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Massdrop x THX AAA™ 789 Linear Amplifier - Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by XERO1, Mar 1, 2018.
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  1. Davesrose
    I saw your online review of the iCan before finally pulling the trigger on it. I wanted a smaller form factor amp that could stack on my Benchmark DAC and media player. Now that I've lived with it, I do like how powerful it is with a lot of options. I'm wondering if you noticed a difference with balanced vs SE headphone output? When it comes to micro-detail, I did notice that if I have everything off and it set to SS, and outputing SE, the amp then sounds the same as my Benchmark's headphone amp (which I find to be extremely flat). I also read about some other NOS tubes for it. I've gone ahead and put some Western Electrics in and it does add some more extension (wouldn't say detail the way I've found with tube rolling NOS tubes with my larger sized amp). The main problem with the amp is there's too many options for an indecisive person like me :) But I do find running my LCD-2fs in balanced, running tube mode, 10 X-Bass, and 0 3-D are my usual settings for most music. Only a few times have I found 3-D actually adds some neat effects, and more times have found it cuts down some on impact (wonder if it could also be more effective as a pre-amp). I've also found that if I want detail-centric vocals or guitars, I've got a collection of headphones now (Mr Speakers being a good compliment to Audeze for some acoustic music, and Focals for some trance).

    Keep your Youtube reviews going! I do find yours to be the best balance of length, overview, and fair opinions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
    Currawong likes this.
  2. Davesrose
    At least it's not a major price point difference like the Benchmark HPA4 (with AAA 888):) Though I did see threads that the Monolith isn't directly from THX (only direct comparison I've seen is Zeos, and he seemed to indicate it was pretty close sounding for all but the harder to drive headphones). The Massdrop being 6W vs Monolith 3W.
     
  3. That guy is a ****ing clown. He can't even hear differences in dacs.
     
    snellemin, Deftone and Marlowe like this.
  4. Davesrose
    My problem with his videos is that he rambles on a lot, and likes to subject the viewer to an unsteady headcam...but he gets a lot of headphones and amps, so sometimes I feel like trying to see if fast forwarding parts will get to any real analysis. I was surprised with the video for Monolith, for example, was that he spent more of the video actually showing the interface :-O
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
    snellemin and trellus like this.
  5. Sonic Defender Contributor
    To be fair, there are many people who admit the same thing. I haven't done enough testing myself, but I am not 100% sure that I can hear differences in properly implemented DACs and I hope that I'm not an idiot (although I could be).
     
    Zachik likes this.
  6. Fatdoi
    You must forgive him for that when he daisy chains his equipment and says cables don't make no difference only for looks....
     
    snellemin likes this.
  7. Marlowe
    I'm not sure I can either--but I don't post rambling 30-minute reviews on YouTube in which I prove that ignorant, narcissistic buffoons make just as good audio reviewers as they do presidents. And if I did, I wouldn't prominently feature monitors with oddball (and less than useful) aspect ratios with wallpapers that I might have found titillating. When I was eleven.
     
    eeagle and snellemin like this.
  8. Sonic Defender Contributor
    The democracy of You Tube, anyone gets there moment in the sun!
     
    TubeTone likes this.
  9. CoFire
    Can somebody verify the SMPS Output on their power supply brick? Looking for voltage and amperage. I want to be sure I didn't swap bricks. Most of mine are labeled but I didn't get around to labeling this one.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  10. elira
    24V 1.8A
     
    CoFire likes this.
  11. wazzupi
    What's your problem ?
     
  12. kumar402
    I got the amp last week. However due to busy scheduled haven’t been able to spend a lot of time with it. Yesterday I connected it with Gumby and was pleasantly surprised by the smooth top end. I thought it would be brighter sounding but the smoothness surprised me. As an initial impression I do feel midrange is slightly veiled but only if I do A-Bing with Liquid Platinum which is known for forward midrange. All in all favorable impression. Will post my impression in a week or so once I spend some time with it.

    Have also got massdrop R2R DAC so will check out the pairing. I wish R2R DAC had balanced out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  13. TubeTone
    Thank you for the brief comparison.

    This amp is on my short list some day for sure.
     
  14. kumar402
    Ya, jump on it if you get a chance. With good source like Gumby or Maasdrops own R2R DAC it makes a nice relaxed sounding Amp. No brightness at top end. Very smooth. However both the DAC I have are smooth so the good news is Amp is not adding anything to it.
     
  15. SammYyYyY
    Anybody know how this pairs with the Empyreans? I'm planning on picking up the Empyreans soon and I'm not looking to spend too much on the source initially (new poster btw, I usually just read threads :)).
     
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