Fostex Gear

Discussion in 'Full Size Headphones' started by quadpatch, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Hey Everyone, hope you all had a good weekend. I had a lot of fun playing with a bunch of Fostex gear. Here is a teaser pic of some reviews to come...

    Noble Hi-Fi: Fostex Flood - Coming Soon!

    I will post more in the reviews as they come for the DAC/amp & Headphones but here is a list of the headphones in the pic:

    £110 -Fostex T50rp (top of the range orthodynamic)
    $360 - Fostex T50rp - Mad Dog (modification by Mr. Speakers - AKA: Dan)
    $2000 - Fostex TH900 (top of the range dynamic)

    The TH900 is listed as closed but realistically (as far as isolation goes) they are all semi-open.
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Just out of curiosity, are all of these purchases, or are some review samples?
     
  3. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Ha, no the two T50rp headphones are mine, the rest are review samples from SCV London. I was wondering if you've had a chance to try the HP-P1 Dale? I've had about 5 mins with it so far, the wife has had more.
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I would love to have some of these advanced headphone amps, especially a DAC that works with an i-device. Having had the iStreamer, I was discouraged by mediocre sound plus all the things needed to hook up to get it working. It looks like the HP-P1 eliminates two of the boxes I needed with the iStreamer - the power supply and the amp, since the HP-P1 has an internal battery and combines amp and DAC.

    So at this point the HP-P1 is interesting, and the VAMP also interesting. But both of those can wait until I get complete information on what's going to happen with the lightning connector. I'm adding a video tonight to show my Apple devices and accessories, and detail my findings and concerns with the different connectors and how they work with existing amps, and what might happen with new amps and interfaces.

    I'm not so curious about the big amps, since there are so many of those. Ray Samuels I have looked at. But what is very interesting in that photo is the $2000 headphone. To say that I would like to know exactly, precisely how it sounds is an understatement. I hope you can spend serious time with it.

    As far as reviews go, I don't know whether I want to get really serious and go after bigger gear on loan or consignment etc., since naturally there's the obligation to get busy and get everything covered in a short amount of time, not to mention the preparation of the Web content and all. The better you do at this, the less need there is for me to do any of it. And even though youtube has been around for awhile along with the various forums, quality content from a critical reviewer is few and far between. So I'm still exploring what's the best things to do.
     
  5. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Addendum: After testing the Dragonfly, Audioengine D1, and Headstreamer, I found there wasn't an important difference between them, and I think the main clue there is probably the fact that all three get powered by the USB 2.0 line, plus have to drive headphones from a DAC that's not a true headphone amp.

    And my overall impression of the sound compared to (for example) the PA2V2 or FiiO E17 functioning as strictly an analog amp from an i-device LOD, is that the DAC/amps were a little thin sounding (very slightly), and part of that could just be illusory because of a cleaner sound than the two analog amps.

    Now the VAMP is interesting to me, not because I expect it to be any better than a Headstreamer etc., but because of the form factor and ability to show it around. With something like the HP-P1, I would expect a fuller sound that combines the best of the analog and digital amps I tested so far.
     
  6. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Hey Dale, Well the HP-P1 is better than the iStreamer for sure and so much of a neater solution it's crazy but then the price is much higher. I would struggle to say it's worth that price but then you always pay for portability in some way.

    The TH900 is a very interesting headphone. Given your preference for a warmer sound I highly recommend that you try to hunt down some Denon AH-D7000's before they dissappear forever. I got mine for £540 about a year ago and am really happy with them. They are bass monsters but the control of it is amazing, I don't think it sounds boosted at all, it certainly doesn't infect the rest of the audio and the detail of them is very nice also. The TH900 seemed to sound a little more refined again, but I haven't done the side by side comparisons yet. I will have to do this quick because they have to go back next week!
     
  7. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    I've had a go with the Fostex TH900. It is pretty amazing especially twinned with the HP-A8C DAC amp - WOW! very quick and incredibly detailed but not fatiguing. Could have spent a whole day listening to records. I was extremely impressed with the HP-P1, if I hadn't already had a great portable amp which I love I would have gone for this over the AlgoRhythm Solo.
     
  8. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    I really need to give the HP-P1 a thorough going over (I have a bit more time for that though). Yeah the HP-A8 and TH900 make one heck of a combo. I haven't seen a UK price for them yet but whatever it is will make make most people cringe :p. I have only heard one thing better than the HP-A8 but admittedly it even more expensive...

    Resonessence Invicta DAC and Headphone Amp | 24/192 | SD Card
     
  9. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Crickey!:D
     
  10. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Ha! Yeah I know, I would have bought it if I'd had the money, I remember it being amazing, but oh well. Maybe one day I will stretch to something like the HP-A8 but not even sure how much that is here yet. More likely I will go down the separates road and get a nice amp only as a next big purchase.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  11. marcusd

    marcusd Member

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    This is up for review from me in about a week or so. I like it, I like it a lot. Better form factor than the CLAS but the limiter is the amp though potentially you can daisy chain though analog. The new Sony variant is very interesting also and Cypher Labs just fought back with a CLAS -dB so this sector is hotting up nicely.
     
  12. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Oh yeah I was looking at the Sony PHA-1 the other day. I need to spend a bit more time with the HP-P1 and the wife's iPhone soon! Fortunately she now has a tablet to play with :).
     
  13. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    I really want to have another play with these as I didn't get to try them through other amps. I think we have a pair for demo now so I will try to get round to it -

    Fostex TH-900 Premium Closed Back Reference-Class Headphones

    £1,499.00

    The price is high but I really liked them. Fostex have been really impressive with all the stuff I have tried recently. I hope all the hard work pays off with some mainstream recognition for the brand.
     
  14. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Denon D7000 vs Fostex TH900 vs Grado PS1000

    I tested the TH900's on a few other amps. They are really good, expensive as hell though. They feel very much from the same mold as the Denon, but a tighter, more refined and more forward sound. As far as Fostex are concerned it's probably a good thing that the AH-D7000 isn't available any more.

    It does make me curious about the Lawton mods, but that just feels so risky. I have heard of people saying it ruins them, it's not cheap, getting your Denons to the states and back is going to cost you an arm and a leg! And if you hate it there is no turning them back.

    Anyway the Fostex TH900 is still amazing!! I would love to try the TH900 next to the Grado PS1000! You have both of those there right? Can you give em a blast together for us Robin? :)
     
  15. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    A small story that has to do with mods, but may not apply to anything here, so don't connect any dots - thanks.

    In 1986 I bought a HP71B pocket computer with 16k RAM (pretty good in those days) for $525 USD. Since the HP O/S supported 1 mb of addressable RAM, and there were new 32k chips on the market, I found someone through a very prestigious club who could populate the motherboard with 8 of those, making it 256k internally, then I added another 128k by plugging chips into the computer's ports made for that purpose.

    So I ended up with a pocket computer with 393 kb of RAM internally, auto-switchable by the O/S as RAM or e-disk, for approx. $5500 in today's money. The mod cost was about $3600 in today's money. The mod failed, and I sent it back, and they sent it back to me, and it failed again, and finally I drove to the mod's storefront (his house) where he sat down with me and took the computer apart.

    As he examined the internals, he said to me "Now I told the guy (a student, working part time) who worked on this not to cross the xyz cable across the uvwx chip, because of the electronic leakage and shorting out...." So he fixed the computer as I sat there, and all the while I was contemplating a serious crime, which I didn't commit and so I am here today to relate this story.

    And the bottom line for me is, the mod guys, who receive these items by mail and then have to work on them, eventually if they get busy enough, hire students etc. to do the work, which often isn't up to spec, and there you are. If I can't drive to their place and watch them do the mod, I don't do it.
     
  16. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Great warning Dale - Before I have had things moded I want to speak to the person wielding the soldering iron. If you can't trust them in a conversation why trust them to do a good job.

    I am a huge fan of the PS1000. Yes they're heavy, yes they are expensive but they sound lovely. We had a demo one we borrowed for a couple of months - we may be getting a new demo one but we have noticed that everyone who has made us unpack a new one has then bought it! That is a warning to all headphone fans without a spare £1700 - do not listen to the PS1000 or you will be sad. They share a bit in common with the TH900, the top half of the sound feels very quick in both but the sense of analog realness from the PS1000 comes from the excellent bottom end. They have a very real and solid sound, the weight of instrumets feels sculpted, separation is superb and the background feels very dark and separate, so a great sense of space altogether. They also share a brilliant ability with detail without being fatiguing.
     
  17. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    That sounds similar to my thoughts on the PS1000. I wish they were a bit lighter, maybe not so bling and of course not so expensive but damn they are a good listen!!
     
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