Dec 21, 2018165 views

Fostex T50RP Mk3 - Beginner's Expectations? (Coming from Beats)

Heya, I am interested in the Fostex T50RP Mk3 headphones and have just stepped into the black hole of mods and online advice/reviews. I'm digging the sound/price/quality balance they seem to have, and even with the dac/amp-requirements I'm leaning towards getting a set (and therefore also a dac/amp situation). But! I am now aware that I have next to no experience with audio neutrality. Question: Are the T50Rp Mk3s the right place to start?? Context: I got a set of Beats a couple years ago (which I now know tend to summon forth pitchforks and fire...), and am concerned that when I read about sound being described as "clinical" or "technical" alongside "neutral" that I'd find the Mk3s "impersonal" / "analytical" rather than simply an enjoyable experience. FYI an idea of what music I play a lot: Gojira / John Lee Hooker / Kings of Leon / Slipknot / Kyuss / Soundgarden / Jeff Buckley / The Black Keys / Death / The Doors / Fever Ray / Hozier / In Flames / Korn / Tracy Chapman / Chris Whitley / Christine and the Queens / Tool / etc... Outside of listening to music for its own sake, I write a lot and nearly always have something playing while I do so. Any advice / expectation-management / opinions on Mk3 for above music types would be very much appreciated!!

GiantHeadphoneSquid and rastus

Do you really want 'straight neutral' though? I have had T50RP and T40RP Mk3s and had my T40RP converted to Argons. Will need an amp that can power them well otherwise you won't really hear the lively and full sound they are capable of. Much prefer the Argon to a stock TX0RP Mk 3 as it does really change it and for the better. Actually, the Koss Porta Pro X with Yaxi pads sounds much closer to the Argons than a T50RP Mk3 does. I'd also say the Porta Pro X with Yaxi pads will do bass/subbass much better than any beats I've heard and has more intimate and upfront mids than a Sennheiser HD58X. Treble is slightly recessed though and lacking a little in detail. For less than $50, the Koss Porta Pro + Yaxi pads would be a nice portable open baby version of the Argon and flat out sound better than any beats. I love my Argons almost as much as my STAX L300 Limited with a dedicated rack based setup, but those Koss Porta Pro with Yaxi pads is all I really want to listen to lately - simply is unbelieveable how good they sound. If you want to enjoy music, the Koss Porta Pro with Yaxi pads simply excells at it in a little warmer than neutral sound. Their bass and subbass is on par with the Argon... and the mids are more forward and intimate. The Argons are more detailed, cleaner, faster responding, with wider soundstage and less forward mids but better presented highs. They both have smooth, non-fatiguing presentation of sound.
Thanks for the comparisons - very useful! (It was looking at all the mod-creativity with the T50s that got me curious about the fine-tuning...and am glad that I asked as I'm starting to lean towards the 'warm' over 'neutral'... at this stage anyway). :)
There is no "right place to start." Get rid of that thought immediately. Starting at all is the right way. System synergy is key to a good listening experience and is something you'll pick up as you go along and recognize what you like/don't like. On that note, do your best to avoid the pitfall of listening to your gear and NOT listening to your music. The point is to enjoy yourself; don't torment yourself by nitpicking flaws (I've been there). Also, keep in mind that literally everyone hears things differently; you won't know until you try. Keep in mind that the first time you listen to any audiophile/professional grade cans you'll probably immediately find them unimpressive. They don't typically have the "wow" factor of commercial gear because commercial gear tends to have a lot of built-in distortion to the sound to make it pop. However, as you keep listening you'll start hearing more details and you'll notice the incredible presentation of music these cans have (at that point you're ruined). My advice is to either just buy the Fostex (they'll make a great first pair of audiophile cans), or go to a local hifi store and try stuff out. See what keeps you engaged and what you like the sound of. Who knows; the more analytical nature of the T50RP might be something you really like. Whatever you decide to start with, just remember to enjoy the music.
My only issue with starting at the T50 is the need for an amp, there's no way to drive those things properly with out one.
Dcha12 - very well timed and accurate advice. Cheers for reminding me why I started looking into this in the first place!
I don't have direct experience with the T50RP, but the T60RP has a lot more upper mid reach than the 58x (heck it has more then the 600 to my ear). In addition to vocals and guitar, you have a lot of fine drummers on that list, the texture of their high hat hits will be less prominent, the guitar plucks less present on the 58x compared to the T50. While it's true that the T50 signature is more analytical than the Senns, the flipside of the Senn's intimate, lovely mid focus is that they can feel claustrophobic at times, and are a bit genre dependent. If you're concerned about treble and fatigue, Senns are ideal, otherwise I think your first instinct is good. Planar mags also scale linearly with power, so it's a great can to start with and build up a rig with. . .
GHS, sweet, thanks for isolating what impacts the drummers btw (been binging Mario), ...will look into the Senns when I circle back to decision-making and take in advice so far. :)
Nice mix, I see vocals,, with a bite,, is something that you like; so open cans first; so if it meets budget CTH & 58X, so get a nice NOS tube for the CTH and a balanced cable for the cans: Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee Headphones

Massdrop CTH + SDAC DAC/Amp
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Shot Keth, have added Audioquest Nighthawks to the look-into-list.
They're dark, detailed, bass has impact, but are far from neutral. So if you want reference headphones, they're not what you're looking for.