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Monoprice Monolith Liquid Spark - By Alex Cavalli

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by ufospls2, Apr 4, 2018.
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  1. smallcaps
    Curious if anyone has tried a linear PSU? Wonder if sound improves as well as which PSU you used.
  2. Jthompson300
    So I got my spark today. It’s still warming up so to speak, only been using it for about a hour and a half.

    I have a feeling I got one of the bad units that creates the static/hissing on certain songs(maybe a combination of frequencies?), I changed headphones to rule that out and I also listened to the music straight without the amp to rule that out. I did notice the treble was harsh out of the box so for now I won’t pass judgement as I remember one other here mentioned this was their experience until it warmed up for a day.

    Aside from the few songs that cause this static noise so far I am impressed for the price and size of this amp. When paired to my Audeze LCD-XC the amp is dead quiet, sounds great and overall is a good pair for the budget amp route, again, except for the amp’s random static noise on certain songs. I guess I will see what happens after I run it for 5 hours and hope it clears up.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    davidmthekidd and smallcaps like this.
  3. Jthompson300
    So after letting the amp warm up and get a few hours under its belt all is well, no more static, harshness in the treble is much less (still not thrilled with it but I think that’s going to be subjective to what you are driving) and I am hopefull all with smooth out around the 50 hour mark.

    So far I am really enjoying this amp with the Audeze LCD-XC (The reason I bought it for in the first place). Dead quiet, great mids, the bass is surprisingly full for what I was expecting and is doing the job of what my more powerful amps can do but much quieter noise floor. For the price I can’t complain too much and to be honest it is already better for my XC than my Burson so overall a great buy for something that I would have spent on a dinner out with the wife anyway.

    Time to burn it in, change sources, use it as a pre amp and play around!
    smallcaps and Odin412 like this.
  4. dBel84
    I have a sneaky feeling you might be hearing your LCDX's for the first time. I like them but they have a peak frequency in the highs


    Combine that with an amp that is essentially flat across the frequency response and you begin to hear things as they truly are.


    These are the measurements for the spark, pretty amazing for a discrete amp at any cost,

    This is the double edged sword of accurate gear, crappy recordings are unbearably obvious and any quirk in a piece of gear is highlighted. I like the Lcdx, but prefer it modded.

    Have been listening to the spark for a few weeks and it has not ceased to amaze me what it can do.

    .. dB
    nick n and stimuz like this.
  5. Rattle
    Spark is a fun amp ! I know my Valhalla 2 is better but the spark sounds so good with HD600 and mimby. Mid-range goodness.
    trellus likes this.
  6. rayout7
    How does this compare with the CTH? Is it worth purchasing if you own a CTH?
  7. antdroid
    I listened to both side by side last weekend. The CTH, to me, sounded wider, slightly more lean and more detailed. It's very, very subtle of course, just like how most amps/dac subtleties are. I find both very impressive for their price points. I've been using the Spark more often than I thought lately.
    rayout7 likes this.
  8. sahmen
    Can't answer that, because I have never heard the CTH. However, I purchased it anyway, even though I already had the Liquid Carbon v1, which I love very much. In the end, the decision depends on you, and If you really don't want to get the Spark, then don't listen to me... I am a bad influence. Especially since I have not regretted buying the Spark... For $99.99, it seemed like a no-brainer, and it turns out, It actually is, I have found.
    antdroid likes this.
  9. Hansotek
    They definitely sound different. Based on different circuit designs. CTH is very light, airy and spacious. Spark is more dense, weighty, bassy and fun sounding. Both very enjoyable to listen to.
    antdroid likes this.
  10. elira
    I've had the liquid spark for a couple of days (like literally two). My unit works fine, nothing wrong with it. It gets warm, warmer than my Jotunheim. Overall I think it's an amazing amp for the price. The build quality is good, at least in the exterior. Of all amps I have the sound signature is similar to the one of the PS Audio GCHA, I think this is an amazing deal at $100.

    My audio chain is Audio GD R2R-1 -> Jotunheim (XLR input, RCA output) -> Liquid Spark.
  11. smallcaps
    I've been using it consistently for over a week now. It's definitely colored for an amp and would probably not measure so well on the bench (just a guess). However it's very pleasing and easy to listen to. I currently have it exclusively hooked up to my SDAC. It's a sweet sounding combo and stacks quite neatly. Perfect for the office, when I'm not criticality listening. Waiting for my SU-8 to arrive to see if the famed ESS hump does anything for the LS. Overall I'm pretty happy with the LS but I think equipment pairing will be critical. I wouldn't go for it as a first amp, and would probably look for something more transparent.
    Baten likes this.
  12. Baten
    Wait what Jotunheim into Liquid spark?
  13. GearMe
    Pre Out...I'm guessing
  14. Baten
    Yeah absolutely it just seems hilarious to go balanced R2R-1>Jot and then single ended to liquid spark. R2R-1>Liquid spark via RCA makes more sense to me lol, it's a single ended device
  15. GearMe
    yep...unless he's already using the RCA outs on the R2R-1 for something else?
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