Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by neogeosnk, Feb 26, 2018.
@Claud how does it compare to your phonitor e? Wondering how big of a step down it is...
For me adding the Modi 3 to the THX AAA was a little too grainy for the treble for me, if I must be honest. Still a good combo with slight warmness, but not much. I thought with the THX it will show off the limitations of the Modi 3.
Still waiting on its arrival. After about two weeks of break in , I will let you know. At this time I expect the Phonitor will be a bit more dynamic with a touch of warmth and faster transients. We will see/hear.
Modi 3? THX 789 + Modi 3 would be as neutral as I could think of it. Slightly warm + slightly lean. One can argue that the slightly grainy highs is more normal than the less grainy highs of multibit.
The MM is smoother sounding, but I think the Modi 3 is most likely more neutral. The USB input holds the MM back. I think the Modi 3 sounds pretty similar no matter the input, so not sure what is @Claud userscase. Something to keep in mind.
@purr1n. How does the Magni 3+/Heresy compare with the THX 789?
My user case is to let other headphone guys try out headphone cables on Senn and ZMF headphones. The system will be as neutral as I can assemble. My iBasso DX 220 DAP coax out to Modi Multibit to THX 789. I would have used my Cavelli LC, but it is too flavored or warm. For those that care, WyWires Silver ICs.
@purr1n This chart is very informative for people like me who are looking for a SS amp within the price range of the THX 789. Thank you. If you're disposed to, I'd love to see what you make of the Asgard 3 in this comparison. It would be useful to have your opinion of the A3 in this high value SS market. I may have missed it, but I didn't find your opinion of the A3 in the appropriate thread.
Dang the Magni 3+ that good huh? Might have to grab one, was curious about it. Based on that chart looks up my alley.
Relative to the others, yes.
The real story is also how well Magni 3+ measures. Not opamp chip level 0.0002% THD, but very close to it - that is only detectable by modern measurement gear. Two decades ago, we couldn't measure this stuff. And CD was developed in the late 70s.
The 789 still has a place for for headphones like the HD650 or LCD-2C, better meshing with their tonal responses, and with a notably deeper headstage. Heresy and Atom are good measuring amps that sound boring and closed in.
I ordered a 789 out of curiosity due to the price drop. I thought it sounded boring connected to the DAC out of the Burson Conductor I keep by my bed, but I find it a lot more agreeable with the balanced output of the Auralic Vega, which sounds a bit less Sabre than its own single ended output (completely different design), or the Conductor's DAC.
It still sounds a bit lean, but very enjoyable with the TH900's, modded LCD-3's, and Verite. I mainly got it as a everyday no-heat amp that can take the balanced/better outputs of the Vega, so I don't really care that it's lame with my other DAC.
The tonality is a little artificial compared to the magni 3+, but in a lot of beep boop electronic music I listen to, that doesn't really matter. The magni 3+ is also so cheap I have no reason to get rid of it.
My 789 arrived last week and I was able to sneak it past the little woman. Now it is just one of the black boxes. I think it needs some break in so I am going to put it in my Stratus/ Ragg system playing from my Ibasso 220 and Yiggy 24/7 for a few days. It may help it out or not, but at least I tried. Should sound pretty good.
Marv, I have been sitting on the fence for a long while regarding the 789. I just never found myself tempted enough to pull the trigger to try it. I am quite happy with my Asgard 3 - is there anything extra that the 789 brings to the table?
If you want a super inoffensive, dull sound with above average head-stage the 789 is just that. The Asgard 3 should sound a good bit more involving in comparison. In for example a work/office rig, the THX might be good for that.
If you like the sound of Asgard 3, the 789 is going to sound awfully cool, clinical, flat, and boring. These two amps are very different in their approach to sound.
I haven’t heard the Asgard 3 yet, however it is certainly on my list. I also can’t speak to the 789 (I am almost wondering why I am even posting) however I did have the smsl sp200 (thx 888) and preferred the magni 3+ to the sp200.
So, would you say that the 789 is more neutral than the Asgard 3?
Yes, Asgard 3 is rather warm. It sounds like a DNA amp is solid-state form, that is DNA - a bit of that DNA magic.
Asgard 3 is doing stand in as my main amp right now (fed via Gun A2). It has similarities to the EC BW2 I sold, in that it is warm, wet/liquid, and has a fullish timbre - like a stereotypical tube sound and the BW2, though I think it is more extended on both ends, or at least flatter (maybe even slightly U shaped?) than the BW2. It is definitely contrasted with the Jot I also occasionally run, in that the Jot is typical SS neutral/clinical and it would seem the 789 is that way as well (never heard it myself).
It still can come across as "hard" at times, with a bit of grain (it's $199 after all). The BW2 had air and ease and refinement that the Asgard 3 lacks - as well as that big "diffuse" stage. I would even say that the Asgard 3 has that warmish liquidity that I enjoy in some opamp designs without most of the drawbacks. Maybe it has its fair share of feedback? Just speculating...
Just curious, do you tend to use high gain or low gain on the Asgard? IIRC low gain has (more) feedback.
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