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Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00 Review

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jude, Nov 24, 2015.
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  1. sikki-six
    I'm receiving my PH-pair next week, just paid the taxes (100€). I'm getting used to the sound-sig with my D2000s as I speak. I'm hoping the new ones are better, since they cost lots more - basically double for me.
    I love the big and low-down bass on the Denons, but it can get slow & messy. Nice to see how the two compare.
  2. FaezFarhan
    My pair finally arrived in Malaysia after 13 days in Germany for whatever reason but it's now with the customs. I've have to declare them first, hoping to receive it within the week or so hopefully.
  3. Pahani
    Well, my 2-day old PH's have received a ZMF Comfort Strap and ZMF Omni Lambskin pads. The comfort is stellar, they are now like pillows on my head! My X00 pads will now transition to my T50RP Mk3's :)
    Did the sound change with the pads?  I'm not well equipped to answer that, as I've only had about 6 hours of listening time and the sound should still be changing slightly anyway with burn-in. That being said, my gut tells me the sound remained unchanged. But I don't guarantee it.
    Comfort is now amazing, but clamp is still too light. They tumbled off my head on the first day when I went to swallow my daily vitamins. I will work on the headband gradually to try to correct this.
    I have a Lawton kit sitting here that I'll install next week after I'm more familiar with the stock sound. After that I'll further tune them with the EZ Mods....rotating the foam ring, etc.
    I am extremely happy with my X00's! Thanks to this community, they sound EXACTLY as I imagined they would, based on community perceptions.
    My Stax still get the nod on overall musical fidelity, but it is a little closer than I expected. X00 will be an excellent basshead can to pair with my neutral-ish Stax :)
  4. Billheiser
    A needless worry. May never happen at all, and if it does, in a decade, then get new pads.
  5. jeffri

    I agree! The ZMF Omni Pads is a lot more comfy than the default pads. It doesn't distort the sound much I think (in comparison to Alpha pads), but I haven't had the chance to compare it extensively with default pads yet. Even if it changes, it seems to be minimal from memory and quite pleasing that I didn't miss the old pads. :)
  6. vcmusik
    So, I installed the Lawton Tune-Up Kit, and I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with the results so far. For people that are on the fence, I'd say give it a shot, or at least the mods on the driver side. 
    Instrument separation, clarity and soundstage are much improved. The only thing I miss is that some excitement and sizzle is lost because of the way the kit tones down the highs, but for the amount of detail I get in return, I think it's well worth it. I don't quite know how to explain it properly, but I think the biggest benefit of the kit as a whole isn't even the change to the overall sound signature, but actually the fact that it cleans up a lot of the things I didn't even realize were extraneous noises. Before installing the mod kit, notes and cymbal rings would linger and reverberate a bit longer than I think was naturally intended, and it lead to kind of a wet and muddy sound. It made for an exciting atmosphere for sure, but it kind of smudged over a lot of the subtle details in the music, such as general chord changes or certain articulations that the musicians made. With the Lawton kit, the sound is more tightly controlled and notes feel like they end when they should, allowing the listener to more easily notice subsequent notes being played/sung. The improvement is thus more apparent, to me at least, in faster, energetic types of music.
    I was surprised when I opened up my cups for the first time to find that there was no "factory white polyester batting material" with my Purplehearts, as stated to be removed in the Lawton mod instructions. Can anyone else confirm that there was none in their cups either, or did they just forget to install them in my pair?
    Installation was pretty easy, took me a couple hours just because I went nice and slow to make sure I didn't damage the cups or the bio-cellulose. The only thing that gave me a problem was the stubborn adhesive backing from the foam discs, it was kind of a pain to remove. 
    Anyway, for anyone that wants to get more out of their PHs, I wouldn't hesitate to suggest the tune-up kit. 
  7. thejammonster
    The TH-600 has the white batting.  The TH-X00 does not.
    vcmusik likes this.
  8. -19db
    Thanks for posting this.  It confirms Fjrabon's recommendation earlier in this thread.  He also recommended using the Tune Up on the Mahogany rather than the PH.  I received the Purplehearts last week and after hearing both, I think he's right.  My PH's have stronger bass but smoother highs than my Mahogany's, which can be a little sibilant.  Lessened highs would make my PH's too bass heavy.
    If the Lawton kit smooths out the highs on the Mahogany, I'll have a better balance "U" signature than my PH's.
    Then I'll sell the Purplehearts.
    vcmusik likes this.
  9. HPLobster
    After almost 4 month of waiting (and meanwhile spending time reading approx. 4000+ posts about mods) my Purplehearts finally arrived two days ago here in Germany in pristine condition! :popcorn:

    I would like to emphasize that I am not the typical "easy-to-impress/join-the-hype" type of guy and normally before buying something I have to really delve into the matter and do some serious research/comparison. Ordering these headphones based only on the companies reputation and very few (mahagoni-) reviews I definitely did something quite unusual back then.....


    MAN oh man, do these cans sound AMAZING :atsmile:
    They are SO much better than I was expecting them to be (and my expectations were high indeed)! Wow, listening to so many of my old albums right now and enjoying them in such a new delightful manner...Massive Attack, Leftfield, Tool, Underworld....but even Björk or Radiohead.....the bass quality (oh yeah, the outstanding bass quality.....), the maintained soundstage, the....FUN...but elegant....sound signature...........consider me impressed...and happy :D

    FWIW I think they pair up PERFECTLY with the Chord Mojo (even better/more synergistic than my PM-3s do).

    Just my 2 cents after finally joining the club....
    HungryPanda likes this.
  10. Spork67
    I've had mine for 3 months now.
    They are only the 2nd pair of closed HPs I've tried so I was a bit dubious - I hated the first ones and sold them after < 2 hours use.
    I'm really happy with the X00s.
    They look great, they feel comfy (it took a week or so for them to really mould to my head) and the sound...
    The sound is fantastic. I know there are more detailed, more revealing, faster HPs out there, and HPs with a much bigger sound stage, and even HPs that isolate better - but I don't know if there is much in the $400 price bracket that really compares, and certainly nothing that (IMO) has the aesthetic appeal of these lovely woodys.
    I find them non-fatiguing to use for long periods - 2 - 3 hours at a time, and up to 10 - 12 hours a day on occasions.
    They are a massive step up from my previous HPs - ATH-AD900x for everything apart from gaming. (Those cans are IMO unbeatable for sound-stage and positional imaging in the price range)
    The Fostex bass is sublime, the mids are warm and smooth, the highs are pleasing, revealing and non-fatiguing with little sibilance.
    I was using a Yulong U100 DAC/amp at first and the sound was good. But having seen how much better these were than my old HPs, I thought the DAC/amp were probably in need of an upgrade too. So for the last 6 weeks I've been listening with the Grace m9XX - and wow! Massive improvement all round! Next week I should have my Feliks Elise (tube amp), which a couple of people have tried with these HPs and said good things about. I'm hoping that will take them to yet another level.
  11. crossfire
    is there any feedback or reviews on using ether c pads? can't seem to find any through this thread from searching.
  12. Spork67
    I'm happy to confirm that these HPs seem to scale really well with the amp. feeding them.
    They sounded good with a Yulon U100 (about $120 worth).
    They sounded great with the Grace m9XX ($499 worth).
    Still using the Grace as a DAC but running through the Feliks Elise - wow! Even better in every single way. And that's with the stock tubes and practically no burn-in time on tubes or amp. [​IMG]
  13. fjrabon

    Interesting.  Wouldn't have thought that The THX00 would work well with the Elise (50 ohm output impedance OTL tube IIRC?) as most similar amps to that it sounded bloated and slow.  I guess it just goes to show you never know just from looking at spec sheets.
  14. betula

    IMO the clue here might be the M9XX.
    Generally speaking we could say a good DAC gives the clarity and black background to the sound, while an amp can give some extra color/taste to it.
    IMO this is what is happening here.
  15. Spork67
    The Elise is rated for 32 to 600 ohm HPs - but Lucasz (The guy who makes them) said it would also work fine with the 25z Fostex. Have even heard of people using it with IEMs. I do get a background hum when no music playing and volume WAY louder than I would subject my ears to, not sure if a higher z can or just more hours on the tubes will "fix" that or not. Will have some slightly higher z, lower efficiency HPs very soon to test with. As long as it can get them to "too loud" with no hum I'll be satisfied. 
    Funny you mention the m9xx. I was considering selling it and getting a DAC only, as it seems a bit of a waste not using the amp in that unit, I guess there will still be times where a little SS amp could be handy to have, and it certainly is a very competent DAC.
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