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Simple, clean, but...
This product has been hyped, prodded and over-analyzed by everyone, so nothing to add except this: the single-ended output is woefully underpowered. Can't justify 5 stars for that reason. I would recommend, but with that caveat.
Same here. I thought it might be an issue with my DACs output voltage being to low or the the Cinch Line In of the 789 being handled differently than the XLR Inputs. So I tried my Yamaha Mixer's XLR Outputs into the 789's XLR In. (The Yamaha has a stronger output signal than most consumer products would expect. That's why a JBL305/308 has a selector for this on its back) Still the same issue. On a quiet Song this is just enough to power my (quite efficient) DT1770Pro decently with the 789 on High Gain Full Throttle. This is really! disappointing. With a male 4Pin XLR -> 6.5m Stereo Jack female you can circumvent the problem, but make sure not to unplug the TRS connection while the XLR connector is plugged in! The TRS does short the circuit while plugging it in. A XLR connector might not be designed to handle that as they are not shorting the circuit when being plugged in. Really disappointed about that... Build quality is okay, but if my Mercedes came with edge alignments like the THX AAA 789, I would be angry... Also the buttons. Who build those?! Is the Power Button supposed to stay down when it's in the "On" position? I don't know. You just press, then wait and stare at the LED. Sometimes it turnes on. No physical Feedback at all. Seriously, the buttons feel like utter sh**. Although the other controls are just fine. The Gain Selector and Volume Knob are absolutely okay. Not the best, but okay for the price of the unit. Duty for Germany was about 75€ (~80$). A Pro is that you can just use this standard connector that looks like an 8 for the power supply if you do not live in the US and therefore need a different power cable for the power supply. Sound is clean just as expected.
“but make sure not to unplug the TRS connection while the XLR connector is plugged in!”
Could you explain that a litttle more? For example, I am waiting for my Massdrop XLR male to 2.5mm balanced female adapter plug to arrive. I intend to just keep the adapter plugged into my 789 unit and swap out 2.5mm plugs on my various iems from time to time. Are you saying that will cause a short? Is the solution then to power down then unplug each time (a real hassle)?
In a TRS plug you have different areas.
< - -
L- R- LR+
The same goes for the Jack.
So when you plug it in one plug area can touch several areas of the jack at the same time.
Like e.g. LR+ and R-. This would short the circuit.
That's why you here a cracking sound when you plug in a IEM or Headphone into your mobile phone. A TRS connection is designed to handle that, but I don't know if the XLR Out on the 789 can handle it too.
So either ask the manufacturer or make sure to plug in your 2.5mm balanced into the adapter and only then plug the adapter into the 4 pin xlr jack.
Probably massdrop can clarify if I am being over cautious here.
Thanks for the explanation. Makes sense.