🔷 Monolith Liquid Platinum

Im still looking. Sec. Iwas talking in Discord actually :smiley:

Yea Here it is also from Audioverse. I got my Cable for LCD2C and Arya from Here.
I have multiple Options the First two are Length and color and the other two are the connectors to the Headphone and to the AMP.
But i think the Cheap connectors should be enough i dont think i would need a 50 euro Connector :smiley:

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That looks like it would work :+1:

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Nice thanks.

I had the same issue after swapping out several dacs with both SE and xlr i gave up and sent it back. Loved the sound but that boost after 10ish made the amp unusable.

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I’m not going to do a full-on nuts review like I usually do on the Liquid Plat, mostly because I don’t own and don’t have much experience with any other amps in this $500-800 tier. I will give a few thoughts though, and do the best comparison I can with the Asgard 3. These thoughts will be based on the LP with stock tubes (Electro Harmonix 6922). I haven’t tube rolled yet, but I’m sure that’s an itch I will need to scratch before too long. Also, because I’m sure you’re curious, I’ve used balanced-modded DT-880 600 ohm, Focal Elegia, HiFiMan Edition X V2, and Massdrop + Fostex TH-X00 Purpleheart both before and after a full Lawton mod to Lawton’s purpleheart cups on the Liquid Plat. I’ve used the SMSL SU-8 and iFi Zen as DACs, mostly with both connected balanced.

The Liquid Plat strikes me as a really good amp. It is warm, wide, and relaxed without seemingly sacrificing much in the way of detail. The spatial performance is really good; wide soundstage, good imaging, solid separation, depth, and layering. But to me the standout sonic feature is the timbre. Vocals and instruments, and well basically everything, sound very natural and organic. In other words, voices sound more like voices, pianos sound more like pianos, horns sound more like horns, and so on, than any other amp I’ve tried. I can’t detect any real grain or noise either. And for being a tube-hybrid, it is dead silent. Even cranking the pot when nothing is playing, it’s very quiet. I should also note that these comments apply to the balanced headphone output. The single ended output really is not so great. Don’t buy this amp if your primary headphones are single-ended only. It will disappoint. This amp is and needs to used as a balanced amp. However, there is a minimal performance hit from using the RCA inputs instead of the XLR. It’s not zero, but it’s perfectly useable and still very high-performing using RCA inputs and balanced headphone output. I also don’t pick up any obvious “tubey-ness” to the sound either, like I did when I had a Darkvoice (however I’ll put in the disclaimer that tube amps don’t inherently sound thick and gooey; some are very clean).

There is more than enough power. There is no gain control, but it does not struggle to drive high impedance dynamic loads or high-current demanding planars. The bass is deep, powerful, and controlled. However, this power that feels unlimited and lack of gain control does have an annoying catch: the loudness takes a HUGE jump when the potentiometer gets to somewhere in the 10:00-11:00 range. The best way I can describe it is like this: the pot goes 8:00-9:00-10:00-DEATH. This loudness jump can be mitigated to varying degrees if you use a DAC or preamp with a volume control. That does give you more precise control and decreases the magnitude of the volume jump in that 10-11 range, but that jump is still always there, and annoying.

The LP also runs hot. Some of that is its tube preamp stage, but also it’s just a warm running amp. It’s noticeably warmer to the touch than even the Asgard 3, but never reaches a temperature where burns are a concern. Still, it’s probably wise to make sure that it’s in a well-ventilated shelf/rack space.

I’ll do a quick comparison with the Asgard 3, as that’s the jump I made. The A3 was my workhorse for several months until the LP came along. The A3 still has a place in one of my systems because it’s flatout the better single ended amp and in terms of peak performance is really not all that far behind. Truthfully, most of the differences are subtle. The LP is slightly wider in staging with slightly better imaging and separation. The LP provides just a dash more overall detail. The A3 doesn’t suffer from that potentiometer issue, though. However, I think the LP separates itself from the A3 the most with its timbre. The LP sounds more natural and closer to real life in that way. That really is saying something, because for my money timbre is one of the Asgard 3’s greatest strengths too, especially for its asking price, and even more especially when it’s compared to THX and other op-amp based amplifiers that are its current primary competition. However, voices just sound more like voices - and so forth - through the LP than the A3.

I’ve heard others with more listening experience say that the Liquid Platinum is a good deal even at its original $799 asking price. Monoprice is currently selling it for $484 [EDIT - As of 9 Sept. 2020 the price is 516.09USD] . IMO, that’s a steal. It’s going to be locking down my primary amp duties for awhile. If you’re looking around for amps in the ~$500 range, be sure to check this one out too.

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As you know I have the same two amps… I wish I could have thought of the words as you obviously have with this detailed report… For my own experience I enjoy both side by side for their individual strengths. The A3 for its single ended output as well as running my monitors and the LP for its power and balanced out. For the DAC I use the BF2 and run true balanced to the LP and SE to the A3. I also used to run this setup from my SU8 and it was quite good but having the BF2 seems to bring these two amps to a whole new level. I much prefer the BF2 with BOTH of these amps. Volume is pegged on the BF2 and I do not really think “Death” comes until around 12… Maybe I am just deaf? As for the heat yes it definitely gets warm after a session of jamming out to some good motivating music…My A3 does as well but it is also on 24/7 so it would be. I simply turn it all the way down when away from the machine. The LP is only on when being actually used and given sufficient time to warm up before use… Thank you for your thoughts.

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Thank you for your thoughts as well. BF2 is likely my next dac…

Oh? So you will have LP + BF2? That’s my combination currently. Will be looking forward to hearing what you think on that one if you get around to it.

is this volume issue something that’s been determined to be a pot problem for some amps or a systemic issue with LPs in general? I’ve not experienced it on mine but then again I’m feeding it from an ENOG2 Pro set to medium.

If there’s a loud bump in volume and it’s always around the same area on the sweep, then IMO it would be indicative of a pot issue as changing the gain would simply kick the issue up the dial.

@WaveTheory you mention there’s no gain on the amp, just confirming the right push button on the amp is a gain switch.

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The right switch is an input selector between XLR and RCA.

duh you’re right. I never use it forgot what it did. lol

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For your other questions, this volume jump is a common complaint for the LP it seems. The amp behaves as if a gain adjustment is built in, an “automatic transmission for gain” if you will. It does reduce in severity if the input level is reduced, though, but I haven’t gotten it to disappear entirely with my gear.

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No, I don’t have it yet. I’m eyeballing it as the next piece of kit I save up for. That could still be awhile. We’ll see.

Yeah but that’s my question, it’s not built in since I haven’t experienced it and apparently it’s not across the board, so is is a fundamental problem with certain pots?

If I use high gain on my DAC then I get from 7 to 9. If I use medium I get from 7 to 2 and if I use low I get about the full range of the volume but at none of the three setting do I see a non linear volume increase.

Just checked it to make sure. I ask because if there’s a problem, and its a known issue, why live with it, get it exchanged.

Hmmm, it is worth at least sending an email to Monoprice. Busy day to day, but I will do that soon.

Has anyone just turned this amp to max and then do all the volume adjustments through their Dac’s pre out? or a passive volume control in the chain?

Max no, but I do have a passive pre in front of it, even with that at 1/2 I usually run it at about 10’0Clock.
I had no issues with the volume even without the pre.
The pre is only there because it let’s me control volume remotely for a number of amps.

In my experience, it seemed to be random. My first LP from a few weeks ago (#xxx900396) had a huge volume jump from 10:30-11 o’clock. Furthermore, there was channel imbalance below 10:30, so the volume pot was just trash. I sent it back explaining the issues with the volume pot in that unit. The replacement unit (early 400’s) still has that gain jump between 10:30-11 o’lock but it is considerably less than the first unit and the channel imbalance is no more. I’m definitely keeping the second unit.

In the meantime, I also obtained a balanced passive pre to control the LP’s volume (if need be, not so with the replacement unit) and a few power amps that drive my HE-6.

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That sounds like my unit. It had a channel imbalance during the tube burn in period, but since I detect no imbalance at all.