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Author Topic: IEM re-cable?  (Read 5340 times)

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Offline dyneq

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IEM re-cable?
« on: December 04, 2014, 11:14:38 AM »
I have a pair of Westone UM3X IEMs that have an internal cable break right where the 2 driver cables come together in to a single cable at the plastic, molded 'Y' you can see here:



I'm confident it's a cable break because if I squeeze/flex that piece, I get intermittent sound in one channel.

I'm looking for ideas or perhaps a recommendation for one of the cablers on TS to do a clean job that will last a long time. Also want to make sure I'm using the right cable (they're 56 Ohm impedance). I can solder and considered doing it myself, but want to make sure it's done right.

Mini-rant and warning about Westone: I did try sending them back to the company (they're located in my state). The 'technician's conclusion was that they 'couldn't be repaired', but they did offer me a new model at a special price  :facepalm:.

stevetoney

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 08:09:51 PM »
I just did a quick search on ebay and there are lots of replacement cables ranging in price from reasonable to ridiculous.  Any particular reason you don't want to buy a replacement there? 

Offline dyneq

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 11:37:01 PM »
Are the ones you're seeing the ones that can be replaced without soldering? Like this?:



They changed the UM3X model to have removable cables (UM3X RC), but mine are the older model.

Thanks, John

stevetoney

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2014, 08:03:56 AM »
Yeah that's it. sorry to clutter your thread.

Offline dyneq

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2014, 09:44:15 AM »
No worries, I appreciate your help!

I had a thought yesterday; maybe I can take a sharp knife and slice the 'Y' piece open along the mold as my first attempt? You can kind of see it as extra plastic sticking out in the first photo. I'm wondering if I might be able to pull the 2 halves apart, solder, and glue them back together. I figure even if it goes wrong, I'd still have to replace the cable either way.

Offline raymonda

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2014, 10:05:46 AM »
By looking at your picture it would seem that this is an easy DIY job. Unlike many other IEM your picture shows that each conductor is run separate from each other with its own dielectric. You should be able to strip and solder easily.

stevetoney

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2014, 10:19:26 AM »
No worries, I appreciate your help!

I had a thought yesterday; maybe I can take a sharp knife and slice the 'Y' piece open along the mold as my first attempt? You can kind of see it as extra plastic sticking out in the first photo. I'm wondering if I might be able to pull the 2 halves apart, solder, and glue them back together. I figure even if it goes wrong, I'd still have to replace the cable either way.

Is worth a try for sure.  I've worked on iem cables before and it's 50/50.  If the wires have any substance you can work with them but they can be so tiny that it's almost impossible.  The other difficulty is the wire itself is often coated green or red.  I had to burn the coating to get to the wire but then you're putting a carbon film on the wire that makes effective soldering difficult.  Good luck!

Offline dyneq

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2014, 10:23:19 AM »
Agreed about each cable being easy to access, raymonda. However, in this case, the break is inside of that large plastic block (the 'Y'), not in an easy to access spot.

I have pretty much decided to go with my idea of using a sharp knife to carefully slice that block open lengthwise to see if I can repair the break and then glue it back together. What do I have to lose (don't actually answer that!)?

Offline raymonda

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2014, 01:30:10 PM »
Glue is generally non-conductive and won't work. It doesn't matter where the break is as long as you re-terminate before the break. You will need to solder.

Offline vanark

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2014, 01:50:20 PM »
raymonda, I believe he is talking about gluing the plastic block back together, not the wires.
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Offline powermonkey

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2014, 02:34:46 PM »
Grrrr, about 5 minutes ago my kitten attacked my Bose iems. Cable rinsed in about 14 places and they're as dead as disco. Best earphones I've had, and I'd imagine kitten attack is probably not covered by the warranty.  :facepalm:
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Offline raymonda

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2014, 03:18:44 PM »
Now go out and treat yourself to the thimksound ms01. You won't be disappointed.

Offline dyneq

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2014, 03:55:14 PM »
raymonda, I believe he is talking about gluing the plastic block back together, not the wires.

Yes, I will definitely solder the wire but glue the 'Y' block...or completely kill my favorite IEMs (temporarily).

That sucks about the kitten munching your IEMs! There was a thread in here a while back about a dog doing the same (with photos, if I recall). Reminds me of the two similar stories:

Heard a strange sound coming from my listening room like pop-pop-pop-poppity-pop. When I go over, my cat is sharpening his claws in my woofer!

Heard a WHAM! Cat had jumped up on the speaker and it went down hard enough to de-laminate the corner...ouch!

Offline powermonkey

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2014, 05:50:27 PM »
raymonda, I believe he is talking about gluing the plastic block back together, not the wires.

Yes, I will definitely solder the wire but glue the 'Y' block...or completely kill my favorite IEMs (temporarily).

That sucks about the kitten munching your IEMs! There was a thread in here a while back about a dog doing the same (with photos, if I recall). Reminds me of the two similar stories:

Heard a strange sound coming from my listening room like pop-pop-pop-poppity-pop. When I go over, my cat is sharpening his claws in my woofer!

Heard a WHAM! Cat had jumped up on the speaker and it went down hard enough to de-laminate the corner...ouch!

Haha, I'm just glad I didn't shell out on the noise cancelling version that cost 3 times as much! Lesson learnt - when I replace them I'll get a little hard case to keep them in.
Church Audio CA-11s, CA-14 Cards, CA-14 Omnis, Peluso CEMC-6

CA 9200 preamp
FEL BMA-1 Preamp



Edirol R09
Edirol R09HR
Sony M10
Edirol R44

My live recordings.... HERE:

https://www.facebook.com/Liverecordings1

and/or

https://soundcloud.com/liverecordings-1

stevetoney

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Re: IEM re-cable?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2014, 07:10:02 PM »
For higher dollar IEMs, I stick with models that have interchangeable cables, though I know that early editions of Westone's and some others didn't have replaceable cables.  It's an investment and we're paying all the money for what goes into our ears, but we all know that the cable is the weakest link on a headphone.

 

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