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. nickwin

    nickwin Facebook Friend

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    @atomicbob good point, there is a lot more to "cost" it than I alluded to in my previous post. Taking all that into consideration, I would think Monoprice would be able to being a produce a product like this about as cheaply as anyone.

    All I can is I can't wait to try it out! Your measurements of this amp did look impressive. Enjoy the turkey everyone :)
     
  2. runeight

    runeight MOT: Alex Cavalli

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    I would like to add something here which I have said several times on various threads just to certain the facts are behind the conversations. Perhaps it needs clarification bc posts do get buried as time goes by and not everyone has a chance to see them. :)

    These are my designs (though MP products). The final production board is my design. I specify all of the electronic components and approve the mechanical ones. I create the BoMs. I have a hand in and approve (with others) the enclosure design. No subs are allowed without my express permission.

    As most of you know, I do not believe that expensive boutique components are necessary to create great sounding amps. I do believe that a good design along with good quality components from reputable manufacturers will yield first class results.

    The components in the MP and MD products are from: Vishay, Panasonic, KOA, Yageo, Susumu, Nichichon, Bourns, OnSemi, Diodes Inc., Kemet, AVX, Infineon, Linear Tech, etc. If you don't know anything about these manufacturers you can investigate. Also, if you don't mind voiding the warranty you can look inside and see for yourself. :D

    The notion that something made in China is inferior to something made in USA is no longer automatically true. It may be true in some cases, in other instances it is not true. Not today. Maybe you're watching a football game today on a flat screen (a highly sophisticated, processor controlled, high pixel resolution LED or LCD display, SW managed) TV. Think about where that comes from along with the phone in your pocketses. :)

    I hope this helps some.

    Now off to do some eating........:piratemug:
     
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  3. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    Thanks for the answer. Just one thing. Considering the gain's quite high, what pot did you decide to go with and what kind of channel matching is to be expected?
     
  4. zfisch

    zfisch Rando

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    Can anyone comment on the perceived sonic differences between the MCTH and the LP?
    I am using the MCTH with Modi MB and Autuers.
    Thanks
     
  5. StrangeBrew

    StrangeBrew Acquaintance

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    Has anyone tried the JJ gold pins in the LP yet ? I stuck a pair in valhalla 2 a couple weeks ago. I now can try the EH tubes in the valhalla 2 and the JJ's in LP I guess. Wednesday can't get here soon enough !
     
  6. James Paschini

    James Paschini Rando

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    Anyone use this badboy with the RME ADI-2 DAC?
    I will receive my amp within the next week and I was wondering If it would pair well with my RME.
    I own 800S's, 6XX and Emu-Teaks.
    Thanks!
     
  7. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Suggestion. If you are going to have the equipment, just get it, try it, then post your impressions. Better yet, since the amp (and probably the tubes) need time to "burn in", live with the equipment for a while, then post impressions.
     
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  8. James Paschini

    James Paschini Rando

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    Great, I'll do that!
    Simply put, English is my 3rd language and expressing myself is not the easiest thing!!
    But, I will definitely try!
     
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  9. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Acquaintance

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    I'm currently burning in my LP with the stock tubes. I had a good listen last night, trying out all my cans (Utopia, Auteur, E2, HEKv2, HD-6xx), but...

    Honestly, I'm not hearing that much difference between my BHA-1 and the LP. LP presents a bit more air and space in the soundstage. And I hear a little more bass weight. Both effects are most noticeable listening to my Utopia, completely missing from HD-6xx. My hypotheses to explain this are:

    1. My ears are old and can't hear the differences others hear -- my ears are old, but I hear differences between cans easily enough

    2a. Differences between good amps are really pretty small -- I know this is true, but indiscernible differences are unexpected
    2b. BHA-1 is actually very close to LP, and I shouldn't expect to hear much difference

    3a. Burn-in will accentuate the differences -- amp burn-in? tube burn-in? brain burn-in?
    3b. Switching to other tubes will accentuate the differences -- this way lies madness :)

    4. There's something about my rig which is reducing the differences -- I wonder if my preamp is the culprit? Or too many interconnects?

    My chain is:

    Intel NUC ==> SU-1 ==> Pontus (via AES) | VS-modded Sonica DAC (via coax) ==> Emotiva XSP-1 ==> BHA-1 | LP ==> Utopia | Auteur | Ether 2 | HE-1000v2 | HD-6xx

    All analog connections are balanced -- equipment is all on the same rack, so cable runs are short, < 1m. I set the volume on the preamp such that volume settings on the amps are right in the middle (12:00).

    Just to add a little spice, I had both the BHA-1 and a V280. Sold the V280 because I couldn't perceive any notable difference between the two amps. And I got in on the SoundAware P1 loaner tour. Didn't hear much difference from that amp either.

    Anyway, going forward, I'm going to try to reduce the problem space. Easiest thing to do is eliminate hypothesis #4. So tonight I'm going to remove the Emotiva from the chain and see if things change. It's a bit of a PITA, since comparisons will require cable swapping, but such is life.

    Of course, #3 will take care of itself over time -- I'm waiting for socket savers before I start rolling tubes.

    Thoughts?
     
  10. AudioFriend

    AudioFriend Almost "Made"

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    Bryston BHA-1 is a $2195 amp, and for that price is known as a very good buy. Liquid Platinum is a $700 amp, so being indistingable from the BHA1 is a pretty nice accomplishment, isn't it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  11. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Acquaintance

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    Absolutely good news for LP fans. I wasn't looking for better/worse. I just expected different, and I was/am surprised that I don't hear much, based on commentary I read about various amps. I guess your bottom line is some combination of my 2a and 2b from above (probably with some 1 thrown in for fun).

    Thanks for the response.
     
  12. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    As long as you spend more time listening to music than rolling tubes, avoid the socket saver try maybe 1 or 2 tubes other than the stock tube and your socket will be fine.

    There are too many horror stories of socket savers shorting out amps as well as possible sound degradation (I've experienced the latter).
     
  13. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Acquaintance

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    Hmmm...got a recommendation for some savers from TubeMongers -- was planning to use those. I've heard similar stories, all of which seem to revolve around BakeLite savers.

    Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  14. tg123

    tg123 Rando

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    A couple hours ago, I turned on the Liquid Platinum for the first time, with the volume at the lowest position and the headphones plugged in. Before I could my headphones on my head, there were few brief loud popping noises in my headphones. After this, there was no more weird noises, the amp sounds good and the headphones sounds fine. Next time I'll just switch on the amp and then plug in the headphones. Is anyone having this issue? Is this normal?
     
  15. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Friend

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    I know with the MCTH it's recommended to plug in the headphones before powering on the amp, but being a different design, I don't know if that applies....
     
  16. Ray

    Ray Friend

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    I power up the LP, turn volume put all the way down then plug in my phones. No issues
     
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  17. SPAZ

    SPAZ Rando

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    I've heard the popping thing as well. Same thing happened with the MJ2 amp. I wonder if it's a tube amp specific thing?
     
  18. runeight

    runeight MOT: Alex Cavalli

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    Probably normal. There is a startup sequence (described in the manual). First it waits about 10-15s for the heaters to warm up. Then in turns on the HV rails. Then it monitors the DC at the output along with simply waiting another 30s. Then it connects the headphones and there will be a slight pop when this happens. Headphones can be plugged in because the amp is protecting them from DC transients at the output until that's all done with.

    If it is behaving radically different from this then pls describe what else is happening.
     
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  19. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    @runeight Dr. Cavalli, thanks for keeping such a close-eye on things here and other places. It's really wonderful to see you're care and attention despite Monoprice making the amp. Speaks volumes of your integrity about your work and designs.
     
  20. Ray

    Ray Friend

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    I did forget to mention I usually wait for the led light on the front to turn green before plugging in my phones.
     
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