Massdrop "x" (Audiophile)



That looks like a great pairing. Again it’s a lovely picture as well.


Thanks! :slight_smile:

So far, and it’s only been a few hours while doing some paperwork, the THX AAA 789 seems completely neutral. The RDAC has some warmth/sweetness to it, which helps add a bit of life to the delivery.

Picture is just a quick snap under far from ideal lighting. You can’t see the coloration of the ear-cups on the AEON Flows very well, they’re quite pretty in person (and very comfortable).


The AFC are indeed comfortable. I painted little white dots on the end of the black cables just below those twisty connectors–for quick attachment. And a little white dot on my MCTH volume knob, as it has a HAZARDOUS invisible black dent to indicate volume.


I did a similar thing with my MCTH I used Silver fine tip Permanent marker though (the marker point fit perfectly in the indent on the volume knob)


I like my volume dot large, but the paint dried into a little pit where the dot used to be:


Yup… :grin:


@generic’s is bigger than yours. :grin:


Don’t tell my wife… Lol


Husband handbook, chapter 1, page 1, sentence 1: “She knows, trust us all: she knows.”


I read your great review of the SPL Phonitor X and like all your reviews, it was very well done. Considering how extremely well the THX AAA 789 purportedly measures, how would you compare it to the Phonitor X with a low impedance headphone - like the Focal Clear, leaving aside all of the extra features the Phonitor provides, such as Matrix control?


It’s too early to say.

I’ve just been using it for background listening while doing other things, while doing a quick rotation through my headphones to see how it behaved in general. Enough to know where it sits from a general tonal perspective and how it measures up, power-wise, with my more demanding cans (for which the Phonitor X is substantially more capable), but nothing really beyond that.

I’ll be doing a full review of it, but there are several reviews in the pipeline ahead of that, though I may have a bit more to say about it by the middle of next week (but likely not before).


The Monoprice/Monolith THX AAA Dual Dac (AKM 4493)/Dual 788 Amp Balanced dac/amp came out today. It has built-in parametric EQ and display too.


Son of a … Sighs actually takes out wallet…


Hopefully it sounds good…should be in my hands before Turkey day!


No balanced output without resoldering the connectors… hmm.

BEST ANSWER: And with some warranty-voiding simple soldering, it should be pretty straightforward to modify the unit so the two XLR-3 “inputs” become balanced outputs wired internally to the XLR-4 headphone out and controlled by the volume dial. i.e. remove C67, C76, C79, C84 to disconnect XLR3’s from the ADC. Then patch wire twisted pairs connecting the two XLR3’s pins to XLR-4 pins as follows:

twisted pair 1
L+: XLR3 J2 pin 2 to XLR4 J10 pin 1
L-: XLR3 J2 pin 3 to XLR4 J10 pin 2

twisted pair 2
R+: XLR3 J4 pin 2 to XLR4 J10 pin 3
R-: XLR3 J4 pin 3 to XLR4 J10 pin 4

Each XLR-3 pin 1 is already tied to ground so you can leave that alone. This configuration is a bit better than using the XLR-4 balanced output since the cables will now have grounded shields, and the downstream device will now have shared ground with the 789 product.


I’m not worried about balanced output to speakers, it says it is balanced out to headphones on the front though? I’m unfamiliar how this works but I’m assuming it is true balanced due to the dual amps and DACs. I think @Torq can probably give an accurate answer to this though.


Yes its balanced out to headphones. For me, I want to have balanced out to my current and future tube balanced amp for a different sound. :slight_smile:


Ah gotcha… that is what my RME ADI-2DAC is for :wink:


This has me very interested.


OK, thanks. I look forward to your forthcoming comments and review.

I am curious as to how this amp compares, from a listening perspective, to top tear products that are much more expensive, like the Phonitor x or iFi iCan Pro, in part because of all the hype it is receiving by the, “measurements are all that matter” objectivists (are they also followers of Ayn Rand?). Having said that, I don’t want to reopen the subjectivist vs objectivist can of worms but I would like to know if there are sonic qualities that measurements can not inform us about, in particular as regards the THX AAA 789.

In your review and forthcoming comments it would be appreciated if you could include that comparison as well as with other products in the same price range, such as the Gilmore Lite MK2 and Schiit Jotunheim. I am trying to assess if it is worth saving for one of the big boys if one does not have very difficult to drive headphones.