I made a hyper-engaging headphone with HD800S drivers

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by Bill-P, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Distortion profile is not too great. I surmise it's because of the losses in the from leakage, requiring more power to reach the same SPL. It's doesn't sound as bad as it looks though.

    BP800
    upload_2020-8-7_21-14-58.png

    Stock HD800
    upload_2020-8-7_21-16-29.png
     
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  2. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Might you say the perfected form of the BP800 would basically be a headphone with Sennheiser's timbre and smoothness but also Audio Techncia's sense of fleet-footedness and air? That would be ridiculous (in the best sense of the word). How does the 10kHz blip compare to the Z1R's or X00's for sizzle? Also the CSDs somehow make me think there's some tasteful bouncy resonance in the bass, but at a much lower level than the usual wood headphones, and even Bill-P's measurements had similar — audible or nah?

    Also pain in the butt request (sorry), but any chance you might use the foam coupler too for CSDs? Feel free to ignore if a PITA!

    EDIT:
    I feel compelled to point out, given how strangely the sentence was composed, that I did intend to use possessive form in appending apostrophe-s to the Z1R and TH-X00's names as both models also have IMO notable mid-treble elevations; using apostrophe-s for pluralisation bugs me much more than it should.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I didn't feel there was a 10kHz "ssssssss" thing going on at all. It sounded more like a bump around 12kHz on Focal Elear, but broader (which mean it could have reached down to 10kHz as well). This is just me talking subjectively without taking a look at the measurements. Human pitch differentiation is pretty much crap that far up, at least for me it is.

    Sony MDR-Z1R's 10kHz peak was more "in-yer-face"; but if I remember correctly the entire lower to mid treble region was already "lit-up" relative to the upper mids - making the Jude argument on the existence or non-existence of the 10kHz peak rather besides the point. X00 has more evident strident and sizzle (it was never that bad to my ears). I guess the best way to put it is that the BP800 still evenish and sounded despite the lift from mid treble and up. The EARS measurement supports this subjective observation more than the FPC measurement. Most of the time, it seems to be the opposite away around.

    EDIT: just looked at the measurements: I see a major bump just past 10kHz and a smaller one at 13kHz with a dip in between. My ears are probably registering those peaks but not hearing the dip.

    I can take the V1 foam "free-air" measurement and report back. (I forgot about that option). Kind of curious myself now. I rely on you guys for inspiration. Interactivity, inquisitiveness, and discovery are the parts I like most. SBAF for audio science!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  4. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Awesome. Thanks, @purr1n!

    I guess I was a bit too scared of killing the open-ness and treble, but with your notes now, I think I can try to go all the way and try to bend the FR down.

    I do have a different design with mount for different pads that I want to try. Plus yeah... there is a mount that brings the driver much closer to my ears compared to V1 or V2. V2 was an attempt to push the driver away and I'm guessing that's causing treble to spike up too much.

    @Lyander the headphone doesn't sound like an Audio Technica at all.
     
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  5. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    @Bill-P despite nitpicking in my demo impressions I actually fell in love with the ADX5k right before lockdown and so have rose tinted glasses for them apart from upper midrange aggression and mid-treble sharpness; apologies for the wishful thinking haha :) it's also my current benchmark for airy and open and snappy, moreso than the HEKv2 or HD800s out of the (admittedly mostly meh) rigs I've tried.

    But yeah, honestly this already seems a damn sight better than any form of HD800 I've tried, either 800S or Anaxdemort/SBAF mod. I'll try to stay out from underfoot but this is pretty exciting.
     
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  6. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    I got into some speculation with Bill-P a couple pages back about how a lot of the bass from the stock HD800 is probably from the dense proprietary mesh enclosure which would be hard to recreate with cloth mesh. One known attempt at recreating that kinda mesh enclosure is the Borealis headphones. Maybe Bill can look into the fiberglass material they're using?

    But this is a bit besides the point. The big point here is probably to prove that the ring drivers can be amazingly smooth without the enclosure resonance. @purr1n Can you do -60db waterfalls?
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    -45db floor
    FPC BP800 L.jpg

    -60db floor
    FPC BP800 L.jpg
     
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  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    This is an excellent request as I keep forgetting that I have this in my bag of tricks. For the uninitiated, the foam coupler is a medium density foam block that attempts to simulate a free-air measurement, well sort of. There is no seal. As a consequence, headphones depending upon their driver Q and baffle design, will measure with less lows, dramatically less sometimes.

    It's a good way to see how sensitive headphones are to seal. It's also a good way to understand the properties of the driver by minimizing the effects of the cup and interactions with an ear.

    BP800
    Foam "free-air" coupler
    CSD -36db floor
    FAC BP800 L.jpg

    BP800
    Foam "free-air" coupler
    CSD -45db floor
    FAC BP800 L.jpg

    A victory for German science!
     
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  9. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Makes sense that it's clean as heck like the original HD800 but I'm still hella impressed. If nothing else this brings that bounce resonance thing 1kHz and below into sharper relief— reading much too much into it or nah? HD800 doesn't display anything like this but HD800S does, can't recall my demo subjectives of the S but would you say the OG 800 might be a bit more "boom, done" with decay there?

    Also, does this mean the mid-treble ringing could be a pads thing then? Don't think it's necessarily backwave reflection given the materials and configuration plus free air measurements but heck, I'm tossing pasta at the wall.

    Edit: brain being odd. Not backwave in the sense it's firing off the rear of the driver but bouncing around in the space between baffle and head/ears. Can't recall term just now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
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  10. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    If I had to wager, the Sennheiser cans (HD58X,6X0,700,800) use some sort of micron stainless steel mesh, no more than 50 micron, with a more complex weave than straight.

    http://www.utahbiodieselsupply.com/blog/stainless-steel-micron-rating-examples/

    @ext1 sent me some macro shots of the HD650 mesh. It certainly looks a lot like the twill Dutch weave, but even the macro shots, as good as they were, weren't high enough resolution to determine with certainty. Just unsure of the density, but the denser the material, the more bass you get (among other changes to sound).

    Been a while since I've held an HD800, so my theory is really only going off the HD6X0.

    A 1" donut of really dense, open-cell foam material around the HD800 driver may work well. Would need to play around with depth of the driver in the foam opening.

    Oh, fun fact, if you pop out the driver capsule in an SHP9500, the HD800 driver is an almost perfect fit inside the leftover opening in the enclosure, barring the driver leads on the right channel.
     
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  11. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Yesh. HE60 pads also do this, by the way.

    I'll try the bolded part next. Thanks, @Hands!

    Sorry, I still owe you some custom cups. I've been so busy with life and those half-finished cups just need one extra coat of paint and a rear cage thing.

    Things have gotten less crazy, I got my "cave" up and running now, and I just need to move things in and finally start printing again. I really want to see how far I can take this design.

    Also, looks like I gotta get myself a EARS. Flat-plate coupler was what I was using to measure and it seems EARS is better at showing the internal pad reflections.
     
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  12. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    No worries, dude. Life has been crazy on my end too!
     
  13. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    Bill-P, or anyone else, is the mesh in the HD800 stainless steel? If so, have any1 tried to change it to "smaller microns"?
     
  14. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    It looks like SS. And it also looks probably somewhere around the 50-100 micron. IIRC, talcum powder is about 10 microns, I might try seeing if it'll pass through HD800 screens. Or flour, IIRC, is about 100 microns.
     
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  15. ext1

    ext1 MOT: JAR650

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    Bit late to the party, but I really wanted to say, dang this is awesome. Mad respect and congrats to @Bill-P for this work. I was gonna try something like this too but with the 6x0 screens so this really gives me the motivation to try to also work on this after military, since the end result looks so nice.
     
  16. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Just got the protos back from Marv. I couldn't resist it and tried these:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0855KQ36Z/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    V1's speaker filter cloth on top of V2 + one layer of that seems to bring out quite a bit of bass.

    So yeah, you may be on to something. I think if I started out with that, it would have helped quite a bit.
     
  17. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Tagging the original mad wizard @rhythmdevils so he can tell me how feeble my magic is.

    Also, I think some of you guys already picked up on the hints: this doesn't have to just be HD800 drivers paired with HE90 pads. I was afraid to show too much (mostly because a few months back, I knew I wouldn't have enough time to commit to a project like this), but now I think I'm ready to show you guys the next phase. Here are the prototypes that I'm printing next:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This currently is made to the same specifications as the V1 and V2 shells, but if you'd notice... it can take any pair of ear pads that is large enough to fit on the lips. That and the inner mount can potentially be made to fit and secure any driver.

    And I already told @Hands that I wanted to eventually turn this into an open-source project. There are many reasons for this:

    1. As you can tell from measurements and thoughts provided by @purr1n, I'm still in the process of tuning towards my own sound. I don't think I can make a headphone that will please everyone... Also it'd be more interesting (for me at least?) to see what everyone can come up with when they are able to tune their own headphones.

    2. The community sorely lacks open-source projects dedicated to science like this. No, not the "science" that tells you a flat line in measurement sounds good, but the "science" that tells you your sound preference is a specific curve achieved using a specific tuning. I know I don't like "flat". My neutral is something else entirely, and I'm not going to apologize for that.

    3. I want to just give something back to the community. I can act like any of my predecessors... that made their own headphones, showed off some work, and then just disappeared. No disrespect to any of them, but... I remember wanting to learn more about the process and how they achieved things, but... all of it was kept mum.

    4. I'm seeing ridiculous pricing practices from manufacturers (Audeze, HiFiMAN?) and... yeah, I get it: everyone has gotta make a living somehow, but they're pricing everyone out of the market. I'm making more money now than when I was a student and I can easily afford that R10 clone that HiFiMAN is releasing but... why should I??

    5. Cuz we're pirates (if anyone still remembers that) and we shouldn't do what the market tells us to do.

    So yeah, I'm committing to at least make this one into a real open-source project, and hopefully make headphone tuning more accessible to everyone. These next proto will go to @Hands first, so he can tell me whether they work or if they're horribad. Then... rinse and repeat until we get something that is semi-functional.

    And after that, I hope some of you can help with deciding on the appropriate license for this.
     
  18. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    This is whatever the opposite of feeble is! Fortitudinous? Lion heartedness?

    one of the coolest fallouts from 3D printing tech I’ve seen. Jealous you’re getting to play with the housing so much as well as damping and pads. So many possibilities! Looks like you’re having a lot of fun too which is the best part.

    Getting those drivers out of the enclosure Is exciting because it shows what they’re really made of. Probably the most hyped drivers of all time. Something I’ve always been skeptical about since I’m die hard ortho. Looking forward to seeing this continue!!!
     
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  19. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    So... I got my EARS. It's a bit unbalanced. Right side measures a bit louder than left, but... anyways, I think overall, it is closer to what I hear than the flat plate coupler.

    Here are some measurements with MiniDSP HEQ compensation:

    BP800 (the same version @purr1n measured) vs almost bone-stock HD650: (I removed rear foam)
    [​IMG]

    "Stock" HD800 darth vader edition:
    [​IMG]

    So yeah, now this is closer to what I hear. It is quite a bit tipped up, and bass can use more impact, quantity, etc...

    Now, for the kicker, here's the effect of the material I linked to in post #76:
    [​IMG]

    Note: I have the speaker grill cloth thing on both to reduce treble, but otherwise, this was almost basically the same filter construction with just one layer of that fabric on top.

    Is it that pronounced? Yes, at least it does sound markedly different to my ears. @Mdkaler also heard this when he came over to hang out for a bit last week, so he can chime in more on how it actually sounds like.

    Anyways, measurbating aside, I think this at least confirms that for the HD800 drivers, I do want to use the least permeable thing possible. Also, yeah, I think this means the Vader HD800 mod can be completed. This material does add back the sub bass that was sorely missing.

    So... yeah, I think that was it. Thanks, @Hands! You nailed it. The denser the grid, the more sub bass indeed.
     
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  20. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I hate be a downer, but since you're putting so much work into this, and able to modify every aspect of it, in modding orthos, I found repeatedly that I got a cleaner, more open, more resolving sound when I addressed FR issues by changing what was behind the driver, and not trying to fix abnormalities or problems by putting damping on the front of the driver. I did a lot, I mean a lot of experiments and this was always the case. Sometimes you can't fix problems by modding behind the driver because it's a production headphone you can't totally experiment with. I destroyed a few T50rp's experimenting. And by that I don't mean "pleating the drivers". But you've got so much creative control here, more that I did, I suggest you keep trying to get it right without any front dmping. that would be the ultimate mod. I think you can do it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020

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