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Fostex TH-X00 on Massdrop


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Special Collaboration, Now in Purpleheart

 

Last year, in response to the Audiophile Community’s call for a D5000 successor at a comparable price, we teamed up with Fostex to create the TH-X00 headphones and made them available exclusively on Massdrop. Now, we’re excited to release the same great-sounding, closed-back design—this time with purpleheart earcups in place of mahogany. Purpleheart is among the densest woods in the world. Along with adding a darker, more sophisticated aesthetic, these deliver a slightly different sound signature than the original model.

 

A Side-by-Side Look

 

The density of purpleheart wood makes it excellent for reducing acoustic resonance. As a result, the sub-bass through bass is increased ~2 dB, while following the same curve as the original, which peaks at 50 Hz. The lower midrange is decreased by ~5 dB, and while the mahogany version had a slight peak at ~600 Hz, the purpleheart has a smoother climb from 500 to 1000 Hz. The midrange proper is essentially identical to that of the mahogany, the upper midrange is ~2 dB less throughout, and the highs are slightly more emphasized. Peaks and valleys are positioned differently than on the mahogany, but their magnitude is similar. As for the super highs, while the mahogany falls off at ~14 kHz, the purpleheart maintains presence through that range. Finally, CSD graphs of the mahogany showed some resonance at 3,000 and 6,000 Hz; these are all but eliminated in the purpleheart.

 

Intimate Sound

 

Equipped with the biodynamic cone Fostex first developed in the late ‘80s, which delivers a sound unique to any other driver structure, the TH-X00 benefits from years of iteration on the initial design. The higher magnetic flux density in these headphones (more than 1 tesla) creates instant attack and decay for a crisper, more detailed sound signature. With the emphasis on the low end toned down slightly from the TH600, the rich bass meets the Fostex standard without becoming bloated. The result is an incredibly intimate sound, like being front row at a small venue.

 

Comfort-First Design

 

The TH-X00’s wood earcups are a nod to the Denon D series and complemented by Fostex’s proprietary magnesium alloy body, built to be lightweight, strong, and durable. Made of eggshell protein, the earpads’ soft leatherette is designed to form a super tight seal, while still being breathable for hours of comfortable listening. And because the curve of the headband has been optimized to fit the human head, minimal padding is needed for you to forget you’re wearing headphones at all.

 

Additional Details

 

A thick, braided cable rounds out the presentation, with a conveniently long distance between the headphones and Y split. The Massdrop logo is silk-screened on the inside of the headband, just above the left cup, with a serial number located just above the right cup. The first 250 purchasers are guaranteed a serial number below 300, starting with 1.

 

Specs

 

Fostex X Massdrop

Closed-back design

50 mm dynamic transducer

Magnesium alloy construction

Purpleheart earcups, brilliant gloss finish

Leatherette earpads, matte black

Magnetic flux density: >1 tesla

Impedance: 25 ohms

Sensitivity: 94 dB/mW

Maximum input: 1,800 mW

Frequency response: 5 – 45,000 Hz

10 ft (3 m) thick, braided Y cable

1/4 in (6.3 mm) gold-coated stereo phone plug

Weight, without cable: 12.3 oz (350 g)

Weight, with cable: 17 oz (482 g)

Included

 

Carrying pouch

2-year warranty

READ THIS IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.

 

Because of strict distribution agreements, Massdrop cannot sell-or-ship this product outside the United States. Understanding that there is demand for this product outside of the US, we have negotiated exclusive pricing with a freight forwarding service to help certain individuals join this drop. If you join, please understand that you are purchasing this product and it will be delivered to a US address. It will then be processed for international shipping by a third-party forwarding company. Tracking will be provided.

 

At checkout, international orders will be charged $15 for the third party freight forwarding service. You will need to input your shipping address as per a normal drop.

Shipping

 

Domestic and international orders will be shipped by Massdrop.

 

Estimated ship date is Aug 19, 2016.

 

After the drop ends, check the discussion page for updates.

W10 NUC i7 (Gen 10) > Roon (Audiolense FIR) > Motu UltraLite mk5 > (4) Hypex NCore NC502MP > JBL M2 Master Reference +4 subs

 

Watch my Podcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXMw_bZWBMtRWNJQfTJ38kA/videos

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Are you buying a pair?

Yes, I'm on the drop.

 

 

OK, thanks.

W10 NUC i7 (Gen 10) > Roon (Audiolense FIR) > Motu UltraLite mk5 > (4) Hypex NCore NC502MP > JBL M2 Master Reference +4 subs

 

Watch my Podcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXMw_bZWBMtRWNJQfTJ38kA/videos

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Check them out, you might be surprised. Do you know anything about ISK?

 

As we speak, I am looking. I've gotten a couple of things direct from China recently, so this one might be gettable too. Edifier is one of those, the H850 for example, that was almost impossible to get in the U.S., unless you bought the $100 version from the music guy. But then Edifier finally opened a U.S. store, and now you can get the 850 for $50, which is a pretty good deal.

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As we speak, I am looking. I've gotten a couple of things direct from China recently, so this one might be gettable too. Edifier is one of those, the H850 for example, that was almost impossible to get in the U.S., unless you bought the $100 version from the music guy. But then Edifier finally opened a U.S. store, and now you can get the 850 for $50, which is a pretty good deal.
This is one that is available here. The HD9999,it has gotten good reviews as pro monitors. They seem to be making some very good microphones also. They are a sister company to Takstar.

 

HD-9999 Headphones – iSK Pro Audio

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This is one that is available here. The HD9999,it has gotten good reviews as pro monitors. They seem to be making some very good microphones also. They are a sister company to Takstar.

 

Takstar is carried by Massdrop occasionally, and the only reason I didn't buy it was the big metal case that accounted for half of the already low price.

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I've read that the TH-X00 is competitive with other closed cans at the Massdrop price and perhaps even a little bit higher, and build quality is reported to be good so it seems to be a good option at the price point.

 

I wonder how it would compare to the Meze Classic 99, which has been getting some pretty favorable reviews and is a bit cheaper at $309 (I think both cans are good looking which is a nice side benefit):

 

https://www.mezeheadphones.com/headphones

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Home Office: IsoRegen+LPS1.2 | Denafrips Iris | Denafrips Venus 2 | Blue Circle Audio SBT preamp|  Eddie Current Zana Deux Super | Hifiman HE-1000SE | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12

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I've read that the TH-X00 is competitive with other closed cans at the Massdrop price and perhaps even a little bit higher, and build quality is reported to be good so it seems to be a good option at the price point. I wonder how it would compare to the Meze Classic 99, which has been getting some pretty favorable reviews and is a bit cheaper at $309 (I think both cans are good looking which is a nice side benefit):

 

I've had some Meze headphones, and they were muffled compared to the average hi-fi headphone by AKG, Beyer, Senn etc., so I'm skeptical about the reviews of the latest Meze.

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I've had some Meze headphones, and they were muffled compared to the average hi-fi headphone by AKG, Beyer, Senn etc., so I'm skeptical about the reviews of the latest Meze.

 

Hmm... that's too bad, I guess the reviews could be hyped (Innerfidelity, 6Moons and HeadMania gave it good review). Tyll is usually a pretty straight shooter but he may have missed on this one.

Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu+Farad | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator Plus | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | 2 Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12 

Home Office: IsoRegen+LPS1.2 | Denafrips Iris | Denafrips Venus 2 | Blue Circle Audio SBT preamp|  Eddie Current Zana Deux Super | Hifiman HE-1000SE | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12

Office:  Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE w/preamp module | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Raidho X-1 | REL T/5x sub

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Hmm... that's too bad, I guess the reviews could be hyped (Innerfidelity, 6Moons and HeadMania gave it good review). Tyll is usually a pretty straight shooter but he may have missed on this one.

 

I hadn't read the innerfidelity review until now, but I see the subtle shift of attention from clarity and accurate tonality to various states of 'fun' etc. So it speaks to an audience who know how to parse that language.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I only joined Massdrop recently. I bought the AKG 7XX Red Edition headphones ( I already own a pair of 702's). The 7XX are really solid. Easier to drive than my 702's for my Schiit Audio Valhalla 2 amp. If the TH X00 Purpleheart come back, that may be a last pair of headphones I buy.

 

Well, except maybe a pair of Grados. I really do want a pair of good Grados.

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The mahogany Fostex TH-X00 is again available, and will be until 8/18. At only $400, seems like a good buy.

 

We'll see. I bought the ebony-wood version a few weeks ago, but it won't be delivered until late November.

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Music is love, made audible.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The mahogany Fostex TH-X00 is again available, and will be until 8/18. At only $400, seems like a good buy.

 

We'll see. I bought the ebony-wood version a few weeks ago, but it won't be delivered until late November.

 

The mahogany TH-X00 is terrific.

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