I would give these a 3, but they DO sound SO good, but there are faults, for $420 I expect a bit more than I received. They are beautiful, and have great sound, but cables make the most hellish zipping sound if you touch them to anything, that resonate through the cups, so watch what cables you choose, because they accept the same as the 6xx's do, so there are plenty of aftermarket cables, that are not built like they were for a 70's vacuum cleaner (and probably longer than most). I was curious as to what kind of dampening there was, after multiple zipping incidents, and, to my utter surprise, and it shouldn't really because Fostex puts out a lot of headphones with the same thing missing, there was just bare wood! No dampening material, no Dynamat type, no fiber fill, nothing... it explains the zipping thing.
I have performed the level one Lawton mod on them, not the pads, got some ZMF with the fenstrated leather and they sound AWESOME. The mod took about 30 minutes, and I left the foam out, for now, at his (Mark Lawton) suggestion, and am trying them before I just place it in, without using the tape, to see if they sound better. Also getting some nice Litz braided cables, with NO zipping cover, they aren't an issue on my Sennhiesers, so I bought them with covers.
I would recommend these, but also modding them... just 25 cents worth of dampening in the back would have taken care of this... but I know from the T50rp's that this must be SOP for Fostex.