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Bruno28

Is the THX AAA 789 worth it?

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Hello,

 

Ive seen in many places that the THX 789 are one of the best headphones amplifier for its price.

Are they worth getting one?

Headphones i have: HD800S and  LDC-2.

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If you can find one, seems to be. Not easy to find/get at a reasonable price.

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How much are they going for on the second hand market ?

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I am assuming your posting this because the third batch of this amp is now live. Only difference is the Drop branded over Massdrop. The very first batch didn't accept Australian addresses so you'd had to have used a parcel forwarder, second batch hasn't even shipped (late August) and this current one is due to be shipping mid November. There is plenty of hype behind this product however I believe THX company have a good amount of history behind them. I guess the end question is if you are a buying on hype on a $400 usd product?

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7 minutes ago, essencez said:

I am assuming your posting this because the third batch of this amp is now live. Only difference is the Drop branded over Massdrop. The very first batch didn't accept Australian addresses so you'd had to have used a parcel forwarder, second batch hasn't even shipped (late August) and this current one is due to be shipping mid November. There is plenty of hype behind this product however I believe THX company have a good amount of history behind them. I guess the end question is if you are a buying on hype on a $400 usd product?

Yeah, thats why i want to get one, as they are available now. 

I want to get something good, well priced and quality. This seems to tick the box and everyone that has had one or reviewed, said that this thing is amazing. But not all are audiophile reviews, so wanted to know if someone here has experienced it.

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Didn't realise they were live again.

 

It would be worth the money, I've seen a few respected reviewers rave about it and replace their daily amps with them. Just that wait time is savage.

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1 hour ago, Bengineer said:

Didn't realise they were live again.

 

It would be worth the money, I've seen a few respected reviewers rave about it and replace their daily amps with them. Just that wait time is savage.

Im pretty patient. But yeah, long wait.

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I placed a pre-order for one this morning. Still kind of on the fence about it with the conversion cost and long wait, hoping I don't get buyers remorse, but whatever... All aboard the hype train!

 

Seems like it will be an interesting reference amp from what I've read, and should contrast nicely with the Darkvoice in my main chain.

 

In regards to your initial question, I guess it just depends what sound you're after. It's a neutral amp, any colouring will be done by the source and cans you're listening with. Considering the transparency and low output impedance of the 789, I think it's likely to pair well with the LCD's, but have read that some find the HD800S a bit too bright with it. So, you might want something on the warmer side for them, but ymmv. Also, the signal path isn't truly balanced in a few sections, so I doubt using just SE will be much different if you were thinking of getting one for going balanced.

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18 hours ago, Bruno28 said:

Hello,

 

Ive seen in many places that the THX 789 are one of the best headphones amplifier for its price.

Are they worth getting one?

I would argue that it is only only worth it if you own hard to drive headphones like a T50RP and you are running them balanced.

The single ended output of an Atom amp has more power than the THX and both have very low distortion. I don't think you would audibly hear the difference in distortion between the two.

I'm a bit more inclined to go off measurements than anything else, they're both amazing amps but basically the THX is the more expensive option; and for me personally, that extra cost isn't really worth it.

Check out the audiosciencereview measurement to get a better explanation:

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-new-jds-labs-atom-headphone-amp.5262/

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-massdrop-thx-aaa-789-amp.5001/

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Ah yes, Audio Science. Completely reliable measurements. ASR isn't unanimously trusted, as with most **** I guess.

 

Anyway. Whether you'd hear the difference between the two is completely up to the individual I guess. The point of diminishing returns in Audio is already harsh, but on units that are both considered great bang for buck, even more so.

 

I still run a JDS Labs Element, can vouch is a great little unit.

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Yeah I want to get one of those Elements. But I'll wait until a sale. Most likely black Friday.

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7 hours ago, Farpun said:

I would argue that it is only only worth it if you own hard to drive headphones like a T50RP and you are running them balanced.

The single ended output of an Atom amp has more power than the THX and both have very low distortion. I don't think you would audibly hear the difference in distortion between the two.

I'm a bit more inclined to go off measurements than anything else, they're both amazing amps but basically the THX is the more expensive option; and for me personally, that extra cost isn't really worth it.

Check out the audiosciencereview measurement to get a better explanation:

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-new-jds-labs-atom-headphone-amp.5262/

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-massdrop-thx-aaa-789-amp.5001/

will the atom be able to power a HD800s, LCD-2 and a Utopia? I was told that having a more powerful amp does sound better even if not using high/loud volumes.

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Yeah I have plenty of power on my HD6XX and HD600s, I put it onto 9oclock on the Atom and usually I listen to it at less than that.

Even the Atom is the minimum that Ryan from Modhouse would recommend for the Argon (T50RP mod).

According to audiosciencereview more power doesn't make for better sound, but like bengineer mentioned they are universally accepted as true.

Also according to nwavguy more power or headroom doesn't mean better sound either.

The THX has more than the recommended power for the HD650s when in balanced mode for what it's worth.

I'm not saying any of this is true or not true because I'm not an audio engineer haha all I know is I love the Atom amp with my Sennheisers, it's an incredibly good value product.

will the atom be able to power a HD800s, LCD-2 and a Utopia? I was told that having a more powerful amp does sound better even if not using high/loud volumes.

 

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On 25/07/2019 at 1:45 PM, Bengineer said:

Ah yes, Audio Science. Completely reliable measurements. ASR isn't unanimously trusted, as with most **** I guess.

 

Anyway. Whether you'd hear the difference between the two is completely up to the individual I guess. The point of diminishing returns in Audio is already harsh, but on units that are both considered great bang for buck, even more so.

 

I still run a JDS Labs Element, can vouch is a great little unit.

I can also vouch its a great unit

On 25/07/2019 at 1:50 PM, Bruno28 said:

Yeah I want to get one of those Elements. But I'll wait until a sale. Most likely black Friday.

But not for the HD800s (Specifically). Very sharp & compressed sounding, lacking completely in soundstage.

As far as the THX aaa 789 goes I've only tried one for a limited time. I do have one of the August (September) runs on order, I got it because it has has better treble than my Audio-GD NFB1 Amp which i feel is something the HD800s needs.
 

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On 09/08/2019 at 6:20 PM, prymortal said:

As far as the THX aaa 789 goes I've only tried one for a limited time. I do have one of the August (September) runs on order, I got it because it has has better treble than my Audio-GD NFB1 Amp which i feel is something the HD800s needs.

 

Have a order in as well for the 789 to finish up my setup with smsl su-8 and Sennheiser HD 829. If I don't get one not sure what amp to get so will see.

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The Monolith THX AAA 887 is on the verge of coming out at the same price and its measured performance is very similar if not better. It might be worth taking a look at if you haven't already pulled the trigger, as it'll probably be more generally/frequently available than the Drop version.

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I have just seen recommendations for a great budget amp to contend with the THX789.

 

Review and Measurements of SMSL SP200 THX HP Amp
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-smsl-sp200-thx-hp-amp.9242/

 

It is being released October 25 2019, retailing at $289 USD.

 

Still nearly triple the cost of the JDS Atom. It might be worthwhile considering if you want balanced for any reason.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, crimson_m said:

I have just seen recommendations for a great budget amp to contend with the THX789.

Both the smsl sp200 and monolith 887 (23/11) are slated to come out soon. 

 

Been looking at the smsl but no where to order apart from AliExpress, not even on the smsl website so not sure about stock as yet.

 

Both the smsl and the monolith seem to have slightly more power but not as clean a signal as the 789.

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On 16/10/2019 at 6:23 AM, sly_bastard said:

Both the smsl sp200 and monolith 887 (23/11) are slated to come out soon. 

 

Been looking at the smsl but no where to order apart from AliExpress, not even on the smsl website so not sure about stock as yet.

 

Both the smsl and the monolith seem to have slightly more power but not as clean a signal as the 789.

I have google SMSL SP200, found that HiFiGo dot com or HiFi express dot com can get at $289 now

HiFiGo dot com at $284.99 with HIFIG5 code

And SMSL official have anncounced the shipping time from next week

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On 27/10/2019 at 1:22 AM, jmwant said:

I have google SMSL SP200, found that HiFiGo dot com or HiFi express dot com can get at $289 now

HiFiGo dot com at $284.99 with HIFIG5 code

And SMSL official have anncounced the shipping time from next week

My smsl sp200 got shipped today and the drop thx AAA 789 got moved back to December for release.

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8 hours ago, sly_bastard said:

My smsl sp200 got shipped today and the drop thx AAA 789 got moved back to December for release.

Yes, My sp200 wil be shipping tomorrow

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Ok serious question now, as my smsl sp200 is shipped and I already have a Sennheiser hdva600 is the drop 789 with getting. I am not sure if it is better then the smsl and I could take the money and get some more headphones, thinking the Sony z1r or a portable amp/DAC/DAP?

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