Liquid Gold X Balanced Headphone Amplifier from Monoprice by Alex Cavalli

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by jexby, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Ksorota

    Ksorota Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,239
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    01810
    If the volume pot is the same as on the LP, you dont want to bother changing it out for something better/different. Its a PITA and a ALPS RK27 4gang will not fit in he stock location requiring reworking of the front plate.

    I thought the volume matching was better on the LAuX than on the LP based on this one unit, but I am not sure how it varies between units...something the LP was known for.
     
  2. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,663
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania
    I'm assuming I'm asking an obvious question, but I assume I could put something like a SYS in front of the LauX that I could push the volume control well past the 10:30 spot and not blow my ears off (a big problem for me right now... I don't typically listen that loudly).

    Also, I thought the LauX was pretty meh with my Auteur, but I picked up a black friday LCD-x and was stunned at how "right" the LauX/LCD-x combination sounds (meanwhile, LCD-x sounds meh out of my 3F... so I guess each amp has a permanent dance partner).
     
  3. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SF Bay Area Peninsula
    Synergy is rough on the wallet unless you can be satisfied with a small number of headphones. I was so hoping the Stratus could be my everything amp but ... nope.

    Yeah a sys would work though I think the LauX prefers balanced input. I'm using a Freya S and set the volume high on all my amps.
     
  4. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,663
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania
    To this point, I'm only using SE input to the LauX... I need to get another set of XLR's to see if I can hear a difference between SE and XLR in...

    Still hoping for a balanced saga S someday
    -------edit--------
    or a freya S with multiple balanced outs
     
  5. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

    Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10,058
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    https://www.rhythmdevilsaudio.com
    Home Page:
    FWIW, I don't notice this volume pot location SQ issue with Audeze headphones at all. In fact, I am never past this point on the volume pot.

    The LauX was designed to drive orthos, and Alex used Audeze headphones to tune the amp. Explains why they sound so good together.
     
  6. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,663
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania
    Could be that I'm hearing placebo then... I heard the difference with the Auteurs on the LauX, and expected to hear it with the LCD-x... Guess I need more listening time...
     
  7. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,503
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Goshen, NY
    Another listening session with the Final D8000 + "G" pads (designed for the Final D8000 Pro) on the LGX. This is true synergy: a combination to die for. Neither amp nor HP sound this good in any other combination.

    Not sure why, but the LGX is the voice of god on planars. It also crushes it with my beloved ZMF Ori...
     
  8. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SF Bay Area Peninsula
    An addendum to my earlier impressions since I was on the LauX + modded LCD-X loaner.

    The LauX has great Audeze synergy (especially modded by RD) and now that I have a modded LCD-4 I re-purchased the LauX. This combo is a smooth, layered joy with fantastic resolution and clarity. No shouting or showing off, they know they're a badass without having to brag. And the LCD-4 isn't the final version (of the mod), I will be picking that up soon and then doing a full write-up.

    I've also heard the LauX with a modded LCD-MX4 and a stock LCD-4. All have great synergy, I think the LauX is a safe bet if you like Audeze (and Monoprice has a good return policy).
     
  9. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,503
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Goshen, NY
    I've already determined the LGX is killer with planars. I have a number of amps here (and had/sold a number of others), but the LGX is the pick of the litter for any planar.

    The Final D8000 sounds quite amazing with this amp (with any amp, but even more so with this one). This is high resolution w/o being the least fatiguing. That's a rare trick.

    With this combo is quite easy to hear effects of any hardware changes, including:
    • Recently swapped out the Audio GD DAC-19 (a multibit I always liked the sound of) for a new, fully burned-in Audio GD R2R MK2. Sonic differences between DACs tend to be fairly subtle, but I easily heard that this AIO (used solely as a DAC) is an upgrade over the DAC-19
    • I'd been running the R2R with USB straight in from laptop via Lush Phasure v1 cable (which I love the sound of). Today I inserted my Musical Fidelity V-Link 192/24 into the chain: USB goes into the V-Link and signal outputs to the R2R via a Billy Jeans coax cable.
    • The resulting sonic changes are subtle, but all good: even more clarity than usual (with no change in overall tonality); even less distortion; slightly better instrumental separation; slightly better "black background" effect.
    IMO, the LGX + Final D8K = a true sonic lab instrument. I can hear pretty much anything that changes upstream. The overall sound is top-notch on pretty much any genre of music I throw at it.
     
    • Like Like x 6
    • Epic Epic x 1
    • List
  10. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,050
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    Sorry I'm late to the party. I read from many sources that while the displayed MSRP of the LAuX on the website is $999 (https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=38967), it's actually possible to buy it with a discount for around $700, even as low as $500-600. Could anyone share the details?

    If for whatever reason this cannot be shared publicly, I would appreciate PMs. Thanks in advance.
     
  11. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,050
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    Also I was wondering if anyone had a chance to compare the LAuX to the original LAu (which was far costlier). I personally wasn't a fan of Monolith LP, but many people seem to like the LAuX and think that the LAuX is even better than the LAu in some ways.
     
  12. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SF Bay Area Peninsula
    It comes down to waiting for Monoprice to discount it with Black Friday being a reliable expectation. Other times the discount shows up seem kinda random. It also helps to use google rather than the Monoprice web page because better discounts will sometimes show up at other stores. It’s kinda weird how they manage this.
     
  13. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SF Bay Area Peninsula
    I definitely like the LauX much better than the LP. I found the LP lifeless.

    I think @rhythmdevils may be able to provide the comparison to the OG version. Hopefully I will as well (sometime in the near future) if I get to listen to his.
     
  14. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

    Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10,058
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    https://www.rhythmdevilsaudio.com
    Home Page:
    I have both right now and will share a comparison when I have the time.

    I also bought a RAAL HSA-1b to see how it compares to the LauX driving orthos. I’ll post impressions of that comparison too. :)
     
    • Like Like x 11
    • Epic Epic x 1
    • List
    Last edited: May 20, 2022
  15. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,503
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Goshen, NY
    I'm aware of one guy on Head-Fi who compared the original Liquid Carbon to the Massdrop version (and found the latter inferior). That's as close as I can come...

    I have the Monoprice LGX and like it alot; then again, I never got w/in 1000 feet of the Cavalli original.
     
  16. mk801

    mk801 Facebook Friend

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2019
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I saw that OG LAu minutes after it went up for sale and I have to admit that I was tempted, but (looking at my tube collection) I am more in the market for a Liquid Glass. My hesitancy was your gain, lol.
     
  17. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

    Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2020
    Likes Received:
    10,058
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    https://www.rhythmdevilsaudio.com
    Home Page:
    The Liquid Glass is a really really awesome amp. I love mine so much. It pairs wonderfully with the LCD-5.
     
  18. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,663
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania
    Shop.com was selling them for $600 (that's where I got mine), but I don't see them listed on their site at the moment. There was also discussion that Monoprice was selling them on ebay for $600 at one point (listed for $1k now).

    When I was looking, it seemed like Shop, ebay and direct from monoprice were the options, Monoprice indicated that buying from any of the three provided the full manufacturer's warranty, and the prices at all three seemed to vary pretty quickly (almost on a weekly basis). You may just need to check regularly...

    Depending on what you're driving, another option could be the Singxer SA-1. I the SA-1 close but not quite as good as the Laux with my LCD-x, and thought the SA-1 pulled slightly ahead with most of my dynamics.
     
  19. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,060
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SF Bay Area Peninsula
    Good memory, I forgot about some of those. Amazon is another place that did (still does?) carry it.
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    81,290
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    I did not like Monolith LP. I know it was hyped up early on, even here. I hesitated on the GS nominations because not enough people had heard it. I did not like the OG LAu either. That was disaster with the dealer markup and a lot of hype. I knew people who bought it based on hype and then couldn't sell it. I get why people liked the OG LAu. It tried to be like the LG (awesome), but ended up as a solid-state insipid lifeless murky version of the LG.

    The LAuX I have in the house. I'll get to it. I't my understanding that it's very different from the OG LAu and works really well with Audezes.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022

Share This Page