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View Full Discussion I'm incredibly impressed by this amplifier. I'm normally not a fan of solid-state amps at the lower price-points as I find them harsh and a bit dry sounding, but the 789 is really brilliant - even at twice the price.
My regular amp is the far more expensive (>$1000) Bottlehead Mainline (tube) amp which I've further upgraded. The 789 actually sounds better than the Mainline in a couple of areas. Overall it's not quite as good as the Mainline, but it comes amazingly close for the $350 pricetag.
I'm also incredibly impressed with the versatility of the 789 being able to drive super-sensitive IEMs like the Campfire Audio Andromedas just as easily as it drives full-sized headphones like the Focal Clear, Fostex T50 series, and Audioquest Nighthawks. Sadly, I don't currently own any high impedance cans to test with it, but I don't doubt that it would handle them with ease given the available power and gain.
Here's my full-length video review: https://youtu.be/MIAPJ_1Ruys
Will you link your YouTube review here? I've requested this drop as it ended today. I'm still debating if I should buy this to "upgrade" from my Aune X7S.
Hi Mark, sure thing. I'm hoping to record the review tonight, but it all depends on my work commitments, etc. I'll post it and link here as soon as it's done.
Thank you. Watching it now.
Great YouTube review!
I agree with your view it's transparent vs a warm amp.
Just get it next opportunity. You won't regret it or be disappointed.
( I should probably tone down my recs for this amp lest I sound like a shill, but IMO this particular amp is a revelation).
To me, the 789 is easily the most outstanding Massdrop product collaboration, evah. And that is quite an accomplishment. If I was gonna nit-pick, I'd say the push button switches feel a little grainy/scratchy and have some excess play, but electrically they function well and have zero effect on the SQ. I see this as a perfect example of the MD/THX partnership putting the money into the product where is matters. It's these kinds of shrewd design/build decisions that allow this level of performance, at this price.
Another aspect is that you can see THX's own AndrewMason making a strong presence in the discussion thread here, with outstanding responses and a level of representation that's rare in the industry.
Yet another wonderful thing about this amp and it's architecture, is that finally there is a reasonably priced, top-performing alternative to Class A amps with their heat and power costs -a luxury with their low efficiency. Now we have an amp of this SQ, without the thermal and watt-hungry penalties, at a very approachable price. In this genre, if you are at all concerned about costs to wallet and environment, this is a Traditional Class A Killer and Part Of The Answer. And it's modest DC input voltage makes it well-suited for off-grid use, too. Could be fun to set up a super-clean & filtered external DC-DC supply...
I'll consider it next time it drops. I'm using the MD Grace SDAC now so hopefully that's a good enough DAC to pair with the THX 789.
good video that's why i'm here i seen your video i have been looking for a amp for about a year but i don't know if it will work with what i have is a onyko TX NR777 i was thinking about going from the tx nr777 line 2 to the amp and then when i want the speaker to have sound i want to go back to line 1 the headphones that i have are FOSTEX TH900 and SONY Z1R I like the base on the FOSTEX but not all the time so will this amp add a better sound stage and help my headphones or should i just stay with what i have the onyko sounds good with my headphones i just would like them to sound better . the other amp i was looking at is the Emotiva Audio BasX A-100 Stereo Flex Amplifier. the BasX A-100 i would use as just as a headphone amp no speakers hook up to the
BasX A-100 but this 789 sounds like it would be a better fix HELP PLEASE
Hi Wayne, any dedicated headphone amp should be a significant upgrade on your Onkyo's HP out. Most AV receivers use a fudged connection to the speaker outputs for the headphones which is far from ideal. Personally, I have nothing but good things to say about the 789 and expect you'll love the improvement from your receiver. As for connections, it all depends on your source. Is the receiver providing your output / signal decoding?
YES THE TX NR777 AV RECEIVER will be what i will be using as a output / signal decoding will that work or is there something better. that i should use thanks for your reply
Hi Wayne, running a line-out of the NR777 receiver to the 789 amp will almost definitely provide better sound quality than the NR777 headphone jack. I'm unclear about how you're connecting your speakers, but if you're talking about using a different line-out to the BasX A-100, that would definitely work. Alternatively, the 789 has an RCA passthrough so you could just daisy chain your power amp from the 789 if that's easier. Hope this helps!!
i am going to use it as a headphone amp only the 789 is not available i have been looking at the BasX A-100 as option 2 do you know anything about it compared to the 789
The BasX A-100 is half the price and with the jumpers installed blows away the THX789. Feed is a good signal through even a decent DAC and you will love it. The only reason to own the 789 is for balanced headphones