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. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    5,278
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    A/B comparisons to the original would be great, but I’d also like to see comparisons to something like the Lyr 3.

    And I don’t need any of them to be blind in any capacity.
     
    Jinxy245, Vanheim, Lyander and 2 others like this.
  2. Jozurr

    Jozurr Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Likes Received:
    206
    Dislikes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    43
    That's a ridiculous assumption. Linear power supplies and transformers are not cheap and definitely nowhere near $100 cheap and then add on the cost of all the chassis and parts etc. I wonder if the platinum comes with a LPS or a switching power supply like the MCTH
     
  3. abraxas666

    abraxas666 Acquaintance

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    Likes Received:
    80
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    WA
    Was wondering that myself, perhaps later Monoprice will sell an LPS upgrade. Regardless, like everyone else I hope the sound quality is close to the original LC.
    The LC was in my target as my next amp, unless EC came up with a sweet new amp that uses 300b.
     
    Don Miller likes this.
  4. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,868
    Dislikes Received:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Home Page:
    The input transformer likely cost $100.

    You guys have to remember that price is more than CBOM. There is also reseller markup, etc. It also cost nearly the same to build a Les Paul Standard and a Les Paul '59 Reissue, but the ladder is twice the price - market value or what the market will bear.

    I'm more concerned like you guys on a) component quality, c) mass production quality b) perceived market value. We are talking Monoprice after all.
     
    Lyander likes this.
  5. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,699
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Fair criticism. But Alex, before he announced his retirement, was developing something like this. It was this size, and he was calling it a "baby Crimson". I of course don't know if this is the same thing. But at least I do know something like this was on his radar for quite some time...
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  6. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    5,258
    Dislikes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Pasig, Philippines
    Agreed, so long as the one conducting the tests is someone of integrity who knows audio well. No shortage of that on here I suppose, which is nice.

    +1 wondering if SBAF could send a unit @atomicbob 's way for the usual battery of tests.
     
    Jinxy245 likes this.
  7. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,370
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Just spoke to Alex, he is on the road to SoCal. He would post to tell you all about this new collaboration but doing so from the road would be a little challenging.

    First off - the design is how Alex envisioned the amps should look , some technical thermodynamics went into the design to keep the innards cool enough without need for additional heatsinking or fans etc. Like them or not, but they are solid extrusions which are very well made. I didn't think he would have the platinum at canjam and it turns out there will be 5 of them but not in their extrusions but they will be cased in a moc up that should look the part. These amps are fresh off the production line, so no burn in grace period, still worth a listen in my mind.

    What is the platinum? It is the amp concept that gave rise to the Crimson - yep it was developed before the Crimson and because it sounded so good, ended up being produced in it's single ended form. Why did the crimson cost what it did ? I have seen a few comments about cost of production. It would be an interesting thought experiment for someone to itemize that build and see what it would cost to DIY an exact replica, which is pretty much what low volume manufacturing comes down to but lets not get down that rabbit hole. The more important thing is how can monoprice produce the original balanced version for a fraction of the costs? No it is not because quality is compromised, the parts spec'd are exactly what Alex has recommended for the amp from reputable manufacturing firms - most of which is sourced in the USA. Most of it comes down to power dissipation, the Crimson was heavily biased into Class A and needed a massive power supply and heatsinks to deal with all that current. Using balanced topology with lower Class A bias allows you to achieve similar performance without dealing with the energy dissipation. Surface mount resistors / caps etc are cheap, this adds little to the additional cost of balanced versus single ended. Alex has also come a long way in developing rather sophisticated high voltage supplies and split rails for the current handling fets.

    I would be curious to hear from those fortunate enough to be at CanJam to hear what they think.

    ..dB
     
  8. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,856
    Dislikes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    @dBel84 What is its max output in fully balanced mode (using balanced inputs and outputs)? I believe the single-ended Liquid Crimson was 5-6W per channel into 50 ohms.
     
    Walderstorn likes this.
  9. Junki

    Junki Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Likes Received:
    98
    Dislikes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    @dBel84 Does Alex expect this amp's SE performance to more or less equal its XLR output in terms of sound? Without going into sound quality, some balanced amps sound noticeably different when using the TRS output. Also, will this amp bridge its RCA inputs like the Carbon? (Answered by Monoprice staff.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  10. Junki

    Junki Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Likes Received:
    98
    Dislikes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    From the product description on Monoprice:
     
  11. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,856
    Dislikes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    Ah, I must've missed it. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Strange, usually a balanced version of a single-ended amp tends to have a higher output. And there doesn't seem to be a gain switch, either. I was kinda hoping it would be a more powerful amp than LC or LG, perhaps powerful enough to drive HE-6/Code-6 without using a speaker amp.
     
    Walderstorn and Junki like this.
  12. Junki

    Junki Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Likes Received:
    98
    Dislikes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    You're going to hate me.
    Decoding some of what dB conveyed from Alex, this amp dialed down the power compared to the single ended Crimson.
     
  13. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,515
    Dislikes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    @dBel84 Thanks for updating the crew here, the info is greatly appreciated!

    Personally I really like the design and the price certainly seems reasonable enough.
     
    Lenroot77 likes this.
  14. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,346
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    93
    In this case is mostly to remove the negative bias from the butt ugly enclosure. A paper bag will do.
     
    Vtory, Elnrik and BillOhio like this.
  15. Junki

    Junki Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Likes Received:
    98
    Dislikes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    United States
    [​IMG]
     
    Magnetostatic_Tubephile and JK47 like this.
    thoth, Grahad2, bazelio and 5 others dislike this.
  16. Jozurr

    Jozurr Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Likes Received:
    206
    Dislikes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Does it come with an LPS? the LPS seems to help the MCTH sound wise compared to the switching supply that the MCTH came with
     
  17. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,699
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    You rang?
     
  18. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,423
    Dislikes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Rapallo, Italy
    Uh. I think it looks rather badass and wouldn't mind seeing one on my desk - if it sounds as good as it should.
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    54,375
    Dislikes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    It's actually a bannable offense on SBAF.
     
    Gaspasser, Elnrik, FlySweep and 4 others like this.
  20. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    10,575
    Dislikes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Admins have temporarily reactivated dislikes for a short period because of you.
     

Share This Page