Monarchy Audio Model 10A Preamplifiers

5/5 (3 Reviews) MSRP : $1179.00


Product Description

Dual Mono Class A design


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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Toby Douglass a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Note: I made a factual error (misunderstanding) in my main review of this product.

There is only one version of this product, and it uses pure silver wiring. There is no silver clad copper wire version - I misunderstand a conversation and an article I read.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Toby Douglass a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 5, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I'm currently trialling this unit - it's not the solid silver wiring model, it's only silver clad copper wiring.

My system consists of;

Martin Logan Ascents
Monarchy Audio SE-100 Delux Class A monoblocks
Marantz CD-63se (needs upgrading)
Van den Hul D102 III hybrid interconnects
Van del Hul revelation speaker cable (biwired)

First off, the passive mode of this unit doesn't sound good to me on my system. The ProPassion I trialled (a vishey resistor based passive pre-amp) was much nicer - it costs about 800 dollars, so maybe that's not a surprise.

The normal active mode sounds beautiful. There is a little colouration, but it's unusual. Take the AC3R I trialled - that sounded great but it was VERY coloured, the top end was very rolled off. The 10A doesn't do this. It's more like there's a certain presence beneath the sound - and that's the sound inherent in the pre-amp.

I have to say, I wonder if *I* am percieving this "presence" when really it's actually how the music ought to sound - it's just that it's different to the headphone output of the CD player, which is what I've been using for the last four years. Something like this is very hard to objectively know.

But I have to say this presence doesn't bother me or interfere with the music. It's just there where you mentally compare the sound you're listening to with the sound of the CD player on it's own.

As you might expect from an electro-static owner, I tend to listen to female voices - Sarah MacLachlan, Tori Amos, Tanita Tikaram. It's this sort of music I'm considering with my comments here.

All the normal issues - placement, high end clarity, low end presence, etc, are fine with the pre-amp. There are no flaws.

The volume control is well configured for 2V RMS output from the CD player. The lowest setting is silence, the next up is fine for leaving on as you go to sleep, With a quiet CD (Security, Peter Gabriel) I found I was going up to about 35% on the dial to get reasonable volume. With better CD I was at about the 15% mark - about five or six notches up.

The price is so high because I'm buying in England - UK retail is 1000 UKP, which is about 1600 dollars. I'd expect to get 10% off if I bought it.

Will I buy it?

Not sure yet. Compared to the other two active pre-amps I tried, this is the clear winner. The Classe five whitens out the music too music (violins sounding like oboes - and this from an amp which was 2.2k when new!) and the AC3R is waaay too coloured.

But maybe there are better sounding pre-amps out there, still - I've only tried three.

I have to say though that I'm very happy with the 10A. It's a lovely sound, and draws me to listen to it whenever I'm not busy. If for some reason I couldn't try any more pre-amps, I really wouldn't be at all upset at having this unit.

Wish list? I wish C.C.Poon hadn't spent money on the passive mode - it doesn't seem to work well compared to dedicated passive pre-amps. I also would like a balanced output.

Rating time. Value? well, the price is inflated because of English VAT and import duty (17.5 and 4.5 percent respectively). The US price is 1179 dollars - that's about 740 quid (unlike the 1000 I have to pay, grrr).

Given my speakers were 4k, the amps 2.4k, this pre-amp is sounding beautiful with equipment which is a level or two above it's price range. That's a good recommendation.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Wollaton Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ray Olah a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: February 26, 2001

Bottom Line:   
It's an honor to be the first to review this preamp. Considering this preamp has been around for a few years, I am surprised that no one has yet reviewed it.

In a nutshell, this preamp sounds great with all types of music, but especially with jazz and classical. It performs well beyond its price point and compares favorably to preamps that I have heard costing two or three times as much. It's very smooth, detailed and transparent. It has a touch of sweetness, but not too much. I have owned it for six months and its sound improves every time I turn it on. (This is probably due to the silver wiring, which takes more time to break in compared to copper wiring).

I can find no significant flaws, honestly. It gets everything right. If it has a flaw, it would be that it is too revealing. If you buy this preamp, be prepared to discover the warts in your recordings. Conversely, it brings out the very best in well-recorded material.

Parts quality is extremely high, including all silver, point-to-point wiring and a high quality volume control. It's hard to find this kind of quality for less than $3,000.


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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $820.00

Purchased At:   Factory direct




Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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