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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. protoss
    Technically many amps complete with this amp thou... Its because of those 3 letter words that overrides anything sadly.

    T.H.X - Thats all, its the t.h.x implementation that is the rave. I talk to some people, they said they can make stuff thats better than using t.h.x design. The future will tell if t.h.x design was just a faze or not...

    Head-amp Gilmore - Excellent
    Rupert Neve Designs RNHP 1 - This is actually better
    Topping - Anything from them is pretty good
    JDS LAB Atom - $100 is a killer.

    Can name you 25 amps above $1000 that is better than the thx aaa 789. Beyond better.

    So yea. Many amps. Again its those 3 letters. And the price of $350. i also notice its because of the scarcity of this amp thats driving interest in this.

    I must note that this is not saying this amp is not great. It is amazing for its price and performances.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  2. SilverEars
    You make a good point. I really don't understand the hype with the amp. I don't think the hype is based purely on sound. It's a bunch of superfluous stuff around it that's really pushing it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  3. jsmiller58
    Not disputing but inquiring...

    Have you heard the 789? What have you compared it to, and how does it stack up?

    I do have the 789 (as well as the JDS Atom, DX7S, and the DX3 Pro), and have sold an Aune X7S and an Audio GD NFB-11.38. I find it hard myself to describe audio, but I do enjoy and learn from the descriptions of others.

    As to me, 99% of my desktop listening is out of my 789, for whatever that is worth.
     
    Fatdoi likes this.
  4. Currawong Contributor
    Given the price and performance it's excellent value. It isn't threatening $1400+ amps in outright capability though.

    The ironically paradoxical aspect of this amp is that it is very revealing, so it will only be as good as the source feeding it, so the budget-conscious user who buys one will not get the most out of it with a similarly priced budget DAC. IMO anyway. A Mojo + Schiit Wyrd would arguably be better value, both sonically and technically.
     
    ayang02 and jsmiller58 like this.
  5. Fatdoi
    See how much Pro idsd can squeeze this 789 out when it arrives...
     
  6. jsmiller58
    Spot on, really. All "systems" have to be designed to ensure no weak links... Amdahl's Law provides a great way of thinking about this in computing, and easily extensible to any system.

    Not a chance I would ever spend $1400 on an amp... :). Of course, I do not in any way begrudge anyone who would spend it, just that I don't have that sort of discretionary income to throw around.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    Currawong likes this.
  7. Davesrose
    I would be curious to add this amp to see if it's any different from my good solid state headphone stages. The last time it dropped, it was about 45 minutes before I got back from home after work to order. I'll certainly not support all the folks contributing to the artificial demand this amp is garnering. That it advertises no distortion, only gain...I think I already have that with my Benchmark's headphone stage and SE SS iCan stage. I'm guessing I'll be less blown away with it...and when it comes to best THX headphone designs, there must be a reason the Benchmark HPA4 is a class of its own.
     
    trellus and Currawong like this.
  8. jsmiller58
    At the risk of starting an argument, which is the absolutely furthest thing from my mind, what do you mean by "I'll certainly not support all the folks contributing to the artificial demand this amp is garnering."

    Who is contributing to the" artificial demand"? How are they generating "artificial demand"? And, along the same lines, what exactly constitutes "artificial demand"?

    The 789 seems to be an amp that has largely been well received by recognized reviewers and by regular people who have spent their own money. And there is definitely very real demand, as anyone who has tried to get the amp can attest to.

    Are there better amps than this one? I am certain that would be a resounding H-E-Double Hockey Sticks Yes. At this price point? Hmmm... I would love to hear about those.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  9. ayang02
    I love the Chord Qutest & 789 pairing. In my opinion, vastly superior than the Mojo & 789 pairing in so many ways. I have since sold my Mojo after acquiring the Qutest.

    If I were to "upgrade" the 789, I don't see how I can really do that without spending over $2k (looking at the Phonitor X for example).
     
    Currawong likes this.
  10. Currawong Contributor
    I've been using the Hugo 2 with it with excellent results too. I was thinking more of people spending under $1k when I posted.
     
    ayang02 likes this.
  11. Davesrose
    You're points are very valid. My problem with this amp is that it seems to be artificially inflated in value: while it could be a good sample for $400+ amp, when it becomes available, folks keep buying it (I've seen folks reveling in buying way more units to sell at higher prices). So if you're not one of the drop members having it at $400, you then might have to buy at $700+ value. From what I'm gathering, I'm still wondering if it's worth $400
     
  12. ayang02
    I totally agree with your assessment that the 789 is very revealing and you won't really maximize its potential without pairing it with a nice DAC potentially costing a lot more than the 789. Qutest/Hugo2 or RME ADI-2 comes to mind.

    I was thinking if I were to upgrade the 789, it would probably be because I somehow need better driving capabilities out of my amp (I don't think I currently have a headphone with that need). On the market today, I am probably looking at amps costing in the $2500 to $3000 range. I wonder if there are amps in the sub $2k range that's decidedly better than the 789.
     
  13. Currawong Contributor
    Of what I have here, the Master 9 (which then suggests the HE9) and the Holo Azure. I just saw someone has a HE9 in the classifieds, so the timing is good if you're in the US.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
    ayang02 likes this.
  14. mixman
    Unfortunately, I see the Holo Azure seems to be somewhat underpowered for the price. If I do upgrade to a significantly more expensive amp than the THX, I would like it to not only sound better but have more power, in case I do want to drive headphones like the LCD 4 or other difficult to drive headphones.
     
  15. ekkstra
    That's great! Mine won't be here for a while, received a delay email from Mass(drop) about not being shipped til September. In the mean time though...

    [​IMG]
     
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