Cap modded Monoprice Liquid Platinum Tour

Discussion in 'Closed Loaners' started by Ksorota, Aug 6, 2020.

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  1. Ksorota

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    HI SBAF,

    I recently found myself deep into the modding of the Monoprice Liquid Platinum (MPLP) amp, which quickly became a fun way to fund more audio purchases, including two MP LP's. I have done a bunch of the cap mods for individuals, and have shared as much information as possible for others to complete the mod on their own.

    This mod is not overly difficult if you have soldering experience and the required gear. Parts are fairly easy to come by and best of all produce a very tangible benefit, at least IMO. I should state that I am much more experienced with and in favor of solid state gear. Since the LP mod though my thoughts on SS vs. Tube have changed and I will not be giving up the LP.

    Now to the tour...I had reservations about posting this, but I also want to share

    Notes:
    This is not a SBAF sanctioned loaner tour it is a personal tour of my own equipment.
    The purpose of this loaner is to allow audio nuts to compare the pre- and post- mod changes of the MP LP
    Those who would like to participate must follow the rules that I have reasoned make the most sense.

    Rules:

    -Loaner tour will not go on indefinitely and can be closed at any time by myself

    -Participation is for members at the "Friend" or "Contributor" level

    -Unit shall stay in the Continental US to avoid delays

    -Please do not open the unit, I will provide anyone with the details required to complete the mod via pm

    -Participants agree to treat the unit with care - photos of any obvious damage upon arrival should be provided

    -The participant list will be posted in this thread and it will be the responsibility of the users to coordinate shipping between each other, but I must be included in the discussion to keep track of its location

    -Addresses should only be shared in PM's

    - Please post when you receive the item, and send it to next member.

    - Each participant should plan to keep the MP LP for a week before preparing to send to the next user

    - Shipping is a mixed bag...I have had great luck with USPS, but know others who cannot rely on the gov. to deliver their packages on time. I request that shipping be at the discretion of the two parties who are coordinating the exchange.

    -If their are no objections, I will arrange the participants in order of location so that the MP LP is not traveling across country multiple times...this will also help to keep shipping costs down. ( I fully realize this may be too logical in my thinking)

    -Signature required is a requirement, as is insurance up to $450 - (typical used price of the MP LP)

    -By participating in this loaner, you agree to follow each of these rules and provide compensation for any and all damage, or loss of the MP LP.

    As the tour comes to an end, I will likely be looking to sell the MP LP and will offer first chance to those who participated (if you do not already own one)

    I hope that participants will share their thoughts, comparisons, general notes on the MP LP
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...num-headphone-amplifier-by-alex-cavalli.6096/

    I will update the next post with participants...but the order will not be determined until I have closed enrollment

    Keith
     
  2. Ksorota

    Ksorota Facebook Friend

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    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  3. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    I am in.
     
  4. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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  5. RatSalad

    RatSalad Friend

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    I'd jump in but I already got to hear it, want to thank @Ksorota for lending me his modded LP to compare against my stock one. Stand up dude and a local gear slut. Very happy to have made a new friend. I might revisit this as time allows and other things change in my audio chain.
     
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  6. Baten

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    I'd love to see in inside pic :D
     
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  7. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    How would you describe the sound after swapping the caps?

    OK, found this
    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/mon...by-alex-cavalli.876406/page-192#post-15705526

    Of course these guys let their recapped amps burn in for 100 hours, which may have also burned in the tubes and the rest of the amp, so hard to tell, but their reactions are glowing. Will be interesting to get some impressions here.

    DId you say you posted the specs for the cap swap somewhere?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    What's the purpose of those caps? Where in the circuit.
     
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  9. Ksorota

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    I would love to be able to speak more intelligently about this, but I do not have a solid understanding of amplification design. It does appear that the two large caps on opposing sides of the board are part of the tube power circuit, while the third large one near the power inlet may be apart of the protection circuit.

    The other caps I swapped out were mainly done so because I had Elna II analogs to use. One near the XLR headphone output is in the XLR port signal path, but not sure what its purpose would be.

    If someone would like me to take some close up photos to trace it all down, I would be more than happy to do so.

    Best,
    Keith
     
  10. MLegend

    MLegend Friend

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    @AllanMarcus Some of the impressions posted in that Headfi thread are a little overblown, in my opinion.
    With that being said, I will say that, in many aspects, the cap mod does improve the Liquid Platinum.
    However, the new caps also take away some preferable traits of the stock caps and adds some undesirable traits that might be a deal-breaker for some.

    Just to be clear, I've had my LP for over a year before having the caps swapped by Ksorota, so the stock amp and tubes were well burned in and I was familiar with the sound before the swap.

    I've been unsure if impressions are going to be posted here or in the main Liquid Platinum thread, so I haven't posted mine yet.

    I'm very curious to see what others with more experienced ears think of the mod and how it stacks up against other amps.
     
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  11. Ksorota

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    One thing I can say about the sound of the new caps is that I believe it takes away a bit of the "tubiness" of the amp. I had not spent a great deal of time with the amp prior to the cap swap. In its stock form, without the brain adjustment, I was not a huge fan of the perceived distortion upon increasing the volume. At lower than normal listening levels the amp sounded fine, but when getting into the upper volumes where "fun" listening happens I thought the amp sounded distorted, but now I understand that is the lushness that others enjoy.

    The cap mod removes the immediate lushness and brings out some more clarity and detail, and speed of attack. Perhaps some would say that it leans the LP back towards solid state, but what it also does for me is make tube changes more obvious. I have been running Tube mongers 12au7 adapters and can immediately notice differences in sonic presentations with diff. tubes.

    Keith
     
  12. Ti_Leo

    Ti_Leo Acquaintance

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    (I'm the guy who wrote a super positive "review" of this mod on HF, so... don't trust me, don't trust me, don't trust me.)

    From my experience, using the stock tubes, the cap mod made LP sound leaner or cleaner, yes, just as @MLegend described, the separation of the background is clearer.

    As a guy prefers warm sound, I don't think the mod took much of the warmth away, not much, just a bit. Personally I think it's like the cleanness blew some veil away so it sounded cooler? And I found the tiny harshness on treble was mostly gone, so I even described it smoother.

    And yes, I also noticed there's a little noise humming, not high pitched, when there's not music playing. It's bearable, and I couldn't hear it when music started. But I can't really say it's because of the mod, I found the noise recently, maybe before the mod, maybe after, since it's not so loud, I didn't take it seriously... Too bad your amp has this problem now.

    So if the mod doesn't cause the noise problem, I still recommend it personally, as I really haven't find any big drawback of it. It's like many improvements vs -5% ~ -10% warmth? When I was waiting for the caps, I was using ZDT Jr., and I really thought ZDT Jr. could be as good as LP, or even slightly better pairing with HD650K. But after the mod, I didn't miss ZDT Jr..

    Again, don't trust me... LP is the best amp I've ever tried, so my judgement can't be so good.
     
  13. Ksorota

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    I am a bit surprised you are hearing such a noise...I have tried to recreate any background hum/hiss/whine with my HD600, Cascades and Meze 99C's and could not notice any sound without music playing. I can take a look at it if you want and see if I cannot remove the interference!?
     
  14. MLegend

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    I don't think it's interference, but I'm not sure. It's not background noise, it's part of the sound coming from the caps. As I said, it's incorporated with the added sharpness the cap mod brings. It's like turning the sharpness up too high on a display, which creates high contrast white halos in the image and ringing on edges.

    I think it just doesn't match well with Gungnir MB A2.

    I appreciate your offer, but it's not that much a pressing issue.
    I will just send it back to you to have the stock caps put back in if it gets to the point where I can't enjoy listening anymore.
    Don't worry about me/it though, man. I don't want to muddy this thread up with noise about my singular isolated issue.

    I'd rather wait and see what others think of the amp.
     
  15. Ksorota

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    Update: Amp is on its way to @Merrick who will kick off the tour.
     
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  16. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    A bit late, but tour members please post your impressions in this thread.

    I will move some of the impressions that are posted here to that thread as well. Feel free to let me know if other posts should be moved.

    Carry on gentlemen
     
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  17. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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  18. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Hey @runeight, any thoughts on this mod?
     
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  19. RatSalad

    RatSalad Friend

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    Wonder what's up with Alex haven't seen him anywhere in like a year. He used to post a bit. Hope all is well.
     
  20. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    He post just a week ago in the monoprice LG thread
     
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