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Full-size woodies w/ biocellulose drivers from Fostex?!

post #1 of 90
Thread Starter 
I was poking around Foster Japan's website this afternoon after explaining that the cx300 and ep630 and half a dozen other 'phones are foster OEMs, when i came across this:

Foster Electric Company, Limited : Headphone series 448498

The description here just says "the bio technology" but Zelkova serrata is a type of wood.

And there are these two other products that they describe quite clearly as having bio-cellulose drivers:

Foster Electric Company, Limited : Headphone series 443742

Foster Electric Company, Limited : Headphone series 451698

The later one being a biocellulose clipon. Wild.

Does anybody recognize these cans? Foster doesn't really sell direct to the customer and Fostex USA certainly isn't carrying anything like these.
post #2 of 90
They look cool, and if are resonable, I wouldn't mind trying all three myself.







-Nick
post #3 of 90
The full size looks a bit like Denon.

Hmmm, maybe it is.
post #4 of 90
I think it IS a denon
post #5 of 90
I think maybe now we know where denon sourced its new headphone line. I bet we can get these for half the price under a different name, unless Denon paid to be the only ones to get the design. But heck, Senn, AKG, Creative, Sharp, et al. didn't do that with the Foster's canalphone they all sell under their brands.
post #6 of 90
I'm incredibly curious about this, but I can't find a single Japanese electronics site that sells them

They are looking for an overseas sales manager though

Anyways, they do have a branch in ElPaso which appears to be a distribution warehouse for their factory in Mexico, at least according to their site. Their website isn't up yet (fosteramerica.com) but I'm shooting the contact person an e-mail anyways to see if they have any distributors in the US.
post #7 of 90
Man no joke those look exactly like Denons... Hmmm.... MORE INFO!
post #8 of 90
Is this like some kind of break through in dynamic drivers and if so what performance advantages does it offer over current dynamic drivers?
post #9 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu View Post
I'm incredibly curious about this, but I can't find a single Japanese electronics site that sells them

You won't find any products in stores that say "Foster Electric Company" on them.

Foster Japan stresses R&D and manufacturing. They leave the sales part up to other companies.

Their pro audio arm is Fostex, but Fostex is just a small part of the total business.

Foster is one of the biggest manufacturers of electronics in the world. In the 80's they were the 2nd biggest in japan (Pioneer the biggest), and at the time it was said that the average american home contained 7 Foster-built products, all wearing different brand names.

It's probably way more than 7 these days.

But yes, perhaps this is where Denon's new line really came from.

I also hate to admit that Razer's clipon earphones look a heck of a lot like Foster's clipons, forcing me to admit that Razer's canalphones probably are in the same family as the cx300 and ep630.
post #10 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Libertad View Post
Is this like some kind of break through in dynamic drivers and if so what performance advantages does it offer over current dynamic drivers?
Sony's famous MDR-R10 was the first that i know of to use biocellulose diaphragms.

Most headphone drivers are formed from a sheet of plastic. Typically they're heated and vacuum formed. AKG's "varimotion" manufacturing process is more complex - they clamp and stretch the sheet to give it varying thickness before vaccuforming it.

The biocellulose process is entirely different. As i understand it, the diaphragm is deposited by a bacterial culture grown on a mold.

This theoretically means that you get a superlightweight diaphragm that is relatively strong, and has uniform strength across it's surface.

The MDR-R10 was completely unique in it's day, and they routinely sell for thousands of dollars.

This is not to say that we're certain Foster built an equal product, but it appears as though the R10 is no longer completely unique.
post #11 of 90
What advantages does a bio-cellulose driver deliver, in terms of sound?
post #12 of 90
When the Denon's were released, wasn't there talk of them being rebranded/OEM Fostex?
post #13 of 90
Yes, of course they are just like the Denons. The Denon drivers are Fostex biocellulose drivers. So why not expect the rest of the headphone to look the same too? The only difference I see are different cup materials, perhaps a different kind of wood.

Denon, as a company, has always bought higher-end materials and electronics from other companies and then stuck their name on it. Why should their headphone line be any different?
post #14 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenithon View Post
When the Denon's were released, wasn't there talk of them being rebranded/OEM Fostex?

Yeah. I don't remember where I read this, but I always thought that Fostex made the new Denon headphones.

It didn't keep me from buying (and enjoying) the D2000 though.
post #15 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
Denon, as a company, has always bought higher-end materials and electronics from other companies and then stuck their name on it. Why should their headphone line be any different?
Yeah, it's a perfectly ordinary tactic in the increasing separation of brand and production. If anything it's old-school because design and production are still both in-house at Foster's, last I heard. And this is a lot cheaper than Denon hiring a designer and engineer from one of the big companies to make a new design from scratch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cclragnarok View Post
Yeah. I don't remember where I read this, but I always thought that Fostex made the new Denon headphones.

It didn't keep me from buying (and enjoying) the D2000 though.
Yeah, Foster's is perfectly capable of making great headphones. In the late seventies the Fostex branch produced the first-series T-50 orthodynamic, which we ortho freaks will tell you is better than an HD650 or K701. And at least one Foster's design was good enough for even AKG and Senn to put their name on it, even though they actually have specialist designers and engineers already in-house.
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