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Making A Short Balanced Cable for HD660s

Berwhale

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I'd like a shorter balanced cable (4.4mm) for my HD660S. The stock cable is 3m and too long for desktop use - something around 1.5M would be great. I looked at various 'upgrade' cables that would fit my physical requirements and they all have 'silly' prices. Can I buy a replacement non-balanced cable, e.g. Sennheiser HD650 Replacement Cable 3m - 092885 - Hifiheadphones, cut in half and solder a 4.4mm 5 pole plug on it? i.e. it looks like the stock cable has separate shielded cables for L & R so it seems feasible.

Bonus Question: Can I convert an HE4XX cable to balanced in the same way?
 

m_g_s_g

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I did that a couple of weeks ago with my HD6xx. Yes, soldering that conductors is tricky. I ended up buying this: "2.5mm to Bare Wire, 2 Pack 3ft 2.5mm TRRS 4 Pole Stereo Male Plug Jack Connector to Bare Wire". The 2.5mm TRRS connector was too tiny for me and I preferred soldering the wires together.

Bonus Question: Can I convert an HE4XX cable to balanced in the same way?
No idea. But usually, headphones with no mic and separate cables to each driver use two conductor wires ==> this could work.
 
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Berwhale

Berwhale

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The stock HD650 cable has 4 conductors its entire length so you can reterminate it with a balanced connector. It's litz wire though, which complicates the soldering.

Thanks, so I solder the plug as per this picture and the ground will not be connected to anything?

1611232092244.png


I can see that the litz cable could make this fiddly, I will have to practice on some spare cable first.
 
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Berwhale

Berwhale

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maverickronin

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Thanks, so I solder the plug as per this picture and the ground will not be connected to anything?

I've never needed to solder a Pentacon so I'm not sure on the pinout, but you can just skip the "ground". The headphones certainly don't need it. I think it's just there for a shield if the connector is used for a stereo balanced interconnect like on some of the iFi stuff but I'm not really sure.

I can see that the litz cable could make this fiddly, I will have to practice on some spare cable first.

Since you are cutting it in half anyway you'll have plenty to practice with. Different people seem to have different techniques for dealing with litz, but I just burn the enamel of by holding the wire in a big heated solder blob for a minute or so, clean it, re-tin it, and confirm continuity.
 

JIW

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You can buy the stock cable directly from Sennheiser for 8.39 pounds with free shipping: https://spares.sennheiser.com/en-uk/catalog/product/508826-hd-660s (Cable 3m).

There you can also see that Sennheiser sells the stock pentaconn cable (CH 660 P) for a whopping 169.99 pounds.

Also, why do you not just use single-ended connection? Short cables can be had for around 10 pounds. I use this 1.2 m one on my HD600: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Replacemen.../B07X6LZ54C/ref=psdc_1591691031_t2_B07MJD9L8M.
 
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Berwhale

Berwhale

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You can buy the stock cable directly from Sennheiser for 8.39 pounds with free shipping: https://spares.sennheiser.com/en-uk/catalog/product/508826-hd-660s (Cable 3m).

There you can also see that Sennheiser sells the stock pentaconn cable (CH 660 P) for a whopping 169.99 pounds.

Also, why do you not just use single-ended connection? Short cables can be had for around 10 pounds. I use this 1.2 m one on my HD600: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Replacemen.../B07X6LZ54C/ref=psdc_1591691031_t2_B07MJD9L8M.

Thanks for the Sennheiser link, that's a great price for a sacrificial cable :)

Yes, the price of the pentaconn cable is ridiculous, especially when one is included in the box with the HD660s (which I only paid £260 for from the Sennheiser Outlet).

I already have the single ended cable that you linked to on Amazon, I used it with my JDS Labs Atom, but it's a little too short to modify with a balance plug.

I now have two Topping A50s's (one on my desk, one by my bedside), so I'd like to make use of the balanced connection. I realize that it's unlikely to yield any audible benefit, but hey, we're in lockdown and I have a soldering iron :)
 
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