Dec 14, 2018203 views

Jotunheim amp vs THX AAA 789 linear amplifier

Which one is better as an amp. I planning to use both with either a Topping d50 or the smsl su-8 with an audeze lcd2, 6xx, 7xx for home use . Also as of right now I would be using it single ended but I am planning of buying balanced cables for the audeze lcd2 in the future

Jotunheim = differential balanced (not quite a "true" balanced amp, but close) THX AAA 789 = Uses opamps to generate balanced output. Both amps sound good (similar in a lot of ways):
  • Jotunheim:
  • The later Jotunheims sound smoother up top and are slightly warmer than the older ones (there was a revision somewhere, I think around the time of the release of Lyr 3). Overall, still clean, mostly neutral sound; just not as strident as the old models.
  • Loses a LOT on the SE output (it's almost a**).
  • THX AAA 789:
  • Sounds pretty close to neutral, highs can be strident (I'm treble-sensitive) with some tunes.
  • Volume pot is a**, and is held back by its power supply.
Measurements: ^those were done on the same rig and are the only ones that directly compare them measurement-wise that I know of (can't compare measurements from different rigs).
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My volume pot is silent, and makes zero noise through out it's entire range. I've heard of two people complaining about volume pot issues, the issue seems isolated and rare. Channel imbalance is about as good as you can expect from analog control.
I definitely recognize that this isn't an issue for most users. I only took issue when I heard one that had a pot swap. That alone seems to smooth out the treble brittleness. Made the sound overall less fatiguing. Pot swap + LPS = probably endgame-worthy, but the SMPS included isn't bad.
I actually have no idea but I bet if you had equal volume levels on each you couldn't really tell a difference in a blind test. Hence I'd go with which ever looked cooler and gave me more smug points on forums,