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Massdrop Fostex TH-X00 Ebony impressions thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by decentlevi, Jul 20, 2016.
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  1. DecentLevi
    So last weekend at the SF Wikia Head-Fi meet I was graced with the lucky chance to try out a prototype for the Fostex TH-X00 Ebony headphones thanks to the generous staff at Massdrop in attendance... not only generous but especially brilliant because it takes a certain greatness to design closed headphones that sound this lovely. 
    My impressions:
    Superb neutrality, well extended, organic timbre / tonality, deliciously velvety lushness, exceptional clarity, hard hitting dynamics and bass with enough definition to put your ears in submission!
    This was meant to be a comparison between the three TH-X00 versions from Massdrop. But man I'll tell you, the Ebony variant was by far and wide better than the other two, which were too unrefined in comparison and bright. If fact, this was the best current production closed headphone I have ever tried: that is, better than the Zolkis modded TH-900, Beyerdynamic DT 770 / 1770, Denon AH D-7000, Tru-Fi modded SoundMAGIC HP-100 that I helped design (link in my signature), and especially is leaps & bounds better than then TH-X00 original, which I found far too dark & lacking detail for my tastes.
    Note: for some unknown reason, the original TH-X00 sounded thin/bright on this test, which was the opposite sound signature of the first few times I tried another pair with other amps.
    The source I was using was an Elise amp with custom tube configuration and Bifrost 4490 DAC via Wyrd with lossless audio files. I'll tell ya the Elise amp has some magic synergy with these!
    Disclaimer: I only got about one minute to test these beauties, so these are only brief first time impressions and can vary depending on the person or the amp used. More thorough reviews would be welcome. And speaking of beautiful, these look sleek and cool as it gets when worn - even futuristic! I can't wait to get my hands on the Ebony!!
    I was also told these will be a limited edition of about 500 1,500 units, and are still in pre-production
    Massdrop product link:
  2. DecentLevi
    Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't @Packdemon and @moedawg140, @shane55 and 
    @Netforce also get to have a listen? If so, would you mind sharing your thoughts here?
    And to Massdrop, I recommend you don't change a THING, because this seems to be perfection for a closed back!
  3. moedawg140 Contributor
    @DecentLevi - I brought the TH-X00 Ebony to the SF Meet and shared them in the Questyle room.  There was another Ebony from Massdrop at the meet as well.  I will be updating my main review of the TH-X00 (it is in my profile) in the near future with the Purpleheart, Ebony, Mahogany and my E-MU Ebony impressions.  Be on the lookout!
  4. CEE TEE Contributor
    Hey DecentLevi,
    Thanks!  We should actually be able to at least make 1,500 per Fostex...but this is the one wood edition that is not guaranteed beyond that amount.
    Appreciate the feedback, I've now got the only two prototype units and will send them out for some more reviews so we may add to this thread.
    Drop Stay updated on Drop at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/massdrop https://twitter.com/massdrop https://www.massdrop.com/?clickid=3QR3Ib27lyA-VkBRJwyGuQJeUkhUQvX5r0tLzQ0&utm_term=252901&utm_content=VigLink&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=impactradius&irgwc=1
  5. jeffri
    Subbed. Waiting to read more impression. Very interesting to read that it's much better than the original. :)
  6. qwwwp
    wow, it seems that ebony is much more refined than the other two version!
    dlmorgan999 likes this.
  7. dreadedphoto
    I haven't heard the Massdrop version, but I bought a pair of stock x00s and installed a set of E-Mu ebony cups and it made me fall in love with them all over again. Incredible pairing.
  8. Netforce
    Hi @DecentLevi 
    Didn't get that big of a chance to hear the ebony in the room and had just enough time to hear like a song on it. Between all three I honestly didn't really have a clear favorite as all three were nice and different flavors. Would love a chance to hear the three longer on my own rig/music. The Ebony I found to have the most neutrality, the Purpleheart was the bassy one and the original was a nice between the two.
    Overall I was quite impressed by the whole lineup! Those in the Ebony drop I really don't expect them to be disappointed!
  9. eobet
    Oh my gosh. I'm sorry but I don't believe that for a second. In the main X00 thread, I don't think there is a single person who says that the 900 isn't better, and I do believe there's quite a few who says the cups don't make that much of a difference (though nobody disputes that there are differences). Maybe the Zolkis modded TH-900 doesn't sound as good as a stock TH-900? As for the 1770 comparison, I'm lost. But then again, all these impressions are highly personal, but yours sticks out and it's a bit worrisome that that's the one that's in the OP and might give people false hope since the Massdrop isn't over yet.
  10. eobet
    Can I ask if the price difference is only in the wood, or if there will be a bit more love towards fit and finish on the lacquer, since there's been some rumblings about that in the main X00 thread?
    I'm guessing the finish on the prototypes are impeccable.
  11. FaezFarhan
    Was the Purplehearts 'too' bassy?
  12. qwwwp
    I prefer natural sound to bassy, so I think I'll sell my purple heart and join the ebony drop
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  13. justvinh
    New toy syndrome is a thing.
  14. Vigrith
    I'm by no means very experienced in this hobby (at least nowhere near some others) and English isn't even my first language but... Isn't that a little contradictory? I mean I suppose when you say bright you mean in the treble area(s) and when you say dark you mean... Elsewhere? For someone like me at least, changing your nomenclature would make it easier for people to understand how exactly the Ebony are better/the older versions are worse. Light/dark are opposites, bright/dark may not be per se but I still find that very weird.
    Plus the fact you think these actually beat any iteration of the TH900 makes me think, as has been said, you just didn't spend enough time listening to them. I'm not saying there's no difference between wood types in the cups though, I have absolutely no idea, I just find that part a little over the top but who knows. [​IMG]
  15. TMRaven
    TH-900 is a very u-shaped headphone.  One could prefer any variant of the TH-X00 over the TH-900 simply because of tonal response.  I know a couple who prefer the original Mahogany over the TH-900 for that very reason.  Now of course, the pads make a big difference to their sound, so maybe those same people would have preferred the TH-900 over the TH-X00 if the TH-900 had the X00 pads-- who knows.
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