Monarchy Audio DIP Mark 2 CD Players

4.86/5 (22 Reviews)


Product Description

digital interface processor


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Reviews 1 - 5 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ecpninja a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the DIP Upsampler.
I must say that this is the first time I have felt compelled to comment on a piece of equipment, but the moment after I hooked up this little gem I could not believe the impact it would have on me. The increase in soundstage was amazing, I had been listening to Lord of The Dance CD and most of the bass contained no notes other than a non coherent boom , with the DIP installed suddenly there was a wealth of information in the bass notes. I am using a MSB LInk III (with modifications)with the Monolithic sound HC-2 power supply and a Cambridge CD4 as transport. I would highly reccomend this upgrade to any one with an older transport, in hindsight I should have purchased the DIP before any other upgrades to my digital front end I think it has more bang for the buck, than modding the LINK DAc or the external power supply.
amplification YBA intergre DT

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $299.00

Purchased At:   discover Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by EHO a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 18, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Top line: my digital front end is so good now I'm wondering if I should buy new speakers.

This is a review of what I believe to be the latest 24/96 DIP. It has a single amber lock light on the front and all of the inputs are on the rear. Very tidy presentation (finally).

After deciding that my Phillips CD-950 player was at best a transport, I started to look for outboard DAC's. I eventually ended up with a Link DAC III, a reasonable but not startling improvement. But when a Link DAC III w/ Full Nelson + network + upsampling + power base came up on eBay, I couldn't resist. The effect on the system, even when the DAC was driven directly with a Toslink cable was a very noticeable improvement. Now with a Canare Digiflex S/PDIF between the transport and the Monarchy Audio 24/96 DIP and an Apogee Wyde-Eye AES/EBU cable driving the fully tricked-out Link DAC III, I am no longer looking for a new turntable (or multi-kilobuck CD player, for that matter). That "little box" brings out the best in the MSB DAC. The total package creates an unbelievably deep, wide, and well-placed soundstage. Air around instrumentalists and vocalists is easily discernible. The stunning amount of detail from bottom to top is very revealing. Poorly recorded discs are soon discarded because their flaws are very prominent. While playing Eliane Elias' Jobim record, I thought to myself, I bet that's a Steinway and not a Yamaha or other Asian piano. I looked in the liner notes, and sure enough, she plays on Steinways. That's how much inner detail is revealed by this front end. I've been playing familiar "reference" CD's like crazy and almost every one of them has told me a little (or a lot) more than they ever have. Absolutely stunning. Even my wife noticed a huge difference.

I am having one slight problem. If I turn off power to the transport a relay inside the Link DAC III starts clicking. I did not have this problem when the transport was driving the Link DAC III directly and I turned it off. I am going to contact MSB and Monarchy and try to figure out what's going on. If I do, I will post a short follow-up.

See my review of the Canare Digiflex S/PDIF cable for more info (and complete system description): http://www.audioreview.com/PRD_116407_1584crx.aspx

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   eBay



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jason a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: January 12, 2002

Bottom Line:   
This is for the latest version...the DIP 24/96. While it does improve some aspects of the overall sound of my transport/DAC setup, the improvements are slight- in my system at least.

Bass is a little tighter and more resolved. Individual bass instruments come through with a bit more clarity and with a bit more "space". Other instruments, too, seem a bit more fleshed out and more coherant...especially during dense passages. This varies from disc to disc, but I can hear a slight improvement with most.

The soundstage is a little wider and deeper. At times, however, with the DIP inserted into the system, CD's sound a bit overly done in this department. On some discs, the DIP seems to actually open a "hole" in the soundstage. Experimenting by bringing the speakers closer together revealed that the "hole" is still there. The effect in my system is very similar to having the speakers placed too far apart and getting a hole in the center of the soundstage. Removing the DIP 24/96 solves the problem. This is not a major annoyance mind you but rather an obvious sonic signature of the DIP.

The big disappointment for me is an obvious compression of dynamics. With the DIP 24/96 inserted, large orchestral pieces and rock lose their dynamic attack. I suspect the power supply may be to blame. This isn't subtle. I noticed this on the very first CD I played. My old Audio Alchemy DTI Plus didn't have this effect on the sound.

In my system at least, I'd say it is a wash. There is a "negative" for every positive generated by this unit. Mind you, my transport/DAC combo was $7,500 so I would HOPE that issues like jitter were already addressed in the respective units. I suspect that, with less expensive systems, the DIP 24/96 would show its merits. If you already have a good to excellent quality digital front-end you may be disappointed with this unit. Don't expect miracles. Like all other components, the result varies with individual systems and individual tastes.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   On line



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Musicman a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 7, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This is the updated review of the DIP Superdrive,hope all
the users can benefit from this small magis box!

1.sorry for the wrong information of the last review,actually,the RCA output was 75ohm i/o 110ohn(i
confused with the old DIP that hv a 110ohm AES/EBU output)

2.Now,i purchased another 2nd hand Superdrive(BNC output)
& linked them in series.The sound improved by the extent
just as same as the 1st Superdrive(however,as quoted by
a review,noted that a third DIP hvae a very small
improvement only)

3.As mentioned by Craig,power isolation was very important,
i isolate the electricity noise by 3 "IsoClean" noise
fitter(manufactured in Japan)

4.My digital cable were plugged by DENKO gold plated BNC
plugs,the sound improved tremendously!(mainly because the
digital signal was some very very weak impulse---1 or 0,so
the converter will blocked the tiny singal by its high
electrical resistant!)

5.I found that a VideoQuest yellow telfon jacket 75ohm
digital cable(BY AudioQuest)sound very very good(very
clear and smooth sound)however,only cost USD4.00/feet,
pls try.


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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $110.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Craig a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 22, 2000

Bottom Line:   
This is a follow-up to my previous review. I'm now the proud owner of a second DIP Mk II. Yes, it's THAT good!

I just wanted to note that the DIP Mk. II functions flawlessly with DTS 5.1 datastreams as well Dolby Digital. I've used it with Gladiator, Men in Black, and other DTS soundtracks without a problem.

I've heard it used with a Sony A-55 DSS receiver and the difference in stereo and multi-channel audio quality was stunning. The Sony must have seriously rotten datastream quality due to cheezy internal components. Since I've purchased a similar model, there's no doubt the second DIP will be used for this.

The skipping problem seems be associated with the turn-on transient from large electrical motors. Isolating it with a good power condition (Monster HTS 3500 or better) seems to eliminate the problem if you can't get it on a clean circuit.

I gotta say it's a shame this little miracle box isn't sold at every electronics store. We'd all be listening to a lot better music.

I'll be purchasing a third DIP, the current 24/96 model when I upgrade my CD/DVD transport to a DVD audio-compatible, progressive scan model. Unless Sony wakes up and starts aggressively licencing the audibly superior SACD format, you can bet money it'll be another Beta (which was far superior to JVC's VHS format) travesty.


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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Audio Advisor




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