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Monolith HTP-1 AV Processor Measurements (June 2023 Firmware + User Testing)

eeMGee

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105.2 dB SINAD
48 kHz, -1.8 dB, 2.2V nominal max

View attachment 307490

Nice work, but all of the THD+N/SINAD numbers are a little-bit "optimistic" - when you use AES17 notch option in Multitone SW the analyser excludes lot of noise from the calculation (see the "skirt" around 1 kHz signal in the picture) which is not correct. See the noise number in the table - it is 9 dB worse than TD+N (N=noise)!

An AES17 notch option in Multitone SW (or REW) should be used when you use real notch filter, otherwise numbers are better than in reality.

Edit: And why H2-H4 only?

Skirt_notch.png
 
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GXAlan

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Nice work, but all of the THD+N/SINAD numbers are a little-bit "optimistic"

Sort of. I will check settings as it may simply be the harmonics that are displayed versus what is computed.

The sanity check I use is matching @amirm’s data and to try to get as close to his APx555 as possible. We also have manufacturer supplied data here:


1) I show that HDMI beats AES/EBUby as much as 2 dB SINAD so my numbers might be expected to be 2 dB higher than Amir’s

2)
Amir 4V = 97.2 dB AES 10-22.4 kHz
Monolith 4V = 97.5 dB HDMI 10-22.4 kHz
My 4V = 98.6 dB HDMI 20-20 kHz

Amir also had to use -0.5 dB AES input whereas HDMI doesn’t have that issue and you can run 0 dBFS on HDMI.

The extra dB reflects my relaxed bandwidth of 20-20 kHz.

3)
Amir 2.7V = 101.8 dB AES 10-22.4 kHz
My 2.7 V = 102.1 dB HDMI 20-20 kHz

There’s only 0.3 dB difference and again, I have a relaxed bandwidth and HDMI performance is higher than AES.

4) I don’t do as well as the manufacturer’s numbers
My 2.3V HDMI 104.9 dB 10-22.4 kHz
Monolith: 105.4 dB 10-22.4 kHz
https://www.avsforum.com/attachments/sndvid_thdn_hdmi_amp22-jpg.2687640/
1692968511403.png


5)
My 1.9V HDMI 104.98 dB 10-22.4 kHz
Monolith: 106.0 dB 10-22.4 kHz
1692968761133.jpeg



6). My sweep for 90 kHz bandwidth is also worse
Amir 4V -95 dB at 20 to -75 dB
My 4V -90 dB at 20 to -43 dB
1692968879406.png

1692968943379.png



If you don’t like my numbers, the easiest way to think about it is to scale my numbers up or down based upon how optimistic you think I am compared to Amir or Monolith’s data. I think this is close enough…

The most important part is the shape of the curve since the main point is that the HTP-1 struggles at higher voltage as compared to lower voltages
 

MacCali

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I just always like to point out and I’m sure there are much less noticeable differences when going from stereo to multi channel.

As pointed out by legit research once multiple speakers are introduced the confusion factor is definitely higher in blind testing.

The objective side of me fights it, but I think if you got any amps that function in -90db range for HT you should be more than happy.

I know we are pushing on the dac portion to be phenomenal and it’s always good to have that but also having a -110 processor and -90db amp doesn’t add up very well.

I would simply say, my personal opinion, a processor strictly for HT at -100 is definitely phenomenal. It allows me to sleep at night.

In addition I would rather you spend your money on your stereo configuration vs buying some wild amps for HT application only.
 
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GXAlan

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I know we are pushing on the dac portion to be phenomenal and it’s always good to have that but also having a -110 processor and -90db amp doesn’t add up very well.

I would simply say, my personal opinion, a processor strictly for HT at -100 is definitely phenomenal. It allows me to sleep at night.

In addition I would rather you spend your money on your stereo configuration vs buying some wild amps for HT application only.

Yeah, I agree completely. The other way I would summarize the idea is this:

The reason to push for DACs to be phenomenal is that asking for DACs to phenomenal doesn’t cost the consumer anything (the asking part) — it’s up to the companies to deliver without raising the price. They take all of the risk, not us. Sounds evil, but if we ask for -120 dB SINAD, maybe we’ll get -100 dB, etc. It also means that if you’re selling me something at the -85 dB SINAD level, it may still be plenty good, but let’s push the pricing down even further and don’t try tell me that I can getting a premium product at a premium price when it’s not. Objective measurements means transparency. It helps correct mistakes in manufacturer's specifications like 12V being advertised for the HTP-1 or 7V being advertised in the firmware. I like my 22 dB SINAD 300B SET when I want the "sweetened" treble. When it comes to home theater, there's less of a circle-of-confusion and you rarely deal with shoestring budget movies (as opposed to shoestring budget musicians/recordings), so the pinnacle of transparency is good.

Personally, I wish more people would send in their current generation Marantz and Denon gear for Amir’s review. He is “ruthlessly” consistent and the more we challenge the industry, the better. He's like the police officer with the radar gun. Sure, most people drive over 65 mph on the highway but what Amir does is to try to test things as consistently as possible and let the reader decide on the facts. I certainly expect AVRs to measure spectacularly in 10 years given what Amir has been doing along with increased interest in objective measurements elsewhere. Yes, there's a regression with D&M on the consumer line, but there's no reason to assume that TI and Cirrus Logic won't up their game to present day AKM/ESS over the next decade.

But sometimes you don’t want to wait 10 years. Sometimes you want to upgrade right now. This gets into need vs. want. None of us really need to upgrade. For me, the Bose 901 really works well in my home theater setup where my prioritization is good sound for everyone rather than great sound at one position. I don't have gear hidden away, so the fewer boxes, the better, so my goal was to eliminate the Bose 901 Active Equalizer.

Since I run 5.2.4 for my home theater, I have several options if I wanted to correct the 901's response with Dirac. For Dirac+PEQ, the HTP-1 was my only option and there recently was a super-deal on them.

When I measure gear that Amir has already measured like this HTP-1 or something similar like the Freya Noval, my point isn't to disagree with him or suggest that anything is wrong with his testing. It's to say, that we already know what the "ruthlessly consistent" performance looks like. It only makes sense to try to find the "best case scenario" or "how would I make the most out of what I already have?". For the HTP-1, seeing how the SINAD changes as a result of maximum output level helps every setup their HTP-1 for the best theoretical performance while still setting the "consumer request" for "for the HTP-2, can you get us more SINAD and higher voltages at a lower price". It's up to Monoprice to figure out if they can deliver our wishlist.

We don't get everything on our wishlist but again, you have to shoot for the stars to get to the Moon.
 
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GXAlan

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Nice work, but all of the THD+N/SINAD numbers are a little-bit "optimistic" - when you use AES17 notch option in Multitone SW the analyser excludes lot of noise from the calculation (see the "skirt" around 1 kHz signal in the picture) which is not correct. See the noise number in the table - it is 9 dB worse than TD+N (N=noise)!

An AES17 notch option in Multitone SW (or REW) should be used when you use real notch filter, otherwise numbers are better than in reality.

Edit: And why H2-H4 only?

See above post for my numbers vs. Amir's and Monoprice's.

Just to confirm that Multitone calculates THD with all harmonics even if it only displays what you ask it to. You can see that there is no difference whether I display a lot or a little. This is a -3dB test tone with 2.8V max output which is about 2V out.

1692983203720.png

1692983258553.png



The AES17 notch does make a difference
1692983335574.png


But you would have to compare it against other product measurements that don't have the notch either.

And last, HDMI measures noticeably better with the notch due to the jitter. The differences with AES/EBU are less.

When having the AES17 notch, HDMI is better than AES/EBU
Without the AES17 notch, AES/EBU is better than HDMI.


1692983579807.png

1692983517058.png



But again, the main point/conclusion of all these tests:
1) It seems like the 15-bit linearity was fixed. I can send test tones that are -120 dBFS and it shows up as expected.
2) Looking at the various curves for lower output voltage helps existing owners or prospective owners assess the appropriateness of the HTP-1 for their own needs.

Thanks for the peer-review/double checking.
 
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GXAlan

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MacCali

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Yeah, I agree completely. The other way I would summarize the idea is this:

The reason to push for DACs to be phenomenal is that asking for DACs to phenomenal doesn’t cost the consumer anything (the asking part) — it’s up to the companies to deliver without raising the price. They take all of the risk, not us. Sounds evil, but if we ask for -120 dB SINAD, maybe we’ll get -100 dB, etc. It also means that if you’re selling me something at the -85 dB SINAD level, it may still be plenty good, but let’s push the pricing down even further and don’t try tell me that I can getting a premium product at a premium price when it’s not. Objective measurements means transparency. It helps correct mistakes in manufacturer's specifications like 12V being advertised for the HTP-1 or 7V being advertised in the firmware. I like my 22 dB SINAD 300B SET when I want the "sweetened" treble. When it comes to home theater, there's less of a circle-of-confusion and you rarely deal with shoestring budget movies (as opposed to shoestring budget musicians/recordings), so the pinnacle of transparency is good.

Personally, I wish more people would send in their current generation Marantz and Denon gear for Amir’s review. He is “ruthlessly” consistent and the more we challenge the industry, the better. He's like the police officer with the radar gun. Sure, most people drive over 65 mph on the highway but what Amir does is to try to test things as consistently as possible and let the reader decide on the facts. I certainly expect AVRs to measure spectacularly in 10 years given what Amir has been doing along with increased interest in objective measurements elsewhere. Yes, there's a regression with D&M on the consumer line, but there's no reason to assume that TI and Cirrus Logic won't up their game to present day AKM/ESS over the next decade.

But sometimes you don’t want to wait 10 years. Sometimes you want to upgrade right now. This gets into need vs. want. None of us really need to upgrade. For me, the Bose 901 really works well in my home theater setup where my prioritization is good sound for everyone rather than great sound at one position. I don't have gear hidden away, so the fewer boxes, the better, so my goal was to eliminate the Bose 901 Active Equalizer.

Since I run 5.2.4 for my home theater, I have several options if I wanted to correct the 901's response with Dirac. For Dirac+PEQ, the HTP-1 was my only option and there recently was a super-deal on them.

When I measure gear that Amir has already measured like this HTP-1 or something similar like the Freya Noval, my point isn't to disagree with him or suggest that anything is wrong with his testing. It's to say, that we already know what the "ruthlessly consistent" performance looks like. It only makes sense to try to find the "best case scenario" or "how would I make the most out of what I already have?". For the HTP-1, seeing how the SINAD changes as a result of maximum output level helps every setup their HTP-1 for the best theoretical performance while still setting the "consumer request" for "for the HTP-2, can you get us more SINAD and higher voltages at a lower price". It's up to Monoprice to figure out if they can deliver our wishlist.

We don't get everything on our wishlist but again, you have to shoot for the stars to get to the Moon.
I’ve been extremely curious about the Emotiv 17 channel processor, manufacturer specs look nice but unfortunately never promising. ARC is probably garbage but maybe could be manually over-ridden with your own room correction software.

It’s all a mix. My first AVR was a 7013 and honestly I don’t care about performance since I paid roughly half the MSRP and about 38% less than the typical advertised price. Under these circumstances mediocre performance is acceptable. If I did pay full price I would of been pissed with other Denon offerings.

However, we realize I could of got the denon with a similar price and better performance.

Lastly, even now with my AVM70. The lower registers or as stated that 75 db volume the performance on my Marantz is better sinad wise but is limited to low input voltage amps.

I can’t say without a doubt that the marantz is worse than the AVM70 subjectively, however I feel like the AVM70 is definitely processing better even on rca performance; have yet to try XLR. So that’s why I enjoy my AVM70 more. I guess it provides better imaging and stage volume or stage dispersal to make a better movie experience but really it’s a notch or two better.

No blind testing, so there’s no definitive answer. Also my purchase decision was solely on the massive discounted price for the AVM70
 

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Man oh man... Wish this had Dante output that worked well. Really struggling with a JBL SDP 55 that has audio cut outs and dante "ticks" but my Genelec sub won't work with analog and I don't look forward to the extra wire runs with analog XLR vs an ethernet Start network that is possible with Dante.
 

stevenswall

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Do the voltage issue discrepancies on this mean that after a point turning up the volume does nothing? Currently having an issue with volume not changing after about 80/99 on a JBL unit and am almost ready to get a Monoprice and an ADC.
 
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GXAlan

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Do the voltage issue discrepancies on this mean that after a point turning up the volume does nothing? Currently having an issue with volume not changing after about 80/99 on a JBL unit and am almost ready to get a Monoprice and an ADC.

At 0 dB playing 0 dBFS, it will only output 4V. Room correction might drop the peak voltage from the standpoint of sending a calibrated/eq’d signal.

What amp are you using with your JBL?
 

Sal1950

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Great review! I agree fully with your feelings here..
If something should happen to the Denon 3700H I'm using for a preamp I'll be
looking for a way to land one of these.
 

stevenswall

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What amp are you using with your JBL?
Active Genelec and Kali system. Dante to AES. May switch to analog but might just get rid of the SDP 55 because they "updated" it and removes Dolby Volume which was one of the reasons I got it: I wanted something like the loudness compensation on the Monoprice, but also digital connections on the JBL were useful because the 7271 sub only uses digital.

Pretty sure the issue is with the JBL... It's really buggy even with the 8k board and Dante fix. Makes multiple noises over Dante and adjusting speaker trims can take a restart or several to actually take. Time to start a troubleshooting email with them again.

Need Genelec to make a surround sound unit that just works and lasts 25 years. The only competitors seem to be the UDMA by Arvus for $4,000 or a Trinnov for $35,000.

Hopefully there are no pops or ticks or weird noises from the Monolith that don't make it into reviews, and fingers are crossed the HTP1b gets support for DIRAC live bass control which I think they are still working on.

(DLBC sounds terrible compared to GLM on the JBL but that could be my unit or how it's made or the calibration being buggy, but I'd like to believe it could make use of the 10" bass drivers in the Genelec L and R.)
 

tjcinnamon

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Great review! I agree fully with your feelings here..
If something should happen to the Denon 3700H I'm using for a preamp I'll be
looking for a way to land one of these.
same. I have the 4700 in pre-amp mode but this is on my short list if it gets DL-ART
 

McAllister

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Active Genelec and Kali system. Dante to AES. May switch to analog but might just get rid of the SDP 55 because they "updated" it and removes Dolby Volume which was one of the reasons I got it: I wanted something like the loudness compensation on the Monoprice, but also digital connections on the JBL were useful because the 7271 sub only uses digital.

Pretty sure the issue is with the JBL... It's really buggy even with the 8k board and Dante fix. Makes multiple noises over Dante and adjusting speaker trims can take a restart or several to actually take. Time to start a troubleshooting email with them again.

Need Genelec to make a surround sound unit that just works and lasts 25 years. The only competitors seem to be the UDMA by Arvus for $4,000 or a Trinnov for $35,000.

Hopefully there are no pops or ticks or weird noises from the Monolith that don't make it into reviews, and fingers are crossed the HTP1b gets support for DIRAC live bass control which I think they are still working on.

(DLBC sounds terrible compared to GLM on the JBL but that could be my unit or how it's made or the calibration being buggy, but I'd like to believe it could make use of the 10" bass drivers in the Genelec L and R.)
The HTP-1 has had DLBC for a few years now. Waiting on ART which is said the be later this year, we shall see.
 

Beast76

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Active Genelec and Kali system. Dante to AES. May switch to analog but might just get rid of the SDP 55 because they "updated" it and removes Dolby Volume which was one of the reasons I got it: I wanted something like the loudness compensation on the Monoprice, but also digital connections on the JBL were useful because the 7271 sub only uses digital.

Pretty sure the issue is with the JBL... It's really buggy even with the 8k board and Dante fix. Makes multiple noises over Dante and adjusting speaker trims can take a restart or several to actually take. Time to start a troubleshooting email with them again.

Need Genelec to make a surround sound unit that just works and lasts 25 years. The only competitors seem to be the UDMA by Arvus for $4,000 or a Trinnov for $35,000.

Hopefully there are no pops or ticks or weird noises from the Monolith that don't make it into reviews, and fingers are crossed the HTP1b gets support for DIRAC live bass control which I think they are still working on.

(DLBC sounds terrible compared to GLM on the JBL but that could be my unit or how it's made or the calibration being buggy, but I'd like to believe it could make use of the 10" bass drivers in the Genelec L and R.)
I own and love my HTP-1, but I’m not sure you’re going to experience much, if any, upgrade moving from the SDP-55 to the HTP-1. You can just keep the JBL and convert to analog in the same way you planned to with the HTP-1. I believe what you’ll get compared to the JBL: Loudness compensation, VU meters (digital domain prior to the DAC), BassEQ front end (awesome if you use BEQ), ability to adjust EQ/trim/delay pre/post Dirac. Other than that, they’re likely to “sound” very similar.
 

stevenswall

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I own and love my HTP-1, but I’m not sure you’re going to experience much, if any, upgrade moving from the SDP-55 to the HTP-1. You can just keep the JBL and convert to analog in the same way you planned to with the HTP-1. I believe what you’ll get compared to the JBL: Loudness compensation, VU meters (digital domain prior to the DAC), BassEQ front end (awesome if you use BEQ), ability to adjust EQ/trim/delay pre/post Dirac. Other than that, they’re likely to “sound” very similar.
I'm not looking for a signal quality improvement as it should be mostly transparent, but the loudness compensation on the Monoprice should be noticeable.

Does the Monoprice have per channel vu meters?

I miss that from my Dolby SDP564.
 

stevenswall

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The HTP-1 has had DLBC for a few years now. Waiting on ART which is said the be later this year, we shall see.
What about the HTP1'b' model that uses slightly different boards? The one they are selling now is a little different.
 

TimoJ

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What about the HTP1'b' model that uses slightly different boards? The one they are selling now is a little different.
There is no "b" model. Current models (may) have an DSP board with flash memory chip from a different manufacturer, that's all. That caused an issue with firmware update failing effecting Dirac, it was quickly fixed 3 months ago.
 
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GXAlan

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What about the HTP1'b' model that uses slightly different boards? The one they are selling now is a little different.

+1 to what @TimoJ said.

The one interesting detail from a 2023 interview is that the current production still uses AKM chips. They had acquired enough of a stock before the factory fire and supply chain issues for everything else became the problem.

I don’t know if there are other changes since @anomaly verified that it is just software that was updated for the boot loop, not hardware.

My B-stock that arrived last month has a really low serial number but I don’t know if it got issued a new serial or if it has any updated features, etc. It is working and measuring great.

I still wish the remote control was nicer or the touch screen on the unit itself had input switching capability. As nice as the web interface is, it’s more steps than using hard buttons on a remote.
 

Dj7675

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Need Genelec to make a surround sound unit that just works and lasts 25 years. The only competitors seem to be the UDMA by Arvus for $4,000 or a Trinnov for $35,000
Don’t forget Stormaudio. Fully digital. And you get Dirac ART.
 
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