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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. koover
    Very cool you're going for the dampening mod. You'll notice a difference.
    The best pad IMO is the ZMF Ori. Yes, they're a bit pricy but well worth the price of admission. Just these 2 mods alone raise the level of this headphone quite a bit.
    cathee and nicholars like this.
  2. nicholars
    Is it worth doing any kind of damping at all on the cups?
  3. Maxx134
    How much is the Lawton mod now?
    Last time I checked, I think it was alot of money for a little bit of material.
    I suggest go DIY route.
    Its kinda fun & you will learn what aspects you like.
    I already moded my purplehearts way past normal modding.

    Its pretty dam easy to fill the cup with some dampening stuff, but its true you have to tune it to your liking.

    Most stuff placed in cup will tame the bass and/or thickness.

    To tame the upper range, the best stuff I tried was wool (sheet of wool from arts/crafts store), and different types of foam.
  4. koover
    Keep in mind this is strictly my opinion. Why dampen the cup? I know why, but if you do, why even buy the TH-X00 in the first place? Doesn’t make sense to me. This is what this HP is about, the slamming deepmthumpikg bass for how it was tuned.
    Dampening the driver only tightens up the bass and makes it sound better without changing its tuning like cup dampening does.
    Purplezorz and Maxx134 like this.
  5. theangelboy
    I paid $29 for my driver-only dampening kit (it's $45 for the full kit), which I feel is worth it for the benefits, especially with a headphone that's as expensive as the X00. I have no desire to remove bass with cup dampening because that's the main appeal of this headphone to me.

    Now I don't want to come off as combative, I just want to present the reasoning behind my opinion on the Lawton mod. Most materials that actually decrease resonance values of the driver housing better than basic craft materials (felt, foam, etc) are going to be $15 to $20 minimum for a sheet of it, if you can even find it in reasonable quantities. Dynamat is going to be the cheapest but it's definitely inferior to the stuff that's included in the Lawton kit since it's super reflective and gummy. Say you try 2 or 3 of those materials and then you are looking at $50. And then you have to account for your time on top of that. I would rather pay more for a solution that has been proven where someone has already put in the experimenting time and material testing so I can spend more time enjoying the headphones. But that's just me, I'm a lazy modder. If DIY is your thing, that's great! The more modders there are, the easier it is for me to be lazy. :)
    koover, HungryPanda and Maxx134 like this.
  6. Maxx134
    Great points.
    Only mod if that's your hobby as it can be a money pit.

    I didn't know anything was inferior to dynamat, but dor the application it is specific so thats a plus.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  7. nicholars
    I think it would be safe to say from Maxx134's sig that he does like DIY modding headphones haha.

    I guess you have a point, the main thing with these is the wood cups, Although if it did improve the sound then maybe, but overall yes I think I will just do the driver damping. Also I don't think I will bother with new pads, unless anyone can recommend some pads that definitely improve the sound quality.

    Most people want better comfort and seem to go through about 10 different pads just trying to get "as good as the stock sound". So if I do not have major problems with the comfort, it seems a bit pointless, the only pads that look a bit interesting are the Brainwavz angled sheepskin, as they are on amazon and relatively cheap, but do they actually improve the sound, or just more comfortable? Most people say ZMF pads actually improve the sound, but in the UK they are 85 and that is a lot for some pads.
  8. cathee
    I see you're considering the E-Mu Teaks too. I have the lot (TH900 / THX00 / E-MU) - maybe I can help you out here.

    If you're into saving money, I'd recommend getting a pair of used TH900s (~$750) and some ZMF pads and call it a day.

    But if you're into modding then you'll really have to experiment for yourself: it's the "Oh I wonder if...this... affects that... etc" in your head you'll have to satisfy. I went the whole nine yards, I'll try to summarize some key takeaway for me:
    1. X00s with Teak cups sound shockingly similar to the E-MUs with the Teak cups. And vice versa with the Purpleheart cups. The teak cups definitely sound better but it also has a very different interior dampening material. Lawton cups results are consistent. Sound is altered noticeably but is it cup material or dampening? Or most likely a combination of the two creates a profile of frequency absorbtion.
    2. Pads / Cups tied, in terms of most noticeably altering the sound. My favorite is the Dekoni X00 Hybrid pads - in terms of soundstage/bass control/comfort nothing compares.
    3. Driver mod (Lawton dampening) - I'm still trying to figure this out a little more. It's not particular more affective than something like dynamat (definitely easier to apply tho), so I think it's the massloading that's really at work here but not 100% sure on that.
    Or if you wanna get really silly you can source TH900 drivers from Full Compass.
    nicholars likes this.
  9. nicholars
    Nice reply thanks, Did you notice a good difference from using the Lawton driver mod? Hopefully because I have one in the post!

    Also interesting you like the Dekoni Hybrid, because I have 1 or 2 negative reviews of those, I guess everything is personal preference as much as anything else. Maybe I will try those, do you have them with the attenuation rings or without?

    Also aren't the Th900 very sharp in the treble? I already find the X00 more than bright enough and use a small EQ on the treble on the X00. So I think that would be a problem with those.

    Also with those Dekoni pads, are the TH900 and X00 pads the same? Because the X00 pads are only on massdrop, but I could get the TH900 pads in the UK, for some reason they do not sell the X00 ones in the UK only on massdrop.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  10. Purplezorz
    I plan to move to some better EQ stuff later on (I always forget the name, PEACE I think) when I get the iFi iDSD Micro Black Label. But for now, this is ultra convenient.

    This EQ is specifically used to work with ambient electronic bass music. Some songs are harsh and I like to listen relatively loud. The drop in the 1-2K region was a new test to take out the thwack of some instruments. It's only 2db and usually the whole upper mids / treble section has a -1db cut which is more of a "this hurts less" rather than "this sounds better". Doesn't really seem to affect the mids toooo much really.

    The bass cuts are used because the low end gets too excited on bass heavy tracks and starts to bleed into the mids a bit. On other genres, I usually just zero the EQ. I do love my Purplehearts, just the music I listen to most varies greatly in how it's been mastered and I wanted to soften the sound a little bit :) - maybe I should look into tubes lol

    I'd be interested to know what you think about the mod. Not a fan; if I had the ability, I would get the TH-900 drivers and paint the Purplehearts a deeper coat of purple. I think that would truly be an upgrade, even if when I AB'd the TH-610 and Th-900, the difference was most definitely noticeable, but probably equates to a 10% increase; not double the price >=)
    But if the Dekoni pads can make such a nice completion, I'm sure the tune-up kit can too.
  11. nicholars
    I have read that tubes are not great for bass, solid state is better for accurate bass from what I have read, they may very well be good for improving soundstage and making them sound smoother though, definitely something I am interested in, there are some very interesting balanced tube amps out recently that are also cheap, I might try one, maybe that will give me the sound I have been looking for, or maybe it will make the bass area into a distorted mess, no idea! But there are a lot of people who like tube amps..

    Have you done the mod? Why did you say "not a fan"? Most people say it improves the sound... Anyway yes I think it probably will because damping the driver makes sense... Actually hell I am going to try a tube amp haha.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
    Purplezorz likes this.
  12. cathee
    I'll let you decide for yourself the effects of the Lawton Audio mod. If you have it ordered already, there's no point in me spoiling the fun.

    Personally, I would've gotten pads > chambers > driver mod in that order. Pads are cheapest and change the sound the most. Chambers do too, but they can be quite costly and I'm not 100% it's not the dampening material that makes a bigger different. I use the attenuation rings with the X00s/Teaks but not the TH900. The Dekoni pads are thicker than stock on the ear side, this substantially tones down the high, I can't go back to OEM pads with the TH900. The TH900 pads have a large circular earhole, while the X00 variant has a ear-shaped earhole - the only affect of this is the increase in soundstage, which can be a plus or minus depending on the headphones.

    The "quality" to price relationship definitely gets exponential at the End-Game range.
    Purplezorz likes this.
  13. nicholars
    Interesting how two different people will give completely opposite advice, for example :

    advice #1 "you MUST do the driver mod it is the biggest difference in sound and is essential"

    advice #2 "most pads sound worse than the stock pads"

    advice #3 "first thing I would do is change the pads, then the cups, then the damping mod"

    Overall the more you try to find out about something, the more confusing it gets!
    cathee, Purplezorz and Lohb like this.
  14. theangelboy
    You just summed up this hobby nicely.
    Purplezorz and cathee like this.
  15. jmills8
    ZMF makes one model pad that fits on a TH900 ?
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