Putting the “custom” into beyerdynamic’s Custom Studio headphones

As usual it took me ages to find what I was looking for. This time I wanted a pair of closed on-/over-ear headphones with a neutral setup that would be suited for both music-listening and monitoring. After listening to various headphones by Sennheiser, Bose and Sony – that did not fully convince me – I took my chances by ordering a pair of beyerdynamic Custom Studio headphones. Closed over-ear headphones with velour ear cushions and a solid build quality that promised to deliver an overwhelming audio quality. Roughly a week after I placed my order I held them in my hands and couldn’t wait to plug them in.

A workday on the PC, a workday on mobile and a a couple of hours on my receiver later it was decided: I shall keep them. However, something’s been bugging me since day one. The headphones are (optically) customizable, and a variety of accessories can be acquired in order to personalize the headphones according to everybody’s personal gusto. Well, except mine. Out of the box they come with black covers that have just the model name and a sound wave printed on them in white. The decision that they’d have to go was a no-brainer.

And anyway, it was about time for a handwork-project – in contrast to my day to day job. I was looking for something unique. Something that would add personal value to my new headphones. Something that stood out from the black headband, the black ear pads and the black cable.

Lucky me, I was on holiday in Tuscany and while talking a walk through an olive grove I literally stumbled over what I didn’t know I was looking for. An old, dried up trunk of an olive tree. Wind and weather had left their marks on this chunk of wood, making it even more interesting.

So after scouting the basement for some tools I took the biggest saw i could find and got myself a piece of that trunk. I needed to fight off some ants that were quite possessive of the branch but then it was game time. First I rasped the cut surface so that I could sand it. This revealed potential cracks and the woods texture so it was easier to find the right place where to cut out the new covers. I slowly cut two thin slices both approximately 4-5 mm thick. In order to bring them into the right shape I took measure of the original covers by outlining them on a piece of paper. Then I sawed them roughly into form before I taped the cut out paper-forms onto the slices. Using a rasp, sandpaper and the original covers I worked them down to the correct form. After they fit (almost) perfectly into the frame that fixates them on the headphones I needed to bring the thickness down to about 3 mm.

Once that was done they were ready to go onto the bds where they looked absolutely great. But I wanted to darken them a bit and make the texture really pop out so I applied some olive oil (that also contained olives from that tree) onto the cleaned surface of the covers. After giving them some time to absorb I wiped off the excessive oil and they were ready to get back on to the headphones.

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Tuscany 2012

Yeah, well, like last year, this years summer vacation consisted in relaxing, swimming, sweating (up to 40°C in the shadow) and sleeping. Therefore just a few photos. Anyway, enjoy!

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Herz-Jesu Ifinger

After last years Laugen, the Ifinger was the goal for this years Herz-Jesu trip. The Ifinger (Ivigna) is a massive granite-mountain situated nearby Merano, above Schenna and Avelengo. With its two summits – one at 2.581 meters above sea level, the smaller one about 100 meters beneath – it grants a stunning view over the South Tyrolean Alps.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t such a good friend of ours – with mist and wind – so the view wasn’t as good as last years. Nonetheless – loads of fun.

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Photo expedition: biotop Gargazon

Quite a while ago, yet I didn’t manage to put online some photos of this expedition with Peter. It was an interesting Sunday afternoon since we had the possibility to play with 2 tech things – the Canon EOS 5D Mk I and the Sigma 150mm f2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM Macro. I brought along me olde golden yeller and of course my camera bag including ye good olde Canon EOS 400D, the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 and the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM. Apparently Peter had to bring along his Canon EOS 550D too, otherwise he wouldn’t have been that much of a nerd..

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Tuscany 2011

A few impressions from this summer vacation, Tuscany. Obviously I was more relaxing (a.k.a. doing _nothing_) than taking photos..

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Herz-Jesu-Feuer Laugen

In 1796 South Tyrol was preparing for a war and since they hadn’t military, their only defense was a third-class infantry – the Landsturm – consisted of conscripted locals. To get divine help in the upcoming battles, South Tyrol entrusted itself to the “Heilige Herz Jesu” (Jesus’ holy hearth).

In the 18th and 19th century, fires were lit on mountain peaks to communicate over long distances. In this case these fires where used to assemble the Landsturm and after the troups surprisingly won the battle against the French and Bavarian, the “Herz-Jesu-Sonntag” became a holiday.

This holiday takes place the third Sunday after Pentecost and is celebrated by lighting up simple fires on mountains or fires which create symbols.

Nuff about history. Yesterday we hiked onto the “kleiner Laugen” to light one those fires up and – of course – take some pictures. And again I packed my bag with my DSLR, two lenses, tripod and my magic remote switch.

We met in Lana at 14:00 and went up to the Gampen pass, where we started around 15:00. After approx. 1,5 hrs we arrived at the Laugen alp and enjoyed milk and cookies while Kete took some dubious photos.
Eventually we started again (17:30 iirc) and headed to the peak. While some people obviously hadn’t enough to carry up, Kete and I were documenting the whole scenario.
Later that day the fires where lit up and guess what – we took photos (it’s getting boring, isn’t it?). And as always – my best ones are right below. Enjoy!

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