Monoprice Monolith Liquid Gold (X)
Mar 31, 2021 at 1:24 AM Post #436 of 466

ra990

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Are you able to get enough volume with the Abyss in low gain? Or do you need to go to high gain at times, for example with softer classical music?

I haven't been able to try an Abyss headphone or similar harder to drive headphone with the Liquid Gold X yet. I'm curious if low gain is enough volume for the Abyss and similar headphones when playing softer music like classical.

I've been using Audeze LCD-2 headphones with the amp and low gain is more than plenty. But they're also not really hard to drive.
Abyss was fine in low gain. Susvara needed high gain.
 
Mar 31, 2021 at 2:04 AM Post #437 of 466

Ham Sandwich

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Abyss was fine in low gain. Susvara needed high gain.

Awesome! Thanks.
I prefer the sound of the amp with low gain. So it's good to know that the amp has enough gain and oomph in low gain to drive the Abyss.

I haven't noticed any problems with the internal DAC. But I also haven't used the internal DAC much at all except to find out how it sounds. I've been using a Gungnir Multibit using the balanced XLR connections. I do prefer the Schiit multibit imaging and sound to the AKM imaging and sound. I think of the internal DAC as just a $100 convenience DAC for times when a better external DAC isn't conveniently available. And to experiment with DSD (the Schiit DACs don't do DSD).

My challenge now is to find headphone synergy with the Liquid Gold X. The Audeze LCD-2 has great synergy with the Liquid Platinum, but not so much with the Liquid Gold X. So I'm looking for a headphone to pair with the amp that does. Thinking of headphones to try like HEDD, HiFiMan Arya, and even the Abyss line if necessary.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 12:37 AM Post #438 of 466

inthere

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Awesome! Thanks.
I prefer the sound of the amp with low gain. So it's good to know that the amp has enough gain and oomph in low gain to drive the Abyss.

I haven't noticed any problems with the internal DAC. But I also haven't used the internal DAC much at all except to find out how it sounds. I've been using a Gungnir Multibit using the balanced XLR connections. I do prefer the Schiit multibit imaging and sound to the AKM imaging and sound. I think of the internal DAC as just a $100 convenience DAC for times when a better external DAC isn't conveniently available. And to experiment with DSD (the Schiit DACs don't do DSD).

My challenge now is to find headphone synergy with the Liquid Gold X. The Audeze LCD-2 has great synergy with the Liquid Platinum, but not so much with the Liquid Gold X. So I'm looking for a headphone to pair with the amp that does. Thinking of headphones to try like HEDD, HiFiMan Arya, and even the Abyss line if necessary.
Synergy? Hmmm, I'm currently in Heaven with Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 Open and Oppo PM-1, with the Aeon 2 a bit smoother and the Oppo having a slight edge in clarity and a bigger edge in dynamics, which can get a bit fatiguing. Both sound great.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 12:44 AM Post #439 of 466

ra990

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One annoying thing about this amp is if you don't have anything plugged into the DAC, the DAC input LED keeps flashing non-stop to indicate it doesn't have a lock on anything. You would think it would eventually time out, but nope. I guess they didn't think anyone wouldn't use the DAC?
 
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Apr 7, 2021 at 8:46 AM Post #440 of 466

inthere

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One annoying thing about this amp is if you don't have anything plugged into the DAC, the DAC input LED keeps flashing non-stop to indicate it doesn't have a lock on anything. You would think it would eventually time out, but nope. I guess they didn't think anyone wouldn't use the DAC?
I hate the DAC with a passion. I don't see myself using it in the foreseeable future. Of course now that you've mentioned it, I will start paying more attention to the flashing DAC light, lol.
 
Apr 9, 2021 at 5:48 PM Post #441 of 466

ra990

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So after a couple of weeks trying out this amp (while my TT2 is being serviced) I cannot recommend it for either the Abyss or the Susvara. It seems like both these headphones pull too much out of the amp and it frequently goes into protection mode, right before loud parts of music. It's entirely possible I have a defective unit, so keep that in mind.
 
Apr 9, 2021 at 5:59 PM Post #442 of 466

spookyshan

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So after a couple of weeks trying out this amp (while my TT2 is being serviced) I cannot recommend it for either the Abyss or the Susvara. It seems like both these headphones pull too much out of the amp and it frequently goes into protection mode, right before loud parts of music. It's entirely possible I have a defective unit, so keep that in mind.
Have u tried HD800s with it? I’ve been looking at a few amp/dacs (AIO) for it and DT1990. Was recommended to look into this one, and I noticed in ur bio u own HD800s. Please let me know if you have had time to listen with them, I’ve been also considering HDV820 and RME ADI 2.
 
Apr 9, 2021 at 6:03 PM Post #443 of 466

ra990

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Have u tried HD800s with it? I’ve been looking at a few amp/dacs (AIO) for it and DT1990. Was recommended to look into this one, and I noticed in ur bio u own HD800s. Please let me know if you have had time to listen with them, I’ve been also considering HDV820 and RME ADI 2.
I haven't tried the HD800s with it. I don't own all those headphones in my sig, but I owned them at some point in time.
 
Apr 9, 2021 at 9:04 PM Post #444 of 466

Ham Sandwich

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So after a couple of weeks trying out this amp (while my TT2 is being serviced) I cannot recommend it for either the Abyss or the Susvara. It seems like both these headphones pull too much out of the amp and it frequently goes into protection mode, right before loud parts of music. It's entirely possible I have a defective unit, so keep that in mind.

Hopefully it's just a faulty amp or faulty power supply.
I don't have, or have immediate access to, a power hungry headphone like the Abyss or Susvara to test my amp with. I haven't had any problems with my amp using LCD-2 Classic and Audio Zenith PMx2 and other easy to drive headphones.
 
Apr 9, 2021 at 9:21 PM Post #445 of 466

Ham Sandwich

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Synergy? Hmmm, I'm currently in Heaven with Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 Open and Oppo PM-1, with the Aeon 2 a bit smoother and the Oppo having a slight edge in clarity and a bigger edge in dynamics, which can get a bit fatiguing. Both sound great.

I have an Audio Zenith PMx2 (a modded Oppo PM-2) that works well with the LAuX.

I think one aspect of finding sonic synergy with the LAuX will be finding headphones that more closely match the midrange part of the Harman curve. Headphones that scoop out the midrange will not get midrange sonic help using the LAuX. The LAuX doesn't fill in the midrange like the Liquid Platinum does. The LAuX lets me know that the LCD-2 Classic takes a dive in the midrange. The LCD-2 Classic will be fine with some songs, then play another song and it becomes very obvious that there is a noticeable dip in the midrange. Amps like the Liquid Platinum, Liquid Fire, Liquid Glass can fill in the midrange and I never notice that the LCD-2 Classic has anything wrong in the midrange. But with the LAuX I notice the Audeze midrange dip way too much. The LCD-2 Classic (and other Audeze headphones) have wonderful sonic synergy with the Liquid Platinum, Fire, and Glass. Not so much with the LAuX.
 
Apr 12, 2021 at 11:19 AM Post #446 of 466

Odin412

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Interesting! I'm really enjoying my LCD-2 with the Liquid Gold X. I'm not sure exactly what version of the LCD-2 that I have - I think it's one of the early Fazor models. With some amps the treble on the LCD-2 bothers me a bit (I'm very treble-sensitive), but the Liquid Gold X is excellent to my ears. However, my LCD-XC did not go well with the Liquid Gold X at all - much too bright to my ears.

In general, I've found the Liquid Gold X to be a very good partner for planar magnetic headphones. The LCD-2, MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Open and Closed and ZMF Ori are all excellent with the Liquid Gold X to my ears.
 
May 7, 2021 at 2:14 PM Post #447 of 466

Jimmyblues1959

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Very nice amp! No mention of price though - usually a bad sign...

The DNA Starlett costs $2000. Demoed one for a month and was very impressed. I have a Liquid Platinum and really
like it. However, the Starlett is IMHO better in every way.
 
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May 7, 2021 at 3:16 PM Post #448 of 466

jonathan c

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The DNA Starlett costs $2000. Demoed one for a month and was very impressed. I have a Liquid Platinum and really
like it. However, the Starlett is IMHO better in every way.
At the price compared to the LP, it should be. I would also guess that tube choice / rolling would be limited / nonexistent with the Starlett.
 
May 7, 2021 at 3:48 PM Post #450 of 466

Jimmyblues1959

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At the price compared to the LP, it should be. I would also guess that tube choice / rolling would be limited / nonexistent with the Starlett.

Donald takes quite a bit of time choosing the best tubes for his headphone amplifiers, so the ones he includes
with the Starlett will likely be optimized.
 

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