Monoprice Monolith Liquid Gold (X)
Mar 19, 2022 at 10:31 AM Post #541 of 594

hikaru12

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Would love to hear the comparison as well to the OG. I just recently picked up the OG LAU and at first listen it hit that sweet spot. It was like quenching a 10 year thirst chasing after the Cavalli sound. I picked up the Monoprice LAUx about a year ago thinking it would satisfy and kept it for around 30 days before returning it. I recall it was a very good amp and did nothing wrong but it didn’t tickle the ears as the OG is doing for me now. Maybe I didn’t allow enough burn in of the new amp and don’t get me wrong it is a very good amp which was compared to the Phonitor XE and Headamp GSX mini but if it wasn’t going to capture that “sound” I was looking for then it was going back and that is what happened. Now that I have the OG I am interested in what others have to say about it. I heard the OG years ago at a meet and really enjoyed it but at the time didn’t know what I wanted when I first got into this hobby and as my listening matured over the years I finally found what sound I was looking for. When I picked up the modest Cavalli Hybrid Tube amp I found myself with a big smile as though I knew this was it. This was the sound I was looking for albeit with less detail. I’ve tried other “house sounds” and they are good in their own right but this was different. I have not tried other Cavalli amps and the one I would really like to try is the Liquid Glass. Have not tried any of the other Monoprice Cavalli except for the LAUx so I can’t speak to those as much.

The “sound” for me is a little warmer side with a smooth treble, a larger sound stage where instruments and vocals a separate but very detailed. Imaging has to be spot on in their distinct areas - a very holographic effect with blackness around each sound but no fuzzy edges. I like the vocals to be a little back from the mic so not too mid forward but can’t loose too much detail. I don’t know how many descriptions are needed but it is really the way I can see the music (imaging) and my headphones just disappear with great clarity in the exact natural way without it being in your face. There is finesse but as accurate as a scalpel in cutting out the details. The two things that set the OG apart from the LAUx from what I recall was the weight of the bass on the OG with the right amount of decay. Perhaps this is due to more power which delivers the bass just a little better? The other thing is separation in instruments didn't seem to be as apparent with the LAUx (maybe due to burn in?). I keep the gain on low around 11 o’clock which sounds better than high gain at a lower level.

I mostly listen to the Abyss 1266 TC with the M Scaler to Holo Audio Spring 2 KTE to LAU OG (4pin XLR). I’ve tried running the music directly from the Spring 2 KTE and the sound lost some of the sound stage and separation. The M Scaler does not seem to have as much of an impact with my other gear but in this chain it really works the way I imagined it was supposed to work. I’ve run the HD800, HD8xx, ZMF VC and Auteur and they all sound great but the best is the 1266 through this chain. My DNA Stratus is out being repaired but once it comes back I’d love to hear how it compares with this amp on the dynamic cans. The HE6 (OG) late 4 screw sounds good out of the OG but really comes alive with a little more power coming out of the Pass Labs INT150 amp through speaker taps so I guess each headphone has their own pairing.

Hope to hear some more impressions as I am curious about this LAUx vs OG. Just interesting to see if I would have stopped searching after the LAUx... who am I kidding... In this hobby one is always searching (where are you liquid glass?) haha.
Were you the guy who bought it off eBay? I found a guy who was selling his for 2700 on there a few months back. I was wondering who ended up buying it.
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 10:45 AM Post #542 of 594

jjshin23

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I did see it but didn't get the one off Ebay but got it directly from him. Apparently he had 3 and I get the other one. It's in great shape with original box, etc... and very happy with it as. you can tell.
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 10:48 AM Post #543 of 594

Odin412

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I have not tried other Cavalli amps and the one I would really like to try is the Liquid Glass. Have not tried any of the other Monoprice Cavalli except for the LAUx so I can’t speak to those as much.
I listened to the Liquid Glass at an audio show a few years back and I thought it was wonderful. It seems to be a pretty rare amp, but that makes the hunt all the more interesting!
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 11:24 AM Post #544 of 594

heliosphann

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I listened to the Liquid Glass at an audio show a few years back and I thought it was wonderful. It seems to be a pretty rare amp, but that makes the hunt all the more interesting!
Yea, good luck getting a Glass. Despite having two of the 30 produced Liquid Crimson's at different times, I was never able to procure a Glass.
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 12:02 PM Post #545 of 594

heliosphann

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Would love to hear the comparison as well to the OG. I just recently picked up the OG LAU and at first listen it hit that sweet spot. It was like quenching a 10 year thirst chasing after the Cavalli sound. I picked up the Monoprice LAUx about a year ago thinking it would satisfy and kept it for around 30 days before returning it. I recall it was a very good amp and did nothing wrong but it didn’t tickle the ears as the OG is doing for me now. Maybe I didn’t allow enough burn in of the new amp and don’t get me wrong it is a very good amp which was compared to the Phonitor XE and Headamp GSX mini but if it wasn’t going to capture that “sound” I was looking for then it was going back and that is what happened. Now that I have the OG I am interested in what others have to say about it. I heard the OG years ago at a meet and really enjoyed it but at the time didn’t know what I wanted when I first got into this hobby and as my listening matured over the years I finally found what sound I was looking for. When I picked up the modest Cavalli Hybrid Tube amp I found myself with a big smile as though I knew this was it. This was the sound I was looking for albeit with less detail. I’ve tried other “house sounds” and they are good in their own right but this was different. I have not tried other Cavalli amps and the one I would really like to try is the Liquid Glass. Have not tried any of the other Monoprice Cavalli except for the LAUx so I can’t speak to those as much.

The “sound” for me is a little warmer side with a smooth treble, a larger sound stage where instruments and vocals a separate but very detailed. Imaging has to be spot on in their distinct areas - a very holographic effect with blackness around each sound but no fuzzy edges. I like the vocals to be a little back from the mic so not too mid forward but can’t loose too much detail. I don’t know how many descriptions are needed but it is really the way I can see the music (imaging) and my headphones just disappear with great clarity in the exact natural way without it being in your face. There is finesse but as accurate as a scalpel in cutting out the details. The two things that set the OG apart from the LAUx from what I recall was the weight of the bass on the OG with the right amount of decay. Perhaps this is due to more power which delivers the bass just a little better? The other thing is separation in instruments didn't seem to be as apparent with the LAUx (maybe due to burn in?). I keep the gain on low around 11 o’clock which sounds better than high gain at a lower level.

I mostly listen to the Abyss 1266 TC with the M Scaler to Holo Audio Spring 2 KTE to LAU OG (4pin XLR). I’ve tried running the music directly from the Spring 2 KTE and the sound lost some of the sound stage and separation. The M Scaler does not seem to have as much of an impact with my other gear but in this chain it really works the way I imagined it was supposed to work. I’ve run the HD800, HD8xx, ZMF VC and Auteur and they all sound great but the best is the 1266 through this chain. My DNA Stratus is out being repaired but once it comes back I’d love to hear how it compares with this amp on the dynamic cans. The HE6 (OG) late 4 screw sounds good out of the OG but really comes alive with a little more power coming out of the Pass Labs INT150 amp through speaker taps so I guess each headphone has their own pairing.

Hope to hear some more impressions as I am curious about this LAUx vs OG. Just interesting to see if I would have stopped searching after the LAUx... who am I kidding... In this hobby one is always searching (where are you liquid glass?) haha.
You've got good taste. I also have a LAu/Stratus combo. It's quite the pairing!
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 12:17 PM Post #546 of 594

hikaru12

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You've got good taste. I also have a LAu/Stratus combo. It's quite the pairing!
Do you have any experience with the OG gold with the LCD-4? If so is it a good pairing?
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 12:21 PM Post #547 of 594

heliosphann

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Do you have any experience with the OG gold with the LCD-4? If so is it a good pairing?
I had an LCD-4 a few years ago, but I believe it was right before I got the LAu. Unfortunately I dont think I had a pair of "blessed" LCD-4's, so I sold it.

In general though the LAu LOVES Audeze's. I've been using my LCD-R with it and it's a superb combo.
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 12:24 PM Post #548 of 594

hikaru12

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I had an LCD-4 a few years ago, but I believe it was right before I got the LAu. Unfortunately I dont think I had a pair of "blessed" LCD-4's, so I sold it.

In general though the LAu LOVES Audeze's. I've been using my LCD-R with it and it's a superb combo.
That’s great to hear that. I regret not pulling the trigger on that one I saw on eBay. Im having a custom SET amp built so would be nice to have a pure SS amp that would give my other amp a run for it’s money soundstage and tonality wise. It’s really hard to get tonality/detail right with tubes if they’re not of a certain type so really bummed I didn’t get it when I had the chance.

How are the Rs? I’m surprised the Gold powers them really well considering they’re electrostat.
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 1:02 PM Post #549 of 594

heliosphann

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That’s great to hear that. I regret not pulling the trigger on that one I saw on eBay. Im having a custom SET amp built so would be nice to have a pure SS amp that would give my other amp a run for it’s money soundstage and tonality wise. It’s really hard to get tonality/detail right with tubes if they’re not of a certain type so really bummed I didn’t get it when I had the chance.

How are the Rs? I’m surprised the Gold powers them really well considering they’re electrostat.
Technically The R's are just very low impedance planars. Audeze used the word "ribbon", but in reality it's more of a hybrid driver. Thankfully the LAu can maintain a 2ohm load

The R's are great. They're somewhere in the middle of a good electrostat planar and high end Audeze planar. So a very fast and resolving sound, yet still good bass presence and mids.
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 2:00 PM Post #550 of 594

Zachik

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Technically The R's are just very low impedance planars. Audeze used the word "ribbon", but in reality it's more of a hybrid driver. Thankfully the LAu can maintain a 2ohm load
Interesting... :thinking:
I thought one has to use the Schiit Jot-A with them!
 
Mar 19, 2022 at 3:46 PM Post #552 of 594

Zachik

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Audeze wants you to, however it's not a requirement. 😉

Quite a few amps have been used with the LCD-R if you peruse that thread. The Jot-A is good, but it doesn't bring the best out of best of the R.
Interesting! Since I own an original Cavalli LAu - maybe I should keep an eye for LCD-R then...
 
Mar 31, 2022 at 7:41 PM Post #553 of 594

Rob the Comic

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Yes when I listened to the LCD-2 I used the balanced output, and to my ears the two outputs sound noticeably different with this headphone. The treble on the balanced output sounds smoother and cleaner to my ears, and using the LCD-2 I can clearly hear the difference.
Agree. I have some handmade balanced cables and the sound smoother than the SE - to me anyway. 👍
 
Apr 28, 2022 at 5:32 AM Post #554 of 594

inthere

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Former original LAu owner here. I didn't get to compare the two side-by-side but the Monoprice version has outstanding sound quality which is very close if not right there with the original. As magical as a solid state amp can get. My main complaint, which I mentioned earlier in this thread is the amp cutting off when you turn it up too loud, which is dumb in my opinion. If it's not distorting there's no reason for that feature. I have quite a high listening level (39 year DJ with loudest sound systems in the world).

ANYWAY, I brought this amp out of retirement yesterday and was astonished by the sound quality. I have a Feliks Audio Elise (original) that was killing a Wells Audio Milo that I'd bought and I hooked up the Monoprice for refence vs the Milo. Well, the Monoprice LAu killed both the Milo and the Elise in terms of instrument separation, detail, and even gave the Elise a run for its money in general "sweetness". Yes, the Monoprice is just about as close as you can get to a tube amp with solid state, which was a selling point of the original.

So I now think this amp is ridiculously underpriced at $1000.

I got a chance to compare a GSX MK2 against the original LAu (I owned both) and the GSX had noticeably more detail than the LAu, but the LAu had tube like *magic* that made the GSX sound clinical and dry. So if I were to hazard a guess I would think if you're looking for detail, I've heard great things about the GSX mini so it's probably the way to go for a few hundred more $. But if you want tube magic in a solid state amp with loads of clarity and detail, the LAu is a steal. This is a $3000 amp sonically; the original LAu was $5000.
C2F88D96-5285-4292-AB12-E279DE3723DD.jpeg
 
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Apr 28, 2022 at 5:37 AM Post #555 of 594

inthere

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double post, sorry
 

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