Massdrop "x" (Audiophile)



I very nearly bought the 4XX, but as a direct competitor to the 6XX I feared it would underwhelm. If I hate the Edition XX, I’ll take advantage of the “available now” market before they re-drop and hopefully get out with a minimal loss.


I’m currently heading toward planars after getting the Aeon Flow.


mmm so you’re saying we should start infiltrating Edition XX threads and saying how much the Edition X and Ananda pound our heads with bass drops, and then sit back, wait a couple weeks after they receive it, and check the classifieds? :slight_smile:

I think I’m okay with 2-3 month waits for special drops and maybe 1 month for something that is extremely discounted that is available now via Massdrop, but these 5-8 month waiting periods is a lot. MD wasnt originally a kickstarter-type site but it’s quickly becoming one. I really do appreciate what they do though, and really like their daily drop thing on the popular collaborations after they’ve gone through successful campaigns.

Still tempted to join. But still… holding… out.


You can even do that without lying. Just keep using the term Planar Bass over and over, and how you like the XX bass SOOOO much more than your TH900’s.


For what it’s worth, i don’t really consider Massdrop because I like doing a lot of research and when I’m ready to buy I’m ready. I’m willing to wait (like for ZMFs) if I know I can order when i’m ready, but massdrop doesn’t work that way and I don’t buy used stuff so I don’t even put things like the MCTH in my consideration set. Probably my loss, but I just don’t want to feck around.

All that said, I do have the THX00s simply because the research and buy stars happened to align.


I’ll usually pass on first-drops when they’re on an extended time-frame. But once they’re available from stock on the rotating 24 hour drop, like the MCTH is now, it becomes a different matter.

There you just buy it, pick a shipping option (free but slow by default, but faster options are available for reasonable prices). I mention this incase you’re not aware of it … either generally or in the specific case of the MCTH.

I’ve made exceptions for some items on the longer schedules. And I’m glad that others are more patient than I am so that some of these genuinely solid, interesting, high-value products - often with interesting changes (e.g. the much more solid headband on the new HiFiMan x model) and significant improvements actually get made.

I expect I’d be more patient if I was buying this stuff for my primary or secondary use. At this point, a lot of it is for comparison/review rather than specifically wanting them to use as part of my normal rotation.


Add another one to the “second drop and above” queue; if it’s a good product then you can bet any body part of your choosing that Massdrop will try to move as many units as possible to improve their margins (unless otherwise specified for those “limited” drops)— I got in on the second TH-X00 Ebony drop with a friend after considering many impressions posted online and still love em to this day. Adding to that, I’m seriously eyeing a ZDT Jr. pending a few other amps in the price range I wanna try because that amp just has great synergy with my headphones.

Say what you will about their business model, a lot of those criticisms are valid, but their audio collaborations often turn out to be improvements over the models they’re based on. The more affordable prices are just a nice bonus.

I’ve voiced support for how MD does things in the past, and for the most part I still stand by those sentiments (impatient little weasels with your next day delivery and return windows grumble grumble). However, I agree that pressuring people into buying gear by shoving the threat of impending FOMO is coercive, and that the lead times can be absurd, cases like when MD had trouble flying the ZDT Jrs. out of Russia due to a scarcity of planes (or something to that effect) being the exception. Still, that’s the beauty of being a consumer, no one can legally force your money from you so you have every means to hold on to the same at your disposal, coercive marketing and employment of psychological warfare notwithstanding, haha.

TL;DR anyone want to find a new home for their Airist R-2R? Impressions of these are excellent v my current DAC and I’ve been trying to track one down :stuck_out_tongue:


I may just dip my toe in and purchase some used ones, though not sure which ones. I must say that the XX are tempting but the long wait time and it being the first drop makes me wary.


Yes to everything, but also consider this line of research:

Sometimes waiting can be rewarding in its own way. Humans are weird.


I believe that Epicurus may have even written about it earlier.


The Airist doesn’t actually ship until December. All the current reviews are for preview units. I am really excited to get mine in the mail! It is an awesome sounding DAC.


Wow, I got the dates on that one bass-ackwards. Sorry!

Congratulations on the excellent DAC! If you ever feel it needs a new home some time from now I’d be happy to oblige, haha. Looking forward to hearing more impressions of it as it settles in with your system.


Thanks Torq, yeah I was totally unaware of the second drops stuff! I guess I’m too lazy to learn all the lingo and ins/outs :slight_smile:


It’s almost certainly going to get dropped again.

They’ve done two drops so far, neither of which completely sold-out, so I’m pretty sure you’ll see another drop on it once the first batch of units start shipping (maybe sooner).


Thanks for the heads up! Missed that there’ve been multiple drops, but I’ve been trying to stay away from MD for fear my self-control falters, haha. Sorry all the same, but it’s nice to know that there’s a DAC in the price range that gives my BiMB a run for its money.

Now for a ZDTJr… speaking of, @Torq, good-natured poke wondering about your impressions of the same :stuck_out_tongue:


I really like the Massdrop EC ZDT Jr. - it’s probably going to get paired with the RDAC in my down-sized office rig (since I’m there ever less often and for ever shorter periods of time … just a couple of hours this last week).

I am hoping they do another drop of that unit - with the updated shielding - as I don’t think I’ve seen one for sale used.

Proper impressions/review will have to wait a bit - since I haven’t listened to mine in a while - but I will say it is a real tube amp - and far more affected by tube-rolling than the tube-hybrids you tend to find at this end of the market (MCTH, Garage1217 stuff, Vali 2 etc.)

Bass could be a bit tighter, but the mids and top-end are lovely - and the end result while not overdone in terms of “tube-iness”, has some warmth and liquidity that you generally don’t find on solid-state or tube-hybrid designs.

Definitely prefer it with higher impedance cans (via it’s hi-Z output) … HD6XX, HD800S, ZMF Eikon all sound delicious out of it. Not such a hot story with, say, the TH/TR-X00 - even using the low-Z output.

A proper review will follow - likely in comparison to the Bottlehead Crack (with, and without, Speedball) … which if my cold doesn’t turn into the flu I should get around to actually building today.


Oof, sorry to hear you’ve got demons in your sinuses too, hope you feel better soon!

I rather liked the TH900/HP-3 out of the ZDT Jr. during the half-day I spent dickering with it; the pairing mitigated treble issues and had an amazing sense of space at the expense of, yes, bass quality, but besides that being a store demo I also have to concede a great deal of inexperience with “good” amps— if I can track down something in the same ballpark that does even better with low-z biodynas then I’m likely going to jump right on it, since I don’t see myself investing in high-z cans anytime soon outside of the HD6xx, haha.


Oh ha, that was a preview DAC, and not mine. I am very much so looking forward to getting my own when it ships on December.


My wallet is mad at you guys @Torq, @Lyer25 for putting the Z Jr amp on my radar… I rather like the look of it…sighs and pulls out wallet


Can’t seem to find a list of your gear (hm, another suggestion for the site: an area in the profile specifically for people to list gear they have, a la Head-Fi?), but depending on what you have it could be a great match or less than ideal. I’d not use it for planars, for example, but in my limited experience with good amps I do believe it a great match for high impedance dynamics, specifically ones a bit too excitable up top.

Just for the record I found it paired well with my own low-z biodyna, but admit the bass “texture”/control isn’t the best for the price.