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Fostex TH900 Impressions & Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by muppetface, Feb 13, 2012.
  1. montanari
    This IS new
  2. Yevgen Chupak
    there is no difference in drivers between MKI and MKII
    up late, Oregonian and Ake_Y like this.
  3. up late
    i am quoting you because you are incorrect. :wink: the only difference between the mk1 and mk2 iterations of the th900 is that the latter has detachable cables. both models have exactly the same "biodyna" drivers with "1.5 tesla (15,000 gaus) magnetic flux density".
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  4. montanari
    Yes, they are both 1.5T
    the th600 is 1T..
    up late and Ake_Y like this.
  5. Yevgen Chupak
    Here is the specs for different drivers

    481842 TH-600
    Magnetic flux density: >1 tesla
    Impedance 25 Ω
    Sensitivity 94 dB/mW
    Maximum Input 1,800 mW
    Frequency Reproduction: 5 to 45 kHz

    606005 TH-X00 / E-Mu Teak
    Magnetic flux density: >1 tesla
    Impedance: 25 Ω
    Sensitivity: 94 dB/mW
    Maximum input: 1,800 mW
    Frequency Reproduction: 5 to 45 kHz

    548843 TH-900 MK| MK|| Red/Blue/Green
    Magnetic flux density: 1.5 tesla
    Impedance: 25 Ω
    Sensitivity: 100dB/mW
    Maximum input: 1,800 mW
    Frequency Reproduction: 5 to 45 kHz
    up late and Ake_Y like this.
  6. up late
    in response to your second question, it's been quite a while since i've heard the w5000, but if you were looking for a closed headphone to contrast with the th900 then this could very well be it. the th900 has a v shaped frequency response whereas the w5000's is n shaped. in other words, the w5000 focuses on the mid-range and the th900 has a bass and treble emphasis. they sound so different that it is like "comparing apples and oranges". you would need to compare them for yourself in order to ascertain which sound signature you prefer.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
    Ake_Y likes this.
  7. fotomeow
    From the Moon Audio website

    "The Fostex TH-900 MK2 Limited Edition Sapphire Blue is the upgraded edition of one of our favorite headphones, the Fostex TH900 MK2. The Sapphire Blue edition has different voicing than the original, Fostex has revoiced the driver slightly with a bit more dampening treatment.

    The frequencies between 300-600Hz have been increased or expanded and from 6500Hz and up the frequencies have been smoothed out a bit. The end result is a more linear sounding headphone across the frequency band. It is not a dramatic change over the regular version of the TH900 MkII but it is improved and it's the best sounding version of this model in our opinion."
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2019
    Ake_Y and jmills8 like this.
  8. montanari
    so they MAYBE add a bit of more dampering, just in the blue..
    same driver, same tesla,
    you can find many graph about mk2 and they are the same of mk1
    up late, omniweltall and Ake_Y like this.
  9. fotomeow
    Not a maybe my friend, re: the Blue. It just is.

    Why would the bell curve graph for the Blue Saph become more linear while having the same driver/cones?

    It is from damping and fine-tuning. Not much different than the Lawton tuning/damping mods,
    which many of us have already done with good effect. You can find similar damping DIY material without the Lawton $135 price tag, fyi/
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
    Ake_Y likes this.
  10. jmills8
    Hows that Lawton cable (hornet) ?
  11. fotomeow
    I have the Mk1 red cans. They are good out of the box, but improvements are pretty easy with the
    DIY Lawton Mod #1 for $135. They send you the gear, and you follow the directions. With the damping,
    you basically pull your ear cups off, and put the damping material in different places one at a time, then listen, then put more damping, and so on and so forth. I did it mainly to reel in the low end bass. It did this and more, it simultaneously help reel in the higher frequencies that some ppl complain about.

    I was happy with them, but then picked up an AK320 DAP, a good match (chip is AKM4480- "I believe"-dont quote me on that, lol") and
    this chip and the high end AK circuitry drives the TH900s well, b/c they are easy to drive. The AK320 was made for IEMs and EZ to drive cans, not all cans. The most musical combination I could ask for in a DAP without tubes.

    so i got a lil extra money, and decided to "optimize' the AK320 and Fostex with the balanced out of the AK, a 2.5mm plug.
    I then sent my cans in to Lawton for teh Black Hornet Cables. So they undo the hardwiring into the cans, and use those HP terminals
    to put in plugs of your choice. I chose the "best" ones, the Senn HD800 plugs- mostly magnetic, stay in well, but pull out if they get snagged on something. Then the balanced Black Hornet cables terminated with a 2.5mm plug that goes directly into the AK320.

    for other HP amps, such as my iPhone, I put a 1/8" adapter over the 2.5mm, and plug it in.
    For the Lyr 2, I then put a 1/4" adaptor over the 1/8"plug.

    After all the above, my Mk1's sound the best they ever have. The BALANCED cable and using a BALANCED plug/amp is def
    the way to go. I would say confidently that going from the stock foster cable to the Bl. Hornet balanced easily doubled the SQ. And using the Balanced circuits of the AK320 doubled the SQ AGAIN.
    Just a more full, nuanced, and immersive sound. Feels like I am more enveloped in the music, the soundstage is bigger and more realistic, more detailed and fluid, musical,
    and sounds like a bigger/better/more accurate integration of L and R channels.

    there was a time that I had a pair of HiFiMan cans a couple years ago. They did "sub bass" really really well. Using the Bl. Hornets gives me that feeling again with the Fostex.. But the HiFiMans above were more of a "one trick pony". They sounded good, but the sub=-bass was extraordinary and gave a better feeling of presence, of live music. That is what I NOW get from the Hornet cables.

    Afer I did the Lawton damping mods, I put on 1 too many pieces of damping, and you actually kind of want to do this, so you know you have hit your threshold. THEN, at that point, take a piece of damping off to get it just right. But I was lazy, and didnt take that extra damping piece off .....
    .... Then, AFTER i got the cans back with the balanced Hornet cabling, the Hornets gave me a more of a sub-bass experience and sound like the HiFiMan.
    So that, ironically, without taking the last damping off, the sound was now almost perfect b/c the Hornets just have more copper, more energy/detail/sound to transmit to the cans. So that balanced out the fact that I did NOT take out that last piece of damping material.

    Well, I got carried away, that was more than you asked for. let me know if you have any specific questions.
    I will do my best to be accurate, "but dont quote me on that" :face_palm:
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
    Ake_Y likes this.
  12. kuutan
    So the $135 mod is the one that comes with the angle pads right? do you need those pads? How about the $45 mod option? is that just the dampening and can we go with just that and get the results?
  13. jmills8
    Pads are seperate, they are comfy.
    kuutan likes this.
  14. fotomeow
    yes, $135 with angled pads. yes, they helped me get better sound. How much? IDK, but noticeable, and that is enough for me. When I was researching angled pads, what made sense to me was that the angled pads fit my ears better, felt a little more comfortable. But mostly, that, when I look at my ears, the angle and size of the angled pads seemed like it was more evenly shooting vibes into my ear. That is the basic idea. The back and top of your ear is further from your head than the lower part of your ear. If the angle of your ears are skewed (like most ppl on earth), then the best fit is a skewed (aka "angled") pad. If we put a flat HP pad on an ear that is angled, then thats not a good fit for music.

    the other thing is that everybody has different ears and shapes.
    Can you imagine Dumbo :elephant: trying to get a pair of ear pads to fit well? lol

    So, although the angled pads were well for my "normal ear size and shape", another person may have to fine tune them more, and you see LOTS of this in the forums and DIY sites, just like lots of folks trying out different damping material. Some use adhesive damping, some use wool, or felt, or a synthetic. That is when you know you are in DEEP in this hobby.

    and still others will say that the stock Fostex vegan ear pads sound different than the supple leather ones, vs the course leather ones from a different animal. It goes on and on.

    IMO the $45 damping material is a good place to start. IMO you will get better SQ, but the SQ will be even better with the angled pads. On a budget, I would look around for used angled pads. We know how finicky HP users are, so many ppl buying, trying it out, and selling. Or contact Lawton directly (email only, he does "do phone calls" unfortunately) and ask if they have any B stock or refurbished angled pads. Or look at the DIY forums here and elsewhere, the guys are always trying out new ***, and someone might even make you a pair. The key IMO is to get involved closely with some forum members who do this kind of think.

    E.g Lawton outsources some work when he is overloaded, like during the holidays. so that when I ordered my Black Hornet balanced cable installation, Lawton had me send it to Brian GT or something rather. Brian used to do DIY, now he runs his own small business, and does good work.
    Also, follow the HP CanJams and get togethers. the dealers that go to these often have Demo products after the show at a discount. That kind of thing.
    Good luck
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
    Ake_Y and kuutan like this.
  15. kuutan
    Awesome write ups. Thanks for the insight.

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