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Fostex TH900 mods - Page 4

post #46 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stjj89 View Post
 

It looks like my local dealer is taking forever to get back to me on replacement TH900 pads, and I think they might be on back-order by the US distributor. I do want to go ahead with the pad mod to see how it affects the TH900 though. If it turns out that I don't like the earpad mod and want to go back to the sound of the stock pads, can I pretty much re-stuff the pads with the original foam and have them sound like stock pads (without the stitching)?

 

Yes.

 

But you will lose the dust grill cloth, unless you sew it back. As can be seen in the picture, I don't use the grill cloth, it sounds cleaner without it. The TH900 already has a metallic grill for protection. I keep my TH900 in a case when not used, and I don't live in a dusty area.

post #47 of 196
Thread Starter 

BTW my replacement pads (and headband, and white assembly disks) also took 3-4 months to arrive. It's crazy with the parts orders from Japan. Same applies to Stax - the replacement pads arrived in a record breaking 8 months time...

post #48 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by zolkis View Post
 

 

Yes.

 

But you will lose the dust grill cloth, unless you sew it back. As can be seen in the picture, I don't use the grill cloth, it sounds cleaner without it. The TH900 already has a metallic grill for protection. I keep my TH900 in a case when not used, and I don't live in a dusty area.

 

Great! I might look into sewing on some organza to serve as a dust filter if dust becomes an issue. I did the same with the grill mod I performed on my HE-560 with minimal effect on the sound.

post #49 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by stjj89 View Post
 

It looks like my local dealer is taking forever to get back to me on replacement TH900 pads, and I think they might be on back-order by the US distributor. I do want to go ahead with the pad mod to see how it affects the TH900 though. If it turns out that I don't like the earpad mod and want to go back to the sound of the stock pads, can I pretty much re-stuff the pads with the original foam and have them sound like stock pads (without the stitching)?

 

Local dealers can be unintersted for replacement parts that don't have much margin on them.

For spare parts, including a bunch of small screws for example, I always contacted the distributor which in my case was SCV London for Europe.

I never had anything less than exquisite service from them, they value their customers. The same was true with the AT distributor a few years ago.

So contact the US distributor/importer and you'll have a bunch of spare parts in no time, or in the time it takes to order them straight from Japan.

 

Kudos to SCV London by the way, a fine, customer centered company!


Edited by AppleheadMay - 5/4/15 at 11:02am
post #50 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleheadMay View Post
 

 

Local dealers can be unintersted for replacement parts that don't have much margin on them.

For spare parts, including a bunch of small screws for example, I always contacted the distributor which in my case was SCV London for Europe.

I never had anything less than exquisite service from them, they value their customers. The same was true with the AT distributor a few years ago.

So contact the US distributor/importer and you'll have a bunch of spare parts in no time, or in the time it takes to order them straight from Japan.

 

Kudos to SCV London by the way, a fine, customer centered company!

 

I actually did contact the US distributor, American Sound and Music. They told me that the pads were back-ordered, and

 

"To get a price or to place an order for this part, you will need to contact one of our authorized dealers or service centers. "

 

Unfortunate =(

post #51 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by stjj89 View Post
 

 

I actually did contact the US distributor, American Sound and Music. They told me that the pads were back-ordered, and

 

"To get a price or to place an order for this part, you will need to contact one of our authorized dealers or service centers. "

 

Unfortunate =(

 

Yep, they don't seem to be up to the customer satisfaction standards of SCV London.

I ordered headbands, earpads and screws from them with no problem and minimal delay. They even helped me find a dealer for the HP-A8.

post #52 of 196
Has anyone done an A/B listening test comparing the stock Fostex TH900 to the Lawton Audio Level 1 Tune up with damping and new angled ear pad mod? Before I shell out the money want to know if the pads really make a noticeable and better difference from stock! What able cables?
post #53 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tunes View Post

Has anyone done an A/B listening test comparing the stock Fostex TH900 to the Lawton Audio Level 1 Tune up with damping and new angled ear pad mod? Before I shell out the money want to know if the pads really make a noticeable and better difference from stock! What able cables?

 

I have done that and @playitloud too - except for the new angled pad, but have tried other angled pads and it's quite opposite to what I wanted.

 

The Lawton basic mod works, it tames the bass overhang a bit, and doesn't touch the rest. Neither of us liked higher/angled pads with the TH900.

 

With the mod described in this thread, the difference is more noticeable and better, if you want better mids, deeper but not overhung bass, and bigger/more focused sound stage. About "shelling out money" - if you do it yourself, the total cost of the mod is less than the Lawton basic mod... so come on :).

People do shell out one or two orders of magnitude more money on amps, cables etc, without making this kind of difference.

 

However, this thread is exactly for people to try these, share experiences, and eventually develop it further. 


Edited by zolkis - 5/6/15 at 4:41am
post #54 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by tunes View Post

Has anyone done an A/B listening test comparing the stock Fostex TH900 to the Lawton Audio Level 1 Tune up with damping and new angled ear pad mod? Before I shell out the money want to know if the pads really make a noticeable and better difference from stock! What able cables?

 

Lawton:

- pads alone: bad idea

- pads + dampening: never tried, lemme know if you do

- pads + mods + cups (both bigger and different woods): a much better than stock TH-900

- pads + mods + really big cups from other source: not as good as with the Lawton cups, sound was off. I believe Mark found the right size cups for the Fostex Denon/Fostex phones and together with his dampening and pads the result is as good as I ever heard it.

- Lawton cables: no idea yet, will know in about a month.

 

FWIW + IMO

post #55 of 196

And I might add, I tried his full mods (dampening + cups) and removed his pads to replace them with the stock pads and found the result less. Especially decreased soundstage. So again IMO the three are made to be used together.

post #56 of 196

i installed lawton's damping tune up mod (sans earpads) last sunday & while i did do a bit of initial listening right after, its not until tonight that i got some decent audition time.

 

i would say that overall, its not a huge difference. however taken in context of reducing the loosey bass (& hence tightening the bottom), it's a big difference to stock. its much balanced now with the added effect of fleshing the mids out as well. end result is a smooth organic big sounding can with a detailed & delicate presentation. well worth the $55 for the kit.

 

unfortunately i didnt read this thread before ordering the lawton kit & since im very happy with the lawton mod, i wont be doing any further mods on my TH900 except to enjoy it. very interesting read nonetheless.

 

fwiw i think im enjoying my lawton mod TH900 more than the HD800 (based on 2yrs of previous ownership).

post #57 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleheadMay View Post
 

 

Lawton:

- pads alone: bad idea

- pads + dampening: never tried, lemme know if you do

- pads + mods + cups (both bigger and different woods): a much better than stock TH-900

- pads + mods + really big cups from other source: not as good as with the Lawton cups, sound was off. I believe Mark found the right size cups for the Fostex Denon/Fostex phones and together with his dampening and pads the result is as good as I ever heard it.

- Lawton cables: no idea yet, will know in about a month.

 

FWIW + IMO

Really helpful post!

post #58 of 196
So I guess we need to wait until someone has tried the Lawton mod consisting of damping with angled pads without new cups.
post #59 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by tunes View Post

So I guess we need to wait until someone has tried the Lawton mod consisting of damping with angled pads without new cups.

 

It depends on what you are trying to achieve. I have used the Lawton DIY damping kit and it works as promised on the Lawton website. My results were similar to ‘scottiebabie’.  I sincerely  believe that using the Lawton pads will also work as he promised on his website, e.g. increase soundstage, out of your head sound, reduce listener fatigue etc.  But that is not what I am after.

 

I wanted to hear more of the beautiful mids the Fostex TH90 is capable of. Our mods will provide that. More expressiveness, more detail, better timbre, better micro and macro dynamics.  I think it is safe to say that by bringing your ears closer to the driver you will get that.

 

Furthermore, when you increase the inner hole of the earpad to about 75mm you will get a more open and spacious sound. In addition, the activated carbon foam has a very open structure, which will also increase spaciousness.  I listen a lot to large scale classical works of Mahler, Puccini etc etc. The sound from the modded TH900 is very spacious but also direct and clear. The famous ‘removing the veil’.  I had the AKG K1000 for many many years,  and Sennheiser HD800 for about a year. With the AKG K1000 you can manage your soundstage by spreading out the driver away from your ear. At maximum spread you get a huge soundstage but a ‘weak sound’ (for lack of a better word). I always used them spread out for quarter of their maximum. Still a great soundstage but more direct involving sound. The Sennheiser has a large soundstage but I felt a bit detached from the music ( a bit similar to the AKG K1000 at max. spread). The Fostex Th900 is closer to the AKG K1000 at quarter stretch, especially with the mods. Sound is open, and clear but still direct.

 

I think Mark Lawton tried to capitalize on the strengths of the Fostex TH900, large soundstage for a closed headphone, and incredible bass. In effect they found out that the mids were improved as well.

 

We were after improving the mids of the Fostex, in effect we found out that the bass and openness of sound are improved as well. I think that captures the basic difference between Lawton and our approach.


Edited by playitloud - 5/7/15 at 3:12am
post #60 of 196

Just tried my hand at cutting out the carbon foam earpad filling:

 

 

Not the best job, but I hope it'll do. The inner hole measures slightly over 75mm (1-2mm over?), and I hope that won't have negative sonic effects. I followed the recommended measurements, and these seem extremely thin. So thin that the angle of them is barely noticeable unless you hold them up at eye level. I guess I'll find out if this is sufficient when I finally shove them into the earpds. Now to wait for the felt before I proceed with the rest of the mod!

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