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Drop + THX AAA 789 Linear Achromatic Audio Amplifier EXPIRED

$199
$299.00
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Drop has Drop + THX AAA 789 Linear Achromatic Audio Amplifier on sale for $199. Shipping is free.

Thanks to Community Member dlfdr43 for posting this deal.

Specs:
  • Note: All parameters measured at 0 dB gain, 1 kHz, with balanced inputs and 300-ohm load unless otherwise noted
  • Inputs: Stereo XLR-3 gold-plated Neutrik; Stereo RCA gold-plated
  • Outputs: 1/4 in (6.35 mm) TRS gold-plated Neutrik; 3.5 mm TRS gold-plated; XLR-4 balanced gold-plated
  • Frequency response: + 0.01 dB / - 0.03 dB 20 Hz–20 kHz; + 0.05 dB / - 0.15 dB 10 Hz–50 kHz
  • Input impedance: 50 kOhms balanced or unbalanced
  • Chassis: High-grade CNC-milled aluminum with bead-blasted finish
  • Power supply: 24 VDC inline brick, universal input 100–240 VAC
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 9.1 x 2.2 in (210 x 230 x 57 mm)
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs (1,520 g)
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Edited September 18, 2021 at 01:18 PM by
Through September 20th or while supplies last, save $100 on the Drop + THX AAA™ 789 Linear Amp.

https://drop.com/buy/drop-thx-aaa...-amplifier
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$199
$299.00
Questions & Answers BETA
kmogilinedi asked this question on 09-20-2021 at 10:44 AM
09-20-2021 at 10:44 AM
Chord Hugo is a $2500 product 🙄. Cobalt is a portable and you can get better alternatives for this like TempoTec Sonata E44 which is 79 bucks.

I like the 789 for IEMs and full size headphones (not many THX based amplifiers support IEMs like 789) and desktop setup with SU-8s.

The below recommendations from Andy vault.
1 TempoTec Sonata E44
2 Ovidius B1 Apogee Groove
3 Hidizs S9 Pro E1DA 9038SG3
4 Astell & Kern PEE51 Hidizs S9
09-20-2021 at 10:44 AM
If you own a chord hugo there's not really a reason to buy this imo. You could connect the Hugo output to the amp since the Hugo is very transparent, and you can gain the sonic properties of this amp. But most people probably want to keep the transparent output of the Hugo or go into a tube amp.
09-20-2021 at 10:44 AM
Chord Hugo has a very good but not state of the art DAC. The THX aaa 789 doesn't have a DAC. The Chord Hugo has a good headphone amp. The THX has a great and far more powerful headphone amp with cleaner sound.

Chord is great stuff, and is likely not worth replacing, but the THX headphone amps are better.

At the same time, I bet 99.9% of people wouldn't know the difference.
shilderb asked this question on 09-20-2021 at 10:43 AM
09-20-2021 at 10:43 AM
Yes, assuming you have a decent source/dac.
If the source is flawed, this will just make it louder.
09-20-2021 at 10:43 AM
Yes, I use it to power both hd6xx and 58 jubilee
MellowRain3662 asked this question on 09-20-2021 at 09:55 AM
RunningOnEmpty asked this question on 09-21-2021 at 12:06 AM
MarvinB asked this question on 09-21-2021 at 02:56 PM
natecmu asked this question on 09-22-2021 at 08:24 AM

114 Comments

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This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2019
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#46
Quote from poopymcpoopyface :

At the same time, i bet 99.9% of people wouldn't know the difference.

this.
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Last edited by RunningOnEmpty September 19, 2021 at 03:54 PM.
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#47
Quote from arunix :
I want this but I already have the JDS Atom.
I have both. The Atom looks good on paper but the AAA is far superior. That is, assuming you have a superior dac and headphone to match.
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#48
I have an atom myself. Would I notice a difference between this and the atom on my hd 6xx?

if so what kinda difference? how much percent better is it ?
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Joined Nov 2016
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#49
Quote from PoopyMcPoopyFace :
Chord Hugo has a very good but not state of the art DAC. The THX aaa 789 doesn't have a DAC. The Chord Hugo has a good headphone amp. The THX has a great and far more powerful headphone amp with cleaner sound.

Chord is great stuff, and is likely not worth replacing, but the THX headphone amps are better.

At the same time, I bet 99.9% of people wouldn't know the difference.
Thanks Bud. I've got your point. I will buy this for my own experience. Can I pair this with Hugo as a DAC?
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#50
Quote from arooni :
I have an atom myself. Would I notice a difference between this and the atom on my hd 6xx?

if so what kinda difference? how much percent better is it ?
Luckily, I have experience with both.

Get the THX if:
  • You can't get enough volume out of the atom. The THX is necessary to get more volume (gain, not power) out of some inefficient planar headphones.
  • You have interference issues. I had (mostly insignificant) interference from my monitor that was solved by running a balanced topping D10-balanced. When I ran the atom, I had to be careful about placement near my computer monitor and its wires.
  • You want to run the 4-pin balanced headphone output for more volume.
  • You want a really solid feeling amp. The all metal build just looks and feels great.
DONT get it for sound quality. I couldn't tell the difference between the THX and the Atom when volume matched with a multimeter and the measurements on audio science review support this. Basically anything above 90dB dynamic range/SINAD will sound identical, so this is why most people say put your money into good headphones as a priority.

Benchmark your ears here: http://www.klippel.de/listeningtest
The best I can distinguish is about -39dB using sensitive IEMS and my thx 789, and I usually get around -33dB. After 39dB, I just don't care anymore. Compare that to a dynamic range of 110dB or higher for these amps and DAC's. We are living in the golden age of audio thats for sure. I hope this helps.
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#51
Quote from paruchuribros :
Chord Hugo is a $2500 product 🙄. Cobalt is a portable and you can get better alternatives for this like TempoTec Sonata E44 which is 79 bucks.

I like the 789 for IEMs and full size headphones (not many THX based amplifiers support IEMs like 789) and desktop setup with SU-8s.

The below recommendations from Andy vault.
1 TempoTec Sonata E44
2 Ovidius B1 Apogee Groove
3 Hidizs S9 Pro E1DA 9038SG3
4 Astell & Kern PEE51 Hidizs S9
I own the Astell & Kern PEE51 and love it.

Like the other USB-C DAC/AMP combos listed from Andy - nothing beats the portability and small convenience of these smaller USB-C devices.

They may have a premium cost but it sure beats being forced to listen to your headphones near an outlet where the amp is plugged into.

USB-C devices are able to be plugged into phones/laptops allowing the user to listen to their music/videos anywhere
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#52
Quote from arooni :
I have an atom myself. Would I notice a difference between this and the atom on my hd 6xx?

if so what kinda difference? how much percent better is it ?
Fieldcar gave nice detail response.
I just want to add, I believe atom has more power single ended than 789 (I looked it up when I was buying the atom)
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Joined Sep 2012
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#53
Can this be used to drive speakers? I have an iMac and PC on my desk and want to use one set of speakers for both without having a massive AVR on my desk. Just need a small basic 2 channel amp.
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Joined Oct 2011
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#54
Quote from JohnS2672 :
This or a Schiit Magni Heresy which can be had for $99? I'm new to the audiophile scene and am trying to gauge my best starter options.
The best starter option is to not buy a starter. You will just be in upgrade hell for the next several years.

As someone else said, invest in great headphones. Try out good amps or look for amps that bring out the qualities of your headphones that you bought them for, not the other way around.
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#55
currently have hd6xx as my headphone and schiit modi 3 as the dac(also have heresey for amp). too good of a deal to pass up on this so bought it.

would i benefit by changing my hd6xx to balanced xlr cables?
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#56
Quote from fieldcar :
Luckily, I have experience with both.

Get the THX if:
  • You can't get enough volume out of the atom. The THX is necessary to get more volume (gain, not power) out of some inefficient planar headphones.
  • You have interference issues. I had (mostly insignificant) interference from my monitor that was solved by running a balanced topping D10-balanced. When I ran the atom, I had to be careful about placement near my computer monitor and its wires.
  • You want to run the 4-pin balanced headphone output for more volume.
  • You want a really solid feeling amp. The all metal build just looks and feels great.
DONT get it for sound quality. I couldn't tell the difference between the THX and the Atom when volume matched with a multimeter and the measurements on audio science review support this. Basically anything above 90dB dynamic range/SINAD will sound identical, so this is why most people say put your money into good headphones as a priority.

Benchmark your ears here: http://www.klippel.de/listeningtest
The best I can distinguish is about -39dB using sensitive IEMS and my thx 789, and I usually get around -33dB. After 39dB, I just don't care anymore. Compare that to a dynamic range of 110dB or higher for these amps and DAC's. We are living in the golden age of audio thats for sure. I hope this helps.
Thank you for this link. I tried using a Khadas toneboard dac/amp and a Future Sonics G10 earphones and got a result of -30 dB.
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#57
Total waste of money. JDS Labs has an excellent amp for $100 that performs better. I have one and it meshes beautifully with my closed-back Sony Z7 and mainstay of the hobby, the HD650. Listened to three 24bit albums of Shostakovich symphonies this morning and was completely enthralled and I've had other amps including most recently an Asgard 3. The little Atom blew away the Asgard 3, Magni 3, and Matrix M-Stage HPA ($250 cost).

Before pulling the trigger on audio gear check out the measurements at AudioScience.com. For example. the Atom measures better than the 789:

https://www.audiosciencereview.co...ier.24680/
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Last edited by brucknerfan September 19, 2021 at 10:31 AM.
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#58
Quote from brucknerfan :
Total waste of money. JDS Labs has an excellent amp for $100 that performs better. I have one and it meshes beautifully with the Z7 and HD650. Listened to three 24bit albums of Shostakovich symphonies this morning and was completely enthralled and I've had other amps including most recently an Asgard 3. The little Atom blew away the Asgard 3, Magni 3, and Matrix M-Stage HPA ($250 cost).

Before pulling the trigger on audio gear check out the measurements at AudioScience.com. For example. the Atom measures better than the 789:

https://www.audiosciencereview.co...ier.24680/ [audiosciencereview.com]
The amp in this post goes up to 6000 mW at lower impedances. So for people who need that kind of power, this is a good deal. Even for higher impedances like 600 ohms, this has more power than JDS Atom.
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Joined Dec 2014
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#59
Quote from arunix :
I want this but I already have the JDS Atom.
Why? The Atom measures better than the 789.

https://www.audiosciencereview.co...ier.24680/
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Joined Dec 2014
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#60
Quote from gulan :
The amp in this post goes up to 6000 mW at lower impedances. So for people who need that kind of power, this is a good deal. Even for higher impedances like 600 ohms, this has more power than JDS Atom.
Why would anyone need that much power? I think Amir has done tests where he measured mW amp output needed to drive various popular full sized headphones and he could reach ear splitting volumes with less than 100mW.

The output specs manufactures use (i.e. 6000mW) are usually taken right at the clipping x-point. Distortion climbs exponentially just before reaching this threshold.
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