Since this is the impression thread figured I'd throw in my first TH-900 impressions on Day 1. Impression could change over time.
A fellow Head-fier generously loaned me his TH-900 and V200. This pairing is very good. Much better than the TH-900 and my Decware tube amps, which in my opinion do not shine with an efficient headphone like the TH-900. It's not terrible but the background hum and hiss are distracting. I also may need to roll the right combination of tubes.
I had the TH-600 in the past so I am somewhat familiar with the Fostex dynamic line of headphones. The TH-900 mids are bit more recessed than I normally like but that's expected from a guy who has enjoyed and preferred planars like the LCD-2, HE-500, etc. For small trio jazz, I prefer my HD-800 and Alpha Dog. Those headphones just do string instruments to my likings. Tone, body, and timbre for guitar sounds more natural to me on the HD-800. I might even pick the TH-600 over the TH-900. I don't have enough memory recall to determine whether the TH-900 is better at detail retrieval and imaging than the TH-600. Definitely in the area of bass the TH-900 has more rumble and impact. TH-900 has very good resolution, probably better than the Alpha Dog, but to be fair my Dog is out on load right now so I can't directly compare.
TH-900 is pretty decent with classical. I do think the HD-800 is on a different level when it comes to classical because of it's speed, air, transparency, detail, and soundstage. And I have to return to strings again. For me, a violin sounds better on a HD-800. Not to say it is not enjoyable on a TH-900. We all have our preferences and I'm no violinist :)
With all said, if I had to pick only one headphone I may go to the TH-900 because it is probably more versatile than the HD800 in regards to music genres. While I may give the HD800 an "A" grade for jazz and classical the TH-900 is not far off, A-/B+. For vocals, the TH-900 has more body and less harsh presentation which is great for female vocals. The warm-ish V200 amp may be imparting some of its own magic on the sound.
I eventually will be returning these TH-900 to the original owner. As of right now I wouldn't go out and buy a TH-900 but my appreciation could change as I listen to this headphone more. Lets see what happens on Day 7. Gotta respect the TH-900 and I can hear why it is a flagship headphone. With the right combination of amp and DAC I can imagine this TH-900 is a beast.
Anybody else using the V200 with the TH-900 and enjoy it?
Edited by WNBC - 1/11/14 at 11:51pm