Fostex TH900 Impressions & Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by muppetface, Feb 13, 2012.
  1. iancraig10
    Have you got the Carbon or waiting? They do look rather solid.

    I’m wondering about any noise from it on the th900. Probably very quiet?

    Once you know that low level hiss is there, it is difficult to not notice because you kind of obsess over it. (Well, if you’re like me)

    Actually, I’ve just swapped over to my th900 and they really do sound remarkably open for a (supposedly) closed headphone. It’s not exactly closed I guess but the sense of space is lovely with them.

    Speaking of sensitivity .... I’m feeding an Ifi amp with a digital signal and for the th900, I have it on its lowest gain plus the extra attenuation underneath (iem match on ultra sensitive) and the headphone is perfectly loud enough at 12 o clock.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  2. bflat
    It depends on the type of tube amp. Potential noise levels increase in the following general rder:

    Hybrid tube with solid state output buffers < full tube power and tube output < OTL tube

    Also the quality of the maker is a big factor. For example, you will find very little noise with Woo Audio amps as long as you match to the proper rating.
    iancraig10 likes this.
  3. ahmadfaizadnan
    I had the setup a year ago. I already moved on but really intrigued to hear the th900 with my current setup. The LC pairs quite well with th900; the bass is a little tighter and quite smooth at the top end.
    iancraig10 likes this.
  4. iancraig10
    Yes bflat. I agree, the better ones offer lower noise as happens with so much electronics. Same for microphones and preamps. I think at the higher price levels, I’d be a bit miffed if I heard hiss.

    As far as noise goes and figures, it’s quite surprising that the WA3 is quoted with a s/n of 95db where with even a cheap mic preamp, it’s listed as 110dB using 22dB gain which can still be heard when I listen. (Probably mic noise though) Even a cheap Polaris is quoted at 109dB.

    It is difficult to tell how low impedance headphones will sound before buying these things and very often, noise levels get forgotten by listeners because they’re busy listening to the music. (As they should be!!)

    Trouble is, once noticed, it becomes a bugbear.

    In the end though, the sound from the headphone is important and the th900 is one I’ve stuck with now for 3 years, I think it is because I like it so much.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    ahmadfaizadnan and koover like this.
  5. bflat
    I read about Focal's perforated leather pads on the Utopia as a design choice to absorb high frequencies. I tried the Dekoni perforated leather pads for the TH900 hoping for the same. Unfortunately, I got the opposite with the Dekoni - thin sound and even sharper treble. Also the inside of the Dekoni pads are smaller diameter than the OEM and Lawton pads so my ears were not as comfortable.
  6. dleblanc343
    Did you get them :D ?
  7. MuppetFace
    The greenies aren’t shipping out until November IIRC, but I did secure a pair, yeah! Just gotta wait for them to come to the US....
    Liu Junyuan and iancraig10 like this.
  8. up late
    congrats! hope you post some pics of them here.
  9. Galm
    Oh whoops.

    Fellow TH 900 fans I was at RMAF and have a photo the the green beauties. They sounded awesome as usual but looked amazing.


    They look a little more finger printy than they really did. The finish was amazing.
    jmills8 and Mkoll like this.
  10. up late
    very nice
  11. kvn864
    I am glad I stumbled upon your post here, because I am looking to purchase those, and sure don't want more treble.
  12. jmk720
    Guys, what headphone is a upgrade from the th900? I dont see headphones with bass like th900 above him.
  13. Arniesb
    I think its top fun headphones... Maybe Abyss Could be step up...
  14. jmills8
    If I find one Ill buy it. Been demoing every HP sold in HK and nothing out there.
  15. zolkis
    Depending on what one wants, a closed headphone upgrade from the TH900 may be:
    - a more linear headphone, with better mids - this one should be easy
    - one with more defined/better quality/more transparent bass as opposed to bass quantity (it's still a difficult call)
    - better treble - this should be easy.

    However, as a total package, I haven't yet found an upgrade from the TH900 with a closed headphone. For stock units, I think the Sony Z1R or Audeze XC might be a good upgrade. When modded, I prefer the TH900 over both.

    A Denon 7200 may be an upgrade for its linearity, but IMHO needs mods for catching up with the TH900 in the bass and sound stage areas and it's still not perfect either. I guess many people would still choose my modded TH900 over my modded 7200, and vice versa - I cannot decide either.

    ZMF headphones might also be upgrades, I haven't heard any of them, but based on reviews and private discussions I am not sure I want to check out that path at the moment; maybe in the future.

    The Oppo PM-3 (with bigger pads) might be an alternative with no particular issues, but not really an upgrade.

    The TH-X00 variants, TH610 etc didn't prove to be upgrades. I usually don't like Hifiman and Audeze sound, but you might explore them.

    If you can include open headphones, these are IMHO better than the TH900 (not a complete list and not in order of quality): Stax L700, 007 Mk1, 009; Abyss; LCD-4; Focal Utopia, HD800S.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
    jmk720 likes this.

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