Fostex TH900 Impressions & Discussion Thread
May 9, 2012 at 3:23 PM Post #616 of 18,777
Yeah.  I will objectively state right now that their balance is nicer (to use such an objective term, lol) than the HD800's, but take my previous statement in regard to the LCD-3's with a bit of salt.  I want to say the 3's are more natural, actually, but the Fostex's presentation is more nuanced and musical.
 
May 9, 2012 at 3:51 PM Post #617 of 18,777
Couldn't sleep well last night in anticipation of these, now UPS is taking its sweet time..! 
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May 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM Post #620 of 18,777
And they are in...! Initially not 'wowed' though I wasn't expected to be, but they are increasingly growing on me and overall very impressed.
 
One note, the bass is hands down the best I've ever heard (right out of the box), makes some songs sound noticeably different/better. Definitely enjoying :))
 
Back to listening 
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May 9, 2012 at 9:57 PM Post #621 of 18,777
Yeah, I was holding back quite a bit while writing up my impressions. I wanted to wax lyrical about these, as they just totally ensnared me with their spell (not at first though... it took a day or two). To be honest I'm still a bit reserved when talking about them for the most part: I don't want to come across like I'm hyping them.

But geez, I sure love these 'phones. It's nice to see I'm not the only one. : )

Typical chick holding out on the info. Spill the beans, girl! :wink:

Not that i can do much, I'm stuck for the next couple months.
 
May 9, 2012 at 11:18 PM Post #622 of 18,777
May 9, 2012 at 11:55 PM Post #624 of 18,777
Quote:
Well, I don't feel inclined to stick felt in them, is all.

 
I don't either.  I'd go with dynamat probably and something to break up the backwave.  
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May 10, 2012 at 2:30 AM Post #625 of 18,777
Quote:
 
I don't either.  I'd go with dynamat probably and something to break up the backwave.  
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     Talk about a buzzkill. That would suck out all of the robustness and vitality that these phones deal out!
 
May 10, 2012 at 2:55 AM Post #626 of 18,777
Well, FWIW, I don't think "the balance of X headphone" is the same as saying "X headphone is balanced." In the first case it's basically a synonym for how the headphone is tuned.
 
As for the second statement, I don't think I'd personally equate balance with linearity, so I think I'd actually agree that the TH900 is more balanced than the HD800 in stock form. It's not more linear, no, but the entirety of the sonic spectrum is presented more even-handedly (a U-shape is more balanced than a "weaponized face tweeter" to my thinking...).
 
And regarding the U-shape signature on the TH900, it's actually not as apparent as on the D7000 for instance. The bass emphasis is slight to my ears, and the treble emphasis is even slighter. The TH900 is perfectly balanced for me when it comes to residing on the medium between too little and too much. Goldielocks-esque I suppose...
 
May 10, 2012 at 3:52 AM Post #627 of 18,777
Quote:
Well, FWIW, I don't think "the balance of X headphone" is the same as saying "X headphone is balanced." In the first case it's basically a synonym for how the headphone is tuned.
 
As for the second statement, I don't think I'd personally equate balance with linearity, so I think I'd actually agree that the TH900 is more balanced than the HD800 in stock form. It's not more linear, no, but the entirety of the sonic spectrum is presented more even-handedly (a U-shape is more balanced than a "weaponized face tweeter" to my thinking...).
 
And regarding the U-shape signature on the TH900, it's actually not as apparent as on the D7000 for instance. The bass emphasis is slight to my ears, and the treble emphasis is even slighter. The TH900 is perfectly balanced for me when it comes to residing on the medium between too little and too much. Goldielocks-esque I suppose...

+1
 
May 10, 2012 at 4:12 AM Post #628 of 18,777
Serial # 00199
 
Ok, so from everything that was said, I wasn’t expecting a lot from the initial listening. However, it only took a few songs for me to get sucked into the TH900’s presentation. I was definitely awed by this phone pretty much from the get-go listening to some of my reference material. First album up was Naïve’s Vivaldi Operas.                                            
 

The mids on this phone are beautiful and rich. Very tasty, and simply addictive. To me it’s one of the key ingredients in making a headphone involving and the TH900 has it in spades. Yes, they are colored, but who cares! It’s what stopped me from being analytical and got me into the music. And this is material I’ve heard so much that I very rarely feel compelled to listen all the way through. I felt like I got a good soul cleanse after the album was done.
 
Comfort is the best I’ve found, similar to the D7000. The treble frequencies are all there and accounted for. The bass is the best I have ever experienced. Minimal bloat. Very visceral and quite capable of moving air. Sound stage is very good. Dynamics are exceptional. All of these attributes actually got me head bopping to the Vivaldi!


 
My next 2 reference albums are Jacques Loussier Plays Bach and Ahmad Jamal’s Blue Moon. They both feature piano, double bass, drums and percussion. All I can say is that these phones can do drums baby! I’m so addicted to the impact of the drivers and feeling that kick drum. Like I mentioned earlier, you really can feel air moving. Drums “crack” and “pop” like the real thing.
 
The last phones I had been listening to were my open D7K’s, W3000ANV’s, and stock D7k’s. My least favorite were stock D7K’s. I liked the AT’s initially, but got tired of the coloration eventually, especially on piano. My standby’s have been my open D7000’s. No other offerings I have heard until now have trumped them. I can officially declare the TH900 my favorite headphone. It just gave me the best headphone experience ever.
 
That said, the TH900 isn’t perfect. The mostly closed design in general is inherently flawed. It compresses the soundstage giving a slightly squashed sound and colors the mids a bit. My open D7000’s are better in this regard. The openness yields a more realistic grand piano for example. But that open design comes at a price as well. The signature is on the bright side and bass below 31 Hz suffers. So taking everything into consideration, the TH900 wins out. The compressed soundstage and colored mids are mostly apparent when doing A/B comparisons. It’s not something I was initially aware of by any means.
 
The W3000ANV is still the most beautiful looking headphone I’ve encountered. I appreciate the TH900 cup’s craftsmanship, but prefer the grain and hidden beauty of the AT’s cups to the showy red Fostex‘s. The cable and jack on the AT is also more stunning.
 
It’s been a long road for me. Trying offerings from HiFiMan, Audeze, Sennheiser and a few others over the last couple of years. Thanks Fostex for really crafting a sonic masterpiece! This very well could be my end game phone. I guess I'll have to change my avatar!
 
May 10, 2012 at 4:45 PM Post #630 of 18,777
Quote:
 
As for the second statement, I don't think I'd personally equate balance with linearity

Don't think anyone said otherwise.  The 900 is a balanced phone.  It is also less U than the D7000 as well.
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Sorry, I don't equate backwave resonances and reflections w/ 'robustness' and 'vitality'.  That's unwanted noise that shouldn't be there.  That would be like calling jitter musical.
 

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