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EDU: How to mod your Senn580

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EDU: How to mod your Senn580


Subscribe Search This Thread Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next Start a New Thread 4/26/07 at 10:57pm THREAD STARTER

post #1 of 84 1,042 Posts. Joined 2/2007

Ichinichi
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EVENT: Chi-Uni-Fi 7 - Chicago, IL (June 22, 2013)

I invite all other Senn 580/600/650 modders to share their methods and impressions of their chosen suite of mods! Firstly, hats off to member kramer and other earlier threads (links lost after reorganization of site) that have dealt with modding these wonderfully mod-able line of cans. I chose to start my head-fi experience with the HD580 because of the potential for incremental and hopefully instructive modifications the 580/600/650 afford through its highly modular design. I've had a lot of pictures and pm help, but a hell of a time getting adequate instruction. So here, I'm reposting my howto's for the mods I've done in the name of posterity. edit: for completeness, a link from SonicArmada to burn-in files [here].
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4/26/07 at 10:59pm

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post #2 of 84 1,042 Posts. Joined 2/2007

Ichinichi
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6/11/13 12:33 AM

EDU: How to mod your Senn580

http://www.head-.org/t/235262/edu-how-to-mod-your-senn...

PART 1: Grilles, Cords, Adapter


650 cable #92885 $11.62 650 1/4 to 1/8 adapter #92595 $4.86 HD 600 grilles #92815 $7.92 (each) SennUSA (860)434-9190 points to remember: 1. make sure you've got all lettering facing outwards when reattaching cables

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FiiO E17 2. getting the grilles off is easier if you take the driver unit off the headband bracket; these brackets have enough flex to let you slip the entire driver unit (grille, driver and cushions) right off. pry/slip the plastic grilles off and slide your new grilles on.
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4/26/07 at 11:00pm

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post #3 of 84 1,042 Posts. Joined 2/2007

This review is mainly for the DAC part only with L7. Mostly in comparison to my Schiit Modi. Just a few random things to note: Sounds flat with a touch of warmth. Actually, just slightly...
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Ichinichi
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Part 2: Ichi's 580 Nylon Method and the kramer socket mod
not that the idea is originally mine, but i like to tell myself that the procedure is: 1. slip out the driver unit from the headband bracket and gently pull on the cushion.

I've been using my 30 gig photo with a fiio E17 and a pair of Westone um2's ever since my ipod classic 80 gig wiped itself clean of over 5000 songs in the blink of an eye. I then broke out the...
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2. get a firm grip on the base of the cushion as it is fixed onto a plastic ring that anchors it against the driver unit, sandwiching the foam in between.

3. remove the thin foam sheet underneath after you get the cushion off and get a pair of black nylons. 4. cut a square piece of nylon the size of the foam sheet. 5. stretch the nylon around the engaging side of the cushion ring (taking care to properly align the weave of the nylon if you're that kind of person) and temporarily hold it in place by taping the edges of the nylon square onto the sides or face of the cushions with scotch tape. be sure to stretch it enough such that the tape does not get caught between the cushion and driver housing when you reattach them.

6. reattach the cushion on the driver unit by pressing the cushion firmly but gently onto the driver unit, you should hear it snap into place where you press. DO NOT USE THE GRILLES AS LEVERAGE! USE THE EDGE OF THE GRILLS!!

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6/11/13 12:33 AM

EDU: How to mod your Senn580

http://www.head-.org/t/235262/edu-how-to-mod-your-senn...

7. go all the way around the cushion to make sure it is on firmly. you should now have a "frilly" nylon border around the cushion.

8. take a pair of curved scissors (i used a pair of clippers from the gf's manicure set) and trim the excess nylon by going around the edge of the cushion, pulling a bit on the nylon as you go so that it tucks itself back in between the groove where the cushion and driver housing meet.

9. repeat for other side. Impressions: I mostly listen to classical music, sonatas, symphonies, etc.. so for me the nylon mod really opens up the soundstage and improves instrumental positioning. some have recently said that they do not like it because even though it brings out the mids, the lack of foam forfeits the sennheiser sound. for those who feel this way, there's kramer's socket mod (see below for your convenience).

kramer's socket mod thanks to kramer. an option for those of you who feel defoam/nylon is too bright or not warm enough. Standard Socket-mod that many of the KSC75 owners have been doing. remove the earpads and the foam sheet just falls out. Use a 3/4" socket and center it on the foam on your smooth garage concrete. Hold the socket FIRMLY in place and give it a few good SMACKS. Hold it STEADY and hit the thing HARD. It will cut right through the foam in a clean circle.
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4/26/07 at 11:01pm

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post #4 of 84

3 of 8

6/11/13 12:33 AM

EDU: How to mod your Senn580

http://www.head-.org/t/235262/edu-how-to-mod-your-senn...

Ichinichi
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1,042 Posts. Joined 2/2007

Part 3: Stripping and (optionally) repainting the headband


Stripping Citristrip for those of you looking to do it (Thanks RedLeader!). $12 at your local homedepot for the small jug of gel. Don't do the aerosol, it jams. Use a bucket or, even better a 1L pyrex beaker (a la Chemistry lab), pour out the entire contents of the gel and let sit. I recommend purchasing a $3 pair of paint stripping gloves that are solvent resistant. I got some of the Citristrip on my fingers and they burned immediately. HAVE WATER HANDY!! Citristrip seems to be a water soluble solvent. 60 minutes oughta do'er. Things get a little gooey and messy when you're removing the paint (which slides/oozes off). Plastic strength is NOT perceivably affected , unlike the Turpentine horror story on kramer's original thread. Brush the loose paint off gently and away from you, you don't want to spray that stuff anywhere on you, especially your eyes! I found that some tough spots are best handled with a scouring pad, but if you do this, plan to finish up with RedLeader's medium gloss paintjob, since the plastic will scratch.

Repainting I thought redleader's semigloss job would do the trick for me, so i went to walmart and bought what i thought was semigloss black. painted it and it looked horrible (redleader used real semi-gloss auto paint, mine was plastikote gloss black) - made the band look like a flimsy, cheap piece of plastic! couldn't keep that. ran to homedepot and bought some 600grit sandpaper to sand it down to groundzero and decided on rustolium's black hammered spraypaint for plastic with krylon satin acrylic finishing coat (since i'll be handling the cans quite often). decided on 5 layers each side, 6 on top and 2 of the finishing. acrylic or enamel finishing is recommended as your headphones (should be?) getting a lot of handling. as well, i agree with souperman (reply #129) that modders should explore more colors! ferrari red on black brackets and carbon grey grilles? absolutely! stock grilles in bronze, anyone?
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4/27/07 at 12:12am

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post #5 of 84 1,042 Posts. Joined 2/2007

Ichinichi
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One is 650, the other is 580s. Without looking for the plaque, which is which?

The headbands.

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4/27/07 at 2:42am

post #6 of 84

daltonlanny
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856 Posts. Joined 4/2007 Location: Tellico Plains, Tennessee

Great tips, Ichinichi! How do they sound after these mods compared to the stock units? In what all areas is the sound improved? Thanks again!

4 of 8

6/11/13 12:33 AM

EDU: How to mod your Senn580

http://www.head-.org/t/235262/edu-how-to-mod-your-senn...

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4/27/07 at 2:51am

post #7 of 84

Sinwerm
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296 Posts. Joined 2/2006 Location: N.Y.

Fantastic post for all the new Senn HD 580 owners like myself. Yes I used the search function but the part number for the HD 600 grills is very helpfull! From all the other post's I have seen they cost more than $7.92 though , how did you get them that cheap ?
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4/27/07 at 3:00am

post #8 of 84

vcoheda
High-End Forum Volunteer offline

9,991 Posts. Joined 11/2004 Location: Westchester, NY

these mods are interesting and well known. but it seems to me after some thought that the better course is to just buy a used pair of HD600s. they are pretty reasonable now a days.
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4/27/07 at 9:18am

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post #9 of 84 1,042 Posts. Joined 2/2007

Ichinichi
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Quote: Originally Posted by daltonlanny Great tips, Ichinichi! How do they sound after these mods compared to the stock units? In what all areas is the sound improved? Thanks again!

Thanks daltonlanny! They sound MUCH better. After burn-in of about five days (so, 120 hours), being a newb, I felt that they sounded...muffled (with my newb diction here), like they couldn't breathe properly to really sing. The C&C v2 helped a lot with that, but the soundstage still felt cramped. So I quickly moved on my modding plans. Modification: 650 cables Effect: You get sturdier cables for one. I felt that it helped the HD580s' sound "mature" a lot more. This mod finally taught me what "tightened bass" is referring to, lows mids and highs sound much more distinct - in effect, the experience becomes more..."visceral". Modification: 600/650 grilles Effect: I felt they opened the HD580s by an appreciable margin, takes the aesthetics up several notches as well. Modification: nylons Effect: Coupled with the grille mod, the nylon mod finally lets the HD580s really sing at their true potential (esp with the C&C v2 amp)! Soundstage expanded, more airy, better instrumental separation (I listen to orchestral music a lot)...to sum up, understand that the HD580s only hint at their capabilities when left as stock; everything I hoped to get out of my HD580s after my first real listen is delivered after this series of mods. Modification: stripping/repainting the headband Effect: By far the most effective mod in terms of SQ; the attack and decay shows superb improvement, instruments that weren't there before suddenly make themselves heard, I simply cannot say enough about the performance gains you get from repainting the headband! (I'm just kidding, folks...or am I?? ) All the mods together give me an experience akin to sitting back after a hard day and enjoying a glass of really, really good wine. Highly recommended. Quote: Originally Posted by Sinwerm Fantastic post for all the new Senn HD 580 owners like myself. Yes I used the search function but the part number for the HD 600 grills is very helpfull! From all the other post's I have seen they cost more than $7.92 though , how did you get them that cheap ?

Happy to hear it! That's really the audience this thread is aimed at. As for the grilles, they were $7.92 each ($16 a pair) when I was charged

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6/11/13 12:33 AM

EDU: How to mod your Senn580

http://www.head-.org/t/235262/edu-how-to-mod-your-senn...

for them two weeks ago. What have you been quoted? Quote: Originally Posted by vcoheda these mods are interesting and well known.

Orly?

Read op and title for credits and thread motivation.

Quote: Originally Posted by vcoheda ...but it seems to me after some thought that the better course is to just buy a used pair of HD600s. they are pretty reasonable now a days.

With almost all due respect to a Headphoneus Supremus (some withheld on account of the palpable condescension in his reply) I disagree completely. For some, the joy is putting in the work and appreciating the incremental improvement in sound whilst educating oneself on what more experienced head-fiers refer to as soundstage, airiness, attack, decay, etc.. Its not a race, its a hobby. Plus, its pretty well established that most experienced head-fiers of Senn persuasion prefer the sound of the modded 580 over a stock 600. And if you are going to mod the 600 after you get them, then the final product is the same thing. Why pay the diff in price for the same drivers and an uglier headband and driver brackets? As well, not every one can afford a stable as extensive as your own!
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4/27/07 at 7:42pm

post #10 of 84

drews
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454 Posts. Joined 5/2005 Location: Lynnfield, MA

I'd decided to just wrap a Beyer headband (thanks EdT!) around the stock headband instead of repainting it. Simple, comfortable and it looks really nice:

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4/27/07 at 7:45pm

post #11 of 84

lui_boy
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121 Posts. Joined 2/2007 Location: SF

drews: That looks hot! I already have the other items. I just need to find myself a Beyer headband now.
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4/27/07 at 8:09pm

post #12 of 84

jondl
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126 Posts. Joined 11/2005 Location: San Jose, CA

Quote: Originally Posted by drews I'd decided to just wrap a Beyer headband (thanks EdT!) around the stock headband instead of repainting it. Simple, comfortable and it looks really nice:

Wow.. that does look pretty damn nice!


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4/27/07 at 9:11pm

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post #13 of 84

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6/11/13 12:33 AM

EDU: How to mod your Senn580

http://www.head-.org/t/235262/edu-how-to-mod-your-senn...

Ichinichi
offline

1,042 Posts. Joined 2/2007

Quote: Originally Posted by drews I'd decided to just wrap a Beyer headband (thanks EdT!) around the stock headband instead of repainting it. Simple, comfortable and it looks really nice:

that IS hot!

gotta find me some beyer headband wraps. comfier than stock band cushion? do you take the stock cushion out?
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4/27/07 at 9:49pm

post #14 of 84

souperman
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2,859 Posts. Joined 2/2007 Location: USA

Quote: Originally Posted by Ichinichi With almost all due respect to a Headphoneus Supremus (some withheld on account of the palpable condescension in his reply) I disagree completely. For some, the joy is putting in the work and appreciating the incremental improvement in sound whilst educating oneself on what more experienced head-fiers refer to as soundstage, airiness, attack, decay, etc.. Its not a race, its a hobby. Plus, its pretty well established that most experienced head-fiers of Senn persuasion prefer the sound of the modded 580 over a stock 600. And if you are going to mod the 600 after you get them, then the final product is the same thing. Why pay the diff in price for the same drivers and an uglier headband and driver brackets? As well, not every one can afford a stable as extensive as your own!

i completely agree with this statement. if i were to do this again, I would buy a pair of 580's over 600's 11 out of 10 times.
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4/27/07 at 10:43pm

post #15 of 84

OwlAudio
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52 Posts. Joined 1/2007

Quote: Originally Posted by drews I'd decided to just wrap a Beyer headband (thanks EdT!) around the stock headband instead of repainting it. Simple, comfortable and it looks really nice:

very nice!
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EDU: How to mod your Senn580

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