Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by neogeosnk, Feb 26, 2018.
The soundstage is decent, but not on the level of a good tube amp.
I just replaced my LP with one of these and I have to say I'm super impressed so far (with Airist R2R and HE500s). Its not lean, thin, or bright sounding. The treble is by no means subdued but it has good quality and doesn't seem overly accentuated. Tone is great. Detail is great. Black background, no grain, voices sound full. Finally enjoying my HE500s again. Cant wait to spend more time with it!
How are micro/macro dynamics? The THX seems to have gobs of current on tap for hungry planars like the HE-500.
Good for $400, not going to be on TOTL level but honestly I can't complain about them with planars to be honest. When I had my LCD2-C it didn't show me any new detail or anything if that means anything.
Dynamic are very good IMO. This is an are where the HE500s shine and the LP just wasn't bringing it out of them. Switching over the the 789 it was immediately evident that is was a more dynamic sounding amp. Its really bringing the "speaker like" character out of the HE500s. That said, I don't consider the LP a very dynamic amp so its all relative... I'm hearing lots of detail I missed with the LP too.
I was messing around this weekend and swapping my HE-500 between my THX AAA 789 and Crown D-75A (speaker taps). I was struck how subdued and polite the THX AAA 789 (balanced output, 2nd gain stage) was compared to the D-75A. In my experience, my cheapo ~$100 used D-75A trounced the THX AAA 789 when it came to dynamics, test track: Mozart's 35th Symphony in D Major, last movement off of the Mozart 225 Box Set (2016).
Signal chain: Musicbee (FLAC) > SDAC-B > THX AAA 789 | D-75A > HE-500 | Arya | HD800S
Any one compared this amp with the new SMSL SP200 THX AAA 888 ? There's reports that has same performance at smaller price.
I did, some pages back. Basically yes, it sounds very similar to the THX 789. It has much higher gain though, which can be annoying if you don't need it.
I am nemo around here so please consider that. I have used the 789 and SMSL SP200 with HD800, legacy HE5 and Verum 1.
I compared the THX amps to a Robinette box and PrimaLuna speaker amp rig and the speaker amp was the clear winner in terms of clarity and dynamics, though my Decware Taboo MKIII is my favorite amp by far. I listen to classical music most of the time.
I don't know. As far as Solid States go, the 789/887 is up there as far as neutral ones go. The only two Solid States I can think of that I've heard that do surpass it are the Raggy and the BW2...with the BW2 sounding similar to a tube amp.
Good to know from your perspective. Even with the price of $400, it is hard to find a real fault with the THX AAA 789. It's just a damn good SS amp for the price. Great to have it when you are also running some t00bs.
Heads up for anyone interested, the THX 789 is now down to 299 on Massdrop!
They are not even advertising it as discount but as a regular price. I guess that's what it will cost in future.
That price looks good to me for this "jack of all trades". Literally--since it accepts most standard cable jacks for headphones and IEMs. I had threatened to buy one earlier in this thread, but, instead, I bought a Phonitor E. Love my E, but did not want to disassemble my computer digital music system to participate in state CanJam meets.This amp and my Modi Multibyte, fed by my iBasso DX220 will be a good combo to demo ZMF and Senheised headphones.
My 789 has shipped, so what do you guys think about pairing it with a Schiit Modi Multibyte DAC? I just happen to have one lying around. Will this DAC shift the sound to the warm side or not fiddle with the 789's neutrality? Correct me if I am wrong, but do you think the new Schiit BitFrost 2 would be the optimum pairing with the 789?
Bifrost 2 has the best synergy that I've tried with the 789.
The neutrality of the 789 gets out of the way and let's me hear that beautiful tone and layering of the bf2. This has made a very nice hd650 rig for me.
I have used it with Modi Multibit and Modi 3 and I did not find it particularly warm. It does add some weight to the presentation, which depending on your headphones, might be a good thing.
I just got an 887 about a week ago, it's the same as 789 pretty much? Anyhoo this is what I really needed after ADI-2 DAC's hp amp and ZDT Jr., a clean and non offending ss-amp. It does beat the RME quite easily. Much more mids weight and ss depth. I'm looking at zero amp purchases in the future, really.
The Bifrost 2 is simply a better DAC than the MM as it should be more the price premium. Both will work with the 789. Ideally, the pairing should have been the Drop RDAC - same chassis.
I find the 789 to be slightly lean, slightly sterile, a little flat, and lacking in slam and heft. The BF and MM will make up for those. You won't end up with anything warmpoo.
Warmpoo is not what I am hoping for. I am trying to put together as neutral as possible system to take to local can jams to demo headphone cords and headphones . My Modi Multibyte was just sitting around. My Cavelli LC is just too warm and the 789 price is right. I guess I will just use the MM for a couple of meets.
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