Until sold out. Deal expires tomorrow 9/20.
Pretty good price, but I would strongly recommend the Schiit Asgard 3 over the THX 789 if you want a more “full bodied” and warmer sound.
I recommend two tin cans and some string for a more “fun” sound.
That’s a bit harsh. I use my 789 quite a bit, not for my main listening but I do use it for editing etc.
(Admittedly it cost me 50€)
I was joking, but I’d not say the 789 ever has a fun delivery.
Yep, lifeless, dull, flat, unengaging - except with IEMs, particularly BA IEMs, in which case it becomes perfectly enjoyable and really quite good.
Hey as I always say @Tchoupitoulas, if someone is new to audio and has no experience with various amps I am guessing it wouldn’t matter.
I got the 887, but I actually ended up returning it. Got the monolith liquid platinum and with Neo iDSD it sounds like right where I want to be. Even though it’s not tubby, I like the performance. Then again, I got my liquid platinum for almost half the price of the 887. Wasn’t expecting that to occur, otherwise I may have dodged the 887 all together.
Edit: also actually only bought the 887 to use with he6se, but find the liquid platinum with the HE6 a great pairing with the set up I mentioned above. I only use my HE6se now. Waiting to put the D70s on that chain and see what happens. Currently using it for my stereo system and don’t want to keep moving it around.
I actually use it with the Dusk quite a bit, not a bad pairing. I also like the fact that it doesn’t get hot (the Asgard is a toaster lol).
I’m not quite sure I follow your point here. It would most certainly matter if someone, especially when new to audio, is given to believe that this is what good sound quality is like.
That’s good to hear!
Absolutely; I’ve got mine under a Cavalli Tube Hybrid amp and I have no concern about it overheating.
I’d say it’s quite the opposite. A very large percentage of my early headphone-related purchases over several years were made to get rid of sound quality problems. I had my HD-600 and a love/hate relationship because of hissing and whining. I literally gave myself headaches. I’d have avoided aggravation and discomfort by landing on a more natural sounding product. Without experience people tend to land on “best measurements” or aggressive marketing or low price, and they suffer.
Good entry-level sound doesn’t need to be expensive – the ZenDAC without an amp is more enjoyable than the 789.
Hmmmm I get your point and @generic, but I am going by an amp that’s so clean, maybe too clean as you guys point out is the reason why I say and honestly can’t distinguish what you guys mean.
Maybe I ’m lucky, started with headphones, in a very short time got speakers for a home theater and really enjoy my home theater and then using my avr to stereo listen evolved me to prefer speakers over headphones. I do use my headphones daily.
My avr has horrible measurements, yet I guess it is musical. I no longer use it for my stereo listening, yet I can and it still is a pleasurable experience.
I would like to contribute this to my lack of experience or it’s just luck.
I just barely past a year of audio exploration, to also give you an idea of my level of experience. Prior to that my speaker was a JBL flip 4 and my headphones were some jbl bt pair that cost me 20 dollars lol.
I had the 887 and it’s virtually identical, I don’t know possibly not like the 789. And I can’t personally say even after this year and everything I’ve tried that it’s bad. Maybe my DAC is adding some flavor, but I can’t say it’s bad.
Just saying, not trying to battle about the topic. I am sure you guys are right when you are well seasoned.
But I also remember that someone on here had mentioned that these Chinese dacs are lifeless. That measurements aren’t everything, back to my avr I would agree, yet so far the TA-10R is definitely in my top 3 for headphone all in ones and I just got the D70s only because I wanted a higher AKM chip dac and that too is one of my favorites dacs for stereo listening and my #1 dac. I had the d30pro for a bit, before it took a dump and had some technical issues. That unit wasn’t bad to my ears as well for stereo or headphones . That’s why I ended up with the D70s.
Or maybe they[china] just progressed past that phase.
My first official dac was the geshelli jnog with AKM chip.
I just got a long way to go here and possibly giving my opinion isn’t very wise. But I am trying to learn and just consider my own experience when I make comments. As little as it may be.
I also was told many times to purchase Schitt for my first dacs amp and/or all in ones, I went to the schitt store and they had 8 units on demo. I didn’t like any of them to be honest including jot 1 and you guys say the Asgard 3 is available, which wasn’t available for demo so I can’t comment.
The ifi Nano BL, my first dac and ha was far better to my ears than any of those Schitt products. Unless the jot 1 is far worse than the 887 I can’t say I feel the same about both.
I only bought the 887 cause I really love my portable Fiio Q5s that I recently acquired. Which also has a thx amp in it.
Or who knows maybe I have yet to still hear or listen to something that’s really musical, I can’t say for certain.
I see the 789 as mediocre in delivering what many, most, or “typical audio enthusiasts” actually want. It has some genuine strengths, as it does a great job of producing a clean and tightly controlled signal. This is beneficial to headphones/IEMs that are vulnerable to noise or unwanted “fluctuations.” I’m not going to say distortion because what I’m hearing may not be measurable as distortion per se (i.e., to avoid debate with the measurement crowd). Regardless of what’s going on, sensitive or low end products can behave well on the 789. To my ears some hardware starts to fall apart with musical complexity, and this leads to unwanted artifacts. As the 789 strips the signal bare, such problems might be avoided from the start.
The 789 fails on the body, smoothness, richness, and naturalness dimensions. Transitions are jagged and brutal on the Clear. The 789 fails by applying the audio equivalent of bleach or a pressure washer to the source when a soft microfiber cloth is the right tool for the job.
For my HD-600, I put the 789 in the top half of all amps tried. Most balanced amps make it into the top half, as the 600 is extremely finicky about noise. When the amp/DAC control noise the 600 becomes pleasant and atmospheric, but is harsh otherwise.
My “tin cans and string” comment just was a play on words and not actually a slam against the 789. “Fun” is typically applied to warm or V shaped audio products, while the 789 is neither of these and therefore cannot provide audiophile fun. It can only deliver neutrality or an aggressive scrubbing.
Of course they drop the price once I finally put mine up for sale. Ugh.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on this amp, but it really does offer a lot for the money. I enjoyed my time with it while paired with my 6XX.
Yep, I was about to sell mine, too.
Let’s see if they’re selling off their final stock. If they are, and if you can wait a while, used prices may go up again.
Drop seems to have discontinued a lot of its products recently. The JVC HA-FDX1 IEMs just went on a steeply discounted sale, much like the THX 789, and are no longer available. In the past the same thing has happened to other items like the Cavalli amps and the Massdrop Plus IEMs, and they’ve been out of stock for a long time now.
I almost sold mine, but it’s worth keeping for $200. That’s just a couple Friday nights at a bar/restaurant. I honestly like the 789 with some stuff, and greatly prefer it over the old Magni 3 (not plus).
The 789 is a known quantity and no longer the king of the measurement hill, plus its metal case is both large and relatively complex. So, the built cost is probably excessive for what people will pay. Functionally similar amps are cheaper.
It would also not surprise me if the 789 engineers moved over to designing the Topping or SMSL product lines, and are now unavailable or prohibited from designing for Drop. Drop lost their mojo around the time of the Airist R2R DAC controversy, and rebranding from Massdrop.
Yes, they lost their mojo after Cee_Tee left. The most appealing element of Drop’s business model, namely of taking the enthusiast community’s wishes into account in bringing to market beloved items (often with significant improvements), seems to have been forsaken, for the most part. I’m still interested to see if the new Drop HD 8XX will mark a partial return to form.
They did a great job for a while, there, of releasing gear that was a nice step up from the entry-level offerings of other companies. It was the kind of stuff that could keep you happy as you progressed in the hobby. My purchases of the HD 6XX, Massdrop Plus IEMs, Cavalli Tube Hybrid, TH-X00 Ebony and the ZDT Jr. have all served me very well (as has the RDAC, notwithstanding the controversy). A few of these items may well remain in my collection for a good long while yet even though I’ve upgraded beyond them or have come to better understand my preferences and moved in other directions (like the HD 600 instead).
I can see the appeal of the THX 789. I’m trying to figure out if its synergistic pairing with BA IEMs is sufficient reason to hold on to it, given limited desktop real estate and a desire to fund other purchases. But for those interested in this amp, snagging it now for what, I believe, is half the original price, is a great deal.
Remember when the hype about this amp was so nuts that people were paying well over the original price for it?
EDIT: I just saw the Elex is $100 off right now and that Drop is recommending the THX 789 for it. I’ve not heard the Elex but from the consensus about its brighter tuning, and given the poor pairing of this amp with the Clear, I’d be very concerned about the Elex with this amp…
Based on what many community reviewers have said, the 8XX is a clear step down from the 800 S.
I listened to the Elex with the 789 for a good while. In short, I had to EQ the mid treble. With the Rebel Amp (replaced the 789), I no longer apply that EQ. The 789 is a fantastic amp, but it’s analytical sound probably shouldn’t be paired with analytical or brighter headphones.
Yeah, that’s as I’d expected.
It could well be; at this point, I’m not sure what to make of the impressions that are out there, especially as there seem to be have been changes over time in the tuning. I’ve seen other impressions that are more complimentary (here, for instance). Given the tendency for Drop products with a long lead times to generate controversy (I’ve seen this before with Drop products, with people trying to read the tea leaves of the numbers of canceled orders, etc.), I’m looking forward to the headphones getting into the hands of customers and to seeing impressions and reviews as they come in.
Sorry for taking us further off topic, have you also heard the Jot 2? It’d be good to see impressions comparing the Rebel Amp with it. I’m contemplating a solid state amp in this price range for planar headphones.
That pairing was, for a while, my “step up” from the HD-600. The Elex can be incredibly piercing on some amps, and the 789 controlled its excesses to a degree. However, I found that I’d wince (literally cringe) upon thinking about using the Elex. It sat on its hanger and the HE-560 became my daily driver for a while. I ordered the Clear a few days after the HE-560 died, as I’d demoed the Utopia and Clear previously.
After getting the Clear, the Elex sat on its hanger until I finished my Utopia, Clear, Elex, HD-600 comparison. Then I sold it.
$1.99? Nice. Value finally matches performance.
Edit: Oh, it’s $199. Nevermind.