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I'm in and am quite excited about the THX 789 Headphone Amp, Everything I've read about it is two thumbs up.
I will be able to do a side by side comparison with the Schiit Jotunheim using Balanced Cardas cables with H6xx Headphones. It's gonna be interesting because I love my Schiit. 👍
I am doing a side by side right now using the multibit balanced dac inside my jotunheim for both amps. I have xlr out of the Jot feeding into the 789. The 789 seems to take the cake but it's not night and day. Better dynamics and just clearer. Micro-dynamics seem more natural.
@sirkuttin Good to know, thanks.
My test will be Pono Balanced output to XLR inputs on both Amps. I'll then use XLR 4 Pin Balanced output to my headphones.
I'm looking forward to the comparison test.
please let me know your findings when you do.
I tried both the Jotunheim and AAA789 yesterday. Using same source a Pono operating in Balanced mode, Surf dual 3.5mm plugs to 3 Pin XLR to Balanced inputs on both Amps. My headphones are H6xx using Cardas Balanced cable to 4 Pin XLR jacks on each amp. Also listened using Senn 598's single ended 1/4" plug. 598's present a richer soundscape IMO.
Both Amps on high gain setting and Pono output fixed at 50%.
I chose a few high Res songs from my library that I think are good quality and are distinct musically.
Steely Dan Gaucho - Babylon Sisters 96 kHz 24 bit.
AAA 789 and Jotunheim sounded very similar with this song in mid range, higher frequencies and vocals. Quite noticeably, the Jotunheim had a fuller bass sound with both sets of phones.
Isaac Hayes - Theme from Shaft. 192 kHz 24 bit. This song has a lot of definition low frequencies to high and I think is a good tune to compare any audio gear.
There are a lot of transitions happening quite quickly in this song. This is where the AAA 789 was best. There is a sequence in the song where the drummer was repetitively using the high hat and cymbals on the kit. Though the Jotunheim presented well, the speed of the 789 gave more defintion particularly during this sequence.
Frank Sinatra - Strangers in the night - The Summer Wind 96 kHz 24 bit.
I grew up with this album album being played many times and its ingrained in my memory now. For those who have seen the film "The Wrecking Crew", many of the session players are on this album. Hal Blaine on drums, Leon Russell on piano, Glen Campbell and Tommy Tedesco on guitars.
A few things I listened for are the instruments being distinct like the bass, horns, sax and of course Sinatra's voice. Both Amps presented the big band sound quite well as well as the 'airiness' in Frank's voice as he held onto the last word in a sentence.
The Jotunheim presented the instrumentals particularly the bass, horns, sax, piano and vocals. As did the 789 which has a lot of detail too. Head to head it's purely personal tastes. To me there is no hands down better Amp. 789 did well with detail and Jotunheim gave more bass which adds to a richer sound.
I got the THX AAA 789 only for headphones and the Jotunheim for dual purposes being headphones and as a pre-amp for powered speakers.
I'm quite happy with my 789 purchase. For $349 it's a great addition to my music listening experience.