HD800 Hardwiring Mod

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by TwoEars, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    Lifted from HF. For your amusement.

    So - it was raining, I got a bit bored and well... I ended up hardwiring my HD800's. Oh well, these things happen.

    The HD800 comes apart surprisingly easy, it's definitely a well engineered product. The overall project took me 5 hours or so, but I wouldn't say it's hard. If you can build a crack amp you can definitely do this. Most of the time was spent scratching my head about how to secure the cables going into the HD800, I wanted something nice looking and not just a big blob of superglue.

    You need some good tools though, miniature torx set for instance. The cable is a professional grade microphone cable with 23AWG oxygen free copper, it's not mogami but very similar.

    [​IMG]

    So as you can see what I ended up doing was that I drilled out the old stock connectors and I'm using those to hold the new cable, it's a very snug fit and a bit of super epoxy applied from the top of the connector makes sure that everything stays in place. Working great.

    [​IMG]

    New cable in place and ready for hard termination, little bit of presolder on the wires. Now which one was the red HD800 termination point? Hmmm... 50-50 right?

    [​IMG]

    Not too shabby. I wanted to be extremely careful not to heat up the internal wiring of the driver, so presoldered wires and a quick dab with the soldering iron was all I did.

    [​IMG]

    Done! Neutrik makes good connectors but when you want a bit of bling nothing beats Viablue.

    Final iteration of the mod made later: Cable sleeve, viablue splitter and 4-pin connector + adapters.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    How does it sound? It sounds good, very good. Bass is fuller and the treble is softer compared to stock. Is the hardwiring necessary compared to a pure copper cable with stock connectors? I have no clue. As you can imagine A/B comparisons are a little difficult. But if you feel some kind of urge to take your HD800 apart and play with soldering irons... well, I sympathize. :D
     
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  2. Riotvan

    Riotvan Friend

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    Quality work, i like the idea of drilling out the lemo connectors. And it seems you can buy new ones so it's not a permanent mod either! Might actually do this myself...
     
  3. chakku

    chakku Friend

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    I don't know why you'd want an even thicker cable, that thing is a monster! :eek: I've been on the lookout for thinner ones just because the stock ones are already heavy as it is.
     
  4. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    I recommend a vice to hold the connector in place, it makes the process MUCH easier. They're pretty tough. I started with a small drill and worked my way up.

    Thicker is always better. Always. I learned that on HF.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  5. Riotvan

    Riotvan Friend

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    Right, thanks for the tip. If and when i decide to do this i'll keep it in mind :)
     
  6. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    Oops.. Another pair made. :D

    Crappy mobile pic but you get the idea. S/N 32591. Drilled out connector, canare starquad copper cable all the way, viablue 3-pin XLR, SD-mod, De-Grilled, SuperBAF mod. Whatever the Utopia sounds like I can't imagine them sounding any better than this.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    Hi chaps. Received a used HD800 today & have already started on making up a cable for them. Quick question...how did you remove the cable sockets from the HD800 housing? Is it just a tug with some pliers?
     
  8. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    If you see the white plastic piece in the second picture. You just pull that out and they come loose. You can do it by hand even, easy. Need to de-solder first though. :)
     
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  9. pedalhead

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    ahh that makes sense, thanks :).
     
  10. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    Oh by the way, I'm fiddling around with EQ on my cork + SD HD800. Did you settle on a specific curve for yours?
     
  11. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    Since I installed both the sbaf mod, sd-mod and moved to the Theta DAC I've actually found I don't need any EQ anymore. So that's good I suppose.

    SD-mod for the 6kHz highs
    Sbaf-mod brings out the midrange a bit
    Theta DAC has inbuilt bass boost

    :p

    Nearly perfect now. I do however still use the Dolby headphone plug-in for foobar sometimes, it can be a fun effect. I don't like with the HD650 but for the HD800 it gives a very huge arena like soundstage, fun for some music and recordings.
     
  12. pedalhead

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    Thanks, great that you've gotten away from EQ. The mid & upper midrange definitely needs a boost on mine (rug liner incoming soon), but I prefer the lower mids dipped a bit. Early days with me but for the price these go for on the used market, they're looking like a billy bargain.
     
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  13. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    This was a nice job!
    I like the idea of drilling out the old connector to use and push wire in.
    Makes it a more professional looking job.
    I would have used mini-xlr connectors for the ends instead of normal big ones.
    Have you seen my thread where I drilled out the hole for putting in mini-xlr sockets?

    I like it better than hard wiring as well,
    As the bottle neck stock wiring and socket is replaced.
    :)
     

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