Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00 Review
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bavinck

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  Been listening for about two hours now, some early thoughts:
 
1) This thing definitely needs a low impedance amp to push out some current to tighten the bass up.  As somebody earlier noted, a good IEM amp can serve them really well.  I think you're probably short changing these if you're sending them anything more than 1 Ohm.  With my Millett SSMH and AudioEngine D1, the bass is out of control.  It seems fun at times, but it's messy.  The Lyr on high gain is a recipe for bloated bass.  Feed it through a Magni, O2 or Grace M9XX and the bass *really* tightens up.  The Vali isn't bad with it per se, but doesn't do any favors at all either.I sort of expected this, from my experience with the D7000
 
2) two songs to listen to: Fiona Apple - Sleep To Dream and Muse - Super Massive Black Hole.  This is certainly a gentleman's basshead can when amped properly.  
 
3) There are times when I just have auditory flashbacks to the D7000 and there are times when I think "man, this is maybe better!"  That's all I ever wanted out of it.  
 
4) My cups are gorgeous, I'll put up some pictures shortly.
 
5) At some point I'm definitely going to have this recabled.  As my new work can, I don't need 10 ft and I'd prefer a 3.5mm termination. It's not so much that I mind the cable, it just doesn't serve my needs as is.  
 
6) I like the stock pads.  They're firmer than I was anticipating
 
7) Very good soundstage for a closed can.  Not going to compete with the HD650 by any means, let alone a HD800, but it's about as good as you get from a closed can.
 
8) It seems to keep sound in better than it keeps sound out.  Which I like.  
 
9) The treble is exactly what I'm after.  Kinda reminds me of the treble of the HE400i, which I like.  Forward without ever being sibilant
 
10) If there's one fault I'll lay early, I wish it was a tad more linear.  Occasionally when somebody sings and the melody goes from lower treble to midrange, it sounds like they're turning away from the mic.  But at the same time, it's this quality that gives the headphone it's overall fun U shape.
 
11) I would call it a U shape frequency response in comparison to what I remember from the few times with the TH600 and TH900, which I'd call a V shape.
 
12)  It sounds okay/good out of an iPhone.  You can hear distortion on hard, heavy bass transients.  I actually prefer its sound out of an iPhone to the way it sounds out of the Lyr (with tubes) in high gain and the Vali.  
 
13) Ranking the amps I've played it out of from best to worst match so far: 1) Grace M9XX 2) Lyr (solid state, lower power) 3)Magni 4) O2 5) Lyr (low power, tubes) AudioEngine D1 5) IPhone 6) Millett SSHM 7) Lyr (solid state high power) 8) Lyr (high gain, tubes)
 
14) Hadn't seen anybody mention this, but if you flip the bag inside out, it serves as a great cleaning cloth, which is really nice.  
 
These are ultra-preliminary, but thought I'd just dump my listening notes.
Thanks for the impressions, very helpful. I also am a BIG fan of how the he400i handles treble so that is really good to read!
 
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fjrabon

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What's your series number. That matter the most

ha, I got as boring as possible, probably: 1804.  Definitely will trade getting lucky on the grain and cup color for a boring serial number.
 
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best7

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I like this a lot more than the HE400, as I remembered it.  I think there would be a lot of overlap between those two.
I quess I can sell the HE-400 when th-x00 becomes available again. How do you think th-x00 handles complex stuff like King Crimson in terms of instrument separation?
 
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bavinck

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  I quess I can sell the HE-400 when th-x00 becomes available again. How do you think th-x00 handles complex stuff like King Crimson in terms of instrument separation?
Oh man I hope so, love me some King Crimson. Just got their huge box set (can't remember what it is called), just awesome....,
 
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Whitigir

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ha, I got as boring as possible, probably: 1804.  Definitely will trade getting lucky on the grain and cup color for a boring serial number.

True enough, your grains is unique and most beautiful I didn't think it was just simply and cheaply made :D certainly not 400$. I will go to homedepot today and try to find some cheap foam sheets I guess.
 
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Mshenay

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No opposite for me. I felt like I needed to turn them up for the Mids to open up. But the bass is nice at low volume.
Yea https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour this is a pretty accurate at lower volumes the bass an highs stand out more, as your increase the Dbs the mids come forward a little an you get an overall balanced sound, an inverse example of this is my W1000X VERY forward but gorgeous mids, the louder it get's the "shoutier" those mids sound compared to everything else 
 
  Received TH-X00 number 1010 yesterday.  
 
Tried them with the stock pads: decidedly not bad, bass is a bit bloom-y but the high's are controlled and the mid-range is clear albeit a bit recessed.  Soundstage kinda small for my tastes
 
Tried them with Alpha pads (this took some finagling to fit on there): Even better, bass is a bit tighter (I see why people consider this a bass-head headphone), mid-range still recessed but clear.  Highs still good, but a bit sibilant on certain songs.  Soundstage has improved considerably (likely due to the greater pad depth).  Sound leakage is wayyyy less.
 
Long story short: good headphones, try them with Alpha pads.  Wood grain and polish is absolutely gorgeous.
 
If anyone is interested, I can compare them to the following: Ether, Alpha Prime, HD650, MadDogs 3.2, K7xx
 
Listening done out of a Grace Design m9xx, will try them out on my Oppo HA-1 tonight or tomorrow.
I know already that the TH X00 is a step above the Mad Dog, I had that headphone an it was very dark an a tad sluggish in the bass imo, nicely seperated how ever 
 
An yes the Alpha Pads do add a touch of energy to the top end, but really tighten everything else an do the sound stage a great deal of improvement with regards to length, width an seperation 
 
  Can someone post a pic or two of how they look with the Alpha Pads? Sorry if it's been done already, this thread is moving pretty fast, especially with the hour-by-hour shipping updates from people. :p

 
 
   
Oh wow, I really like the look of that grain. Thanks for showing off how polished these cups are. 
 
Cheers!
Yea I'm jelly, you've got a really gorgeous contrast in the grain, what's your model number? 
 
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Mshenay

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ha, I got as boring as possible, probably: 1804.  Definitely will trade getting lucky on the grain and cup color for a boring serial number.
bwah, very nice good to see there's no correlation between serial an grain patterns, I've seen some on the double digit grain headphones an they are also gorgeous, 
 
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fjrabon

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  I quess I can sell the HE-400 when th-x00 becomes available again. How do you think th-x00 handles complex stuff like King Crimson in terms of instrument separation?

it doesn't image as well as the HE400i does.  But it's pretty good.  I'd say imaging it's probably it's weakness so far.  However, that's the thing I'd guess benefits most from burn-in.  TesseracT - Altered State sounds a bit congested.  Imaging is also an area where the lower impedance amps really pull away from the higher impedance amps and tube amps on these as well.  With the Grace, it's very good.  With the Vali it's borderline bad.
 
I'd say while this is an easy to drive can, it is very picky with how it plays with amps.  I hope nobody buys an expensive Darkvoice to paair with it, thinking "this will really take the bass to the next level!"
 
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  Oh man I hope so, love me some King Crimson. Just got their huge box set (can't remember what it is called), just awesome....,

You mean the Thrak box set? It takes like six months to properly go through one of those sets. I hope th-x00 can handle it. I am a little hesitant since some users here talk about woolliness.
 
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best7

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it doesn't image as well as the HE400i does.  But it's pretty good.  I'd say imaging it's probably it's weakness so far.  However, that's the thing I'd guess benefits most from burn-in.  TesseracT - Altered State sounds a bit congested.  Imaging is also an area where the lower impedance amps really pull away from the higher impedance amps and tube amps on these as well.  With the Grace, it's very good.  With the Vali it's borderline bad.
 
I'd say while this is an easy to drive can, it is very picky with how it plays with amps.  I hope nobody buys an expensive Darkvoice to paair with it, thinking "this will really take the bass to the next level!"

Thank you for your help. Ill have to wait till the next drop anyway.
 
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You mean the Thrak box set? It takes like six months to properly go through one of those sets. I hope th-x00 can handle it. I am a little hesitant since some users here talk about woolliness.

yeah, there is certainly a bit of wooliness, espeically with tubes.  But wooliness is the one thing I've seen improve in headphones with burn-in, especially this driver design.  My old D7000 was more wooly than this when I first got it (auditory memory caveat) but cleaned up a pretty good amount over the course of a couple of months.  
 
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Who will be using these out in public like cafes and transportation? I'm asking because I'm thinking these may be too over the top and way too irresistible to the opposite s e x.

My wife said th ear cups looked like coconuts when I considered grabbing them, which she didn't intend as a compliment, so YMMV.
 
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bavinck

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You mean the Thrak box set? It takes like six months to properly go through one of those sets. I hope th-x00 can handle it. I am a little hesitant since some users here talk about woolliness.
That's it! Sounds sublime on my Gustard Stack and HE400i. 
 
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jamor

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My wife said th ear cups looked like coconuts when I considered grabbing them, which she didn't intend as a compliment, so YMMV.
 
You should have started singing "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts." 
 
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Any suggestions of a good case for these?
 
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