Monoprice Monolith 7-Channel Amplifier Review

RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
You like the amp, keep the amp.

Some factors not covered in the spec, speaker interaction, room size, listening levels. The Monolith has a lot of additional power reserve and headroom.
You might want to ask, which of those making the recommendation have gotten rid of their amps.. :p

- Rich
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Not for his wallet, especially if he doesn’t hear any improvement at all.
But he did hear an improvement, but that is not believed.

If he heard no improvement, he would have been believed.

Is the Onkyo Class-D?

- Rich
 
Last edited:
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
But he did hear an improvement, but that is not believed.

If he heard, no improvement, he would have been believed.

Is the Onkyo Class-D?
- Rich
Yet he has his doubts. Amp listening is tough. Especially when trying to pin down the class of the amp in doing so.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Yet he has his doubts. Amp listening is tough. Especially when trying to pin down the class of the amp in doing so.
Everyone should have doubts. Amp listening is very difficult, level matching, and reasonably quick switching is required.
In my experience,, class-D and class A/B can sound different.

- Rich
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
But he did hear an improvement, but that is not believed.

If he heard, no improvement, he would have been believed.

Is the Onkyo Class-D?

- Rich
I would have agreed with you, if he was not believed, but it is not the case here. If you remember his earlier posts, you may wonder if he's sure about the improvement, or the opposite perceived by him.

In his post #166
It seems to make my system sound less warm and the highs are a bit harsh and fatiguing.
and post #170

I just feel that the sound is not as warm as just using my AVR. It almost sounds like the mids are lacking and the tweeters are brighter.
More often than not, people who added a powerful amp to their AVRs reported to hear more bass, hence warmer sound, but apparently not in his case.

Regardless, while his speakers are not designed to handle a lot of power, they are rated 4 ohms so the Monolith should help keep the Onkyo cool for loud level listening. So to me, unless he really felt it makes the sound a little harsh and fatiguing, then he should return it and keep the money, or try another amp.

The Onkyo RZ 900 is class AB as far as I can tell.
 
A

Andrein

Senior Audioholic
What is the main reason people hear the differences in sound across the amps?
I had similar experience when Emo xpa 5 sounded like crap to me, no treble, muddy sound. But Yamaha avr on its own, Monolith 5, Anthem mca 525 all sounded more or less the same. Could it be the gain difference or compatibility issues (differences) between avr and the amp? I think in my case both Anthem and Monolith have the gain 29db, whereas xpa 5 - 28db.
I would have agreed with you, if he was not believed, but it is not the case here. If you remember his earlier posts, you may wonder if he's sure about the improvement, or the opposite perceived by him.
In his post #166
and post #170
More often than not, people who added a powerful amp to their AVRs reported to hear more bass, hence warmer sound, but apparently not in his case.
Regardless, while his speakers are not designed to handle a lot of power, they are rated 4 ohms so the Monolith should help keep the Onkyo cool for loud level listening. So to me, unless he really felt it makes the sound a little harsh and fatiguing, then he should return it and keep the money, or try another amp.
The Onkyo RZ 900 is class AB as far as I can tell.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
We don’t believe it. :D
Have some faith :p

Here are the specs and measurements of the AT4002 (Class A/B) and AT522BC (Class D) with identical power specs.
The measurement was taken using the UMIK-1 calibrated MIC using REW and smoothed to 1/48'th for readability.
The system is an Oppo Sonica DAC with Balanced outs split to both amp. The Microphone is centered about 10' from the wall mounted Revel M20 bookshelf speakers. Three sweeps for each amp and swapping the speaker cables between amplifiers.

These amps don't measure the same nor do they sound the same.
AT4002 and AT522 Stereo Average.jpg


ATI-Power-Amp-Specs-AT4002-AT522NC.jpg

Queue Doris Day: Whatever will be will be... Que Sera, Sera:)

- Rich
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Seems more a speaker/room measurement than an amp measurement but then you don't explain details....
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
What is the main reason people hear the differences in sound across the amps?
I had similar experience when Emo xpa 5 sounded like crap to me, no treble, muddy sound. But Yamaha avr on its own, Monolith 5, Anthem mca 525 all sounded more or less the same. Could it be the gain difference or compatibility issues (differences) between avr and the amp? I think in my case both Anthem and Monolith have the gain 29db, whereas xpa 5 - 28db.
Many people reported night and day better when they added their xpa-5 to their avrs. I have no idea why you hear the crappy sound with it, 1 dB different in gain won't make such a difference. Input impedance, if on the low side, when matched with preamps that have relatively higher output impedance, could result in audible effects. That does not appear to be your case though.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Seems more a speaker/room measurement than an amp measurement but then you don't explain details....
It could be due to some slightly movement of the mic between the plots, you can see there are some difference above 9k Hz, below that I highly the minor differences would be discernible even by Rich's better hearing.. I didn't get that kind of difference at all when comparing the FR graphs between my class AB amps and AVRs, also using REW and Umik-1 mic. Too bad I still don't have a class D amp to compare.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Have some faith :p

Here are the specs and measurements of the AT4002 (Class A/B) and AT522BC (Class D) with identical power specs.
The measurement was taken using the UMIK-1 calibrated MIC using REW and smoothed to 1/48'th for readability.
The system is an Oppo Sonica DAC with Balanced outs split to both amp. The Microphone is centered about 10' from the wall mounted Revel M20 bookshelf speakers. Three sweeps for each amp and swapping the speaker cables between amplifiers.

These amps don't measure the same nor do they sound the same.
View attachment 27105

View attachment 27106
Queue Doris Day: Whatever will be will be... Que Sera, Sera:)

- Rich
But which one sounds better to you, and just audibly different, or night and day kind of difference?
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
But which one sounds better to you, and just audibly different, or night and day kind of difference?
It depends on the source material. The best characterization for the AT522NC is that it is more lively.
Which depending on the source is sometimes better and sometimes sounds less natural to me.
However, that may only be because I am used to Class A/B amps.

I can say this for certain, these amps are different, more than other class A/B's I have had in my system.
I have yet to try them with my Salon2's.

- Rich
 

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