Fostex TE-02n IEM Measurements

Discussion in 'IEM Measurements' started by purr1n, May 26, 2016.

  1. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Different damping materials have different effects on treble. I've also tried tea bags and found them noticeably less suited than alcohol swabs for this mod. I'll try to get my hands on some 3M micropore tape to compare its effectiveness to alcohol swabs.

    The rear vent mod isn't likely to change treble, to my ears it just fills in the low end a bit. I used precision screwdrivers to drill. First use the smallest (1mm) crosstip to widen the opening, then use the smallest (1mm) flathead and carefully drill about 2-3 millimeters straight in. The plastic doesn't offer much resistance, so it should take just a minute to get the job done.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  2. Untilted

    Untilted Rando

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    Thanks James, I actually do have alcohol swabs on hand- just thought that 3M micropore tape would be easier to deal with- would love to hear what you think.

    For some reason, I think when I was thinking of doing the rear vent mod, I was thinking that it'd help the earphone sounding less 'compressed' (when I first got it I found it to be really lacking in the feeling of 'space').

    If the mod gives more bass, I might reconsider then. Thanks for the tips on how to widen the rear port though!
     
  3. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    I ordered some 3M micropore tape. Didn't even know such a thing existed, so thanks for bringing it up! Always great to have different modding options.

    The rear vent mod is really really subtle, you neither have to worry about getting too much bass, nor will it change a lot regarding 'space'. A slightly fuller low end and slightly longer decay may give you the perception of slightly better depth, but something as analytical as the TE-02n is simply bound to sound more direct / in-your-face than more bass-heavy or v-shaped IEMs.
     
  4. Untilted

    Untilted Rando

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    Great that I could offer a different mod option - I've never modded anything prior to the fostex, so glad to contribute to your arsenal of mods in my own little way.

    Maybe the rear vent mod might work then, I find the fostex really good sounding with almost all genres, with the exception of metal. When I turn up the volume, it gets too sizzly for my liking, and starts getting fatiguing. Maybe what I'm subconsciously trying to achieve is more bass (or the slight perception of it) to even out the sound.

    That, or, maybe it's time to go with blu-tack, although I'm paranoid that it'll end up in my ear canals!
     
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  5. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    Me too.
     
  6. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    You can try to sandwich the blu-tack between two damping strips, to make sure it won't come off.

    I can completely understand different sound signature preferences depending on genres (and listener's age). I'm in my fifties, listen mostly to jazz, acoustic and classical at low to medium volume, so I'm perfectly fine with a little treble emphasis. But when I tried out one of @shotgunshane's test tracks (Matthew Sweet - Girlfried) at high volume, it immediately became clear to me why he went for the smurf (blu-tack) mod.

    On the other hand, comparing the smurf mod side by side with my own stuff and listening habit, I easily end up preferring the latter, since it just sounds livelier and more dynamic to my ears, while the former sounds somewhat smothered in comparison.
     
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  7. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    I was planning on trying blu-tack under a damping strip, but your idea of sandwiching it between two damping strips seems like a better idea to start with for me.

    I'm sixty years old (that is hard to get my head around - I don't try very hard though :) ) and prefer a little treble roll off. I listen to about 75% Rock. After overly compressed/peak limited masterings, overly bright is probably my second biggest area of irritation with some masterings. When I get around to modding my te-02n, I expect that I will be experimenting with the alcohol swabs and if that doesn't seem to do it for me, try the blu-tack behind alcohol swab(s) or the sandwich idea. I am just paranoid of the thought of blu-tack alone coming loose in my ear(s).

    Thanks for all the work and sharing of that info on these!
     
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  8. Untilted

    Untilted Rando

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    To see what you were speaking of, I listened to the Matthew sweet- girlfriend track. Wow, i get what you mean.

    I tried out the rear vent mod yesterday too, and I agree that the difference is subtle- although I felt that the depth increase was pleasant, making the soundstage more 'natural' (or what my ears have been used to all this while.

    Guess my next mod will be the 'smurf sandwich' mod then!
     
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  9. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Following up on the 3M micropore tape... I finally found some time to experiment and this opens up a very interesting new possibility! Not necessarily as substitute damping strips... after A/Bing both options, I still think that alcohol swab is a slightly better choice for strips.

    BUT, here's my suggestion for a 3M micropore tape mod: first of all, don't cut strips, but use a larger piece of tape to cover the entire nozzle. Then put the tips on and listen. You'll notice that the treble sizzle is heavily reduced, but of course the rest of the frequency spectrum will sound muffled, since acoustic resistance is significantly higher than with damping strips.

    Now use a thin needle and start poking tiny holes through the tape, near the edge of the nozzle (Attention, work shallowly to avoid damaging the diffuser membrane in front of the driver!). After each new hole, listen for the change in tonal balance, i.e. treble becoming gradually more prominent and mids / lows less muffled. Stop when you've found a balance that works for you!

    [​IMG]

    Obviously, you can use any test track you want to find your favorite tonal balance with this mod... but I thought I'd share the one I used, since it's really well-suited for the job, with borderline sibilant vocals and pretty bright and nasty percussion:

     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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  10. Untilted

    Untilted Rando

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    Thanks for sharing yet another mod!
    I haven't even got around to the 'smurf sandwich', as I got some cheap China 'comply' tips from aliexpress, and for now, the fostex IEMs are sounding really good. I'm thinking that I'll stick with this until I adjust to it and use my listening experiences to shape what I want out of them next.

    Out of curiosity, how many times did you stab the micropore tape on each side? Was it just a matter of trusting your ears on each side, or counting the number of stabs on one side that is to your preference, and then repeating on the other side?
     
  11. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Having started with a stock 02n and just replaced the metal nozzle filters with micropore tape, I felt that two pinholes per side did the trick for me.

    [​IMG]

    This is probably the easiest mod ever for the 02n and makes treble noticeably better behaved than stock.

    As for your second question, I started with one hole on each side and trusted my ears to detect whether there was still headroom for another hole, before treble would become obtrusive. Anyway, there's not much risk involved with this method, since you can always start over with a new piece of tape if you've gone too far.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  12. limesoft

    limesoft Acquaintance

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    These are a lot of fun to play around with.. I did the smurf mod but still found the treble too hot, so then I tried comply with wax filter + bit of cotton (put inside comply between filter and nozzle)+ smurf, and now the treble is fine.. perhaps the sound is a little over dampened now because of the cotton resistance, but lets see..
     
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  13. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    That 's exactly what makes modding these Fostex such a challenge imo. They have those two waterproof inner membranes (rear and front) that filter sound very effectively, but at the cost of pretty high acoustic damping. To my ears, the stock tuning has already slightly compressed dynamics and leaves little headroom to add even more damping at the nozzle.

    The best solution I've found to this dilemma is piercing a tiny hole through the front membrane, to reduce damping and then adding my own DIY damper / filter at the nozzle. However, the former is not for the faint at heart, since the hole needs to be extremely tiny, or else you're going to turn these nicely balanced sounding IEMs into unsalvageable bass cannons.

    Here's an example of tools I use, an extra super light .008 guitar string (left side) and a 40 gauge felting needle (right side). The latter gives me the best result, but piercing needs to be shallow, basically just with the first half a millimeter of the tip.
    Problem is, you only get one chance... ;)

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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