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Fostex TH900 Impressions & Discussion Thread - Page 442

post #6616 of 10988
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post
 

 

Have a look at this thread :-

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/619974/amp-recommendations-for-fostex-th900/90

 

But personally to me if I had that budget I'd personally look at the WA7 or HP-A4. I had the HP-A8 for about 9 months and although it was nice, I felt it wasn't exciting enough for me. Granted the issue I had with it was more the amp than the DAC of the HP-A8.


Thanks for the suggestions. For some reason, I would have never suspected the WA7.  It has good synergy with the TH900 I imagine?

 

Well, I think I have found a very likely DAC in the Ressonessence Concerto, now I just need to settle on an amp in the $1,000 range.  A few in mind:

 

Violectric V200

Burson Soloist

Woo Audio WA7

 

Any other suggestions to look into?

post #6617 of 10988
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post
 

At 7:07 in the video he says that the TH600 is identical to the TH900 except for the aluminum cups. I don't think that's true.

 

Are the ear pads of the TH600 and the TH900 identical - have they the same spare part number?

post #6618 of 10988
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBerube80 View Post
 


Thanks for the suggestions. For some reason, I would have never suspected the WA7.  It has good synergy with the TH900 I imagine?

 

Well, I think I have found a very likely DAC in the Ressonessence Concerto, now I just need to settle on an amp in the $1,000 range.  A few in mind:

 

Violectric V200

Burson Soloist

Woo Audio WA7

 

Any other suggestions to look into?

 

The WA7/TH900 synergy is decent, though for my tastes, the other 2 choices you've listed are better. I've tried all 3 and currently own 2 of em - V200 & Soloist - so here's how I break them down.

 

Burson Soloist

Probably the most exciting presentation. Punchy, up-front and energetic. Of the 3 amps you listed, this is the one that has the best chance of getting a "wow" from most listeners (in that price category). Biggest soundstage of the bunch, and coupled with the TH900's already big soundstaging, leads to quite a big space outside and around your head. Maintains the TH900's bass-heavy signature, while the treble is slightly rolled off. Might cause fatigue in the long run if you prefer more laid-back presentations. If you're coming from heavily tube-flavoured amps, the Soloist can sound a tad dry simply because it wears it's solid state heart on it's sleeve. Stepped attenuator is an acquired taste - some love em, some hate em - and can cause a bit of a hum without a healthy supply of contact spray. Well built, for the most part.

 

Violectric V200

Warmer and a bit more tube-like compared to the Burson, despite also being a solid state amp. Very flexible thanks to the gain switches (on the back). A bit more laid-back than the Burson, but more exciting (imho) than the WA7. Signature is dark, the treble isn't shelved so you won't end up making your TH900 sound like an AM-radio Audeze LCD. The overall "darkness" is quite good if you're the the type that feels the TH900's treble can get a little fatiguing with certain types of music. Soundstage-wise, it's got a bit less height and width than the Burson, though depth is very, very good, especially when combined the the amp's dark-ish sub-bass. Also (again, imho) the most "forgiving" setup when combined with the TH900, meaning it flatters badly recorded material or overly strident DAC signatures the best, though it's still a U-shaped signature, so keep that in mind if you're a midrange freak. My favourite of the bunch. TH900's default bass reverb plus the V200's smooth sub-bass presentation result in a sort of wetness the other two don't give me. Made in Germany, so it'll easily a nuclear holocaust or two.

 

Woo WA7

The in-built DAC is crap. Absolutely crap!! It's like a budget version of a budget immitation of a budget first get Dragonfly. Thank goodness you already have the Cancero, but it's still a bit of a waste paying for a component you'll probably never use. In terms of signature, it's probably the most mid-forward of the bunch. I can't recall whether the one I demo'ed had stock or upgraded tubes, but to my ears it gives the TH900 the most neutral presentation of the 3 you listed. Treble has a bit of that tubey shimmer but isn't as attenuated as many of the traditional tube amps - in fact, the WA7 to me (if memory serves) sounds less tubey then the solid state V200. Bass impact is weakest of the 3 amps here, but the TH900 already has strong bass so you may like it if you like your sound more balanced. Vocals tend be a bit more intimate as a result. Depends on the type of music you listen to the most and also your personal sound preference. I'm a bit of an electronica basshead (neutral = neutered in my book) so I prefer a slightly darker signature, but if you're the type that prefers more vocally driven rock and singer-songwriter stuff, the WA7 might be more your style. Build wise, the demo I had was shoddy as hell. The glass lid was wobbly, the plugs at the back were loose, but it was a demo unit so I can't judge conclusively.

 

Keep in mind that your DAC signature also plays a part in the overall sound. For me, Sabre DACs like the Cancero are a bit too strident and plasticky (I'm an AKM or Wolfson guy), so I'd probably want a warm, wet amp. If you want the utmost clarity from teh DAC at the expense of a bit of richness, then you'd probably want a more linear amp. As they say, horses for courses.

post #6619 of 10988
Quote:
Originally Posted by kurochin View Post
 

 

The WA7/TH900 synergy is decent, though for my tastes, the other 2 choices you've listed are better. I've tried all 3 and currently own 2 of em - V200 & Soloist - so here's how I break them down.

 

Burson Soloist

Probably the most exciting presentation. Punchy, up-front and energetic. Of the 3 amps you listed, this is the one that has the best chance of getting a "wow" from most listeners (in that price category). Biggest soundstage of the bunch, and coupled with the TH900's already big soundstaging, leads to quite a big space outside and around your head. Maintains the TH900's bass-heavy signature, while the treble is slightly rolled off. Might cause fatigue in the long run if you prefer more laid-back presentations. If you're coming from heavily tube-flavoured amps, the Soloist can sound a tad dry simply because it wears it's solid state heart on it's sleeve. Stepped attenuator is an acquired taste - some love em, some hate em - and can cause a bit of a hum without a healthy supply of contact spray. Well built, for the most part.

 

Violectric V200

Warmer and a bit more tube-like compared to the Burson, despite also being a solid state amp. Very flexible thanks to the gain switches (on the back). A bit more laid-back than the Burson, but more exciting (imho) than the WA7. Signature is dark, the treble isn't shelved so you won't end up making your TH900 sound like an AM-radio Audeze LCD. The overall "darkness" is quite good if you're the the type that feels the TH900's treble can get a little fatiguing with certain types of music. Soundstage-wise, it's got a bit less height and width than the Burson, though depth is very, very good, especially when combined the the amp's dark-ish sub-bass. Also (again, imho) the most "forgiving" setup when combined with the TH900, meaning it flatters badly recorded material or overly strident DAC signatures the best, though it's still a U-shaped signature, so keep that in mind if you're a midrange freak. My favourite of the bunch. TH900's default bass reverb plus the V200's smooth sub-bass presentation result in a sort of wetness the other two don't give me. Made in Germany, so it'll easily a nuclear holocaust or two.

 

Woo WA7

The in-built DAC is crap. Absolutely crap!! It's like a budget version of a budget immitation of a budget first get Dragonfly. Thank goodness you already have the Cancero, but it's still a bit of a waste paying for a component you'll probably never use. In terms of signature, it's probably the most mid-forward of the bunch. I can't recall whether the one I demo'ed had stock or upgraded tubes, but to my ears it gives the TH900 the most neutral presentation of the 3 you listed. Treble has a bit of that tubey shimmer but isn't as attenuated as many of the traditional tube amps - in fact, the WA7 to me (if memory serves) sounds less tubey then the solid state V200. Bass impact is weakest of the 3 amps here, but the TH900 already has strong bass so you may like it if you like your sound more balanced. Vocals tend be a bit more intimate as a result. Depends on the type of music you listen to the most and also your personal sound preference. I'm a bit of an electronica basshead (neutral = neutered in my book) so I prefer a slightly darker signature, but if you're the type that prefers more vocally driven rock and singer-songwriter stuff, the WA7 might be more your style. Build wise, the demo I had was shoddy as hell. The glass lid was wobbly, the plugs at the back were loose, but it was a demo unit so I can't judge conclusively.

 

Keep in mind that your DAC signature also plays a part in the overall sound. For me, Sabre DACs like the Cancero are a bit too strident and plasticky (I'm an AKM or Wolfson guy), so I'd probably want a warm, wet amp. If you want the utmost clarity from teh DAC at the expense of a bit of richness, then you'd probably want a more linear amp. As they say, horses for courses.

 

Wow.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the detailed reply.  I very much appreciate it!!!  I've always wanted the V200 and it looks like a good match and what I am looking for.  The only thing that makes me kind of weary is that I do not want the mids being sucked out too much.

post #6620 of 10988

I liked the V200+TH-900 combination a lot. Very "musical/euphonic" if you allow me to be bland. :evil:

post #6621 of 10988
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBerube80 View Post
 

Wow.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the detailed reply.  I very much appreciate it!!!  I've always wanted the V200 and it looks like a good match and what I am looking for.  The only thing that makes me kind of weary is that I do not want the mids being sucked out too much.

 

I won't lie to you. It's still a rather U-shaped presentation. I wouldn't say the mids are sucked out, but they're distant. Some people say the V200/TH900 combo sounds a bit unnatural, but whether that's true or not (the term "natural" is very relative; everyone has his/her own interpretation), I really like them together. Tracks that are produced in such away that allows for the vocals to be forward will retain those qualities regardless of the amp, just with varying degrees of intimacy. Still best to try it for yourself and form your own opinion. Just take my words as basic guidelines or footnotes. Only review that should matter to you is your own. You're the Stig. The rest of us are just Clarksons.


Edited by kurochin - 3/17/14 at 10:17am
post #6622 of 10988

I think the V-200 with its warmth and the TH-900 with its slightly recessed midrange compliment each other very well.  I love the combination.

 

As a matter of fact, if someone with multiple pairs of headphones is looking for one all-purpose amp, I'd recommend the V-200 without hesitation.

 

Mine sounds great with the TH900s, and also my HD-800s and LCD-Xs.

post #6623 of 10988
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtim6 View Post

I think David mahler. Battle of flagships was an interesting read, he certainly deserves credit for his extensive testing. I could not however personally
Place the sennheiser HD 600 or 650 ahead of the TH900 like David did in any sonic attribute.
 

 

Neither could I; I have the HD650s and haven't used them once since I got the TH-900s.

 

I also directly compared the HD800 and T1 against the TH900s, and bought the Fostex. I found the HD800 technically impressive but musically univolving, preferring the T1.

post #6624 of 10988
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Meakin View Post
 

 

Neither could I; I have the HD650s and haven't used them once since I got the TH-900s.

 

I also directly compared the HD800 and T1 against the TH900s, and bought the Fostex. I found the HD800 technically impressive but musically univolving, preferring the T1.Coulk

I concur. HD800 is like a show-flat. Everything at the right place, but no life in it.

I know some professional reviewer and guys in the trade who think the same but admit they won't/ cannot say it.

post #6625 of 10988
Quote:
Originally Posted by quantx View Post
 

I concur. HD800 is like a show-flat. Everything at the right place, but no life in it.

I know some professional reviewer and guys in the trade who think the same but admit they won't/ cannot say it.

 

Sometimes I suspect the massive soundstage of the HD 800 is both its strength and its weakness: having everything so spread out does nothing for conveying a sense of intimacy.

post #6626 of 10988
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiats View Post

Sometimes I suspect the massive soundstage of the HD 800 is both its strength and its weakness: having everything so spread out does nothing for conveying a sense of intimacy.

Exactly! And it just doesn't feel right especially when sound comes out from such two small speakers which are so close to the ears. After some long time debate and hesitation, I eventually let go off the HD800, but will keep the TH900 for sure.

Just got an ATH-ESW11LTD yesterday, these have much smaller soundstage, but they sound really sweet on HM901. I guess we don't always need big soundstage like HD800 smily_headphones1.gif
post #6627 of 10988

Anyone tried these with a speaker amp yet?

post #6628 of 10988
Quote:
Originally Posted by richbass View Post

Anyone tried these with a speaker amp yet?

I listen out of multiple different vintage speaker amps and love the sound.
post #6629 of 10988
Quote:
Originally Posted by richbass View Post
 

Anyone tried these with a speaker amp yet?

 

I drive my Fostex out of the 8 Ohm  speaker terminals of my 8 watt 300B speaker amplifier. Before I went into headphones (because of small children) I used very high efficiency horn loudspeakers (112db/watt). I sold the speakers, but never sold the amplifier and the Western Electric 300B tubes. My amplifier has a relatively low input sensitivity of about 2 Volt to full RMS. The Fostex Th-900 are very efficient,  even with the low input sensitivity of my amplifier I had to built a resistor network (very easy to do) to get rid of noise and gain problems ( about  10 db noise reduction). Now it works perfectly fine. Of c ourse this is overkill for the Fostex, but is for sure delivers. I very much like the spacious midrange oriented sound of the 300B tube with the u-shaped sound of the Fostex. And although the WE300B tubes have often been criticized for lack of bass when driving tough speakers. They most certainly deliver with an easy to drive headphone like the Fostex. It is a very dynamic sound, even more dynamic than with my horn speakers. I have said this many times in this thread already, but to me the Fostex TH-900 is the perfect all purpose headphone. It took some fine-tuning with tubes to get there, it responds very well to these changes.

 

What I really love is its dynamic sound, it is alive, it is fast and it’s in control. Furthermore, it loves to be played loud, and as my name suggest I like that a lot. Indeed, its midrange never shouts and that really enables you do get to live-level sounds without irritation. Because it isolates some noise to the outside world my wife still has the impression that I am a normal guy that listens  at a normal decent volume (except the one time I let her try the phone without changing the volume….).  The sound is not too intimate and not too spacious with my equipment. It equally likes to play Aretha Franklin, as it does Mahler or Miles. It delivers when playing good recordings, but is does not destroy bad recordings (and there are many bad and bland recordings, not only in pop music but also in classical music).  The Sennheiser HD-800 did not. I love the Sennheiser with very dense and complex classical music like some parts of Wagner, Berlioz, Mahler and Bruckner. But, the combination 300B and Sennheiser was too spacious and distant to me with the other types of classical music, jazz and pop/rock, plus it leaked too much sound so no live levels  at night, which was a major issue for me.

 

In the end, the Fostex just reminds me of my horn speakers from back in the days, but with much better and deeper bass. I just love it. Again, no need for another headphone. It took me two years to find my perfect headphone, and another 6 months to tune my system by trying different tubes. But I really do enjoy my music right now!

post #6630 of 10988

I am simultaneously excited for you and envious.  The TH900 is definitely on my "to buy" list, just under a new amp (AURALiC Taurus MKII).

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