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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. Em2016
    Hi, thanks for the reply.

    So these cons you noted were with balanced XLR input - but on the headphone cable side, were these cons with balanced output too or single ended output headphone cable?
  2. elira
    Mainly with the balanced output, single ended it has less gain and that helps to get the pot to a better position.
    Em2016 likes this.
  3. Em2016
    Thanks. I may have missed it earlier, but can you remind me which low impedance cans? Or was it IEMs?
  4. elira
    Grado GS2000e and Cleer Next. With the HD58X or LCD2C I don't have problems.
    Em2016 likes this.
  5. Em2016
    Is it under 12 o'clock on the volume knob where you see/hear your issues with Gain #1 ? Where over 12 o'clock is ok? Or problems even show up above 12 o'clock also?

    i.e. what's the pot position where things cross from good to bad with gain #1 for you?
  6. elira
    At ~9 o'clock it starts to be balanced. At 12 o'clock there are definitely not issues but it's too loud. It also depends on the output of the DAC, mine outputs 5V, which is +16dBu.
    Em2016 likes this.
  7. Em2016
    Have you tried RCA input cables on the THX789 instead of balanced - and does it help at all?

    Or does your DAC only have balanced XLR outputs?
  8. elira
    I haven't tried the RCA outputs of my DAC. I tested using a Bifrost Multibit but it sounded dull in comparison to my R2R-1, not sure if it's because of the single ended input of the amp or because of the DAC. But definitely there was less gain.
    Em2016 likes this.
  9. AndrewM888
    Your diagram and description is a bit hazy. What connector and what shield termination are you making at the two ends of your cable?
    Remember, CM current from the various mechanisms behaves mostly like a current source. It will find a path to flow. So it's a matter of either making sure it doesn't flow on a path that's corruptable, or minimizing the Vdrop if it does.
  10. Yviena
  11. AndrewM888
  12. AndrewM888
    See the RCA to XLR Benchmark cable Yviena found. That's how it's done properly.
    Your 1 side floating shield approach doesn't provide a separate path for CM current to flow. In your setup, CM current will flow in your star quad negative wire, adding ground bounce that'll manifest as noise/hum.
    Check out the Benchmark RCA to XLR cable Yviena found. That's how to cover Ll the bases.
  13. Yviena
    I really like that the amplifier has adjustable gain, gain 2 would be too much for my HD800 running balanced if the dac is also using balanced out, as it is with SE out from DAC to XLR in amp i still find it too loud on some music where it's approaching 9 o'clock even with -4dBFS in my software player to account for inter-sample peaks, no way would i be able to run gain 1/2 if i ran the dac through the balanced outs, or setting the software volume to 0dBFS, ideally i would have wanted a even lower gain.
  14. TheLastZealot
    Anyone used this amp for Senn HD800? Any impressions?

    I've heard that HD800 is not suited for solid state amps. But other than listening to music I also do some recordings, so I'd like this set-up to be good for monitoring as well. I'm not sure about going into tube amps
  15. Arctia
    Yeah I use HD800 with mine. You either used to treble or you're not. IMO you really need to mod the HD800, or EQ it, regardless of amp.
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