Fostex new RP headphones - T50RPmk3, T40RPmk3 and T20RPmk3
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L0rdGwyn

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Howdy ya'll - in a bit of a bind and hoping to get some feedback.
 
I've owned a pair of T50rp Mk3 for a little over a year now.  They recently fell off of my desk, about a two foot fall, completely shattering the joint that holds the headband slider to the ear cup.  I decided to spend the $30 to replace the necessary parts (after taking them apart and figuring out what needed to be fixed) while also picking up some items to mod the cans since I was already going down that path (total cost of about $70).  However, after fixing the slider joint problem, I discovered the right channel was completely gone after reassembly...the wire soldered to the right driver had broken apart while I was putting them back together, despite my attempts to avoid this problem.
 
I don't own a soldering iron, and buying one would put me further into the hole.  And, at this point, I am just annoyed with the build quality and the fact that I am putting almost as much into fixing and modding the headphones as I did buying them.
 
Is it worth attempting to fix the soldering to fix the headphones, or is it a lost cause?  Looking at spending $90 for repairs and mods for a $140ish pair of cans.
 
Thanks!
 
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SomeTechNoob

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A soldering iron is quite cheap, and soldering skills can be extremely useful in the future.  Even a $20 chinese 936 soldering station should last you a good while.
 
Have you tested the driver to see if it's actually broken or if the solder joint just broke, though?  It would be a shame to solder the driver but realize that the whole thing is busted instead.
 
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KANNONS

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  Howdy ya'll - in a bit of a bind and hoping to get some feedback.
 
I've owned a pair of T50rp Mk3 for a little over a year now.  They recently fell off of my desk, about a two foot fall, completely shattering the joint that holds the headband slider to the ear cup.  I decided to spend the $30 to replace the necessary parts (after taking them apart and figuring out what needed to be fixed) while also picking up some items to mod the cans since I was already going down that path (total cost of about $70).  However, after fixing the slider joint problem, I discovered the right channel was completely gone after reassembly...the wire soldered to the right driver had broken apart while I was putting them back together, despite my attempts to avoid this problem.
 
I don't own a soldering iron, and buying one would put me further into the hole.  And, at this point, I am just annoyed with the build quality and the fact that I am putting almost as much into fixing and modding the headphones as I did buying them.
 
Is it worth attempting to fix the soldering to fix the headphones, or is it a lost cause?  Looking at spending $90 for repairs and mods for a $140ish pair of cans.
 
Thanks!

I would just buy new/used ones from a trusty headfi'er and you'll probably get some 1540 pads, head strap, and vmoda cable for around 130 usd. I just bought Fostex T20RP Mk III + Shure 1540 / 1840 pads + Mr. Speakers Head strap + Vmoda cable for just that and I have T50RP MK3 with those exact extras and I had to buy the extras separately at full cost for my 50's. There are many many TR50,40,and 20's out and a bout with those exact extras also known as the ZEOS mod. Anyway, your old 50's can now be spares to keep the good fight going for the new 50's.
With mine, I am going to Mayflower the 50's and Alpha project the 20's most likely, depending on which I like the best. So there are some options mate
Cheers
 
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L0rdGwyn

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Thanks for the feedback, guys.  I think I am going to go for it and buy a cheap soldering iron.  I did test the driver, it still works.  I am going to be soldering tiny copper wires onto a flexible circuit, which I'm not sure can be done with your typical soldering gear.  I think I will try and heat the existing solder and just poke the wires in before it cools.  Wish me luck!
 
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musicfan145

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 I am going to be soldering tiny copper wires onto a flexible circuit, which I'm not sure can be done with your typical soldering gear.  I think I will try and heat the existing solder and just poke the wires in before it cools.
Yes, exactly. Be ready with the wire, because the solder on the pad melts extremely quick--like the instant you touch it with the iron.
 
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Nick-s-f

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  Thanks for the feedback, guys.  I think I am going to go for it and buy a cheap soldering iron.  I did test the driver, it still works.  I am going to be soldering tiny copper wires onto a flexible circuit, which I'm not sure can be done with your typical soldering gear.  I think I will try and heat the existing solder and just poke the wires in before it cools.  Wish me luck!

That trick worked for me.

  Last year, I had my T50s apart dozens of times playing with mods until the ground wire in the right cup came loose. I poked the joint then had to very quickly put the wire in. Then I added a tiny bit extra solder on top to really seal it in. The joint itself now looks unprofessional and hideous, but it has worked for some months now.
 
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caly

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  They were worth it to me.  But then again, it's all a matter of whats comfortable and provides good SQ vs cost for YOU.  For me it was one and done. No stress, no pad rolling, no fretting.
 
Thanks, I'll probably end up deciding between either those or the 840 pads. Or has anyone tried the 940 velour pads? I'd prefer to get earpads not made with pleather.
 
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rendyG

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Finally! After opening my cups many times I think I can say my modded t50rp sounds fantastic and I want to share my variation with you guys :)

I will start with pads. After researching I chose HM5 Hybrids, excellent comfort, imho no better option for this price. They increase the highs (even the 12kHz+ which stock is somewhat missing) and make nice big soundstage.
I also use 2-3 layers of really breathable thin foam on the ear side to reduce highs as I am treble sensitive. Some people use toilet paper - more drastic approach.
Today I made a foam inserts to make the pads angled. Worked really nice as you can see in the second picture - brings the stage more in front of you.
angledfoam.jpg angled.jpg

Next one is comfort strap, you can buy it or you can simply do it yourself. I used some black elastic material, others usually use leather.
comfortstrap.jpg

If you are afraid to open the cups, I would recommend you to apply BMF dots / Mrspeakers Doggie Treats which in this configuration reduces imho very noticeable 9kHz peak and even adds more air!
Then there are 8 baffle vents. By closing them you can increase the bass significantly. I have 4 vents closed, but without the inner dampening this can be too much.
earside.jpg
Mid bass can be reduced by closing external cup vents, you can basically transfer t50rp to t40rp if you close all four completely.. I closed three of them.
final.jpg

Combination of the mods above can be enough to mod these headphones to your liking and they are all reversible.
But if you want more, lets open the cups..
Baffle: well known mass loading which tightens the bass, but adds weight, you have to decide.
Driver: usually you will use stiffened craft felt, but I used thin soft black felt (secured with double sided tape) in combination with acoustic polyfill (not on pictures), you can also use wool, cotton.. By both of these you are controlling bass and increasing desirable sub bass extension.
driver.jpg

Lastly we have cup which I dampened with acoustic foam and then added ladder rungs.
Previously I had this whole cup dampened with acoustic foam, but I think it was overdampened.. so I removed the foam from the middle column and instead of it used just stiff felt. I have also read that covering the pivot makes the highs less natural or something, so I left it uncovered. This smooths things a lot, removes most of the reflections and reduces the mid bass hump.
cup.jpg
Note I have no picture with cup filled with polyfill as mentioned above, this is the trickiest part. There are many options when choosing the material (polyfill, cotton, wool, fiberglass, rockwool, open cell foam..) if you want to experiment :)
You have to use the right ammount and balance the sides. If you do it right, you will get nice, sweet, extended bass :p


Thanks BMF, Mrspeakers, Mayflower and many of you guys on the forums. You all inspired me and I learned a lot by moding. I´m glad I have these awesome headphones which now sounds waaay above its price point. Wish I could A/B them against stock mk3 and other t50rp mods :p

I hope this post will be helpful to some of you! :wink:
Feel free to correct me, ask me or share your experience with this mod.
Like appreciated :p


EDIT: adding a FR from my cheap diy rig, the right driver has been replaced by a new one (stripped the threads). That could be the reason for the dips in midrange, also I haven´t tightened up the new driver, so that is another possibility.
mk3 measurement.jpg
vs HD580 coin mod, regrilled
HD580 vs mk3.jpg

vs T-X0 stock
mk3 vs T-X0.jpg
 
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vertical

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Finally! After opening my cups many times I think I can say my modded t50rp sounds fantastic and I want to share my variation with you guys :)

I will start with pads. After researching I chose HM5 Hybrids, excellent comfort, imho no better option for this price. They increase the highs (even the 12kHz+ wchich stock is somewhat missing) and make nice big soundstage.
I also use 2-3 layers of really breathable thin foam on the ear side to reduce highs as I am treble sensitive. Some people use toilet paper - more drastic approach.
Today I made a foam inserts to make the pads angled. Worked really nice as you can see in the second picture - brings the stage more in front of you.

 


Next one is comfort strap, you can buy it or you can simply do it yourself. I used some black elastic material, others usually use leather.



If you are afraid to open the cups, I would recommend you to apply [COLOR=FF0000]BMF dots / Mrspeakers Doggie Treats[/COLOR] which in this configuration reduces imho very noticeable 9kHz peak and even adds more air!
Then there are 8 baffle vents. By closing them you can increase the bass significantly. I have [COLOR=0000FF]4 vents closed[/COLOR], but without the inner dampening this can be too much.


Mid bass can be reduced by closing external cup vents, you can basically transfer t50rp to t40rp if you close all four completely.. I closed three of them.



Combination of the mods above can be enough to mod these headphones to your liking and they are all reversible.
But if you want more, lets open the cups..
Baffle: well known mass loading which tightens the bass, but adds weight, you have to decide.
Driver: usually you will use stiffened craft felt, but I used thin soft black felt (secured with double sided tape) in combination with acoustic polyfill (not on pictures), you can also use wool, cotton.. By both of these you are controlling bass and increasing desirable sub bass extension.



Lastly we have cup which I dampened with acoustic foam and then added ladder rungs.
Previously I had this whole cup dampened with acoustic foam, but I think it was overdampened.. so I [COLOR=FF0000]removed the foam from the middle column[/COLOR] and instead of it used just stiff felt. I have also read that covering the pivot makes the highs less natural or something, so I left it uncovered. This smooths things a lot, removes most of the reflections and reduces the mid bass hump.


Note I have no picture with cup filled with polyfill as mentioned above, this is the trickiest part. There are many options when choosing the material (polyfill, cotton, wool, fiberglass, rockwool, open cell foam..) if you want to experiment :)
You have to use the right ammount and balance the sides. If you do it right, you will get nice, sweet, extended bass :p


Thanks BMF, Mrspeakers, Mayflower and many of you guys on the forums. You all inspired me and I learned a lot by moding. I´m glad I have these awesome headphones which now sounds waaay above its price point. Wish I could A/B them against stock mk3 and other t50rp mods :p 

I hope this post will be helpful to some of you! :wink:
Feel free to correct me, ask me or share your experience with this mod.
Great write up!
 
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audiolibrarian

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Does anyone have some measurements of these with the normal pads and then with an assortment of other pads to see what each one does to the sound?
 
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marcan

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  Does anyone have some measurements of these with the normal pads and then with an assortment of other pads to see what each one does to the sound?
There some here on head-fi but it depends on the revision model. On mk3 the pads and how they change the sound have a different impact than other models.
 
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rendyG

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Does anyone have some measurements of these with the normal pads and then with an assortment of other pads to see what each one does to the sound?

I found a few measurements with different pads on the internet, but dont remember where it was, you can google it :D Or if you PM me, I can send you some downloaded pics I have.
 
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audiolibrarian

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I was hoping there would be some more definitive proof as to what the pads did to the sound of the MK3's rather than something subjective.
 
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paulmazz

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Mad_Economist did a few pad measurements. 
https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/3yajpu/t50rp_pad_replacement/
 
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