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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. cathee
    I'm guessing a majority of them will fit. I have the Ori pads - suede on my E-Mu Teaks/ Lambskin on the TH900s.

    Saving up for a ZMF right now and can't wait to pad roll after that!
    HungryPanda and jmills8 like this.
  2. nicholars
    I am reporting back after doing some mods to the X00 Mahogany...

    Lawton driver mod
    Foam rotate mod #2
    Pad trimming mod on stock pads

    Overall result = significantly better sounding and I am happier with these now. If you want to improve your X00 I would definitely recommend trying exactly the mods above!
  3. nicholars
    Also before I had quite a big EQ on the treble, about 3-4db reduction from 8khz-20khz.... with the above mods I am using them with almost flat EQ and the treble is not bothering me, it does not sound as harsh anymore.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  4. nicholars
    Can you reccommend me some pads for the X00? I would like leather or velour (not pleather), I would like them to be more comfortable than the stock pads, but mostly I would like sound improvements eg. not worse. I would not want the price of the ZMF pads though. The only ones I have found that seem like they *might* be good, is the Brainwavz Angled sheepskin??

    I have searched the thread and read about this but I still cannot understand which pads would be good, if I list my requirements, maybe someone can recommend me some pads?

    Slightly less boomy bass ( could live with slightly less bass), no recessed mids, no bright / sibilant treble, bigger soundstage (or the same, but not smaller)

    So can anyone recommend me some pads? Would the Brainwavz angled sheepskin be good? Would the Dekoni elite sheepskin be better than this? Any other options? Thanks.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  5. nicholars
    I see a few recommending Dekoni hybrid... Are you using the TH900 or the Massdrop only x00 version? Would the TH900 version be ok?
  6. nicholars
    But seriously though guys, I am listening to these now, they sound a lot better than before I did anything to them....

    Lawton driver damping - Significantly cleans up the sound, smoother treble, clearer midrange, cleaner more detailed bass.

    Pad trimming mod - Bigger soundstage, more "open", Probably more bass extension(?)

    Foam rotating mod - I tried all positions and I think I prefer stock, the other positions all seem to add bass bloating on the X00.

    Next mods to try : medical tape on cups, possibly new pads.

    Overall yes very much recommend modding these, it makes them significantly better...

    Also has anyone tried these pads? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/172857611490 you might scoff and say they look cheap, but they were recommended by Zolkis, unfortunately they are no leather or velour, but they look interesting, anyone tried these?
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  7. Pahani
    LOL in all honesty, buy the ZMF Ori pads. There have been tests long-buried in this thread (even with FR graphs) where the ZMF pads are the second-best. The best being Jmoney pads from MANY years ago that can't be purchased anymore.
    koover likes this.
  8. nicholars
    Do they sound better than the stock pads? They are 70 though which is very expensive for some pads.
  9. SilverEars
    I actually heard a result of Lawton mods of a fellow headfier's mod, and the treble sounded a bit too bright and peakier. More controlled sounding, yes. Similarly, I prfer EB over EMU-Teak due to the Teak's treble tending toward bright/peaky and lean sig. I feel that wonderful lush of TH-X00 EB is lost with the Teak, in which I find is the purpose of actually owning the type of Fostex closed cups.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
    cathee likes this.
  10. Alpsun
    I have the Dekoni Elite Hybrids and they're very comfy. It's the X00 version and it doesn't mess up the sound signature, which is good.

    You really need the X00 version with the X00 attenuators. TH900 pads have a different inner shape and will mess up the sound signature of the TR-X00.
  11. nicholars
    Yes I decided against the Teak because it is apparently brighter with less bass, which is not something I would want from these type of Fostex closed headphones, also the Teaks or the Ebs, would be very close to double the cost of the Mahogs, I really don't think that is worth it, I would like a slightly more refined sound and removable cables yes, but not for double, I also think the Mahogs with the mods I have done, are now very good indeed, I would not be at all surprised if they sound better than stock ebonies, although if I got some ebonies AND modded them, they would likely sound better and the black cups and removable cables would be nice.

    I think with the Lawton mods the brightness you were hearing was probably the pads? The treble just simply sounds better if you only do the driver mod and not the other parts, I have not tried the other parts but my experience is that the driver mod only improves the sound. Does not make it brighter or peakier, it sounds smoother.

    Although to be honest, if you add cup damping, such as the EZ mod with the tape on the cups, I would think that probably all models would sound approx the same at that point, as the only difference is the cups, the drivers and pads are the same, so the wood is affecting the sound, but I plan to try the tape damping on the Mahogs, if the tape damping is an improvement over stock, then I assume that the Ebonies and Mahogs would sound approx the same if they both had cup damping. eg. drivers = same, pads = same, cups = damped so effectively same.... Although it might be that the Ebonies do not need any cup damping, TBH the mahogs do not massively need cup damping after the other mods, but I will try it as I am interested to see if I can get the treble any smoother.

    Overall though these mods are no joke! In about 1-2 hours I transformed the X00 from something I was moderately happy with, but considering selling, to something I am much happier with and have no plans of selling, unless I saw a cheap pair of TR X00 Ebony, which is not likely. I got the tape in the post today so I will try the cup damping and report back!!

    Also how much difference do you really notice from the Mahogs to the Ebonies? I do like the look of them and sort of would like to get some, but then it comes back to the fact they are close to double the price of the Mahogs, and also I already did the Lawton mod, so I don't think I could take that off and put it onto the Ebonies (?)
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  12. nicholars
    Ok I have done all of the mods now, today I did the cup damping with medical tape and also put some tape on the pads so they do not slip off.... Main difference I have noticed from damping the cups, is there is no bass bloat at all, it has no more of that sloppy bass that I had with the stock, or even after the other mods it was still there a bit, now there is none of that at all. Bass with all mods is massively better than the stock headphones.

    I was expecting this last mod to smooth out the treble, I would say it had more effect on the bass than it did on the treble, the treble is slightly smoother and "damped", not that much difference from before. Main difference is that the bass.... very good, no bloat! The stock headphones sound very bloated in the bass compared to these, the quantity of bass is the same or more than the stock headphones, due to the #2 foam position, which when using the cup damping, does not have bloated bass, without the cup damping i preferred the stock position due to bloating! With the cup damping #2 is perfect.

    So overall big difference, if you want to mod your X00, I would strongly recommend the following mods on the X00, total cost very little, would not be surprised if it beats any other stock Fostex or Teaks :

    Lawton driver damping mod
    Cup damping with medical tape
    Pad trimming mod (can also add medical tape to the plastic parts)
    Foam rotate mod to #2

    CLEAN bass, no bloat!! Smoother treble, more forward mid, bigger soundstage, clearer, better imaging.... NO downsides!
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
    Purplezorz likes this.
  13. SilverEars
    It's so surprising that it's only the effect of different types of cups that shows differences out of the measurements of the 3 (Jude's measurements). I targeted the EB since I was aware closed-backs are a challenge tune mids to come up without causing some sort of masking in the response, and EB response showed the most mids. It's so surprising a different wood is the only variable that changes the mids characteristic and overall balance of the tonality.

    Not too long ago I tried the EB with Auteur pads, and larger cup room seems to break up the bass, and reduce the effectiveness, and perceived quantity. It also made the sound a bit brighter and a bit sharper as well. If you look at the stock pads, there is a reason why stock pads were design the way it was with very small room. I realized it's not the type of headphone for simple pad rolling, and I would not dare to try out large roomed pads like the TH-900 pads.

    One thing I'm curious about is the differences in what hear out of the Mahog and the Ebs, although we're aware of the response on the graph already.
  14. nicholars
    The mods I listed above improve the mids, better clarity and more forward mids, bigger soundstage, still using stock pads, except I did the "pad trimming mod", then sealed the pleather to the plastic rings with the medical tape,

    From what I have read about pads, a lot of people say the stock pads sound the best, my main issues with the stock pads have been fixed with modding, (no more bass bloat, better mid, better soundstage). Although possibly bigger soundstage would be good.

    I would like leather, but then most people say any pads other than the ZMF pads, make the sound worse... So maybe I won't bother... I might try the Brainwavz angled sheepskin as they are the only reasonably priced leather pads. Mixed reviews on the sound with those... maybe I will try them anyway.

    Overall yes the modded X00 sound significantly better! Recommend everyone does those mods if you want the best out of them!
  15. Purplezorz
    Agreed, the Dekoni Elite Hybrids are awesome. Since you've already seemingly achieved your desired sound target Nicholars, you should acquire these once they drop again to complete the experience. I found there wasn't really any sound differences that are worth shouting about and were probably in my head if any at all.
    It's all about the increase of comfort, the lack of sweating, the better seal and they don't move as much on your head when you move around. You have to ensure you install them correctly though, otherwise it can sound terrible (seal leak or cups are backwards - need to have the fat bit facing you).
    cathee likes this.
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