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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. VRacer-111
    Correct, the only difference is the wood cups for any TH-X00, no other tuning differences. I bought the E-MU Palo Santo wood cups and put them on one of my TH-X00 Purplehearts... really made it more neutral in presentation (still V shaped, but bass reduced and mids brought more forward) compared to the other Purpleheart (both on stock pads for the comparison).
     
  2. VRacer-111
    Which TH-X00 version do you have again? Version does make a difference on matching pads... what is ideal for a PH is not necessarily ideal for a Mahogany version. The ZMF Ori sheepskin is a nice pad for the PH or Ebony, needs attenuators though - otherwise loose a little too much bass. The ZMF Ori suede works well to balance the sound more, and is best on Mahogany or Palo Santo. You will have better fit/seal to the head with them

    Of course Lawton dampening is highly recommended for all, even with stock pads.
     
  3. loki993
    PHs and they already have the Lawton driver damping.
     
  4. SilverEars
    What does Lawton do? Any measurements out there for the results?
     
  5. VRacer-111
    Turns it into a higher fidelity can - improved detail, clarity, and instrument separation. Lyrics that were hard to understand are much more intelligible, and bass has slightly better finesse and extension. The stock TH-X00 is muffled and conjested sounding in comparison.
     
  6. SilverEars
    That's interesting. Only way you can compare for any noticible differences would be to AB two pairs side by side, with and without mod.

    I thought it's the quality of drivers matter most when it comes to transient response and detail retrieval. What is involved in this mod for such a change?
     
  7. VRacer-111
    Which is what I did, 2 pairs of TH-X00PH, one completely stock the other with just Lawton driver dampening applied, but otherwise stock. Semi-closed can and reflections from cups.... acoustic/vibrational dampening helps clear up the sound. Think of it as removing external noise so you can hear more of the actual source - instant boost in clarity, detail, and instrument separation.

    http://www.lawtonaudio.com/fostextune-up.html
     
  8. koover
    I didn’t find it difficult when adding the dampening mod and pads that the bass tightened up and wasn’t as bloated. I could
    Easily discern the differences without A/B testing instantly. In turn, the mids opened up as they weren’t as drowned out from the bass bleeding into the mids and treble.
    Also changing out pads adds a lot to the sound of any headphone. Size of opening, shape of opening, how close your ears sit next to, away or on top of the drivers,etc.
     
  9. SilverEars
    Ebony sounds pretty clear. I have heard bass overwhelming the mids or a bit of warmth over-taking the mids clarity with other headphones(particularly closed-backs), but it's not the case with the Ebony(which is the most balanced of the X00). Mids are pretty forward with it(vocals are actually forward). Believe me, I've heard upper mids dipping(Audeze. cough cough..). Bass is well separated as well. I think the Massdrop did a terrific job(consulting Fostex) with the Ebony in what they could get out of these Fostex headphones. I'm starting to appreciate particularities of how Massdrop gets the headphones tuned with the companies.

    Good job with the Ebony Massdrop! :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  10. VRacer-111
    If you really want to hear cleaner, more detailed sound with nicer instrument separation from your EB, install the Lawton driver housing dampening - noticeably upgrades the fidelity of ANY TH-X00. Or you can just leave it stock and still enjoy it with the more muddled, less detailed, and more conjested sound it originally comes with... it's not like it's bad stock, just not as good as it could be. The choice is yours.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  11. reeltime
    I bought the mahogany and the purpleheart. I sold off the mahogany because the purpleheart was more fun and musical to my ears. I bought the ZMF ear pads because they allow me to wear the Fostex for hours without any pain. The stock earpad would bother me after an hour. I didn't notice much of a change in sonics, it was a straight comfort purchase, and I'm glad I purchased them.
     
  12. jmills8
    Give it time and just absorb the music without making it a job.
     
  13. DavidA
    I'd agree with you that the stock pads are hard and uncomfortable, tried some TH-900 and TH-600 pads but they alter the sound in a way that I didn't care for and to me my TH-600 is cleaner sounding and much more comfortable. I also have K7XX (doesn't get used much these days), DT990 premium (when I want a really fun sound) and my current 2 favorites Stax SRD-34 (modded from on-ear to over ear) and custom built Ypsilon R1.

    For gaming I used to use a HD700, great positional audio, very comfortable and can be had for great prices these days but for some the 6khz peak can be an issue. Choice of amp seems to make a difference to those that like it and those that don't. FWIW I used to use a Xonar STX sound card to drive the HD700 when gaming and they sound great out of headphone jack of old Sony HT receiver.
     
  14. Leopanda
    Nice review.

    The seal of these is increased with headband adjustment. They have low clamping force with no adjustment, but you may stick a pad from sennheiser headphones to the headband, so they will stop falling from your head and get better clamping force. It would look like that:

    IMG_1611.JPG

    IMG_1610.JPG

    You may get a headband pad of sennheiser HD600 or HD650 on amazon or ali, they don't cost much.
    It can be attached with a two-side sticky strip.

    Lawton dampening applied on the driver housing "take away the oddest and most off time reflections that have hit the metal portions of the driver which will increase phase coherence and thus soundstage", as was said by headphone guru fjrabon about 2 years ago. He has written a lot of great posts in this thread describing the mods and their impacts.

    If you want to get deeper into that you may start reading with a post there.
     
    Richter Di likes this.
  15. SilverEars
    I'm very happy with stock EB. Don't need the weird mod, no thanks. It doesn't sound muddled or congested.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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