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Fostex TH900 Impressions & Discussion Thread - Page 463

post #6931 of 14233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian411 View Post


What kind of mod you need to do to improve the mid? I am interested.


best mod to improve the mid's is a good Tube amp IMHO. Listening to Norah Jones & Phillip Plillips on WA22 + Th 900. Recessed mids ? What ? :confused: are we talking about the same HP ?

 

Please listen to the Wav / Flac version of the following song on TH 900 + good tube amp = goosebumps

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoRkntoHkIE


Edited by punit - 5/10/14 at 1:29pm
post #6932 of 14233

Looks beautiful but a bit on the pricey side, we can only buy so many of these...

post #6933 of 14233
Quote:
Originally Posted by punit View Post

 


best mod to improve the mid's is a good Tube amp IMHO. Listening to Norah Jones & Phillip Plillips on WA22 + Th 900. Recessed mids ? What ? :confused: are we talking about the same HP ?


 

Please listen to the Wav / Flac version of the following song on TH 900 + good tube amp = goosebumps


 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoRkntoHkIE


Yape, I have Zana Deux SE in my mind also, personally I think Woo Audio is more prettier :)

post #6934 of 14233
Quote:
Originally Posted by punit View Post
 


best mod to improve the mid's is a good Tube amp IMHO. Listening to Norah Jones & Phillip Plillips on WA22 + Th 900. Recessed mids ? What ? :confused: are we talking about the same HP ?

 

Please listen to the Wav / Flac version of the following song on TH 900 + good tube amp = goosebumps

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoRkntoHkIE


& to prove how versatile it is , also listen to the this after wards, the goosebumps will stay :

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP6X0jTl78k

post #6935 of 14233
Bella Sonus, standstill wink.gif if you want to test the bass ^^
post #6936 of 14233
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickLondon View Post
 

Looks beautiful but a bit on the pricey side, we can only buy so many of these...


Hang around here long enough and that opinion is sure to change ... :D

post #6937 of 14233
I definitely recommend the TH900 over the XC. With a small mod the midrange of the TH900 can be "fixed", now it gets close to my 007 Mk1... Bass extension is similar, but the Fostex has more bass, at the limit of being bothering, but it is fun. It works from any player. Weights more the Stax, less than the Audeze. Price now is good. The best choice if you want only one headphone.

 

More details on this. 

I use the TH900 at work, and the Stax SR-007 Mk1 at home. Both with modified ear pads, and I think I have reached an (at least local) optimum with each.

The Stax mod is described here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677809/the-stax-thread-iii/2310#post_10536905

Based on the previous experience in tuning the SR-007 ear pads, finding the optimum for the TH900 took quite short time.

My findings are the following:

- I could unmount the earpads easily by rotating them counterclockwise (when the cup in my left hand) with a short, firm movement. If unsure, do it the way suggested here earlier, by pulling off the earpad (this leaves the white support plate in place, and has to be taken away separately by using a tool). Then, please do take off the white disks, and click in in-out repeatedly until it goes smooth. It is the designed way to get the pads on and off, but the plastic is a bit rough in the beginning. For testing, I have just pressed the pads against the cups with the white plate off (i.e. without fastening them to the cup). This allowed only one unmounting and one mounting during the experimentation.

- changing the stuffing in the cup to natural wool did bring benefits, but not that huge. I'd leave the cup alone, there are better opportunities with other tuning types. I don't know how bigger cups (such as Lawton) would work, but the drivers don't have considerable backfiring flow (it's almost obstructed). There certainly is an effect, e.g. using without stuffing is definitely audible (cleaner bass with the slight overhang positioned lower in bass, making it less protruding), but the effect is not that big as one would expect.

- next in impact is the earpads. IMO the stock earpads would be fine, but the internal foam filling is too high, making the sound a bit hollow and dark compared how it will be. I have fit my other pair of SR-007 earpads with custom filling, and press against the Fostex while trying. They brought the midrange beautifully forward, widen the sound stage and make the bass a bit softer/rounder (for better or worse). Acoustic instruments sound better with the Stax pad, electronic music is better with the stock pads. The Stax pads are far more comfortable (for me). The stock pads sound somewhat better at lower volumes (likely for the relative loudness effect).

- by far the biggest change happens when changing the foam around the drivers. There are a lot of options there, with various density wool felt and foams, but I think the stock foam behaves quite well. When the earpads are off, one can still listen to the HP because the foam insert. It sounds rather good even that way. You should try it, since that is the signature I wanted to go with these mods, obviously without its sonic drawbacks. If I take away the foam completely (and put the earpads back), the bass disappears. If I use polyester pads, similar. Felt pads are very nice, but it would take a very long time finding the optimal density which would enable the same bass extension as with the stock foam. Material choices cause so big effect here that without measurement instrumentation I would recommend leaving the original foam in place. It's good enough. Fostex so far has surprised me with is excellent design choices: minimizing the effect of cups, instead using the front cavity with the foam insert, the tweakability of the pads, etc. 

So far this leaves me with the conclusion that if someone would prefer bringing the musical mids forward, should experiment with a little bit lower pads, and eventually different ear pad fillings.

Based on the above, I would avoid higher and angled pads unless the cup, or the foam around the drivers are also changed, and the whole system is tuned together.

 

As with the Stax mod, I have tried multiple materials for ear pad fillings. Read the effects in the Stax post linked above, they are the same for the TH900.

 

Disclaimer: the modified pads can be restored to the likeness of their original state, but involves un-sewing and (careful manual) sewing again, which is not the same as before. So this is a simple, but destructive mod.

 

First, unmount the ear pads from the drivers, by pulling the leather pad out, then around, until it comes off. 

Then, remove the white disk: not needed during the experiments, and it's easier to mound the ear pads back this way.

 

Then, undo the sewing on the edge of the white plastic base of the ear pads:

 

 

 

When done, the ear grill cloth comes off, and remove the foam filling:

 

  

 

Note that the foam filling is marked where it was bent because it's too high for the pads. This was deliberate, to stuff the ear pads more, but I claim the effect is not so good.

Next, trim 2-3 mm from the foam in a slanted manner, so that it aligns with the leather pad dimensions (i.e. the foam becomes slightly angled as well).

I have cut ~ 2-3 mm height from the whole circumference, plus ~2 mm more in the front.

Next, I have put the foam on a 2-3 mm high polyester pad (picture later). So the resulting height is more or less the same as it was before, except in the front where is less, but the polyester pad compresses more easily, and when you wear the headphone, it feels softer and the drivers get closer to the ear.

 

I have tried all combinations of materials which worked with the Stax, and interestingly enough, the winner was the same: active carbon pad with a thin layer of polyester filling (in the right the trimmed original foam pads). In the end I have removed even the thin layer of polyester pad.

 

 

Then, I have also tried changing the filling in the ear cups. First the original filling (polyester pads), then the natural wool blobs filling. The difference is small, and I ended up using the original filling to reduce the number of variables and for a more balanced, albeit a bit softer sound (again: pretty good design from Fostex).

 

  

 

Before assembling the cups back, remove at least 2 opposite screws, and align the cups with the wholes using a spot light. This is safe and sure. Use very gentle force with the wood screws.

 

The finalists for the ear pad materials were the trimmed original foam + thin polyester pad, and the active carbon pads+ the same polyester pads. Both have better midrange than the stock version, the difference was mainly in the bass, which also had effect on the rest. The original pads make a softer, rounder bass with good slam, with the slight overhang higher in bass frequency, therefore a slight bit more boomy/muddy.

 

The carbon pad filling made a bigger sound stage, lower bass extension (with less and lower frequency overhang), more transparent and direct sound, better attack and decay (as opposed to the slower, but pleasant "slam" of the originals) plus more coherent on all frequencies, resulting in more perceived resolution and PRAT. The latter (figured on the picture) was a clear winner, but I still have the other option around. The piano and saxophone sound convinced my this is more faithful to instruments than the original pad.

 

Finally, insert the white plastic assembly disks into the ear pads, align one of the dents with the sewing on the side of the ear pad, push the dents into the location, then (on the left cup) with a short, firm movement, turn clockwise to click in the pads. Turn the headphone and repeat.

 

Here is the result (earpad grills not assembled yet):

 

 

I played through a lot of acoustic and electronic music, and I could not find a fault really - my TH900 were never more enjoyable then now. It is still a bass-head phone, but with more natural, and even deeper bass.

 

I tried with a variety of players and a few amps at hand, and it sounded good with all of them. Of course, you will hear the same benefits of a good amp as before, or even more. I would not like to go into discussing whether amps can compensate the original TH900 to sound like the one with the mods. In my personal opinion, even though very likely Fostex knew what they were doing, the original pads are sub-optimal for me, and I managed to fix that in great part (probably there are even better mods, and I will likely try some of them in the future, as I will get hands on new materials).

 

In the modded form, the TH900 sound pretty (~90-95%) similar to the modded 007, which is still more open, spacious, transparent and resolved, but with less bass volume. Depending on my mood and the music type, I prefer the 007 or the TH900 - but once my brain adjusts to either, I think it's just (near) perfect, with no obvious protrusions, just lean back and enjoy. The new sense of tactility, space, bass extension and definition, resolution, etc made this well worth for me. The improvement of the 007 is even greater than that of the TH900, so imagine from where they have come.
 

But perhaps you should not do this mod before you get a replacement pad just in case (and also send me the link, as I risked destroying the original pads on my phones). Then, as good impression it made for me, these things are personal, too, so an improvement for me would perhaps be disappointment for others with a different taste, leaving them with a modded ear pad - OK, one can undo the change, but it's not the same. So, judge the risk, make your own choice, and consider this post just an input to your own mods: your own ears and brain should drive the changes.

 

Given the tweakability of the TH900 and the good sound to start with, IMO they are a very good headphone to buy and grow with.


Edited by zolkis - 5/11/14 at 3:36pm
post #6938 of 14233
Thanks everyone for your Th900 impressions and recommendations. I have decided to pull the trigger once saving is achieved. By the way, I will be pairing it up with AK120 and SR71B, does balanced setup increase SQ for TH900 a lot? Or should I just stick with SE and save $90 for the balance adaptor?

Thanks
post #6939 of 14233
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemtmaker View Post

Thanks everyone for your Th900 impressions and recommendations. I have decided to pull the trigger once saving is achieved. By the way, I will be pairing it up with AK120 and SR71B, does balanced setup increase SQ for TH900 a lot? Or should I just stick with SE and save $90 for the balance adaptor?

Thanks

Same question here... I gonna use AK240 to drive the TH900, is it necessary to mod the TH900 cable to balance version? smily_headphones1.gif
post #6940 of 14233
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemtmaker View Post

Thanks everyone for your Th900 impressions and recommendations. I have decided to pull the trigger once saving is achieved. By the way, I will be pairing it up with AK120 and SR71B, does balanced setup increase SQ for TH900 a lot? Or should I just stick with SE and save $90 for the balance adaptor?

Thanks


I sold all my portable CLAS -db, SR71b, etc. IMO portable setup doesn't even come close to cheapest Burson amp.

My old HA160DS outperforms any portable gears and it's cheaper.

 

As for the balance setup, I didn't notice a lot, maybe 5% better cleaner trebles.

 

I am done with the portable gears, enough. :)

post #6941 of 14233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian411 View Post


I sold all my portable CLAS -db, SR71b, etc. IMO portable setup doesn't even come close to cheapest Burson amp.
My old HA160DS outperforms any portable gears and it's cheaper.

As for the balance setup, I didn't notice a lot, maybe 5% better cleaner trebles.

I am done with the portable gears, enough. smily_headphones1.gif
+1. I still have the same portable gear that you sold but I will use it only when I'm traveling. With so many great desktop options, the Fostex deserves better, methinks.
post #6942 of 14233

So I'm really looking for a good deal on the 900's. I'm in Canada and the cheapest I can get them is $1599 (which is actually cheaper than most places) 

I've currently got a set of HD800's, AD's, PS1000's and a few others. My main source is my burson 160D, Creative ZxR soundcard and I've ordered the new oppo amp/dac.

 

The AD's IMO are not that great. I bought because of the hype and instantly knew they were not for me. I use my 800's the most, love them to death. I'm just looking for a good close back with some more bass for PC gaming ( yes I know I can go cheaper but I'm going all out)

 

Anyone know of anywhere to get a good deal on a set of the 900's in Canada? 

 

Thanks in Advance!

post #6943 of 14233
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWerk View Post
 

 

I saw this on Ebay as well, from Sonic Sense, and was like damn, that's a good price!

 

Seems like they moved the price back up. It's higher on Ebay now, and your provided link.

 

Anyways if you got them at that price, congrats! Amazing deal. Tell us what you think of them!

Yea I did get them for $1100!  They're fantastic.  They're amazing for EDM especially, given how perfect the bass sounds.  They sound very crisp and smooth for acoustic rock.  I haven't found a genre that they don't work well in, I just remember getting this huge grin on my face when I was listening to my usual playlist (mainly alternative rock, punk, hardcore, metal, dubstep, electro house, and some trance.


Edited by Byrnie - 5/12/14 at 3:40pm
post #6944 of 14233
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGovernment View Post

So I'm really looking for a good deal on the 900's. I'm in Canada and the cheapest I can get them is $1599 (which is actually cheaper than most places) 
I've currently got a set of HD800's, AD's, PS1000's and a few others. My main source is my burson 160D, Creative ZxR soundcard and I've ordered the new oppo amp/dac.

The AD's IMO are not that great. I bought because of the hype and instantly knew they were not for me. I use my 800's the most, love them to death. I'm just looking for a good close back with some more bass for PC gaming ( yes I know I can go cheaper but I'm going all out)

Anyone know of anywhere to get a good deal on a set of the 900's in Canada? 

Thanks in Advance!

I bought mine from avshop for $1440 I believe before hst.

I think if you show sonic sense price ($1199 usd) they will probably reduce bit more.

If you buy from US, $1200 usd + conversion is about $1300 cad. And if you ask them to declare just under $200 you can get it for $1300 cad.

Hope this helps,
post #6945 of 14233

AVshop and moog are the $1599 CDN and sonicsense is $1499 US. I've been looking for the last week or 2 and other than ebay (which I don't trust as much for $1399) it's tough to find anything cheaper as of yet.

 

thanks for the suggestions though!

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