When I first got it this is actually what I did before I bought the foam element, and it was actually much worse (noticeable deceleration when I opened the throttle all the way). This was before I got the new carburetor and cleaned the exhaust, though, should I try it again? I could try a cone filter too.
I may also try running it without the exhaust pipe to rule that out but I don't want my neighbors to hate me.(edited)