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Fostex TH900 Impressions & Discussion Thread - Page 203

post #3031 of 8218
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

I somehow missed this post. I will continue burning them in for a few days and see what happens. Unless they sell first lol. I'm definitely a burn-in 'believer' when I hear it, and not when I don't. smily_headphones1.gif I discovered HUGE changes with my K702, and pretty substantial changes as well with my Pro 900/2900, and AD2000s. In every instance I have heard noticeable changes within the first 24 hours with these cans-which leaves me a bit sceptical with the Fostex. But I will continue to listen with an open mind in the meantime-I don't have a horse in that particular race-like quite a few axe-grinding zealots on this site. basshead.gif

-Daniel

I wasen't talking about burn-in (this will probably be something I will just avoid commenting on in general). I'm talking about spending some time to get the know their sound signature more intimately before making a decision to let them go. First impressions can always lead to some bias, but the fact that are you are willing to listen with an open mind is excellent =)

These are a nice foil to the HD800's ~ but at the same time still very detailed. Give them a chance cool.gif
post #3032 of 8218
Oh I'm giving them a chance, but I can usually tell pretty quick if I'm gonna like a sound sig. There just isn't any one single trait that blows me away with these to entice me to keep them yet. i.e. the HD800s neutrality/soundstage/transparency. I was at least expecting vocals to be better on these, but that isn't the case so far. My ZDSE/Brimar are warmed up no so I'll listen to that combo again shortly.

-Daniel
post #3033 of 8218
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

First off, the TH900 is a great headphone. The very first thought I had when I first put them on was-wow what an impressive soundstage! Nice and big, airy for a closed can. I agree that they don't sound like closed headphones really. I do disagree that they can compete with the HD800s soundstage-not only the size obviously, but with the pinpoint, laser-accurate imaging. I also feel that they are not quite as detailed as the HD800, but they are no slouch either. I wish the bass was toned down slightly, although my ZDSE does such a great job of bringing the vocals out on these that it's not such an issue anymore.

 

I really have primarily 2 reasons for selling these, and 2 alone:

 

1.) Soundstage/Imaging. I've grown accustomed, or rather addicted, to the hyper-imaging, holographic soundstage of my Eximus/ZDSE/HD800 rig. To the degree that almost anything else sounds 'wrong' to my ears. I know some people harp on the HD800 for being unnatural in that regard, but I feel I've truly dialed in my rig to a point that I've found my 'nirvana', now the 009 becons. :/ It took me a lot of amps, and sources to get this right-Iwas never really a fan of the HD800 until my ZDSE arrived and knocked it out of the park. The TH900 has probably the 2nd best soundtage I've heard, but the gap between it and the Senn is fairly large in my rig.

 

2.) Neutrality. No, the HD800 isn't absolutely perfect in this regard, but it gets pretty close in my system. I've grown accustomed to this neutrality, and now find myself addicted to the beauty of music that is close to dead neutral, if not quite. I've been a fan of colored headphones in the past (AD2000, Pro 2900, D2000), but I think I've grown out of that. The TH900 just doesn't have the flat frequency response that I've grown accustomed to-not that I expected it to. I do feel that it is the first 'fun' headphone I have heard that is relatively neutral and natural sounding to my ears, and if one is looking for a high end, relatively neutral but 'fun', detailed can, with an impressive soundstage-then look not further. The TH900 is definitely the best I've heard in those regards, and will probably hold that crownfor some time, I'd venture.

 

A word on the ZDSE/TH900 combo: WOW! I fully recommend this pairing with full confidence! The Zana is truly synergistic with the Fostex (as well as the HD800). The mids really bloom here, and pretty much make up for the (imo) sometimes overbearing bass of the TH900. Comparing the Zana (NOS tung sol/round plate/black glass)to the DP1 headout is night and day. I feel the DP1 is probably more neutral, but the EC really helps bring up the mids quite a bit-which is a must for the Fostex imo. Kinda weird though since my AD2K sounded nealy identical from both amps-maybe because of the already-forward mids of the AT. I will try my Brimar again tonight, and see how that fairs with the Fostex. So far I've preferred my Tung sol with every headphone I've tried-although it's not quite as nutral or dynamic as the Brimar. I'll post a few thought later on that...

 

I hope this is somewhat informative for those on the fence-and I think anyone can see that this is a purely subjective (mostly) opinion of mine. wink_face.gif

 

-Daniel

 

First of all, I'm really sorry to hear that the TH900 didn't live up to your expectations. Although I still prefer the TH900 to the HD800 by a long shot, I mostly agree with what you said above.

 

The TH900 boasts a remarkable, if not one of the best soundstage for a closed headphone, but the HD800 easily beats it in that regard. In fact, the legendary HE90 (Orpheus) and Stax's flagship SR-009 are the only headphones I've heard that really rivals the HD800 in terms of soundstage.

 

Also, I think the TH900 is the most neutral sounding headphone of the Foster/Denon line, but it is still somewhat colored and V-shaped. The HD800 on the other hand is the most neutral sounding of all dynamic headphones, once again rivaled by top-of-the-line electrostatic headphones.

 

Despite such technical superiority, the primary reason I still prefer the TH900 (and even the LCD-2/3) to the HD800 is due to the latter's relative lack of euphony and PRaT. By euphony, I'm talking about what people would describe as musical, of fun sound. The HD800 sounds too cold and analytical, almost lifeless, for my taste. Especially when compared to the LCD-2/3's natural and organic sound, the HD800 sounds artificial. Also, PRaT is an important factor for fast-paced music, but I don't think the HD800 is cut out for such music, like rock or electronica.

 

Speaking of the Zana Deux SE, I'm glad that you too found it to be a superb synergy with the TH900. One of the TH900's greatest weaknesses is that the mids sound laid-back or rolled-off compared to treble and bass; in other words, the V-shaped sound. I was hoping for a well-designed headphone amp that solves this issue. If what you said is true, that the ZDSE really helps bring up the mids quite a bit, then I'm very much looking forward to listening to it. My ZDSE should arrive in a couple weeks.

 

Lastly, in other threads, I found many people who claim the ZDSE is one of the best amps to drive the HD800. I'm guessing that the ZDSE is not only synergistic with the TH900 but also the HD800. I've listened to the HD800 through many high-end amps including WA5 and Phonitor, but never the ZDSE. When my ZDSE arrives, I'm planning to borrow an HD800 from my friend and listen to it through the ZDSE. Maybe, just maybe, the HD800 may become one of my most favorite headphones by this setup.

 

Cheers.

post #3034 of 8218

Thank you-can't wait to hear your thoughts on the Zana. Be sure to burn it in for a couple of hundred hours-I felt it really came together at that point. Also, it's strengths seem to like in micro-spatial details and nuance, which take some time to recognize. I found the Tung sol a darn good match in my system for most of my headphones. I do have a lot of silver in my chain though (RCAs and power cord), and maybe that's why I don't find the Tung sol 'muddy' as Dallan has.

 

I do feel that the Brimar is a better match for the Fostex though, as it's neutral qualities seem to offset the colored TH900 better than the Tung sol. In fact it does make the headphone more coherent as a whole, and much more neutral sounding. The locals aren't quite as sweet as the Tung sol, but are definitely brought forward enough for my tastes. The soundstage is slightly more coherent, but still not remotely on the Senn's level. I'll just assume most of that can be attributed to the closed vs. open design.

 

The TH900 is truly a great headphone though, in fact it's the 2nd best I've heard, and that's just personal preference more than anything. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a 'reference colored' headphone imo, if that makes sense. For my tastes though, I can't really justify owning a $2000 headphone, when a cheaper alternative will get 95% of my headtime.

 

Still for sale.

 

-Daniel

post #3035 of 8218

My TH900's sound much better now than they did the first 2 weeks, a vast improvement actually. We had a meet here on the weekend, and what was interesting to see was most people that had not heard either HD800 or TH900 before, most preferred the HD800 overall the headphones that were there.

 

I had not heard the HD800's before the weekend, I thought they were amazing definitely had wow factor, however too little time to say I liked them more then the TH900. I will say the HD800's soundstage is much wider, the sound signature more natural and overall more laid-back in comparison.

 

So many different opinions when is comes to the first time someone listens to the TH900 unfortunately it's a bit of hit and miss for some. For me HD800 first impressions wow!! TH900 was not so. But  now are incredible, after a little over a month.


Edited by Gandah - 1/13/13 at 11:11pm
post #3036 of 8218
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

Thank you-can't wait to hear your thoughts on the Zana. Be sure to burn it in for a couple of hundred hours-I felt it really came together at that point. Also, it's strengths seem to like in micro-spatial details and nuance, which take some time to recognize. I found the Tung sol a darn good match in my system for most of my headphones. I do have a lot of silver in my chain though (RCAs and power cord), and maybe that's why I don't find the Tung sol 'muddy' as Dallan has.

 

I do feel that the Brimar is a better match for the Fostex though, as it's neutral qualities seem to offset the colored TH900 better than the Tung sol. In fact it does make the headphone more coherent as a whole, and much more neutral sounding. The locals aren't quite as sweet as the Tung sol, but are definitely brought forward enough for my tastes. The soundstage is slightly more coherent, but still not remotely on the Senn's level. I'll just assume most of that can be attributed to the closed vs. open design.

 

The TH900 is truly a great headphone though, in fact it's the 2nd best I've heard, and that's just personal preference more than anything. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a 'reference colored' headphone imo, if that makes sense. For my tastes though, I can't really justify owning a $2000 headphone, when a cheaper alternative will get 95% of my headtime.

 

Still for sale.

 

-Daniel

 

I use a lot of silver in my chain too, including my analog RCA interconnects which are made of pure silver. I've already purchased a Mullard ECC35 NOS tube for $300, because it is said to outperform most other tubes and best recommended for the ZDSE. I'll also try the Brimar when I get the chance, though. Thank you for the input.

 

By the way, I also purchased an aftermarket fuse for the ZDSE. I'm not sure if I've already told you this but some people claim a noticeable improvement can be made simply by replacing the fuse. The ZDSE's stock fuse is supposedly less than $10, but if I invest in a $100 fuse, I'll get one of the best bang-for-the-buck upgrades in sonic quality. That I'll see for myself, just wanted to share some seemingly useful tips as a fellow owner of ZDSE.

post #3037 of 8218
Quote:
Originally Posted by dukeskd View Post

...But the soundstage airiness/spaciousness you find in the HD800 will probably never be replicated by any other can, the only one that comes close in the horizontal axis is the JVC DX1000, believe it or not.
K1000 will do so
post #3038 of 8218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hubert481 View Post

K1000 will do so
It has the presentation, but not enough detail to surpass the HD800.
post #3039 of 8218
Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post

 

First of all, I'm really sorry to hear that the TH900 didn't live up to your expectations. Although I still prefer the TH900 to the HD800 by a long shot, I mostly agree with what you said above.

 

The TH900 boasts a remarkable, if not one of the best soundstage for a closed headphone, but the HD800 easily beats it in that regard. In fact, the legendary HE90 (Orpheus) and Stax's flagship SR-009 are the only headphones I've heard that really rivals the HD800 in terms of soundstage.

 

Also, I think the TH900 is the most neutral sounding headphone of the Foster/Denon line, but it is still somewhat colored and V-shaped. The HD800 on the other hand is the most neutral sounding of all dynamic headphones, once again rivaled by top-of-the-line electrostatic headphones.

 

Despite such technical superiority, the primary reason I still prefer the TH900 (and even the LCD-2/3) to the HD800 is due to the latter's relative lack of euphony and PRaT. By euphony, I'm talking about what people would describe as musical, of fun sound. The HD800 sounds too cold and analytical, almost lifeless, for my taste. Especially when compared to the LCD-2/3's natural and organic sound, the HD800 sounds artificial. Also, PRaT is an important factor for fast-paced music, but I don't think the HD800 is cut out for such music, like rock or electronica.

 

Speaking of the Zana Deux SE, I'm glad that you too found it to be a superb synergy with the TH900. One of the TH900's greatest weaknesses is that the mids sound laid-back or rolled-off compared to treble and bass; in other words, the V-shaped sound. I was hoping for a well-designed headphone amp that solves this issue. If what you said is true, that the ZDSE really helps bring up the mids quite a bit, then I'm very much looking forward to listening to it. My ZDSE should arrive in a couple weeks.

 

Lastly, in other threads, I found many people who claim the ZDSE is one of the best amps to drive the HD800. I'm guessing that the ZDSE is not only synergistic with the TH900 but also the HD800. I've listened to the HD800 through many high-end amps including WA5 and Phonitor, but never the ZDSE. When my ZDSE arrives, I'm planning to borrow an HD800 from my friend and listen to it through the ZDSE. Maybe, just maybe, the HD800 may become one of my most favorite headphones by this setup.

 

Cheers.

I'd be interested in your ZDSE vs WA5 comparison with the TH900s.. Those would be the 2 amps I would be considering down the line.

post #3040 of 8218

Just called the oz distributor, it turns out they're gonna send me a brand new pair to replace my broken one. Unfortunately, fostex ran out of th900 due to its popularity ( actual quote) so I need to wait for the next batch which suppose to be early Feb. Now the waiting continues, funny thing is the time it's actually in my house is less than the time it's not 

 

Btw, has anyone come to hate the cable? in the short time I had it, the cable tried to kill me in more than a few occasions when it tangled around my neck

post #3041 of 8218
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

Oh I'm giving them a chance, but I can usually tell pretty quick if I'm gonna like a sound sig. There just isn't any one single trait that blows me away with these to entice me to keep them yet. i.e. the HD800s neutrality/soundstage/transparency. I was at least expecting vocals to be better on these, but that isn't the case so far. My ZDSE/Brimar are warmed up no so I'll listen to that combo again shortly.

-Daniel

I'm the same way - I can tell pretty quickly whether or not I will like a headphone for the long term. Good example is the Signature Pro - initially wasn't that impressive.. it grew on me but I still ended up selling it because even after all the time I spent with it, the SP still lacked what it lacked from the get-go; the only thing that changed was me convincing myself to like them more, but nothing about the headphone changed. 

 

That said, my first impression of the TH900 was fantastic and since I've owned them its continued on that impression, to my ears they are the best dynamic I have spent extensive time with - but everyones preferences are different of course, so good luck with the sale.

post #3042 of 8218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahzari View Post

I'd be interested in your ZDSE vs WA5 comparison with the TH900s.. Those would be the 2 amps I would be considering down the line.

To be honest, the WA5 wasn't really impressive with TH900. I actually prefered my Burson Soloist to WA5 for the TH900. The WA5 was a great match for HD800 and T1, though.
post #3043 of 8218
I wanted to echo the burn in comment on the Zana Deux. I generally don't notice burn in to often but with the Zana Deux it was fairly dramatic. Passing 170 or 180 hour the sound softened and settled by just over 200 hours. It really changed my mind about burn in, be it mechanical or psychological. Seemed mostly mechanical here but probably a mix.
post #3044 of 8218
Quote:
Originally Posted by jronan2 View Post

I was just about to order the TH900 from TTVJ for $1800 as "the deal of the day" mentioned before, but now its back to $2k. On his site it said the deal expired 1/13/13, I guess I'll shoot him an email see if I can still buy at that price.

Keep an eye on ebay sellers from Australia.I bought my TH900 from Australia about 6 weeks ago for just over 1600 (shipped) Canadian.

I was charged no duty or taxes upon delivery , so I'm a pretty happy camper tongue_smile.gif

 

not to mention it was shipped EMS , so I got it less than a week after shipping


Edited by Soned - 1/14/13 at 2:34pm
post #3045 of 8218
With the dropping yen, PriceJapan is become very attractive too. Down to $1700 now.
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