Monoprice Monolith Liquid Gold (X)
Jul 13, 2022 at 9:20 PM Post #586 of 633

geoffalter11

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You weren't asking me, but since I'm listening to it right now (w/the Final D8000) and paid $799 for it...I have to weigh in.

IMO it is worth the money. Especially if you have more than one amp (or one type of amp) and won't use this as your sole amp. The LGX is a little pickier about the headphones it plays through than some SS amps--for example, it's the only SS amp of my 6 that doesn't play nice with the ZMF Verite Open. But balancing that out is the fact that the LGX absolutely kills with planars. It's one of the best SS amps for planars that I've heard.

FYI, I don't use the DAC. Have no need for it. My OK-ness w/the price is quite apart from the DAC thing. I have other DACs I really like, so this is a wash for me.

PS: The planar Final D8000 on the LGX sounds ridiculously good. This is the best bass I've heard yet with this high resolution, musical planar: quality and quantity are ideal.
I welcome all impressions and responses. Thank you for yours. It wouldn’t be my only amp. It would be #3. I have a very rare Cembalo Spring 1 and an Icon HP8. I, too would not use the DAC. My Exogal Comet is wonderful. It sounds to me like it is similar to a hybrid amp in tone which is always a welcome sound for me. It would most likely pair beautifully with my Radiante 1706 and my LCD-4z. My Auteur has a home with my HP8. That amp has the best bass I’ve heard from an amp.
 
Jul 13, 2022 at 9:21 PM Post #587 of 633

geoffalter11

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Ultimately, that will depend on personal preference.

I do most of my listening through a tube amp but wanted a SS amp for shorter listening sessions when I don't want to fire up the tubes. Hansotek's review comment of "if you're the type of person who likes a little tubey bloom" made me think the LAuX might be a good fit for me. When a sale came up I made my purchase, and after owning it for a year I have no regrets :)
Thank you for your thoughts. I split between SS and a tube amp but am finding myself gravitating towards tube amps these days. Something about how a 6SN7 tube sounds with my Radiante and Auteur I can’t shake…:)
 
Jul 13, 2022 at 9:44 PM Post #588 of 633

Odin412

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Do you think the LAUx is worth $750?
I paid full price for mine and I have no regrets. I like to switch between different amps and headphones and this is a worthy addition IMHO. As others have said, this amp is picky with headphones. With the right headphone it's fantastic, but with the wrong pairing it's just OK (at best).
 
Jul 13, 2022 at 10:28 PM Post #589 of 633

Pharmaboy

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I welcome all impressions and responses. Thank you for yours. It wouldn’t be my only amp. It would be #3. I have a very rare Cembalo Spring 1 and an Icon HP8. I, too would not use the DAC. My Exogal Comet is wonderful. It sounds to me like it is similar to a hybrid amp in tone which is always a welcome sound for me. It would most likely pair beautifully with my Radiante 1706 and my LCD-4z. My Auteur has a home with my HP8. That amp has the best bass I’ve heard from an amp.
I love the look of the HP8. I've read some highly positive reviews and user comments for it.

Best bass? You don't often hear that about a tube amp. Every now and then I get interested in this amp. Looks like I'm about to go through another cycle of that...

Never heard of the Radiante 1706. That's a fascinating design. It actually has a passive radiator! You see that in speakers now and then (a great middle ground between ported and sealed/acoustic suspension designs), but in headphones. A first for me.
Is it a dynamic driver?
 
Jul 13, 2022 at 10:57 PM Post #590 of 633

jonathan c

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I love the look of the HP8. I've read some highly positive reviews and user comments for it.

Best bass? You don't often hear that about a tube amp. Every now and then I get interested in this amp. Looks like I'm about to go through another cycle of that...

Never heard of the Radiante 1706. That's a fascinating design. It actually has a passive radiator! You see that in speakers now and then (a great middle ground between ported and sealed/acoustic suspension designs), but in headphones. A first for me.
Is it a dynamic driver?
…depending upon the music and mind-altering intake, a headphone listener could be deemed a “passive radiator”…🤪😑…
 
Jul 13, 2022 at 11:07 PM Post #591 of 633

geoffalter11

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…depending upon the music and mind-altering intake, a headphone listener could be deemed a “passive radiator”…🤪😑…
I resemble that remark
 
Jul 13, 2022 at 11:10 PM Post #592 of 633

geoffalter11

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I love the look of the HP8. I've read some highly positive reviews and user comments for it.

Best bass? You don't often hear that about a tube amp. Every now and then I get interested in this amp. Looks like I'm about to go through another cycle of that...

Never heard of the Radiante 1706. That's a fascinating design. It actually has a passive radiator! You see that in speakers now and then (a great middle ground between ported and sealed/acoustic suspension designs), but in headphones. A first for me.
Is it a dynamic driver?
Yes, it is a dynamic driver. It is a fascinatingly wonderful headphone. Tuned for live music. Follows a philosophy that the way we hear live music is different and therefore the bass needs to be turned up to account for the way we internalize the frequency response and mix for balance. It is fascinating because it isn’t really a bas cannon. The bass sits above the mix and doesn’t bleed into the midrange. It is a wonderful headphone. I love it!

The HP8 is special. It has an extremely physical weighted sound. The notes carry emotion and grit. I am about to get a chance to understand how NOS tubes affect its sound.
 
Jul 13, 2022 at 11:58 PM Post #594 of 633

geoffalter11

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That does it--I'm interested all over again. Don't need it & probably can't afford it. But interested all over again...
I know it is a liquid gold thread, so I apologize. But, the HP8 is the best amp I have owned. I chose it over the CFA3 and was the best decision I could have made. I never thought I would own an amp better than my Spring 1, but the HP8 is so good. Hand made, point to point wiring, no boards in the signal path and hand wound transformer. The copper plate helps with dampening. Its only issue is lack of inputs and outputs. Single ended all the way…

Appreciate all the impressions of the LAUx. Gonna give it a hard look in the future.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 9:09 PM Post #595 of 633

LCMusicLover

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Picked up an LGX for about $640 (sale price less 15%).

Still burning in — sensed a little harshness in the highs driving Auteur early on, but hear that diminishing as it burns in — about 20 hours in now.

Very good driving HD-6xx. I might prefer LGX ==> HD-6xx vs Liquid Platinum ==> HD-6xx.

I do hear the internal DAC as reasonably adequate compared to my TT2. Wouldn’t use the internal DAC instead of TT2, but I can imagine a very good office system w/ a DAP feeding it via USB or coax, driving 6xx.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 9:45 PM Post #596 of 633

Ham Sandwich

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That's a good deal on the LGX.
I do find the LGX to be more fussy about headphone pairings than the Liquid Platinum. Experiment with a variety of headphones to find its character. In general I find the LGX to pair better with planar magnetic headphones than traditional dynamics. So try your planars with it.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 10:06 PM Post #597 of 633

Pharmaboy

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That's a good deal on the LGX.
I do find the LGX to be more fussy about headphone pairings than the Liquid Platinum. Experiment with a variety of headphones to find its character. In general I find the LGX to pair better with planar magnetic headphones than traditional dynamics. So try your planars with it.
I agree with every word you say

I have seven amps at present. The LGX is the only one that "plays favorites" with different headphones. My planars love this amp, but my dynamics are on a case-by-case basis with it.

The LGX is one of those amps that is very good when it is good, and other times, not so good...

I never used the built-in DAC. I have two NOS DACs (I like both a lot, but they don't sound much alike) and have tried each with the LGX. As it turns out, NOS + LGX is a good sonic blend.
 
Aug 20, 2022 at 10:42 PM Post #598 of 633

LCMusicLover

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That's a good deal on the LGX.
I do find the LGX to be more fussy about headphone pairings than the Liquid Platinum. Experiment with a variety of headphones to find its character. In general I find the LGX to pair better with planar magnetic headphones than traditional dynamics. So try your planars with it.
Funny, as I read this I was thinking that mTT2 ==> LGX ==> Meze Elite is a poor pairing. Could just be more burn-in needed, but mTT2 ==> LGX ==> Auteur Classic sounds much better to my ears. HEKse also sound very good, and Ether 2 are great!

To add a little color, problem w/ LGX/Elite pairing is mostly about headstage—less coherent than from DSHA-3F. In busy passages this leads to perceived loss of clarity/detail. Again, may go away w/ more amp burn-in — Elites have over 200 hours already; amp has less than 30.
 
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Aug 20, 2022 at 11:38 PM Post #599 of 633

Ham Sandwich

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Funny, as I read this I was thinking that mTT2 ==> LGX ==> Meze Elite is a poor pairing. Could just be more burn-in needed, but mTT2 ==> LGX ==> Auteur Classic sounds much better to my ears. HEKse also sound very good, and Ether 2 are great!

The LGX is weird like that. It's not entirely predictable what headphones will pair well and what headphones won't. In general I've found planar magnetics to be more likely to have that special synergy than traditional dynamics. But there's always going to be exceptions.

It's a very neat amp and special amp when you have a good headphone pairing.

I don't know what makes the amp so fussy like that. It's more fussy than the Liquid Platinum and my other Cavalli amps. But when the headphone synergy and DAC synergy is right the amp is so very good.

It's not an amp that would be suitable as a reference amp for a headphone reviewer who has to try a variety of different headphones with the amp and review the headphones. Because there will be too many headphones where the LGX gives an incorrect impression of a headphone. The LGX is more suitable for a headphone enthusiast who is willing to find the right headphones for it and treat it as an amp that is just fussy with some other headphones. But when you have a headphone with the right synergy and a DAC with the right synergy the amp is so very good.

I really enjoy the amp for what it is. It does share the liquid Cavalli house sound with amps like the Liquid Platinum and Crimson. But it's also doing its own thing. It's not a Liquid Platinum with perfect tubes. It's a full solid state amp doing it's own thing while maintaining the Cavalli liquid house sound. I find it very worthwhile having both the LGX and LP. They complement each other. One doesn't replace the other. They're each good at their own thing.

I find the Audeze LCD-X (2021/2022 version) does very well with the LGX. But there are some songs where I get an urge to EQ to fill in the midrange. And that EQ ends up moving the LCD-X in the direction of what the new Audeze MM-500 frequency response would look like. And I'm thinking that maybe the MM-500 would be an ideal Audeze pairing with the LGX. I'm very tempted to get the MM-500 to find out. With the intent of using the MM-500 with the LGX and the LCD-X with the Liquid Fire and Platinum.
 
Aug 21, 2022 at 12:14 AM Post #600 of 633

Ham Sandwich

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I also find the LGX to sound better and more coherent in low gain than in high gain. Make sure you're using low gain. The Meze aren't going to need high gain.

The gain switch on the LGX does do a little "pop" when switching gain settings. Best practice when switching gain settings on the LGX is to turn the volume down to zero, unplug the headphones (or turn the amp off), then switch the gain setting.
 

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