Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00 Review
Jul 13, 2016 at 10:59 AM Post #7,291 of 11,958

CEE TEE

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Hi Everyone!
 
Last year we worked with the community and Fostex to develop the successor to the D5000, at a comparable price. This resulted in the Fostex TH-X00 Mahogany and a great success. During the course of that development, we were able to audition and measure a variety of woods, each produced a different sound signature. The recent TH-X00 Purpleheart we launched has a slightly more “fun” sound, offering a bit more bass and treble compared to the original Mahogany.
 
During our discussions with Fostex, and in addition to the dense Purpleheart wood, there was one more type of wood that really stood out due to physical properties.  That wood has now been developed in the TH-X00 and we are very happy to announce...
 
The new Fostex TH-X00 Ebony will be available this Friday, July 15th.
 
Why Ebony?  The density and rigidity of headphone driver housings have an impact on the sound. Headphone modders know this and add different materials to the inside of headphone cups to increase these properties, thereby affecting the tuning and performance of the headphone. Ebony is prized for its hardness and density as well as its beauty, so it was high on our list during discussions with Fostex to create a couple of additional TH-X00 wood editions.
 
Why did it take so long to release?  Trying to source Ebony with the density that we were looking for led Fostex through a number of different suppliers and samples until the right wood was found.
 
Physical Differences
Ebony is so dense, there is an obvious increase to cup weight.  There is some natural variance between species of the same wood and different samples, but for comparison…our quick measurements found single cups to weigh:
 
Mahogany       30g
Purpleheart     50g
Ebony              80g
 
Ebony cuts with a smoother unfinished surface texture. Inside the cups (behind the driver) there is a progression in rougher to smoother surface texture going from Mahogany to Purpleheart to Ebony.
 
Sound Differences
We’ll let others compare and review with subjective impressions, but the measurements that we have show the Ebony TH-X00 to have the flattest frequency response so far.
 
LEGEND
Brown: Mahogany
Purple: Purpleheart
Black:  Ebony
 



 
Additional Observations
 
Bass - Ebony has the deepest bass extension of any TH-X00 editions.
 
Mids - Where the Mahogany & Purpleheart lose some steam in the 3-4kHz region, Ebony maintains a smoother descent. Mids are more present without harsh transitions.
 
Treble - Where the original TH-X00 has a peak at 9kHz, Ebony (and Purpleheart to a degree) reduces that area and chance of harshness while leaving the 10kHz+ sparkle.
 
Summary
Mahogany is “The Original”.
Purpleheart is the “fun” one.
Ebony is “The Original”, refined.
 
Important News
With this installment of the series and refinement of the original version, it is a fitting time to announce Ebony as the last wood we plan on developing for the TH-X00 platform. Nope, we’re not going to release 50 different wood varieties of the TH-X00. (We have other categories of headphones to work on for you. 
bigsmile_face.gif
)
 
Please Note
Due to the difficulty of sourcing properly seasoned Ebony we are unsure if we will be able to produce more than 2,000 units of this edition.
 
Drop Details Specific to Ebony
  1. Pending TH-X00 orders for Mahogany or Purpleheart cannot be canceled to join this drop.
  2. Production lead time for Ebony wiill take 4 months from the end of the drop to leave our warehouse.
  3. The price for the Fostex TH-X00 Ebony Edition is $499.99 shipped.
 
Sneak Peek
I’ll be walking around with one of only two Ebony prototypes this Saturday at the July 16th Head-Fi Wikia Meet….please stop me for a look and a listen!
 
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-fostex-th-x00-ebony-headphones​
 
Jul 13, 2016 at 10:59 AM Post #7,292 of 11,958

FaezFarhan

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@FaezFarhan, yes we have both models here. To my ears, the Purpleheart's increased richness in the bass and mids is more noticeable than any lift in treble, so I'm hesitant to describe its sound as V-shaped. Personally, I prefer the original mahogany TH-X00 to the Purpleheart we have here.


I see, thanks for the feedback. So what ultimately makes you prefer the OG model over the Purplehearts? Too much bass on the Purplehearts?
 
Danggggggggggggg that ebony though. It's making me regret joining the Purpleheart drop
basshead.gif

 
Jul 13, 2016 at 11:05 AM Post #7,293 of 11,958

thefitz

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Hopefully they allow PH purchasers to upgrade to ebony like they did for mahogany.
 
Jul 13, 2016 at 11:07 AM Post #7,294 of 11,958

moedawg140

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Jul 13, 2016 at 11:08 AM Post #7,295 of 11,958

ashmodai

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Looks damn nice ! I really hope they start selling the cups only at some point ... I would be interesting to swap my mahogany ones but not if I need to re-buy the phones for it :)
 
Jul 13, 2016 at 11:10 AM Post #7,296 of 11,958

Change is Good

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Hopefully they allow PH purchasers to upgrade to ebony like they did for mahogany.


Doesn't look like it.


[COLOR=151B26]Drop Details Specific to Ebony[/COLOR]
  • Pending TH-X00 orders for Mahogany or Purpleheart cannot be canceled to join this drop.
  • Production lead time for Ebony wiill take 4 months from the end of the drop to leave our warehouse.
  • The price for the Fostex TH-X00 Ebony Edition is $499.99 shipped.


Get ready for a pitchfork mob :p
 
Jul 13, 2016 at 11:35 AM Post #7,299 of 11,958

thefitz

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Jul 13, 2016 at 11:40 AM Post #7,300 of 11,958

thefitz

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Who am I kidding? I'll get the ebony and sell the PH when it rolls in.
 
Jul 13, 2016 at 11:57 AM Post #7,302 of 11,958

PopZeus

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Damn you, Massdrop! I was all set to be perfectly content with the PH but now I must have the ebony too. I'll sell the one I like less. Probably. Maybe.
 
Jul 13, 2016 at 12:02 PM Post #7,303 of 11,958

Change is Good

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I like the variations being offered. It gives each its own unique feeling especially since they are all priced differently.
 
Jul 13, 2016 at 12:05 PM Post #7,304 of 11,958

Daze513

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Looks very nice, and I hope at one point I get to try them. I like that they are straight up telling us no more variations, and limited quantity due to sourcing. Really hope someone at some point sells just the cups. I would buy all 3 cups.
 
Jul 13, 2016 at 12:07 PM Post #7,305 of 11,958

Zbell

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Honestly, I'll be pretty disappointed if these headphones have differences in tuning.  Not because one sounds "better" than another necessarily, because everyone's tastes differ.  However I bought a purpleheart thinking that the only difference between it and the original were the cups.  I based my purchase off of thinking that it would sound almost identical to the Mahogany, with the only differences being the wood density.  If they are tuned differently, I think that's pretty dishonest of MD not making that clear.  As a buyer, I like knowing what I'm buying, especially since no one had a purpleheart to review or test really when the drop was open.  If the tuning differences are true, I'll certainly have to think twice about buying another Massdrop exclusive and trusting the description shown there.  Also, the differences in Jude's measurements above seem far greater than those in Will's description of the purplehearts.
 

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