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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. CoFire
    Based on reading, reviews, the DT1990 might be an excellent candidate. Yeah, THX00 series are colored yet refined.
  2. DavidA
    If you are a little handy with soldering iron install some SMC jacks, no cutting of frame, cup or baffle required. Here's a picture of my TH-600:
    TH-600-SMC mod1.jpg
    Maxx134 and Richter Di like this.
  3. SilverEars
    Those look like the oldschool Hifiman connectors. I do want lighter and shorter cables for better portability. I need to look into this.

    These are beautiful looking headphones(I always thought Fostex headphones looked pretty sleak), and don't want to ruin it. The quality of the build on these are so great(the one issue is the fabric material around the cable that keeps memory of the bends, it needs better cabling). I love the design of it, the pivot mechanism of the yoke(this I really like, nice industrial design), not so weighty, and especially the cups(overall looks is zen). Looks really nice.

    This one seems like my type of headphone, the way it fits my head, looks of it, and the sound(the low-end sound of the dynamic drivers). Also, efficiency to drive it from my DAP(only the cable situation is a negative), and it's not as open/leak so much like open-back.

    Looking at these and all those Hifimans I've gone through, and I just wonder to myself, why do Hifiman has to look so ghetto? :o2smile:
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  4. DavidA
    Correct, old school/original Hifiman connectors (better than the 2.5mm IMO). I've done this mod to TH-600, TH-900, and TH-X00 Mahogany, one of the easier to do.
    Maxx134 likes this.
  5. Maxx134
    I never understood why they closed the inner hole and place some insert to cover the driver...

    This is dumb IMHO...

    Look at the th600,610,900.

    This is basically the same design and drivers,
    And they are not foolishly covered.

    The covering is some passing fad to me.
    Use the th900 pads or Ori pads or th600 pads and you will realize a substantial increase in soundStage...

    I have some Ori pads I don't use.
    They give some nice massive bass.

    I am currently using these pads with my current " internal" tunning .
    A wopping $22 bucks!
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  6. Zbell
    This looks great! Is there guide or instructions somewhere for doing this mod?
  7. SilverEars
    Although the way stock pads are isn't an issue for me, I wondered that as well. It's not for tuning? To be honest, large room inside like the TH-900 pads would be more comfortable and easy fit. Reasonable price as well compared how much stupidly expensive other pads go for like $80-200?!!

    Has anybody tried the TH-900 pads, and were there changes to the sound?

    I wonder if the stock pads are for forcing you to place your ears at the position for the sound. TH-900 pads has room to shift your ears around.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  8. Hazi59
    The TH900 pads supposedly lose a ton in the mids and make the TH-X00 even more V shaped. I can confirm this when I did an a/b comparison. I even noticed a difference with the Ori vs the Eikon pads as well (Eikon pads enhance the treble vs Ori pads). In my opinion, no pad sounds better on the th-x00 than the ZMF Ori pads.
    chellity and koover like this.
  9. Maxx134
    In a general sense,
    Most Difference with hole size is bass.

    Most Difference in pad depth is trebles.

    The deeper the pads,
    The greater the Need for quality materials in pads ..

    The best pad I personally like, were the Ether Electrostatic pads...
    Widest internal opening,
    Angled and quality materials.
    Problem is they are $90 pads.

    I have not tried the real th900 pads tho.
    I believe those should be optimal, and better than my $22 pads..
  10. SilverEars
    After trying out the TH-X00, I've been curious about the TH900, but that's the reason why I'm not too eager to try it out(the V shaped response). There are two types of V-shaped response IMO, the type that sounds like mids are sucked out and vocals doesn't have much presence(and also bass may overwhelm) and there other type is lots of bass with treble peak(that there more sparkle than necessary).

    I personally like the TH-X00 EB tuning, and don't want to compremise it in anyway as for these types of headphones, they probably can easily get mis-tuned(as V-shaped or what else like mids not clear, etc..).
  11. Maxx134
    Good to know.
    The $22 pads are a safe try as they are s bit shallow, so you won't loose the mids.
  12. SilverEars
    Your information about the pad depth and hole size as well. I've noticed with long pad depth like LCD2C or Cascades is a bit of tunneling sound effect. Shallow is preferred for me, but may not feel as secure. Also, Cascades narrow and deep pads sounds tunneled combined with compressed sound stage, whereas TH-X00 is pretty good in size of imaging for a cupped headphone(larger).

    To be honest, I haven't pad rolled enough to figure any patterns, but there probably is some generally consistant sound characteristics of pads based on various aspects of pads.

    At least back in the days with HE6, I knew the material of the pads effected the highs as it came with valuor and faux leather.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  13. DavidA
    I haven't seen a guide but its a straight forward mod:
    1. either cut the leads going to the driver or un-solder them to remove the stock cable
    2. solder the leads from the driver to the SMC jacks or if you un-soldered the leads from the driver then its a bit easier to work with the SMC jacks. You will need to get these SMC jacks: https://vetco.net/products/smc-female-chassis-mount-connector/pan-smc-2963 if you don't want to do any cutting of the frame, cups or baffle.
    GenEricOne likes this.
  14. loki993
    I got these and I have some questions, comments?

    Straight off they are a lot heavier than I am used to wearing and the clamp is not particularly tight. That combination makes it feel like these are always one head motion away from falling off of my head, it also makes it so I feel like I have to constantly check and adjust them. I don't know that I love the pads, they don't seem to provide a great seal, Im not sure if this is the intent or not.

    You want a mini review, background first, this is from my computer using mostly crap sources like soundcloud, youtube and amazon music. I'm running a Magni 3 and a Mimby on USB, as I do not currently have an Eitr.
    Other headphone I have an have listened too extensively are mostly AKG K7xx, about 2 years, and DT770 Pro 80s forever. I decided a few months ago that I didn't really like the K7xxs and decided to go looking for something with more bass, which led me to these. I game a lot and the 7xxs are good for that so thats why I've kept them around as long as I have even if I didn't totally love the sound, but recently Ive gone back to the DT770s for gaming even, at least for now.

    They didn't sound great when I first tried them, but that was an issue with my system, I've resolved that issue and they sound a ton better now.

    I haven't had a ton of listening time on them yet but quick impressions

    I forgot to include these have the Lawton driver dampening mod applied to them. I do not know how they sound without it, but the impression I got was that it basically clean the sound up a bit. The drivers ring a bit without it and this stops that ringing.

    So I love my DT770s and their bass but whoa, these make the bass on the 770s sound terrible in comparison. There is so much and the level of quality is nearly orders of magnitude better. they hit hard, go deep and there is just a ton of bass.

    I have to listen more to get a better idea of the mids, Im still trying to figure them out. The mids are recessed, not as bad as the dt770s but still back a little from everything else, I don't know that I like it.

    The treble is good but these definitely get fatiguing for me after a little bit, I find myself turning them down to a lower level than I generally listen at after a little bit to give myself breaks from the treble, Ive never had to do that before with my other headphones. This could be the results of the music I've been using to test these with though.

    Swapping the DT770s back, I would have to do it and write down what I hear right away because I can't remember specifics right now but it was significant. Everything is better, by a fair margin, on the X00s. I suppose this should come as no surprise to most people considering the price differential of these headphones, but I feel that the exercise is worthwhile because this could be a real candidate of someone was looking for a clear upgrade from the DT770s.

    The pads though, I dont think I like the pads so the ZMFs are what people like on these? Will they give me a better seal than what I am getting with the stock pads of just a different feel and sound?
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  15. SilverEars
    I got the Ebony cups and treble isn't bright for me, it seems more or less at a good level that vocals sounds tonally good. There doesn't seem to be mids recession either, male vocals have good presence.

    Even the Ebony version, the bass is no slouch and wouldn't want more. Bass is clean, doesn't get bloomy. Dynamic driver semi-closed bass definately has a characteristic of it's own to be worth hearing. Sounds different from planar bass.

    Just out of curiosity, are the difference in FR of different colores ones, only attributed to the wood, and they all utilize the same bio-cellulose drivers? No additional tuning other than that to differentiate?
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
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