LTA Headphones Project thread - Freely accessible modular headphone platforms

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Tomislav_L, Dec 3, 2020.

?

If you're interested in this project, how would you most likely make use of it?

  1. I'd like to build my headphones from scratch, by manufacturing and sourcing all parts on my own.

    5 vote(s)
    7.7%
  2. I'd like to modify the current designs and then manufacture the modified parts on my own.

    8 vote(s)
    12.3%
  3. I'd like to build my headphones using a DIY kit that only contains passive 3D printed or CNC parts.

    10 vote(s)
    15.4%
  4. I'd like to build my headphones out of a DIY kit that already contains all required parts.

    46 vote(s)
    70.8%
  5. I'd like to have headphones custom-built for me.

    23 vote(s)
    35.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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  2. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    It's something I know exists, but most of my stable is ZMFs and there the suede pads unerringly make them too bright and fuck with the timbre so I haven't needed to.

    Given how many headphones I have it'd have to be something mind blowing to make me faff about with that - I'm pretty darn lazy.
     
  3. Tomislav_L

    Tomislav_L Facebook Friend

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    Does anyone here by any chance have some experience with Mundorf "Angel Hair" speaker cabinet damping material? I'm asking because I'd like to buy some, but it's expensive as hell compared to the polyfill damping material from other sources, so I wonder if it's actually better in any way before pulling the trigger?
     
  4. spoony

    spoony Spooky

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    The fibers are a LOT finer than polyfill, meaning that you need less of it to get the same kind of resistance, however, it is kind of unwieldy for small spaces / enclosures unless you somehow pack it into a shape.
     
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  5. Tomislav_L

    Tomislav_L Facebook Friend

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    Hmmm, so I'm guessing it's not sort of "foamy" in structure and can't be cut with scissors? In that case I could measure the weight of the material with a microscale to use specific amounts and then just spread it around evenly into a space.
     
  6. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I used to mess around with Twaron Angel Hair before Mundorf bought them. I probably still have a couple small packs in my modding cabinet from when I used to take all my headphones apart. For what it's worth, I really like the stuff and it's part of my mods for my HE-6, T50rp, and I believe I have it in my Beyer/Fostex transplant and Pioneers as well. As @spoony mentioned, it is very very fine stuff, so unless you have that scale it's hard to get even amounts. If you've ever played with a long hair cat that leaves the super fine fluffy fur all over you, it's basically like that. Now imagine trying to work with that in a headphone with it sticking everywhere.

    Hmm... now I wonder if anyone's ever tried using cat hair as a damping material... my tortie probably generates enough for two headphones every day.
     
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  7. Tomislav_L

    Tomislav_L Facebook Friend

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    Exactly my thoughts as I'm picking my cats hair off my shirt. I do have a very accurate microscale that I used to weigh polyfill, so I guess it will work for angel hair too, I'll just get one of the small packs and try it out.
     
  8. pavi

    pavi Almost "Made"

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    this is simply amazing! thank you -- looking forward to working through all of it.
     
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  9. Drakkard

    Drakkard Acquaintance

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    Wow, a lot of effort was put into this. It looks way overengineered in my book, with these complex forms and all. Does not like it is easy to manufacture. Still, I would like to talk to you about your experience building this, share some of mine =)
    I also have experience with Twaron, bought about 100g of it for experiments. For headphones, visaton wool, or any crafting wool like https://www.zartart.com.au/product/CQ545-LG provides very close results for me, so the price of angel hair is questionable.
     
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  10. Tomislav_L

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    That's the beauty of modern additive manufacturing, producing these parts is as easy as producing a simple cube, in fact, it's quicker than producing a simple cube of the same outer bounding box volume as any of these parts. :) Complexity is literally irrelevant to these technologies past certain minimum requirements like minimum wall thicknesses or detail size, that's why I believe it's the future of how custom items will be made. This is also why the parts can be far more complex than if they were made with regular methods like injection molding or CNC machining. I know it looks very complex, but all these forms, shapes, details, etc. are there for a reason, it's all done with help of simulations in order to make the crucial components as rigid and inert as possible, while keeping them very lightweight. People often do mods to headphones in terms of mass loading the baffles, sticking on dynamat sheets to make them more inert, etc. That's not necessary here. You print the V2 baffle out of carbon fiber reinforced PA for example, and you have a baffle strong and stiff enough that it could in theory deal with the energy of a larger speaker woofer, let alone a tiny 40-50mm headphone driver, and it still weighs only about 17-18 grams. :) A much simpler baffle could be made, literally a circular piece of ABS plastic with a driver mounting hole in the middle and some tuning port holes around it (basically, like 95% of headphones out there), but that would be nowhere near as inert at the same weight, and achieving the same level of performance would require that baffle to be much heavier. That's why despite being complex it's a good base to start from when making a custom headphone, because there's no issues with the passive parts that would in any way hold back the performance of active parts.

    I have the Visaton damping material, but it's a 5 cm thick sheet of material, so it's hard to manipulate, it kinda holds it's shape very well. It's more for lining the walls of speaker boxes than filling the volume itself I guess.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  11. 7seven

    7seven Rando

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    Just to let you know it is giving 'file not found' messages for the CAD file downloads
     
  12. Tomislav_L

    Tomislav_L Facebook Friend

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    Thanks, I refreshed the links, let me know if they still don't work.
     
  13. 7seven

    7seven Rando

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    Working now, thanks.
    After reading your post I was inspired to make a rough DIY HPs (FDM printing) with those Peerless drivers
    but after gauging the prices using some simple models it turns out there is MJF printing for the same price as the cheaper printing methods (e.g Xometry, just plain nylon though, not reinforced) so zero reason not to use your well designed models.

    I will probably adapt them a bit, still DLing CAD software but had a look with an online viewer.

    I was hoping adjust them to fit on an old Beyerdynamic headband+yokes but looks like it's too wide.
    Also have a Hifiman 400i/560 headband that Hifiman sent a replacement for after the yokes broke, should do the job well.

    I was thinking about combining some parts into one solid piece if it has a significant enough effect on the printing cost
    (though it already seem like its based mostly on volume).
    Not sure if having multiple parts also influences the performance, like why plywood makes good baffle material for speakers, better rigidity from multiple layers.

    Although carbon fibre reinforced PA isnt available there are other options for materials - PA11 and glass-filled.
    Both seem to offer increased strength, among other things, over PA12.
    Would be interested to hear if you have any experience with those.


    BTW great project, hopefully this helps spur on some more manufacturers to offer affordable OEM drivers.
     
  14. Tomislav_L

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    Connecting parts together to reduce cost would work purely in the sense that you'd reduce the overall bounding box size of the items, they'd essentially take up less space in the machine. Otherwise, you're still working with the same total volume of material that needs to be printed. However, I'd be careful with that since most parts are not designed to be used like that and could lead to complications in assembly. Everything is done the way it is in current designs for a reason and to make the parts easy to assemble and disassemble. If you're gonna connect multiple solids into one, make sure to take that into consideration and modify some elements that might cause issues during assembly.

    PA11 is quite different to PA12 (regardless of whether it's SLS PA12 or MJF), as it's a very flexible material, almost like very tough rubber. I wouldn't use that for parts that need to be rigid, it's more suitable for parts that need to flex, like snap fits or living hinges. I do have experience with glass-filled SLS nylon, and it's a good material, feels and looks very similar to regular unreinforced PA12 nylon, but with added stiffness. Whether it's worth the extra cost is up to you and what your goal is, give them both a try and see how they perform / feel.
     
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  15. Tomislav_L

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    I'll be making a few units of V1's and V2's for a few people, as well as a unit or two to send out for reviews, which means I'll be ordering parts in bulk very soon. So, since quite a lot of people voted in the poll that they'd be interested in getting parts, DIY kits or assembled headphones, now is a good time to let me know if you're still interested so I can add the additional parts to my orders, especially if you'd like CNC machined parts like headband sliders or grills. The pricing dynamics of CNC machining these parts is such that going from making parts for a single headphone to making parts for 5-6 headphones can drop the cost per unit of each aluminium part by 4-5 times. So, if you plan on working on a project of your own in the future and plan to use CNC machined parts to build your headphone, now is a good time to avoid that massive cost of having just a part or two CNC machined at a time for your project. Same goes for carbon fiber reinforced parts, although to a lesser extent, price drops with high quantities are much less dramatic with 3D printing. Anyway, individual parts (and assembled units) will be available in multiple materials and post-procession variations, just give me a shout on time.
     
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  16. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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  17. Tomislav_L

    Tomislav_L Facebook Friend

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    You can give me a shout through the DM's, the contact form on my websites top right corner, or the little email icon on the bottom of my webpages.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
  18. Drakkard

    Drakkard Acquaintance

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    Well, yeah, but it is very cost-ineffective. And I think it also requires additional polishing work after printing?
    Also, where you were able to get that tuning paper? Can you source me some? I tried to find it for a while in reasonable quantities
     
  19. 7seven

    7seven Rando

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    I just got my peerless driver from digikey, they were wrapped in bubble wrap and stuffed into plastic bags... before even opening them I thought it didn't seem like safe packaging for something that delicate and unsurprisingly every single one has dents all over the plastic part of the diaphragm.
    I guess (hope) they will replace them but just seems crazy that the global distrubutor for these drivers would make a mistake like that.... Im not the first person to buy some obviously, and surely the manufacturer delivered them with proper protective packaging in the first place (e.g)
     
  20. spoony

    spoony Spooky

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    That's new, I have 3 pairs and each pair came in plastic moulds with a carboard back taped over, not the best presentation but good enough for shipping. Most dents can be fixed with careful use of tape, I've had good results using blue scotch tape with the adhesive weakened by sticking into cloth a few times before trying to pull the diaphragm.
     

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