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. Pancakes

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    Aha! I guess that's the problem. Thanks!
     
  2. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I just got a LP from a fellow SBAFer and just finished re-arranging my rig to make room for it. It’s gorgeous in person! The pictures don’t do it justice at all. Gotta be one of the worst discrepancies between product pictures and the actual product I’ve ever seen. In the pictures it looks plastic-y and the design looks chinsy. In person it looks like some kind of aircraft part or something from a NASA space craft. Really has a Lockheed vibe to it.

    I haven’t fired it up yet but I will soon!
     
  3. Pancakes

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    If it doesn't have the cap upgrade, I suggest you do it. The technicalities get a lot better. Tonally it seems the same to me.
     
  4. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    i trust Dr Cavalli :)
     
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  5. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I did not find the cap upgrade to be to my liking. I think it’s a stellar amp in stock form. If I would mod any of it, it would be the potentiometer.
     
  6. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    The gray faceplate finish is the only unfortunate part. It just doesn’t photograph well and even in person doesn’t do the amp justice. You have to hold it to understand it’s beauty. Too bad it isn’t just all black or a finish that looks like metal.
     
  7. Pancakes

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    Yeah the pot is crap. My first unit was unusable. The second is usable enough to live with until I replace it with something better.
     
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  8. Pancakes

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    You would swap for the same values as the originals so the Cavalli designed circuit is the same. It’s just a matter of higher quality caps vs the Monoprice ones that are used to meet a price point. I’m not trying to convince you, just pointing out that the Cavalli design doesn’t change.
     
  9. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    How do we know the stock caps were chosen just to hit a price point? Perhaps they helped achieve the desired sonic qualities as well. Just playing Devil’s advocate here.
     
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  10. dBel84

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    They weren't. Alex chose all components, specified brand and rating. Nothing was allowed to be substituted. His philosophy was always, nothing boutique unless critical and off the shelf appropriately rated parts for the design.

    The cap mod is snake oil and I am happy for those who find it makes a difference. As for stock, just review @atomicbob fine measurements of the amps performance.

    .. dB
     
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  11. Pancakes

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    Maybe it is. But, I have trouble hearing differences in DACs so I don't consider myself to have golden ears and am generally skeptical of "veils were lifted" type stuff. But the caps (I'm using Audio Note) made it an obviously better amp. Anyway, to each their own. If I've placebo'd myself into happiness so be it :)
     
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  12. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Where did the cap mod come from? Someone at some point looked at the internals and decided the stock cap was insufficient?

    And how do people do the mod if they can’t DIY?
     
  13. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    They get those who can DIY to do it for them, for a fee.
     
  14. MLegend

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    It originated from curiosity after swapping caps in another amp. The person liked the change in sound after the swap, they then started to wonder if the cap swap would have the same effect in the Liquid Platinum. So, they had the caps swapped by
    @Ksorota. After the fact, they shared their impressions on Headfi and that's how the modding craze started.

    If you're curious about modding the amp, I would hold off for now. I would recommend spending time with the amp in its stock state for some time to see if you like sound or not.

    By that time, if you want an overall thinner and sharper sound (more SS less tube) then I would look into the cap mods.

    I didn't like the sound of the original cap mod, so I had it reversed. However, there is a specific capacitor behind the XLR connector that can be swapped with a Nichicon muse cap that seems to only improves the bass.

    I did that swap on my own and it did seem to increase the bass amount and slam while keeping the original house sound, in my opinion.
     
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  15. rhythmdevils

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    Oh Dear God no. Keep those caps away from me!!!

    I still think Dr. Cavalli knows better than a bunch of heado-fi dweebs. Thanks for the history though! Likes upon likes!
     
  16. Pancakes

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    Well, it’s all subjective obviously. Instead of “thin” I find it more resolving...better transients, blacker background, etc. I’m actually curious what someone who has both a stock and modded versions next to each other would think. Perhaps I’ll loan my out to someone who has a stock unit so they can do a comparison? Would be limited to friends only as supposedly you guys are more trustworthy to return my unit lol.
     
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  17. HotRatSalad

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    I had a modded and a my stock LP for a bit last year. I preferred the stock unit personally. I found it to be thinner sounding and sucked out those liquid mids. I didn't find it made it better just different maybe. I think it lost a bit of soul/engagement when it was modded. Sounded more SS
     
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  18. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Several of us did hear them side by side: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/cap-modded-liquid-platinum-impressions.9879/
     
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  19. rhythmdevils

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  20. Pancakes

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