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Review and Measurements of Monoprice Liquid Spark Headphone Amp

graz_lag

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#41
Note that it's with an ODAC included + 50€ in tax. Still feels a bit expensive though and something like a modi 3 would be better than an ODAC anyways right?
Exactly, 19% VAT so 50€ ...

For the Modi ... Thank you but I have had enough Schiit (twice) ... I am looking into the Topping's range to get the good DAC to match Amir's suggestion for the Massdrop THX AAA even if my original budget (300€ or $350) explodes ... o_O
 

Jimster480

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#42
Since he is not allowed to change the design, I am not seeing what is costing so much to want 299.99€. For that kind of money, I would get the massdrop THX AAA amplifier instead.
Its the ODAC + O2 combo, that is usually ~$250.
Then he also has the rear ports, RCA passthrough, etc.
This means that its going to be around $265, so with import tax to germany and a different actual DAC (maybe its better?) then the price of 299 Eur isn't far off.
 

amirm

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#43
Its the ODAC + O2 combo, that is usually ~$250.
Then he also has the rear ports, RCA passthrough, etc.
This means that its going to be around $265, so with import tax to germany and a different actual DAC (maybe its better?) then the price of 299 Eur isn't far off.
Ah, OK. Didn't realize the DAC was in there. The ODAC though is not state of the art. So I am not a fan of the combo. Instead of the combo, I would personally opt for Topping DX3 Pro.
 

Jimster480

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#44
Ah, OK. Didn't realize the DAC was in there. The ODAC though is not state of the art. So I am not a fan of the combo. Instead of the combo, I would personally opt for Topping DX3 Pro.
So would I :)
Considering the modern interfaces, DAC chips and screen + amp. Its overall better for around the same price.
 

graz_lag

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#45
... and a different actual DAC (maybe its better?) ...
As for the DAC, will call this Mr. Walter on tomorrow to get further information abt. the description he wrote in the product page :
... has now been paired with the ObjectiveDAC (ODAC revB), the latest design of NwAvGuy, a truly transparent 24bit DAC produced by Yoyodyne Consulting ...
 

JJB70

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#46
I think Nwavguy himself anticipated that the O2 and ODAC would be superseded as more transparent amplifiers and DACs entered the market. I think part of his purpose was to shake the tree and get manufacturers to take objective design seriously and to prompt them to make sensibly priced good measuring equipment. So I suspect he'd not be one to cling onto his old designs in the face of attractively priced alternatives that measure better.
 

Jimster480

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#47
As for the DAC, will call this Mr. Walter on tomorrow to get further information abt. the description he wrote in the product page :
... has now been paired with the ObjectiveDAC (ODAC revB), the latest design of NwAvGuy, a truly transparent 24bit DAC produced by Yoyodyne Consulting ...
Its just Rev B, which means they are using a different chip (TI based DAC) vs the ES9018 in the Rev A, because the ES9018's were going bad in the original design.
While the performance is good, its not better or comparable (objectively speaking) to the Topping DX3 pro or even the D30, which costs less.

If you want to buy something made locally to support people building it locally, and you want to pay more for less performance because of that, then its fine. But otherwise Topping has it beaten by a good margin for the same/lower price.
 

graz_lag

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#48
... Instead of the combo, I would personally opt for Topping DX3 Pro ...
My son is aged 19, so I'm still in time (perhaps) to educate him on the right way ...
 

graz_lag

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#49
Its just Rev B, which means they are using a different chip (TI based DAC) vs the ES9018 in the Rev A, because the ES9018's were going bad in the original design.
While the performance is good, its not better or comparable (objectively speaking) to the Topping DX3 pro or even the D30, which costs less.

If you want to buy something made locally to support people building it locally, and you want to pay more for less performance because of that, then its fine. But otherwise Topping has it beaten by a good margin for the same/lower price.
Thank you so much for the feedback !
I like buying locally @ farmers' markets :p, here the electronic components are for sure sourced in Asia, so - in this particular case, based on your recommendations, I do not see the interest of buying "soldering made in Switzerland".
Just ordered last week the DX7s, so will follow your input for the DX3 or D30, for my son this turn.
Once again, thank you ;)
 

Jimster480

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#50
Thank you so much for the feedback !
I like buying locally @ farmers' markets :p, here the electronic components are for sure sourced in Asia, so - in this particular case, based on your recommendations, I do not see the interest of buying "soldering made in Switzerland".
Just ordered last week the DX7s, so will follow your input for the DX3 or D30, for my son this turn.
Once again, thank you ;)
You're welcome! I agree the components are all from asia so it doesn't really matter to buy locally at this point in time!
I have a DX7 and I love it, I recently got the THX AAA 789 and its replaced both my A30 + JDS O2.
Now I will have to setup a second rig with these two sets of dac/amp's instead!
 
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#51
Hello, greetings to all!
Could you solve a doubt?
I have thought of buying something, this thinking of 2 options ..

1 monoprice liquid sparck + topping D10
2 topping DX3 pro

I have some bayerdynamic DT950pro 250ohm

Which option would give me more power and more quality?
 
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#54
with DX3 Pro will I have enough power to move my dt990 pro 250ohm to the maximum?
I would like to get the most out of them.

Now I have Monoprice Desktop Headphone Amplifier and it does not have enough power.
 
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Jimster480

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#55
with DX3 Pro will I have enough power to move my dt990 pro 250ohm to the maximum?
I would like to get the most out of them.

Now I have Monoprice Desktop Headphone Amplifier and it does not have enough power.
Yes I would think it does.
 
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#56
According to the specifications ..
The dt990pro 250 .. hold a maximum power of 100mv

The Monoprice Desktop Headphone Amplifier. supposedly it has ≥ 150mW (300Ω loaded) ... (but it is not able to move to the maximum my dt990)

DX3 pro, according to specifications ... is less powerful than monoprice .. 125mW (300Ω loaded)

Something is wrong ... the monoprice specifications are false?
 

Jimster480

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#57
According to the specifications ..
The dt990pro 250 .. hold a maximum power of 100mv

The Monoprice Desktop Headphone Amplifier. supposedly it has ≥ 150mW (300Ω loaded) ... (but it is not able to move to the maximum my dt990)

DX3 pro, according to specifications ... is less powerful than monoprice .. 125mW (300Ω loaded)

Something is wrong ... the monoprice specifications are false?
If you want all the power into 300 ohm without a high cost, get a Topping A30.
Its performance is pretty awesome, this is assuming that you cannot get a JDS Atom easily where you live.
 

Jimmy

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#58
I have the same amp/dac as you do, and it's powerful enough for mostly anything, however the internal dac is mediocre and has a very low output level, I'm feeding it with a Topping D30 and power is more than enough in low gain with any headphones that I've tried, ranging from 30 to 300 ohm impedance.

Check at the back of the unit if you have high gain activated, if not my suggestion is to just buy the D10 and connect it to the AUX input, you'll be surprised how much louder it gets compared to the internal DAC.

Here are some measurements :

https://www.changstar.com/www.changstar.com/index.php/topic,2620.0.html

Certainly far from SOTA but decent enough, however I've found the original PSU to be lacking/underpowered, causing several problems including distortion and power on failures (flickering led), after replacing it with a mean well power brick those problems dissapeared completely.

According to the specifications ..
The dt990pro 250 .. hold a maximum power of 100mv

The Monoprice Desktop Headphone Amplifier. supposedly it has ≥ 150mW (300Ω loaded) ... (but it is not able to move to the maximum my dt990)

DX3 pro, according to specifications ... is less powerful than monoprice .. 125mW (300Ω loaded)

Something is wrong ... the monoprice specifications are false?
 
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#59
helloo..please can anyone tell me if the Liquid Spark amp has the right RCA connectors allowing me to connect the balanced output of my Sabaj DA3 to it? (well, when I get the replacement they said they'd send me) I asked the Monoprice support but they have never answered...
 

bunkbail

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#60
helloo..please can anyone tell me if the Liquid Spark amp has the right RCA connectors allowing me to connect the balanced output of my Sabaj DA3 to it? (well, when I get the replacement they said they'd send me) I asked the Monoprice support but they have never answered...
Use the unbal out, it'll work.
 
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