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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. SilverEars
    I heard somebody's Lawton modded PH, and it sounded a bit too bright for my taste. Maybe even more emphasized than EMU teak which I didn't care for due to a bit subdue'd bass and elevated treble.

    I have the Ebony and I realize stock was well tuned.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  2. cathee
    I think the first step to any foray into modding should begin (and possible end) with pad rolling. Dekoni pads immediately solve the problem with the highs in these Foster variants.
  3. SilverEars
    Perhaps Dekoni pads were designed specifically for TH-X00 because the stock pads are shaped specifically to reduce room inside so that you'd get greater bass response. increase that room reduces bass response, and bass sounds looser. The attenuator rings are necessary for better bass response.

    I find that pad rolling has it's place in certain cases. It's mainly planar magnetic headphones like Hifimans. Sennheisers are not really roll-able. I think certain headphones have the right responded pads that any after market pads that is different will change the sound in not the best way.

    Elear with Clear pads was an interesting revelation as well.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  4. Vonx
    With the fostex TH varients specifically, adjusting the dampening rings (foam rings under the pads) also make a very noticable difference in sound, some positions reducing or increasing treble, some cleaner or more distorted sound, and some with thicker lower mids (which I like). They are a good way to cheaply and easily start adjusting the sound of your TH's.

    Whitigirs EZ mod thread goes into detail about it. Part of what I love so much about these headphones is that there is so many ways to change the sound to your preferences with minimal effort!
  5. chimney189
    I’ve had the TH-X00 Mahogany for 2 days and it’s one of the most engaging headphones that I’ve listened to. Big, impactful sound that is absolutely ruthless out of my iPhone 6 and a Dragonfly Red — this amp really brings out the Mahogany’s impactful sound to life and tightens it up.

    My only minor complaint is, sometimes, the highs can feel a bit etched and aggressive. Does anyone know what mods I can do to ONLY smooth out the highs, or calm them down a bit?

    Regardless, I’m loving this headphone so far. I have small to average ears and the stock pads are simply perfect. These are the type of headphones that keep me listening to music longer than I usually expect.
  6. theangelboy
    Covering the driver with a piece of tp (or even a single layer of a multi-ply tp) will tame the highs. You could also try coffee filters, paper towels, surgical masks, or thin cotton cloth. Each material is going to change the sound differently but as long as it's not super thick or dense it shouldn't change anything but the highs. It will take some experimentation on your part but X00 earpads go on and off super easily so it shouldn't take long to try some different materials.
  7. Tetonpowskier
    I love TH-X00 PHs, and am buying myself TR-X00 PHs as a graduation present, once I see my degree in hand this fall.

    What do you guys use with a similar sound signature for portable use? I'm looking for something with a similar sound signature, but with more clamping pressure and smaller cups. As well as more durability and portability, shorter cable.

    I currently use Sennheiser Amperiors or HD 25, and had V moda M100, but want a step up from those in bass and treble energy as well as sound quality, more like the Purplehearts.

    What do you recommend for portable purple hearts?
  8. Billheiser
    I suggest the beyerdynamic T51i. Nicely portable and lightweight, but sturdy. Short thin flexible cable. Nicely bass-y, but not excessively so.
  9. oqvist
    More bass is absolutely the last thing x00 needs though :p. I loved the smooth midrange but the bass drowned it and went boom om stock earpads.
  10. koover
    I use my purplehearts predominantly on my desktop and for home theater. But when I go portable with my IPhone7+ with DFR which isn't too often (the cable is like a vacuum cleaner cord) they sounded "OK" originally until I did the Lawton "Driver Only" mod. Doing the cup mod absolutely to my ears takes away too much of the bass, gives the treble even more sparkle (not in a good way) which is what this headphone is all about. I also swapped out the pads with the ZMF Ori pads. Once I did the driver dampening and pad swap, to me, this elevated the sound exponentially in a VERY good way. The bass became tighter but kept it's signature sound and smoothed out the treble. The mids also seemed to be a bit more pronounced (a smidge) but it was mostly in the treble and bass where I can tell the biggest improvement. Again, this is for my tastes and ears but may not be for you. The beauty is both these mods are reversible if you don't like the sound.
    HungryPanda likes this.
  11. chimney189
    Do you by any chance have a picture of this modification in its final form?
  12. koover
    No I don’t.... I’m sorry. I actually had it completed by Lawton except the pads which I swapped out. I’ve always believed in warranties.
    If I slip with a screwdriver and mess something up like damaging the driver...I’m SOL. If they make a mistake. I’m covered. It’s pretty easy from what I heard. I wish I would have just done it myself and saved a bit of cash, but it’s not too much anyway. I do know there’s directions included when they send you the mod package.
  13. Pahani
    Yeah, the Lawton mod is easy to do, and the instructions on the website were good enough for me. Hardest part is the very tiny screws that hold on the wood cups. I have mechanic-like hands, NOT suited for delicate work like that at all, but I got it done.

    As far as fitment of the dampening material itself, trim on the large size and cut down 2 or 3 more times until the fitment is perfect before peeling off the back and applying for good. You can always trim down more if there's too much, not the reverse.
  14. Purplezorz
    You won't find something that produces as good a sound as the Purplehearts whilst simultaneously being cheaper.
    I recommend the Sony WH-1000X-M3 though. The M3s stepped up the resolution and detail the can produces. Smaller cups, more comfortable, noise cancelling and decent sub bass (not extreme basshead levels like the V-Modas or even the Purplehearts, but with the right EQ, it keeps me very happy).

    Alternatively, there's the Mezes, either the Neos or the Classics, however, the speed, resolution and over quality pale in comparison to the Fostex (and so it should at half and a third of the price), but I'm not sure of any other ones that come close really. I can't even recommend my usual MDR-1A because of lack of top end - but they're super fun with EQ and a bit of power.
  15. Tetonpowskier
    Thanks for the response. I have been looking at those Sonys. I enjoyed my previous Sony MDR ZX-600, which basically sounded like a less refined and less aggressive Sennheiser Amperior to my ears. If Sony makes something with that sound signature, but better sounding and better clamping pressure, I could get on that train for sure.

    I feel like all my research has led me back to the original M100 though.
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