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Andrew, a question if I may. Massdrop seems to have gone through the trouble of requesting a custom version of the AAA amp, the 789, which seems to combine the power levels of the existing 888 and the specs of the existing 788. Why go down this route, rather than fitting the dual mono 888 which has the same power as the custom 789 but slightly better specs? Separately, am I correct that using the xlr input the signal remains balanced all the way through the xlr-4 output? Thanks in advance for your kind answers, they've been very informative.
Regarding the second question, that was asked by MadMan007 yesterday, and answered by AndrewMason. Short answer is: no. He gives a justification in the response, and given that this is the "objectivist's amp", it's hard to argue with their results.
@elpibe thanks for your questions. The 888 can in fact achieve ~ 2x the SE output power as the 789 and a few dB still lower noise and THD, but requires some exotic components to squeeze that out. Massdrop wanted to keep the drop price as accessible as possible. So we developed the 789, which is derivative of the 788 but with a higher current output stage.