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regal 7th April 2012 11:20 AM

What is the opinion here of the Fostex T50RP + damping
Just on a whim I ordered a $70 pair of Fostex T50RP headphones. Listening to them they were smooth but the bass was one dimensional, not believing all the hype about modding them I took them apart. They seem to be designed with a SOT transducer but placed in a 10 cent injection molded cup. I lined the inside with adhesive foam from the craft store ($2) and have to say these sound pretty good for $72 played from the O2 amp and an old Parasound D/AC. The guitar is very nice, and the rythm section really improved, some of the best I've heard from a headphone, starting to believe the hype.

The upper midrange could use a little help, do folks think these are worth modding further with wood cups, and all the voodo ( I guess its called thunderpants) etc, etc ? Or just be happy with them as is ?

john dozier 7th April 2012 12:47 PM

They can be improved, but it depends on how much HP listening you do and how picky you are on HP SQ. The T50s are a good starting point for mods. They can be superb. and the price is right. I would never spend $1k for Audeze or better. I just do not use HPs that much. Regards

orpheus 8th April 2012 07:39 AM

You could try more damping. Some have claim better sound with cotton balls pulled apart a bit and placed inside the chamber. I think that changing the pads makes a difference for the better, I use some Shure replacement pads for the 940, I think. i'd have to look it up. I used some duct tape around the new pads to secure them the the plastic housing so I could put some cotton balls inside the back wall of the pad to angle the headphones, which also seems to make a difference for me. The Shure replacement pads are under $20, and worth using.

I really, really like these headphones when modded. I got an unmodded pair to mod for a co-worker, so I was able to listen to modded and unmodded and the damping makes a significant change.

There is a huge thread on head-fi, but there is a lot of noise in the thread, and a lot of mods.

Have fun modding, I think they are a huge, huge bargain, and great sounding headphones with a little bit of work.

regal 8th April 2012 09:27 AM

Thanks, so far the ahesive foam sheets seems inside the cup seems to make a big improvement.

I just put in a thin amount of polyfill and it could be my imagination but it may have made the midrange sharp almost like a very specific frequency distortion.

I saw the huge disorganized voodo thread at the other place, but I was thinking a little rational thinking here could have an optimal formula in less than a dozen pages, especially with the speaker speaker building guys.


orpheus 8th April 2012 05:30 PM

I think that the reasoning behind headphone modification and speaker cabinet damping is a bit different, so it would be hard to get someone to give an answer without working on the headphones themselves.

Some of the mods to the T50RP's have been measured, and they look pretty good. LFF's paradox from head-fi measures well, and is reported to sound excellent too. Innerfidelity just posted a bunch of awards for modded headphones with measurements, and LFF's got 2nd place. Unfortunately, he isn't disclosing what he did to the headphones. Originally he said that he would after the contest was over, but I don't know if he will or not. It would be great to have a recipe for exactly what was done to achieve those measured results.

At first I used blu tack on the inside walls of the cups, covered in thick craft felt. Then I bought some computer sound dampening foam that is sandwiched foam-rubber-foam, and put that inside the cups. I think it made it sound a bit better, and listening to sweeps I tamed some of the frequency response bumps a bit. I also put in some cotton and a piece of felt behind the driver. I haven't gone to the trouble of tweaking the mods to get better sound. I would be more inclined to do so if I had a way to measure them. Right now I have a stock pair that I intend to mod for a co-worker. I might go in and change some things and then be able to A/B, but I'd much rather have a set of already proven instructions to follow.

There is a wiki that compiles the mods with links to that huge thread on headfi. It might be worth looking through. Tyll at Innerfidelity seems to think that the stock enclosure holds the T50's back, and that Thunderpants have an inherent advantage. He's measured and listened to more versions of modded T50's than anyone, so he would know the best. I've thought about getting the DIY kit from Smeggy to make some Thunderpants, and I still might do that.

Here's a search function for the biggest threads on headfi:

Home / Head-Fi Megathreads

and here is the wiki:

Fostex T50RP modification summary LINKS - wiki - Community

It would be great to get some more definitive and measured answers to how to mod these phones. If LFF would reveal what he did, then we would have that, but he has refused to do so thus far.

regal 9th April 2012 01:03 AM

Thanks for the info. I am new to planars but think part of what is holding them back for my taste is they are closed, thinking of trying to find an open planar to compare.

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