Originally Posted by SgtE
So you have compared them both (as have I)?.
I own them both.
|How did you compare them?
That's a very good question so let me tell you a bit about it.How do I do a comparison?
After the initial familiarisation of a week or two with a new player, I might set up the comparison test rig. The aim of the test rig is to reduce subjectivity. As you can see all over the board, people hear “night & day” differences based on small changes in volume even out of the same source, if they think
there should be a difference. I make it a point not to assume anything.
So, there are three components of the test rig:+ Sony Qualia 010 headphones
. Why do I use the Qualia? It is so incredibly easy to judge relative sound quality from a more analytical aspect with these phones as they are very accurate, are very strong in terms of overall tonal representation (in spite of having a timbre that doesn’t work successfully with every music genre), and while their soundstaging can be rather alien, relatively speaking once again they lay out differences very, very clearly. With a 70 ohm impedance and a 100db/mw efficiency rating these are very easily powered by the more powerful portables. The Qualia is where I do the main comparison. However my IEM, the Ultimate Ears UE-10Pro gets also used in testing because portables can differ in sonic performance when subjected to phones with different electrical characteristics. For more realistic results as far as the larger number of users are concerned, I may also test with other IEM's I have such as the Etymotic ER-6i, Shure E2c, etc as well as 'regular' headphones such as the Sennheiser PX200.+ RMAA
. The main point of using RMAA in this instance is to assist in making sure that both portables being compared are being used at the same volume. The frequency response test (with headpone in the loop) and the calibration test is used to make sure both portables are playing at the same levels.+ Audio Switch
. To switch between the level-matched sources.
Identical 3.5mm > 2RCA cables (Qunex J2P) are used for connecting both players together. One switch is made in the middle of a test track chosen to highlight certain characteristics and changes noted down. If necessary, the in-track switch is repeated by playing the track again. The test is repeated for other test tracks.
After that, I spend at least a couple of weeks but usually a month with the player in question getting to know it well. If opinions change / additional things crop up, the notes get adjusted. Then I decide whether to keep it, sell it, give it away, or in some cases return to the manufacturer depending on how I acquired the player. And in certain situations, I’ll run additional physical / other tests on a player as the writeup for the manufacturer demands.
Hopefully I won't have to explain this again...
I have notes on the Monolith and frankly speaking I didn't think it a player worth writing about in particular, as in terms of sonics / specifications (apart from the case) / usability I didn't think it was a particular standout. I certainly don't agree with the hype being generated by some about this player, although it is a decent machine overall. I wasn't going to do so, but I'll embellish the notes and knock out a review specially for you in the near future