achristilaw
106
Jun 3, 2020
Tried the 789 and shook the head. The amp suffers compression peaks, and has a hardness, with a bit of glare. I have no idea why it's so popular. It's not terrible, just nowhere near great. The hype train was of the bullet train variety. Everybody bought in.
ds60
77
Jun 4, 2020
Do you have any graphs or hard numbers to visualize that? I don't have any of the equipment necessary to measure any of that and I think it sounds great. Definitely one of the best amps I've owned (that doesn't cost 2-3x or more) https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-massdrop-thx-aaa-789-amp.5001/ The new Topping A90 seems like an example of what could be better: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/topping-a90-headphone-amplifier-review.13592/
(Edited)
That’s how it’s in on the recording. Your typical normal audiophool amps just smoothens hides everything and it may appear subjectively better to you. But the quality of hi quality recording and a lower quality recording different bit rates /sample rates be much evident on this than your typical audiophool amp. I have a Lehmann audio linear pro, which in comparison is also less transparent as a tool than this one. But it’s easy to listen on that amp with every music. My headphones are hd 800, not the best, but decent.
achristilaw
106
Jun 5, 2020
Not a fan of the 800 at all. That 6~K peak would be like running ice picks in and out the ears using the THX, for me anyway. The 789 is neutralish. I have the Gilmore Dynamid and Dynahi that are more neutral, have a wider bandwidth and both are offering a better dynamic. The Sangaku is more open, fluid and has more insight. With a very homogeneous presentation. Better detail. The 789 is good for the money. Just not the highly touted end gamer the net has portrayed.
achristilaw
106
Jun 5, 2020
Hold on to your hat. There has never been a single measurement to totally explain how something sounds. The synergy, when two or more components combine to rise above the station, can't be guessed at. It just happens. That's what makes a system sing. For me? The 789 has a bit of grain and glare that works with some phones and doesn't with others. The dynamic (macro) is stunted (IMO). Good amp for the money. Should be in the talk for "best buy" at its new low price. The best measurement devices are on the side of your head. If it can walk your soul to musics edge? Whats to complain about?
ds60
77
Jun 6, 2020
If you're talking signal compression then that is very much observable in the numbers. As for the other stuff, when people say "grain" that usually signals to me "faster response and possibly more accurate" in better-than-entry-level gear, and I have never been able to figure out what "glare" is. (if you have a quantifier for that I'd be appreciative, no one I've asked has given a good explanation) I go by the numbers first, and when I find something affordable with both good stats and reviews, I then judge for myself. Last time the numbers weren't available and I only went by what people said, I got burned.
(Edited)
mosquitoguy
34
Jun 6, 2020
The compression peaks is probably related to your source, and most likely your headphone as well. You notice it because the 789 is very transparent, so it sounds 'great' or 'meh' depending on the combo.
achristilaw
106
Jun 7, 2020
Bel Canto's 3.7 and VBL 1, or exaSound's e38 for dacs. exaSound sigma streamer or Bluesound's Node 2i for sources. I use vinyl and silver disc's for sound rooms. Quite a few of the 789's are on the used market. Most people use this with the $189 dollar dacs. The AKG 812's and 872's. Final's IV, VI and VIII. If you listening to the soft and loping Sennheiser 6xx you'd be fine. Not a planar fan. Too soft in the middle and attic for my taste. The Audeze would work well with the amp. Hide some of the sins. I prefer acoustic music. Classical and jazz to blues and bluegrass.
What headphones do you own and use with the 789? That would shed a lot of light into what you're hearing. I know myself, and many others, don't hear any "glare" or "grain" from the 789, let alone distortion or noise. That sounds like a source, power, or headphone problem. I'm willing to bet more of the latter. The 789 is true to whatever it's fed; nothing more and nothing less. Some may want their sound reproduction to be more editorialized, but the 789 is true to the source as it's essentially "wire with gain." Also something you said prior, "The best measurement devices are on the side of your head." That's a very untrue statement as our human ears are some of the worst devices for gauging accurate sound. They're pretty flawed and wholly inconsistent.
ds60
77
Jun 8, 2020
My listening preferences make my coworker's ears bleed, so there is truth to your statement. Reproducible, concrete statistics; what sounds "good" to a listener; and what is most common along the spectrum of human hearing are all quite divergent topics. I was mostly interested in the former. What sounds "good" is less immediately relevant, and as I said I ultimately judge for myself anyway. I also don't listen to vinyl, all digital studio recordings for me.
(Edited)
I don’t know about the headphones you mentioned. Nor I can find any measurements for that. Unless I see them through since I know what I want , I won’t be interesyed in it even if it’s high end marketed stuff. To me with the available measurments thx is a very good product which produces transparency to hear the artists intention. I am not interested on any flavor on the top of it. Hate tubes for this reason
nottheseapples
9
Jun 23, 2020
But when it comes to an amp like this, wont harsh sound depend on the dac?
achristilaw
106
Jun 23, 2020
Your working under the assumption that the amp has no faults. That it is supremely neutral, and anything untoward in playback must be the fault of the preceding chain. That's not the case (IMO). The last couple months have you noticed? That all the "reviewers" have quietly moved along and are plugging into other amps?
ds60
77
Jun 29, 2020
Probably because THX is already working on the next lineup of amps based on newer technology...
Jasonq997
0
Jul 11, 2020
This is basically correct and has been proven via measurements.
Rajkoothrapallee
23
Jul 20, 2020
There is no measurement avaialable on the dacs you mentioned . Mostly that will be the source of your glare;)
Rajkoothrapallee
23
Jul 20, 2020
I did not notice anyone simply discarding that amp but since new things come up, they need to review them too. Not even a single instead I saw when some reviewer simply said it’s terrible and I am moving to something else. Your dac and headphones must be the problem.
mrcrunch08
151
Dec 31, 2020
I'm sorry but I call bs. "Compression peaks" would show on graphs and the graphs don't show any and none of the thx amps I have heard has any "hardness" either though who knows what that even means. The only issue with peaks of any kind has to do with clipping while running xlr inputs. I have yet to hear an amp in the $300 price range that is as clean or as smooth as the 789 and nearly every measurement and reviewer seem to agree.
ds60
77
Jan 6, 2021
You experience signal clipping with balanced inputs? I don't.
mrcrunch08
151
Jan 6, 2021
It's there by default. Even the people who made it has said it is recommended not to exceed 2nd gain when using 4v xlr balanced inputs. It's in the discussion thread here.
ds60
77
Jan 6, 2021
Well I stick to gain 1 and 2 so that's why :)
tedhersh
46
May 27, 2022
But “human ears” are what you listen to every sound with. Unless you use your equipment for something other than listening, your ears are the perfect judge of what sounds good.
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