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Fostex TH900 Impressions & Discussion Thread - Page 143

post #2131 of 8058
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

My (solid state) Rudistor RP010B is more tube-like (not strident, sweet, involving), and my tubed Pinnacle is more solid-state like (very detailed, insightful, soaring extended highs, very solid bass).

But still I still hear something I can't quite describe, an immediacy and inner glow from the Pinnacle that IME is a signature only tube amps provide. 

 

I think the best tube amps have a certain level of inner micro dynamics, a certain sense of immersion that I've only found on a very (*very*) few solid state amps like the Liquid Lightning and the Apex Arete.

 

I own and enjoy solid state megaliths like the B22, and while they have plenty of good qualities, I find they simply can't capture that inner depth provided by the best tube amp designs I've tried. That being said, I really don't care for the more stereotypical "tube" sound some people seem to equate with all tube amps. Warm, syrupy... no thanks. That's why Eddie Current's amps appeal to me so much, as they're simply some of the most transparent amps out there, either solid stare or tube.

 

Have a lot of respect for Pete Millett's work as well. I'd love to try the Pinnacle out sometime. Eventually I'd like to own the 307A someday, too.

 

Overall though, it's best to judge an amp on a case by case basis I find.


Edited by MuppetFace - 10/31/12 at 11:56am
post #2132 of 8058

Now this very interesting.  MF say the ZD is more SS than some SS amps.  SF describes the ZD as having your typical tube sound.  Then SF agrees with MF.  

 

So why do you get a tube amp and want it to sound like a SS amp.  Why not just get a SS amp?  

 

If I'm not mistaken these headphones are very musical correct?  If so a tube amp on these will only muddy up the mids and bass IMO.  Where a SS amp will separate the instruments better making for a more enjoyable session.  This is just IMO and why I like musical Headphones with a good SS amp. 

post #2133 of 8058

I can just imagine Pete and Todd going through the Pinnacle's design process.

 

Pete: Let's see, we have the transformers, tubes, populated PBC's, finished and anodized chassis... am I forgetting anything?

 

Todd:  Inner glow Pete, you forgot the inner glow!  It's not going to sound any different than solid state if you forget to put that in!

 

Pete: Fine, we can order up some inner glow, but it ain't gonna come cheap.  We'll probably have to charge 10K for this beast instead of the planned 4.5.

 

[scene shifts to suburban house in the midst of a deep winter, with logs crackling gently in the hearth, as a grandfather reads his grandchildren a story book]

 

Grandfather: And that, children, is why a Pinnacle costs $10,000.

post #2134 of 8058
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

 

[sob sob]

No one reads my review :-
http://www.head-fi.org/t/628736/initial-impressions-of-the-fostex-hp-a8-dac-amp

[/sob sob]

 

Edit: I plan on updating it though now that I've updated the firmware.

Wow I missed yours out! Thanks for pointing out!

 

Still hesitating whether to get it. since its quite an investment for me. :(

Am using the ibasso d2+ as my dac+amp. 

Would most probably check out the stores to know more about desktop amps. 

Am new in the desktop DAC/amp area as well! :D

post #2135 of 8058
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Now this very interesting.  MF say the ZD is more SS than some SS amps.  SF describes the ZD as having your typical tube sound.  Then SF agrees with MF.  

 

So why do you get a tube amp and want it to sound like a SS amp.  Why not just get a SS amp?  

 

If I'm not mistaken these headphones are very musical correct?  If so a tube amp on these will only muddy up the mids and bass IMO.  Where a SS amp will separate the instruments better making for a more enjoyable session.  This is just IMO and why I like musical Headphones with a good SS amp. 

 

 

Again: it's all about implementation. There are plenty of solid state amps that sound warm, mushy, and "tubey." I've found it's far more productive to judge amps based on an individual basis rather than generalize and extrapolate to an entire category of technology. The ZDSE is simply one of the best amps I've heard for under $3k, regardless of whether it's solid state or tube.

 

The ZDSE by no means "muddies up" the TH900.

post #2136 of 8058
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

 

 

Again: it's all about implementation. There are plenty of solid state amps that sound warm, mushy, and "tubey." I've found it's far more productive to judge amps based on an individual basis rather than generalize and extrapolate to an entire category of technology. The ZDSE is simply one of the best amps I've heard for under $3k, regardless of whether it's solid state or tube.

 

The ZDSE by no means "muddies up" the TH900.

 

 

Well I never hear a muddy SS amp.  Noticed, I said that I never heard a muddy SS amp.  So could you be so kind to give me a few examples so I know to stay away from them.  

Even my balanced M^3 has very good instrument separation. 

 

Please don't get me wrong here.  I'm very interested in a ECBA but I don't want it so sound SS-ish at all.  I'll just use a SS amp.  I want my Tube amp to sound like a tube amp.  That's all.

 

The ZDSE by no means muddies up the TH900 - I gues because it's a SS amp - no wait its a tube amp. no its a - hell whatever..

post #2137 of 8058

Best to stay away from EC or Apex if you want the "tube" or "musical" sound (in this case meaning syrupy, mushy, etc.) You would be much happier with a Leben or Woo WA2.

 

You may as well generalize FET, BJT, use of negative feedback, class A, push-pull in addition to the "tube" sound.


Edited by purrin - 10/31/12 at 12:43pm
post #2138 of 8058

.


Edited by preproman - 10/31/12 at 1:25pm
post #2139 of 8058
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Now this very interesting.  MF say the ZD is more SS than some SS amps.  SF describes the ZD as having your typical tube sound.  Then SF agrees with MF.  

 

So why do you get a tube amp and want it to sound like a SS amp.  Why not just get a SS amp?  

 

If I'm not mistaken these headphones are very musical correct?  If so a tube amp on these will only muddy up the mids and bass IMO.  Where a SS amp will separate the instruments better making for a more enjoyable session.  This is just IMO and why I like musical Headphones with a good SS amp. 

 

Well, to be clear here, my description is in contrast to the B22 specifically. Obviously it is going to sound "more tubey" than a technical beast like the B22. 

 

You're right, the B22 is simply more detailed and clean as a SS than the ZD with the TH900. However, I don't find it nearly as musical or enjoyable in just my opinion. The ZD is something special with the TH900, I can't wait to see how the LF compares. 

post #2140 of 8058
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

.

 

Hey prep, IME, a lot of this "tube magic" and "inner glow" that people are vaguely referring to can be attributed to more liquid and upfront/immediate mids. That's what hybrid amps try to capture, while retaining the control, detail, extension and separation of SS.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

I also recommend Todd. Once you become a customer of his he really takes care of you and is always there to talk to you personally. He is an old-time dealer who truly knows the meaning of Customer Service.

He's also very knowledgeable and is involved in amp design.

 

x4. Todd (TTVJ) has always been amazing to deal with. If I get these, it'll likely be through him.

post #2141 of 8058
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post

I'd definitely agree on that unless you're a details freak. I think with the TH900, the general consensus is that tubes are more enjoyable generally. I do enjoy the SS imaging, details, and soundstage, but the tubes are more musical for me.

 

Hoping the Liquid Fire hits that fantasy sweet spot!

 

Having heard the ZD and B22 on a few occasions and owning your incoming LF for the better part of 2012, I'm fairly confident that it will! For me, along with the great imaging, power, control, and dynamics; its ability to straddle being technically impressive, it still manages to be quite musical. This was one of the LF's greatest strengths IMO!

post #2142 of 8058
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
Well I never hear a muddy SS amp.  Noticed, I said that I never heard a muddy SS amp.  So could you be so kind to give me a few examples so I know to stay away from them.  

Even my balanced M^3 has very good instrument separation.

 

I've heard some "muddy" or what I also call "blurry" amps of the solid-state variety from brands like:

- Avenson Audio

- Ray Samuels Audio

- Schiit Audio

 

And a wide variety of portable-type amps that I've heard in years past.

 

To go further, I'd even call the Cavalli Liquid Lightning somewhat muddy-sounding (though that could've also been the source, I don't know which to blame for sure). The HeadAmp KGSS too, to a small extent, compared to the BHSE.

 

The only amps I've personally heard that I'd call the opposite of muddy are made by HeadAmp. I've never heard any other brands as consistently clear-sounding.

post #2143 of 8058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcamera View Post

 

I know Ahzari here enjoys them with his Woo WA6 SE. (I own the WA6 with the D7000, and so I can imagine the combo sounds great. Something I hope to have eventually).

yup biggrin.gif

post #2144 of 8058

Check out this uber epic thread. This is sheer awesomeness on a whole new level.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-50-headphones-compared

 

Oddly, DavidMahler doesn't seem to like the TH900 that much, rating it even lower than the HD600. He seems to prefer HD800 > LCD-3 > HE-6 > LCD-2 > HE-500 > HD600> TH900, in this order.

 

Having heard all of the headphones above (and owned most of them), my personal ranking would be TH900 > LCD-3 > HE-6 > LCD-2 > HE-500 > HD800, assuming they were properly amped.

 

1. The HD800 is, technically, a superb headphone with a massive soundstage, but it sounds too analytic and doesn't work well with a wide array of genres. That's why I prefer the T1 to the HD800, despite the former's relatively closed sound.

 

2. I completely agree with David that the HE-500 is one of, if not the best headphone value-wise. The LCD-2 and the HE-500 are a close tie for me, although I slightly prefer the LCD-2's organic sound and superior bass.

 

3. A lot of Head-fi'ers don't seem to appreciate the HE-6 because of its low sensitivity, but it truly shines with the right amp to kick its butt. Burson Soloist and RSA Dark Star are good examples, but from my experience, the ultimate way to enjoy the HE-6 to its fullest potential is to drive it in balanced mode from speaker outputs of a high-power integrated or power amp. Believe me, you can get a totally mind-blowing sound with an integrated amp at only a fraction of the Dark Star's price. Until then, you ain't heard the HE-6. The HE-6 has the highest scalability among all headphones I've auditioned, even higher than the HD800 IMO.

 

4. I thought the LCD-3 were my numero uno greatest (ortho-)dynamic headphone of all time, until I've heard the TH900. That being said, I once again agree with David that it is the king of bass, the epitome of how a dark-sounding headphone should be designed. Because of its dark sound signature, it excels the TH900 in certain genres. If it were a tad more comfortable...

 

5. The TH900 is my most favorite dynamic headphone so far, albeit a closed design. It's really a close tie with the LCD-3, but I found the TH900 to be the one headphone that works wonders with virtually all kinds of music. I definitely agree with David that the TH900 in regard to its bass, imaging, comfort, and the fact that it's the "genre master." However, I do wish its mids were a bit more forward, the sound more wide and open (although this is possibly the best soundstage a closed headphone could provide), and had a higher scalability so that I could improve it even further with a decent amp.

 

Considering that the LCD-3 has a higher scalability factor, and the fact that it can also be improved by rewiring an aftermarket cable, an LCD-3 rewired with a crazy-expensive cable like DHC Spore and balanced driven by a uber amp like Apex Pinnacle may sound better than the single-ended stock TH900 with the same amp, from a purely sonic perspective. However, in most cases, I would pick the TH900 for most of my everyday listening.


Edited by songmic - 11/1/12 at 2:54am
post #2145 of 8058

Note though that of the list, aside from the unobtanium Sony MDR-R10s, I believe the TH-900s are the top of the closed-back category.

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