Monoprice Monolith Liquid Gold (X)
Sep 10, 2019 at 10:48 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 695

ufospls2

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https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=38967

No info yet really. Kinda weird it has a built in DAC.

"The Liquid Gold X is a smaller version of Cavalli Audio’s most popular amp, the Liquid Gold. It is a fully balanced, differential front-end, solid state amplifier. In addition to the great analog sound of the original Liquid Gold, this amplifier includes a built-in fully balanced DAC section based on the AKM 4493 DAC. It has two gain settings and features USB, Coaxial, and optical digital inputs, as well as balanced and unbalanced analog inputs. The Liquid Gold also introduces our new MCU based products with computerized control of all the amp features including turn on sequencing and DC offset detection, giving you nearly everything you need in a single, compact package. "

Screenshot 2019-09-10 at 3.59.01 pm.png
 
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Sep 10, 2019 at 8:27 PM Post #3 of 695
Looks pretty intriguing.
Chassis such as the LP with adjustable gain too, nice.
Now I'll just hope for a Liquid Crimson X :)
 
Sep 11, 2019 at 11:21 AM Post #4 of 695
Very interesting! Hopefully it will sound like the original Liquid Gold. I don't really need the DAC though, but I didn't see a version without a DAC on the Monoprice site.
Yeah. They really should make two versions, one with a DAC and one without. :nerd:

It's not too late, Monoprice! Make it happen!! :fingers_crossed:

And while you're at it, please add another RCA input and a pre-out. :grin:
 
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Sep 11, 2019 at 11:31 AM Post #6 of 695
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=38967

No info yet really. Kinda weird it has a built in DAC.

"The Liquid Gold X is a smaller version of Cavalli Audio’s most popular amp, the Liquid Gold. It is a fully balanced, differential front-end, solid state amplifier. In addition to the great analog sound of the original Liquid Gold, this amplifier includes a built-in fully balanced DAC section based on the AKM 4493 DAC. It has two gain settings and features USB, Coaxial, and optical digital inputs, as well as balanced and unbalanced analog inputs. The Liquid Gold also introduces our new MCU based products with computerized control of all the amp features including turn on sequencing and DC offset detection, giving you nearly everything you need in a single, compact package. "

Bad Ass! I was hoping for more tubes, but this sure looks interesting. . .I would love one without the built in dac, at a cheaper price. I have to say, that the adjustable gain, is going to make this a winner. My Jotunheim/Mimby combo, might be heading for the classifieds. . .
 
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Sep 13, 2019 at 10:08 AM Post #7 of 695
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=38967

No info yet really. Kinda weird it has a built in DAC.

"The Liquid Gold X is a smaller version of Cavalli Audio’s most popular amp, the Liquid Gold. It is a fully balanced, differential front-end, solid state amplifier. In addition to the great analog sound of the original Liquid Gold, this amplifier includes a built-in fully balanced DAC section based on the AKM 4493 DAC. It has two gain settings and features USB, Coaxial, and optical digital inputs, as well as balanced and unbalanced analog inputs. The Liquid Gold also introduces our new MCU based products with computerized control of all the amp features including turn on sequencing and DC offset detection, giving you nearly everything you need in a single, compact package. "


Having heard and loved the original Liquid Gold, I am definitely going to try one of these.
 
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Sep 14, 2019 at 9:24 AM Post #9 of 695
Hopefully for the price this will better the THX 789 and maybe the LP?
 
Sep 14, 2019 at 9:39 AM Post #10 of 695
Hopefully for the price this will better the THX 789 and maybe the LP?
Doubt it will be “better” than LP, because it cost more. My guess is the increase in price from LP, has something to do with an added dac inside. I imagine it will be a solid state compliment to the hybrid LP, with a dac.
 
Sep 14, 2019 at 10:58 AM Post #11 of 695
Doubt it will be “better” than LP, because it cost more. My guess is the increase in price from LP, has something to do with an added dac inside. I imagine it will be a solid state compliment to the hybrid LP, with a dac.
Hopefully, @runeight would shed some light on the differences between the LP and LAuX... I mean beyond tube-hybrid vs. solid state, what are the other differences?
 
Sep 14, 2019 at 11:18 AM Post #12 of 695
If the LP is modeled on the Liquid Crimson, and the Liquid Gold X is modeled exactly on the original LAU, as @runeight just mentioned, then one should expect them to sound different, with individual buyer preferences determining which one sounds "better." Yes the DAC on the Liquid Gold X does introduce and "X"-factor (the pun can't be helped) that prevents the comparison (in performance and versatility) of the LGX to the LP, from being "apples to apples." However, since the DAC in the LGX can be by-passed, one could still do an AB comparison of the two in a Hybrid vs a Solid State shootout to find out which will come out as the sonically superior one. Everything tells me that the result should not be pre-judged, and that the devil will be in the details.

The same goes for the "wild card" DAC on the LGX, which could either be a "killer" DAC for its price, or just a "filler" DAC, for all we know. The wise option is to withhold judgment, until one actually hears it. Personally, I have never heard a @runeight DAC before, so I can't say anything for sure, but as an owner of an original Liquid Carbon v1, a Liquid Spark, and a Liquid Platinum, who is familiar with the quality of all three, my money is on the DAC coming out as "decent-to-excellent...," but there I go getting ahead of myself...:)

Fingers-crossed (with all the biases of the "virtual collector" of Cavalli Amps that I am becoming, duly noted:))

Only one thing is certain now: my wallet is weeping, because it already knows it cannot resist the allure of the Liquid Gold X, even coming with a DAC that I might not need or ever use...(But again, let us not rush to judgment about that DAC... We may be in for another Cavalli-hit, which could make the coming Christmas even more Christmassy :))
 
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Sep 14, 2019 at 3:09 PM Post #13 of 695
but as an owner of an original Liquid Carbon v1, a Liquid Spark, and a Liquid Platinum, who is familiar with the quality of all three, my money is on the DAC coming out as "decent-to-excellent...," but there I go getting ahead of myself...:)

I too have the original Liquid Carbon and the Liquid Platinum (I sold the Liquid Spark to help pay for the Liquid Platinum) and I'm very much looking forward to the Liquid Gold X. I don't really need a DAC, but I'm looking forward to checking it out.
 
Sep 14, 2019 at 5:47 PM Post #14 of 695
Gents, I made this informational post elsewhere, but now that we a thread here.....

This may answer questions that have been asked or may be asked.

1. The LAuX is exactly the original LAu, but obviously reduced to SMD sized components and lower power.
2. The power output is identical to the Platinum.
3. It uses the same DC power control as the LP. Don't use linear supplies as they may be destructive.
4. The analog inputs are the same as the LP - RCA and Bal. Obviously the additional input selection is the DAC.
5. The DAC doesn't have outputs to the external world.
6. The DAC selector button on the front cycles among the usual suspects, USB, COAX, OPTICAL.
7. You can completely ignore the DAC if you wish, but you might choose not to.
8. The DAC is not two Spark DACS put together, but a fully balanced design specifically for the LAuX.
9. As the announcement noted, this amp has an MCU on board. While this doesn't show much externally,
internally it does a better job of controlling the amp functions while monitoring its internal operational state.
10. For anyone who might be in EU, the MCU also incorporates the required feature of powering down
after 4 hours of no in put signal.
11. The board design is mine.
12. All amp electronic component specs are mine and cannot be changed without my permission.
13. Interface components are mutually agreed upon.

I'll be happy to answer other questions, if I can. Some I may have to defer.

This at least puts this info on this thread.
 
Sep 14, 2019 at 6:03 PM Post #15 of 695
Hopefully, @runeight would shed some light on the differences between the LP and LAuX... I mean beyond tube-hybrid vs. solid state, what are the other differences?

The answer is both simple and hard. Sahmen's answer above captures most of it, so I'll mostly repeat.

The Crimson was single ended output, but since it had much higher rails could do 4-5W at 50R. The LAu, being balanced, could do about 9W into 50R. The LP, as you all know, is a balanced version of the Crimson. Not quite exactly, but exactly as possible when turning SE into Bal. The LAuX is exact copy except for slightly different gain settings to accommodate the more sensitive headphones.

These days, unless you're an HE6 fan, you don't really need this big power. Headphones are getting ever more sensitive, so sensitive in fact, that pretty soon amp designers won't be able to get the noise floor low enough to not be heard at no volume. I digress.....

Both LP and LAuX make about 3.6W into 50R. Their output stages are the same and are identical to the output stages of their predecessors. The real difference is in getting from input to output. The LAuX is SS all the way. The LP, has the triodes inserted in one key position in each half of each channel. Topologically they are very different, although both DC coupled front to back. The topology difference does make a difference, hence why the Crimson and Gold had different sound, but recognizable as Cavalli stuff. :darthsmile:

I think you will find that this happens here too. They will sound a little different, but they'll be recognizably Cavalli stuff. Which one you like or whether you like them both or hate them both really depends on you, as is almost always the case in the "where can I find the end all, finest, purest, sound and will I ever be able to stop the madness" headphone world of ours. :)

I have to let you guys decide on LAuX DAC. That is, not for me to prejudice your own findings. But, it is in there. :ksc75smile:
 

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