Author Topic: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli  (Read 1031 times)

Offline shadow.clone

Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« on: June 04, 2018, 11:30:12 AM »
Alex Cavalli and Monoprice have teamed up to produce a range of headphone amps that will be launching this month. Although Monoprice does not inspire the same level of confidence as Massdrop, I'm certain Alex wouldn't have teamed up with them unless the "productization" and manufacturing on these amps are up to scratch.

The $99 Liquid Spark (https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=120&cp_id=12008&cs_id=1200801&p_id=33304&seq=1&format=2) has piqued my interest. Alex dropped the battery and raised the rail voltage to cut costs and improve performance over his earlier, well-received Spark prototype.

These days "giant killer" is the superlative of choice for most reviewers, but I genuinely do feel this amp has the potential to upset the market if it's executed well enough. It's cheap enough to take a punt on, so I'll grab one after launch.


Offline shadow.clone

Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2018, 09:23:22 AM »
Such a promising amp, but the launch has been delayed yet again.

I'm thinking of going with an "end-game" level amp, such as the Gustard H20. They might be a little known company but their H10 amp was very well received (supposedly a Vioelectric clone) and positive reviews for the H20 are starting to trickle in.

Any suggestions on alternatives? Would strongly prefer solid state and, to a lesser extent, both balanced/SE inputs/outputs. Also would prefer a standalone amp - DAC designs change far too often and I don't want a watered down amp section. I'm aware of the Cayin IHA6 (has high output impedance on SE) and Audio-GD products (some less than favourable reviews on SBAF :BWAHAHAH: if they can be trusted). I wouldn't mind a THX AAA789 based design either, but they don't seem to be too common. For now I'll be driving HD600 and K701.

 

Offline Scubadude

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Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 07:44:57 AM »
Have a look at the Matrix HPA-3B which I have up for sale. It is the definitive evolution of the Lehman Black Cube Linear, the amp chosen by Sennheiser for the  HD800 launch. It pairs beautifully with both headphones you mentioned. If you like what you read we can make a plan for you to have a listen.
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Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 10:08:42 AM »
Why support a clone business at 900 USD when the supposed original manufacturer has product available in that price range?

I have mixed feelings about clones.  I do believe in reward to stimulate innovation and this does sometimes mean a bit of a premium but if that premium
Is fair I support it.  When extravagant my mind wanders. 
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Offline canman1971

Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2018, 12:20:04 PM »
Have a look at the Matrix HPA-3B which I have up for sale. It is the definitive evolution of the Lehman Black Cube Linear, the amp chosen by Sennheiser for the  HD800 launch. It pairs beautifully with both headphones you mentioned. If you like what you read we can make a plan for you to have a listen.

+1 on the Matrix HPA-3B.

Offline shadow.clone

Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2018, 01:23:21 PM »
Have a look at the Matrix HPA-3B which I have up for sale. It is the definitive evolution of the Lehman Black Cube Linear, the amp chosen by Sennheiser for the  HD800 launch. It pairs beautifully with both headphones you mentioned. If you like what you read we can make a plan for you to have a listen.

Thanks! I'll have a look and, more importantly, a listen.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 01:34:25 PM by shadow.clone »

Offline shadow.clone

Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2018, 01:27:46 PM »
Why support a clone business at 900 USD when the supposed original manufacturer has product available in that price range?

I have mixed feelings about clones.  I do believe in reward to stimulate innovation and this does sometimes mean a bit of a premium but if that premium
Is fair I support it.  When extravagant my mind wanders.

Agree with the sentiment.

Is the H20 a clone and does Vioelectric have comparable product in this price range?

The H10 is rumored to be a clone but to what I extent, I am not sure (are all amps with class A MOSFET output stages clones?).
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 01:38:20 PM by shadow.clone »

Offline capetownwatches

Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2018, 06:52:00 PM »
$1350 with discount - here's your endgame.
Not fully balanced, but its SE performance will crush the H20's balanced, IMHO.

Yes, it's more expensive, but well spent.

http://violectric-usa.com/headphone-amplifiers/hpa-v220



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Offline kamikazi

Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2018, 07:00:47 PM »
You definitely want to go with valves when looking at an end game headphone amp.

Offline capetownwatches

Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2018, 07:06:38 PM »
... and Audio-GD products (some less than favourable reviews on SBAF :BWAHAHAH: if they can be trusted).

I don't know what those guys are smoking, but I want some...never read such garbage on a forum, and I've seen it all.
Buy AGD with confidence, but as always, try and listen first.

I wouldn't mind a THX AAA789 based design either, but they don't seem to be too common. For now I'll be driving HD600 and K701.

Here you go: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-thx-aaa-789-linear-amplifier

I am seriously tempted.



Kingrex HQ1-Audio-gd NFB11.32-Little Dot Mkll-SRM252S-Benchmark DAC1 USB-RL Concero
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Offline capetownwatches

Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2018, 07:23:27 PM »
You definitely want to go with valves when looking at an end game headphone amp.

I can't say I disagree with you on that one, but there's a place for good SS as well, of course.
I am firmly of the opinion that in order to properly appreciate valves one has to do one's SS "apprenticeship" first.
And valves can be a whole different rabbit hole if tube rolling is your thang.

Which is pretty much where I am now. But here's the grail, eye on the prize... :rubhands:








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Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2018, 07:35:53 PM »
You definitely want to go with valves when looking at an end game headphone amp.


End game.  Not injury time.
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Offline shadow.clone

Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2018, 10:27:00 AM »
Appreciate the feedback gents.

I have exams coming up so I have to put this on the back burner. Hope the exchange rate stays sane. 

Offline shadow.clone

Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2018, 11:38:30 AM »
In the interim, I've dug out my Project Sunrise amp from storage. Wonderful pairing with the HD600 and RCA 5814a valve.

Detail retrieval and instrument separation is significantly better than the boutique Aurelia (volume matched by ear, not a multimeter). Overall, it's a far more engaging sound that still manages to remain extremely smooth.


Offline canman1971

Re: Monoprice X Alex Cavalli
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2018, 01:28:49 AM »
In the interim, I've dug out my Project Sunrise amp from storage. Wonderful pairing with the HD600 and RCA 5814a valve.

Detail retrieval and instrument separation is significantly better than the boutique Aurelia (volume matched by ear, not a multimeter). Overall, it's a far more engaging sound that still manages to remain extremely smooth.



Looks quite neat  :) don't want to come across as a know it all - coiled cabling around a steel pillar (should it be steel) will become an inductor.

Inductor - Coil:

Abbreviation: L
Unit: Henry
Symbol: H / Hr