Fostex TE-02n "Final+1": Mod yourself a pair of killer IEMs!

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by james444, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Preamble: Read here and here for the back story. In short, the Fostex TE-02n are amazing budget IEMs with highly capable dynamic drivers. However, their stock sound signature is a little uneven in treble and overall a tad thin. This mod addresses both issues, fills in the low range, smoothes out the highs and turns them into some of the best DD IEMs I know at any price point.

    Why "Final+1"? Well, I already had a "final" mod version at some point. Then found out a slight improvement, so yeah... ;)

    Thanks: To @shotgunshane, @CEE TEE and several other friends (you know who you are) for serving as guinea pigs and providing critical feedback. To @Untilted for introducing me to 3M micropore tape. And to Fostex, for making this gem of a budget IEM in the first place. Speaking of which, looks like the 02n are sadly being discontinued... so grab a pair while they last!


    [​IMG]


    Disclaimer:
    This mod is NOT reversible and will void your warranty, so check your IEMs for any defects before you start modding. Also, this mod requires steady hands and good eyesight. I strongly recommend using a magnifier lamp.


    Prerequisites (stuff you need to perform the mod):

    • 1mm Phillips and flathead mini screwdrivers (or something else to drill a 1mm wide hole in plastic)
    • 3M micropore tape (widely available, e.g. from ebay or Amazon)
    • A medium sized needle
    • A 40 gauge felting needle (get it from here, or from your local art supply store)
    • The twist tie that comes with the Fostex 02n (don't throw it away!)
    • A razor knife
    [​IMG]


    Step-by-step Instruction:

    1. Remove the metal front filter. Just stick the needle through one of the holes and lift the plate off:

    [​IMG]

    2. Underneath you'll see a plastic cross-bar:

    [​IMG]

    3. Use the flathead screwdriver to lever it out:

    [​IMG]

    4. A few millimeters down inside the nozzle, you'll see the diffuser membrane that sits in front of the driver. The next step is quite tricky, since you need to pierce a tiny hole through this delicate membrane:

    [​IMG]

    5. Use the razor knife to cut a small piece of insulation off the twist tie. Trim its edges and slide it 0.5mm onto the felting needle. This distance is crucial, since it determines the modded IEM's bass quality! You can check the distance against the diameter of the twist tie wire, which is also about 0.5mm:

    [​IMG]

    6. This is the most delicate and important part of the mod. You need to puncture the diffuser membrane only once and close to the edge. Direct the felting needle slowly along the inside of the nozzle. Don't use force, because the membrane is very thin. Retract the needle as soon as you feel a slight resistance. A perfect puncture should look like this:

    [​IMG]

    7. The rest of the mod is pretty much a breeze. Cut a small piece of micropore tape and place it over the nozzle:

    [​IMG]

    8. Wrap it around the nozzle. The tape is sticky and can be easily fixed in place.

    [​IMG]

    9. Put the tip on and use the needle to puncture the tape four times near the edge. Work only shallowly to prevent damage of the diffuser membrane inside!

    [​IMG]

    10. As a final step, you need to enlarge the tiny rear vent:

    [​IMG]

    11. Use the Phillips screwdriver to enlarge the opening:

    [​IMG]

    12. Finally use the flathead screwdriver to drill about 5mm down:

    [​IMG]

    Congrats! If you've successfully made it this far, then you've modded yourself a pair of killer IEMs! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  2. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

    Staff Member Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,207
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Clear, clear water
    Awesome guide! For anyone wondering about the signature, I'd say it gets mighty close to the Aurisonics 1Plus. Very close. It has a slight warm tilt that sounds very natural, and the slightly hot stock treble is tamed for easier and longer listening sessions.

    Edit: I replaced the stock tips with Ortofon tips for more comfy fit and better seal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
    james444, FlySweep and Dino like this.
  3. Dino

    Dino Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    3,516
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Anyone wanting to buy a Fostex TE-02n might want to start searching now. I looked around for quite a while today. Most places were out of them. I saw a few around $50. I saw a pair on amazon.co.uk for $35 shipped to USA and quit searching. (That was their last one.)
     
  4. KILLthemALL

    KILLthemALL Rando

    Banned
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Likes Received:
    22
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    gana
    i have them light modded and with eq they punch way behind their price point
     
  5. Sqveak

    Sqveak Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    374
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    NSW, Aus, Terra, Sol.
    I just bought the "last" one from Amazon UK and the remaining stock figure jumped up to 5 after the purchase was complete.
    Amazon appear to be playing tricks on us to prompt some FOMO sales.

    There are also several sellers on Amazon Japan who have more. They do not appear to be the same sellers that are on Amazon UK.
     
    Dino likes this.
  6. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Yup, I ordered 4 units from Amazon Germany only last week. It took them some time to get them, but apparently they still have stock.

    My other source from which I got them cheaper in the past has dried up though, as well as most other European suppliers.
     
  7. tgx78

    tgx78 Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    50
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Is modded TE-02n comparable to the EX1000?
     
  8. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Let me put it this way, I actually chose the EX1000 and MDR7550 as tuning targets. As a result, bass is very much comparable to the Sonys, pretty linear and as close to planar headphone bass as it gets with dynamic IEMs. However, the Fostex drivers are 9mm, so they don't quite have the effortlessness of Sony's 16mm drivers... but overall bass quality is really close.

    The mids are comparable too, and for the highs I aimed for the happy medium between both Sonys. I find the EX1000 just a smidgen too treble forward, particularly when played loud - and the 7550 a tad too laid-back. So what you get with the modded 02n is nicely smooth treble with slightly more presence than the 7550, but easier on the ears than the EX1000.

    The most significant difference is probably in soundstaging, where the Sonys sound wider, due to the distance between drivers and ears. But the 02n are by no means small sounding and on the other hand offer better isolation and outdoor suitability than the Sonys.
     
    Dino, tgx78, FlySweep and 1 other person like this.
  9. manatworks

    manatworks Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    224
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I used the previous mods (hfm filter+blutac) and quite enjoy it, gonna try this once i gather materials required!
     
    james444 likes this.
  10. Dino

    Dino Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    3,516
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I was thinking that I would like one more if I could get it for $35 shipped to USA. I was also curious about Amazon tricks with these. So I ordered the "last one" from Amazon Germany. Then I immediately checked the product page and Amazon Germany had "only 2 left". I canceled my order for 1 and ordered 2 since 15 Euros shipping was the same for 1 or 2.

    Then I checked Amazon UK. I bought the "last one" yesterday. They have another "last one" today. Very tricky.
     
  11. KILLthemALL

    KILLthemALL Rando

    Banned
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Likes Received:
    22
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    gana
    come down big boy this is not a contest who have more units
     
  12. Dino

    Dino Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    3,516
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yes it is. The winner gets another pair of TE-02n.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
    Griffon, gixxerwimp and aufmerksam like this.
  13. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    LOL, stop it guys... you wouldn't stand a cat's chance in hell! ;)
     
    Dino likes this.
  14. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  15. Dino

    Dino Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    3,516
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
  16. KILLthemALL

    KILLthemALL Rando

    Banned
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Likes Received:
    22
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    gana
    you got that right, that's a lot of penguins
     
  17. MrTurtle

    MrTurtle Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    Likes Received:
    150
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Thanks heaps for the great guide. Micropore tape is great - I've used it on T50RPs to tame treble with some success. Just wanted to check though, are images not showing for anyone else from point 2 onwards?
     
  18. Dino

    Dino Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    3,516
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
  19. HAL9000

    HAL9000 Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    363
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Fairfield, IA
    Dino likes this.
  20. spoony

    spoony Spooky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    359
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Wooot!, that's why there's no stock!
     

Share This Page