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Monolith by Monoprice Tube Headphone Amplifier with ESS Sabre DAC (29511)

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by Allanmarcus, Sep 11, 2018.
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  1. Allanmarcus
    Not sure if there is a thread for this one yet, but interesting looking tube amp.
    Product # 29511


    Please post your impressions if you get one

    Also, if you tube roll, what are you using?




    Note the 4 screws on the top plate. To change the tubes, one removes these 4 screws. I suppose you could just keep the top plate off for sustained tube rolling.

    1) The 6N5P crosses over to a US6080 or 6AS7.
    2) Dual 6N3 tubes are utilized for the input stage and can cross over to US equivalents 2C51 or 396a.

    Model 29511
    Input Stage Tube Type 2x 6N3 (crossing over to US equivalents 2C51 or 396a)
    Output Stage Tube Type 6N5P (crossing over to US equivalents US6080 or 6AS7)
    Output Power (RMS) 0.95 watts/channel @600 ohms
    1.1 watts/channel @300 ohms
    1.1 watts/channel @150 ohms
    1.0 watts/channel @64 ohms
    1.0 watts/channel @32 ohms
    Inputs 1x 3.5mm TRS stereo analog
    1x unbalanced stereo RCA analog
    1x USB Type-B digital
    Outputs 1x 1/4" TRS stereo headphones
    1x unbalanced stereo RCA analog
    Headphone Impedances 16-32 ohms, 33-64 ohms, 65-150 ohms, 151-300 ohms, 600 ohms
    DAC Chipset ESS Sabre® ES9018S 24-bit@192kHz and 32-bit@384kHz
    USB Receiver Chipset Savitech SA9227
    Direct Stream Digital™ DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256
    Frequency Response 20Hz ~ 20kHz (-1dB)
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio ≤ 98dB (A weighted)
    Total Harmonic Distortion < 1% @64 ohms
    Dimensions 5.9" x 9.4" x 12.8" (150 x 240 x 325 mm)
    Weight 20.5 lbs. (9.3 kg)
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
    lenroot77 likes this.
  2. Allanmarcus
  3. Schwibbles
    While I'm holding out for the Liquid Platinum, this looks interesting. Looking forward to hearing impressions.
  4. phthora
    Between the dozen screws on the case and the lack of (or lack of mention of) self-biasing, this amp really doesn't seem optimal for tube-rolling.
    Schwibbles and Theabs like this.
  5. Zachik
    @Hansotek - I know you're reviewing pre-production units of the Liquid Platinum and Liquid Spark...
    Did your friends from Monoprice provide one of these as well for your inputs / review?
    If not - do you know who might have got one? Trying to make sure the people that can contribute are aware of this new thread... :wink:
  6. Theabs
    Odd design, most everyone who buys is going to want to tube roll. It's almost as if they forgot to make easy tube access......
    phthora likes this.
  7. phthora
    Right!? And, enclosing that rectifier and pre-amp tubes in a metal box seems like it's going to make the entire case uncomfortably hot to the touch.
  8. Hansotek
    Nope, haven't heard it. I'm curious though!
  9. Zachik
    Maybe their target audience (for the most part) is newbie audiophiles who would like to try tube sound, but not deal with buying tubes and rolling them...
    Or maybe just a bad decision during the early design phases...

    Unfortunately, I do not believe Monoprice has a person who represents them in these threads, so we'll probably never know.
  10. kukkurovaca
    I like the idea of having tubes not be exposed, given how clumsy I am. It also might help with EMI.

    Seems like the happy medium would be a case design that was enclosed but minimized the number of screws/etc. required to open the top.
  11. Roscoeiii
    Are screws really that much of a hassle?
  12. phthora
    I hadn't thought about the EMI angle. There might be some real benefit there, assuming that the electronics inside are well-shielded from the tubes too (which looks to be the case).

    A big latching lid would be really cool. I'm not clumsy, but anything that lessens the likelihood of dust, pet hair, and other random debris getting cooked onto the tubes is a plus.

    Depends on how much you tube-roll or clean the tubes. Also depends on how likely you are to drop, misplace, cross-thread, or strip a screw. Also depends on what the warranty states about opening the thing up. Also on how confident you are that you won't drop that big metal n on the fragile tubes. Also on how well the lid and case and screws and holes line up when you try to put it back together.

    If a person is going to roll tubes, that screwed-on case presents quite a few potential problems and inconveniences.
  13. kukkurovaca
    True, especially if the screws are not high quality. In practice, maybe you could just leave the screws out and just rest the exterior of the case on top of the chassis, possibly with a bit of type.if it's an aesthetic problem.
  14. Allanmarcus
    or just use a few screws to hold it in place until the "perfect" combination of tubes is found.
  15. Theabs
    Thumbscrews, like on some computer cases, would work better.
    Allanmarcus likes this.
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