SuperBAF HD800 mod (formerly BTAmod)

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by zerodeefex, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Ornery Admin

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    TEMPLATE UPLOADED!

    All art, instructions, material selections and information in this post and following posts (collectively the "SuperBAF HD800 BTA Absorber mod") are covered by the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 international license. Any derivative work may be sold as long as instructions and art are distributed freely and correct attribution (mention of the name of the mod, SuperBAF, and a link to this thread) is maintained.

    Edit: Renamed SuperBAF MOD, a collaborative effort between friends.

    RELEASE CANDIDATE 1.0: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...800-mod-formerly-btamod.254/page-5#post-25585

    I vividly remember when I picked up my HD800s in late 2008/early 2009. I was blown away with many of the qualities that have earned the headphone such a cult following: the amazing resolution, the really articulate bass and comfort I had never experienced before from an over the ear headphone. Then I swapped out my incredibly warm, muddy Audio GD C2C for a much brighter DIY amp and got my first un-softened taste of the face tweeter that has become nearly ubiquitous in the personal audio community.

    It's an amazing testament to the engineering prowess of Sennheiser that the HD800 is still widely considered one of the best flagship headphones today and an equally amazing testament to the creativity of our community that people are still pursuing and churning out mods to help tame the harsher characteristics of the headphone.

    Marv and I have been throwing around the question for a while of what would the next generation HD800 mod look like? There have been some really popular mods out there but they all suffer from some pretty clear drawbacks and the general consensus is that, although the currently circulated mods are great, there is room for improvement. SO, we went back to the drawing board and really examined some of the areas for potential improvement in the current widely distributed mods. From this list, we really started over with the goal of improving the following:
    • Fitment problems with existing shapes (including traditional rings as well as fish shapes) due to bunching during compression fitting
    • Over-complexity due to use of multiple materials and multiple cutouts
    • Lack of consistency of sound from mod to mod due to material variability
    • Additional sound improvements to further even out the FR
    And so the SuperBAF HD800 mod (a COMMUNITY effort) was born!

    We've created several shape templates and I've sourced half a dozen materials for the mod. Marv has a version of it in his HD800s right now and will be posting measurements up soon. I'll be laser cutting some more prototypes of different materials and shapes over the next 2-3 weeks and I'll be sending him the best two to compare against his mod.

    Once we have selected the right material and template, we'll publish the following:
    • A PDF file with a template for a single cutout per driver plus mod instructions
    • DXF files for those of you who have access to a laser cutter
    • Direct links to materials suitable for use as well as a description of what to expect depending on which you choose
    Once these are out in the wild, we're hoping the community can use the modding guide as an open platform for continuing to tweak and improve the HD800.

    Material: http://rugpadusa.com/eco-friendly-rug-pads.html
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2016
    Wilson, manatworks, Pyruvate and 27 others like this.

  2. JoelT

    JoelT Friend

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    Further proof this community is awesome. Many thanks to those of you who are continuing to explore the HD800's modding potential. I look forward to hearing what develops.
     
  3. antifocus

    antifocus Friend

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    Subbed, I was expecting JalapeƱo this time before I clicked in.
     
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  4. jowls

    jowls Something related to poop - Friend

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    I'm loving my face tweeter so far but I will be keeping an eye on this.
     
  5. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    To follow up... Not rocket science, nothing special, but here was an early prototype sent to me:

    DSC_0297.JPG
    DSC_0298.JPG

    The idea was to keep things simple and address some fitment issues. Ravi and his team up in the Bay Area will be sending me the most promising materials (it won't be just rug liner) based on subjective listening tests for me measure. The objective is not to touch the bass or increase the warm, but rather tame the peak and the treble, and reduce the overly diffuse imaging. Once we decide which one to go with, we will proceed with laser cutting. The plan is to sell them at cost or a nominal fee, e.g. $9.99, for SBAF members.

    Both Ravi and I (and a few other people involved) are currently busy at our real jobs for the next week, but we plan for low volume production beginning around early November with production ramping up in December.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  6. kapanak

    kapanak Canucklehead - Friend

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    Are these a new pair, or the same ones that were donated to science? :eek:
     
  7. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    Yes, those were the HD800s donated to science. I have evil plans of transplanting the HD800 drivers into a STAX SR 007 assembly. Muhahahahahaha.
     
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  8. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Ornery Admin

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    You guys will think I'm bonkers, but I have everything from terrarium liner to tool box liner to non slip rug stuff my wife has to crate liner to rubber material.

    Also, Marv is putting the cart before the horse. We need to finalize the mod before we can even make them at material cost + shipping for the community :p. Heck, I don't pay in for a subscription to a machine shop; I am relying on some generous people who are willing to let me use their equipment to do this.
     
  9. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    OK, it might end up $19.99. We do whatever we can to make it inexpensive. I can always use my kids for child labor. They are well versed in the used of scissors and would be happy for a dollar for each cutout.
     
  10. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    So basicallly you're still working on optimizing the rugliner mod we're several to use ?
     
  11. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    Other materials like foam, a la HD600/650. My experience with the HD650 mods revealed that the foam covering the silver perforated baffle was crucial. It may be possible we end up where we started though. We just wanted to cover all the bases. Already tried felt. That was a no go.
     
  12. Clear Water

    Clear Water Friend

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    Were the pictures recently removed? I can't view them.

     
  13. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    Should be fixed now.
     
  14. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Ok . Got it

    A friend of mine , who's involved in speaker DIY mostly and became a die hard fan of HD800 suggests to try to put the dampening materiel higher in the cup closer to the center of the room created by the cup. we thought to use an open cell foam ring ( 10mm thick) and a ring of felt over it. Didn't experiment yet.

    He currently uses foam+felt ring + dust covers and I just sent him some Rugliner I cut (I use my dead dust covers as templates) to try.

    Fortunately he has a measurement rig and he can give some objective tests. I'm interested in his view about the rugliner mod.

    ... seems HD800 mods are all over the place on SBAF .. maybe something to work on. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  15. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    I'm sure people will have their own ideas, but the idea behind this is to make a standard baseline mod that yields good results and can be mass produced and sold for cheap. It beats CT or Ravi cutting out mods for friends, or me responding to PMs on where to obtain the materials on a weekly basis. We don't want to make money off of this. We want to give back, and maybe inspire people to tweak with it.
     
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  16. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Ornery Admin

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    I was really into car audio and home theater from the late 90s to to about 2010 so I have quite a few mass loaders, CLDs, roofing materials, fiberglass, viscoelastic polymer paint with suspended ceramic microspheres, etc in my storage unit. trying to figure out if any of them are worthwhile or red herrings. Mass loading the cup doesn't seem to produce the desired result with the HD800 and I suspect the attenuation from a polymer + microspheres won't make a difference where it's needed.

    Also, for context, the materials we've been testing so far are WAY different. The super rubbery ones have been thrown out as have some of the open cell foams. We're starting to move towards not strictly liners; the best materials combine some of what made the creatology good with some of what made the shitty rug liner good.

    With regard to more regular materials, first we went thicker, then we tried completely different material compositions, and now we're trying a variety of approaches from the materials that worked best.

    Marv's ugly hand cut version with the old rug liner is NOT representative of what we'll be using. I have no clue why he posted that other than as a red herring. It sounds okay, but not meaningfully better than the original. Also it looks like donkey crap with those hand cut edges.
     
  17. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    Yeah, that definitely won't be used nor it is anywhere close to the intended final product.
     
  18. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    This sounds *nothing* like the Marv I know.
     
  19. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Ornery Admin

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    To be fair, I did ask him to baseline measure for this. I think that's actually a really solid starting point. We can do better, though.
     
  20. TMRaven

    TMRaven Friend

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    I don't see how any of these cutouts could be more convenient than previous ones. When it all comes down to it, the hardest part is cutting out a perfect circle that goes around the driver itself. That has been my experience.
     

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