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Interesting observation - older monarchy dacs ( ladder type )

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square_wave

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Posting this for the benefit of the people here.

An audiophile friend of mine who is now working with a large and popular audio dealer abroad, have been trying out these older models from Monarchy audio. The dual 20bit models using pcm chips. He is utterly astonished by their performance. Apart from the nth degree resolution at the top end, it seems to be outperforming many mainstream dacs costing $$$$ these days when it comes to engaging musical performance. I do not know specifics of all the models being compared. M22B is one that impressed a lot. Will post when I get more info.

Anyone using these dacs ?
 
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Rajiv

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Posting this for the benefit of the people here.

An audiophile friend of mine who is now working with a large and popular audio dealer abroad, have been trying out these older models from Monarchy audio. The dual 20bit models using pcm chips. He is utterly astonished by their performance. Apart from the nth degree resolution at the top end, it seems to be outperforming many mainstream dacs costing $$$$ these days when it comes to engaging musical performance. I do not know specifics of all the models being compared. M22B is one that impressed a lot. Will post when I get more info.

Anyone using these dacs ?

HI,

OH! OH! The secret is out. The Monarchy DAC's are great.I have heard the 18 and the 24. Both are superb. Both sound better than the two box Lampizator Level 7 DAC to my ears. Heard all three DAC's in the same system.

The Monarchy DAC's are based on the Lite DAC's but built to Monarchy specs and parts.

https://www.audioasylum.com/audio/digital/messages/11/119655.html

Regards
Rajiv
 
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haisaikat

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does the monarchy's sound great straight out of the box or do we need to tweak around with its output stages like changing caps, etc to arrive at a good output?
 

rbalagopalan

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Hi all and @square_wave It may not be too much if I say that I am the one to import Monorchys first in India as far as I dug out. I have imported all the line up of Monorchy DACs. Right from 18B, 22A, 22B, 33C and NM24.

They are legends. Trust me you need a current gen ₹3Lakh dac to level this 900$ 18B DAC.

@Rajiv as precisely pointed out the secret is out.

NM24 has more flexibility. It has Tube output as well as SS output for DAC section and it has Tube preamp with one line level input. It's an amazing gear in a single pack at $1500.

I have imported so far 6 numbers 18Bs and given to friends and forum members who wanted it after listening it in my place. Also got one NM24 to a forum member.

All of them tried to upgrade their DACs and could not get near to this within ₹3Lakhs budget. I am not exaggerating here.

All are welcome to my home for listening/auditioning.

Thanks

R. Balagopalan

Thanks.
 

square_wave

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Hi all and @square_wave It may not be too much if I say that I am the one to import Monorchys first in India as far as I dug out. I have imported all the line up of Monorchy DACs. Right from 18B, 22A, 22B, 33C and NM24.

They are legends. Trust me you need a current gen ₹3Lakh dac to level this 900$ 18B DAC.

@Rajiv as precisely pointed out the secret is out.

NM24 has more flexibility. It has Tube output as well as SS output for DAC section and it has Tube preamp with one line level input. It's an amazing gear in a single pack at $1500.

I have imported so far 6 numbers 18Bs and given to friends and forum members who wanted it after listening it in my place. Also got one NM24 to a forum member.

All of them tried to upgrade their DACs and could not get near to this within ₹3Lakhs budget. I am not exaggerating here.

All are welcome to my home for listening/auditioning.

Thanks

R. Balagopalan

Thanks.

Interesting. yes, the secret is out :)

Thanks for sharing the experience.
 

yogibear

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Hi all and @square_wave It may not be too much if I say that I am the one to import Monorchys first in India as far as I dug out. I have imported all the line up of Monorchy DACs. Right from 18B, 22A, 22B, 33C and NM24.

They are legends. Trust me you need a current gen ₹3Lakh dac to level this 900$ 18B DAC.

@Rajiv as precisely pointed out the secret is out.

NM24 has more flexibility. It has Tube output as well as SS output for DAC section and it has Tube preamp with one line level input. It's an amazing gear in a single pack at $1500.

I have imported so far 6 numbers 18Bs and given to friends and forum members who wanted it after listening it in my place. Also got one NM24 to a forum member.

All of them tried to upgrade their DACs and could not get near to this within ₹3Lakhs budget. I am not exaggerating here.

All are welcome to my home for listening/auditioning.

Thanks

R. Balagopalan

Thanks.

Out of all models: . 18B, 22A, 22B, 33C and NM24 , which one was most musical to your ears ? Thanks.
 

kartick

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Hi all and @square_wave It may not be too much if I say that I am the one to import Monorchys first in India as far as I dug out. I have imported all the line up of Monorchy DACs. Right from 18B, 22A, 22B, 33C and NM24.

They are legends. Trust me you need a current gen ₹3Lakh dac to level this 900$ 18B DAC.

@Rajiv as precisely pointed out the secret is out.

NM24 has more flexibility. It has Tube output as well as SS output for DAC section and it has Tube preamp with one line level input. It's an amazing gear in a single pack at $1500.

I have imported so far 6 numbers 18Bs and given to friends and forum members who wanted it after listening it in my place. Also got one NM24 to a forum member.

All of them tried to upgrade their DACs and could not get near to this within ₹3Lakhs budget. I am not exaggerating here.

All are welcome to my home for listening/auditioning.

Thanks

R. Balagopalan

Thanks.
Thanks Mr. Balagopalan for sharing your experience. With so many DAC units that you imported in case you would have a spare one to sell (now or sometime in the future), I would be interested. Please do consider me first in line. Very excited to listen to these DACs.

Regards
Kartick
 

kartick

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I managed to acquire Model 22 along with a DIP Combo device. Upgraded the capacitors to Nichicon Golds. I am amazed at what this DAC
+ DIP combo does. Detailed impressions coming soon. All I can say for now is that this combination is heavily underrated.
 

Naturelover

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I managed to acquire Model 22 along with a DIP Combo device. Upgraded the capacitors to Nichicon Golds. I am amazed at what this DAC
+ DIP combo does. Detailed impressions coming soon. All I can say for now is that this combination is heavily underrated.
What's a DIP combo device?
 

kartick

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Read more here: http://www.monarchy-audio.com/DIP_Combo_Main_frame.htm

It is basically a reclocking, jitter reduction and upsampling device. With my Monarchy, the upsampling feature is pretty much useless but I greatly benefit from the other two functions. Additionally, it is a useful single ended to balanced out converter. Just because of this device I am able to use a crappy Sony DVD player as a transport, going into the DIP combo and that being fed into the Monarchy DAC. I am stunned at how it cleans up the sound of a flimsy DVD player. Eventually I plan to buy a good transport and am eager to see how it improves the overall sound.
 

T-Slow

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Hello all,

I just joined this forum specificially to reply to this conversation. Martin De Wulf of Bound For Sound, a magazine that accepted no advertising and compared the Monarchy NM 24 favourably to the $18,000 Harmonix Combak Reimyo years ago, is the one who turned me on to C.C. Poon and Monarchy Audio.

I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Poon at the first ever TAVES show in Toronto at the King Edward Hotel years ago.

I acted like a total fanboy. I may have embarrassed myself, but I hope I made his day.

The Monarchy NM 24 is an absolutely spectacular DAC for the money out of the box- but I recently had some parts improved.

I was lucky enough to talk to a gentleman named Craig Connor in Australia, who has a great deal of experience modifying the NM 24, and one of the basic ideas he told me was "eliminate all brass." I junked the stock IEC and replaced it with a Furutech FI-03, and replaced the connectors with Furutech rhodium plated RCA's.

If anyone is interested in the full scheme of modifications I made, I'd be happy to share.

I also replaced the stock tubes with some NOS Amperex tubes from the 1960's. This was a VERY worthwhile upgrade.

The NM24 sounds absolutely wonderful- it's just so musical and engaging. It just sucks me into the music in a way that digital never has before.

C.C. Poon is a absolute legend of digital design, and deserves to be recognized as such.
 

kartick

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Hello all,

I just joined this forum specificially to reply to this conversation. Martin De Wulf of Bound For Sound, a magazine that accepted no advertising and compared the Monarchy NM 24 favourably to the $18,000 Harmonix Combak Reimyo years ago, is the one who turned me on to C.C. Poon and Monarchy Audio.

I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Poon at the first ever TAVES show in Toronto at the King Edward Hotel years ago.

I acted like a total fanboy. I may have embarrassed myself, but I hope I made his day.

The Monarchy NM 24 is an absolutely spectacular DAC for the money out of the box- but I recently had some parts improved.

I was lucky enough to talk to a gentleman named Craig Connor in Australia, who has a great deal of experience modifying the NM 24, and one of the basic ideas he told me was "eliminate all brass." I junked the stock IEC and replaced it with a Furutech FI-03, and replaced the connectors with Furutech rhodium plated RCA's.

If anyone is interested in the full scheme of modifications I made, I'd be happy to share.

I also replaced the stock tubes with some NOS Amperex tubes from the 1960's. This was a VERY worthwhile upgrade.

The NM24 sounds absolutely wonderful- it's just so musical and engaging. It just sucks me into the music in a way that digital never has before.

C.C. Poon is a absolute legend of digital design, and deserves to be recognized as such.

Hey T-Slow, Welcome to the forum. Hope you have a great stay here and enjoy meaningful conversations.

With regards to Monarchy Audio, I am also a recent convert and a total fanboy!! Had I met Mr. Poon, Id be totally excited too. I tracked an older Model 22 DAC and a DIP combo and bought it immediately. Both these together are magical!! I have ever since then been so excited to try out their other products. I was in contact with Mr. Poon and as per his suggestions, made upgrades to the older capacitors that were there in the signal path of the DAC. That took the DAC's performance to a more refined level. Hat's off to Mr. Poon for designing that DAC which after decades also beats much more expensive DACs.

Since then, I have procured Monarch's AC Re-generator, which is built like a tank. Chasis is very similar to the NM24. I also got the reference digital SPIDF cables from Mr. Poon, the DR-1. He highly recommended these cables and I can see why. Fantastic products.

Ever since then, I have been wanting to try out their monoblock amplifiers and the NM24 of course. I got very close to listening to one locally but the same was damaged and hence could not be operated.

Could you please indicate if changing the IEC connector did make a big enough difference? I ask that to evaluate if making that change on my Model 22 dac will also be worthwhile. Do you recommend I discuss this with Craig in Australia? Would you be able to put me in touch with him?

Cheers
Kartick
 

T-Slow

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Hi there Kartick,

Thanks for your message!

From what I recall, another review favourably compared the M 22 to the extremely expensive Mark Levinson DAC that was out at the time.

To a non-Monarchy owner I know this sounds like hyperbole. I have been ridiculed before when trying to tell people how good Monarchy DAC's are, but I understand the skepticism.

C.C. Poon is truly an important designer- his ability to use clever design to wring every last bit of sound quality out of an affordable DAC is pretty much unparalleled in my experience. His products are special and deserve to be remembered.

I have not heard the M 22 DAC in my system, but I have spoken to a number of different owners who really love this DAC.

I have heard great things about the AC Regenerator- I don't have one yet.

I have to be honest with you with regard to the changes I made to the NM 24 DAC. I undertook all of the parts changes at one time, thus I can't quantify exactly the changes that can be applied to one individual part. If you are doing your own substitutions, it would be fun to compare each part substitution individually. However, there is some consensus out there on what are the biggest "bang for buck" upgrades- replacing the output coupling capacitors, and improving the tubes. I went further than this, and below is just a brief outline.

I followed the generalized advice of Craig Connor (who has extensively modified the NM 24), as well as other information from NM 24 owners.

Here is a basic outline;

1. "Eliminate all brass"- Craig has stated in general that eliminating the stock cheap RCA connectors and replacing them with pure copper connectors to make a large difference. Initially I was going to use WBT's but they were out of stock. I had been told by Gerard Rejskind of UHF Magazine that Furutech rhodium plated connectors are excellent. I replaced the IEC with a Furutech FI-03 R. The main RCA's were replaced with Furutech FP 901R's.

2. "Improve the output coupling capacitors"- This is something that is well known, as the stock Wima's are OK but by no means great.

Craig is a fan of Duelund VSF's, which to me are super expensive and more suited for cost-no-object gear. I intended to go with Jupiter capacitors instead, as they are supposedly as good as the Duelund's at about 25% of the price. Unfortunately, the technician who did the modifications on my DAC (Dan Santoni) could not obtain the Jupiter's, so instead I went with the Mundorf Silver Gold Oil's (which is also what C.C. Poon recommends). The original output coupling capacitors are 2.2 uf Wima's, but Dan suggested 1.0 uf Mundorf SGO's as he feels that "larger values tend to sound worse." This is something that C.C. Poon has also agreed with- that 1.0 uf Mundorf's sound excellent in the NM 24. I agree as well!

3. "Replace stock tubes with NOS tubes." I selected a pair of NOS 1960's Amperex tubes. These were purchased from Vintage Tube Services in Michigan. These were not cheap tubes, but they are wonderful and a serious upgrade over the stock tubes.

4. "Replace stock fuse." This is of course very controversial, and causes huge and often silly arguments. I replaced the stock 2A fuse with a 3.15A AMR Audiophile Gold fuse. I'm not going to go into why a fuse may or may not make a difference, but I found that it did, and this fuse is rather affordable with no hocus-pocus. It has a ceramic body to reduce microphony, quality internal silver alloy wiring, and gold plated pure copper end caps.

The above is just a brief overview of what was done. If there is interest, I will take some pictures, and post a more detailed list of substitutions.

Craig Connor posts on the Stereo.net.au forum as "Rawl." He is a very knowledgeable guy, though quite busy, so it may take some time to get a reply, but he will get back to you.
 
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seppstefano

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Hi all from Italy!

I too joined this forum to contribute to this thread and share how happy I am with my 22B and Upsampler pair!

The satisfaction increased enormously since last weekend when I decided to replace the stock 0,47/63v Wima output cap with a pair of 3.3uF Mundorfs giving with my 20KO pre input impedance an "optimal" low freq response at 24Hz (https://www.v-cap.com/coupling-capacitor-calculator.php). Then I went a big bolder and decided to solder the interconnects directly on the DAC side.

The level of clarity I achieved is way higher.

But reading T-Slow messages, I just bought a 3A AMR fuse to replace the stock one and also have a Furutech IEC to install but I'm a bit hesitant since my 22B has a filtered IEC... decisions, decisions....

Ciao,

Stefano
 

seppstefano

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The above is just a brief overview of what was done. If there is interest, I will take some pictures, and post a more detailed list of substitutions.
Hi T-Slow, would be glad to read more details and pics on the mods?

Thanks for sharing,

Stefano
 
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