Fostex new RP headphones - T50RPmk3, T40RPmk3 and T20RPmk3
Nov 12, 2015 at 6:23 PM Post #376 of 1,987

lawrecedent

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I agree completely that pleather pads are terrible for these headphones.  I tried the pleather angled HM5s and they were really bad.  Velour is definitely better.  I think I prefer flat over angled as the angled ones sound... odd, not bad just strange, but both are a vast improvement over any kind of tall pleather pad.  You would probably have to do significant modding to reduce bass in order to make pleather pads work.
Looking at the velour shure pads they look very similar in terms of size/depth to the stock pads. The reason I went with the hm5 pads on my mk2's was that they introduced bass but the best thing about them was the increased soundstage which turned them into truly great cans. I guess what I'm saying is I'm ideally looking for deeper pads that will absorb a bit of the bass. Does anyone have experience of the hm5 velours on the mk3's or could suggest a mod that might tame the bass somewhat? I'm thinking of opening them up at the weekend and might try some of the mk2 mods (mass loading the drivers and lining the cups with acoustic foam to see if that helps)

After my experience with the angled velour HM5s (which I still have... returning shipping costs are kinda high), on a whim I decided to try the Shure 940s instead of the HM5 flats.  I probably should have gone with the flat HM5s, but after significant chopping with a razor blade, they do sound pretty good.  (Probably too much to be worth the trouble.)

IBJamon
 
Nov 12, 2015 at 7:13 PM Post #377 of 1,987

IBJamon

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The shure pads are a bit less than double the thickness of the stock pads and are reasonably comfortable, though not as pillowy as the HM5.  The main reason I didn't just go to HM5 velour flats is because the seams on the HM5 angleds I have make me itch, so I thought these would be better in that way.
 
The angled's aren't bad, and I just put them back on.  The shure pads actually have more bass than these pads do, especially stock (they require significant modding out of the box to sound good).  These aren't bad though, but on some songs I don't like the 'distant' sound, which also requires more volume since there is more space.  And they still make my earlobes itch (it's wierd!).  The overall sound signature I otherwise prefer, but a lack of itching is a high priority...
 
The shure pads are velour on top, but have some pleather underneath, so have more bass than you might expect.  It sounds reasonably balanced to me after I cut out all of the material in the middle of the driver covering fabric.
 
IBJamon
 
Nov 12, 2015 at 8:46 PM Post #378 of 1,987

JK-47

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I might be wrong but I thought taping over the vents in the mk2's accentuated the bass? I may also erroneously believe that putting the pads over the cups like on the mk2's hence covering the venting in the earpad channel on the mk3 would also increase bass? Have you tried these mods on the mk3's?


Yes I have tried these mods, and have measured them mod by mod. Try them yourself if you have doubt.Taping over the CUP VENTS will reduce the bass. You will basically have a T40RP mkIII by taping over the cup vents. The vents in the ear side baffle are of a totally different design than the mkII's (the entire ear baffle is completely different for that matter)...
 
Nov 13, 2015 at 1:52 PM Post #379 of 1,987

lawrecedent

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Yes I have tried these mods, and have measured them mod by mod. Try them yourself if you have doubt.Taping over the CUP VENTS will reduce the bass. You will basically have a T40RP mkIII by taping over the cup vents. The vents in the ear side baffle are of a totally different design than the mkII's (the entire ear baffle is completely different for that matter)...

It sounds like you're the man in the know with these relatively new cans, I wonder if you could offer me some advice. I came from the HD650 before my mk2 which I tuned to sound like the sennheisers but with a wider soundstage (a little like a cross between the 650 and 700) This is what I am trying to achieve with my new mk3's as well as improving their pad comfort.
If I completely tape over the cup vents I'll essentially be creating a closed can which I assume will reduce the soundstage. Is there a way I can retain both by blocking the baffle vents or partially reducing the amount of ventialtion on the cup vents?
Also, is there any benefit to mass loading the drivers and lining the cups with the mk3? (I still have plenty of materials left over from the mk2 mod) Any advice from anyone in the know woild be greatly appreciated. I'm planning on cracking them open and starting the first test mods this weekend.
 
Nov 13, 2015 at 2:21 PM Post #380 of 1,987

SeEnCreaTive

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It sounds like you're the man in the know with these relatively new cans, I wonder if you could offer me some advice. I came from the HD650 before my mk2 which I tuned to sound like the sennheisers but with a wider soundstage (a little like a cross between the 650 and 700) This is what I am trying to achieve with my new mk3's as well as improving their pad comfort.
If I completely tape over the cup vents I'll essentially be creating a closed can which I assume will reduce the soundstage. Is there a way I can retain both by blocking the baffle vents or partially reducing the amount of ventialtion on the cup vents?
Also, is there any benefit to mass loading the drivers and lining the cups with the mk3? (I still have plenty of materials left over from the mk2 mod) Any advice from anyone in the know woild be greatly appreciated. I'm planning on cracking them open and starting the first test mods this weekend.



Taping vets I don't think will effect soundstage too much. Don't quote me on that though

For mass loading, the theory with the mk2s is the higher the mass of the baffle, the harder it is for the driver to move it when vibrating or pushing against air. Making things more stable. BMF Did some measurements on that subject

I'm assuming it will be the same on the mk3s, as the cans are more or less the same in most ways.
 
Nov 13, 2015 at 9:01 PM Post #381 of 1,987

JK-47

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It sounds like you're the man in the know with these relatively new cans, I wonder if you could offer me some advice. I came from the HD650 before my mk2 which I tuned to sound like the sennheisers but with a wider soundstage (a little like a cross between the 650 and 700) This is what I am trying to achieve with my new mk3's as well as improving their pad comfort.
If I completely tape over the cup vents I'll essentially be creating a closed can which I assume will reduce the soundstage. Is there a way I can retain both by blocking the baffle vents or partially reducing the amount of ventialtion on the cup vents?
Also, is there any benefit to mass loading the drivers and lining the cups with the mk3? (I still have plenty of materials left over from the mk2 mod) Any advice from anyone in the know woild be greatly appreciated. I'm planning on cracking them open and starting the first test mods this weekend.

 
I wouldn't say I'm the man in the know... But I have played around with a few small mods. I started with the T20RP mkIII's and taped off portions of the vents until I found something I liked. The first pic is the cup vents sealed  small amount of cotton dampening in the cups and Alpha pads in the stock earpad slits (I believe the portion of the Alpha pads that goes into the slit is blocking the ear side vents, due to being larger than the stock pads)
 

 
Second pic is the same but Alpha Pads mounted mkII style (I believe theear side vents are open because there is nothing in the slit). Less bass, but still has the nasty 4K dip
 

 
Third is the same set of mods: Cup vent fully sealed, cotton dampening in cups, and stock pads. Basically the equivilent to a slightly souped up T40RP mkIII
 

 
I also have a mini-XLR plug in the left earcup that eats up a small amount of volume, because I like the power I can deliver to these when I run balanced. I ended up with 1 unrolled cotton ball in the left, and 2 unrolled cotton balls in the right.
 
My Alpha pads are worn, but I have a set of cowhide ZMF pads on the way, and will be taking more measurements when I get back from work in 3 weeks.
 
Nov 14, 2015 at 2:30 AM Post #382 of 1,987

anorphirith

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ok so I received the t50rp mk 3, in the meantime I picked up some used LCD3f. Being the only two headphones I had home I did a quick fun comparaison.
 
The T50rp mk3 sound AMAZING: if the lcd3f are 2000$ the fostex should be at least 800$ !! they're very balanced. good bass, not very refined and a bit slow but they have a great impact. the highs are mellow they don't tickle but they're defined enough to enjoy. The mids are very good: the female voices is a little bit distant but very smooth and clear. They remind me of my HD650's. I have to stress how balanced they are ! very musical and jovial headphones. As for the comfort I find them very comfortable, the pad sits nicely on the ear, it's pushing the ear inwards a bit but I don't see why people rush to change them ? 
 
The LCD3 of course have more detail, more layers, everything is more defined and refined, soundstage is wider, highs are clean and clear. But I have to say, overall they sound less playful than the fostex. 
 
I would describe as the new T50rp mk 3 as French, they know how to enjoy life, they do quality work but don't seek perfection, they like to have fun but sometimes a bit moody. The LCD3 are German, they're very strict, they seek perfection in everything, they won't quit until the job is done perfectly in all it's small details. but after the work is done they're not as fun or as charming
 
Anyway for 140$ that I paid they're an absolute steal. it's really hard to justify the 2K price of the LCD3's after listening to these 
 
Nov 14, 2015 at 5:29 AM Post #383 of 1,987

lawrecedent

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ok so I received the t50rp mk 3, in the meantime I picked up some used LCD3f. Being the only two headphones I had home I did a quick fun comparaison.

The T50rp mk3 sound AMAZING: if the lcd3f are 2000$ the fostex should be at least 800$ !! they're very balanced. good bass, not very refined and a bit slow but they have a great impact. the highs are mellow they don't tickle but they're defined enough to enjoy. The mids are very good: the female voices is a little bit distant but very smooth and clear. They remind me of my HD650's. I have to stress how balanced they are ! very musical and jovial headphones. As for the comfort I find them very comfortable, the pad sits nicely on the ear, it's pushing the ear inwards a bit but I don't see why people rush to change them ? 

The LCD3 of course have more detail, more layers, everything is more defined and refined, soundstage is wider, highs are clean and clear. But I have to say, overall they sound less playful than the fostex. 

I would describe as the new T50rp mk 3 as French, they know how to enjoy life, they do quality work but don't seek perfection, they like to have fun but sometimes a bit moody. The LCD3 are German, they're very strict, they seek perfection in everything, they won't quit until the job is done perfectly in all it's small details. but after the work is done they're not as fun or as charming

Anyway for 140$ that I paid they're an absolute steal. it's really hard to justify the 2K price of the LCD3's after listening to these 

Its funny you say this as I've often wondered if it was worth taking the step up to the LCD's. I have a simlar view of my mk3's over my old modded mk2's. At the moment they have more quality bass and treble than my mk2's but I just don't find them as fun or engaging unmodded. I guess I'd probably find the LCD's too sterile. I think I probably go for a can that creates some of the dynamics of a live performance over one that presents the music like a studio monitor.
 
Nov 14, 2015 at 8:11 AM Post #384 of 1,987

PETEREK

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ok so I received the t50rp mk 3, in the meantime I picked up some used LCD3f. Being the only two headphones I had home I did a quick fun comparaison.

The T50rp mk3 sound AMAZING: if the lcd3f are 2000$ the fostex should be at least 800$ !! they're very balanced. good bass, not very refined and a bit slow but they have a great impact. the highs are mellow they don't tickle but they're defined enough to enjoy. The mids are very good: the female voices is a little bit distant but very smooth and clear. They remind me of my HD650's. I have to stress how balanced they are ! very musical and jovial headphones. As for the comfort I find them very comfortable, the pad sits nicely on the ear, it's pushing the ear inwards a bit but I don't see why people rush to change them ? 

The LCD3 of course have more detail, more layers, everything is more defined and refined, soundstage is wider, highs are clean and clear. But I have to say, overall they sound less playful than the fostex. 

I would describe as the new T50rp mk 3 as French, they know how to enjoy life, they do quality work but don't seek perfection, they like to have fun but sometimes a bit moody. The LCD3 are German, they're very strict, they seek perfection in everything, they won't quit until the job is done perfectly in all it's small details. but after the work is done they're not as fun or as charming

Anyway for 140$ that I paid they're an absolute steal. it's really hard to justify the 2K price of the LCD3's after listening to these 

Its funny you say this as I've often wondered if it was worth taking the step up to the LCD's. I have a simlar view of my mk3's over my old modded mk2's. At the moment they have more quality bass and treble than my mk2's but I just don't find them as fun or engaging unmodded. I guess I'd probably find the LCD's too sterile. I think I probably go for a can that creates some of the dynamics of a live performance over one that presents the music like a studio monitor.

Well, the LCDs are all different. The LCD 2 seems bass heavy, it's warm and deep. The LCD-2F is FLAT. Flat as a board. Very clear but nothing is exaggerated. The LCD-X is the best IMO. It's got great bass, while retaining the nice LCD mids and treble. I think the Fazor killed the fun in the LCD series, but they are a better reference headphone now though.
 
Nov 14, 2015 at 12:22 PM Post #385 of 1,987

lawrecedent

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Well, the LCDs are all different. The LCD 2 seems bass heavy, it's warm and deep. The LCD-2F is FLAT. Flat as a board. Very clear but nothing is exaggerated. The LCD-X is the best IMO. It's got great bass, while retaining the nice LCD mids and treble. I think the Fazor killed the fun in the LCD series, but they are a better reference headphone now though.


No doubt I'll try a few of them at different times when the price is right anyway but with value like these mk3's I'm not sure I'll be able to justify holding on to any really high priced cans any more.
 
Nov 14, 2015 at 12:29 PM Post #386 of 1,987

lawrecedent

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Just a thought, has anyone tried beyer pads on these? Sadly I don't have any at the moment to try but just from memory I think they might be a decent fit. I found the velours on the dt770 really comfy and the added depth and contruction of the pads might expand the soundstage without blowing the bass.
Just some further notes, gave these a few hours listening this afternoon and they don't disappoint. The new pads are a lot more comfortable although I can't get over the feeling that the driver is sitting too close to my ear still. Soundstage is decent (I'd say slightly less than HD650 but more than most closed cans) and the balance of the sound is really good. I'm just going to pop them open and have a peek inside. I might post a few pics if the light is still good enough.
 
Nov 14, 2015 at 1:07 PM Post #387 of 1,987

lawrecedent

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So this is what the driver looks like when the pads come off. Changes from the mk2, the thick black felt has gone leaving the driver naked except for the sheerest of materials a little like really sheer tights (panty hose for those in the US). Surrounding the driver is some foam which covers the vents that go from the inside of the front section of the cup to the channel in which the pads are fitted. When the cup is opened this is what the rear of the driver looks like.





The rear of the driver now appears to be covered in much thicker felt at leat 4mm deep (similar to mods on the mk2) but one section of the felt has been cut away revealing one portion of the rear of the driver. I believe this is the same on the th500rp. Appharently trying this mod on the mk2 messed up the bass which is maybe why there is the need for the additional venting at the front of the cup. The areas around the driver which were popularly filled with neoplast on the mk2 are now much shallower which would make mass loading them nore difficult and with less mass, arguably less beneficial, but I guess measurements might dictate otherwise. Although not that clear in the images, two of the sections are covered with felt. Although I didn't remove this I suspect that they may be covering some kind of porting or venting from the rear of the cup to the front but I might be wrong.



Finally, the inside of the cup looks almost identical to the mk2 so apart from the different graphics on the side I think they are essentially the same part.

So what do people think? Where to begin? After JK47's post above I am going to start by externally taping the vents up on the outside to see how that effects the sound.
 
Nov 14, 2015 at 6:31 PM Post #388 of 1,987

gr8soundz

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Nice pics. Too afraid to mod mine (happy with them as is) but the internal build quality looks pretty good; better than I anticipated given the low price.
 
There was a time when I would never have spent over $100 on a headphone. Then last year I spent over $400 on a couple (thought of them as personal investments in better sound). Now the mk3 at $140 makes the others seem way overpriced.
 
 
Nov 14, 2015 at 7:30 PM Post #389 of 1,987

lawrecedent

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Nice pics. Too afraid to mod mine (happy with them as is) but the internal build quality looks pretty good; better than I anticipated given the low price.

There was a time when I would never have spent over $100 on a headphone. Then last year I spent over $400 on a couple (thought of them as personal investments in better sound). Now the mk3 at $140 makes the others seem way overpriced.

 


I agree, its so easy to become a horder with this hobby! I used to own quite a few pairs and when they reached a significant value I decided to sell them all apart from 1 at home pair, one bluetooth pair and 1 pair of iems. It was tough but I ended up with the HD650. Hoever, when I bettered them with a modded pair of t50rp mk2 which I bought new for £80 even they had to go. Somerimes I wish I had a bit more variety on hand but I use the few things I now own a lot. To be honest, when I had a lot of gear most of it just sat gathering dust.

The way these mk3's are turning out I might just keep both pairs (mk2 and 3) for their different abilities and I'll still have spent less than £200.
 

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