It has been a while since I last did one of these so here are some of the custom headphones we have done since we moved to the new workshop
Some more rise of the machine ones – these take so long to do we loose money on every pair but they look the shiznit
We have just take delivery of the new HD25 Aluminium. They are an updated version of the standard HD25-1 with a few tweaks o make them feel and sound better. They have the same earcups as the sennheiser amperior so they are machined from a solid block of aluminium which adds more rigidity and a little more mass to the earcups which improves the quality of the bass – a bit like the Uber moded HD25 below. They also have new pads which feel more like real leather and have more memory foam like padding to make them more comfortable and make a better seal. They also come with a nice zip up case to keep them in.
We are one of the first places to have them in stock. You can buy them here
Custom cans shop
The HD 25 is one of the headphones most requested by live sound engineers and has become an icon of electronic music and a fixture in DJ booths around the world.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the HD 25, Sennheiser has created the new HD 25 ALUMINIUM. Improving on the best, Sennheiser has combined the longstanding sound signature of the HD 25 with a distinctive premium aluminium finish.
Just like the original model, the HD 25 ALUMINIUM is built to satisfy even the most demanding professional. The sound performance offers tightly controlled bass and detailed treble while handling high sound pressure levels. The rotatable capsules are perfect for one-ear monitoring and offer impressive attenuation of background noise, while staying comfortable for long periods of use.
Individually lathed from single blocks of aluminium, the metal earcups give the headphones a unique appearance while taking the clear sound to new heights by further minimizing the resonances in audible range.
And the guaranteed Sennheiser serviceability, robust build quality and features like the tough replaceable steel cable make the HD 25 ALUMINIUM more than a match for even the most intense performances – ready for life on tour.
The HD 25s made their commercial debut in in 1988. They were originally developed for outside broadcasting, featuring rotatable capsules that were ideal for one-ear monitoring and offered impressive attenuation of background noise, while staying comfortable for long periods of use.
Soon the HD 25s would establish themselves as THE standard for sound recordings in film, broadcast and television, used by sound engineers for monitoring work.
With growing demand, Sennheiser introduced the HD 25 SP, a more affordable version for professional use with simplified magnets, copper inductor and reduced weight.
From 1989 to 2004 British Airways used the HD 25 BA for passengers on board their Concorde flights. Due to their excellent performance in high-noise environments, they were perfectly suited for passenger use on planes, blocking engine and wind noise with their closed design and secure fit. Music professionals and performers travelling in style took notice. Passengers liked them so much; they occasionally took the headphones with them.
From 2000 the headphones were increasingly seen behind the DJ decks of famous clubs. DJ fans include superstars such as Bob Sinclar, Luciano and QBert.
As you may or may not know – we have been working on some sonic modifications to the sennheiser HD25-1 for over a year now and I am now pretty sure we have squeezed almost every drop of awesomeness out of them now.
We have been pulling apart and modifying the HD25 for four or five years now and after over a year of tweaking and testing we are now offering the Uber edition for sale to the general public. The HD25 have been around for 25 years now and have won acclaim for their flat response, fun sound and detailed mids. They are great headphones with a brilliant reputation but we always knew they had more to give. These Uber edition ones have several modifications to squeeze more detail across the range and help them drop lower for better resolution in the bass/ sub bass region.
The modifications we have done to these are as follows ..
We have uprated the damping in the earcup to make them sound more open – essentially we have removed the felt disc inside the earcup and instead lined the inside of the cup with bituminous vibration ramping material – this stops resonance in the earcup an helps them sound more open as there is a bit more air volume to play with behind the driver.
We have mass loaded the rear of the driver and the driver enclosure. As you may know every action has an equal and opposite reaction – due to the HD25s lightweight construction a fare amount of the energy from the driver goes into vibrating the earcups. We have added lead weights strategically placed on the driver to add extra weight in the right places to ensure that more of the energy from the diaphragm is turned into sound rather than being absorbed by vibrating the casing. This gives a lot more bass detail and makes them less boomy – you can hear a lot more texture and impact in a basslines. After we had done that ther was probably a bit too much bass so we have also reduced the size of the bass ports in the driver which further tightens things up and stops the bass from overpowering the mids/ highs
Thirdly and probably most importantly we have replaced the steel cable they come with as standard with one of our audiophile cables http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140983727006&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT
They come with a steel cable as standard as they are designed for use by camera men and audio pros – the steel gives the cable high tensile strength while keeping it light weight but is not great for sound quality. Some people are not cable believers and personally I would be hard pressed to tell the difference from one copper cable to another but the jump from steel to spc is very noticeable. The steel cable has a resistance of 4ohms and the audiophile cable is not measurable with a standard multimeter – this is because silver has much lower resistance meaning more of the signal from your equipment goes into making sound rather than heat. The cable is also braided by hand and covered in PTFE to protect it from RFI and EMI and has 4 cores – with seperate negative cables for left and right to help a little with crosstalk or we can re-wire them to give a balanced connection for a little extra.
As I said – We have been testing them for quite a while and have been lucky enough to have them reviewed online already – http://www.inearspace.co.uk/inearspace/Custom_Cans_Uber_Modded_Sennhesier_HD-25-1_II.html – the ones we sent for review were airbrushed but the rest of the mods were the same as these.
We were also lucky enough to make a pair for a few top audiophile DJs like Mr Scruff ( our favorate DJ here in the office 😉
Photograph by http://www.raychanphotography.com/
We also had a few pairs we were showing off at the Head-Fi meet in London which wend down so well that we had quite a few people ask to buy a pair as a result which has prompted us to list them on ebay
The headphones will come in plain black apart from the cable which you can have in any colour – Or if you want something very special we can customise the headphones but they will be £40-£70 extra depending on the design
Or if you want to order a custom pair just fill in the form on the page below
We have been playing around with full range horn speakers in the office for about a year and just love the “live” sound you get from them an punchy kick drum sounds they deliver. If you have not come across full range horn speakers before they use a horn to take the energy normally wasted at the back of the driver and use it to reproduce the lower notes. This makes them super efficient and you can fill a large room with only a few watts which makes them great for working with valve amps and T amps. They are also single driver design so all the sound comes from a single point rather than the treble coming from one place and the mids and bass coming from somewhere else which makes them sound more realistic and natural. Because they only have one driver they also don’t need or have crossovers which means there is a totally clean signal path from the amp to the driver and nothing in lost in the crossover.
The flat pack kit is designed to be easy to build and is made from the highest grade 18mm birch ply and when built they are really solid
Check out our Shop Page for more details or just message us on facebook if you have any questions
We have been working on an Uber modified version of the Sennheiser HD25-1 for quite some time now. Originally we were going to launch it just over a year ago but unfortunately it coincided with sennheiser’s launch of the Amperior so I thought I would keep it on the back burner until the time is right. Since then I have kept playing with them and improving a few things and now they are ready to be let loose in the wild. We have a few people on board to do the final testing but the most interesting is probably Mr Scruff.
For whom we have made a very special pair with his trade marked potato people
The HD25-1 mk II are already great headphones but these have a few tweaks to make them sound even better. The drivers have been mass loaded to help more of the energy go into making sound rather than vibrating the case. The damping has been uprated inside the earcup and probably the biggest change is that we have ditched the standard steel cable. Steel is not a very good conductor and nearly all other headphones use copper. On these we have gone all out by fitting them with one of our audiophile cables. They have silver plated copper conductors, seperate grounds for each ear, teflon dielectric and they are wrapped in paracord to keep them strong.
All this tweaking gives them more detail across the board and slightly more bass extension to bring out the sub bass.
They will be available for sale at the end of the month
We have just finished a very special pair of Beyerdynamic DT770. The DT770 are very popular with the PRO audio types but we have had quite a few requests to make them with a detachable cable. So we finally gave in and got the R&D department going on it. In the end we decided to go with a mini XLR socket in the earcup as it means the cable clips into place firmly and can not be yanked out by accident like a 3.5mm jack could be. While we were at it we re-cabled them with hand braded teflon coated silver plated copper wire inside and out to make them less prone to RFI, EMI and give them a slightly brighter sound. These are the 1st pair we have done like this but it now we know how it will be an option open to anyone with DT770, DT880 or DT990. I also thing the socket we chose looks really cool 😉
We had out grown our old unit and have been looking for somewhere new for quite a while. Finally we found somewhere that fits the bill, 3 times bigger, good natural light, ventilation for the extractors and where we can make as much noise as we like. The chaps at AVM business center were kind enough to sort us out with a great space in an old industrial building for a price we can afford. We have spent a few days building the spray booth and blocking up all the wholes to keep in the heat and we are now it is nearly finished.
Hopefully with the extra space we can work on some bigger and even more exciting projects
Check out some of these custom designs we’ve been working on
We have a new facebook album – ‘Some Action Shots’ so get your photos taken whilst wearing your very own Custom Cans headphones, get in contact and join in the action!
Check out these below:
They have been a long time coming – Our beyer rep first told us about them several months ago and ever since then I could not wait to get my hands on them. Well that time has arrived.
1st impressions –
The beyer custom one have a cool utilitarian almost military look and feel good and solid. Surprisingly though despite their chunky rugged looks they are still quite light weight at only 290g. The second thing you notice it that there is no cable attached. This is a nice touch as many of the other beyerdynamic models like the DT770, DT990 and DT1350 have a fixed cable as standard which means if you accidentally snap the cable of bend the jack by standing on it or something you have to whip out the soldering iron. Whith the Custom One you can just unplug it and blug in a new one – it also gives the option of having a couple of cables – A long one for DJing and a short one for portable use.
Supplied in the box is the standard straight cable. This is 1.5m in length and snaps reassuringly tightly into the earcup. The thickness seems about right – Not so thick that it feels heavy and cumbersome but not so thin as to feel like it may break too easily.
At the time of writing this review the custom accessories for the custom one like different fascias, coloured pads and a choice of cables were not available in the UK but many are already available in other countries so you can get an idea of what is to come.
They will be offering a range of accessories – from what I have herd the designs for the fascias is still being finalized so it looks like the UK model will be given some different looks from the US and european ones which should be nice. We will of course be doing our own thing with some super limited designs not available anywhere else in the world and we will be offering a custom service to have any design and colour options you want. I will be pulling apart my first pair this coming week to try out some ideas.
Beyerdynamic will also be releasing some mic options. Firstly a control talk type cable with inline mic and remote to use for hands free calling. Secondly, and more interestingly, a goose neck mic. This will let you turn these studio quality headphones into the ultimate gaming headset. With their already quite military look I can see them being very popular with the hard core gamers.
All beyerdynamic headphones are hand built in Germany so they are well put together. As my team and I customize and modify hundreds of pairs of headphones I am in the unusual position the have seen how they look inside and the consistency of their construction. Some makes and models are clearly made with more love than others. Naming no names but I am often surprised at the lack of love put into the construction of some quite expensive headphones – when you open them up you seen they are gummed up with glue or have poor quality internal wiring, throttling the sound. Not so with the high end beyerdynamic models I’v seen they all seem to be made with care with lovely solder joints and you never find hairs and debris inside so it probably means they build them in a clean room environment.
Anyway, I digress. The headband seems to be an identical design to the DT770, DT880, DT990 and others with metal yoke and spring steal headband. The only difference with the headband is the padding. On the custom one they have a newly designed headpad with velcro rather than poppers which gives them a neater look.
The earcups are made from good solid ABS plastic and the fascias and the rings that secure them can only add to the rigidity. They solid feeling even extends to the bass port sliders which seem massively over engineered – they click very firmly into the 4 positions so you can be in no doubt what you have set them to even without looking.
I have not yet had them apart but will try to update this post later in the week when I have them in bits.
There are a couple of new technologies in this model apart from the customization of the design.
The most noted one is the variable bass port on the earcups. Over the years I have been asked to bass mod many pairs of headphones. For example reducing the size of the bass port on the sony V700s to tighten up the bass a bit or opening up holes on the back of the grado drivers to give them more bass. I am actually working on a bass mod for the DT1350 at the moment and I have always thought it would be a good idea to have some kind of easy adjustment.
The system works by having 3 different size and a slider which covers them up in turn so when all 3 are covered up the enclosure is fully sealed and there is more back pressure on the driver. This makes it move in and out less, making it harder for the driver to reproduce the long wavelength bass notes. Opening up all the holes lets the more air move in and out giving less back pressure. The 3 holes are also different sizes which means each has been tuned to a different frequency again boosting the the bass at different frequencies. According to the spec you can give them up to a 20db bass boost at the fully open position which should be enough for anyone. Also because it is a mechanical system rather then a built in eq it keeps the signal path as clear as possible and so does not affect the sound quality and you don’t end up with muddy mids along with the increased bass. There is also another advantage of this system – you can adjust the isolation. As you can imagine, having holes in the earcup will let in external noise. I have seen lots of DJs who have taped up the bass ports on V-Modas and Pioneer HDJ_2000 to give a little more isolation and help mix accurately in loud clubs. With the custom ones you can just shut them at the flip of a switch which is handy.
The other main technological advance in these which is mentioned a bit less it beyerdynamic’s new Pro 16ohm drivers. Most pro headphones are 60-300ohm so I was a little suspicious of how they would sound with 16ohm drivers. The resistance of headphones is mainly determined by the number of turns in the voice coil and how thick the wire is. The more turns the longer the stretch of wire and the grater the resistance.The thinner the wire the grater resistance as well. To a lesser extent it is affected by the magnetic flux of the permanent magnet. The more turns on the voice coil wire has or the higher current used the stronger the force against the magnet which makes the drivers more powerful / accurate. So a lot of high end headphones have lots of coils of v thin wire to give a strong force and keep the weight down and gives the performance they want without having to run too much current through the voice coils which would generate too much heat and melt the thin voice coil wires. This results in a high impedance.
The disadvantage of high impedance drivers is the fact that they are hard to drive, meaning that they don’t work well with portable devices like PMPs and Phones without using a separate amp.
To squeeze more detail and power from these new 16ohm drivers beyer have fitted them with more powerful neodymium magnets and a lighter diaphragm. The increased magnetic flux boosts the force on the diaphragm and the reduction in weight means they need less power the move and reproduce the sound more easily. Apparently the new diaphragms in the custom one are some of the lightest in the world.
All this means you can get great sound from full size cans even from low powered portable devices. And lets face it… Most of us will be using these on the go as well as professionally.
Sound Quality –
The whole point of these is to give the good looks of style headphones like beats with the high quality sound you would expect from beyerdynamic so the sound quality is going to make or break them.
Out of the box they sounded OK but did not really blow me away. With many headphones and speakers they need to be “burnt in” for a bit to loosen up the diaphragm suspension a little before they sound their best. If you look around the the net you will see some people say you need to run them in for 200hrs or so and some people say it is all nonsense. I can confirm that it definitely makes a difference on these. After an hour or so the mids came alive and there was more detail accross the board – I am not sure you need to do 200 hours but I would leave them playing for an hour or so before you judge them.
I normally use a pair of DT1350 which have been re-cabled with silver cable so I am a little pampered but in my work I test all kinds of headphones and get to lern the character of each. I was not expecting the Custom ones to have the same level of detail that my custom DT1350s had but I do sometimes feel the 1350s lack the big bass you sometimes fancy when listening to certain types of music so I was looking forward to having a play with the bass ports and seeing how it affected the sound quality.
I tried them out on an ipod with a wolfson dac loaded with ALAC files to cut down on the compression artifacts. I tried out quite a few tracks and they are pretty adept across the board. They have good crisp highs, reproducing the symbol crashed in ozric tenticls vita voom without them sounding too harsh and the analogue synth noises of sunhair really showed off the detail in the mids. The massive organ stabs of Saint-Saens symphony no3 were great with the bass ports set at position three with lots of weight without being too boomy. With the ports fully closed I expected them to sound like the DT770 but the definitely have their own character. The stereo imaging does not seem as good as the DT770 but they do have a slightly warmer sound – this may be due to the difference in the pads. With the ports opened all the way they are a little boomy for my likings but I have given them to a few people to try and the bass heads amongst them set them to fully open and left them there loving the deep warm bass. Personally I like them set to 2 0r 3 which gives a nice balance and stops the bass from muddying the mids.
Overall I really like what beyerdynamic have done with these. I can see they wanted to lay the smackdown on the beats by dre… All style and bass but questionable sound quality. I suspect they went initially for the boomy bass option to compete in the lucrative market of people who ware too much sports equipment but don’t actually do any competitive sport – you know the sort, idiots with too much money 😉 But then could not bring them selves to do it and introduced the variable bass port to get the best of both worlds. Hopefully this will be a game changer combining the looks of style headphones with the studio sound and build quality of beyers. Add to that the adjustable bass port and you can hopefully please everyone. At the same time educating the stylers and ween them on to some decent sounding earware.