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Monoprice Monolith THX 887 - Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by XERO1, Sep 10, 2019.
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  1. givemetacos
    How do you feel the 887 compares to RME's built-in head amp?
  2. protoss
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  3. protoss
    Its not bad. Its the same sound as the THX789 and SMSL-888
    It is extremely powerful. All my listening test was on gain switch 2 at the 10 o'clock position. This will power the Susvara and Abyss Pi on gain switch 3 if anyone wants to know.

    This is overall measure the best out of all the affordable THX amps.

    What dose that mean? Measure best? Not sure. Some say clean, neutral, purity to the masters. And others say boring, dull, sleepy. Not sure what camp I am at :p
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
    Cat Music and bryceu like this.
  4. vault108
    It’s an amp, all it has to do is amplify the sound coming out of your DAC without adding distortion, noise, or alter the sound. More power is better.
    I am jealous all you west coast people get them so fast and I have to wait till Tuesday.
    I am also waiting for the new LP4499 in December.
    My Burson C3 does not go well with my KGSShv Carbon due to added noise. Hopefully the 887 is clean.
    Cat Music likes this.
  5. bryceu
    I'll start off that I think the RME is great, it suffers mostly from lack of bass authority, a claustrophobic stage, and flat soundstage.

    The 887 stage is noticeably wider and more open staging, with a tad more frontal depth.
    887 has more air between instruments. Much more open sounding.
    887 is more dynamic.
    887 has better sub-bass extension.
    887 has less body.
    887 has duller mids? (not enough liquid/body)? (need to discover what I'm actually experiencing here more)
    RME can sometimes feel like it's providing more details/resolution because everything is closer to the forefront.
    RME has more mid-bass hump.
    887 has LOTS more power via XLR.
    givemetacos likes this.
  6. bryceu
    Lyr 3 to me suffered a good amount of detail roll-off (with stock tube). I noticed/felt this both at CanJam when I demo'd it and at the Schiitr when I demo'd it a second time. Lyr 3 is very powerful sounding however, lots of authority and body.
    LP is the more capable amp to me, more 3D stage, better detail retrieval. Haven't found the perfect tube for the LP yet though.
  7. bryceu
    That 16-braid cable is amazing.
    protoss likes this.
  8. bequietjk
    That cable is insanity.
    protoss likes this.
  9. givemetacos
    Thanks for the detailed comparisons! I'm not a big solid state person and mostly go with tubes, but I also want to have a good solid state on hand when I can't be bothered to deal with tubes. Your impressions of RME are pretty in line with how I feel about it. I sort of just feel it is "fine". Nothing wrong with it, but I'm not drawn to it by any means. Sounds like the 887 is a worthy upgrade to pair with it. It also seems like it would be a good match with my planars since my tubes can't handle those. I was considering the 789 for a long time but got tired of the wait periods or price gouging that was going on. I'm glad Monoprice came up with a proper alternative.
    bryceu likes this.
  10. Shane D
    Thanks for the feedback. The LP looks cool, but it is way over 1K, landed in Canada. I might buy a used one some day though.

    Shane D
  11. Cat Music
    LP4499? You mean a Liquid Platinum with DAC AK 4499? And what will be presented this year?
  12. bryceu
    I felt similarly about the 789 vs the RME (as I do about the 887 vs the RME), when I owned the 789. I wish I still had the 789 to be able to directly compare the 789 and 887 but I sold it awhile back to go with some tube amps at the time. It's definitely an upgrade, but I could probably forego the 887 and be 95% content with the RME if I had other things in my audio equipment wish list. My goal is to have one DAC (currently ADI-2), one well-performing SS amp (887 meeting this need), and one tube amp. I may keep the LP or I may buy a BHC+SB kit and build it for the enjoyment. The BHC+SB was a nice tube sound but I find the Mj2 and LP to have more depth than the BHC did, which is kind of the main reason I'm looking to own a tube amp in my setup.
    givemetacos, Shane D and Cat Music like this.
  13. givemetacos
    Nice, it sounds like we have very similar goals and tastes. I too have Mimby, ZDT Jr, and JBL 305s. I also have a few ZMFs with Verite closed being my next one (I currently have a VC review unit). I've also heard LP, MJ2, and Crack+Speedball. All great amps in their own way. Oh and I'm also on the same quest to get one good DAC, solid state, and tube amp. If you are willing to spend a little more on a tube amp I can tell you that I just recently heard a DNA Starlett side-by-side with a DNA Stellaris as well as an Eddie Current Aficionado. For $2k, the Starlett is right up there with the best of tube amps and an excellent pairing with ZMFs. That is currently the tube amp I am targeting with a Glenn OTL being another contender. But the DNA being more readily available and built locally in socal is a huge plus.
    bryceu and Cat Music like this.
  14. protoss

    What gain setting are you using?

    The 887 is ridiculously powerful that I permanently switch to gain 1 now. @ 12' clock position on gain 1 is still too much for me lol!

    Maybe its my custom cables and Ares II dac on XLR is making it sound extremely loud. But damn...

    HP: HD800 - lets just stick to this :p
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
    Cat Music likes this.
  15. bryceu
    With the Verite open; Spotify at ~ 85% volume, PC volume 100%, RME ADI-2 @ -5db pre-amp, 887 gain 2 ~11-12oclock.
    If I had Spotify at 100% and RME at -0db, I’d probably have the 887 at 9-10oclock.
    Cat Music likes this.
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