A Special Snowflake
- Aug 2, 2010
Fostex TH900 Electro-Dynamic Flagship Headphones
aka "Poison Ivy"
->Newly developed 50mm dynamic drivers with 1.5 tesla magnetic flux density
->New "bio-dynamic vibration plate" to reduce internal vibrations
->Headphone cable made of high purity OFC of 7N grade (99.9999%)
->Special Urushi poison ivy lacquer done by Japan's 110 year old Sakamoto Lacquer shop
->Made in Japan. $2000 - $2300 USD (*tears shed*)
Available on special order at AudioCubes as of 2/11/12:
Hello fellow head-fiers and gear junkies. This thread was created by yours truly as a means of sharing and cataloging impressions of the TH900. At the very least we'll have mine. Yes, I've placed my order. Consider it part of my service rendered to this hobby. *salute*
Since there's a smattering of threads en miniature about this headphone and its accompanying amp/DAC combo (HP-A8), I though it would be best to consolidate discussion about it in one place. Speaking of which, here are some brief impressions from fellow head-fiers! Hope they don't mind my quoting them!
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"Nice balanced sound. Bass has good punch. Volume is ok could use just a touch more. Nothing bleeds. Mids are good but slightly recessed. Highs are very clear. No sibilance. Highs sparkle but aren't hot. This is nice. Stage is medium. Center focus is good not great. Imaging is average. Most sounds feel like they are grouped at 10 and 2 with only vocals in center. Vocals are nice but could be better. Fit is very comfortable. Not heavy, no clamp. Cable is one of the best OEM I've ever seen. Kind of a woven cloth. Could easily recommend.
This was all before I heard the price. These still sound good just as my notes say, but my recommendation is not strong now. There are better options at this price. I wouldn't blame anyone for liking these, but I would question their money decisions. A guarded recommendation here." ---Maxvla
"I briefly listened to the headphone through the HP-A8 with J-pop music I am unfamiliar with. I wasn't moved but nothing jumped at me as wrong, would have to use my own music and gear." ---arnaud
"the Fostex I heard at RMAF had fairly recessed mids, nothing like the ATH mids, and actually a little worse for that. I thought the comparable Denon phones had recessed mids, but not nearly as bad as these. The micro-detail and soundstage beat the T50RP, but overall I'd pick the T50RP over the TH900 for enjoyment." ---HeadphoneAddict
. . .
So early impressions thus far seem to be along the lines of good but not worth the ridiculous price. I'm still giving it a shot. I think it deserves a proper evaluation, and that requires living with it for a while rather than listening at a meet with unfamiliar material in less-than-optimal conditions on a mediocre source.
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UPDATE! More impressions:
Magick Man: [ 1 ]
AnakChan: [ 1 ]
Ahzari: [ 1 ], [ 2 ]
purrin: [ 1 ]
rgs9200m: [ 1 ]
driver 8: [ 1 ], [ 2 ], [ 3 ], [ drunk 2AM impressions video ]
lmswjn: [ 1 ]
Some additional brief comparisons by me:
[TH900 & LCD-2 / LCD-3]
[TH900 & LCD-2 / LCD-3 again]
[TH900 & Sony Qualia]
[TH900 & Signature Pro]
[TH900 & SR-009]
[TH900 & TakeT H2+]
[TH900 & Sony R10 part 1] and [part 2]
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UPDATE! Owner's Manual Facts:
->Housing Material: Betula grossa (Known as Japanese Cherry Birch). The tree is [a] Japanese specialty and its texture is rigid and dense. It is prized as a fine wood for furniture production.
->Finish: Bordeaux. The TH900 housings are processed with the unique lacquer techniques developed by a group of artisans whose name is Sakamoto Urushi Manufacturing Co., Ltd., founded in 1900. The housings use the traditional art of urushi lacquer (known as Japan). This exclusive lacquer finish not only gives the headphone housings an elegant and sophisticated visual aspect, but also it improves the housings' durability. The process requires various meticulous steps. Many different types of sulfur smoked silver foils are adhered on a black-lacquered base, like creating a torn paper collage, and then finished with a rich Bordeaux-wine color paint as the overcoat. Platinum leaves are used for the Fostex brand logos.
->Headphone cable: Thick 7N-OFC cables are exclusively manufactured for the TH900 that enhances low frequency reproduction. The plug case is made of duralumin that promises high durability.
->Ear pads: The TH900 uses protein leather. This highly comfortable ear pad material is made of eggshell membrane and successfully achieved a weight reduction of approx. 60% compared to genuine leather.
Magnetic circuit: Magnetic repulsion system. The magnetic repulsion system gives the TH900 high sensitivity with wide dynamic
Diaphragm: BIODYNA. Fostex developed the diaphragm "BIODYNA" for headphone application by using bio-techology. BIODYNA diaphragm is made by bio-cellulose and high performance inorganic fiber admixture. The bio-cellulose is generated by acetobacter. It has extremely fine fiber and high purity compared to the plant fibre cellulose. As a result, use of [the] BIODYNA diaphragm achieves the high quality sound maintaining good balance within all frequency bands. It also gives [the] advantage of sound resolution at high frequencies.
->Overall sound characteristic: Damped with a firm low frequency reproduction instead of a bore core bass. Transparent and very clean midrange frequency.
->Impedance: 25 ohm
->Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW
->Weight: 400g (excluding HP cord)