Monoprice Monolith Liquid Gold (X)
Apr 28, 2022 at 11:02 AM Post #556 of 594

Odin412

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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
Good to hear! I always dreamed of the original Liquid Gold but it was out of my reach. I'm glad I have the Liquid Gold X.
 
Apr 28, 2022 at 11:05 AM Post #557 of 594

hikaru12

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Good to hear! I always dreamed of the original Liquid Gold but it was out of my reach. I'm glad I have the Liquid Gold X.
Same here you have to have your money ready as soon as one comes available because it does not last long! I can’t say if the Gold X would be worth it seeing as some folks in thread said the LP sounds the same with good tubes.
 
Apr 28, 2022 at 3:53 PM Post #558 of 594

Odin412

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Same here you have to have your money ready as soon as one comes available because it does not last long! I can’t say if the Gold X would be worth it seeing as some folks in thread said the LP sounds the same with good tubes.
I have both the Liquid Platinum and the Liquid Gold X, and I enjoy both - with different headphones. I agree that they can sound quite similar, although not identical - at least to my ears.
 
Apr 28, 2022 at 4:00 PM Post #559 of 594

hikaru12

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I have both the Liquid Platinum and the Liquid Gold X, and I enjoy both - with different headphones. I agree that they can sound quite similar, although not identical - at least to my ears.
I’m assuming the soundstage edge goes to the LP?
 
Apr 28, 2022 at 6:07 PM Post #560 of 594

inthere

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I’m assuming the soundstage edge goes to the LP?
I haven't heard the LP, but I'd assume that would depend on the tubes.
 
Apr 28, 2022 at 6:52 PM Post #562 of 594

heliosphann

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Same here you have to have your money ready as soon as one comes available because it does not last long! I can’t say if the Gold X would be worth it seeing as some folks in thread said the LP sounds the same with good tubes.
I had an LP and Liquid Crimson at the same time. While the LP was really good with a top teir tube roll, it was clearly a step or two behind the Crimson.
 
Apr 28, 2022 at 6:58 PM Post #563 of 594

hikaru12

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I had an LP and Liquid Crimson at the same time. While the LP was really good with a top teir tube roll, it was clearly a step or two behind the Crimson.
I’ve heard that the Liquid Crimson is the fastest and most different sounding amp of Cavallis lineup. The predesessor Liquid Fire was listed on HF a while back but even that sounds slow and too soft and laid back. At $500 maybe the LauX is worth the price because in my mind the $3k OG is probably the best SS amp at its price. I can’t think of any other amp that matches it’s detail, soundstage, and tonality at the same price.

I contemplated getting the GSX MK2 but it lacks soul so my hunt continues.
 
Apr 28, 2022 at 7:10 PM Post #564 of 594

heliosphann

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I’ve heard that the Liquid Crimson is the fastest and most different sounding amp of Cavallis lineup. The predesessor Liquid Fire was listed on HF a while back but even that sounds slow and too soft and laid back. At $500 maybe the LauX is worth the price because in my mind the $3k OG is probably the best SS amp at its price. I can’t think of any other amp that matches it’s detail, soundstage, and tonality at the same price.

I contemplated getting the GSX MK2 but it lacks soul so my hunt continues.
Yea, the Liquid Fire was just okay.

I'm still on the hunt for a good deal on a GoldX. Would really like to A/B it with the original LAu.
 
Apr 28, 2022 at 7:12 PM Post #565 of 594

hikaru12

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Yea, the Liquid Fire was just okay.

I'm still on the hunt for a good deal on a GoldX. Would really like to A/B it with the original LAu.
There was a guy going to sell me one for $500 but he retracted and wants to sell it local. He hasn’t had any buyer since. I should probably check in with him again.
 
Apr 28, 2022 at 7:38 PM Post #567 of 594

hikaru12

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Yea, $500 would definitely be a nice deal for that amp. Even if it's like 80-85% as good as the OG LAu it'd be a steal.
As before if I can work out a deal I could let you borrow it so you can do your comparisons. I’ve always wanted someone with direct knowledge of both to see if it’s even worth chasing the dragon to find a OG or if settling for a LAX is enough at this price point.
 
Apr 29, 2022 at 5:49 AM Post #568 of 594

inthere

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I’ve heard that the Liquid Crimson is the fastest and most different sounding amp of Cavallis lineup. The predesessor Liquid Fire was listed on HF a while back but even that sounds slow and too soft and laid back. At $500 maybe the LauX is worth the price because in my mind the $3k OG is probably the best SS amp at its price. I can’t think of any other amp that matches it’s detail, soundstage, and tonality at the same price.

I contemplated getting the GSX MK2 but it lacks soul so my hunt continues.
Original OG LAu was 5k; As I listen right now to Quincy Jone's "Walking In Space" on the "X" and ZMF Atriums I'm thinking about the differences...........OG had extra outputs, extra inputs-that's it. The sound is the same.........How exactly do you remake an amp to sound EXACTLY like a previous version-same tube magic, same detail, same soundstage, same personality-then say "I'm going figure out a way to make it sound WORSE"?? That's too much effort..........what do you take out? Each component you change potentially changes the sound to a completely difference thing.

No.

OG=LAu X

They are the same.

I have different headphones now, as we often change with this habit. Back then I was listening with Ether C, LCD 4, Focal Utopia, HE 1000v2, Enigma Acoustics Dharma. Maybe the Atrium is better than all those headphones. Maybe the Dangerous D-Box+ is a better DAC than the Holo Audio Level 3 Spring and the Yggy with the Singxer SU-1 clocking via I2S-But I doubt it.

The easier solution is this is the same amp. No 80-90%.....................100%. A $5k amp for $1k.
 
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Apr 29, 2022 at 5:53 AM Post #569 of 594

hikaru12

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Original OG LAu was 5k; As I listen right now to Quincy Jone's "Walking In Space" on the "X" and ZMF Atriums I'm thinking about the differences...........OG had extra outputs, extra inputs-that's it. The sound is the same.........How exactly do you remake an amp to sound EXACTLY like a previous version-same tube magic, same detail, same soundstage, same personality-then say "I'm going figure out a way to make it sound WORSE"?? That's too much effort..........what do you take out? Each component you change potentially changes the sound to a completely difference thing.

No.

OG=LAu X

They are the same.

I have different headphones now, as we often change with this habit. Back then I was listening with Ether C, LCD 4, Focal Utopia, HE 1000v2, Enigma Acoustics Dharma. Maybe the Atrium is better than all those headphones. Maybe the dangerous D-Box+ is a better DAC than the Holo Audio Level 3 Spring and the Yggy with the Singxer SU-1 clocking via I2S-But I doubt it.

The easier solution is this is the same amp. No 80-90%.....................100%. A $5k amp for $1k.
I highly doubt that. They had to make compromises with the power supply and size. Potentiometer, etc. It might have the same sound tonally but in terms of recreating all the other aspects the make the original sound so good that’s harder. It’s the reason why the Monoprice amps never sound the same as the originals. They have to cut down on components to fit a certain price. The LAX shouldn’t have a DAC either. I won’t speak to it much further because I haven’t heard it but I’ve had other Monoprice amps and they can’t compete with their originals.
 
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Apr 29, 2022 at 7:08 AM Post #570 of 594

inthere

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I highly doubt that. They had to make compromises with the power supply and size. Potentiometer, etc. It might have the same sound tonally but in terms of recreating all the other aspects the make the original sound so good that’s harder. It’s the reason why the Monoprice amps never sound the same as the originals. They have to cut down on components to fit a certain price. The LAX shouldn’t have a DAC either. I won’t speak to it much further because I haven’t heard it but I’ve had other Monoprice amps and they can’t compete with their originals.
I don't know about other Monoprice copies of amps but I give this one a 10/10-and I owned the original. Another factor is Alex Cavalli designed these *copies* himself.
 
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