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Just listened to some Fostex T50RPs today... WOW!

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by pianist, Oct 26, 2009.
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  1. mrspeakers Contributor


    I doubt the material of the reflex matters all that much.  Felt isn't a reflect dot, though.  It has to be reflective.  I used electrical tape because it was easy to get an exact fit.  In theory, a more ideal dot probably is more rigid, but I could not hear or measure a difference between a bumper and tape.
    Paxmate and silverstone both are the same general idea but their absorption curves will be different.  It's pretty hard to say anything without doing an A/B for testing and listening...
    MrSpeakers Make every day a fun day filled with music and friendship! Stay updated on MrSpeakers at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
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  2. AnotherN00b
    As someone whose been reading this forum daily for at least a year now (but not tried all the various mods) I can say that there is consensus general agreement on a few points:
    The main goal of all the mods is: to reduce reflections, resonances and standing waves caused by the empty plastic cups and at the same time flatten the frequency response hampered by the stock cups.
    The primary mods are:
    1. Adding mass to the interior baffles that holds the driver to reduce mechanical vibration. Everyone pretty much agrees that some form of plasticine (i.e. non-hardening modeling clay) is sufficient for this purpose and superior to bluetak type materials. There is some variation in opinion on the best amount but generally filling in the empty spaces in the baffle and optionally having a small tapered wall around the driver is sufficient. 
    2. Adding acoustic foam (paxmate, silverstone, or other) to the inside of the cups to reduce sound wave reflections. Most agree that the acoustic foams are superior in this role than other materials.
    3. Pad replacement; most everyone agrees that sound quality is significantly improved by replacing the stock earpads; popular choices in order of expense are Shure 840, Fischer FA003, Sony MDR-5000, and Stax Omega 2. There are others in use as well. Secondary mods will vary with pad choice.
    Secondary mods (no full consensus):
    1. Cotton and/or fiberfill in the cups. I think it is almost reaching consensus that some amount of cotton in the cups helps sound quality (clarity and overall frequency flatness), particularly taming the infamous 1k bump. There is disagreement over how much cotton and/or fiberfill, mineral wool, etc. is best.
    2. Vent tuning. Some people like the vents completely closed, some like them completely open, and some like them partially closed. Some leave the stock felt covering the vents, some replace it, some remove it completely. This will depend on the pads, etc. and will likely be the final fine-tuning. Felt covering the inside and electric tape covering most slots on the outside seems to be most popular variation but there are many others.
    3. Replacement of stock material on drivers. This is probably the biggest variation. Some, like bluemonkeyflier (BMF), prefer the stock white material left in place. Some, like mrspeakers (rastapants) prefer replacing the stock material with stiff felt. Some like transpore tape, some like suede, some like their drivers completely naked.
    4. Material on earside of cup. Most remove the felt covering the driver on the earside though it is thin. Some replace this with some other felt. Some surround the driver opening with a donut of acoustic foam. BMF recommends adding dynamat with a covering of felt to add further mass damping since that the driver is mounted on that piece of plastic. Many also put foam, cotton, or tissue under the back of the pads to raise and angle the pads which helps with soundstage
    5. Adding mass to the inside of cups. Some add dynamat or plasticine to the back of the cups under the acoustic foam to add further mass and then cover this with acoustic foam. This is becoming less popular as our collective acoustic physics knowledge is increasing.
    6. Reflective Dot. Some find enhanced treble frequency response by placing a round or square reflective surface over the very center square on the back of the driver (tape, furniture bumper, etc). Others do not like the effect this has on their mods.
    7. Cable replacement. 
    I think that summarizes most of the mods. Start with the basics and go from there. Acoustic foam is the only exotic material that's really universally recommended and you can probably get some from someone else on this thread. Otherwise, it's $5 modeling clay, cotton, and maybe some felt and pads. Check the mod links page for shortcuts to the critical posts in this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/571549/fostex-t50rp-modification-summary-links wiki: http://www.head-fi.org/a/fostex-t50rp-modification-summary-links-wiki
    *edit: grammar and logical coherency!
    *edit: updated link from old thread to new wiki: http://www.head-fi.org/a/fostex-t50rp-modification-summary-links-wiki
    rocky2, Matthew420, fireflyfu and 3 others like this.
  3. RexAeterna
    i wish these had the 1/8'' locking mechanism on the bottom of the cup instead. would make it much easier for re-cabling process when going dual-ends for cabling. plan on rewiring them soon in the near future once i order another male 4-pin XLR connector. i think i might just drill a hole in the side cup for the wiring and take the 1/8'' connector out on the other side of the cup. unless i plug the hole i then can drill holes on the bottom instead. any ideas?

    also the driver is new to me when i looked at. use to just soldering wires on terminals and so forth and the planer driver looks like it's on type of pcb board. anything to worry about when soldering? just want to double check cause it's new to me and never worked on a planer driver before.
  4. bluemonkeyflyer
    Very nice Modder's Digest of over 5k posts. :)

  5. thelostMIDrange
  6. Nevod
    Does anyone know how well is hevea wood for acoustic applications?
    There are some relatively cheap hevea cups and dishes, which, I suppose, can be processed to make headphone cups.
  7. sphinxvc
    AnotherN00b -- great post.
  8. RexAeterna
    i know i said i would never open mine again.....i lied. i had an idea see if it'll be more an improvement. i decided to take everything out the cups and decided to rip the felt off the bass ports. carefully ripped 3 pieces of mineral wool about 1'' thick as first layer,then i took hand full of polyfill and placed it over the mineral wool. then i took 6 cotton balls and placed 2 on each side to make it form a circle and closed it up.....thing is due to the extra stuffing i had to use more force to close the cups and had to use bit longer and thicker screws to keep the cups closed. it was a big pain but worth the effort. big notice due to the polyfill stuffing in the combo the imaging is much more improved,more open sounding and finally sound dances ''outside'' your head and give a more realistic center imaging.

    don't know if cause i opened the ports but i do get more of an impact ''presence'' but not accentuated and still very tight,detailed and fast and extends deep down to 20hz no sweat. treble sounds very good to me and can hit that magic 20khz extension. midrange still my favorite how clean it sounds with amazing clarity. i think i can say i'm finally done till i decide to recable them. i'm done stripping the dang screw holes and man handling the cups lol. there was times i wanted to punch it in the face(i know it don't have a face but i would drawn one on it and then punch it lol).
  9. HDMan
    Recabled with 4 core MIC cable (first time, went well)
    Completely gutted the cups, applied Response Super Sound Deadener (5.0mm thick & foam combo mat, $29.95 from Jaycar)
    1.5mm Butyl (same as dynamat), 3.0mm Foam (like paxmate but heaps better)
    This stuff is really good.
    Gutted the cups, removed the gay little box, sealed up the hole with Response, lined it tightly with a sheet of Response evenly on both cups.
    Lined the earside with Response and the plastic risers.
    Afterwards, I slit one of the vent stripes and bored it out for the bass tuning from the outside, this Butyl is much easier to work with than Dynamat.
    Electrical taped the 840 pads, right on the edge with the risers.
    Bass is so tight, like I have not herd before on any of the previous mods. On bass heavy tracks, you could feel the drivers moving a bit, now they stand firm, no shaking about, just the music.
    Mids are more laid back, some may not prefer this, I like it not to in your face, but definitely not what I would call D7000 recessed.
    Highs are silky smooth now, all harshness is now gone, vocals are really clean.
    The best way I could describe the sound, is that it is a cleaner sound, as if they are a completely open can. My take on this is that, open cans have less or no reflections from a closed enclosure, so you only here the music and not a muffling reflection. Room correction technologies curb reflections because they muffle the sound when they bounce back, so essentially open cans sound airy because they have no reflections, not because the sounds goes out into the air.
    So my take is that if in an enclosed cup you can kill all the reflections, essentially you are performing the same task as an open design, but most manfactures find it to cost counter productive to spend much money on the acoustical treatment inside the cups and opt for an open design, mush easier and less costs to produce. Hence the reason many of us DIY modders always seem to open up the closed cans to modify them, like the D7000, which I must say drastically improved after treating the insides.
    P.S Ordered my SVS A8 Realiser today, man I can't wait to try out what the T50RP's can do with it.
  10. wdahm519
    So here's an interesting question that is a bit different than the general discussion that has been going on here lately:
    How badly would I regret a decision to buy a pair of Audio Technica ESW9a's after modifying my T50RP's (which blow away every headphone I've heard to date)?  I've never heard the ESW9a but I can tell the general consensus is that it sounds "okay". 
    Any thoughts on how badly the T50RP kind of ruins headphone purchases from here on out?
  11. kingoftown1

    I'm in the same situation except with the HD600.  Not entirely sure whether or not I should be buying one.
  12. symphonic

    I'm so jealous of you HDMan. You're in Australia, right? (Mentioned Jaycar.) There's only a 1/20 chance you're in Adelaide I guess. I would love to hear the Realiser.

    When I received my T50RPs, I really thought that they are much too heavy. I weighed the headband assembly (without the plastic parts, screws), and it's something like 100 grams. You can save 50 g or so just by removing the grotty rubber. If people are already doing irreversible mods and adding a more comfortable strap, I think that it makes sense just to lose the rubber.
  13. RexAeterna
    i don't find them heavy at all. even me stuffing the hell out of them they don't seem very heavy, but then again it's probably cause i was so use to the Pioneer monitor 10's(they weigh about 1lb or bit more.not sure but they are heavy) being on my head for long hours, that every other headphone seems like a feather to me. they have some good weight to them and i like that.
  14. sphinxvc
    Hmm.  Realiser > T50RPs.
    HDMan, did you get the Stax with it?  Stax have an eerie sense of imaging that no dynamic that I've heard, save the R10s and Qualias, can match.  
  15. b0wl1ng


    The HD600s are a nice set of cans and sweet sounding, I  have the 650s and previously the 600s, the T50RPs are superior in all aspects, my 650s are rarely used now.
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