Fostex TH600 Dynamic Headphones
Sep 18, 2015 at 9:20 PM Post #2,926 of 3,434

Luckbad

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  Did you get a chance to hear the audeze pads with the stock earcups? I'm sure you know the scientific folly of changing multiple variables.

 
I used the Audeze pads all day at work today. I flipped the inner ring over and I think I got a better seal because of that, because they were no longer fatiguing.
 
I believe my earlier issues were caused by the pads being slightly large for the TH600.
 
All day long and the cans were supremely comfortable.
 
Sep 19, 2015 at 12:40 PM Post #2,927 of 3,434

tomatoshoe

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Just a FYI, make sure the earpads are adjusted so that the thicker side is on the rear of the headphones.
 
Use the seam as a guide and align it with the side pin of the headphone (This is an image of the front of the headphone aka without the L and R on the headband):
 

I've seen a lot of reviewers/ people's Fostex that have earpads not aligned properly, and they definitely mess with the sound as well as the comfort.
 
EDIT: whoops lol
 
Sep 19, 2015 at 9:42 PM Post #2,930 of 3,434

zackzack

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It takes 5 minutes (+ putting the varnish and lacquer on) to make one of those cups on the lathe, they're worth 30-40 dollars tops, material and work, ask any woodworker who makes furniture and he will tell you that. Just saying, people think wood is much more expensive than it is, and think it's much harder to work with it than it actually is.  In fact, nowadays if you have a CNC machine for wood (which every modern woodworker has) you can produce them like popcorn. It's an extremely simple and quick product to manufacture for anyone with semi-advanced woodworking skills and FAR easier than it is to produce furniture for instance. Just as an example, someone here thinks that paying 500 dollars for a pair of small ear cups is worth every penny and it's a work of art, but the same person wouldn't consider a piece of 500 dollar furniture to be work of art (even if it takes infinitely more skill, time, material, effort to build).  Just saying, don't lose common sense like most audiophiles do when they start talking about audio products, just because this is an ear cup for a headphone, doesn't mean it's worth 200,300,400 or 500 dollars. If it was a...let's say a cup for serving food, or a plate (which are extremely similar in ways of production and material to an earcup) you wouldn't pay more than 20, 30 dollars for it, no matter how nicely it was finished. In fact, again, go to any woodworkers shop, and you'll find stuff like this that they make for fun out of scrap materials and then sell for cheap. And that's exactly what wooden ear cups for headphones are, they're that simple. The issue is most people think that with these wood headphone cups there's a lot of engineering going on...no there isn't. The only thing you play with is the shape and thickness of the wood, very simple, much, much simpler than making an earcup out of plastics. Takes 5 minutes to make a design in any CAD program and a few minutes to carve it out with a CNC machine. The rest of  the process it takes to get it look pretty basically take minimal skill (relative to what woodworkers usually do), just time. Sorry to bust the myth of wooden ear cups and their extremely overblown prices, but as an engineer it kind of bothers me that people would think a piece of wood that just took some simple carving into a very simple and generic shape (it's a cup, not a violin) is worth far more than developing an ear cup out of an artificial material that was actually engineered and took hundreds or thousands of hours of work to perfect, and can be tuned to have EXACTLY those properties that engineers wanted. That's why for example in my mind the HD800 ear cups are worth far more than say any of the Audio Technica, Fostex or Denon woodies, because it took far more knowledge and skill to develop it.  Sure, some wood has positive effects on the sound for some people, but that doesn't make it worth as much as people are paying.


Sober me up completely...
 
Sep 20, 2015 at 12:21 PM Post #2,931 of 3,434

roguepp88

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It takes 5 minutes (+ putting the varnish and lacquer on) to make one of those cups on the lathe, they're worth 30-40 dollars tops, material and work, ask any woodworker who makes furniture and he will tell you that. Just saying, people think wood is much more expensive than it is, and think it's much harder to work with it than it actually is.  In fact, nowadays if you have a CNC machine for wood (which every modern woodworker has) you can produce them like popcorn. It's an extremely simple and quick product to manufacture for anyone with semi-advanced woodworking skills and FAR easier than it is to produce furniture for instance. Just as an example, someone here thinks that paying 500 dollars for a pair of small ear cups is worth every penny and it's a work of art, but the same person wouldn't consider a piece of 500 dollar furniture to be work of art (even if it takes infinitely more skill, time, material, effort to build).  Just saying, don't lose common sense like most audiophiles do when they start talking about audio products, just because this is an ear cup for a headphone, doesn't mean it's worth 200,300,400 or 500 dollars. If it was a...let's say a cup for serving food, or a plate (which are extremely similar in ways of production and material to an earcup) you wouldn't pay more than 20, 30 dollars for it, no matter how nicely it was finished. In fact, again, go to any woodworkers shop, and you'll find stuff like this that they make for fun out of scrap materials and then sell for cheap. And that's exactly what wooden ear cups for headphones are, they're that simple. The issue is most people think that with these wood headphone cups there's a lot of engineering going on...no there isn't. The only thing you play with is the shape and thickness of the wood, very simple, much, much simpler than making an earcup out of plastics. Takes 5 minutes to make a design in any CAD program and a few minutes to carve it out with a CNC machine. The rest of  the process it takes to get it look pretty basically take minimal skill (relative to what woodworkers usually do), just time. Sorry to bust the myth of wooden ear cups and their extremely overblown prices, but as an engineer it kind of bothers me that people would think a piece of wood that just took some simple carving into a very simple and generic shape (it's a cup, not a violin) is worth far more than developing an ear cup out of an artificial material that was actually engineered and took hundreds or thousands of hours of work to perfect, and can be tuned to have EXACTLY those properties that engineers wanted. That's why for example in my mind the HD800 ear cups are worth far more than say any of the Audio Technica, Fostex or Denon woodies, because it took far more knowledge and skill to develop it.  Sure, some wood has positive effects on the sound for some people, but that doesn't make it worth as much as people are paying.
 


 
 
Sober me up completely...

I guess he makes a point, but I don't necessarily think he is correct. Don't want to start a debate, but having a cousin who works in the audio business (not headphones, but speakers), the care that goes into the wood/ply is much more tedious than what goes into other material designs (need to make sure the air-movement/tightness and vibration characteristic of the material is up to standard, plus the price of good wooden material is much more expensive than metal or plastic). Everything from the driver design to driver alignment has to be designed with a special thought with the characteristics of wood in mind. Plus product quality check has to be even higher since wood that are used in high grade earphones are much rarer and quality is not as easily controlled as other material (a certain density must be achieved I think, and it can't be too heavy otherwise the headphone becomes too heavy). There is also a reason why more of the most expensive speakers use wooden housing instead of other material, its simply better, and if it gives a better sound, I don't see why they can't charge more for it. Unless the guy above is a sound engineer, not just any old engineer, and can completely correct me, I don't think his argument that all wooden earphones are overpriced is correct. 
 
I guess his argument should be targeted more at wooden cup makers like Lawton instead of wooden cup headphone makers like Fostex and Audio Technica.
 
Sep 21, 2015 at 10:43 PM Post #2,932 of 3,434

Luckbad

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Sober me up completely...


I know the guy I got my wood cups from spends ages making them. derbigpr is clearly talking out of his behind and has no expertise in woodworking.

Give true artisans their due. If we really want to get real, it probably costs Fostex less than 10% of what they charge to make their headphones. That makes even Lawton cups a steal. (See what happens when someone like me talks out of their butt?)

4 days in a kiln monitored each day at the start to get it down to 6-7% moisture content stability with wood splitting losses in that process, cups dying 80% of the way through the cut, shipping costs, PayPal costs. 2 1/2 days lacquering/sanding by hand...
 
Sep 21, 2015 at 10:57 PM Post #2,933 of 3,434

DavidA

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@Luckbad, I agree with you on some types of wood that require many additional steps and there are some losses in the process.  My dad was a furniture builder and here in Hawaii it took a long time to dry wood out due to the high humidity, the cost of drying in a kiln was too high and tended to cause more warping/splitting.  And the cost of the wood is not cheap either, high grade Koa the size to make cups for SennGrado's is about $100 for a piece (8" x 8" x 4") that will make 4 cups so selling a pair for $140-180 is reasonable.  Also, the process of a lacquer finished is not just spraying a few coats, it takes 15-20 coats with sanding between every few coats and then polishing after letting the last coat dry for a few weeks.
 
Sep 25, 2015 at 4:00 PM Post #2,934 of 3,434

Bri-Fi

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I have tried a few headphones in my day. I keep going back to the Fostex phones. I love their sound. Man these TH-600 are good. They remind me of the TH-900 a lot but a little different, in some good ways and bad. The treble on the TH-600 doesn't seem as harsh, but it definitely isn't as smooth as the TH-900, if that makes sense. I remember my old TH-900 treble as being super smooth but there was always those times when they would just straight up hurt my ears. Just ear piercing treble. So far the TH-600 definitely tames this down on the pair I received, which I like. The mids on both phones are pretty equal to my ears. From memory a bit more recessed on the TH-900. Both phones mids are so natural and organic sounding. I should have stated earlier I no longer own my TH-900. I owned them for a solid year and recently sold them to a friend. As far as the bass goes the TH-900 has more bass quantity and slam, but not by a whole lot. The TH-600 still has unbelievable bass. Of all the phones I currently own, it has my favorite bass presentation. Sound stage is incredible just like the TH-900. Those are just some initial impressions on the TH-600.   
 
Sep 25, 2015 at 6:31 PM Post #2,935 of 3,434

Bri-Fi

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A noticeable difference between the two is weight. Even though Fostex says they're only 30g lighter (370g vs 400g) to me it's a big difference. I can barely feel the TH-600 on my head. Of course others may have different feelings. And I'm not saying that the TH-900 are heavy by any means. I just thought that was interesting.
 
Sep 28, 2015 at 10:51 AM Post #2,936 of 3,434

roguepp88

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  I have tried a few headphones in my day. I keep going back to the Fostex phones. I love their sound. Man these TH-600 are good. They remind me of the TH-900 a lot but a little different, in some good ways and bad. The treble on the TH-600 doesn't seem as harsh, but it definitely isn't as smooth as the TH-900, if that makes sense. I remember my old TH-900 treble as being super smooth but there was always those times when they would just straight up hurt my ears. Just ear piercing treble. So far the TH-600 definitely tames this down on the pair I received, which I like. The mids on both phones are pretty equal to my ears. From memory a bit more recessed on the TH-900. Both phones mids are so natural and organic sounding. I should have stated earlier I no longer own my TH-900. I owned them for a solid year and recently sold them to a friend. As far as the bass goes the TH-900 has more bass quantity and slam, but not by a whole lot. The TH-600 still has unbelievable bass. Of all the phones I currently own, it has my favorite bass presentation. Sound stage is incredible just like the TH-900. Those are just some initial impressions on the TH-600.   

TH600 is definitely among some of the best HPs around, offers a great price to quality ratio (much better than that than the TH900 in my opinion). Too bad it has been discontinued... I think it was probably driving the sale of the TH900 down, given how close it sounded to the TH900.
 
Sep 28, 2015 at 11:04 AM Post #2,937 of 3,434

DavidA

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  TH600 is definitely among some of the best HPs around, offers a great price to quality ratio (much better than that than the TH900 in my opinion). Too bad it has been discontinued... I think it was probably driving the sale of the TH900 down, given how close it sounded to the TH900.


I would say that the cost difference between the TH-600 and TH-900 is not worth it.  Having tried both with A/B listening with a friend we estimated that the TH-600 provides about 95% of the TH-900 sound for half the price but if you were to add in looks the TH-900 would only be about 15% more based on what people are paying for wood cups.
 
Oct 1, 2015 at 6:54 PM Post #2,938 of 3,434

TWerk

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Idk, I owned both the TH600 and TH900, and I thought they sounded pretty different. Not huge, but it's there. TH900 is more refined, precise and clean.
 
Oct 1, 2015 at 7:16 PM Post #2,939 of 3,434

manbear

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I've heard the TH900 at meets. My basic impression is that it sounded more refined but I'm not really tempted for the price. Not going to be any more specific than that considering meet conditions.

I love my TH600. Its bass is just monstrous, though the rumble effect can take on a one-note quality after a while. I find my HE-400i to have more natural timbre and slightly cleaner sound, but there are way more times when I'm listening to the HE-400i and get the urge to swap to the TH-600 than vice versa. Guess I'm a basshead :).
 
Oct 3, 2015 at 1:56 PM Post #2,940 of 3,434

Luckbad

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I sent this EQ info on the Fostex TH600 to someone where others can't really see it, so I thought I'd mirror it here. This is basically to address the main treble peak of the TH-600, plus some basshead settings.
 
If you use foobar2000 (or JRiver, or anything that can use VST plugins), this is what I liked to use on EasyQ for the TH600:
 

 
That is using foo_vst to use VST and EasyQ (available in DSP manager after installing foo_vst and EasyQ). If you grab that, also get their EngineersFilter at RS-MET; you can do insane bass boosts with it with a hard line if you want.
 
I like this:

 
But you can also do stupid crazy EQ slopes like this:

 
You can actually use VST in Windows if you go through some hoops and use VB Cable and Reaper (or similar options--I just prefer those).
 
The easiest free option for Windows is EqualizerAPO with PeaceGUI.
 
These settings cleaned up the treble on my TH600 nicely (5500Hz being the only important setting; the rest are flat):


 
If I wanted to go high volume with crazy bass on the TH600, I'd use this or a similar 15dB version. It rolls off all treble in addition to targeting the peak so I can turn the volume up even higher.
 


 

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