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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. ReAlien
    As far as I understand, there will be no drop till the last drop is executed, that will be in May only.
  2. Relaxasaurus
    Hey ReAlien, how do you compare your Accurate Audio to your THX amp? The Accurate is a Vioeletric clone correct? Wondering if it's a decent amp or just a cheap knock off.
  3. ReAlien
    Yes, it's a clone of Violectric HPA-V200. I have not listened to the original so I cannot judge a copy properly. Otherwise, I liked its sound very much. But in direct comparison to THX, during more than a month of rotational play, I decided to keep THX. THX's sound resolution and clarity are superior to A200. It just provides more musical information than A200. Yet A200 has on its side more natural sounding timbres and "thickness" of sound and bass in particular. It provides more tube-like experience while THX is more pristine in its approach. But don't get me wrong, A200's level of clarity is quite high as well. It's just the comparison to THX that makes it look less "airy". It is a very quality amp both in sound and production. It feels much more expensive than THX, volume knob is better by far. Yet I decided to sell it to finance a stationary DAC for my system and a simple tube preamp.
    Relaxasaurus likes this.
  4. Spareribs
    Good stuff. It’s gonna be the end game amp for you guys!!!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  5. franz12
    Does anyone know how the massdrop 789 differs from the monoprice dac 788 combo?
  6. Marlowe
    I'm sure that someone with more technical expertise than me can give a better answer, but as I understand it: the 789 has considerably more power; the 789 was completely designed by THX while the 788 is Monoprice designed with (I believe) some licensed tech from THX, which had some (it's vague) design input; the 789 did extremely well in objective tests on ASR, the 788 not so much (though my guess is that subjective listening would be far closer). The 788 also has a number of features (like EQ and DSP) that IMO is money wasting crap--YMMV of course. That said I guess (and it's only that--I've only heard the 789) that for most people and with most headphones, either would do a fine job. The 788 costs a third more for less power and a DAC you way not need or want while the 789's availability is likely to be very limited at least in the near term.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  7. Fatdoi
    Has anyone rid of the brick and connected 789 to linear psu?
  8. boxster233
    Why didn’t this debate continue? Mike vs Thx 789
    Relaxasaurus likes this.
  9. MikeW
    There is no debate to be had. Debate water is wet.. and there is no "mike vs thx 789". It's a great amp and well worth it's 350$ asking price as stated. It's also best when used single ended input and balanced output. It's also not worth more then 350$, especially used, fair used value is more like 280$. MD will make tens of thousands and they will be available to anyone in due time for less then a nite on the town with your lady. There's no debate here, just facts.
    CoFire and music joe like this.
  10. MikeW
    While some gear with less performance has much to gain by improving it's power supply. The THX789 measures so well, that I don't think there's any improvement to be had, certainly none that would be audible. This thread is so full of misinformation and old audiophile nonsense. We are seeing Switch mode power supplies in much higher end designs these days and this LPS or death schiit needs to stop...

    Nerochrome HPA1
    Monoprice Liquid Platinum
    THX 789
    ADI-2 Dac Fs
    Anything made by Chord

    There are others, but the above are examples of excellent power design, none of the above products gain anything from a LPS. Not to say nothing does, for example the Brooklyn Dac has obviously inferior design and does indeed gain substantially from the addition of LPS, but only because the engineering dpt dropped the ball. Dave's probably the best dac on the planet.. switch mode power supply.. Modi 3 is best modi yet.. switch mode power supply. I own the Liquid Platinum and ADI-2 and they are the best gear i've ever heard, and i've had plenty of gear in the past with fancy LPS, all easily outdone by this pair. Not only is the absence of a LPS not a factor for their performance, it allows them to be cheaper, and cost that would otherwise be wasted on power supply can be applied in more important area's, also a dramatic reduction in space.. Liquid platinum is fully balanced (like for real, not fake thx789 balanced) amp and it's tiny, as is ADI-2. Could probably fit a pair of both into a Yggdrasil chassis, also runs cooler without power supply built into chassis.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
    Anaz likes this.
  11. domho7
    Hi all.
    What xmos base dac would u recommend to go with the 789. Tks
  12. MikeW
    what's your budget? Grace sdac and SMSL SU-8 Rev2 get decent reviews. Both xmos usb chipset. SMSL VMV D1 is a higher end option that uses xmos.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  13. ReAlien
    I just did recently. It was a custom made linear PS on a basis of some old Soviet lab-level PS with great stabilization stage and voltage level fine tuning. Maybe attempting it with more audiophile and expensive PS would bring some other results, Idk.
    My impressions:

    Advantages: more punchy and massive bass, on some tracks the music started to feel more emotional, in some cases, pleasant mids coloration occurred, more forward staging overall.
    Disadvantages: decreased sound resolution and "airiness", the bass becomes messier, less controlled, which in most cases feels like a minus, some overtones disappear that I can hear with stock PSU, sometimes it's just more discomforting to listen overall

    Out of 7 testing tracks, only one sounded more pleasing and interesting, a couple of tracks brought some mixed feelings and the rest definitely sounded worse.

    As you can understand, I decided to use the stock one.)
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
    Fatdoi likes this.
  14. MikeW
    Your impressions on advantages: emotion, mid coloration, forward staging, AKA distortion.
    ReAlien likes this.
  15. ReAlien
    It's from 600 to 800 USD on ebay now, man.)
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