Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00 Review
Jul 5, 2016 at 6:00 AM Post #7,156 of 11,943

Pahani

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Never thought I'd be brighter than the K7XX. I feel like the K7XX is on the borderling between comfortable & uncomfortable. Just nice. Haha

And the Purplehearts extends a bit further too!
I'm sure the demo unit will be done together with our pair because it's the first production run & drying the cups takes months iirc. Once our pairs are near competion I bet there will be some online reviews

Truth. Purpleheart takes a LOT of time and care in the making. Time I'm convinced will be worth the wait for the finished product :)
 
Do NOT badger Massdrop into rushing them, or I keeel joo!
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 6:03 AM Post #7,157 of 11,943

silverbox

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I disagree with Z Reviews saying THx00 has no soundstage or that D7000 is much better. I have both here and TH-X00 is just a warmer/bassier sounding D7000. Its almost the same headphone. Also claiming TH-X00 has no soundstage is total BS imo. It has as much as D7K. 
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 9:37 AM Post #7,161 of 11,943

sahmen

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  So... has anyone somehow heard the X0X0's (Purpleheart) cans? These cans won't be shipped till 8/19 (right?) but there has to have been someone that auditioned a pair somewhere.

Have you seen these posts by poster "Marvey.Purrin" from Massdrop? They are very brief comparisons between the Purpleheart and the Mahogany versions, but they're the only comments about the purplehearts that I know of from someone who has actually seen and measured them.  I hope I can post these links here :
 
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/fostex-x-massdrop-th-x00-purpleheart-headphones/talk/385062
 
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/fostex-x-massdrop-th-x00-purpleheart-headphones/talk/385179
 
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/fostex-x-massdrop-th-x00-purpleheart-headphones/talk/385629
 
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/fostex-x-massdrop-th-x00-purpleheart-headphones/talk/385739
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 10:08 AM Post #7,162 of 11,943

fjrabon

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What's the poor man's version of the grace m9? Something with 1/4 output and close to 0 output impedance?


audioquest dragonfly red or black
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 11:19 AM Post #7,163 of 11,943

fjrabon

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At about 40 hours of head time with the Lawton mods (I didn't use the foam or the piece that attaches to the wood cups, just the pads and the damping pieces that attach to the driver) and man, it's really blowing me away.  While each individual aspect was a very subtle difference, they've really come together in a special way.  The bass is so tight and impactful in the region right between sub bass and midbass (80Hz).  Transparency is noticeably clearer, speed is faster and soundstage is larger.  It doesn't have that warmth that the stock THX00 has, but is cleaner.  It's obviously not as resolving or spacious as the HD800, but it's dang close in those regards the HE400i.  I thought when I bought the HD800 it might convince me to sell the HE400i, and that hasn't been the case (they both have different strengths).  However, these mods to the THX00 may do that.  Not sure, I still have a lot of love for the HE400i, which still beats the THX00 in imaging accuracy and instrument separation by a bit, but the resolution and soundstage gaps have been closed.  For another point of reference, I'd say that my THX00 now has about the same soundstage as the HD650.  Macro-resolution is the same as the HD650, but slightly not quite on the HD650's level in micro-resolution (the HD650 has some of the best micro-resolution out there though, so no shame).  I'd say that my modded THX00's bass is about as clean as the HD650, while being substantially above in level. Mids are liquidy without being as thick as the THX00.  
 
downside is that it's no longer quite as forgiving of poorly recorded rock, but it isn't punishing like the HD800 is.  Very similar to the HD650 and HE400i in this regard.
 
Here's how I'd lay out the mods individually and how they added up:
Ebony cups: small increase in sub bass, small increase in lower midrange and midbass levels, small increase in smoothness in treble, slightly less thick sound overall.  Lage increase in aesthetic pleasure (haha)
 
Lawton Pads: decent increase in soundstage, small increase in sub bass, small decrease in midbass. decrease in efficiency (ie need a bit more oomph from the amp to match volume levels, small increase in resolution
 
Lawton damping (pieces that go on the driver only, didn't use the cup attachments or the foam): noticeable increase in resolution, less ringing, less THD, faster, small increase in soundstage
 
Again, any one of these mods, other than the pads, is a pretty subtle difference.  But when you add them together, it makes for a noticeably different, and in my opinion superior headphone.  There are some difference in signature, noticeably a shift from lower mid range and mid bass to lower treble and sub bass.  But what has really sold me are the non-frequency response aspects.  The increase in resolution, speed, transparency and soundstage have all made it much better to me.  I admit that in some ways I do at times miss the thickness and forgivingness of the stock tuning on some rock recordings, overall, it's definitely a change I'd make again without thinking twice.  I'm currently listening to Joshua Bell's BWV 1041 Allegro with the academy of st martin in the fields and this headphone can absolutely nail classical now.  The room sounds more humid than with my HD800, but they both sound realistic.  I kind of think of it like the HD800 is hearing the performance when your ears are really right, and the conditions are perfect.  The modded THX00 is like hearing the performance after a couple glasses of wine.  The old THX00 smeared things together too much for a subtle piece like this, like listening after 3 double whiskeys neat.
 
and again, this isn't to trash the stock THX00, I still think it's a great headphone.  If you are mainly listening to rock, I probably wouldn't do these mods.  The THX00 in its stock configuration is more or less perfect for your average rock recording.  The modded version though is still very good at rock, but also can hit jazz, classical, bluegrass, electronic as well.  
 
To put it in terms that are clear about how good I think this is, I would take this headphone over the Ether C and TH900, even if they cost the same.  
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 12:11 PM Post #7,164 of 11,943

jamor

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  If it doesn't have to be portable: Modi2uber and Project Polaris/Ember, probably a lot more flexible than the m9xx and with quite a bit more power if needed.

 
I'm really warming up to that Project Polaris amp. aggressive or mellow setting?  I could probably attach it to my yamaha receiver and use the DAC on that too.  
 
 
 
audioquest dragonfly red or black

 
Looks good but I need a 1/4" for the TH-X00 i dont want to do a 3.5mm adapter.
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 1:11 PM Post #7,165 of 11,943

Zbell

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  At about 40 hours of head time with the Lawton mods (I didn't use the foam or the piece that attaches to the wood cups, just the pads and the damping pieces that attach to the driver) and man, it's really blowing me away.  While each individual aspect was a very subtle difference, they've really come together in a special way.  The bass is so tight and impactful in the region right between sub bass and midbass (80Hz).  Transparency is noticeably clearer, speed is faster and soundstage is larger.  It doesn't have that warmth that the stock THX00 has, but is cleaner.  It's obviously not as resolving or spacious as the HD800, but it's dang close in those regards the HE400i.  I thought when I bought the HD800 it might convince me to sell the HE400i, and that hasn't been the case (they both have different strengths).  However, these mods to the THX00 may do that.  Not sure, I still have a lot of love for the HE400i, which still beats the THX00 in imaging accuracy and instrument separation by a bit, but the resolution and soundstage gaps have been closed.  For another point of reference, I'd say that my THX00 now has about the same soundstage as the HD650.  Macro-resolution is the same as the HD650, but slightly not quite on the HD650's level in micro-resolution (the HD650 has some of the best micro-resolution out there though, so no shame).  I'd say that my modded THX00's bass is about as clean as the HD650, while being substantially above in level. Mids are liquidy without being as thick as the THX00.  
 
downside is that it's no longer quite as forgiving of poorly recorded rock, but it isn't punishing like the HD800 is.  Very similar to the HD650 and HE400i in this regard.
 
Here's how I'd lay out the mods individually and how they added up:
Ebony cups: small increase in sub bass, small increase in lower midrange and midbass levels, small increase in smoothness in treble, slightly less thick sound overall.  Lage increase in aesthetic pleasure (haha)
 
Lawton Pads: decent increase in soundstage, small increase in sub bass, small decrease in midbass. decrease in efficiency (ie need a bit more oomph from the amp to match volume levels, small increase in resolution
 
Lawton damping (pieces that go on the driver only, didn't use the cup attachments or the foam): noticeable increase in resolution, less ringing, less THD, faster, small increase in soundstage
 
Again, any one of these mods, other than the pads, is a pretty subtle difference.  But when you add them together, it makes for a noticeably different, and in my opinion superior headphone.  There are some difference in signature, noticeably a shift from lower mid range and mid bass to lower treble and sub bass.  But what has really sold me are the non-frequency response aspects.  The increase in resolution, speed, transparency and soundstage have all made it much better to me.  I admit that in some ways I do at times miss the thickness and forgivingness of the stock tuning on some rock recordings, overall, it's definitely a change I'd make again without thinking twice.  I'm currently listening to Joshua Bell's BWV 1041 Allegro with the academy of st martin in the fields and this headphone can absolutely nail classical now.  The room sounds more humid than with my HD800, but they both sound realistic.  I kind of think of it like the HD800 is hearing the performance when your ears are really right, and the conditions are perfect.  The modded THX00 is like hearing the performance after a couple glasses of wine.  The old THX00 smeared things together too much for a subtle piece like this, like listening after 3 double whiskeys neat.
 
and again, this isn't to trash the stock THX00, I still think it's a great headphone.  If you are mainly listening to rock, I probably wouldn't do these mods.  The THX00 in its stock configuration is more or less perfect for your average rock recording.  The modded version though is still very good at rock, but also can hit jazz, classical, bluegrass, electronic as well.  
 
To put it in terms that are clear about how good I think this is, I would take this headphone over the Ether C and TH900, even if they cost the same.  

 
Have you tried the Alpha Pads on the TH-X00?  I'm contemplating the Lawton 1 kit or just some Alpha Pads for when my purplehearts arrive.  I've also seen that you've tested the X00s with a few different cups.  Is the Lawton 1 mod better with some cups and worse with others, or pretty much an upgrade across the board?  
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 2:04 PM Post #7,166 of 11,943

VRacer-111

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Looks good but I need a 1/4" for the TH-X00 i dont want to do a 3.5mm adapter.


1/4 to 3.5mm adapter would absolutely be worth it...

I just picked up an AudioQuest Dragonfly Red (DFR) and am very impressed with the little DAC/amp. Plugged into my Samsung TAB S2 it is nearly equivalent to my Yamaha DVD-S1800 outputting through the Meier Audio Corda JAZZ-ff amp. Bass has IMPACT and more extension and detail, midrange is very present and solid sounding, and treble is very tight, powerful, and lively. Samsung TAB S2 onboard audio DAC is VERY flat and dull all around in comparison. The Dragonfly Black/Red can be used on Windows, Apple, iOS, and Android....so incredibly broad range of devices it can be used with.

Love my modded Philips SHP9500's with the DFR....they are nearly right up there with the Denon AH-D2000's, just a little less bass range and impact but with much better mids and highs.
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 2:15 PM Post #7,167 of 11,943

Hi-Fi EDU

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  I disagree with Z Reviews saying THx00 has no soundstage or that D7000 is much better. I have both here and TH-X00 is just a warmer/bassier sounding D7000. Its almost the same headphone. Also claiming TH-X00 has no soundstage is total BS imo. It has as much as D7K. 

 
I share your disagreement. Based on some of his videos, including his take on the X00, I've found that his assessment of soundstage is VERY different from mine and yours (apparently). In fact, most times I hear soundstage quite opposite from how he hears it. Realizing that does allow me to still watch his largely entertaining videos with that "filter" on. But that's why you can't rely on just one guy or gal's opinion when considering a product. Of course the best way to research is to hear for yourself, if possible.
 
   It doesn't have that warmth that the stock THX00 has, but is cleaner.  It's obviously not as resolving or spacious as the HD800, but it's dang close in those regards the HE400i.  I thought when I bought the HD800 it might convince me to sell the HE400i, and that hasn't been the case (they both have different strengths).  However, these mods to the THX00 may do that. Not sure, I still have a lot of love for the HE400i, which still beats the THX00 in imaging accuracy and instrument separation by a bit, but the resolution and soundstage gaps have been closed.

 
Sell the 400i and stick with the the HD800/X00 combo. That's a highly complementary duo IMO, even more so than 400i/X00, unless you're building a headphone army
tongue.gif
. Imaging accuracy and instrument separation are more than covered for by the HD800. At least that was my plan (though I was aiming for the HD800S), until a 'Hawk came by and swept me off my feet. Fortunately, I don't see myself landing anytime soon.
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 2:40 PM Post #7,168 of 11,943

fjrabon

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Have you tried the Alpha Pads on the TH-X00?  I'm contemplating the Lawton 1 kit or just some Alpha Pads for when my purplehearts arrive.  I've also seen that you've tested the X00s with a few different cups.  Is the Lawton 1 mod better with some cups and worse with others, or pretty much an upgrade across the board?  


I only tried the lawton mod with the ebony cups. I imagine it would be the same for all the cups except maybe the Teak, which has different internal dimensions than the others, but again, I only have first hand experience with the Ebony.  I preferred the lawton pads to the alpha pads.  I thought the Alpha pads were too bright and sucked the mids out too much.  
 
 Looks good but I need a 1/4" for the TH-X00 i dont want to do a 3.5mm adapter.

Yeah, I forgot there are people who haven't gotten the THX00 reterminated to 3.5mm, haha.  The best thing I've done to my THX00, of all the things I did, was reterminate the cable to be 3.5 feet long and terminated in 3.5mm.  It cost me $20 to have somebody else do it.  Also got the rest of the cable terminated on one end with a 3.5mm female jack to make it into an extension chord, so if I ever need it, I can still have the 10 feet 1/4" cable.
 
Sell the 400i and stick with the the HD800/X00 combo. That's a highly complementary duo IMO, even more so than 400i/X00, unless you're building a headphone army 
tongue.gif
 . Imaging accuracy and instrument separation are more than covered for by the HD800. At least that was my plan (though I was aiming for the HD800S), until a 'Hawk came by and swept me off my feet. Fortunately, I don't see myself landing anytime soon. 

I'm a big jazz person, and the HE400i does small group mid 60s hard bop recordings so well.  It's hard.  I may end up selling it, but I just don't know.  Also I somewhat justify keeping it because the THX00 stays at work, so the HE400i is my at home less analytical can (along with the E-MU walnut).  It'll probably be a few months before I figure out how I sort through adding the HD800 to my collection.  The good thing is that I got the HE400i at $299, so I won't take much of a loss selling it if I do that.  Or I may still sell the HD800 if it becomes too burdensome to always use the right setup and the right music with it.  A lot for me to figure out there.
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 5:22 PM Post #7,169 of 11,943

thejammonster

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Paid for EMU ebony cups on Thurs and I missed them via FedEx today :frowning2: I wasn't expecting them to get here from Singapore so fast! Also have a ZMF pilot pad in the mail to make these the perfect headphone. They're already modded for removable cables and I've settled on the MrSpeakers Alpha pads over the Lawton pads :)

Edit: ZMF also has new Omni pads that fit the TH-X00. I'm pretty happy with the Alpha pads but we'll see once some people get their hands on them.
 
Jul 5, 2016 at 5:44 PM Post #7,170 of 11,943

SleepingLesson

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Paid for EMU ebony cups on Thurs and I missed them via FedEx today
frown.gif
I wasn't expecting them to get here from Singapore so fast! Also have a ZMF pilot pad in the mail to make these the perfect headphone. They're already modded for removable cables and I've settled on the MrSpeakers Alpha pads over the Lawton pads
smily_headphones1.gif


Edit: ZMF also has new Omni pads that fit the TH-X00. I'm pretty happy with the Alpha pads but we'll see once some people get their hands on them.

Right?? My ebony cups arrived less than 24 hours after they shipped from Singapore. Crazy fast.
 

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