Monoprice Monolith 7-Channel Amplifier Review

RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
It is actuallt very doable for near field measurements using a suitable floor standing tripod.
How did you maintain exact mic positions? Those sort of details....
Everything was setup with both amps stacked on a table and source split.
The MIC was not moved. All that was needed was to swap the speaker output,

All six measurements 3 for each were taken in the same session.

- Rich
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Everything was setup with both amps stacked on a table and source split.
The MIC was not moved. All that was needed was to swap the speaker output,

All six measurements 3 for each were taken in the same session.

- Rich
Thank you, hard to explain the differences above 9 k then. I am now curious about the imput impedance vs frequency, and the output impedance of the Sonica. You didn't use long rca interconnects right?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Everything was setup with both amps stacked on a table and source split.
The MIC was not moved. All that was needed was to swap the speaker output,

All six measurements 3 for each were taken in the same session.

- Rich
Level matched somehow?
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Level matched somehow?
Yes, with voltage and pink noise. The AT522NC at -30 and AT4002 at -28.5 on the Sonica DAC. So they have slightly different gains.
As you can see the traces mostly track.

- Rich
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Yes, with voltage and pink noise. The AT522NC at -30 and AT4002 at -28.5 on the Sonica DAC. So they have slightly different gains.
As you can see the traces mostly track.

- Rich
I could see that clearly that's why I didn't ask, but I have the advantage that I had done the same thing many times. All my AVRs, premap, amps track well, almost overlapped one another 20-20,000 Hz in any combinations. Again, mine are all class AB, or A (at if measured at 70 dB, or the DIY Pass ACA 5 W amp).

The input impedance of the ATI class AB amp is rated, 28 kOhm vs the class D's 47 kOhm. If the Sonica's output impedance is on the high side, and increases with frequency, then that could account for the difference. If you have time, it may be worth it to try using a more conventional preamp, or AVR (I bet you don't have one:D) to drive the power amps for the same tests.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
Yes, with voltage and pink noise. The AT522NC at -30 and AT4002 at -28.5 on the Sonica DAC. So they have slightly different gains.
As you can see the traces mostly track.

- Rich
Where did you measure the voltage, at speaker terminal? What voltage differences did you see? a 1% difference is a .2 dB spl difference.
I would suggest using single tones at perhaps 60Hz, 1kHz, 10kHz and see what differences you have.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
This is interesting, people seem to be wondering about Rich's comparison listening protocol while I seem to be the only one wondering about the Umik-1 mic's own comparison listening. I find it easier to question what the mic heard as interpreted by REW, without any repercussion.:D
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Where did you measure the voltage, at speaker terminal? What voltage differences did you see? a 1% difference is a .2 dB spl difference.
I would suggest using single tones at perhaps 60Hz, 1kHz, 10kHz and see what differences you have.
I measured many tones, including 60Hz and 1kHz, at amp with the M20 speakers connected.
I don't think there is anything wrong with the level matching since they are confirmed by the traces.

- Rich
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
This is interesting, people seem to be wondering about Rich's comparison listening protocol while I seem to be the only one wondering about the Umik-1 mic's own comparison listening. I find it easier to question what the mic heard as interpreted by REW, without any repercussion.:D
All valid. Wonder why the trace difference. Should not be that much difference in the upper bands especially when the others are nill.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Nothing. The system sounds better with just the Onkyo. The Monolith made music sound out of balance and not coherent.
If I change anything I might try dual subs.
It's funny that a lot of times the sound quality is already pretty great, but we can't help but try to fix it anyway. :D

Why dual subs? to increase bass levels? Or is the bass louder or quieter at different seats?
 
M

Mark M

Junior Audioholic
It's funny that a lot of times the sound quality is already pretty great, but we can't help but try to fix it anyway. :D

Why dual subs? to increase bass levels? Or is the bass louder or quieter at different seats?
I currently have the Elac s12eq sub. I have it placed in the front left corner of the room with the passive radiator facing the corner. The bass just sounds much more blended this way.

My sub currently sounds very good.
I have seen many articles/videos about the benefits of adding a second sub and figured I would give it a try.
What do you think?
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I currently have the Elac s12eq sub. I have it placed in the front left corner of the room with the passive radiator facing the corner. The bass just sounds much more blended this way.

My sub currently sounds very good.
I have seen many articles/videos about the benefits of adding a second sub and figured I would give it a try.
What do you think?
I think every case is different. :D

They have a good return policy? :D

You could try it out and see if the bass improves (like with the amp). If the bass doesn’t improve, return it like the amp.

But ultimately, if it sounds great, then it is great. ;)
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
But ultimately, if it sounds great, then it is great. ;)
But "what if" it could sound better?

I don't think it is so much of a matter of trying to "fix" his current system as wondering if that new piece of kit would further enhance the listening experience!
AudioQuest has made a very successful business out of playing on our expectation bias!
I have certainly experienced situations where a blind test revealed how expectation bias colored my perception when I was "sighted". Seeing is believing, but doesn't mean you see the truth, you just believe what your mind expects from seeing.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
But "what if" it could sound better?

I don't think it is so much of a matter of trying to "fix" his current system as wondering if that new piece of kit would further enhance the listening experience!
AudioQuest has made a very successful business out of playing on our expectation bias!
I have certainly experienced situations where a blind test revealed how expectation bias colored my perception when I was "sighted". Seeing is believing, but doesn't mean you see the truth, you just believe what your mind expects from seeing.
Was it single-blind or double-blind? :D

The reason drug studies have to be double-blind is because single-blind can still introduce bias.

Regarding the “what if” question, yes, it doesn’t hurt to try the additional sub (or anything else) if you can return it like with the amp.
 
Last edited:
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
But "what if" it could sound better?
After watching for a while... I really feel like sharing the learning experience I had recently, in hopes of learning more.
I was invited into a private home to audition a pair of Philharmonic 3s which @Dennis Murphy very kindly set up with his previous client. It was a 2 hr drive for me in traffic. Each way. Which ultimately beat out the cost of flying to SLC +hotel room to visit Tekton in Orem UT, or driving for a day each way +said hotel to visit Ascend in San Clemente CA.
I remember stumbling into this before, but was... like... ;) ... "what can you do with a five watt amplifier?"
Longer story shorter:
Dude had his source computer running through a DAC to a First Watt F7 (30w),and into his Phil-3s.
I was stunned. Whether it was the amplifier or not... I won't know for another 5 months or so, as I pretty much ordered my pair of Phil-3s up the next day (or so).
...
But for the needs of amplification?
My AVR (Marantz SR6012),all channels driven (9) would be ~70wpc. Enough to get me ~103dB@1m on a 85dB pair. His amplifier; enough for ~100dB.
...
So, "what matters?", is what I have to ask?
Is the amplifier about getting a speaker to "open up?" (requiring, what?, twice the RMS power rating of a speaker? More?) Is it about driving a hard load more efficiently? Is it about that "first watt?" Is it about taking the front 3 off the AVR so it can handle the surrounds better and last longer?
When I reached out to the company that handles North American Distribution for Monitor Audio to help my under-educated @$$ understand their speakers, the VP of Marketing for the Eastern Region replied. He said the Silvers could "handle" an amp dishing out 1000wpc. I know now they would never see that power, and if they did, it would be for a microsecond. But what he stressed, and Dennis, and a few other cats I've spoken too also say... is: "good, clean power."
So regardless of which model, or which manufacturer, or which class sounds which way...

My wanting-to-be-educated-@$$ wants to know: what makes a good amplifier? (Assuming that it does not change the qualities of the audio source, other than increasing the power adequately for the speaker to operate, and doing so with the least amount of distortion possibe.) (Which, by definition, should be the case.)

Thank you, all!
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
After watching for a while... I really feel like sharing the learning experience I had recently, in hopes of learning more.
I was invited into a private home to audition a pair of Philharmonic 3s which @Dennis Murphy very kindly set up with his previous client. It was a 2 hr drive for me in traffic. Each way. Which ultimately beat out the cost of flying to SLC +hotel room to visit Tekton in Orem UT, or driving for a day each way +said hotel to visit Ascend in San Clemente CA.
I remember stumbling into this before, but was... like... ;) ... "what can you do with a five watt amplifier?"
Longer story shorter:
Dude had his source computer running through a DAC to a First Watt F7 (30w),and into his Phil-3s.
I was stunned. Whether it was the amplifier or not... I won't know for another 5 months or so, as I pretty much ordered my pair of Phil-3s up the next day (or so).
...
But for the needs of amplification?
My AVR (Marantz SR6012),all channels driven (9) would be ~70wpc. Enough to get me ~103dB@1m on a 85dB pair. His amplifier; enough for ~100dB.
...
So, "what matters?", is what I have to ask?
Is the amplifier about getting a speaker to "open up?" (requiring, what?, twice the RMS power rating of a speaker? More?) Is it about driving a hard load more efficiently? Is it about that "first watt?" Is it about taking the front 3 off the AVR so it can handle the surrounds better and last longer?
When I reached out to the company that handles North American Distribution for Monitor Audio to help my under-educated @$$ understand their speakers, the VP of Marketing for the Eastern Region replied. He said the Silvers could "handle" an amp dishing out 1000wpc. I know now they would never see that power, and if they did, it would be for a microsecond. But what he stressed, and Dennis, and a few other cats I've spoken too also say... is: "good, clean power."
So regardless of which model, or which manufacturer, or which class sounds which way...

My wanting-to-be-educated-@$$ wants to know: what makes a good amplifier? (Assuming that it does not change the qualities of the audio source, other than increasing the power adequately for the speaker to operate, and doing so with the least amount of distortion possibe.) (Which, by definition, should be the case.)

Thank you, all!
When looking at power demand it usually comes down to short, very short, peaks. If your recording calls for a massive dynamic swing you could go from 1 watt to 50 instantly and you want that to be distortion free. Change the distance change the demand. It typically takes very little power to drive loudspeakers to loud levels. IMHO you want clean power with the ability to effortlessly fill the space at acceptable distortion levels. Watts and distortion should be easy to determine ones needs.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Overlord
Was it single-blind or double-blind? :D

The reason drug studies have to be edouble-blind is because single-blind can still introduce bias.

Regarding the “what if” question, yes, it doesn’t hurt to try the additional sub (or anything else) if you can return it like with the amp.
My test was single blind which I acknowledge is not the gold standard.
However, I was convinced beyond any doubt of my sighted perception, and my blind perception totally pulled the rug out from under my sighted perception.
The objective of a double blind is that any person administering the test to you is unaware of which condition is which because we as humans are very likely to give (even unintentional) ques to each other through methods such as body language, etc.
In my case, the overwhelming preference I reached during sighted listening became "no discernible difference" when listening blind. I suppose you could argue that the body language ques may have led me to believe there was no difference, but that is kind of like saying there was no bias presented to me during the test!
Theoretically, I cannot claim the authority of a double blind test, but from a practical viewpoint, the nature of the results suggest that in this specific instance a double blind would not have resulted in a different result.

I should add that my experience was listening to different speakers (which typically have more readily discernible differences) as opposed to different amplifiers.

The one time I really tried to compare amps, I had identical pair of level matched speakers side by side with identical AVRs acting as pre-amps to power class A/B vs Class D amps. I was initially astounded to actually hear a difference, however, when I swapped the positions of the speakers, it became clear that the 8" to 10" difference between the locations of the speakers in the room had a much greater effect than which amp I was using. From that my takeaway was competent amps may sound somewhat different, but in the end the speakers and room are the place to make improvements (assuming the amps are in good working condition and not pushed beyond their capabilities).
 

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