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Amp recommendations for Fostex TH900?

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  1. songmic
    Hello guys, I'm planning to buy a Fostex TH900 soon and I would like your ideas or recommendations on amp matching. I know Fostex TH900 is a relatively new product and not many people have heard it yet, but I hear from the high-ranking(?) members of Head-Fi that it is a glorious sounding headphone in the same league as the best headphones in the market (ex. LCD-3, HD800, SR-009), yet fairly easy to drive by most amps. Even so, I'd be glad to hear some honest opinions from experience, which type or model of headphone amp drove TH900 with great synergy. For example, solid state/OT-tube/OTL-tube/hybrid amp? Any particular company and model?
    Spec-wise, TH-900 has an impedance of 25 ohm, sensitivity of 100 dB/mW, and maximum input of 1800 mW. Now I know some people say they can tell what kind of amp would work great with a particular headphone simply by looking at its specs (impedance, sensitivity, etc.), and I know it's partly true, but we all know not everything works in perfect theory when it comes to headphone and amp matching. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. archeryc
    I am looking to use DP1 as the DAC and amp combo for my TH900, or I will choose M903, I still thinking between the 2...
  3. m2man
    I hate to dis my own gear but the DP1 just has a terrible amp. I'm not sure why people are so kind to it. My LCD-3's and Pro900's sounded just wrong on it.

    I recently added a Mjolnir and it was like whose headphones are these!? The LCD's are just totally awesome in comparison.
  4. songmic
    I don't know about the Pro900, but my experience the DP1 is not really suitable for driving orthodynamic headphones like LCD-2/3. It's still one of the best headphone amps for AKG's or Sennheisers, in my opinion.
    On the other hand, the LCD-2/3 benefit greatly from balanced headphone amps, because they have inherently low sensitivity compared to most other dynamic headphones. Mjolnir is a great choice, as is Bryston's BHA-1.
  5. Hubert481
    Did anyone already test the th-900 with symmetric connection XLR 4-pin? Any difference?
    Using a K1000 (bass heavy) with a V181, symmetric might be an option for the fostex.
  6. songmic
    I haven't, but D7000 (made by the same parent company Foster, and very similar design/sonic signature to the TH900) with XLR 4-pin made hardly any difference. By symmetric, I think you're referring to "balanced." Anyway, don't expect much change with TH900, because it is one of the easiest-to-drive, high sensitivity flagship headphone in the market. It doesn't need extra power from a balanced configuration like the K1000, HE-6, or LCD-2/3 does; on the other hand, it could be overkill and make it difficult to precisely control the volume running from a balanced amp.
  7. Hubert481
    Yes, i mean balanced (sorry for using a german word).
    The reason for balanced is that i want to use an extension cable of 13 meters (not always but sometimes).
  8. songmic
    Using such a long extension cable could degrade the sonic quality to an audible degree, I wouldn't recommend that. Even most cable companies admit, the best cable is no cable.
  9. Hubert481
    Using 13m with XLR should not be a problem.
    This is the price for listening in the wintergarden :)
  10. Hubert481
    Please could the TH-900 owners post their amp-modell?
    I am interested, what type of amp the TH-900 fans are using - THANK YOU!
  11. Carlsan
    Burson Soloist amp for me.  So far they sound excellent but only listened to them for the first time yesterday.
  12. dukeskd
    Other TH900 owners, please post what amplifiers you have used/are using and how they sound like.
  13. driver 8
    The Lehmann BCL works very well with these cans.  I'll be receiving the Burson Conductor for my TV setup in about a week and will report back then.
  14. songmic
    I've heard of Lehmann's reputation, but I didn't know it works well with the TH900. Is this BCL model their flagship headphone amp? How much does it cost?
  15. driver 8
    Nah, they recently came out with an upgraded version that uses better capacitors.  Mine was $1,150, but you could probably find it cheaper than that.
    I have an Eddie Current Balancing Act on the way which I'll try with the TH900's too.
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