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Fostex TH900 Impressions & Discussion Thread - Page 444

post #6646 of 8004

Each person definitely has their own preferences. And to me my audio mood swings from month to month - not so much of a new toy syndrome but more like a cyclic routine. I have certain months where I prefer my SR-009 to my TH-900 but in other months the TH-900 over the Stax. And recently with the ADs over the TH-900s but the some days the the Stax over the ADs. i.e. there is no consistency, nor no pattern. It really all depends on at minimum the following variables :-

- what music am I listening to

- what headphone signature am I bored with

- how do I actually feel at that particular moment

- etc.

 

Some aspects though I tend be more consistent. The Rox signature never agreed with me and I did try hard to like it. Similarly with the Audezes, I've always been fascinated with their popularity however each time I try (and I've tried the LCD2R2, LCD3, LCD-XC, and briefly LCD-X) it simply didn't appeal to me.

 

But I do cycle between the SR-009<->AD<->TH-900s regularly.

post #6647 of 8004
Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post


My 0.02. Don't bother with any mods. I did replace the stock cable with balanced, though.

  I agree with korhganesh, especially with regard to changing pads. In post 6277 I give my view on different pads on the Fostex TH-900. See:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/595683/fostex-th900-impressions-discussion-thread/6270#post_10241637

 

Similar to kothganesh I did replace the stock cable with the Moon audio silver dragon. I simple had to because my amplifier is a speaker amplifier with no headphone out. Hence, I need a headphone cable with speaker leads. 

post #6648 of 8004
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post
 

I have certain months where I prefer my SR-009 to my TH-900 but in other months the TH-900 over the Stax. And recently with the ADs over the TH-900s but the some days the the Stax over the ADs. i.e. there is no consistency, nor no pattern.

(...)

Some aspects though I tend be more consistent. The Rox signature never agreed with me and I did try hard to like it. Similarly with the Audezes, I've always been fascinated with their popularity however each time I try (and I've tried the LCD2R2, LCD3, LCD-XC, and briefly LCD-X) it simply didn't appeal to me.

 

But I do cycle between the SR-009<->AD<->TH-900s regularly.

 

Looks like we have the same taste... And neither Audeze cut it for me either. Good that you ended up only with 3 :).

 

Me too, I need the TH900 and a good Stax. While wobbling around the 009, I discovered the versatility of the 007-Mk1, which I can now make sound like the TH900 (yes, with a lot of deep bass) or the 009 (open, transparent, within some debated limits of course). It is so extremely sensitive to headband and earpad adjustments (even slight mods). For instance, after the headbands are properly adjusted (and they make a big difference to start with), by rotating the earpad springs around the clock, the sound is affected between warm, melodic & a bit closed sound to completely open, neutral and more dry, and in between the two ends. I love it - and for what it's worth, I usually end up settling the spring at the positions mapping to 4-6pm on the clock. This is easy since after a lot of testing, I stopped using the grills, and keep the phones in the box when not used, to prevent dust damage. Fortunately the air is very clean here.

 

Therefore I ended up adjusting the 007 to my mood and to the music and I don't miss the 009 that much any more (since the 007 is kind of more fluid), and I'll have the TH900 for work, fun and movies (leaks less and it's a lot more portable than the 007 :).

 

Speaking about possible TH900 mods, I am thinking what about filling the cup very lightly with natural non-carded wool blobs, hopefully helping the occasional bass overhang, deepening the bass and cleaning up/bringing forward the midrange in the same time. In addition, reduce leaking as well. That used to make wonders with full sized speakers I have built or modded, and I guess it would also work with these big wooden cups, but until I check it out, it's just theory. The accent here is on the just the right amount of filling/lining, and using non-carded natural wool (there goes my secret :). Then, perhaps internal lacquering would also have a small damping effect on potential structural tensions. Some loudspeaker manufacturers veneer the cabinets both inside and outside for this reason. It would make sense to apply internal coating for the TH900 cups too, because the cup is so heavily coated from outside - but that's a non-reversible mod and may affect the external coating, since that is already finished and dry... For now, I'll just wait with these because warranty reasons, just enjoying it as it is.

post #6649 of 8004

The TH-900 cups are already filled with 'something'. Probably not with your secret ingredient (non-carded natural wool), but there is some damping applied. 

 

 

 

 

post #6650 of 8004
Quote:
Originally Posted by playitloud View Post
 

The TH-900 cups are already filled with 'something'. Probably not with your secret ingredient (non-carded natural wool), but there is some damping applied. 

 

The effect of the synthetic fillings like the one in the picture (at least in speakers) is to damp deep bass too much, while muffling the midrange.

 

There is no perfect damping material, which would damp uniformly across the frequency range, but non-carded natural wool and goose down/feather get close to what is achievable. Think that sound and heat related properties go together. The down/feather is non-practical, leaving wool as the best available compromise. Note that for having light enough filling, sometimes a supporting space-mesh structure is needed, but in the case of headphone cups, this is not needed.

 

Most companies don't really bother with selecting the best damping for the given cabinet and use case, just follow some golden rules until the frequency response is acceptable - but there is still a big sonic room for improvements within that technical comfort zone. As this also depends on taste, golden rules are probably fine for a commercial product. Modding comes later :).

post #6651 of 8004
Quote:
Originally Posted by zolkis View Post
Speaking about possible TH900 mods, I am thinking what about filling the cup very lightly with natural non-carded wool blobs, hopefully helping the occasional bass overhang, deepening the bass and cleaning up/bringing forward the midrange in the same time. In addition, reduce leaking as well. That used to make wonders with full sized speakers I have built or modded, and I guess it would also work with these big wooden cups, but until I check it out, it's just theory. The accent here is on the just the right amount of filling/lining, and using non-carded natural wool (there goes my secret :). Then, perhaps internal lacquering would also have a small damping effect on potential structural tensions. Some loudspeaker manufacturers veneer the cabinets both inside and outside for this reason. It would make sense to apply internal coating for the TH900 cups too, because the cup is so heavily coated from outside - but that's a non-reversible mod and may affect the external coating, since that is already finished and dry... For now, I'll just wait with these because warranty reasons, just enjoying it as it is.

 

Wouldn't Lawton damping get you what you are after?  I'll have mine back from him next week to compare to stock. 

post #6652 of 8004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post
 

 

Wouldn't Lawton damping get you what you are after?  I'll have mine back from him next week to compare to stock. 

 

Most likely they would address the same problems, with potentially different peace points. Please share your findings later, I am curious. Even then I will likely prefer doing the mods myself (then I can choose my own compromise instead of someone else's), but it would be interesting to do a direct comparison with a non-modded one (memory can trick us on that). With speakers it's easier since I could modify one and keep the other as reference until an optimum is reached.

post #6653 of 8004
Quote:
Originally Posted by zolkis View Post

 

Speaking about possible TH900 mods, I am thinking what about filling the cup very lightly with natural non-carded wool blobs, hopefully helping the occasional bass overhang, deepening the bass and cleaning up/bringing forward the midrange in the same time. In addition, reduce leaking as well. That used to make wonders with full sized speakers I have built or modded, and I guess it would also work with these big wooden cups, but until I check it out, it's just theory. The accent here is on the just the right amount of filling/lining, and using non-carded natural wool (there goes my secret :). Then, perhaps internal lacquering would also have a small damping effect on potential structural tensions. Some loudspeaker manufacturers veneer the cabinets both inside and outside for this reason. It would make sense to apply internal coating for the TH900 cups too, because the cup is so heavily coated from outside - but that's a non-reversible mod and may affect the external coating, since that is already finished and dry... For now, I'll just wait with these because warranty reasons, just enjoying it as it is.

 

I'd be very interested in knowing your opinions after you do this. I've done something similar with my markl modded Denon D2000 with D5000 woodcups, although experimenting little with different materials (http://www.head-fi.org/t/350721/denon-d2000-d5000-md2000-md5000-appreciation-thread/3345#post_10220278). The midrange is much more upfront, detailed, and has more weight. The soundstage gained depth as well. In my opinion, this was a better strategy for taming the bass frequencies and making the soundstage more coherent in the Denon (and possibly Fostex) headphones, than using thicker earpads as suggested in the original markl mod.

post #6654 of 8004

I was wondering if anyone knew any place in the Bay Area where I would be able to test out the Fostex TH900. I currently have a pair of Ultrasone Pro 900s and I think the Fostex would be right up my alley but don't think I would be able to drop $1500 on a pair of headphones without at least listening to them first. Any information that you guys would be very much appreciated!

post #6655 of 8004

I don't think anywhere around here has them in stock, but some of us own them. Personally, I have them with the HP-A8 

post #6656 of 8004

So recall back about a month ago when I sent my TH900's to Mark Lawton for his damping...............there was nothing "wrong" with the stock (well, it did have a Q French silk cable on it) unit, but I just wanted to see if we could coax a little more out of it.  Maybe a little tighter bass.  Maybe a little deeper. 

 

Mission accomplished.  Mark's process works on these too. 

post #6657 of 8004

I had my first listening experience of the TH900 at the so-cal head-fi meet, with a Marantz amp, and I really loved them.  I thought they would be totally closed, but, they felt

like they were kind of open to me, I guess "semi-open" or "semi-closed", that surprised me.  They were super comfortable.  I own Sennheiser HD 598 and HD 650, I like the sound signature

of those, and I wonder if the Fostex would be a good choice for a "closed" headphone for me.  I feel I'd rather pay money to buy the Fostex TH900, instead of the HD800.  I'm curious now what a

Fostex TH600 sound is like compared, I'm sure there's a thread in here comparing them.

 

But, basically, from the So-Cal meet...and as a newbie audiophile, I left with an impression from the TH900, and the Stax SR009 (with the blue hawaii)...(which everyone loved).

post #6658 of 8004

If you like the HD-800 sound signature, but would want a slightly closed headphone with more bass in exchange for losing a little of the soundstage (but not much of it), then the TH-900 will fill the bill.

post #6659 of 8004

It's also easier to drive and not picky at all. And sorry Sennheiser, but it looks at least 4x as nice for the same price.

post #6660 of 8004

Yes, the HD-800s have always had that 1960s retro-future George Jetson look to them.

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