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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. Roasty
    Thanks for the recommendations!

    Am leaning towards the Topping D70. Well mainly for looks and the XLR outputs. Considered smsl su-8 but too bad it only comes in silver.
  2. PopZeus
    From what I've read, the need to use the XLR input is pretty minimal given the amp's topology. It's not a fully balanced amp, so signals get down converted and upconverted before moving to the amp stage. My DAC actually sounds different when using the balanced outs vs SE, so I want the bassier single-ended output to feed the 789 when it arrives. I'm definitely opting to use SE RCAs over 4-pin XLR. For this amp, I'd definitely go for the Airist RDAC or another ladder DAC like the Denafrips Ares. I plan to use the Audio-gd R2R 1 as my source. Given the sorta revealing nature of this amp, I'm thinking a smooth, analog, life-like source is best. You (and by "you" I mean "me") want everything to sound as alive and breathing as possible.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
    Roasty, eeagle and trellus like this.
  3. Zachik
    I personally do not own the THX, but I do own the LCX and CTH - the RDAC is a very good DAC for those.
    I know for a fact that the good folks from Drop are testing their own DAC with all their amps for good synergy...
    Bottom line: you cannot go wrong IMHO with the RDAC.
    Roasty likes this.
  4. loki993
    They changed their name but not their ridiculous lead times...not shipping until november kiss my butt. They know they can sell every one they make so why not just make a run and have them in stock like they did before. I refuse to pay up front for their production runs, its not supposed to really be a crowdfunding site anymore right? That was part of the reason for the stupid name change right? Also the drop logo in the unit looks like crap.
    mixman and trellus like this.
  5. mixman
    Gotta agree, I would never agree with the long runs on shipping I almost guarantee you would be able to pick one up used here for a decent price in those four months or so.
  6. themuna
    I'm gonna use my LCX + SDAC with it for now.
  7. loki993
    Its the single biggest gripe Ive had with them, aside from the name change. They make good stuff but the waits are terrible. I get it when something is basically being crowdfunded but with a popular product like this or before th the HD6xx its annoying and unnecessary. They stock the 6xx now but before it was like this they would have a drop that would sell out in a couple hours and you'd have to wait 6 months more more to get your stuff.
  8. themuna

    Hey, I've always been critical of Massdrop/Drop and I don't like their business practices even if I like their products. I'm just saying that this isn't all that egregious. They usually offer products at a lower introductory price so even if they didn't mention it this time, I don't think going up by $50 is a complete spit on our faces.

    We shouldn't be paying for this months ahead of time so that's messed up on their part. They shouldn't be throwing their new logo on items after they said specifically that they wouldn't do that to any pre-existing products so that's garbage too. And I think all this nonsense with the "limited runs" is just to push sales and allow them to scare people into buying further and further into the future. Trust me, I can keep going with my issues with Drop.

    I'm just saying that to me *personally*, the $50 increase doesn't seem egregious. That bit, in a vacuum, seems like a price fluctuation. It was unnecessary and definitely shows their money grabbing side but it's modest enough that I won't see it as a slap in the face like the other things I mentioned.
    trellus and phthora like this.
  9. phthora
  10. ok3wire
    I'm methodically making my way through this thread, and before I lose track of this post, wanted to ask if you received these cables, where you ordered them from and if you would recommend them.

    Apologies in advance if any of these questions have already been answered further down thread.
  11. alpovs
    These are the cables in question:
  12. jsmiller58
    Well... I am not a fan of the wait times either. Sometimes I don’t buy because of the lead times, other times I buy despite the lead times. What I don’t get is why anyone would get so worked up over it? It’s not like you are waiting months for life saving medicine. It’s just an amp. Buy it. Don’t buy it. Getting mad won’t change anything.

    Upset about lead times? Don’t buy it.

    Don’t like paying long in advance for the product? Don’t buy it.

    Upset about the Drop logo being added? Don’t buy it.

    Limited runs are a ploy on their part? What’s your proof? If it was to create hype... doubtless the limited availability has created hype. But the 789 got largely rave reviews from the very beginning before the trickle of manufacturing batches, and by now my guess is that if they had secured sufficient components and manufacturing capacity from the very beginning they would have sold many more units... while you postulate it was a ploy on their part, I postulate it was an error on their part.

    As to the $50 increase, there could be many reasons for the price increase.
    - It could be that their costs have increased and they are trying to cover those costs (by the way that could be costs of this amp, or costs elsewhere in their portfolio and they are covering those costs with this product).
    - Or it could be that by charging higher cost they can pay more to the component suppliers to secure scarce parts, or to pay more to the contract manufacturers that they use to secure additional capacity on those manufacturing lines in order to make these in batches of thousands and not just hundreds (like, apparently, is now the case).
    - It could also be that someone at (Mass)Drop dusted off one of their old Freshman Econ 101 textbooks and realized that when demand outstrips supply, the smart business increases their prices to bring supply and demand into balance and ***eeeek*** make more profit. This is a business, not a non-profit service set up to keep all of us happy. They just need to keep enough of us happy (and paying), and at least with the 789 they seem to be successful, despite some gnashing of teeth.

    I am not trying to start any flames here. It just seems to me that purchasing decisions are complex combinations of many factors on consumer’s part, and prices and schedules are complex decisions on seller’s part.

    Buy. Don’t buy. It’s your choice! But to moan about it seems a waste of time (though maybe it’s therapeutic).
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
    Ken G, prymortal, Fatdoi and 6 others like this.
  13. ok3wire
  14. Roasty
    Thanks for the input, guys. I was curious on the r2r sound as well, but eventually decided to order the Topping D70.

    The XLR output was one of the things I would have liked on my dac; I have a Wooaudio 22 in the house, and a Benchmark HPA4 on the way, and I wanted to use the XLR outs on these amps. Aside from pairing it with the 789, i also wanted to compare the D70 to my dac3b and x sabre pro as well, and perhaps downsize the amount of audio stuff I have if the D70 performs well.
  15. PaganDL

    Well said, @jsmiller58, I agree wholeheartedly with all your points, people really should stop complaining about Drop's 'slow' fulfilment...just don't buy &/or shop elsewhere, really not that hard.

    Just my two cents,
    I rather eventually get something which may have potential delays for whatever reason than something which keeps getting sold out in seconds. At least this time the slot to order a 789 is available for a month as opposed to said seconds...

    On a side note, if said consumer wants something almost instant, one should really blame Amazon for increasing shipping efficiency.
    Though if one is outside the US, which I am, it takes packages (doesn't matter what) from the US or Europe at least a week if not two to arrive unless couriered, of course, which if one is lucky. This is still better than a few years ago where something from the US takes at least three weeks.
    Honestly, I don't care how long a package takes to get to me as long as it arrives safe & sound.

    Now apologies to all non complainers for my humble opinion & observations.

    I look forward to December when I finally get the 789 after WAITING 3 YEARS ! so the complainers can stick it.

    Hope everyone has a great day !
    greyscale75 likes this.
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