Massdrop x THX AAA 789

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by neogeosnk, Feb 26, 2018.

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  1. Pillars

    Pillars Embarrassment to Colorado crew

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    I'm guessing no, as I have done this. It is tricky though due to the power difference.
     
  2. Baten

    Baten Almost "Made"

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    Perfectly doable as long as you aren't reaching the very end of performance of the power brick.
    In which case the protection circuit kicks in to let you know you've reached it ;)
     
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  3. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth Acquaintance

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    As others have said, the protection circuit should keep you safe.

    I'm a little curious why you would want to do this though.

    Edit: I can't spell (English is my 2nd language)
     
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  4. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf MOT - Sonarworks

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    It should be doable. Unless both of the headphones are low impedance and inefficient. Also having the same volume setting for both will be finicky.
     
  5. Roen

    Roen Rando

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    What does cost have anything to do with it? I don't see anything wrong with optimizing your chain for a marginal cost if possible and if design allows for it.

    But whatever floats your boat I suppose.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    There is a difference between "whatever floats your boat" and bad-advice that reinforces neurosis. The time dicking around with this, "oooh, I hear something", "oh wait I don't", "hmm, maybe it was because the cable was different", "oh oh, I think I hear the hum going from -112db to -114db" isn't worth it.

    If your source has SE outputs, use the SE inputs. Don't create problems that need to be solved. If you want real improvements in CMRR, use a source with balanced/XLR outputs.

    The SE output to XLR input suggestion is like putting "cold-air intakes" on 133hp 1.4L Civics.
     
  7. Roen

    Roen Rando

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    I mean, I didn't spend more time besides reading the posts, figuring out the cost of the cables, and buying them. It's a marginal cost over buying some custom RCA cables from the same vendor. I'm ok with wasting the $16 difference in cost between the RCA-XLR and RCA cables. In my mind, it's a freeroll, and potential worst case is wasting $16 for the same performance as regular RCA cables.

    I mean, if you're spending more than that amount of time (and I'm not saying you are, just using you as a general term) on cables, then yeah, you probably have other issues to deal with.
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I hate that THX guy even more for suggesting this. Do we listen to the differences in RCA to XLR cables (which are not even needed in this case) or do we listen to music?
     
  9. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    I thought my TD DR statement on my review was Uber clear.
     
  10. Baten

    Baten Almost "Made"

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    I think he just hates RCA and thus suggest the hack as the next best thing. Not sure there's any point but who knows..? Benefit of the doubt?
     
  11. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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  12. Roen

    Roen Rando

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    Now that would be bordering on neurotic.
     
  13. Roen

    Roen Rando

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    You mean the perfectly fine part on SE? I'm sure it is.
     
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  14. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    This weekend I'm getting a demo Ether 2 in to compare to my EQed HD800S.

    Going to use the Ether 2 from the SE output (they only had stock of the SE cable) and the HD800S from the Balanced output.

    May not be a fair fight but if the Ether 2 is ''easy'' to drive it should not make a massive difference....
     
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  15. nickwin

    nickwin Facebook Friend

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    I realize this is kind of an odd question, but can anyone comment on the sound of the THX AAA compared to Cavalli LP?
     
  16. Baten

    Baten Almost "Made"

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    From memory:

    THX(which I own) is dry and sterile but beautifully black and transparent. Will magnify your source so works well with more colored/romantic source. Not so much your average Sabre DAC... (unless that's what you're into).

    LP(which is listened to) is probably the cleanest tube amp I've heard. It outputs gobs of power easily so best with inefficient headphones, otherwise you're going to need a lot of attenuation. It is a better listening experience overall than the THX to me, but definitely needs synergy. Recommended for balanced headphones actually needing the balanced XLR cable (so not just for show). The THX on the other hand can drive basically any headphone or IEM, SE or XLR, it doesn't choose favorites although I believe the XLR output is slightly better distortion-wise especially if you need the power. SE in gain 3 is not as nice in comparison...

    To me both the SE and XLR output have their sweet spot on the THX, while the LP is simply made to output balanced and has the SE output as an extra. I'm sure others can describe the LP better though..
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
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  17. GoodSchiit

    GoodSchiit Rando

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    Thanks for the comprehensive review of the 789 and comparison with the Jot. It's quite thorough and each point well stated.

    I have both headphone amps and like you, I use the Jot as my main set up with the pre-outs feeding powered speakers. Hardware wise this is the key advantage over the 789. The 789 is line out only and needs an additional amplifier.

    IMO both Amps are quite detailed with Hi Res files and as stated, the Jot has more warmth in the bass and mids.

    My setup for the side by side comparison:
    Pono > Balanced XLR > Amp > Balanced H6xx, Massdrop Model X IEM's with 2.5mm TRRS and Massdrop 2.5 mm to 4 Pin XLR adapter. Balanced end to end. I've also used Senn 598's single ended which adds some bass being a closed back headphone.

    The 789 is a very good Amp at a great price and as stated the second gen Jot has more bass punch and mid range warmth. Massdrop seem to have found a market niche similar to Schiit by providing good sounding equipment at a reasonable price.
     
  18. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth Acquaintance

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    My experience with the Liquid Platinum (which I own) is to pretend the SE out doesn't exist.
     

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