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Phenomenal if you can mod it properly.

A Review On: Fostex T20RP mkII

Fostex T20RP mkII

Rated # 245 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $120.00
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Pros: Value for money and excellent comfort

Cons: Modding required for sound and comfort, ugly :)



This review is based entirely on a properly modded T20RP MKII - modded by headfier bluemonkeyflyer that I received as part of a trade.

(the price listed is based only on the price of a stock T20RP MKII)


I'll keep this review brief because most of the more complex information regarding T20RP/T50RP mods can be found elsewhere, so I won't be discussing it.


List of audio mods:

- card treble reflector

- rock wool damping

- paxmate lattice

- very small bass port/vents (most vents covered)


Comfort/audio mods:

-Shure 840 ear pads


Comfort mod:

- DIY leather comfort strap



Comfort is up there with the best. The clamping pressure is just a bit tighter than supreme comfort levels, but it also prevents it from wobbling around.

I had a lot of discomfort after even short listening sessions with the stock headband - there was quite a lot of focussed pressure on the top of my skull. So I made a simple leather comfort headband which distributed the weight better. Now I don't notice any pressure or pain.

I find the Shure 840 pads perfectly comfortable, but I don't find any fault in the stock pads either.


Sound - the sound of these truly is difficult to believe out of such a relatively cheap headphone.

It is better in most ways to a vintage Beyerdynamic DT990, and is in the same league as a Sennheiser Momentum. 

Overall the sound is on the 'fun' side of neutral, so just a tiny bit V-shaped.

Bass is very deep, textured and has a growl rather than a 'boom' which is absolutely excellent.

Midrange isn't honky or nasal in the slightest. Vocals are clear and believable. 

Treble is just the tinest bit artificial, but has plenty of dynamic range and sparkle.


Isolation is brilliant. At home I can barely hear a thing (when music is playing) and there is practically no leak at reasonable listening levels.


I couldn't give Design a full rating because I wouldn't wear these outdoors. The 'studio/sound-industry' look about them doesn't really work as a fashion statement, but I had to give it nearly full marks because they are built to last with an easy modular design that makes it easy to replace broken parts and modify.



Like I said at the top: this is a review on a properly modified T20RP MKII, yet it truly sounds like a $300 headphone. 

The only reason people aren't modifying them and selling them for this sort of money is that the drivers don't resolve quite as well as the best headphones in this ($300) price bracket.

In almost all other aspects, including neutrality, timbre, dynamic range and soundstage; these are VERY strong headphones and would solidly recommend them (in a properly modified state) to anyone as a starter headphone.

At this price, if you've got the time and patience to modify it properly, it also makes for a great gift idea.



Happen to know how the T20RP compares to the T50RP? Do you know if they share similar drivers and cup designs and such?
Never heard a stock or modded T50RP, but the 20, 40 and 50 share very similar parts. As far as I know, the main difference is the drivers (obviously) and the T50 has the gold colour rods and one or two small sound damping covers over potential sound leaks. Other than that I think they're identical. 
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