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View Full Discussion Hello Everyone,
Wanted to share a few things about what makes the T-X0 special to me:
-Only a small amount available, this is a very limited run for Fostex.
-Discontinued Mk II is the modder-favorite version.
-A major manufacturer has done this much work in tuning based on community feedback
The drivers are so capable…
I personally own a pair of these $900 custom-made headphones with Mk II drivers (and love them):
Here’s how much has been done with the T50RP by the audiophile community:
Starting with a rebooted T50RP Mk. II as the base product, Fostex worked for more than a year with Massdrop and the community to modify the sound.
This is the first modified production Fostex T50RP Mk. II.
Lots of laser-cut Fostex foam damping is behind the driver in small sections of the housing, Fostex-made new hybrid perforated pads are based on community requests, there are changes in filters behind and in front of the driver as well as an added gasket to the driver housing.
I’m very thankful to Fostex for all of the work and time they have put into making this headphone for us.
A few of them are on their way out for review now…
Wow. Thanks you for these awesome thoughts. Would you say these needs an amp to be driven to their potential?
(I'm a newbie) And are these better than all the modded ones and these mayflower modded?
Yes these will need an amplifier. They are no easy headphone to drive. Id look into fiio if you want something cheap. I have never heard the mayflower mods but the man who owns mayflower knows almost nothing of audio, so id bet it is.
An AMP is almost certainly needed. They can mod it sound sound better than stock, but probably won't improve the driver's efficiency.
Personally I trust Fostex and Massdrop to deliver a well tuned T50RP mod much more than Mayflower.
I tried the Mayflower mod kit and ended up removing much of it because it killed so much of the bass. They only part of the kit that though was worth using was the cotton sheets placed behind the driver to reduce the treble and their upgraded baffle (sold separate from the kit).
I have a second T50RP MKIII with just the baffle and cotton and it sounds just as good. They both also have taped up vents behind the earpads to increase sub-bass.
I assume these are to be released at 6 a.m PDT, not PST like the campaign says? (since we're in daily savings time now)
Cool, just wanted to make sure I didn't miss the drop by and hour haha
Definitely get an amp/dac combo if you are new. SMSL M6 are pretty cheap for their value, but you better do your own research because I am new to this as well.
Yes, the E5 does a very good job even with hard to drive headphones.
I found my old JDS Las C5D sopunded a little cleaner and I loved it three way bass switch (0dB, +3dB & +6dB), but it couldn't drive planar's as good as the E5. The E5 will start to distort as you start to max the volume, but that's usually not needed.
I still prefer my desktop DAC/AMPs but the E5 will work and is very versatile with it's PC software, android and iOS compatibility and Bluetooth support.
You need a really good and for these. Like maybe more than the headphones themselves they'll cost.
But weren't the mkII like much more easier to drive than the mIII, I mean like you are still right because you wouldn't want to invest in an amp that cost less than 150 bucks because you will upgrade it eventually if you get into planars.
everything (almost) is better driven by an amp. especially these. u dont need to break the bank tho, check out the FIIO line
mkII were easier to drive stock than mkIII, but a lot of the modded mkIIs were harder than either. Innerfidelity has some great measurements of them
Thanks, for your reply. Ok, we would have to wait to see if these are hard to drive then I guess. I definitely ordered them and now have time to save up to october for a good dac/amp combo maybe around 300-500€ don't want to dump 100-200€ if I will upgrade it eventually.
Would the Oppo HA-2SE be sufficient for driving these? Audioengine D1? Thank you for any feedback!
im not sure that these would really need an amp. if you have a decent DAC in whatever you are using you should be able to drive these without an amp. ive got a asus xonar dx and can drive sennheiser hd558's with it to ear shattering volumes. same for audio technica ad900x
I agree with the statement about trusting Fostex and Massdrop on the modification over Mayflower... and the price here is way too good to not go for it. Most mod companies charge so much more than the $150 here.
You most likely want an AMP since those are really hard to drive. I own a Lake People G109 - A Limited Edition and that cost me like 400€ and I can max them out no problem with high gain but with my TH-X00 I can lower the knob half way and set my AMP to low gain and I still have the same volume as the MK3 had on high gain. These will need an AMP for sure.
Depends on how loud you like to listen to your headphones. If you listen to it at moderate levels you'll have the volume turned to 85% on high gain. If you like to listen to music really loud then it'll be better to buy a higher wattage amplifier. Tried the T50RP MKIII's at a meet with my Oppo HA-2.
Oh that's super helpful info buddy, thanka a bunch for the quick reply!
well i guess it depends of the person. i do not listen to anything at loud volumes so for me i really dont care if i cant push them loudly
I guess specifically I'd say I listen at moderate-to-high volumes..for instance, I tend to be okay with the volume level my Galaxy S7 Edge puts out at 100% with my K7XX'S but I don't ever turn those down below full volume when using those phones whereas most other headphones and IEM's I own I can do between 70-85% volume on through my phone alone.
Never used the HE-2SE but I'd imagine it could drive the T50RP satisfactory at moderate levels.
But at the price of the HE-2SE I'd opt for a more powerful desktop DAC/AMP. Not only can it driver it to higher volumes but will likely offer greater Dynamics and punch. Planar like current.
The Audio-GD NFB-11 is in a similar price bracket and is considered and excellent bargain for its price. It's a great option unless you really need something portable.
If you want something less expensive the Fiio 5 is pretty powerful and about $110.
With 8ohm earbuds i run at 50% max on my nexus 6 and i run my 50ohm hd558 at 75% so yeah id say we run quite different volume levels lol
That's also super helpful info. Thanks for being specific with the suggestions ya gave me as well. I've heard great things about the NFB-15 so I'll look into the 11 as well. I appreciate everyone's help with all of this!
I have my Alpha Prime with a Vio 181 balanced.
I tried it with my Fiio E10k an it doesnt power them enough.
When I say power I am not talking about the volume ;)
(at least in my ears)...
I'm confused are these headphones for DIYers that want to unlock potential or do you buy these for stock sound?
They just released the 2017 version of the NFB-11 (NFB-11.28). It has a few improvements.
Often people forget that there is more to it than driving headphones to loud volumes. Some drivers, like planar's, like a good amount of curren . Delivering proper current to allow the driver to reach it's potential will bring added Dynamics and punch.
Also when pushed the portables I've used will start to distort at high volumes with hard to drive headphones and the dynamics will suffer, especially in the bass.
It doesn't even matter how loud you want them to be that was a bad comparison I made, sorry. I mean, you will lose bass like crazy without an AMP and it will just sound ... boring. Trust me dude, these suck big time without an AMP. If you plan on buying planar's just go with an AMP because those are more likely to be hard to drive. If you want to buy headphones with no AMP don't go for planar magnetic drivers because they simply need the power.
I can drive my PM do decent volumes, but would distort at high volumes especially when the bass hit. Also not being able to supply the amount of voltage/current to truly drive PM with athority it did deliver the punch/dynamics of a powerful desktop system.
Still it did ok, just not quite the same as my NFB-11 (sometimes combines eith a garage1217 Project Polaris). At first the difference wasn't so noticeable, but the more time I spend with it the more I could tell the benefits of the added power.
The T50RP is popular with DIYers, The T-X0 is a Massdrop exclusive that is pre-modded and can be enjoyed as is.
Though I guess one could "tinker" with it if one so desired.
Did a little more reading up on the Audio GD NFB-11 in general and saw the update you mentioned and I think I'm gonna pull the trigger on it to go along with these Fostex's..thanks again for the specific and solid recommendation. It's genuinely so nice to have such a good and helpful group of enthusiasts who are so willing to offer personal experience etc
Thanks. I have project polaris too. What settings are best with it?
What affordable amp would you recommend? Im not interested in mobile amps id use those headphones on my pc
Just know the ordering process is a little "different" and a little wait for delivery from China, but worth it.
Volume is not everything. I have Xonar DX as well and its output is not known for headphone amp quality, 100 ohm output impedance is better suited for speakers. Sounds much better with any external amp, I can recommend Fiio A5.
Aside from setting it to hight gain, really arn't many other options as far as the NFB-11 itself goes. Mine is a little older model so there maybe more options, "filters", on the newer model.
Don't know that much about AMP's so I can't tell you what would be an affordable option since I don't know what's affordable for you. Just have a look in that discussion here on the TX-0's. There will be some recommendations from people.
Ive heard the a5 is a good amp. But i dont want a portable one since it would only my used by my pc. i figured a non portable one would be cheaper too
I've not used one, but the Fiio K5 is a pretty powerful desktop AMP that's affordable. I can deliver like 1.5W @32 ohms.
It's just an AMP though, no DAC section, so keep that I'm mind.
The fiio 5? The k5 you mean or something else?
Would these be good for gaming? ex CS GO?
Please. Please don't get this Creative e5. Anything but this. It's terrible. It's worse than my fiiO e07k. Please don't do this to yourselves and stop now.
I sold it eventually and its just a disgrace as an amp. It's made my EMU/X00 sound weak and I could feel it give in. It failed on my Hifiman or Senn... I don't even know what to appreciate in that dac/amp. And the amp section is the biggest compromise... And u need that the most for a T-X0.
A fiiO e09k/k5 is a much better pick (the much older now and $60 refurb e09k runs my He400i and HD6xx with great command and is an overkill for my Fostex X00). For portable, the xDuoo XD-05. And then so much more...
But I beg you... no e5.
I will be driving these with the bravo version 2 class a amp with golden lion upgraded tube. It ran me about 50 bucks. Sounds great and looks neat too.
Around the $100 range- Ive got the micca origen+ and it can power them (mkIII's) just fine but you'll notice the sound can start to get a bit rough if you try to push them to far.. but I use the bravo audio V2 amp out of the fiio e10k for mine, I can go way past normal listening volume and it still sounds clean. Despite all the comments about the V2 just being used by pubescent teens who just buy it for looks.. it's a little beast and I love it.
Indeed. I have a pair of pioneer se-505's that the bravo can power. The little bravo amp is a quarter the size of one of the cups on those headphones! :D It should literally be called the "little beast".
I'm a budget-conscious "audiophile," in that I love a great sounding deal. I'll run these off my Sony receiver's headphone jack. If that proves to be inadequate, I'll buy a Schiit Magni 2 for $99 direct from the manufacturer.
Well that depends on your requirement (noisewise). If you have to use a closed one then this has to do :O
I personally use open headphones for FPS - my fav is the Beyer Dynamic 990 Ed. 250 Ohm (open).
Although they are by far underpowered by my Fiio e10k - however this combo is enough to hear 360 deg and ppl call you hack all time :P
Thats not my experience.
E9K with a HD6xx? Not sure how this will workout ;)
I use a pair of T50RP MK. III when gaming and I think they are amazing for gaming. I also switch between those and some open back headphones depending on what I'm feeling.
If these remain semi-open like the MK. III or unmodded MK. II they will be great for gaming.
Either way I think you'll be happy.
I can't speak to the standard Magni. I use the Magni2 Uber with My Modded RP40 MKIII . Add a Modi Multibit and you have a Killer Budget rig.
Lol I know. Well it's not the best combo. But the e09k is powerful enough. And it's not a failure. Though of course there are many other, better combos for other people out there, yes.
How bout if you compare it to akg k7xx? which one do you recommend?
I received for Christmas a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. I recently added an Allo Piano DAC and am running Volumio on it. That satisfies the budget part of my audiophilia. And it certainly does sound good, I just feel like I need better headphones than my Samson SR950s.
Just thought I would point out that even though the impedence of the T-X0 is 'only' 50 ohms, the sensitivity is relatively low, at only 92dB. For comparison, the 50 ohm Sennheiser GAME ONEs have a sensitivity of 116dB.
That might not seem like a big difference, but you have to understand that decibels are not a linear measurement. Every 3dB is a doubling of the sound intensity. Every 10dB is considered (at least by Google search) a doubling of the percieved sound level. I'm not sure how sensitivity levels translate to the actual produced sound level, but if you get an extra 24dB of sound from the same power output of an amp, that means the GAME ONEs would be percieved to be over four times as loud as the T-X0s.
I needed an amp to get the best performance out of my GAME ONEs with my PC. I'm not exactly sure whether you need four times the power to get four times the percieved volume (nothing in sound is linear, which breaks my head, so I give up), but it should at least demonstrate that you will need a decent amp to push good sound out of these.
Yep, like I said, " An AMP is almost certainly needed. "
The T50RPs are know for being hard to drive.
I'm in, now the long wait till October.
10dB isn't a doubling of perceived volume, it's a doubling of energy. The Bell volume scale is logarithmic because our perception is logarithmic.
That allo piano dac looks neat! So it can basically push anything? :D
It can push my Samson SR950s and FiiO EX1s to uncomfortable volume levels. And I think it sounds incredible for a DAC that costs under $30. Way more detail and nuance in my music, especially acoustic jazz. I would have to say it's probably the most cost effective sound upgrade I've ever experienced.
When you say "Fostex worked for more than a year with Massdrop and the community to modify the sound", can you elaborate on how the community was involved in the making of these headphones?
Seeing what people leaned toward buying the most.
Massdrop nose knows.
Sorry, I replied to your post because it put my post in a convenient location, not because I was criticizing or responding to your answer.
My bad. There wasn't anything you said that I disagree with.
Have you used/owned a T50RP?
Yes they are 50 ohms, but use inefficient planar magnetic drivers that generally require more current to be driven to their potential and the T50RP require more power than any of my other planar headphones.
Will you get audio out of an iPhone, sure. Will it have the dynamics and impact it should and is capable of, not at all.
Listening right now between my NFB-11 (about 50%) and iPad Mini (at 100%) and the iPad volume is just barely loud enough to get by and I'd like several more "clicks" in volume. The bass also has far less impact.
They are far from their potential from an iDevice and most android device have even weaker built in AMPs.
There is more to it than just the ohms rating. Most planars have relativelylow ohms rating but are notorious for needing a good amount of power to drive. Beyerdynamics Tesla drivers can have a high 250 ohms rating but are so efficient they the are far easier to drive then you typical dynamic driver.
According to this site:
3dB is a doubling of the power, or intensity, of sound;
6dB is a doubling of the sound pressure level (SPL, which corresponds to voltage);
10dB is a rough estimate of the doubling of the loudness, or percieved volume, of sound. But, it depends on a person's hearing and the frequency of the sound wave;
It is definitely logarithmic, which is why it is so hard to understand (at least, I don't completely grasp it, I just have a sort of general idea). The problem is that 10dB is just an average, so people will still disagree subjectively on how powerful the amp will need to be depending on their hearing and the type of music to which they are listening.
No problem, I was just a little confused.
I take it to mean they worked with Massdrop staff and perhaps a few select knowledgeable individuals outside Massdrop on the tuning and testing.
Obviously, and thanksfully, they didn't ask EVERYONE.... That would of likely been a disaster. ;)
Comparing different headphones based on their impedence only holds true if they have similar sensitivities/efficiency ratings. The problem is that a pair of headphones with an impedence of 50ohms and sensitivity of 110dB will sound twice as loud as a pair with an impedence of 50ohms and a sensitivity of 100dB. These planar magnetics have a sensitivity of only 92dB, while dynamic drivers tend to be over 105dB.
If you take NwAvGuy's (the guy who created the O2 headphone amp) advice (seen here: http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/headphone-impedance-explained.html?m=1), you should looks for headphones with an impedence of 16-32ohms AND a sensitivity of at least 100dB if you want to use them with a mobile device without an amp. I doubt a computer's motherboard integrated sound card provides significantly more power than a mobile device (there is no real information as to what the "average" integrated audio headphone jack provides, so I'm guessing based on people's comments and articles regarding headphone usage and integrated audio). These headphones (and practically all planar magnetic headphone drivers) are both higher impedence and lower sensitivity than those recommendations. That is what makes planar magnetics so hard to drive. They are not as sensitive as dynamic drivers are because of the way they are made.
Fair enough, I don't know why I was thinking log2 rather than log10. Guess those high-school classes were too long ago...
Haha, well you're doing better than me. I was just summarizing what I had seen on a website. I totally forgot there were different types of logarithms... now I remember log2, log10, and log_e (though, to be honest, I never really learned what any of them are good for...
I just know that dB is a logarithmic measure).
One of these days I'll have to go self-reeducate on some maths. :)
I usually game with hd800, t1, or th900. And philips x2 some time. How does this compare
Are you joking or serious?
Can anyone comment on the isolation/noise bleed?
What's the intended use?
Few people have had a chance to try the T-X0, but opening of the T50RP isn't large and at normal listening levels it won't leak a lot. It offers some isolation. So it depends on what you want to do with it.
Yes, you DO need an amp. It's not a good idea, it's ESSENTIAL. These may be "only" 50 ohms but they are VERY insensitive at 92dB and ABSOLUTELY need to be fed from a source that can provide the necessary voltage required.
You are wasting your money otherwise. I speak from experience.
I unfortunately haven't been able to test the k7xx so I wouldn't know. But I love my T50RP Mk. III.
e5 is good - ability to have good clean audio (does have 'gaming modes', but not mandatory)
g5 is just for gaming - less good
I'd love to know about Isolation for an open office space. It's not particularly loud, but at least isolating to the point that random talking isn't distracting even if it's a bit audible would be nice
Assuming these are anything like the other T50RPs I own, I think these should work well for the environment you describe.
While actually playing music outside noise is usually hard to hear.
Idk, I'm poor and cant afford any of these. Hahaha. I think they are really good though and I'm a pretty competitive gamer.
ure pretty but are u good?
... can everybody please calm down for a minute, take a deep breath... in... out... better?
I can see on one hand people is saying it's "only" 50 ohm and you can plug it into a portable device (ie any smartphone), on the other hand people is saying an amp is essential due to driver inefficiency.
now, before anybody loose a limb or bloody nose, let us go through a crash course on electrical/ electronics 101.
Power [Watt] is proportional to Voltage [Volt] and proportional to Current [Amp]
Higher resistance or impedance [ohm or Z] needs higher voltage to push, voltage amplification comes from pre-amp or "front stage"
Lower impedance or inefficiency needs higher current to push, current amplification comes from "back stage"
or if you integrated both of them you get... ta da an "integrated" amplifier
Point in case, you cant hook up a low 4-8 ohm "only" speaker or <16 ohm IEMs to your phone and expecting great result.
Same thing happen when you plug your high impedance headphone >100 ohm into your random portable device and expect rainbows start shooting out.
Back to the T50rp MkII, I personally own the MkIII version and a certain Taiwanese brand smartphone with great integrated amplification circuit, but I often found myself reaching for my Fiio A5 for better result; as for desktop application I leave the duty to my trusty Gustard H10.
The list goes on, but life is short so I will just leaves it here...
G'day, goodnight and until next time. V(^_^)
Awesome and educational reply. Haha you rock.
can i use my vmoda cable with these?
What would the sound sig be like compared to something from audeze or hifiman?
No it won't improve efficiency, it will be the opposite, damping will make them harder to drive. In fact the original and the modded are notoriously hard to drive. You need a decent amp. Not necessarily crazy but headphone outputs from cell phones will not be enough power
Yes, agreed. The damping tends to "muffle" the sounds requiring you to turn the knob a little more to get the same volume.
So someone sitting next you can hear the music?
Figured this is a streeeetch but any chance these might be extended like the Massdrop x NuForce EDC?
I could use an extra paycheck for these sweet babys!
there are only 44 of 1900 left
As there's only 41 left as of right now, they will probably be gone before the drop ends. But I believe your not charged until the drop is over, if that works for you.
They are based on mods that a large community of DIYers have tried and perfected over the years on the stock version of these, the t-50 RP. So, they should be considered already modified so they are probably made to enjoy them as they come. So to your question, you buy them for their sound but don't know if we could say "stock sound" because they will not sound like the stock model it's based on, there are many things you can do to them but it's quite certain that they will sound better than the original.
You are pretty much right on the money with your 101 electronic, but having said that, there is nothing inaccurate about: "on the other hand people is saying an amp is essential due to driver inefficiency" That statement is true, as you pointed these need more current than the amp of an average phone can deliver. It will work but poorly and you'll find that at max volume not only the level but the bass response will be seriously lacking . In that case impedence is not the issue but the innefficiency is, that's pretty much what everybody was saying, feels like you understand the concepts but it feels that you are trying to correct or educate people who's assertions are quite right. In the end They need more power than the "integrated amp" included in your phone. ( they are all but to me that's a stretch, people usually don't refer to amps designed to drive headphones as integrated, they're amps, integrated means not only that, one stage voltage and one stage current is one way to do it, not all amps work like that integrated in a chip nowadays )
They charged me as soon as I gave them payment info.
Really, I thought you whereby charged until the drop ended?
Maybe I was thinking of some other site.
@CEE_TEE how about adding couple of paint options for few dollars extra? is it something MD can consider?
They charge you when the drop ends. I don't know what the other guy is talking about
That includes when they run out of the 1900 available, however.
Hey, I know this doesn't technically apply to the drop but I don't know where else to say this.
Can you please add the option to minimize the entire stickied conversation? As it stands now I have to scroll through two weeks of replies to your stickied post before I get to the newest posts which is probably going to leave a lot of newbie questions unanswered.
In my case, PayPal authorized immediately but didn't charge until all units sold.
Imagine scrolling down while on your phone. It's kind of annoying really.
Mine was charged right away from my bank account. But the amount was parked in PayPal, if I can call it that.
I suppose that's really what happened to me: I used PayPal, who charged me right away. I guess that's one way they make money - charge me before they have to pay and they keep whatever interest accrues in the interim.
Probably true. I use my debit card directly with Massdrop, and I wasn't charged until the 1900 units were exhausted. It kinda surprised me because I figured they would keep the drop open (but unable to purchase) in case anyone tried to cancel their participation in the drop. That way someone else might be able to take the slot. I guess since they pulled money and placed the order you can no longer get out of it, though.
great follow up, i was wondering if you could go into more detail on what would be the next stage for modding these headphones?
It was another successful drop. Can you share the latest updates?
LOL, we are in for a LONG wait.
I have a xonar stx. that thing can blow up headphones lol.
I have a Creative Sound Blaster Z. It can too.
good to know! I don't think they make my sound card anymore so if it ever dies... ;)
I was hoping they'd ship out as they make them, but I suppose waiting until all the drivers are manufactured will help them match up better.
im thinking about getting a fiio e12 mont blanc diy edition to go with my fiio x1 to run these, do you think thats a good idea?
Just got the NFB-11 delivered (yet to listen thru) along with a little dot mk1+ with upgraded voskhod tubes. Loving the LD so far and have been using it primarily with my K7XX'S. Just pulled the trigger on the T-X0 and the HD6XX drops as well. I'm so stoked on the different equipment and the progressive sound quality improvement and just different sound signatures I've been helped to find thru the MD and Head-Fi communities! The Little Dot Mk 1+ really warmed up the K7XX's and made them a touch less analytical sounding to my ears and just a bit fuller and fatter and warmer. I'm sure that's due to coloration from the tubes etc. Anyways, Thank you all!
Well, I look forward to hearing what you think when you get around to trying out the NFB-11.
Huh...these are Planar-Magnetic, did you realise that? There is no difference in electrical terms between the MK II and MK III. They are both relatively old drivers and both fairly inefficient in comparison to more recent, advanced driver technology. A good , reasonably powerful Amp is indeed a must for these....
Actually, a 6Db increase will translate into the Doubling of sound pressure, not 3Db. Otherwise great post.
Yeah, I mentioned 6dB as the doubling of sound pressure level in a reply to another user in this thread. I had left out the SPL relationship to decibel level in my first post because I was mostly just doing Google research and writing what I had found. In that second reply I posted more of what I had found. Apparently there are three different relationships to decibels as relates to sound: intensity, SPL, and perceived loudness (doubling at 3, 6, and 10 dB respectively), which seem to be what are driving most of the confusion between posts involving measurements and specs.