Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00 Review
Jul 15, 2021 at 7:19 AM Post #11,926 of 11,972

jazzk

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Can't help with who to go with for fixing/modding... would just try to see if could find a used one with driver issues/headband wear for its chassis parts.

Also there is no cheap plastic on a Fostex TH-X00... the only polymers found in the chassis would be in the driver mount housing and the ball detent housings for headband adjusters. Everything else is either a magnesium alloy or duraluminum (headband adjusters). The magnesium alloy is lighter than plastic but more prone to shearing from impacts or stress.

If you want similar to a modded TH-X00 Purpleheart low end and overall better quality sound in a more robust design, the Denon AH-D5200 (with Yaxi TH610 Alcantara pads) is a great upgrade path. It will be slightly less impactful in subbass, but better in subbass extension and little more expansive feeling with better separation and vocal presentation as well. The Purpleheart is a much more bloated and imprecise sound where the D5200 brings punchy, lively, vibrant nature with better clarity and separation. I loved my Purplehearts (driver dampened modded and Jmoney V3 pads with custom pad attenuator) for the 3 years or so I had them. When got the AH-D5200 in, after finding the pad I liked best on it and getting it's basic EQ needs met, I was more than content to let my Purplehearts go...very nice subbass + better quality sound in nearly all ways across the board.

Do you use H10 (stock or modded?) for the Purplehearts or the Torpedo III? I had two Gustard H10s which I used for my biodynas (did thermal and opamp mods) and really liked how they paired up. As good as they paired though, was always curious about tube amps and tried a Garage 1217 Project Ember II... Even then with the stock tube it was something I quite liked. Took a bit of time tube rolling, but have found the tube type I like best for the TH-X00 and AH-D5200... the Russian 6H23P-EB. You do loose a little bit of punch/impact compared to solid state (Project Polaris specifically in my case, which has a bit stronger subbass presentation than a Gustard H10), but the little bit more low-end extension, the 3D sense of space, clarity, 'live' sound, and enhanced separation is more than worth the tradeoff. Torpedo can't run that tube type, but can a 12AU7 series... there are some very good tubes of that type with most excellent 3D space and separation but they don't have the nice low end warmth of a 6H23 or 6H30 tube. The 12AT7 Mullard (specifically 6201 gold pin version) is a nice very bassy tube, but much more intimate and flatter sense of space in presentation than the 12AU7 or 6H23/6H30 tubes and higher gain with more distorted sound.
Thanx for the reply. When the hanger snapped in half at where the spring loaded bolt attaches to the hanger where it broke sure looked liked plastic to me. I’m not metallurgy expert that’s for sure. I have another hanger on order and I have super glued the snapped one back together but I just don’t feel comfy messing with the repair. I Lawton modded the purple hearts and just loved how different they sounded to my favorite hd800’s. I almost exclusively used the h10 with the purple hearts, I rarely use the torpedo and should probably just sell it, I have 5 other headphone amps. Yes I modded the h10 and switched out the op amps. I really like the h20 too. I wish I could find someone who could take out the hardwire cable and put in detachable cable and fix hanger. I miss listening to them they are fun. My experiences with tubes have been so so, the guy who I bought the torpedo from sent me like 7 pairs of tubes to roll. Still prefer the gustard ss amps.
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 10:30 AM Post #11,927 of 11,972

dleblanc343

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I need to part ways with one of my X00's.

Whoever is interested, just need to keep 1:

TH-X00 Purpleheart
TR-X00 Ebony
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 11:17 AM Post #11,928 of 11,972

Philimon

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Stop teasing and post a classified. I would take purpleheart because prettier.

TH500RP cups don't sound bad. Maybe a little less delineated bass but upper mids a little less glarey and highs maybe a little less shimmery. Could be a worthwhile trade off as I didn't use TRX00 ebony much before that due to those perceived faults mentioned above. See that other friendly forum for mehsurements.
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 11:39 AM Post #11,930 of 11,972

Hyde00

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I would take purpleheart because prettier.
I wish I bought a purpleheart back then, like you said it's the prettiest out of the 3. But I recently got a D5200 and it's on the way so I'll see how it goes.

Though oddly enough Ebony is my least favourite out of the 3, too cold and clinical sounding for me. Even though most people swear by Ebony.
Yes, bass boomier but a trade off. Could add some damping materials to cup to help. Larger soundstage. Warm blanket.
I've read another post a long time ago about an open D2000 mod. Seems to share similar impression when the cup opens up. In that old post the person had to add a lot of damping materials around the cup (whatever is left) to balance it out.

Also I wonder if you need a more breathable pad, generally speaking open headphone seem to work better with velour pads. Closed headphone tend to go leather pad. Though it's not set in stone so maybe try it and see how it goes lol.
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 12:05 PM Post #11,931 of 11,972

Philimon

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I wish I bought a purpleheart back then, like you said it's the prettiest out of the 3. But I recently got a D5200 and it's on the way so I'll see how it goes.

Though oddly enough Ebony is my least favourite out of the 3, too cold and clinical sounding for me. Even though most people swear by Ebony.

I've read another post a long time ago about an open D2000 mod. Seems to share similar impression when the cup opens up. In that old post the person had to add a lot of damping materials around the cup (whatever is left) to balance it out.

Also I wonder if you need a more breathable pad, generally speaking open headphone seem to work better with velour pads. Closed headphone tend to go leather pad. Though it's not set in stone so maybe try it and see how it goes lol.
Spot on.

D5200 highs too sharp, but bass better. Padrolling helped some, but still not as soft as Foster bios though I still find those a bit sharp too (EMU, TRX00, D2000). Emu was least cold sounding so is fav. Felt they deserved better cups so added Lawtons. And they are getting treated to mods by E_Schaaf of ETA.

Liking these TRX00 ebony much more as open. Warmth and soundstage is very full, really pleasant.
 
Jul 15, 2021 at 2:00 PM Post #11,932 of 11,972

VRacer-111

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With the stock pads on D5200 I did find treble a bit bright, tried the Yaxi TH610 pads based on my experience with experiementing with pads on the TH-X00 and the Alcantara version worked very well for it - toned down and smoothed the treble, expanded the sound stage a little bit more, and enhanced the subbass. My modded Purplehearts (Lawton driver housing damping/Jmoney V3 lambskin pads with custom attenuators) had a harsher, sharper and more fatiguing treble. The Project Polaris amp really helps in smoothing treble a bit as well as aiding low end and bringing a bit of solidity to the sound.
 
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Jul 16, 2021 at 7:46 AM Post #11,933 of 11,972

AT Khan

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One of the fancy hangar screws I installed came out a bit wrong and now free spins. The TH500RP uses the new style like TH600 and TH900.
Finally I see what I'd been waiting to see... for years... kudos!

I've been thinking of doing this since 2017 - but could never find spare 500RP cups or anything at least as a part to buy and slap on anyhow, so I bought a 3D printer (can't recommend any higher for any DIYer, for cans and all else).

So I went open with printed open cups - I have not preferred my EMUs closed/almost closed back with the stock cups anymore ever since.

I think it becomes quite airy, less V, relaxed in the highs and just much less fatiguing when you open these cans up.

Any issues with bass one may have as a result, are simply trumped by the benefits of open back - is what I've heard from my cans.
 
Jul 16, 2021 at 3:04 PM Post #11,935 of 11,972

Philimon

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THX00 driver vs TH500RP driver in same enclosure.
 

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Jul 17, 2021 at 11:16 AM Post #11,936 of 11,972

AT Khan

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Pics of 3DP cups? Sell us some 3DP cups?
Hehe I would love to but I'm far out, and even then my printer's in my home country right now. I do have some more ideas up my sleeve, will bring forth my revisions on this, but these are what I did so far: (some folks just got startled by these vornoi pattern ones - I don't blame them, but doesn't look as creepy in person).
 

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Jul 17, 2021 at 11:19 AM Post #11,937 of 11,972

Philimon

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Hehe I would love to but I'm far out, and even then my printer's in my home country right now. I do have some more ideas up my sleeve, will bring forth my revisions on this, but these are what I did so far: (some folks just got startled by these vornoi pattern ones - I don't blame them, but doesn't look as creepy in person).
Oooooh, I've seen these before - very pretty. Sorry, I didn't recognize your name. Sell and profit! Revisions for aesthetics or some ideas to improve sound?
 
Jul 17, 2021 at 11:28 AM Post #11,938 of 11,972

AT Khan

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Oooooh, I've seen these before - very pretty. Sorry, I didn't recognize your name. Sell and profit! Revisions for aesthetics or some ideas to improve sound?
Yes surely - emptier cup (like with a wider hole in the middle), mostly solid - then a mesh style grill slapped on with the grills (in the photo) and speaker dust cover filters inside (a bit of a hifiman 400 series look). I think prob will set just right. And the silver filament can really match the silver of the frame really well then, so will look very cohesive...

I'm too far out cuz of this corona BS which has seriously delayed my DIYing. Too many cans to mod - printer just rustin'!

If I get around to it - soon hopefully - can holler you and maybe ship you something. We'll coordinate though, just let me get around this thing.
 

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Jul 17, 2021 at 11:33 AM Post #11,939 of 11,972

AT Khan

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Oooooh, I've seen these before - very pretty. Sorry, I didn't recognize your name. Sell and profit! Revisions for aesthetics or some ideas to improve sound?
Sound improvements. TBH I personally like the relaxed, airier and less fatiguing sound after opening them up. I also need to mod my M1060c as I've taken off the woodies off of those and feel the same way about them too, so more open cup mods for coming that too...
 
Jul 18, 2021 at 5:19 PM Post #11,940 of 11,972

SHAMuuu

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Before anyone decides to go open, please consider only reversible mods. :p

The open back is nice, and so is the closed. I was lucky I could source an extra pair, so I can make one open (D2000) and one closed (D5000)/

Open works better for me for things like acoustic w/ vocalist and jazz and other things where i want a thicker warmer sound.

But sometimes for classic rock, and metal, and some EDM i would prefer the snappier more lively closed.

The cups off gives you an idea, but I used some foam disc (from Lawton kit) along with the dynamat type material provided in the kit. I used 500rp cups. But I went further and removed the paper off magnet (but again, the foam disc chokes it a bit as it's behind the driver and holes of the th500rp cups). So it's not as choked as with the paper on the magnet. I used alpha pads, with half attenutation disc on the fat side of pad. These are for my ears, but gives you an idea it's not just simply taking the cups off.

D5k w/ Bamboo cups. And unfortunately I don't have original pads, but seller provided me with Chinese pads, and I had to make my own attenuation discs. But it's close to the stock d2000 sound I remember. But I think I will need to try and source originals or go with 610s down the road. I have tried many pads on them even the 007 pads and alpha, but i like the closer to stock sound on closed.


So, I will not say open is necessarily better than closed, both have their merits. Just think before you decide to go down the path depending on what you're looking for.

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