Monolith Balanced Headphone Amplifier and DAC with THX AAA Technology


#1

Discussion of this new fully balanced DAC/Amp by Monoprice using THX AAA technology.

The Monolith™ THX® Desktop Headphone Amplifier and DAC features cutting edge technology to bring out the best in your headphones, playback device, and music library. Featuring dual THX AAA™ 788 amplifier modules for best in class amplification, an AKM® 4493 DAC for an exceptionally musical experience, and Dirac Sensaround® II decoding for an out-of-your-head, larger than life soundstage, the Monolith amplifier is engineered for the finest in music reproduction. A host of inputs and outputs, including balanced, unbalanced, and digital, ensures that you have plenty of ways to connect your audio devices.


#2

I caved in and ordered one of these yesterday, so hoping to get it by Thanksgiving. I believe @DarthPool is also getting one too.

They also have a portable, non-balanced, model which looks interesting as well.

I am mostly excited for the PEQ feature and Dirac Sensasound decoder. If the Massdrop THX version is anything to base off of, this could be a great deal.


#3

You pulled the trigger! I’ll be looking forward to your review.


#4

Yep. Curiosity wins again.


#5

That and I’ve been waiting/wanting this since it’s announcement! Hopefully it shows up tomorrow or Wednesday…


#6

@antdroid: good thing you’re not a cat. Wouldn’t want you to be killed.

@DarthPool: It’s going to be a very happy Thanksgiving indeed!


#7

My tracking said “Tuesday” when it first showed up, but now says “Wednesday.” I’ll take either or. :slight_smile:


#8

Mine isn’t even showing as being sent out??? in through the nose, out through the mouth, in through the nose out through the mouth ;rage, subsiding slightly

:thinking::exploding_head::exploding_head::triumph::triumph::triumph:


#9

Ok, crisis averted…it shows as arriving on the 20th…whew…lol


#10

Boo! Mine is going to take another full day to go 15 miles north of you? :frowning:


#11

I have a feeling mine will get delayed until Wednesday…but fingers crossed!

Edit: and now arriving on the 21st lol


#12

Dang. I was hoping to read your impressions on it tonight. So far, I’ve navigated past the Audeze B-stock sale this morning, only to be confronted by the Campfire B-stock sale this afternoon. Managed to dodge that as well, figuring that it was a step closer to the MonoliTHX or ADI-2 DAC.

What are we calling the Monolith and Massdrop amps anyway? They need nicknames. THX 788 and THX 789? MoTHX and MaTHX?


#13

I easily dodged the Audeze one - nothing excited me and prices were higher than last couple years. The Campfire one… well I spent too much this month on audio + bills/expenses…

eBay has a 15% off thing now though. That RME ADI-2 DAC is looking closer.

I did get a huge promotion today. So maybe I can splurge a little… :slight_smile:

Tyler and I hopefully will get it tomorrow and I’ll try to report back on initial findings. I hope the UI is simple enough. Mostly interested in how @DarthPool thinks of the interface between the ADI-2 and the MonoTHX


#14

I’ll let you know, but I doubt it will be as good as the ADI-2DAC…


#15

some initial impressions on another forum:


#16

Congrats on the promotion, dude! Yeah, I’m going to wait until more impressions come out. Especially interested to see a comparison between the MPT and ADI2D, @DarthPool. Appreciate it.


#17

Thanks! It coincides with a few offers I’ve gotten lately. So get to spend the holiday break here pondering what I want to do with my life. :slight_smile:

I got the Monolith THX in! It looks well built from the outside. Came in a gigantic shipping box for how little the actual box and unit are. It’s smaller by about an 1 inch (wide) than my DX7. with same height and just a smidge deeper.

Sound is very clean. Very good. Lots of power. DIRAC Sensasound definitely changes the soundstage. It makes things have more vertical height as well as depth, while retaining the horizontal width. Definitely puts a nice natural sounding effect on it for the Nickelcreek album I have playing right now.

UI isnt bad. It’s alright. Wish the menu and enter button were on the same side of the volume knob so they are easier to quickly press, but I can see how it may prevent accidental presses. The EQ looks a little cumbersome to tweak at the moment, but I’ll have to try it later. We’re about to go see a movie in a little bit, so not much time to play.

I will be modding this thing to convert the XLR-balanced in to be XLR-balanced out tonight or this weekend. I’ll post some internal pics when I do this.

I saw someone also did an amber led mod which is pretty cool. The Blue LED isnt bad at all though.


#18

Excuse the mess and poor camera phone image


#19

Still waiting on mine to arrive…what I get for being out in the Snoqualmie burbs…I’m planning on doing something similar with the Amber mod…maybe try and do a purple color…but Amber looked good too…if the balanced mod is easy I’ll look into that also but not a priority for me.


#20

Soo… package was out for delivery…never got delivered and now…it says closed for the holidays will deliver next week, rage is too small a word right now lol…not funny sigh

*edit time for a finger or two of Angels Envy Rye, and a finger or two of kaniche perfeccion rum for desert…deep breaths, deep breaths…well I’ve shown a red button tick of mine…sorry for the vent…