Showing 1 of 1539 conversations about:
nick_t
216
Oct 10, 2019
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How does the DROP + THX AAA™ 789 LINEAR AMPLIFIER compare to BENCHMARK HPA-4 THX AAA 888 ?
Oct 10, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Oct 11, 2019
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If you want to know how it compares in looks, that's only something you can answer, if you want to know about performance and specifications? The Benchmark (which includes comparisons to the THX) : https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-benchmark-hpa4-headphone-amp-pre.8141/ And the THX 789 standalone amp review: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-massdrop-thx-aaa-789-amp.5001/


Oct 11, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 12, 2019
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I want to know in sound performance and overall technicalities for musicality and accuracy for realism and soundstage, etc. Not specification and measurement performance. Measurement only tells me that Benchmark has better accurate measurements and lower distortion such as lower noise level than the Drop THX 789. Maybe I ask someone who has listen two both amps.
Oct 12, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Oct 12, 2019
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theres no such thing as amps that do “technicalities for realism and soundstage” those are meaningless terms conjured by people who don’t have the vocabulary to describe anything objectively. An amplifier by definition is supposed to take a signal and amplify it. There isn’t a person on this planet what will be able to distinguish the difference between the Benchmark and 789 in listening tests. The measurements you see there are the only actual performance you need to concern yourself with. There are no engineers that make amps and say “hey you know what, I need to add a little more soundstage to my amp”. Please don’t be fooled by nonsense terms like that, especially in the realm of amplifiers who should be doing nothing but providing fidelity in the purpose of amplification. if you’re going to listen what people tell you about their impressions about each of these amps, anyone that says either sound different from one another is lying either to you, or to himself.
Oct 12, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 12, 2019
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Am sorry, there is. Also, why do you even think the Benchmark THX 888 exists then ? Am pretty sure people would be able to distinguish the difference between the benchmark and 789. This is because I can tell the difference between $250 to $2000 amp espcially tubes. But havent heard THX amp at all. Also, what do you mean by sound different from one another is lying to me ? Sound the same of course in the sense of transparency and low distortion but which is sounds clearer or improve transparency across all frequency response. Of course it will add depth and slight detail of the sound.
Oct 12, 2019
trellus
357
Oct 12, 2019
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I've found that the only decent way for me to compare amps is with a passive switcher that allows me to toggle instantly between two amps, and after volume matching (even just by ear), I've found that it is very hard to tell any difference whatsoever between any of my amps. Sometimes, I can hear a very, very slight difference, but it's so slight that if I did the test blind, I am certain I couldn't tell the amps apart.
Oct 12, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Oct 12, 2019
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"Am sorry, there is" Okay, then prove it. Show me the evidence to support this claim. "Also, why do you even think the Benchmark THX 888 exists then ?" First off, you don't know what you're talking about. The THX888 is the module and architecture that Benchmark has chosen to implement in it's amp as it provides the best measured metrics. That's like asking me "why does an Intel Core i7 and Core i3 exist". Different power applications, and different products in general. "I can tell the difference between $250 to $2000 amp especially tubes." Yeah, so can anyone else I would guess. Simply because tubes are usually distortion ridden. This isn't anything special. The Benchmark amp and the THX 789 amp both are measured with thresholds of noise/distortion beyond the threshold of audibility/hearing. Unless you want to sit here telling me you can hear distortion artifacts at less than -120dbFS, your comparison holds no weight in negating my prior post about both being audibly transparent. We're not talking about tubes, we're not talking even about other amps. We're talking about only these two, and these two for sure perform at thresholds beyond human hearing for picking up distortion artifacts. Please do not say more to this point as the only thing left to do is deny the human threshold of hearing itself which has been firmly established long ago. "Also, what do you mean by sound different from one another is lying to me" What I mean is, anyone that says that a Becnhmark vs the 789 sound different using normal headphones, are simply lying. Or are under their own self imposed delusion, and simply transmitting false information to you, whether they know it or not. "Sound the same of course in the sense of transparency and low distortion but which is sounds clearer or improve transparency across all frequency response. " Yes, and as I've explained, there is nothing else an amp should be doing aside from providing amplification, and maintaining fidelity. If you want to use an amp your own way like tubes due to their inherent flaws, that's fine. But as I've told you, and as objective measurements have demonstrated.. there is no "sounds clearer" as both are in the realm of audible transparency. And if you actually read the reviews, the "transparency across all frequency response" is the same with no point in the audible range being lower or higher than it needs to be. Literally right in the review your question is answered, yet you still are trying to ask me about it. Please just read the graphs and notes. If you don't understand them, that's fine, someone can explain to you what you're seeing if that is the issue. "Of course it will add depth and slight detail of the sound." There is no such thing as "depth" of a sound. If there was, then like every other "depth" we could measure "how deep" that "depth" actually is. You're again using words that have no sensible path for application in the aspect of sound. If you want to elaborate by explaining when people use the terms like "how deep the bass goes", then that's fine. Because everyone hopefully understands that means how low can the bass frequencies be represented through playback on a device. But in another other fashion, words like "depth" mean nothing. As for detail, I told you, these amps both are in the territory of verified audible transparency, there is no more "detail" that is being taken away, and no "detail" being added, because if that were the case... as I said before... amp makers would simply say to themselves "you know what? it's time to add a little more of details to this amp". This is lunacy, that's like adding details to a picture already taken. An amps job isn't to produce anything new, simply amplify a signal. Some amps maintain fidelity better than others. But since we're talking about these two. There isn't a single person on this planet that has been capable, nor is capable of discerning between these two amps if you held volume output in equal constant between each. So please, try to understand what is being told to you. You're asking questions that don't make complete sense, and that's fine because there is lots of audiophile nonsense built up in this hobby.
Oct 12, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 13, 2019
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1) I cannot prove it till I listened it and the proof are from my ears not based of any measurements. The THX888 is the module and architecture that Benchmark has chosen to implement in it's amp as it provides the best measured metrics. Yes, measurement and perceivable better sonic performance is also considered as better. Probably there is a difference in sonic difference as there are some claim stating its more engaging to the musicality. I know what they mean because I heard the difference in price tag. Just that some are overly price and just does not justify the resolve and sonic difference. As for your statement, of microprocessors, meaning the i7 performs better than the i3, its as simple as that. Different power applications, and different products in general. i3 and i7 with productivity and multitasking web browsing, evidently depending on the manufacturer, the i7 seems more faster for web browsing. But for THX amp, similar application and usage that is music listening and simply put, THX 888 is better. But my question is how much better, enough said. Have you heard the THX 888 by the way ? 2) Especially tubes meaning am also considering solid state. Tubes distorts mainly to sound different and only applicable to certain driver. Take HD600 for instance, one of the most tube headphone of all time. Yes, human hearing of frequencies cannot go beyond the threshold of the unimaginable frequency hearing, basically what you describe prior to your statement. Well, to my experience or maybe my ears are super good, I can hear the difference between $2500 and $500 even for a neutral and transparent solid state. But am not going in depth of the difference but its about musicality of it, which you dont believe the hype from me. 3) Probably they able to tell the difference so who knows. But I do say this prior to my statement earlier, some are ridiculously over priced where audibly no sonically difference between a cheaper $500 neutral amp. But some there is, dont know. I cannot just make a general assumption by generalizing amplifier by just hearing two amplifier one that is $500 and the other $1000. Am not as experience as you. Chord Hugo is one of the most overpriced and overrated amplifier ever heard to my ears. Period. 4) Again, am half heart witted when it comes to measurement. Also, I dont really care about measurements. 5) In digital audio, a value called bit depth describes the resolution of the sound data that is captured and stored in an audio file. A higher audio bit depth indicates a more detailed sound recording. Similarly, for image and video files, bit depth is used to determine the resolution of a picture. Either way, depth also means how engaging is the musicality of the sound. Sometimes, description and vocabulary does not always have to make sense in audio terminology. Not interested in the technical point of view like you and others. Maybe detail could be also in a sense in clarity and engaging. Does not make sense but all in all, its mainly to sound better, perhaps. Sometimes an amp, can somewhat make it sound better not just providing power and amplifying signal of transparency. Maybe the right word is influence the sound ? not sure. Are you one of those audiophile nonsense built up into this hobby ? And by the way, am one of those who think there is one headphone sound better than the other regardless of opinion of sound signature. And I may prefer the least better technical headphone. Just saying. Let me ask you this, if an amplifier isn't to produce anything new, simply amplify a signal, why is there any reason to choose this amp over other amp ? Its like computer with similar specs, why do you choose this over other brand because such reasons exists, better benchmark. Anyway, have you heard the THX 888 Benchmark ? What do you think of a dac ? Why are there $500 dac and $2000 dac ? What is the point of having expensive stuff ?
Oct 13, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Oct 13, 2019
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It seems you have literary comprehension blocks. Let me clarify a few statements and request I made prior. 1) I didn't ask for your proof of your ability. I'm asking for any proof of anyone capable of discernment. Second, i7 is not better than i3, and this is where you seem to fail at comprehension that I talked about. Each product has a specific use case, you can't use a desktop grade 95W TDP CPU in a system like a chromebook. Everything has it's purpose, and the reason Benchmark choose the top shelf from THX, is because it's the best offering they had, and they knew they didn't have to worry about power constraints as this would be a product that sits on a desk, and not something in your pocket. So when you say something is "the best" your context needs to be fully stated. The reason I say this is because unlike me, your ideas try blending technical terms, with imaginery placebo diction of people who have no idea what they're talking about. It's like when religious people ask non-religious people: "How don't you have faith in God dude? Okay fine.. would you also say you don't have faith in your wife?" Complete and total failure of language and false equivocation. Faith in God means, do you think he exists, while faith in a wife in that context means do you trust your wife. You do the same sort of thing when you talk about "better" this or that. And when you're offered technical and verified objective specifications, you say "no dude, I want to know how the soundstage is" or nonsense of that nature. What will it take for you to understand when I said, the people that made the Benchmark, the people that made the THX module, the people that made the Massdrop 789, NONE of those engineers talk in these terms simply because "soundstage" isn't a technical term, nor is "musicality" nor is "the feeling of the music" when they want to construct devices that try to maintain fidelity. Listen to me right now for the final time. THE ONLY relevant differences in performances are laid out in the reviews I posted. If you want to know the precise difference between modules. Here is THE ACTUAL SPECIFICATION SHEET FROM THX THEMSELVES as to the difference between the modules: https://www.thx.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/THX-AAA-One-Sheet-9.23.19.pdf And again, DO NOT ask for "which sounds better" as that question has no meaning. Amps as I've explained to you aren't supposed to change sound, when they do, they are failures in their purpose. You can enjoy failures all you like, it doesn't matter in this topic. And because both of these amps perform beyond thresholds of audibility - Ill say it again - there is NO ONE that is capable of discerning between each in a proper blind test. 2) I can hear the difference between $2500 and $500 even for a neutral and transparent solid state. But am not going in depth of the difference but its about musicality of it, which you dont believe the hype from me. Show me where you were able to do this, and don't tell me "you're not going in depth", because you haven't gone in anything at all, let alone depth. Musicality means nothing here, and no I don't believe hype from you, nor anyone else without proof. Provide the proof, and I'll believe the evidence. Second, your statement doesn't have to be a lie as I claim it to be, I can find trash devices at any price point and can hear the differences like you can. The only difference being, is you don't seem to understand that price has no bearing on fidelity much anymore. Sure power amps perform worse than most headphone amps these days, but you can get a Toping DX3 Pro, and I would wager anything you would NEVER be able to tell the difference between it, and my RME ADI 2 DAC. One isn't even $200, while the other is $1000 more than it. I never addressed that ridiculous price statement of yours because I thought you were trying to make a point of something else. Well I'm addressing it now and telling you, your little "i can tell the difference between high costing devices and low costing" would only be true some of the time, and not something you could ever maintain if you left someone like me to choose the devices. While I'm at it, asking you for proof, the least you could do is say before you present your proof, what EXACTLY are the models of the solid state devices you were able to blind test the difference of? 3) "But some there is, dont know. I cannot just make a general assumption by generalizing amplifier by just hearing two amplifier one that is $500 and the other $1000." But you are making those generalized assumptions left and right when you claim you can tell the difference between $500 and $2000 solid state devices. Also you say I am more experienced than you.. That doesn't matter, even if I was a noob or the oldest audio hobbyist ever, it doesn't invalidate the objective truth of the scientifically backed statement's ive made. I don't need to be an astronomer to state the planet Mars exists. Others have done the work that we all now collectively share the fruits of. In that same way, I can only stand firm in the conviction of things that have been tested, and proven. I am ready to change my mind INSTANTLY the moment new valid proof comes my way. Also I agree Chord Hugo is expensive and not a decent purchase (plus they look unappealing aesthetically to me), but as much as I dislike the moron that runs the company (he claims he can hear distortion/noise at -300dbFS which is literally impossible), their products do perform pretty well, but they take the most expensive route possible with their architecture to achieve this for no reason. (Lots of use of FPGA's and such that aren't cheap). 4) Oh you don't care about measurements? So things like techincal specifications of a device from the makers themselves also don't concern you? So.. what now? You're going to lick your finger and test the electric sockets in your house to see how much electricity runs through them since you don't trust measurement devices? You're going to dip your hand in fire to verify the temperature? Dear stranger.. You're literally telling me right now you're a science denier, someone who willfully wants to disregard methods for acertaining objective performance of things? Do you understand how far apart mentally you and I are if you truly mean this statement? You mean to tell me, you would take the word of a bunch of confirmation bias propagators with their useless terminology, who have NO WAY of verifying or proving their statements, who's human senses are flawed and can rarely be trusted as science has demonstrated decades ago? What on Earth would compel you to take the word of a person telling you what he feels like the temperature outside is, rather than a weatherman using his various tools? 5) "A higher audio bit depth indicates a more detailed sound recording. Similarly, for image and video files" No it doesn't indicate a more detailed sound recording, as I can record a single tone and send you a DSD file of it, and you would never be able to tell the different between it, and a simply 320kbps MP3 file for example. But let's say "generally speaking" it's a more "detailed sound recording" (whatever that means).. There are thresholds of audibility, likewise for vision. You would not be able to tell me what the resolution was of a 8k screen, vs a 4k screen on a mobile phone if held a foot and a half away. Similarly you would not be able to tell the difference between an 16k screen and a 32k screen on a mobile phone, held whatever distance you felt like. Just because there is more "detail" doesn't mean your senses could detect them. (Oh and bit-depth is not what determines picture resolution, pixel count determines resolution, bit depth determines amount of color reproduction, if you need more technical explanations of this, I can go into detail, as I know about imaging/video more than I do about audio). "Either way, depth also means how engaging is the musicality of the sound. Sometimes, description and vocabulary does not always have to make sense in audio terminology." That sentence doesn't make sense. I told you before, you are not speaking proper language. I told you "depth" is used to describe a measurement of something, and now you're telling me how "deep" "musicality" is. So depth in this case means nothing, AND musicality means nothing. TWO words in one sentence that don't make any sense together because neither have any contextual meaning AT ALL. And then you say "vocabulary doesn't always have to make sense in terminology". Terminology is vocabulary, so what you said "vocabulary doesn't have to always make sense in audio vocabulary" which is a nonsensical sentence that doesn't mean anything. Also who are you to say "it doesn't have to always make sense". What if I said, "I never have to make sense to everybody, but listen anway". Why would any sane person take me seriously ever? EVERYTHING that you're trying to explain MUST make sense eventually, or you're wasting your time speaking gibberish. If your goal isn't to explain yourself, and just to confuse others, then please go on with what you're doing now. 6) "Let me ask you this, if an amplifier isn't to produce anything new, simply amplify a signal, why is there any reason to choose this amp over other amp ? Its like computer with similar specs, why do you choose this over other brand because such reasons exists, better benchmark. Anyway, have you heard the THX 888 Benchmark ? What do you think of a dac ? Why are there $500 dac and $2000 dac ? What is the point of having expensive stuff ?" Let me ask you something in return. If someone made the best performing amp on the planet, but he only gave you a 1 week warranty, and you had to send it to the headquarters on the Moon to get it repaired if something went wrong, and it would take at least 6 months to get the process done, and the makers were people who used child labor, and the amp was made out of a metal that rusts. Would you buy it? How could you ask me this question? The reason you buy one device over another is because of EVERYTHING combined. Some people might care more about performance, so they'll pay for a device that has better performance, but maybe it looks ugly. While others want a device made in Japan, or Germany, or USA because the warranty and service is great if they ever need help. While others will buy another device because it has better buttons/build quality/design/software etc... And yes I've heard the Benchmark amp at conventions, so can you please some asking me this pointless question, me hearing it on a loud convention floor means nothing to me aside from knowing the unit worked great. Your last question asks what the point of expensive stuff is. It seems to me, it exists because some things are made with rarer materials, more laborious creation process, or simply to seek out people like you that think price almost always means an expensive product is seemingly better.
Oct 13, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 14, 2019
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Hello, I respond to your message earlier but for some reason DROP interface has problems posting my comment. I will ask you this again, it may be ridiculous and sill to you but hear me out. From your experience at the convention, are there any sonic difference or improvement between the Benchmark THX 888 and Drop THX 789 ? Maybe you could not hear its true potential due to the loud convention floor.
Oct 14, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Oct 14, 2019
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Come on nick, are you trolling me now or something? I am telling you, the objective measurements between each demonstrate that it is impossible to hear any difference between one or the other. The only difference in performance one could notice is power output, the rest is not detectable. No one else can detect it either, it's not just me. Anyone that claims they can is lying to themselves, and others. There is a reason the measurement device used to test these costs 10's of thousands of dollars man.. Why would someone waste their money on such a measurement device for that much money man..? Do you think people, manufacturers, and engineers that verify specifications are all idiots? Be rational nick.
Oct 14, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 16, 2019
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Am not trolling, am stating FACTS ! I also asked something that I dont know. So audio and sonically wise, there are no difference at all even the slightest 1% in music improvement when you heard the Benchmark THX 888 and the Drop THX 789 ?
Oct 16, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Oct 17, 2019
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Audibly, they are identical, there was no way I’d ever be able to tell one apart from the other. And proven as such with measurements to basically demonstrate no one else either could tell the two apart.
Oct 17, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 17, 2019
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(Hmph).........Interesting ! What do you think respond by one guy: At this moment, HPA4 is the only amp to have the 888 modules, and yes it is the most transparent headamp and preamp in the world. I listened to THX 789 briefly at one of my friends place. It sounded closer-in, drier in the midrange, weaker in dynamics, not as wide or deep. But at $400 I can't complain, it sounded good. THX 789 is 75-80% of HPA4. HPA4 can be considered "more musical" than 789. It doesn't add or subtract anything from the incoming signal from the source. It is a magnifying glass for your source and headphones. However, it sounds weightier in the bass and midrange compared to 789. More controlled, faster and hits you harder. I bought the HPA4 after making this review, I just couldn't sleep at night without it. It changed me :) (I'm nuts, I know) So can i assume the Benchmark is 2x better than DROP amp for difference in $2600 ?
Oct 17, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Oct 17, 2019
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No, you can’t assume that, that person is deluding themselves. His ability to discern between amps can only be proven if he was willing to commit to a blind test to prove his ability. Like me what if I said, I listened to the amps side by side in a quiet room, and the THX sounds 10% as “musical” as the Benchmark. Why would you believe me? Even if I wasn’t lying, my senses simply are incapable of telling these two apart, so the brain psychologically makes up nonsense. Im telling you nick, ignore these lunatics until the day comes they are able to prove their statements in blind tests. Not a single person has demonstrated this ability with amps that perform far worse, let alone these that science has demonstrated as beyond the threshold of hearing. Also abandon iditoic words like “musical” that doesn’t exist, that doesn’t make sense at all on paper in any design sheet. In the same way soundstage doesn’t exist anywhere from any amp, nor any other ridiculous word like those. The guy you’re quoting calls himself crazy properly at the end. Take that admission seriously.
Oct 17, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 20, 2019
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So I assume you call professional review as lunatics ? Is there anyway that the THX 789 can improve?
Oct 20, 2019
twoloszyn
1
Oct 20, 2019
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This was a really fun read between the two of you. I had a THX AAA 789 that I recently replaced with an HPA4. Could I tell a difference? Not really, they sounded similar but I didn’t do a proper AB test. I purchased the HPA4 for the touchscreen, inputs/outputs on the rear, stepped attenuator volume pot (channel matching), line amp for future speaker purchases, the satisfaction that is uses the best THX tech at this moment, 5-year warranty from a very reputable company, and for its appearance. If you are trying to purchase one or another for an improvement in sound you’re going to be disappointed. You pay for an HPA4 for everything else I’ve previously stated not because you can “hear” a difference between the two. If you feel that you can hear a difference and one is more superior from a sonic stand-point, more power to you. As long as you’re happy.
(Edited)
Oct 20, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 21, 2019
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First question, why would you need both THX 789 and THX 888 ? Why do you need HPA 4 when you have THX 789 ? Arent you wasting money ? Try doing proper AB test since you have it. If you have HD600 its a perfect headphone to test. Secondly, try taking any warm and bright headphone and do AB test as well. What dac do you use for both THX amp ? Either way, could you hear the difference between the two ?
Oct 21, 2019
twoloszyn
1
Oct 21, 2019
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I sold the 789 for the HPA4 to offset the cost. I bought it for all of the reasons in my previous message. I don’t currently have a neutral pair of headphones as I’m transitioning to a new flagship. The only current headphones I have are Campfire Cascade and Campfire Atlas IEM. I do think neutral amps pair very well with “warm” headphones, though. I have an RME ADI-2 DAC. I couldn’t tell a difference between the 789 and HPA4 but to be honest I unplugged and set up the two amps too far apart time-wise to have paid attention. You’ll only notice with headphones like the Susvara, HE1k, and other notorious hard to drive headphones (allegedly). This may be placebo, but I felt I could hear the difference between the standard volume pot on the 789 vs the HPA4 attenuator (channel matching?) but take that with a grain of salt. My opinion is if you don’t need the HPA4 for the additional functionality and features it provides then save your money and buy the AAA 789, Monoprice 887, or SMSL SP200. If you’re like me and have to have the “best of the best” with or without reason, go with the HPA4.
Oct 21, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 21, 2019
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New flagship, wow you really waste money in all these stuff. What are the additional functionality and features ? I want the best of the best in sound performance and nothing more. What difference in quality do you hear between THX 789 and HPA4 ? I wish you could sell the THX 789 to me back then.
Oct 21, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Oct 21, 2019
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Nick.. He already states that he doesn’t hear a difference between the two, and he mainly got it for the functionality (same reason I got an RME DAC over something like a Maxtrix Audio DAC). For the last time, just please read this next message if nothing else: There is no audible difference between the two, but the Benchmark measures a bit better. Just read the two reviews I posted man, why must you deny basic scientific observation so adamantly?
Oct 21, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 21, 2019
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Because I need to hear it. Tried many headphones and measurement dont mean anything.
Oct 21, 2019
twoloszyn
1
Oct 21, 2019
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Benchmark offers a 30-day return period, no questions asked. Buy it new or second-hand and try it for yourself. Even if you keep it the resale value for benchmark products is great. I don’t think we will be able to convince you that the 789 and HPA4 do not sound different from one another. That is exactly how a properly designed amp should be... As far as I’ve read, you will only hear a difference from a power perspective on very hard to drive headphones like the Susvara and HE1000.
Oct 21, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 22, 2019
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So does hard to drive headphone sounds better on HPA4 than Drop ? How much difference ?
Oct 22, 2019
chris_gj
103
Oct 23, 2019
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Oh my goodness. Mate. Seriously, learn to read.
Oct 23, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 23, 2019
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What do you mean ?
Oct 23, 2019
chris_gj
103
Oct 23, 2019
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Your question has been answered multiple times in multiple ways. Surely you realise this, yet you keep asking again and again. There are many variables in terms of the way a particular amp topology is implemented - from solder quality, to capacitor quality, to circuit board layout to power supply. If you need any proof that this is the case up and down a product stack, a better example than the i3/i7 earlier is between different implementations of the ESS 9038Q2M and 9038 Pro: the Topping D50S, with a single 9038Q2M (the 9038 Pro's poor, lower-power cousin intended for portable devices), tests markedly better in terms of measurable, quantitative outcomes than a number of DACs using multiple 9038 Pro chips, which, on paper, should have substantially lower levels of distortion and noise. But they don't, because of the sum of the parts isn't well implemented relative to the better-executed D50S. It's also why a 9028 Pro-based Benchmark DAC3 outperforms most 9038 Pro-based implementations. By the same token, you can't say that because the THX 888 is a higher-grade topology, therefore any amp implementing it will measure (and/or sound) better than the 887 or 789 - this is even more true of (good) solid-state amps than DACs, because there's far less basis for subjectivity, their job is simply to take a signal and make it louder. The difference between the SNR and THD+N figures of the 789 and the Benchmark are within the margin of error of most audio analysers. More importantly, those slight measurement differences in favour of the Benchmark occur at a level that is well beyond any (again, any) human ear's ability to comprehend them. Think of an audio analyser as similar to a magnifying glass - you can't see pixels on screen beyond a certain dpi, so the difference between, say, 3840x2160 and 5120x2880, in a 6" phone screen, would be impossible to observe. You may be able to observe the difference through a magnifying glass, but doing so would make no difference whatsoever to your qualitative experience. You can say 'more' is 'better', but it's not so in any way that's even remotely tangible as far as your experience as a consumer is concerned. Similarly, other factors in the screen's implementation entirely beyond its resolution (panel type, brightness, contrast ratio, HDR support, etc.) make a far greater difference than a pixel density that you can't distinguish without a magnifying glass. The same is the case here, you (or anyone else) will never be able to hear the sonic differences between a well implemented 789 and 888, in this case the Drop and Benchmark.  In terms of tangible sonic (rather than feature) differences, other than what @twoloszyn mentioned re the volume pots (not something I've observed, but entirely possible), the Benchmark can drive more power into a pair of headphones. That's about it. Again, this is meaningless if the relative maximum outputs are well beyond what it would take to deafen someone. This depends entirely on the headphones you intend on using with the amplifier and how hard they are to drive. You can work easily work out the maximum SPL for a given headphone and amp combination... but honestly, unless you're intending on jumping straight into something like a Susvara or Abyss, the 789 will be more than enough amp, particularly if you are running it balanced. For some context, the 789 will (theoretically), power any of the HD600/650s, HD800S, Utopia, HEKse, 600-ohm Beyers and so on, well in excess of 120db SPL, with THD+N levels that are literally an order of magnitude better than any DAC that may feed it. Let me say that again, the distortion and noise either of these amps layers into your signal is less than 1/10th as much as the distortion and noise fed in by your DAC. Even if it's a really, really good DAC. It's like arguing your Ferrari has a top speed of 329km/h while your mate's Lambo only does 327... but both of you only ever drive on 100km/h roads. As someone who has spent far too much disposable income on this hobby over the last few years, honestly, get the 789... or an 887, or an SP200. You may very well find it's all the amp you ever need (there's literally a handful of headphones that could do with the Benchmark's extra power, and they're all $3000+). Even if it's not, you'll be far better served spending the additional $2600 between the 789 and HPA4 on a good DAC (start with a DX7 Pro) and a pair of Utopias for now. You need to understand that the whole point of the AAA amps is to provide a 'wire with gain' - in other words a pure, unadulterated and uncolored amplified output of whatever it's sent. Both the 789 and HPA4 do that admirably, to a level of accuracy that exceeds the capability of most DACs they'll ever be connected to. If you're looking for an amplifier to colour your sound, make it sound different or 'better', you're looking at the wrong thing. On one final note, you're all wrong on the Hugo2. It's easily the best bit of audio gear i own.
Oct 23, 2019
chris_gj
103
Oct 23, 2019
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While I'm here, what do you think of the Cascade? Usually travel with LCDi4's and K10's, but could really do with a pair of compact closed-backs. Have been meaning to demo them for a while.
Oct 23, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Oct 24, 2019
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He means you keep asking the same question, and people keep answering it multiple times, but you keep replying as if you only read the first sentence, and didn't read any other part. That, or: You're simply suffering from some mysterious amnesia or some other cognitive impediment. Are you not aware of how many times you've been told, no one has ears capable of telling the difference between these amps, and anyone that does, it's due to psychological effects and externalities like placebo (and various other reason's I and others nearly have bloody fingers typing out, trying to tell you, that you keep ignoring, forgetting, or simply not reading at all).
Oct 24, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 24, 2019
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What is wrong with you ? Are you a reviewer by the way ? Its only few people if you must know. I could be asking others as well. Please think
Oct 24, 2019
nick_t
216
Oct 24, 2019
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Most say its trash and overprice. THX AAA is better. JJayJJ does not seem to like it
Oct 24, 2019
twoloszyn
1
Oct 24, 2019
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Hi chris_gj, thanks for your great explanation between the two product examples utilizing THX technology. In regards to the Cascades from Campfire... I’m a huge electronic music fan so that’s what I primarily use them for. They’re built like tanks and could definitely be used portably with very little sound leakage but don’t expect anything similar to noise-cancelling capabilities. I personally use mine at home on the RME ADI-2 + HPA4 combo. Sound signature is V-shaped Bass and High forward, mids slightly recessed, but very detailed and warm. I wouldn’t call them “laid back” at all. They make bad recordings sound bearable and really give me the “fun” sound I’m looking for when I stream low-bitrate electronic mixes. I’m somewhat of a bass head but they tame down a bit when burned in. Whether you like them or not is going to depend upon your sonic preferences and music genres you’re listening to. Modern, electronic, rap/hip-hop, pop, rock, etc. sound great. Imaging is decent and soundstage can be improved slightly with their XL ear pads. If you ever got to demo the Vega or Atlas IEMs they are similar. They come with tuning pads that are inserted between the pad and driver housing to alter the sound signature slightly. Also, I’ve heard the cloth pads help to reduce the bass a bit. Hope that helps!
(Edited)
Oct 24, 2019
nick_t
216
Nov 6, 2019
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Hi JJayJJ, sorry to disturb you, I want you think what do you think about other's comment regarding the THX789 vs THX888. Let me know down the comment below the link: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/benchmark-hpa4-headphone-line-amplifier-impressions.876705/page-35?utm_campaign=HFnotification&utm_medium=email&utm_source=watched_thread_reply_messagetext#post-15279648 “When I look at the 789, I see all the corners they cut to get it down to $400. When I look at the HPA4, I see all the corners that they could have cut, but didn't, and a bunch of extra corners thrown in on top.”   “Music sounds so real and immediate and nuanced, it's a bit eerie. I can see how others might find it too weird at first. Personally, I was sold on the amp within 30 seconds. It's simply incredible. That was definitely not my first impression of the 789, or my second. It still falls into the category of "hmm... maybe." It's good, it's worth its price, but owning one means, for me, compromising on a few things that I'm not sure I want to give up.”
Nov 6, 2019
nick_t
216
Nov 6, 2019
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Now, then explain this. I want you think what do you think about other's comment regarding the THX789 vs THX888. Let me know down the comment below the link: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/benchmark-hpa4-headphone-line-amplifier-impressions.876705/page-35?utm_campaign=HFnotification&utm_medium=email&utm_source=watched_thread_reply_messagetext#post-15279648 “When I look at the 789, I see all the corners they cut to get it down to $400. When I look at the HPA4, I see all the corners that they could have cut, but didn't, and a bunch of extra corners thrown in on top.”   “Music sounds so real and immediate and nuanced, it's a bit eerie. I can see how others might find it too weird at first. Personally, I was sold on the amp within 30 seconds. It's simply incredible. That was definitely not my first impression of the 789, or my second. It still falls into the category of "hmm... maybe." It's good, it's worth its price, but owning one means, for me, compromising on a few things that I'm not sure I want to give up.” Lastly, Hugo 2 is better than the THX 789 or THX 888 ?
Nov 6, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Nov 6, 2019
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Nick.. I told you before man, the anecdotal experiences people have about how transparent amps like these sound like, don't interest me one bit. Psychological factors is something you need to do some research on, and how bias can be at play. The HPA4 is better than the 789 in various different ways, like power, built quality, channel matching, Made in USA (if that matters to you), and things like that.. Anything else though, like audible performance? Again, I'm telling you. No one can blind test these products and tell them one from another. My advice to you is, try blind testing them yourself if you need more powerful proof. If you're looking at that head-fi reply that says what you just showed me, and another that agrees with what I say... What difference does it make to which one you believe? When I tell you that the only thing I care about is measured performance (and of course testing it myself to see if there are any fatal flaws like one channel not working at all or something), then why would you care about my opinion. When I ask you to define what "better" means, you give me silly replies like "how musical it is". I keep telling you that doesn't make any sense as there is no realiable way of defining what that word even means from an objective standpoint, nor is anyone able to reliably determine even without measurements, what a hierarchy of musicality even means even just using their ears. Nick, please listen to me.. Not me, not you, not that clown on head-fi, not scientists, not musicians... NO ONE can tell the difference between these two amps if they were equalized for volume and someone was asked to do a blind test of them. The only differences in performance that exist, can only be measured by electronics analyzers, our ears simply lack the acuity for this amount of low differences. If you want to say the Benchmark is better than the 789 due to build quality, power, beauty, and things like that - that's fine. But to say which one would sound better to you? IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HEAR THE DIFFERENCE SO THEY BOTH SOUND THE SAME. I really don't know what better way to put this man..
Nov 6, 2019
nick_t
216
Nov 6, 2019
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Are you trying to say other reviewers, professionals, head fi and other audio community forum are hypocrites and idiots ? Even youtube reviews can tell the difference between amps at the similar price range where difference in euphonic and character changes to the sound that based on subjectivity. Because I can clearly tell the audible difference between cheap and expensive solid state or maybe because am listening to lousy cheap amplifier, am not sure. Dont know the brand, probably Sony is one of them. I have never even listened to any THX amp in my life so I cannot comment.
Nov 6, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Nov 6, 2019
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I'm going to answer your posts fully as I always have.
  • "Are you trying to say other reviewers, professionals, head fi and other audio community forum are hypocrites and idiots? "
Please stop asking me questions about what "i am trying to say" and just read what I say. Stop trying to extract hidden meanings from your questions being answered. With that out of the way... Yes some are hypocrites, and more are idiots. Their reasons for being such are varied, most are like that because they lack logical deductive capacity to understand the claims they're making about themselves, and about products are not backed up by evidence, only by their anecdotal experience. Which I told you MULTIPLE times can be the byproduct of psychological factors like bias.
  • "Even youtube reviews can tell the difference between amps at the similar price range where difference in euphonic and character changes to the sound that based on subjectivity."
Yes some people can tell the differences between some amps. But here is your logical flaw, you then seem to think that means ALL amps can be subjectively discerned between one another. I've told you more times than I can count, that is not true, and until someone proves it with blind tests, it remains a fact that not all amps can be subjectively told apart. End of story, this is why we have measurement devices BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCES. Why else would we have these measurement devices man.. come on, just try deductive reasoning for a little bit.
  • "Because I can clearly tell the audible difference between cheap and expensive solid state or maybe because am listening to lousy cheap amplifier, am not sure."
This is what is called a "declaratory statement". Meaning you're simply declaring you can do something. It doesn't mean it's not true, but there is no proof, and so the compulsion to believe you goes away. If you can prove this with level-matched blind tests, then every sane person would believe you no matter what. But if you simply say things like "I swear I can catch a BB pellet flying at me".. The best you can get from others is a reply like "Sure maybe you might get lucky and catch one, but to say you can catch any bullet you try to catch, I don't believe you". I am the second person in that story who simply will say okay sure, you can tell the difference between some devices. But until you present more evidence I won't believe you can tell the difference between everyone of them that you test. Also, you have a serious misunderstanding by trying to say anything that costs more than the other thing is ALWAYS better than the cheaper thing. This is nonsense, and we can see literal undeniable evidence of this like from a device like the Topping DX3 Pro that performs as one of the best devices that can beat even devices that cost more than $10,000. The $10,000 + device that I am saying the Topping beats, is this piece of garbage. Please stop thinking if something costs more, it's always superior. This is pure lack of sensible thinking. The best thing you could say is "generally more expensive things are better". And that might be true sometimes. But that's it. Don't say expensive things FOR SURE are mostly always better performers in audio for example, as evidence has been presented for this not to be the case, and that evidence is stronger than your singular experience.
(Edited)
Nov 6, 2019
nick_t
216
Nov 7, 2019
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Am not trying to extract hidden meanings from my questions being answered. So stop over thinking. Professional reviewers are idiots wow ! I cannot go against you until I hear myself. As you agree to the claim some people can tell the differences between some amps, that difference is the harmonic changes and character to the sound such as intimate forward vocals or airier representation of highs, that is the difference I think most of us are referring perhaps. Not necessary logical flaws. What are you discerning actually ? "Yes some people can tell the differences between some amps" & "BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCES due to logical flaws" ???? "Because I can clearly tell the audible difference between cheap and expensive solid state or maybe because am listening to lousy cheap amplifier, am not sure." Yes I can tell, and I can prove even with blind test and I may failed the test. But I need to know which brand I did heard before. So that statement, I cant argue much. Moving on, maybe some of us have good hearing and others do not, have ever though about that. Some has lost their hearing ? Like treble peak has to be there so we can hear detail for some of us has lost our hearing ? I dont know I never state that  anything that costs more than the other thing is ALWAYS better than the cheaper thing. You just conclude that about me because I was referencing with between THX 789 and THX 888. Very interesting to refer it to this piece of garbage that cost $10,000, haha. Why is Topping DX3 Pro better than that piece of beautiful looking garbage ? Looking forward to that answer. Is audio science review is a piece of crap as well, stating wonderful things about the $10,000 because he says nice things about your favourite THX 789 but make no comparison to the Benchmark THX 888. All in all, I say what I hear.
Nov 7, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Nov 7, 2019
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"As you agree to the claim some people can tell the differences between some amps, that difference is the harmonic changes and character to the sound such as intimate forward vocals or airier representation of highs, that is the difference I think most of us are referring perhaps." But I am telling you, the performance of these amps have their harmonic distortions so low, that its impossible to get one from the other when music is playing. You're not going hear distortion -120dbFS down, this is what I am killing myself trying to tell you. When you look at the measurements from the analyzer, all the harmonics are too low to even detect with the human ear. Unless of course you're here to say you can hear distortion products -120db and lower. If you make that claim then I think you're just out of your mind. That is the logical flaw I am talking about. I will repeat one final time: YOU CANNOT HEAR THESE HARMONIC DISTORTIONS AS THEY ARE TOO LOW FOR THE HUMAN EAR TO DETECT WHILE MUSIC IS PLAYING. Anyone that claims they can doesn't make sense, and is psychologically biasing themselves. "Yes I can tell, and I can prove even with blind test and I may failed the test. But I need to know which brand I did heard before. So that statement, I cant argue much." That is the only statement I care to make an argument before. If you need to look which brand it is, then you've already tarnished the experiment. The whole point of a blind test doesn't need to be "which amp is it". In our case with these two amps, you don't even need to say which amp it is, it would be a miracle if you could say you're hearing one amp playing played, or the other even without naming which one you're hearing. THATS how low their distortions and noise profiles are. If you can't do this (which I claim no person on the planet can), then you're just wasting your time arguing anything else, as that's all I care about discussing here. "Moving on, maybe some of us have good hearing and others do not, have ever though about that. Some has lost their hearing ? Like treble peak has to be there so we can hear detail for some of us has lost our hearing ? I dont know" Yes I've spoken about this before. But I am saying.. for the final time, NO HUMAN regardless of how good their hearing is, would be able to blind test these devices. There's good hearing and bad hearing. I am making the claim the best hearing you can bring me, wouldn't be able to tell the two devices apart in a blind test. "I never state that anything that costs more than the other thing is ALWAYS better than the cheaper thing. You just conclude that about me because I was referencing with between THX 789 and THX 888." No, I conclude that because we that this argument before, and you constantly over time have been talking about cheap and expensive amps periodically, so I wanted to a nail in that coffin as I've hear enough of it. "Very interesting to refer it to this piece of garbage that cost $10,000, haha." So you don't think it garbage compared to any modern DAC that you see here on Drop for instance? Look at the performance, that thing is not only garbage, but virtually a scam at this point. "Why is Topping DX3 Pro better than that piece of beautiful looking garbage ?" It's performance destroys this thing to pieces in every respect. If you would read even one of the links I ever send you, I wouldn't have to hold your hand and explain myself in these ultra long posts. Just read the measurements from that totaldac I linked. Stop asking me questions whos answers are right there please. "Is audio science review is a piece of crap as well, stating wonderful things about the $10,000 because he says nice things about your favorite THX 789 but make no comparison to the Benchmark THX 888. " Okay so you're insane or something? First off you can't read or whatever, the review of the totaldac is flambasting the device, you simply have reading comprehension issues. Second, why would he compare that dac to a 789 amp.. what are you even talking about? Second I LINKED long ago the review to the Benchmark amp being compared to the 789, but it looks like you either A) Can't read or B) Chose to ignore the link of the review of the Benchmark I sent you. Look, I've grown tired of retreading ground I've already covered with you now multiple times. Nothing changes, you keep asking the same exact questions, you ignore what objective information is being provided to you, and you're simply not thinking in any logical manner that I can make sense of. I don't have the strength to go on anymore. If you want to keep asking people who's hearing is flawed and plagued by visual bias for example when they do their pointless subjective testing about performance. Go ahead. I'll stick to analyzers that will always perform the same regardless of external factors, and can tell the differences between things our ears could never hear.
Nov 7, 2019
nick_t
216
Nov 7, 2019
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Once again am not talking about transparency and the audible difference in threshold hearing especially with frequency response. Yes indeed, the performance of these amps have their harmonic distortions so low, that its impossible to get one from the other when music is playing. But what about the character of the sound changes like one amp can influence the headphone of clearer imaging or precice accuracy of vocal presentation. Are they a little forward or backwards. Am referring in difference to amps, or maybe that is mostly influence by dac. I dont think am wrong here. Moving on, You conclude wrong then. I said some amps not all. Have you ever thought I might not be able to read FR graph accurately. Moving on, good human hearing maybe could able to distinguish in a sense of tonal characteristics of the sound. Harmonic might be the wrong word I use but watever. Am not insane, because if audioscience review recommend that so call dac you referred as garbage so what do you think of him then. Obviously he or she give good view and recommend that garbage dac. Am sorry, it was a dac and I made a mistake alright. I dint read fully. The review of the benchmark amp was recommended and view positively. I would prefer if they compare to the THX 789. So he recommend that rubbish dac, so what do you think of that ? Do you still view him highly. Am not really asking the same question but rather relating questions. Am just strengthening my thoughts and further valid the questions relating this arguments. Am just asking for thoughts thats all. Once again I also dont buy that expensive means better crap statement and I dont played by visual bias for example when they do their pointless subjective testing about performance. However, I need to hear myself first then only evaluate. Have you heard the Smsl sp200 before ? I am curious to know how this competes with Benchmark HPA-4. Again only sound and character.
Nov 7, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Nov 7, 2019
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"But what about the character of the sound changes like one amp can influence the headphone of clearer imaging or precice accuracy of vocal presentation." There's no such thing. Show me how you can remove or add "clearer imaging, precise accuracy of vocal presentation", and then we'll talk. These are just descriptions formulated in your own head due to imperfect capacity to quantify what you're experiencing. It would be like asking "what about the precise accuracy of the warmth feeling I get when watching movies on Sony TV's vs Panasonic". This is nonsense language that has no way of confirming anything, nor does it mean anything because it's not based on any rationally objective nor scientific basis. "Are they a little forward or backwards." Again, same thing, this means nothing. What the hell is a forward or backwards sound. How can sound waves be something that describes direction? Where have you seen sound change directions after it has been recorded? This is like saying watching a video, the person seems to be a little more forward in the image, or backwards... This is insanity, and makes no sense man.. You're hallucinating all of this. "Have you ever thought I might not be able to read FR graph accurately. " So you can tell differences between amps, but FR graphs aren't something you want to take a few moments to learn how to read and get a better objective understanding of how sound is quantified in one aspect? Why would you not want to learn all you can so you can better discuss things rationally? "Obviously he or she give good view and recommend that garbage dac. Am sorry, it was a dac and I made a mistake alright. I dint read fully." It's okay, but this is why I am losing my patience. The totalsix dac was not recommended, so I'm not sure what you're talking about. "The review of the benchmark amp was recommended and view positively. I would prefer if they compare to the THX 789." Okay, so this is what I am talking about when I say you don't make any sense. When the Benchmark was reviewed, it was compared to the 789... CLICK HERE as it seems you have a visual problem or reading problem, I've circled in green the parts where the 789 is directly compared. So when you say "you would prefer they compare the 789 to the Benchmark". The comparison was already done, you simply don't know how to read or you're maybe blind? If you're actually blind in real life, then I'm sorry.. If you're not blind then you have some mental issue sorry to say. EVEN IF THE 789 wasn't directly compared. I sent you links for both the amps, so you can compare yourself. Do we need to come to your house and draw the differences on the wall for you or something? I really don't know why you keep saying you want a comparison. Now if you're talking about comparisons with "sound stage, and forward sound, and backward sound, and vocal accuracy" and other nonsense like that. You won't get it there, because as I told you countless times. Those are made up words by people who have no idea how to measure sound properties objectively and accurately. "Am just asking for thoughts thats all." But I am giving you my thoughts yet you don't agree with why I say what I say, but instead you prefer the thoughts of people who want to claim they can tell differences between a 789 and a Benchmark. But when I tell you they can't prove it, so their impressions are worthless, you don't want to believe me, you want to believe people who won't put their claims to the test with blind tests that would prove their abilities once and for all. I keep telling you they (and you) are under effects of psychological bias.. That's why you said "I have to see which amp I am listening to" if you were going to do a blind test. But that's the problem.. if you see them being switched on and off, then the blind test is pointless. You need to use only your ears, so other senses can't have a psychological effect. But you simply do not understand this concept, and I can't help you further aside from asking you to Google "ABX testing" or "Double blind tests". "Have you heard the Smsl sp200 before ? I am curious to know how this competes with Benchmark HPA-4. Again only sound and character." Yeah, I have heard of the device, but I have not personally heard it playing myself. It is also in the category of transparent devices.. Don't ask me about "character" of sound, as I told you before that doesn't mean anything unless you define character of sound like "distortion" or "noise" or "Frequency response". I don't want to be asked about stuff like "sound stage" or "vocal accuracy" or any of that nonsense, because all of that is influenced by the things I mentioned before, and also soundstage influenced by the type of listening device you're using (speakers, IEMs or headphones).. The SMSL has also a review, and if you want to see how close it gets to the Benchmark, open up both reviews, and compare the graphs. If you have trouble understanding the graphs, try making an account over at that forum and ask people, everyone looks friendly and wouldn't mind helping you. Here's the SMSL review
(Edited)
Nov 7, 2019
nick_t
216
Nov 7, 2019
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Maybe you cannot hear it, am sorry to say I can hear it. When comparing one amp to another amp, other youtube reviewer even talk about the character difference espcially when certain headphone paired with certain amps. Someone name Joshua I suppose. I think what you were referring in a sense of FR and scientific measurements and scientific facts. You refer to much of the exact audio terminology words. As though one must exists in the dictionary. Even at that time, I dont know what the hell is airyness, dry sounding and even harmonic distortion as well as music separation. These terminology are my own words which so happen to match up with actual audio terminology. In audio world, perhaps there is no such thing as forward or backwards sounding as these are my own perceive of sound. Everyone describe sound somewhat differently but there are some perceive meaning towards it, either accurate or neither accurate, does not matter. My point is am not hallucinating is just what I hear in real life presentation. Sound representation is produce by the driver themselves. Anyway, I think what I mean by forward or backwards means bringing vocals closer to your or forward sounding. Some headphone has forward representation or accurate holographic headtstage and imaging. Not going to continue from there or else you going to criticize me with scientific facts and actual audio terminology Sure I could learn of course. But at the end of the day, I only care how it sound. FR does not tells you anything in real world listening. And I know you going to say how can you go against scientific measurement and everything. "So when you say "you would prefer they compare the 789 to the Benchmark". The comparison was already done, you simply don't know how to read or you're maybe blind? If you're actually blind in real life, then I'm sorry.. If you're not blind then you have some mental issue sorry to say. EVEN IF THE 789 wasn't directly compared." Now that you are trolling against me and being rude which is fine. Where is the actual comparison where they say there is no damn difference between the two where $2400 is only for features and look, customer service, made in USA. Not scientific measurement difference. I never say I dont agree with you or the other. Just want to know your impression. I do believe you one over the other. Because some expensive amps such as tubes perform great on certain headphones. However, some garbage expensive amp usually solid state, have no apparent meaning over their price tag apart from their stellar built quality and fancy craftsmanship. Cant comment until I do proper blind test. Even if am wrong it does not matter, I want to know if there are difference for certain things. Why do you get to hear all the audio related products ? Are you a reviewer or something ? "If you have trouble understanding the graphs, try making an account over at that forum and ask people, everyone looks friendly and wouldn't mind helping you" can you help me ? thought not. Finally, HPA-4 vs  Smsl sp200 for actual sound difference, or they sound 100% the same ? Am about micro detail difference and overall tonality of sound perception vs you about scientific facts and measurement sound.
Nov 7, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Nov 7, 2019
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"Am about micro detail difference and overall tonality of sound perception vs you about scientific facts and measurement sound." Then everything on that site, and what I say is completely worthless to you, and I would advise you ignore me. Because what you value runs against observable reality from an objective standpoint. I really have nothing much more to say that could help you if you still hold to this belief Nick.
Nov 7, 2019
nick_t
216
Nov 7, 2019
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No its not completely worthless to me because I myself also believe on measurement to some degree able level but upon several factors. Am surprise why never respond to my long statement but never mind. I never said I dont believe you. Am just relating to THX 888 vs THX 789, thats all. What do you think of his respond by Rory Rall quoting: " I cannot admit that there is no difference. Just based on the gain stage (attenuators) there is an audible difference between a DAC’s volume control and running the analog output to our LA4 (variable gain stage of the HPA4). Measurement wise, you’d think there is no difference but there is. More open sounding, better low level details. Same should follow for the HPA4" Referencing to the THX 789 and 788 and 887.
Nov 7, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Nov 7, 2019
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Until he can prove his statements with Blind Testing. I have no reason to believe what he's saying. That's all I think of that response. Oh and the reason I didn't reply to your prior long reply, is it's retreading old ground that we've gone over before. I can't keep entertaining what you say if you don't accept certain basics Nick. I also can't respond to certain things because I have reference scientific terms you have said in the past can't be used to understand some parts of sound. While that's true, it's not just one thing that influences sound. But we have tests that can prove differences between sounds. And as I said multiple times before, both of these devices perform so good, no one is able to blind test the difference between each of them. And if you don't understand why that's important, and why that is used as ammo against all these people saying: "Oh this random devices sounds like it has waterfall amounts of sound, it sounds like the sound is being made my non-carbon based life forms that are hugging you in love like you've never had before". These are descriptions that mean nothing to me Nick. I need SPECIFICS like if you say the sound is "warm" I want to know what frequencies like 100Hz, how many db is boosted. I need descriptions like that...
(Edited)
Nov 7, 2019
nick_t
216
Nov 8, 2019
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Not really, I just responding to your previous statement, basics or not. It probably meant nothing to your because you hear and based too much on scientific terms. My overall perceive and actual sound difference versus your scientific measurement and facts. Which is fine because as I said before FR graph means nothing most of the time in the way we hear and perceive sounds. Specific like 100hz or how man db boosted tells you info, but in audbile terms not really necessary to just based 100% on frequency response curve. In my opinion, people need to hear amps and headphones rather than just reading FR graph and just state this as dark, warm or bright and how treble, mid range and bass performs that based of FR graph. Can FR graph even measures how detail in the bass. Detail in bass response is non existent. Some things in nature, have no ways to describe but it is what it is. I may sound vague, but am basing on just actual sound reality not based on scientific measurements all the time. But my general consensus is is not referring to the previous argument of HPA-4 vs Drop. But going back to that argument, yes you are right about no difference in audible terms but you disagree with most people about character changers and clearer sound on the amp. My respond is to him is this: "But isnt open sounding and better low level details are just most headphones sound signature and character ? An amp should be doing aside from providing amplification, and maintaining fidelity. Transparency across all frequency response" is the same with no point in the audible range being lower or higher than it needs to be".  He replied: "When noise floor and distortion are lowered, it can give an openness to the sound while other gear will sound more closed in. You’d have to hear it" I wonder why he does not want to admit.
Nov 8, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Nov 8, 2019
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What he says has SOME truth. The problem is, the noise floor and distortion on these two amps is so low, he would never be able to detect it. So in that comparison, his statement could never be true. That's the problem. But what he says about noise and distortion being lowered, could SOMETIMES contribute to a feeling of "clarity" or "openness". He won't admit it because he thinks he can hear the difference of noise and distortion at -120dbFS, or lower. Which is virtually impossible and 100% impossible if any music is playing. He also won't admit it because if he did, he would have to admit his impressions are based on psychological bias factors. It's like when you buy something really expensive and your mind expects it to be good, and you overlook some negatives even though everyone else sees them plainly. This is the sort of psychological bias stuff I'm talking about. Like if he said he can detect the difference between this Power ACA Power Amplifier, and the Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier there would be zero issues, and I would agree and say what he's hearing is mostly true. But that's only because we can objectively see when we test these devices with analyzers, there is a night and day difference. And if you couldn't hear the difference between these two, you probably suffer some sizable hearing loss. But comparing something like the two headphone amps he's talking about? Theyre WAYYY too clean, and WAYYY to close in terms of performance, there is no person on this planet that will be telling one from another.
Nov 8, 2019
nick_t
216
Nov 9, 2019
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Here is my respond. I think circuit design has a lot to do with the performance of an amplifier with different loads the measurements we get don't cover how the amplifier interact with every different load with all sorts of varying factors that affect the performance in Ultimate levels of distortion in your own home A lot of times manufacturers and even some of the reviewers will do power calculations in Distortion levels for their system and with their headphones but different headphones are going to react differently with the amplifier and ultimately have an impact on how much detail you're going to hear and whether or not there's going to be any obvious Distortion or lack of detail an transient response Power delivery is also depending on how the circuit is designed oftentimes the specs we get for 1 watt and 1000 kilohertz at a given load or kind of useless as When You're Expecting the driver to reproduce subsonic frequencies (so sub bass) as well as frequencies simultaneously at a varying levels the power requirements the driver needs are a bit different. Maybe that could a difference maker, maybe slight difference ? Am interested to see your comment on this.
Nov 9, 2019
JJayJJ
460
Nov 10, 2019
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I don’t disagree, but the problem is we can’t take 29 headphones for example, and then review every amplifier with all 29 headphones, that’s simply too much work. The more practical thing is to use a dummy load with various imprudence a (16,32,50,300,600 are safe bets when making a dummy load), and testing power output for example. I mean sure sure there could be sub bass loss if you took a 3,200 ohm headphone for example (which is ridiculous), but at that point you could have problems with all the other frequencies because you wouldn’t be able to hear anything with anninpedence that high.. But in reality there is no “loss”, there is only “loss” due to driver design, so it has nothing to do with the amp device itself. Also when you say circuit design has to do with a performance of an amp.. this is a redudant statement. It’s like me saying “car engine design as to do with the performance of a car”.
Nov 10, 2019
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