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Studio Grade Headphones on the cheap - A DIY 3D Printable Project.

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the first dip is at 500-600 hz, this is a standard function of cone breakup inherent in drivers relative to their dimensions, mass and material properties. variations of a few db due to such are pretty standard and not of consequence. getting a single driver to stretch out cleanly all the way from 20hz to more than 20,000hz is quite a feat of engineering/materials science ..and certainly, its not something that single driver, full range speakers working at higher output volumes do particularly well. the lower apparent dip (we're talking a few db here) in that region is could be a function of their means of measurement, as much as other factors of colouration boosting the apparent measurement - what i can say for sure is they didn't measure using exactly the same means as i did, so its not an apples for apples comparison on the fine details ;)

In any case, three things.. one i'm more concerned about spikey, irregular responses/drops further up, that messes things up in an area where you notice it far more; and factors like distortion/ringing have far more impact on the sound (and are less passively correctable). the base design of this mount was done such that it is in the universal sweet spot to work well with most drivers. there is latitude to tailor and tune it (and things like rear cavity volume and stuffing) to bring specific drivers even further into their sweet spots.

What I can say, is the old Denon d2000's plainly didn't sound as nice or balanced, there was noticeable excessive mud in the lower mid-range from the design choices made, and a duller response up top. Still, for what they were, they sounded quite remarkable against the competition of the time :)

All in, consider this revision 1 of this project, its a solid base to build minor refinements on top of ;)

Also, for reference, here is the response curve of one of the better designed compact 'full' range (no sub/low bass of course) loud speakers on the market faital pro's 3" 3fe22 ..which is of similar dimensions (but designed to run significantly louder of course ;) - this illustrates again the typical minor baseline response curve variations inherent in well designed sound transducers, and particularly in the best available (stretching it to the limit) full range drivers.



I encourage you to play with an EQ plugin in your media player before stating that something is of no consequence :P

A huge reference compilation of measurements of commercial headphones from all price brackets is available here:

I know all about that site, and yes.. flattening the response like a ruler remains an option (doing so excessively can mess up things in the time domain instead though - impacting stereo imaging and transients) ;)

In any case, this is a solid starting point for packaging up quality headphone drivers affordably and robustly into something considerably more than just useable; I encourage you and others to take this open sourced design and improve on it; particularly when dialling in the last few drops out of a specific driver is in mind.

Thanks, and I look forward to your future contributions to tuning the base design of these headphones :)

Having thought on it some more with regards to tuning the last drops in for the 50mm fostex specifically, increasing the apparent chamber volume thru packing the stuffing more heavily (which also further improves hf response via extra damping of cancellation/summation dips there) will probably do it - that will broaden, and flatten the first part of the response curve. Or if needed, the actual chamber volume will be increased slightly. I'll v1.1 the details for that one when I have more time to play around again, so probably in a few weeks :)

Big thankyou for sharing this here.  I would never have found it on the other forums and I can't view any of the pictures there without registering.

I'm now contemplating making my own, along with some cobbled together rough hardware EQ.  I should probably do the latter first, it would make my existing headphones a lot nicer to use for extended periods.

And now for an affordable, high performance headphone amplifier to go along with this project:

A £8 Chinese special headphone amp board loaded with Texas Instrument's TPA6120A2 current feedback topology amplifier chip arrived today. This thing absolutely spanks it out, as clear as the xDuoo XD-05 headphone amp I have; However it handles that low sub bass even better.
..Also, yes ..you can really tell when the DACs in your source device are garbage with this - In as much, invest in a good soundcard/dac board, and this setup will sing.
(a number of good quality boards with AKM's AK4493, TI's PCM5102a, ESS's ES9038/28 DACs on for example, are available cheaply as diy boards)

Threw in a tiny £4 +/- 15v switching converter and the whole lot runs off USB, quite capable of running off a single lithium ion cell.
Whats more, the converter does not introduce any noise of its own into the signal path, as the power supply decoupling involved throughout is quite adequate.

TPA6120A2 Documentation:


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