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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. franz12
    290+ might be probably due to the sheer size of the U.S. market which has 300 million population with 50k+ gdp per person. I bet 270 orders out of 290+ come from the U.S. customers.
    It seems to me that the THX is mildly better than Jot while slightly cheaper. Given the long waiting period, not enough to attract huge attention, but still probably the best strategy considering the production capacity of a boutique company.
  2. Liu Junyuan
    Interesting stats, but I wasn't exactly sure what the nature of the relationship you were implying was between 290+ and the US population's GDP, especially in terms of a probable causal relationship (you used "probably due to"). Are you saying the number is high or low because of the 50k+ GDP of the 300 million U.S. population, or what exactly did you mean?

    I would be inclined to say this hobby is very niche and that the majority of the U.S. population with 50k+ or not has no clue what Massdrop, head-fi, or headphones beyond Beats and airpods is/are, and I do not mean that condescendingly.

    Good point on the Jot. The long wait period is huge. I am not sure how to quantify slightly mildly better, though. It may be a more significant step up than the Jot, depending on user, chain, preferences, etc. I am not attracted to the Jot at all, for instance. I am very attracted to this.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
  3. i20bot
    I'm pretty sure between now and release there will be reviews and the drop will open up a couple of times more.
  4. franz12
    One reason why I mentioned the size of the U.S. market is because Massdrop is a U.S. company. Simply speaking, there a whole lot more risk making an international order for whatever reasons (consumer protections, credit card issues, import taxes etc) particularly when it comes to a long waiting period like this. I am pretty sure that if a waiting period is shorter, this drop would attract more foreign customers.

    But for a waiting period more than 6 months, a fewer foreign customers are willing to bet on a niche product like a headphone amp. Still there are many people out there who believe a high-end AMP/DAC things belong to a snake oil industry. Indeed, many people would fail to pass a blind test among decent performing AMP/DACs. $350 price tag is cheap compared to something like Cavalli Crimson, but not cheap by any mean for laymen. Given sizeable risk of international orders, I imagine it is hardly justifiable to chase obscure sound bliss ordering an headphone amp without reliable reviews.

    Well, if it were headphones, speakers, or IEMs instead of AMP/DAC stuff, there would be of course more foreign customers. Of course, whole of these are purely my conjectures. Just my 2 cents.
    Liu Junyuan likes this.
  5. CEE TEE Contributor
    I totally remember you. You've got ZMF phones and a Massdrop CTH. :relaxed: PM me and let's try to meet up this week, should have at least one proto back. Tons of travel for me next month...
    Drop Stay updated on Drop at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/massdrop https://twitter.com/massdrop https://www.massdrop.com/?clickid=3QR3Ib27lyA-VkBRJwyGuQJeUkhUQvX5r0tLzQ0&utm_term=252901&utm_content=VigLink&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=impactradius&irgwc=1
    braaam and Alcophone like this.
  6. sebna
    I will do what I like mister and do not get me wrong but you will not tell me otherwise. It is kind of rude BTW. The message you are quoting is my opinion (I am sure not only mine) and I am free to voice it.

    No there is no review. The comparison to JOT is not a review.

    Selling something for 400 USD that is more or less advertised as reinvention of wheel, which could be worth 0 to some, can be considered dodgy tactics. When there is no reviews the seller opens itself to such situations becasue that is exactly what can happen. People will buy taken by some marketing nonsense about 00000.00000.00004% (insert any number here) when what really matters is how it sounds. And how it sounds is the biggest unknown and should be the only selling point.

    Simple review done by audiophile would answer the question for those to who numbers do not matter (if those are in acceptable brackets) and this group of people could make more of an informant decision.

    But then we all know it, don't we?
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
    ridhuankim likes this.
  7. Alcophone
    I'm gonna casually mention that I work in SoMa :wave:
  8. tizman
    What I find baffling is the lack of reviews despite the apparent existence of samples out there. Why no reviews? It doesn’t make sense. They must know that with a niche product like this one, a good review would help sales and get the word out about THX AAA. THX has done a lot of cool stuff over the years, but I don’t immediately think audiophile when I think about THX. Maybe the plan is to get the product out to audiophiles, and have the audiophile niche market sell it to the mass market through the glowing reviews they are expecting. That might actually be a good plan. But it would be a long term plan. Long term as in starting in October.
    cardeli22 likes this.
  9. FunctionalDoc
    I am in on the drop and yes I don't like waiting till November to get the amp but what I heard at RMAF last year it will be worth the wait . I listened to the JOT and this amp circuit at RMAF on a pair of HD800 and I will take the precision and the speed of the THX amp any day over the Jotunheim IMO.

    What I will be interested is how this amp will compare to the HeadAmp Gilmore Lite Mk2 at $499. Please CEE TEE let :smile_phones:Zachik review one of these since he has a Gilmore Lite MK2 since he bought serial number 2 at RMAF last year and his impressions would be very insightful.

    I think THX brand to most headphone enthusiasts is for home theaters so a lot people just walked on by the their booth last year at RMAF.

    I currently own iFi micro – iDSD Black Label use a modded pair of HE-400i , Aeon's closed and ZMF Teak Auteur's for my listening sessions.

    I look forward to some reviews and hope that my purchase will live up to what I heard at RMAF. We will see.
    Liu Junyuan, negura and cardeli22 like this.
  10. donato
    I think that's a decent number of buyers as well. The price is reasonably low enough that it could be an impulse purchase (albeit one you have to wait for), but I personally have not joined the drop and I'm a pretty regular customer of Massdrop (I've joined 30 drops in the last 30 months, of which 22 were audio related). It's not so much about the lead time (I bought a couple of the Cavalli drops with that much lead time), but it's that there aren't any reviews out there and I don't really know the reputation of THX AAA and specs alone aren't nearly enough to persuade me. I bought the Massdrop Cavalli LCX and CTH based on the reputation of Cavalli. If the THX AAA amp ends up being a great product, then there will undoubtedly be more drops (i.e. there will be many requests to massdrop). So, I'm interested, not interested enough to commit just yet, but will be watching for the reviews once it ships.
  11. Zachik
    Dude, I got the serial # 1 (not 2)!!! :wink:
    Not a joke - Peter from HeadAmp literally asked me to wait for 15 minutes after the show closed, so he could take some photos, because he did not plan on selling the ONLY production unit he had :)

    Exactly! MY only problem is lack of good reviews / 3rd party objective info. I can live with the wait - I got both Cavalli drops, the LCX and CTH, for which I waited for 6 months or so.
    cardeli22 likes this.
  12. Sanlitun
    I am as well on the fence about this amp, I feel it's a bit of a breakthrough product and there should be some considerable buzz around it. But so far very little real info.

    Measurements alone don't tell the whole story. I bought the Jotunheim largely based on hype and measurements and while it is a good amp it has a lot of zingy inertia that can be fatiguing. THD plots or square wave graphs are not going to be able to give you the entire picture.

    I really want to get this amp, so I hope there is a little bit more community generated info coming.
    braaam and cardeli22 like this.
  13. Zachik
    Totally agree - I also got the Jot early on, and that was my first "real" amp, but I do not like it much. Too bright with harsh highs at times.
    I keep it mostly for comparisons, and as an example of how a good amp that I do not like sound like :wink:
    cardeli22 likes this.
  14. alpovs
    Links or it didn't happen.
    cardeli22 likes this.
  15. alpovs
    Anybody bothered by that it's advertised as balanced but it's not truly balanced throughout?
    Sythrix likes this.
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