Fostex recommendation
Sep 3, 2019 at 9:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

Steve B.

New Head-Fier
May 13, 2019
Looking for some thoughts on different variants of fostex headphones. I have the TH900 Mk 2 which I love, when using it with the Schiit Loki, where I can tone down the upper frequency by a few dB. Not always, but usually it just comes across as too bright for me. But with a little tweaking of the treble, these are ideal for me. I love the deep bass.

So my question is does anyone know if the TH600, or the massdrop TR series (purpleheart, mahogany, or ebony) have a sound similar to the TH900, but with reduced treble? Do the TR series use the same cable as the TH900?

If none of those work, is there another that would? I have the meze 99 classic but maybe something a little more refined and not sooooo bloated in the mid bass (I tried the smaller pads and it did reduce the bass but made the upper mids a little harsh)? I tried the some Audeze (LCD2, LCD2C) but did not think much of them and returned them. I just did not hear the bass and the sound seemed to "airy". I want to try the campfire cascade but from what I read they are bass cannons, but lack in mids and treble. I also had the ZMF atticus (using with a tube amp) and did not like them - they seemed a little muffled to me like there was cotton between my ear and the driver).

Any recommendations?
Sep 7, 2019 at 12:51 AM Post #2 of 4
Hi Steve, I have heard a lot of the Fostex headphones and own the TH-600 (with 610 pads). The TH-600 sounds about 85-90% the same/as good as the 900. If you already have the 900, the only thing I would recommend is that you try putting the TH-610 pads on the 900. It tames the treble and sub-bass a bit and makes it sound better overall. I believe the Massdrop variants are basically just a TH-600 driver with wooden cups and TH-610 like pads. Very good value for money. But again, not worth it if you already have the 900, just buy the replacement pads and you basically have a TH-610/TR-X00 with better detail and clarity.

I agree about the Audeze's, they sound dark, muddy and muffled compared to the Fostex's. Plus, the bass isn't as good as well. I have tried the Cascades and they are VERY good. Not lacking anywhere at all, definitely not bass cannons, at least when compared to the Fostex's. The Fostex's are the bass cannons! They are on my want to buy list. They are clear, fast, detailed and the bass is excellent. I would say that they have more midbass than the Fostex, but less sub-bass. They don't slam or punch as hard, but it's close enough that it doesn't really matter. They have very nice, non-fatiguing and non-sibilant treble. Better than the Fostex's for sure. Another headphone to check out, if budget permits, is the Focal Stellia. They are phenomenal, slightly lacking in bass compared to the Fostex's, but every other box is ticked. Also look into the Kennerton range, kinda rare, but they look beautiful. Hope this helps.

P.S In a nutshell: Buy TH-610 pads and put on your 900s. Seriously look into the Cascades, they are fantastic.
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Sep 7, 2019 at 2:20 PM Post #3 of 4
Thanks Monkey I do have the TH900Mk2, and I have already put on the 610 pads and it did help a lot with the treble. My Schiit Loki also helped greatly :). I also bought a LQI cable 4.4mm pentacon for my 900's. However, I decided I would like to keep my 900's as single ended to be run from my loki/asguard2, and I am looking for a similar pair, that I can use my LQI cable (damn fostex 900's have proprietary cable) for use with my ibasso DX220 with AMP8. I do not want to swap cables or use adapters as I think my 900 set up is ideal. I am leaning toward the TR X00 Ebony. Also thinking about Denon 7200/9200. Have you heard them?

One thing that worried me about the cascade is that it looks like it is on ear, not over ear. I really do not like on ear phones. Also, no one, including campfire, has them in stock. I also want the campfire solaris 2, but they are also out of stock everywhere. The Stellia looks really nice (also considered the Elegia), but the elegia seems to be lacking under 120Hz, and I would probably opt for the Meze Empyrian for the same price as the Stellia. I think I really want that phone but cant really justify the 3 grand. Maybe someday though......
Sep 8, 2019 at 4:13 AM Post #4 of 4
I haven't heard the Denon's, but if you're looking for a different sound from the 900, I would probably look into the Denon's more so than the X00. The X00 is really a side step and in some ways a backwards step coming from the 900. Another option, for less money, might be the E-MU Teaks, Similar sound to the Denon's but cost much less.

The Cascade's are definitely quite a small/portable hp, but they are definitely over-ear and not on-ear, they don't sit on the ears.... unless you have particularly large ears... Sucks you can't find them anywhere, if you ever see them pop-up used on eBay or whatever BUY THEM! Beryllium driver headphones are incredible!

I had the Elegia, but parted with it because it was very bright/fatiguing, at least with my setup and music (kept on turning the volume down more and more) and was a bit lacking in bass. But still a very good headphone overall. Yeah, I definitely understand about the Stellia and Empyrean, I think they are very over-priced personally.
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