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Review and Measurements of Massdrop THX AAA 789 Amp

ZeDestructor

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I looked at the RME, it's a bit pricey for me, plus I'm trying to utilize a Logitech remote & the RME is not on the Logitech list of vendors/manufacturers that is supported.
The DX7 pro would fit my needs better as it is on the Logitech supported list, & the cost is less than the RME.
You can train the Logitech remote, so that's not an issue. Price-wise it's a bit steep, yes, but you get a bunch of stuff the dx7pro doesn't have, like on-board dsp/eq and relay volume control. You also originally mentioned the A90/D90 combo, which are much more comparable to the adi2 dac (not the adi2 or adi2 Pro, my bad on that)
 

MC_RME

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I looked at the RME, it's a bit pricey for me, plus I'm trying to utilize a Logitech remote & the RME is not on the Logitech list of vendors/manufacturers that is supported.
???

I use my ADI-2 Pro and ADI-2 DAC with an old Harmony One and 350.
 
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I really like the industrial design of this unit both in terms of aesthetics and avoiding elements that needlessly increase cost. Compared to this, many items which employ a similar level of technical prowess at reasonable prices appear "busy", while using case elements which are similar or even more involved process-wise. As @amirm stated, the "serious" look is an important part of overall quality and really precludes e.g. multiple rounds of [lathe] turning for various anodized pot dials to add bling (I'm looking at you, S.M.S.L).
 
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In the interest of keeping this forum related to the 789 this will be my last post about other equipment.
As I’m fairly new here I am not sure if there is a more appropriate forum to post about various other equipment, I will explore further when I have the chance.
You can train the Logitech remote, so that's not an issue. Price-wise it's a bit steep, yes, but you get a bunch of stuff the dx7pro doesn't have, like on-board dsp/eq and relay volume control. You also originally mentioned the A90/D90 combo, which are much more comparable to the adi2 dac (not the adi2 or adi2 Pro, my bad on that)
??? I use my ADI-2 Pro and ADI-2 DAC with an old Harmony One and 350.
I do appreciate all the advise, & will take the RME ADI-2 in consideration as I am looking at the Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro which is a bit more than I want to go & maybe overkill for my needs.
I have a Logitech 665 that I have tried several times to program for my Swan M300 with poor results.
The volume adjustment does not work correctly & the mute does not work at all unless I go to the device directly which is a pain to get to & have to press several other commands to be able to control the device correctly.
So my search continues, I am in no rush & as such a HP is not really needed or required, if it is I can connect to my TV via BT as not to disturb the household, as again this is for the family room where movies and music are the main stay.
 

JohnYang1997

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Nice, is this still a viable AMP for the price these days? Amazon has it for 320 prime shipping so no need to go through Drop.
Currently have a Topping A50 and am using balanced but I feel I want a little more power.
At that price point 789 is a beast, powerful and low distortion. You can also wait for the A50s that's internally completely redesigned for class leading performance.
 

dreadknot

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is the 6watt output constaint in balanced mode for the DROP + THX AAA™ 789 LINEAR AMPLIFIER or is it less at lower gains to anyone who knows what the power level output is at Gain: 0.66x , 2.0x i want to give my m570 cans sound good power an sound

but not blow them out i plan to put a Peavey PV215EQ Graphic Equalizer between it an my DROP + GRACE DESIGN STANDARD DAC BALANCED i really hate pc software eq's just never quite right for me

but please if anyone who knows what the power level output is at Gain: 0.66x , 2.0x at 32ohms let me know it will be helpful in my decision making for buying this amp
 
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I ordered an Element II not thinking I would really care about Balanced XLR, but while I am waiting for it I have been wondering if that was maybe poor judgement on my part. AAA 789 was my other choice with a Modius when I was deciding. Will I really miss anything when my music library is like 90% AAC iTUnes matched files and 10% Loss Less. Headphones are 660s.
 

Veri

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Headphones are 660s.
660s are really not very demanding headphones, slightly less power needy than the 650/600 even. The Element will more than suffice. Balanced XLR interconnects are handy when connecting devices for noise immunity, since the Element is an all-in-one you have no real need for balanced, whatsoever. Balanced headphone cables (so not interconnects) require a balanced wiring on the headphone and can provide more power (at a slight cost in increase noise due to dual amplifiers). But JDS labs have never made an amp with balanced output. Probably they don't believe it improves anything, cfr. https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/audio-myth-balanced-headphone-outputs-are-better
Since you don't need the extra power I think you made a good decision. Don't worry ;)
 
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660s are really not very demanding headphones, slightly less power needy than the 650/600 even. The Element will more than suffice. Balanced XLR interconnects are handy when connecting devices for noise immunity, since the Element is an all-in-one you have no real need for balanced, whatsoever. Balanced headphone cables (so not interconnects) require a balanced wiring on the headphone and can provide more power (at a slight cost in increase noise due to dual amplifiers). But JDS labs have never made an amp with balanced output. Probably they don't believe it improves anything, cfr. https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/audio-myth-balanced-headphone-outputs-are-better
Since you don't need the extra power I think you made a good decision. Don't worry ;)
Thanks for that link to read and advice. My only previous experience had been moving some Yamaha speakers to XLR years ago as where I was living I had some terrible issues with power which seemed to go away moving to XLR and a Furman power conditioner. Not sure which did the trick so I kinda was regretting not going XLR for the amp in this case.
 
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this may be a dumb question, with a balanced cable that has a 1/4" connector vs a balanced cable that has a XLR connector, does it make any difference on the volume, if one is going in the XLR plug and one is going into the 1/4" plug?

asking because the newer version of the HD800s has a balance cable with 1/4" connector.

Thanks.
 

Veri

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asking because the newer version of the HD800s has a balance cable with 1/4" connector.
There's an included balanced 4.4mm Pentacon cable. The 4-pin XLR Cable is an optional accessory.
1/4" TRS is inherently unbalanced.
 

bboris77

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There's an included balanced 4.4mm Pentacon cable. The 4-pin XLR Cable is an optional accessory.
1/4" TRS is inherently unbalanced.
Sennheiser really should be including a 4.4mm to XLR adapter cable as well for comparability with the other 90% of amplifiers. These adapters are available but not widely. I’m looking for one for my hd800s in Canada.
 

Veri

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Sennheiser really should be including a 4.4mm to XLR adapter cable as well for comparability with the other 90% of amplifiers. These adapters are available but not widely. I’m looking for one for my hd800s in Canada.
I used this (back then there were not many around)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B078SS9WLT/ ships from China so not sure how customs handle that in Canada? Cable works reliably for me. Amazon has similar products just read the reviews.
 
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There's an included balanced 4.4mm Pentacon cable. The 4-pin XLR Cable is an optional accessory.
1/4" TRS is inherently unbalanced.
Ha funny I read the manual wrong...somehow I thought the 6.35mm was the balanced cable...
This solve the problem I think, i will just get a 4 pin XLR adaptor..
 

odyo

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