• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Review and Measurements of Monoprice THX Desktop DAC & Amp

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
21,359
Likes
29,056
Location
Seattle Area
#61
Amir,

Is it possible for you to have the - Power versus Distortion using 300 OHM load - with USB Input for Balaced Output vs Unbalanced ? (Just if you did not return the unit to AntDroid -thanks by the way!-) and of course than to Amir for the amazin job!.

I guess should be similar to the one you presented on XLR Input, but I just wnat to confirm if noise issues are more related to Input or to Output... This would be great as we could compare just the Unbalance vs Balanced outputs just with the same inputs.
I still have it. I didn't run it that way since the software won't overlay it on analog input tests I had run on other amplifiers.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
36
Likes
15
#62
I still have it. I didn't run it that way since the software won't overlay it on analog input tests I had run on other amplifiers.
Buf, if Í understand correctly, using USB input will be digital, so you will have the possibility to overlay them, will this work?

Regards
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
21,359
Likes
29,056
Location
Seattle Area
#63
Buf, if Í understand correctly, using USB input will be digital, so you will have the possibility to overlay them, will this work?

Regards
No because the horizontal scales won't match: one will be dBFS and the other voltage. I can overlay it logically by exporting and importing the files but I am not sure they will match. Regardless, I can run the digital version if you like.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
36
Likes
15
#64
No because the horizontal scales won't match: one will be dBFS and the other voltage. I can overlay it logically by exporting and importing the files but I am not sure they will match. Regardless, I can run the digital version if you like.
Amir,

If it is not a very time consuming task I think it would be great to run the digital version for this input and see the difference in Noise and power side by side with same digital USB input for both, Balanced and Unbalanced.

The point is that I would expect less noise with the same USB input for Balanced vs Unbalanced. This graph will show just that.

And thanks again!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
46
Likes
79
#66
It's a shame the analog inputs don't bypass the dac. Being converted back and forth really screws things up. It would be nice if there were a bypass switch for those who don't want to use any of the onboard DSP options and want to use a different dac.
 

wadec22

Active Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
278
Likes
209
#67
@amirm in this review where you start by testing the DAC specifically, you said you set the headphone out to 2v. Were you measuring the device from the actual headphone output on the front or the RCA outputs on the back of the device? If by the headphone out, wouldn't that then possibly skew the results with any possible noise from the amp itself? really curious as to how this performs as a DAC and preamp for a more capable amplifier like the atom amp or THX 789.
 

wadec22

Active Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
278
Likes
209
#70
Any idea which output was used to measure the DAC performance in the first couple tests?
 

wadec22

Active Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
278
Likes
209
#72
Not anymore. :) But I suspect it was the headphone output because that was the main interest as opposed to its DAC.
thanks amir. you noted it as headphone, so I assumed so. curiosity getting me a bit. just wondering how well it does as a DAC to something like the atom amp. mostly academic given prices, etc.
 

wadec22

Active Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
278
Likes
209
#74
There are so many other DACs at lower costs so probably not a good path regardless.
agreed but I got my hands on a 2nd one at a great value. nice to have the DRC, built in EQ and such for the price i got. just debating on continuing to run my atom amp off it or just lose the atom amp as well. :)
 

graz_lag

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
1,174
Likes
1,158
Location
Le Mans, France
#75
https://www.techhive.com/article/3434003/monoprice-monolith-desktop-headphone-amp-review.html

Raising the bar
The Monolith by Monoprice desktop balanced headphone amplifier is a winner. There are lots of desktop headphone amps out there, but I can’t think of any that deliver anything close to this combination of performance and features for $500. It won’t knock off any of today’s top contenders for the crown of best headphone amp at any price, but it will have its peers running for cover.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Messages
4
Likes
0
#76
@amirm would you getting a different dac, say the SMSL M500 and using the XLR inputs on the Monolith would result in any kind of improvement? using MQA decoding on the M500 to feed the Monolith? (New here made an account just to ask that question)
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Messages
4
Likes
0
#78
I know the review for M500 is still on the way, given that youre still testing, would you recommend the M500 to pair with my Monolith AAA? or do you recommend any other DAD? (for low noise, my IEMs are too sensitive and I hear too much noise on my Monolith at low volume) Or maybe whole new dac and amp?
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
21,359
Likes
29,056
Location
Seattle Area
#79
I have to test it first. Their measurements are very good but i need to replicate it using my setup. For now, you can look to the upper range of DACs in blue in SINAD chart.
 
Top Bottom