Focal Elear Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Marvey, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Essentially, yeah. Very similar material. But front damping was a thing long before the Alpha Dogs. ;)

    This driver seems to "cut through" front damping better than most. Doesn't get that dead sound like a lot of planars with stuff in front.
     
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  2. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Friend

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    Oh Utopia pads, will you become available someday? And what's the over/under on the price, $150?
     
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  3. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I'm really curious what is so different about the Utopia pads to supposedly lower bass levels on the Elear. I figured if I tried some pleather/leather, breathable and non-breathable pads, or more breathable velour pads, I'd see bass change. Would love to get my hands on some Utopia pads to listen and measure on Elear. If they ever sell them separately, they might be worth the asking price, assuming sound is good, just for the sake of convenience.
     
  4. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Friend

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    Could it be more then just a compression difference? I mean those Utopia pads should compress too, they are perforated.

    I'm wondering if someone with 3D printing skills could make a snap on gasket for the Elears, just to get them a couple more millimeters away from the drivers and maybe tame things a little. I do like the stock pads, but maybe there is too much compression.
     
  5. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I was wondering that too, 3D printing a new pad mounting piece. If you could buy the pads separately from Focal, and they weren't crazy expensive, you could also cannibalize them and find a way to use the mounting part on other pads.

    Or, hell, why not just rip open the pads, replace the cushion, and sew back together? Haha
     
  6. brencho

    brencho Good Friend (Moderator)

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    we need a resident sbaf seamstress. sorry seamperson that was so heteronormative.
     
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  7. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    I don't think you will like the Utopia pads. They bring down the bass, which you didn't have a problem with in the first place, and result in bump around 1-3kHz, an area which you are sensitive to.
     
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  8. fierce_freak

    fierce_freak Friend

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    I really like the 3d printing idea. I used a 3d printing service for an adapter for my oculus rift once. It turned out great.
     
  9. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Yeah, I kind of assumed that, but still curious to try and figure out what exactly about them drops the bass, having tried other various pads that either kept it the same or boosted it slightly. Maybe they're very breathable/leaky even with the leather (albeit perforated)?
     
  10. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    Ok, usual disclaimers, grain of salt, etc... I know my measurements aren't sanctioned and don't jive with your guys, but I just wanted to show the difference between a few mods @Hands suggested relevant to my rig. I included a measurement I made today of my HD650, coin mod, rear foam, and spider removed.

    IMG_0082.jpg

    I had some adhesive backed felt lying around that I bought from Walmart's craft section, left over from my Fostex Tx0RP modding phase. First I tried a quarter size (size of $0.25) over the ear side of the driver, then I completely covered the driver grill, then I tried 7/8 coverage (same size as the Ikea felt pads included with their Kallax shelves).

    IMG_0083.jpg


    Blue: Stock
    Green: 1/4

    Brown: 7/8

    Elear mods 2.jpg


    Gray: HD650 modded
    Yellow: Fully covered

    Elear mods.jpg

    Oh, one more thing. I took off the Focal "F" on the back of the ear cup, there is the same fine mesh that's on the front side of the ear cup protecting the driver under neath the "F" grill. I didn't include the measurement from that, because there was almost no change. To get the ring off you will need a #5 torx bit, be warned, it fits slightly loose, so go gentle if you decide to try remove the ring. I had a #7 bit, but it was too big, and no #6 in my Wiha bit kit. Once the ring is removed, the "F" grill is held in by 4 tabs, and will pop out if you gently pry at the edges with your fingernail.

    IMG_0085.jpg

    IMG_0086.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  11. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    #ForScience
     
  12. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    @JK47 Did you have to open the cups at all to pop off that F-grill and metal ring around it? Does the grill have to be removed before the metal ring will pop off, or will they come off in one piece? Mine seemed somewhat stuck, but I didn't try to pull it much.

    If you swap pads, that part of the grill with plastic F on it can have more of an effect than vs. stock pads. Some pads seem to respond better with a bit of junk behind the driver, some the opposite.
     
  13. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    No need to open the cups. First I removed the torx screws holding the ring, then pried the ring off with fine tip tweezers. I hooked the tip of the tweezers into the void left by removed screw. I used tweezers similar to the link below.

    https://www.amazon.com/Beadalon-213...474999382&sr=1-5&keywords=Fine+Point+Tweezers

    The ring comes off by itself, then I gently pried at the "F" grill with my fingernail. If you look carefully at the 2nd last pic in my post above, you will see the tabs on the grill at 6 and 9 o'clock. In that pic the other tabs blend in, but they are there at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  14. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Awesome, thanks for the info! Is the fine mesh/filter attached to the F-grill?
     
  15. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    Nope
     
  16. Hands

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    Thanks!
     
  17. Serious

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    Does it sound better without the grille and Focal logo covering the backside driver opening? Don't tell me it doesn't :p.
     
  18. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    Actually mounting the "F" upside down does sound better... NOT ;)

    Really, no perceivable change I could detect with or without the "F" grill in place.
     
  19. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    How about trying some dried "Tucks hemorrhoid pads" in that hole...

    Edit**
    "Sounds" like a joke, but I usually think outside the box..
     
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  20. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Thanks to @JK47 I was able to get my F-grill off. I decided to take the plunge and remove the plastic logo piece. It looks a bit goofy, because the metal is shaped to fit the logo in place, and there are three holes at the "corners" of the logo that left it attached.

    I also accidentally scraped some of the grill and wore off the black paint, so I decided to scratch all the black paint off where the F logo used to go. Were it not for the three holes sitting there, it would look pretty stealthy and neat.

    Thankfully, the holes are still relatively small, and given there is a fine mesh under the grill for dust, hair, and dirt protection, there are no "safety" issue.

    This does have a subtle, subjective effect at making things sound a bit cleaner and better integrated.

    Funny thing is, I tried putting a disk of felt or open-cell foam in between the F-grill and fine mesh, and while measurements looked better (smoother FR, cleaner decay, etc.), there were non-measurable, subjective aspects that sounded worse. More boring, harder sounding, less pleasant.

    Installing a more open grill would be tricky but possibly worthwhile.

    My recommendation, not worth screwing with grills unless you're feeling crazy.

    Also am thinking Focal should have left out that whole middle part of the grill with the metal ring and all that. Just kept a seamless grill like seen around that. Probably would have sounded better. The middle part doesn't appear to be structural on the Elear and has a lot of plastic on the inside that is bound to cause reflections.

    BTW, current recommended pad mods:

    1. HM5 Hybrid (keep them stock, i.e. don't trim lips or take out liner) + 2mm Creatology felt disk over driver + 1/4" disk of open-cell foam, medium-ish density. Use strong double sided tape to secure pads to baffle and use some velcro for the front damping over driver, maybe a dab of glue to attach the open cell foam on top of the felt. This will provide something not too far off the HD650's tone but with much less mid-bass and a slight bass boost around 20-80Hz. It will not sound just like the HD650 due to the bass response on the Elear.

    2. Alpha Pads, also kept stock, + 2mm felt disk over driver. This will measure less smooth than HM5 config, but is more lush and slightly darker sounding. May be preferred since the Elear + Alpha Pads isn't incredibly bassy, so the slight dark nature pairs well with the bass levels. Consider than the HD650 is pretty even in the mids and treble, which goes well with its mid-bass hump.
     

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