Massdrop x THX AAA™ 789 Linear Amplifier - Impressions Thread
Dec 20, 2018 at 4:56 PM Post #616 of 2,404

Marlowe

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At least two dozen or so have been sold in the short time since Cee Tee posted (I ordered one a bit earlier). So I assume there will be no day 2 of this drop.
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 7:30 PM Post #617 of 2,404

Povell42

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Sorry for the late reply I've not had much time to compare the two before I could give a decent answer.
Hopefully you read this before Massdrop's current stock runs out.
And I just want to point out I'm no professional reviewer, I'm giving my experience so far with the THX 789.
And of course sound is subjective and YMMV.
And forgive my poor Audiophile jargon.

Headphones I used for comparison: LCD-3, ZMF Auteur, Focal Elex, HD 6XX.
DAC: Denafrips Ares

OK I would say the THX 789 is cleaner sounding which is saying something since I the X7S is pretty clean sounding already. The X7S is slightly warmer sounding but not as spacious and more congested.
Also the X7S is more boomy in the bass and not as clear in the treble while the THX 789 is more precise and reference sounding. It's great for anyone looking for a more transparent neutral amp.
The THX considerably more powerful and brings out more impact and dynamics in harder to drive headphones. Also the sound differences are more noticeable with less sensitive headphones like the HD6XX and Auteur than the Focals where I guess the THX 789's superior power shines.
I generally prefer the more natural tone of class A amps but I can appreciate the technical superiority of the THX 789. Some people are calling it Endgame, I wouldn't go that far but i would say it a great neatral amp for its price range and maybe higher but definitely not my personal Endgame.

I hope this helps.
I am interested in your opinion of the 789 with the LCD-3. I have been searching for a good amp to pair with the my LCD3 that isn't super expensive.

By the way, I would be using a modi multibit DAC.
 
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Dec 20, 2018 at 9:14 PM Post #620 of 2,404

ayobreezie

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Since this amp is not truly balanced, is there a benefit using a balanced dac? I guess what I'm asking is if the amp uses the signal from a balanced dac and a se dac the same way.

Zeos on zreviews said there was a noticeable difference in power in his review.. So if anything, gives more juice for hungry headphones at the very least.
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 10:12 PM Post #622 of 2,404

Povell42

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Aright...I just ordered one! I hope I like it. Its weird... the site said it is in stock and will ship within one business day. But, at check out is says it will ship on Dec 25th. Are they not counting Friday the 21st or Monday the 24th as business days?? Plus the are shipping it on a non-business day?
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 10:14 PM Post #623 of 2,404

Suopermanni

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Aright...I just ordered one! I hope I like it. Its weird... the site said it is in stock and will ship within one business day. But, at check out is says it will ship on Dec 25th. Are they not counting Friday the 21st or Monday the 24th as business days?? Plus the are shipping it on a non-business day?

That's just a shipping estimate, probably the worst case scenario I guess.
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 10:25 PM Post #624 of 2,404

Marlowe

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Aright...I just ordered one! I hope I like it. Its weird... the site said it is in stock and will ship within one business day. But, at check out is says it will ship on Dec 25th. Are they not counting Friday the 21st or Monday the 24th as business days?? Plus the are shipping it on a non-business day?
Under my transactions on the MD site it says shipping December 25, but the email confirmation says December 26. FWIW, my last couple of MD orders on items in stock shipped a day or so earlier than stated, which may be a pessimistic estimate to give them some protection from impatient customers. But then again, it is Christmas.
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 10:25 PM Post #625 of 2,404

BrotherKathos

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Aright...I just ordered one! I hope I like it. Its weird... the site said it is in stock and will ship within one business day. But, at check out is says it will ship on Dec 25th. Are they not counting Friday the 21st or Monday the 24th as business days?? Plus the are shipping it on a non-business day?

Mine has already shipped. If you added the extra $$ 2 day shipping option at check out it ships faster. I ordered mine right after drop started at 11:30 and got the shipping notification at 9:30.
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 10:30 PM Post #626 of 2,404

ayobreezie

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Mine has already shipped. If you added the extra $$ 2 day shipping option at check out it ships faster. I ordered mine right after drop started at 11:30 and got the shipping notification at 9:30.
I don't know if this is true.. I ordered at 10am, with 2 day shipping and it just shows order confirmation, but not shipped.
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 10:43 PM Post #627 of 2,404

MacMan31

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Sorry for the late reply I've not had much time to compare the two before I could give a decent answer.
Hopefully you read this before Massdrop's current stock runs out.
And I just want to point out I'm no professional reviewer, I'm giving my experience so far with the THX 789.
And of course sound is subjective and YMMV.
And forgive my poor Audiophile jargon.

Headphones I used for comparison: LCD-3, ZMF Auteur, Focal Elex, HD 6XX.
DAC: Denafrips Ares

OK I would say the THX 789 is cleaner sounding which is saying something since I the X7S is pretty clean sounding already. The X7S is slightly warmer sounding but not as spacious and more congested.
Also the X7S is more boomy in the bass and not as clear in the treble while the THX 789 is more precise and reference sounding. It's great for anyone looking for a more transparent neutral amp.
The THX considerably more powerful and brings out more impact and dynamics in harder to drive headphones. Also the sound differences are more noticeable with less sensitive headphones like the HD6XX and Auteur than the Focals where I guess the THX 789's superior power shines.
I generally prefer the more natural tone of class A amps but I can appreciate the technical superiority of the THX 789. Some people are calling it Endgame, I wouldn't go that far but i would say it a great neatral amp for its price range and maybe higher but definitely not my personal Endgame.

I hope this helps.

Thank you for your reply. No worries for being late. So I just watched Zeos review this amp and just noticed above that Josh Valour also did a review so I'll have to watch that. Someone in the comments on YT for Zeos review asked if this was an upgrade from the Aune X1S/X7S. Zeos reply that indeed it was. My music takes have certainly changed over the years and now I listen a lot more to instrumental music like movie scores and classical as well as Jazz, blues, classic rock and some Pop now and then. I did the currency conversion to Canadian dollars and the THX 789 would be $506 not including customs fees once it crosses the border. At that price is it still worth that much?
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 10:49 PM Post #629 of 2,404

BrotherKathos

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Thank you for your reply. No worries for being late. So I just watched Zeos review this amp and just noticed above that Josh Valour also did a review so I'll have to watch that. Someone in the comments on YT for Zeos review asked if this was an upgrade from the Aune X1S/X7S. Zeos reply that indeed it was. My music takes have certainly changed over the years and now I listen a lot more to instrumental music like movie scores and classical as well as Jazz, blues, classic rock and some Pop now and then. I did the currency conversion to Canadian dollars and the THX 789 would be $506 not including customs fees once it crosses the border. At that price is it still worth that much?

I would say so since many are comparing the amp to others costing thousands and the thx is competing well
 
Dec 20, 2018 at 11:11 PM Post #630 of 2,404

MacMan31

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I would say so since many are comparing the amp to others costing thousands and the thx is competing well

Hmm okay. Perhaps I'll bite the bullet. I wonder how much my Aune X7S would go for? I was just watching the Josh Valour review and he was saying that the THX 789 sounded a bit "dry" like there is not much warmth to it. Is that going to be a downside for the genres of music I listen to (see my last comment)?
 

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