Beyerdynamic is a family-owned audio equipment manufacturer based in Germany that produces headphones, microphones and wireless audio systems. The headphones produced by Beyer are very solidly made, I'd imagine the rugged designs have the travelling DJ in mind. Still, the sound produced by Beyerdynamics top-tier headphones is something the discerning audiophile can really appreciate. The DT770, DT880 and DT990 models are ideal choices for the listener on a budget, and if one likes what they hear, there are pricier Tesla-based models that Beyer has recently introduced, namely the T-1, T-5p, and T-70.
|The Beyer DT770, DT880 and DT990|
The differences between the 770, 880 and 990 are surprisingly not subtle. The DT880 tends to be the most chosen for neutral listening, it is a semi-open design and has the most well-balanced presentation of the three headphones. The DT770 and DT990 are much more bassy, with the heaviest bass response coming from the closed DT770. The fully-open DT990 seems to have slightly less bass and a wider soundstage than the 770. I personally think that the 770 is the ideal movie and gaming headphone, the 880 is the best for analytical listening, and the 990 is good for audio enthusiasts who need a fun-to-listen-to headphone that matches a typical speaker system's bass response.
While the sound of each headphone varies, the process of recabling them is nearly identical. Aside from the driver and cup design, the headphones appear to be identical inside and out. For this post, I will be recabling the Beyerdynamic DT880 headphones. Below is a stock DT880.
|The Beyerdynamic DT880 Headphone|
The wire for recabling a Beyer and still keeping the single-entry look takes a little bit more care than a typical headphone cable. When braiding, the wire should go from a litz braid to two twisted pairs about 2 and a half feet from the end. One of these pairs is nearly trimmed off, only leaving enough wire to get to the driver within the cup. The other twisted pair will be run through the headband.
|The braided Beyerdynamic cable|
The wire is then sleeved and the long twisted pair gets some heatshrink to distinguish each side.
Then a four pin Neutrik connector is attached for balanced operation. If you are interested in reading more about 4 pin balanced connectors, please check out my post creating a 4 pin to TRS adapter cable.
|Cable terminated with a Neutrik 4 Pin XLR|
Now that the cable is ready, the first step to getting inside the headphones is to remove the velour pads. These pads stretch over the frame of the cup, so there are no screws to remove, etc. You will notice a number of perforations on the inside of the pads, these holes make a big difference in the sound, covering them adds unwanted reverberation. If one replaces the velour pads with leather, it is preferable (in my humble opinion) to get the leather pads with the perforations inside.
|DT880 pads removed from the cups|
The next piece is removed using a typical envelope opener to pry the plastic ring out of the cups. The plastic ring retains the driver and driver surround. Once it has been removed, one has access to the driver terminals.
|DT880 driver and driver terminals|
There is generally a marking on the driver to determine the positive side. In this case it is a yellowish gold mark. I take the time to use a multimeter and verify this is the case before snipping off the stock wires. The left driver has three terminals, the center is the right signal which is not electrically connected to the driver but the wire that runs across the headband is connected to this terminal. The ground is also run from the ground of the left driver to the right driver. This is all removed and ignored as dedicated wires will be run directly to the drivers in the recable. This will remove unnecessary solder joints in the signal path and isolate the ground for balanced operation. Below is a photo of the shell of the DT880 stripped and ready for the recable.
|Beyer DT880 Shell|
The latest models of the 770, 880 and 990 have a square opening that the stock wire is fed into, This square hole needs to be dremelled out so that it is round, then heatshrink built up on the new cable for a perfect fit. A custom retaining system is set in place to keep the cable from being tugged out of the cup.
|Wires soldered to the DT880 driver|
The wire is soldered to the driver terminals with the assistance of engineer helping hands. The wire is then fed through the little grommet to the other cup. The headband is now placed over the wire and sealed back up using the zip-lock bag type mechanism.
|The wire is fed through the little grommets in the cups|
The second driver is soldered on the same way, and we have a complete headphone!
This headphone also has a balanced to single ended adapter so it can be used with both types of amps.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you'd like your Beyerdynamic headphones (or any other headphones) by an experienced recabler with some excellent sounding cable, contact Zynsonix. Since the 770, 880 and 990 are all quite similar on the inside, each can be modded / recabled the same way. Here's a Beyerdynamic DT990 PRO with a recable with both a standard mini and a Pono output to maximize utility out on the road.
|Beyerdynamic DT990 modded with new cable, mini and pono connectors|
The Fine Print:
The above steps detailing the recabling of a headphone are for entertainment purposes only, and not to be performed under any circumstances. The owner of this blog and all associated parties can not / will not be held responsible if you attempt the process posted and cause physical harm to yourself, your surroundings or your property. Please keep this in mind.