S..

    So if the Senn source dries up, Look here also:

    HERE...

    AND HERE..

    AND HERE ALSO..

    Done.
    Enjoy.

    Wait, Want more touble?
    Look below:

    *****************************
    Optional Mods:


    6- INTERNAL WIRING MOD:

    Replacement of micro stock wiring CAN give you positive results, "IF" done wisely.

    That means replacement with known good sounding wire...
    NO SILVER PLATED, OR MIX PLATED WIRE...

    Lets take a look at the super tiny size of this wire(!)
    *Pic* update later

    OMG broken pin,
    And 100 AWG! (kiddn)
    It is neither OCC, nor good enough guage.
    It will ALWASY present an "impedance" to your system...
    And I mean that LITERALLY! !

    0.1 OHM RESISTANCE MEASURED ON EACH wire, not including connectors !!!

    While that amount may seem small, it does matter here.

    From my testing, not only the wiring, but BOTH the wire AND the stock connectors are influencing the HD800 drivers..

    Remember, we are dealing with on of the most resolving dynamic driver currently,
    So everything makes a difference when you're dealing with the HD800 and why cable changes can be heard with the 800.

    The easiest and best suggestion would be to install cable hardwired into driver and eliminate the connector...

    I did this at first, but the drawback, is missing the option to upgrade to other cables,
    So instead I choose the mini XLR sockets in step 7.

    At this point, I can only recomend OCC stranded copper .. IEM type size recomended...
    Why?
    Stock wire was thin for a reason.

    Because choosing here, makes the difference between sweet or dark "qualities" in the headphone.
    Qualities that pertain to cable preferences.
    If you ever thought wires make a difference,
    At this location magnifys it.

    Pic* later

    Ok ,
    so now the problem lies in soldering on the connector side.

    It is a fragile piece, and a sonic "choke point" of this POS connector..

    YOU MUST have the steady hands of a surgeon to complete this task,
    Or you could be out of commission with a broken socket!

    It's like Sennheiser just put it in there to show off and say,
    "look at me, I can make a super slick super tiny iem guage connector!"

    It really is that fragile inside...
    Pic*later

    Notice the broken internal pin in the center(!)
    Lucky I have 2 extras!

    I found the best way was to UNsolder wires from the driver post first,
    Then remove the connector,
    Then cut the wire close to the inside connector tips,
    But leaving some wire as it is inserted microscopically and deeply inside.
    Then tinning(solder) and reinsert into housing to solder the wires on top.

    *****************************************************************



    7- MINI XLR MOD:

    [​IMG]

    As stated before, the ideal solution would be to totally discard the stock connector...
    It is a POS stupidly designed garbage stock connector.

    The bottom line is,
    those dam forsaken garbage HD800 connectors, WILL "add" to your sound.

    So take out, and boldly drill away a larger hole! !
    For a mini XLR connector!
    The mini XLR I consider easily MORE transparent .
    [​IMG]
    Ok,
    So It was not an easy thing to do either,
    as it had to be drilled a bigger hole,
    at a slightly forward angle to fit in.

    BE VERY CAREFUL,
    to get that drill bit in THERE,
    As it is so close to the driver soldering posts!

    Pic*
    [​IMG]



    The end result is very slick:
    Pic*
    [​IMG]

    And it actually makes it better when using the hd800,
    Because the cable is now very Slightly angled forward and away from you.
    Plus the shiny connectors are cool.

    :)


    *****
    Enjoy your Ult mod.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  4. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    EDIT, PLEASE READ...


    There is another reason why this specific method of damping works.

    think of those first electronic games with a ball and two "paddles"..

    As equal and opposing force (paddles) hits ball and it keeps bouncing between them.

    Now bring the paddles closer and closer....
    the ball bounces between them faster,
    Until there is no space and it comes to a complete stop.

    In this mod, the ball is the "resonant frequency",
    The ball moves, and is the vibration.

    The TWO paddles are the Front AND Rear damping.
    They are equal and opposing forces because they are on both sides,
    With similar shape and amount,
    to dampen, to elevate resonance, and stop the 6k ringing.

    This is the missing link to the puzzle that was needed.

    Control on BOTH sides to neutralize the structure,
    NOT ONE SIDE, as done with past half-ass metal ring mods I wont mention...

    You can't clap your hands with one hand right?
    You need two, same rule apply when dealing with forces (vibrations).

    This is my opinion which has been proven into two HD800 units so far.


    Have been under the weather for the writup...
    \/
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
  5. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Some stuff seems amiss...
    1. Your CSDs lack resolution.
    2. Something does not seem right about your impulse response relative to your frequency response. Too little post cursor. Will have to look at my measurements when I get back home. What is the impulse response of the system before mods?
    3. Sufficiently quite environments (like any room with the TV off) should yield way better distortion measurements than that.
     
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  6. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    Ans:
    1- last two were sceencaps from a phone. First image is clear I can make more.
    2-We can clear that up. Let me know what settings you want in the impulse window. They were stock settings in REW.
    I can do ARTA also, It was not as convenient at the time.
    3-I actually do have quieter measurement , I forgot about them so I will post.

    If you like I can send you my REW files so you can check it would be great help.
    I have not done the HD800 in ARTA but can get that next time I visit my friend.
    Thanks for checking it out.
     
  7. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    For now, just do the impulse response before and after mods.
     
  8. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    good idea, I will look for another hd800 to measure.
    I do not currently have stock or anyone else to measure yet which would be best.
    Edit:
    Here is what I get in REW:
    I just realized my REW setings were off.
    This what happens when I rush.
    HD800 Ult mpulse 2.PNG
    I will try ARTA next.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  9. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    Edit you were right and have keen eye.
    that last measurement had the "channel step response" highlighted.
    Actual Impuse was in purple, I needed my glases on this 9" tablet ,ug.
    still I do not like how REW is showing it,
    Look above\\\
    so I will try ARTA next time.​
     
  10. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Cool measurements, bruh, but...

    ...Pics and instructions or it didn't happen! That's all I care about now anyway. :punk::punk::punk:

    |\/|
     
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  11. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    This is more or less the impulse response I was expecting for a stock HD800:

    impulse_left.png

    Given your FR measured response after your mods (somewhat close to what I measured in the past on the stock HD800), I was expecting something similarish before and after.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  12. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Anyhow. Best to do a comparo in your own rig before and after.
     
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  13. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    As you wish my "Level 42 Mad Wizard"..
    I expect to post tomorrow when back in office hiding in my cubby lol

    Excellent.
    I will try again this week, in arta because I no longer trust to get an accurate pic in REW.
    Gotta go back to my friends house anyways.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  14. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I had good results with REW. In fact, the impulse I added in this thread is from REW. But use what you feel most comfortable with.
     
  15. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    The good news is that it was just that my settings were off.
    I never played with this setting before as I always relied on CSD.
    So once home I will play with the settings.
     
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  16. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    ok i got a pic and will post comparison:
    Imp compr2 labled.png
    this all I do until I can measure a stock using my same coupler.
    Any input appreciated.

    EDIT:
    Here are some others from the measurement rig thread:
    mine has some similarity to member @Serious mod.

    Here is what I have read about the Impulse Response:

    **It should be noted that this impulse, being the HD800, should be viewed already as a notably clean and noise free impulse response..

    **The small signal wiggles before the main peak, reveals system distortion.

    **The main signal is the large first peak.

    **Less negative overshoot (mine has less),
    indicative to driver control or damping.

    **The lack of a strong second upward spike after the initial transient is very important...

    It denotes and indicates a more coherent sound, and superior imaging.
    So smaller, especially here is better, which at around 20db mark is already very good.

    ** The tighter rise & fall of the lines is indicative to cleaner response.
    Mine is tighter between first peak decay to second peak,
    Also judging by that red vertical line.


    ** The smaller signals after the initial up and downward spikes,
    are the ringing/reflection amplitudes of the enclosure.

    We can see the signature HD800 soundstage enclosure more from the second set of small two bumps onward.

    **Any tiny wiggles after this (500ms), is a combination enclosure reflections, resonances etc.

    I have separated the signal to groups for easier visual interpretation:
    Capture+_2018-05-04-09-01-05.png
    This is a general way to see it and I do not have enough experience under my belt to say any more.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
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  17. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    Less graphs, more mod pictures.
     
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  18. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    Ok I done with updating the post, added info about the Impulse Response.

    Ok today I will Be posting the mod instructions.
    :punk:
     
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  19. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    Second post just redone now with the "preface"..

    Third post will be the actual instructions which I hope to have up by today.
    Pics already uploaded to "Imgur".
    So halfway there...
    :sail:

    **EDIT:

    Ok, I am all done writing instructions,
    Signal bad in office,
    so will post once home tonight.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  20. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    OK....
    Fulll mods are posted.
    Get'em while you can...
     

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