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What matches the Massdrop thx AAA 789?

Legion1capone

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As the title states what matches the 789 whether in terms of specs, sound, etc. Price no object.
 

amirm

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As the title states what matches the 789 whether in terms of specs, sound, etc. Price no object.
If price is no object, Benchmark Audio's HPA4 should. And as noted, if you don't need the extra power it has over balanced (and balanced inputs), JDS Labs Atom does.
 

Jimster480

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If price is no object, Benchmark Audio's HPA4 should. And as noted, if you don't need the extra power it has over balanced (and balanced inputs), JDS Labs Atom does.
You have to test that one!

Neurochrome HP-1 !
 

LuckyLuke575

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If price is no object, Benchmark Audio's HPA4 should. And as noted, if you don't need the extra power it has over balanced (and balanced inputs), JDS Labs Atom does.
Wow, you need to go to $3k to find the next equivalent option; no wonder they can't produce enough 789s to go around! The JDS Labs Atom is super nice, but its not balanced, and the power output is the same as my DX3 Pro, so it doesn't seem to make sense to go for the Atom.
 

Jimster480

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Wow, you need to go to $3k to find the next equivalent option; no wonder they can't produce enough 789s to go around! The JDS Labs Atom is super nice, but its not balanced, and the power output is the same as my DX3 Pro, so it doesn't seem to make sense to go for the Atom.

Definitely! But the Atom does provide enough power for most people and its performance is at the top of the chart for only $99.
It basically invalidates the existence of most amps on the market!
 

LuckyLuke575

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Definitely! But the Atom does provide enough power for most people and its performance is at the top of the chart for only $99.
It basically invalidates the existence of most amps on the market!
Totally! I'm torn between buying an Atom now, or waiting for the 789 to become available (or maybe waiting for something like the next iteration of the Neurochrome HP-1 to be released).
 

Tks

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Totally! I'm torn between buying an Atom now, or waiting for the 789 to become available (or maybe waiting for something like the next iteration of the Neurochrome HP-1 to be released).

Let me make it easy for you. The people who ordered the 789 in Febuary, were due to have their units shipped May 17th. On the day of shipping their moronic admin tells folks "sorry, but we're delaying your order to late June" and no more talking with customers after that.

The people who ordered a 789 in April (myself) are due to have our units shipped in August 30th. If the current batch is delayed to late June, I expect mine to be delayed to late September as well. By then you probably will have on some random day, to order a 789 in the span of an hour before the next ~500 units are made for pre-order. You're not going to get yours in 2019, that I'd almost wager my life on. Unless of course you don't mind paying ~$800 on eBay if a unit or two pops up sometimes.

The Atom is available now. You say it's not enough power and you need balanced (I doubt that, I'd love to see anyone listen to headphones with the Atom maxed out, as well as source maxed out, for more than a few moments). You can see people are willing to buy an Atom all the time on exchange sites and classfields, and at $100, the most you lose is $10-$20 MAX if you decide to sell it. Though you being in Germany, getting an Atom is more pricey, but I doubt you'll have trouble selling one within the EU as many buyers exist trying to import one.

Whatever you do, I want you to realize, buying an Atom now, you don't actually lose anything. The only reason I ever managed to snag a 789 was PURE luck. The amount of people upset after the 500 unit pre-orders were filled in April for the August ship date was incredible. All complaining they never got e-mail notifications, and just generally pissed their luck sucked.

Do not waste your time waiting for this item. And at some of these eBay prices I see, getting a Neurochrome HP-1 as-is wouldn't be a bad deal all things considered if you're in the market for some of the best amps we know of today. Though you being in EU, I would honestly pony up a little more cash and look to get a Okto Research DAC, sure it's not balanced phones output, but man, that thing looks like a grail piece.
 

LuckyLuke575

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Let me make it easy for you. The people who ordered the 789 in Febuary, were due to have their units shipped May 17th. On the day of shipping their moronic admin tells folks "sorry, but we're delaying your order to late June" and no more talking with customers after that.

The people who ordered a 789 in April (myself) are due to have our units shipped in August 30th. If the current batch is delayed to late June, I expect mine to be delayed to late September as well. By then you probably will have on some random day, to order a 789 in the span of an hour before the next ~500 units are made for pre-order. You're not going to get yours in 2019, that I'd almost wager my life on. Unless of course you don't mind paying ~$800 on eBay if a unit or two pops up sometimes.

The Atom is available now. You say it's not enough power and you need balanced (I doubt that, I'd love to see anyone listen to headphones with the Atom maxed out, as well as source maxed out, for more than a few moments). You can see people are willing to buy an Atom all the time on exchange sites and classfields, and at $100, the most you lose is $10-$20 MAX if you decide to sell it. Though you being in Germany, getting an Atom is more pricey, but I doubt you'll have trouble selling one within the EU as many buyers exist trying to import one.

Whatever you do, I want you to realize, buying an Atom now, you don't actually lose anything. The only reason I ever managed to snag a 789 was PURE luck. The amount of people upset after the 500 unit pre-orders were filled in April for the August ship date was incredible. All complaining they never got e-mail notifications, and just generally pissed their luck sucked.

Do not waste your time waiting for this item. And at some of these eBay prices I see, getting a Neurochrome HP-1 as-is wouldn't be a bad deal all things considered if you're in the market for some of the best amps we know of today. Though you being in EU, I would honestly pony up a little more cash and look to get a Okto Research DAC, sure it's not balanced phones output, but man, that thing looks like a grail piece.
Thanks for the extensive thoughts on this.

Yeah, I totally see how the 789 order and production process is a total disaster. I also don't see it being readily available for at least a year or two given the current situation.

The other point to consider is that the 789 is ~$250 more than the Atom, which is a huge difference that can't really be justified given the performance. Sure, the power output (esp on the balanced output) is higher, but I'm not sure if that makes a difference. I've actually been thinking about the high power output as a potential negative, because I was exchanging emails with a Sennheiser technician here in Germany, and he was saying the the HD 650 has a long term maximum power input of 500 mW, so at 800 mW at 300 ohms, would the 789 technically be damaging the headphone?

I'm also a fan of balanced output, given the effect it has on the HD 650s. In any case, I agree that it would make sense to buy the Atom now and then upgrade in a year or two if I feel the need. Given the quality and price of the Atom, I don't think it would be difficult to resell on eBay as you've suggested.
 

Tks

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I'm also a fan of balanced output, given the effect it has on the HD 650s. In any case, I agree that it would make sense to buy the Atom now and then upgrade in a year or two if I feel the need. Given the quality and price of the Atom, I don't think it would be difficult to resell on eBay as you've suggested.

My technical knowledge in audio is almost infantile. But I am reading more and more. As for validation of being able to prove what sort of damage a driver suffers when driving it beyond manufacturer recommended specs, I would simply not have the authority to say "Nah actually don't listen to them, they don't know what they're talking about, it's perfectly safe".

As far as balanced, the only thing I see a benefit of, is GENERALLY (though I have seen some amps do worse in XLR measurment-wise for some reason) better ground loop immunity, as well as generally higher power. I know no no such case where sound improves over balanced headphone out in the distances people normally listen headphones to.

Now if you're talking about interconnects for devices and creating a balanced stack, then I can imagine balanced can help with what I said above, and also avoiding Electromagnetic Interference when other devices, or especially wires are over one another over long distances.

So when you said effect it has on HD650's, I don't know what you mean't (was it the power delivery increase usually seen?). If it's some sort of sonic quality, then I have no idea about that, as I have never seen much from here or anywhere else where balanced objectively audibly sounds better if all other measurements held constant.

If I didn't have an RME DAC coming, and a 789 I got lucky in April ordering, I would have gotten the Atom INSTANTLY.
 
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