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. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,314
    Dislikes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    @kevlar397 there are warnings about this place on the title banner above. Live up to your handle and you'll be OK. If you get offended easily you'll become entertainment.
     
    Thujone, crenca and Baten like this.
  2. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,767
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
    If you think that positive and helpful = always being kind and cheery, then you're in the wrong place.

    People here are going to be blunt. You should have multi-quoted rather than making three separate posts. He pointed that out, which IS helpful. And positive.

    But, let's not derail this thread with that kind of stuff. It's better addressed via PM. Back to the LP, please.
     
    crenca and FlySweep like this.
  3. obsiCO

    obsiCO Thai Fish Experiment Gone Wrong

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    476
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Helpful, absolutely, but positive? Have you seen a thread with a picture of poop used to review a product? :p

    Don't think too much about it! It's easy to misjudge the tone via text after all, and even if the tone isn't cheerful, I doubt it's anything malicious. If you read/lurk more, you'd know. Anyway, back to the LP.
     
  4. kevlar397

    kevlar397 Rando

    Joined:
    May 16, 2020
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Washington
    Ah, gentlemen. I see that my understanding of this forum is way off base. You guys seem to find enjoyment in being rude and tactless and then pass it off as being straight forward, tough, or manly. How sad. Well, I'm out of here. Have fun putting down my comments here and what ever it is you'll do to try to feel better about yourselves.
     
    Bobcat, Joshvar, crenca and 5 others dislike this.
  5. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,314
    Dislikes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Sure thing, to each their own. It's worth a little adjustment if you decide to check back in.
     
    crenca and insidious meme like this.
  6. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,783
    Dislikes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ridgecrest, CA
    You seem to have taken some technical advice on posting personally. Relax, take a breath, lurk and don't be easily offended.:piratemug:
     
    jayeshrc, crenca, JellyRhino and 3 others like this.
  7. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

    Friend
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    7,183
    Dislikes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aja
    I seem to have totally missed the part where this happened to you. Maybe you’re reading too much into it.
     
    Zurvv, jayeshrc, crenca and 6 others like this.
  8. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,404
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Sector 8023 of the Third Quadrant
    And leaves on a self fulfilling prophecy. I take it this isn't the first time this has happened to you. And you seemingly have learned nothing from those previous experiences.

    Do you know what most people that show up here do when they find out this isn't the place for them? They just leave. No goodbyes. No saltiness. No rage quit.

    This message isn't for you. This is for others to see how not to behave in a forum like this.
     
    JK47, obsiCO, FlySweep and 1 other person like this.
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    62,092
    Dislikes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    Dude, don't be an ass and just get over it. You asked some good questions and they all got answered way better than anyone at HF ever could. I've seen new people treated far worse. No one here hates you or anything like that. Get use to direct communication on how to properly conduct yourself and put your hurt feelings aside, keeping in mind that we do act like 9 year olds.

    First of all, a couple of points, some reiterated:
    • Gungnir A2 is gimped if you do not use the balanced outputs. Also the tonality is slightly cool / neutral. Therefore most people will prefer Bifrost 2 with its semi-vintage-R2R sound.
    • Personally I prefer Lyr 3 over the Monoprice LP. I am keeping the GS1000 that you have in mind. Other amps to consider with like presentation are the Asgard 3 and Night Blues Mini / Drop ZDT Jr (if you can find one). I don't care as much for Asgard 3 or LP and would much rather take the Lyr 3 or ZDT Jr. Just personal opinion.
    • If you use balanced outputs, you will get x2 more gain, thus possibly require XLR line-level attenuation adapter with super efficient Grados. With SE output, you may be able to get away with Lyr 3's or Asgard 3's low gain setting.
    If you want to ask more questions in a safer environment, you can always come to my Animal Crossing Island named "SBAF", Nintendo Network ID "purr1n"
    IMG_20200520_093300.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
    Mdkaler, boredpanda, Sqveak and 10 others like this.
  10. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

    Friend BWC MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    13,168
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    On planet
    Not everything I mention applies to you, unless you perceive it that way, but here are some things to consider.
    SBAF is unusual in keeping a high signal to noise ratio in the forum threads. This is accomplished by thoughtful posting by the forum members. Many useful facts, suggestions, objective and subjective data may be found here. To be useful, information must be able to be found. Searching through a number of posts with all noise and no signal is annoying at best. We expect members to do their homework but not ask to be spoon-fed information.

    @Mithrandir41 gave you what I would have perceived as a gentle ribbing, akin to having your ass tickled with a feather.

    Do a little research and you will find full back-alley beatdowns, tied to the mast floggings often followed by walking the plank.

    Keep in mind that contributors here often drink, but only to excess. We have real lives outside this forum so we hang here to exchange useful information, sometimes just drink and commiserate the state of our focused interests, maybe the world in general, but usually that is done in profile posts.

    Another useful research tool involves using a search engine and something similar to the following examples:
    stepped attenuator site:superbestaudiofriends.org
    or
    Matrix XSP measurements site:superbestaudiofriends.org
    (plug for another set of measurements now available)
     
  11. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2015
    Likes Received:
    500
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Danielsville, GA USA
    Nothing much to add. They worked fine. Nothing added or taken away from the sound. I wasn't using a pre-amp at the time, so they were series with an Emotiva Control Freak balanced volume pot between the DAC and a speaker amp for use with my HE-6's. I am now using a Freya pre-amp in place of the balanced pot and an Akustek passive pre-amp in place of the Naiant attenuators. I like the tube effect the Freya adds to my rather sterile power amp and the Khozmo Akustek gives me very fine volume steps independently for each channel that I can use for centering the soundstage because I have now a bit of hearing loss in my left ear that it helps to compensate. I don't think it matters what order they go in, but I always used the stepped attenuators (and now the Khozmo) at the input of the power amp.
     
    Sqveak likes this.
  12. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Likes Received:
    406
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    Joshvar, Baten, GanGreinke and 4 others like this.
  13. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,812
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Anything that would bring an amp closer to the DSHA-3F is well worth time and money!
     
    Hammy likes this.
  14. e.schell

    e.schell Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    551
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Illinois
    No need to keep that pricey DSHA-3F anymore, send it my way!! ;)
     
    Inoculator likes this.
  15. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Likes Received:
    406
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    In your dreams :)
     
    e.schell likes this.
  16. Hammy

    Hammy Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2015
    Likes Received:
    214
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    The $64K question is does the mod get the LP closer to the Liquid Crimson.

    I've been following discussions of that mod as well. I'm intrigued.

    I've got a Liquid Fire and the Liquid Platinum. My issue with the LP is that it doesn't have quite the level of transparency of the Liquid Fire. Transparency in the sense that you can better hear through the amp to what the DAC and source recording are doing. The Liquid Fire does that very well (for me) while still showing off the sonic flavor of the amp. I consider the Liquid Fire to have a very see-through rose colored transparency. The Liquid Platinum is more opaque. I'd like to nudge the LP to have a little more transparency. To narrow that performance gap between the LF and the LP.
     
  17. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Likes Received:
    406
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    Can’t speak to Liquid Crimson as I’ve never heard it, but ...

    I would definitely say the the mod improves transparency. I’ve rolled in my Brimar CV-2492 which moves tonality very close to the 3F w/ Amorphous transformers. The resulting sound is really close to the 3F. Over on HF someone asked why the 3F/Utopia pairing is good — part of my response was that the pairing: “... Somehow manages to be almost ‘wire-with-gain’ without seeming boring/referency/analytical”. Modded LP w/ Brimar goes to the same place. In fact, the biggest difference between the two amps in these configurations is the marginally larger headstage the 3F presents.

    All JMHO, my ears/your ears of course.
     
    FlySweep, Ksorota, obsiCO and 3 others like this.
  18. Inoculator

    Inoculator Facebook Friend

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
    Likes Received:
    236
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Thanks @Ksorota for pioneering the Elna cap mod, and sharing the values so I could have a buddy who is handy with a soldering iron do the mod for me!

    I am really impressed so far, I find it to be a pretty substantial change, that is overall very positive. First off, I do think doing this mod you sacrifice some of the distinct lush cavalli mids, the amp is certainly a bit brighter overall after the mod. I would say if someone really loves the "cozy warm blanket" sensation of LP they may want to stay clear. What you get though from the mod is significantly more "wow" factor.

    Some quick initial impressions post-mod with the Verite with Lambskin universe pads is that the amp is a lot faster and airier. The main strengths I am finding so far is things sounds more accurate, there is MUCH better instrument separation, a tad wider (not deeper) soundstage, and bass seems cleaner/less round. Makes it a much more technical presentation. Bass might be slightly lighter in quantity, but I need to listen more/do some tube rolling before I make that determination. My go-to tube for the stock LP are some 60's telefunkens. Those tubes are just enough to wake up the LP and give the treble some magic, and give a bit more detailed presentation. The mod seems to fix some of these deficiencies though, so I want to experiment with some warmer tubes now. My buddy who did the mod greatly preferred my '58 amperex bugle boy d-getters in it post-mod, and found the bass to be one of the main improvements post-mod. Once I get a baseline with the tubes I am used to I will check that out.

    Bottomline of VERY early impressions is that the mod doesn't completely transform the character of the LP, but it is a significantly different presentation. Really it just wakes the amp up and gives everything more air/space. Airy, airy, airy was my first thought. If the LP were a person, the mod would be like a strong cup of coffee and heading out for a hike rather than sleeping in and chilling on the couch after a night of heavy drinking.
     
    Baten, FlySweep, obsiCO and 2 others like this.
  19. Ksorota

    Ksorota Facebook Friend

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Likes Received:
    118
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    01876
    Building upon the above post by @Inoculator , and also @RatSalad I am preparing to offer a brief loaner of my cap modded LP. I want to offer this up to Friends (and possibly contributors depending on interest) to be able to hear a side by side comparison pre and post mod.

    I am overly excited about the mod. I tried out the LP for the first time while getting ready to do the swap and was not the biggest fan, but I also was more partial to SS amps.

    Over the past year I have been moving through the GLMK2 (cap modded also), Jotunheim, GSX-Mini, and now Monoprice LP and back tot he GLMK2.

    My first listen on the LP was with Ether C Flow 1.1's and I was not overly excited, even with the high end 12AU7, 7730 tubes that I had running on it via adapters. I just did not like the pairing with the planar magnetic headphones. Switching to HD650 cleared things up a bit, but I did not get the wow factor.

    My first listen after the mod I went straight for the HD650's and was immediately impressed. This was the tube magic that people rave about. Here is a brief summary of my first night reactions:

    "Let me start off by saying I was skeptical about the LP cap upgrade. I knew it worked wonders for the GLMK2, but it did so by bringing some tube like euphoria to the mix. (depth, staging, heft, etc.). My thought was, well, tube amp has most of that already, what are we going to gain by new caps...well, frankly, at least to my ears and my brief time with the LP, A LOT.

    Im getting goosebumps as I listen to "Can't Start Over Again" (Dion, Jeff Bek) and write this message.

    Quick summary of what I think the new caps achieved:

    • Lowered noise floor
    • tightened up the presentation
      • Seems to have reduced the distortion when pushing volume quite a bit
      • Allows complex tracks to breathe better and separate the layers (good example is Daft Punks Giorgio at 7:50...previous to the upgrade I was hearing a bit of a jumbled mess with distortion, so much cleaner afterwards)
      • The tonality of the HD650 I am running is heavenly. It was good before, but my goodness vocals are really shining now. Just fell into the song "Hello" (Adele) its that deep sounding
    • expanded the staging a bit
    • enhanced reverb/room sounds (depth of stage)

    For test tracks I mainly used:

    Hello - Adele
    Giorgio - Daft Punk
    You Make Lovin Fun - Fleetwood Mac
    Rollin and Tumblin - Eric Clapton, B.B. King

    In each case I noticed sonic improvements. Generally speaking, improvements were in more control over the tracks, allowing more detail retrieval, more definition between the notes, transients seem a bit faster too, and soundstage depth has been enhanced. Bass has developed more texture and density; it is quite addicting actually.

    I am enjoying the hell out of this amp....should have gone to bed, do not want to."



    My current chain includes Tidal Hifi, Bifrost MB Unison/Soekris 1321, HD600

    I have since moved to the HD600's (also Grado Hemp's)for all my listening and I could not be happier. I am only willing to loan out the LP because I have two of them. One will eventually be sold, but until then, I thought some may want to try it out.

    So stay tuned on the forum for a post about a loaner tour. I am going to plan to keep it brief (5 or so...just still thinking about the details)
     
  20. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,581
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    //rant on

    I would suggest that you start first by understanding tubes and the amp. Running 12AU7's in this amp will give you a compressed signature - the 12AU7 is designed to run at 250-300V B+ while the 6DJ8/6922 tubes intended for the LP run at their optimum curves at the B+ of 100V ( which this amp does ) .

    If you go back and dig through the early beginnings of tube hybrid headphone amps you will find some excellent examples of running tubes at lower B+ and how that "tubey" character was tweaked by running the tubes at much lower B+ - what it does is bring back your 1950's tube shmeer, lovely vocals, but bass becomes bloated and top end rolls off.

    I understand the desire to modify things, I don't think I have any single piece of gear that is not modded in some way. BUT if you are going to modify something for optimal sound then please do so within the parameters of the technical specs of the amp. Unless you are aiming to please your sonic preferences - totally acceptable but not for the masses.

    //rant off

    @Ksorota ; this is not a personal attack on you but my repeated plea not to mess with the 6DJ8 in the platinum.

    ..dB
     

Share This Page