Fostex TH900 - review

Discussion in 'Headphone Reviews' started by quadpatch, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Here are my thoughts on the first Fostex high-end headphone, the TH900.

    Noble Hi-Fi: Fostex: TH900 - review

    This is an interesting one because I have been a huge fan of the Denon AH-D7000 for ages, I still am really, but don't want to spoil the read so will leave it there for now...
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    So here's a controversial-type question, and I think you could give some sound advice on this: If I knew someone who wanted the very best in headphone sound, but they had only about $2200 USD to spend, and not any more for the next year, do you think they would be well served for best sound buying the TH900 and an inexpensive amp like the Objective2, or would you say they'd be better off with a cheaper headphone and more expensive amp? And allow me to assume the cheaper headphone would have the same signature, but less quality. Now at the end of that year, they would save up another $1000 USD so they could buy a better amp, but not enough to buy the better headphone (the TH900).
     
  3. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Interesting question Dale. I would say that my pursuit of audio bliss has been for a hifi sound with big bass body and that's exactly what I get from this headphone. I often get the impression that you are looking for something similar too so is this question for you?

    If this was my budget I would be strongly leaning towards the TH900 now and then getting better amplification later but... I haven't tried the LCD-2 yet and some say that it has stunning bass. That retails for $1000 so would that make the TH900 a tough sell? Perhaps but like I say - I haven't heard it. I have heard people say that the soundstage of the LCD-2 is a little funky, well that's certainly not true with the Fostex. As good as it is I do still think that it's price is a bit too high in the US and UK but I can't argue with its greatness!
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The idea I was contemplating did not include the possibility of stepping down to a cheaper headphone later. The whole idea was if I didn't get the $2000 headphone now and got the $1000 headphone instead with, say, $1000 worth of amplification, then I would be stuck with those for years to come. I've been in this situation several times in the past, and when you say you'd lean toward getting the best now and upgrade the amp later, that's the sort of thing I tend to do as well. I was just fishing for the logic behind settling for something less than what I wanted, in case that's where the sentiment fell.
     
  5. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    It is an interestingly tough question. As a recommendation to others I would struggle a lot because it could vary a lot from individual to individual. I don't think there are many headphones out there with qualities like this. The only other one that I have heard is the Grado PS1000, which I find terribly uncomfortable for it's high price.
     
  6. marcusd

    marcusd Member

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    Dale get a Beyer T1 and something like a Burson Audio HA-160D or a Woo WA6 and that is money well spent now the T1 is $980 on Amazon.
     
  7. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    It seems like a person would want to be certain of what they're getting into if they're on a tight budget and looking at a $2000 purchase. But, if they're inclined that way, my concern is that their investment is protected insofar as the quality of the product, and the improvement with an upgrade in ancillary gear (amps etc.)

    Many years ago J. Gordon Holt in Stereophile made the statement in response to a disappointment he had with a product: "Who cares how long it lasts if it doesn't sound good?" -- And my immediate thought on reading that (having had my own disappointments) was: "Who cares how good it sounds if it doesn't hold up?"
     
  8. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Thanks. But having had the HD800 and other similar things, I don't think I'd be happy with those zippy highs. I'm really enjoying the Senn Momentum with just a tiny bit of treble boost, and while I didn't like the way the upper bass was emphasized on the Grado PS500, I enjoy the emphasis that the Momentum has. In fact, if a person wanted a headphone with really good treble and a stronger emphasis than the Momentum, i.e. a much better sound than the Amperior at half the price, just try the Logitech 6000 with bass reduction in Active mode. Most amazing!
     
  9. KBI

    KBI New Member

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    i paid 1009 for mine.. But need to take them back. Sometimes I get static residue when hearing people speak and during some musically passages.. This only haapends on the right side.. The static is not random.. Same spot everytime, but I only hear the static on the right side. This occurs 5%-15%. I have been comparing the T1 to my 50's Nagra. Nagra mids are more pronounced, transparent, detail, with more clarity. The 1 mids are warm/clean/and ortho smooth.

    I watched Blue Ray T2 last night. Listening to the NAGRA's was like I was watching a play on stage with the actors.. And blurred life and film. T1 had none of this, but was better in other area's.. For life like and authentic you cannot beat the NAGRA's. I will be getting the W6.
     
  10. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Now that a third earphone has been blessed with a Dirac DSP to fix its problems, it would be good to have such DSP to fix one or more of these Beyers. Just imagine how great they would sound with all of the resonances etc. precisely removed.
     
  11. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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  12. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    There are some interesting things there. Sadly, the 16 gb only storage kills this item. Now if they have hardware-enabed DSP that can be retuned by software patches from Dirac, that would give it an advantage over the Apple software-only approach. It seems unlikely, though. A dedicated DSP processor, if done right, could provide much finer correction than what we have now, and potentially make the better headphones so perfect that we would have to rethink their designs to recapture some of the distortions that people have become so accustomed to. I guess the long-term concern for me is, if I'm spending $2000 USD on a Fostex TH900, does it have the hardware quality that its price suggests, right down to the drivers themselves, so when a DSP becomes available, the correction is seamless. If we were talking Bose for example in an expensive headphone, we'd be applying DSP correction on top of layers of other signal processing, which can't be good.
     
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