Monoprice Monolith Liquid Platinum Headphone Amplifier by Alex Cavalli

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Vtory, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    I believe they can, yes, but if you're the original owner than you might as well take advantage of the 5-year warranty and get a new unit. All reports are that Monoprice has been good about replacing defective units.

    If people want to talk about the LG, can we start a new thread, please?
     
  2. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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  3. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    So the Liquid Gold is the Platinum with a built-in dac?
     
  4. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    No, it's the Liquid Gold with a DAC.
    The Liquid Platinum is a balanced Crimson.
     
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  5. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    No, it's a solid state amp.
     
  6. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    I didnt really feel that much crimson in it tbh. Maybe 80%?
     
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  7. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    seems the cat is out of the bag !! I was asking AC yesterday when he was anticipating some sort of announcement and he wasn't sure.

    I should have the Gold in hand later today and, from what I have heard, it is said to measure like a reference amp and provides a sound against which reference amps should be measured

    ..dB
     
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  8. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    yes, Avenson can repair anything Cavalli has developed.

    re price - not going down this rabbit hole aside from saying that the tech in these boxes far exceeds what you get in general in any TOTL costing 5X . Ultimately the decision is for the person buying the product.

    and seeing as I have moved my focus away from work - people are concerned about switching power supplies ... think about rectifier diodes switching at lower speeds in the audio band , choose the poison and optimize it for audio band use.

    do I like seeing big arse transformers and caps ??

    [​IMG]

    but I can't diy quiet switchers or else I might try

    ..dB
     
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  9. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Revisiting tubes on this amp via the Bifrost 2 and HD650 (stock) and HD600 (stock).

    Stock Tubes (EH 6922): I think these are criminally underrated. My guess is that they sound underwhelming at first, so people give up on them quickly. There's also a general bias against stock tubes, which is probably coloring impressions. They sound a bit flat and dry at first, but after toying with some other tube options I went back to these and forced myself to give them proper burn-in time and re-evaluate.

    They never lose the somewhat dry presentation, but the initial flatness is gone. Nice 3-D stage with the vocals pushed slightly back. Instrument placement/separation from the Bifrost 2 is the most evident through these tubes and I have a nice soundscape which gives the impression of being able to wander around in a song and focus in on the instruments I want to hear. These are currently getting the majority of head-time for me.

    Gold Lions (6922): You immediately notice that these are far punchier than the stock tubes and it adds a level of excitement. Soundstage takes a step back. But, the deal breaker thus far is a very gray background. There's a haze over everything that makes me feel like I'm listening through a veil and it ruins all the goodness that the Bifrost 2 brought to my system when I got it. I've heard that the haze goes away after a while, but I'm past the 50 hour mark now and it still drives me up a wall. I can't get through more than a couple of albums without getting frustrated. These are apparently made at the same factory as the EH and have the same construction. It makes me want to learn more about tubes to see how the sound can vary as much as it does.

    Amperex A-frames (Holland 1972) - The most liquid sounding of the three. Nice black background and very smooth. Sounds great with the right genres, but is not the best overall for me. Soundstage is a step back from stock and the sound is bit lacking in dynamics. Can be a little dull/flat and sounds get muddled with busy songs. They shine with quiet/atmospheric tracks from the likes of Mazzy Star or The Cranberries.

    Maybe I'll try an actual upper-tier set of tubes one of these days...Telefunkens and Siemens are on my radar since they're supposed to be exceptionally clean with a good stage. But, anything above $200 for tubes puts me in the realm of tube nervosa to the point that I'd rather go SS and leave all that behind. It seems silly paying over $200 for an accessory to an amp that can be had for around $500.
     
  10. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    @Skyline Thanks for your post — I guess I’ll have to go back & try the stock tubes again.

    I’m certainly guilty of being silly. I haven’t paid over $200 for any pair, but have paid way more than that in total. However, to my mind, I’m not paying for an ‘accessory’ but rather, upgrading an integral component of the amp. Well, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

    My biggest splurge is $165 for a pair of 60s NOS Siemens CCa tubes. They really are great with my Utopia, but also w/ HEKv2 & RAD-0. My Auteur like the body/weight which the CCa add, but also shine via my other favorite tubes: Brimar CV-2492 (which were more reasonably priced @$110). To my ears, the Brimar maximize the headstage and the level of detail presented, at the cost of a little warmth and bass weight. But, as others have said, the differences are fairly subtle.
     
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  11. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Thanks, @lcmusiclover . Both of those tubes are on my want to try list.

    I've heard good things about both.
     
  12. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    @Skyline

    I feel like CCa & Brimar are pretty much opposites in terms of their impact on the sound, so a good combo for me.

    Obsession confession: I have a set of Bugle Boys coming end of the week.
     
  13. Inoculator

    Inoculator Acquaintance

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    Enjoy the Bugle Boys, they have a really nice, laid-back timbre with the LP. They are my go-to tube when I want to vibe and get some work done while listening. It doesn't sacrifice technicality, but less in your face than some of my other favorites, without being sleepy. With the Auteur my favorite combo is undoubtedly some early 60's NOS Fat-O-Getter Telefunkens I snagged though. They just seem to give the treble a really realistic/captivating character, and have the best soundstage of any tubes I have tried with the LP/Auteur combo. Hard to describe other than it brings the Auteurs to life with the LP.
     
  14. nickwin

    nickwin Facebook Friend

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    Ive only tried a couple tubes but I don't mind the stock tubes either. The other pair I've tried is a relatively primo (expensive) pair of 60's USA Amperex's. Between the two the stock tubes have much less mid-bass emphasis, but this usually comes across as more neutral than the Amperex's (depending on the pairing). They stock tubes come across as brighter which emphasizes the 1k peak on my HE500s more than the Amperex's. With my current set up (HE500s and RDAC) the Amperex's are super smooth and laid back but boring. The Stock tubes are more neutral and a little more aggressive sounding in the treble. With Modi 3 in place of the RDAC it was basically a wash but I slightly preferred the Amperex. Between the two the stock tubes sound more accurate to me, but with some other (more forward) amps the Amperex's were magical.

    Im actually still not 100% happy with the HE500 LP pairing. I was hopeful that with some brain burn in, balanced cable, different tubes or DAC it would come together but so far it hasn't. I know there's some debate on whether the LP is truly transparent, but it isn't to me. IMO it has a pretty strong character even though its fairly neutral in tone. I feel like it doesn't really let the character of the recording come through fully, everything through it just has a little but of the LP sound. Its smooth but kind of flat. Good detail and stage but no slam. I don't feel like it has as much dynamic contrast as any of the other amps Ive used with the HE500s, it comes across as kind of a grey background. Overall it sounds relatively accurate but lifeless. My other issue with the HE500 pairing specifically is that for being relatively laid back in general, it doesn't smooth out the HE500s treble roughness very well, I still find the treble fatiguing at high levels. Using the RDAC and NOS Amperex solves this but at the cost of being totally boring. At this point I know the LP / HE500 combo isn't a great combo but Im not sure If I want to change the headphones or the amp.

    I can see the LP working really well with certain headphones (HD6xx for example). How are people liking this pairing?
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
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  15. nickwin

    nickwin Facebook Friend

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    Yeah.... If anyone is looking for a used LP shoot me a PM. Purchased in May, I believe its the most recent iteration.
     
  16. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    First time I really 'got' the HD-6xx was when I plugged it into my LP w/ Siemens CCa tubes. Lifted the 'veil', boosted the bass, opened the headstage, increased the energy overall. Really, it improved the sound an amazing amount. I never want to say 'night-and-day' about any changes to an audio system, but I'm tempted here. It's probably a bunch of relatively small changes which, taken together, result in a very significant improvement. (I actually typed, then erased '...huge improvement'.)

    Note that I was comparing the LP chain to SS amps (V280, BHA-1).

    A2 Gungnir Multibit helps as well ;)

    I understand that other folks don't hear the HD-6xx as 'veiled', but hey, they're my ears, right?
     
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