Monarchy Audio SE-100 Deluxe Amplifiers

Monarchy Audio SE-100 Deluxe Amplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

100 Watt Power Amplifier

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 34  
[Oct 12, 2019]
Joey222


Strength:

Wonderful sound. I've owned dozens of amps over the last 40 years. These SE100Delux's sound as good or better than any of my past amps.

Weakness:

Little warm in summer.

Price Paid:
800.00
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
2006
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Feb 27, 2012]
James Frazier
Audio Enthusiast

As someone who just simply loves music no matter the genre, no matter the artist, it has been a long quest to find a product and/or product group that for me captured the essence of how I like my music portrayed. While I will not try to speak in Audiophile terminology, I will say the my Monarchy pieces are just what I've been looking for. Serving up the better aspects of both tube and solid state I'm grafetful for the finer timbre, yet detailed and robust midrange, along with melodic bass drive that my SE-100s produce. That with a soundstage that I also give me insight along with great width and depth, what more could I ask for. Mr. Poon, thank you for all your assistance and working with me to meet my musical nirvana, and your desire to give the average coonsumer a very respectable taste of gear most of us can only read about.....

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 23, 2004]
chrken
AudioPhile

Strength:

Smooth, yet detailed. Small size makes for easy placement.

Weakness:

None really, although bass may have just a bit less slam than other solid states.

Operating in Class A, these are very smooth amps. Unlike those operating in class A/B, these have no hard edge on the highs, yet the bass is also quite solid. I listen to various types of music including classical, jazz, country, and rock and these are excellent at reproducing all of these forms. They are exceptionally strong on orchestral works. Once broken in, after 1-2 weeks, depending on usage, they open up nicely. I found that Mr. Poon at Monarchy Audio is very good to deal with and answered all of my questions before I purchased. To be able to acquire monoblocks operating in class A that perform as well as these in this price range is quite rare. While these can run quite hot, if you have easy to drive speakers such as my 8 ohm Paradigm Reference 100's, they don't get overly so. Depending upon the other components in your system and if you listen to a great deal of classical as I do, with the experience I've had, I can easily recommend these amplifiers.

Similar Products Used:

ATI-1502

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 14, 2003]
Mauricio
AudioPhile

Strength:

Sweetly detailed sound. Solidity and credibility of images. Tight and controlled bass that allows you to enjoy it! Forget about booming bass. You can follow the musical lines with the score on hand! Price: Monarchy Audio must be considered a non-profit pro-audiophile organization. Warranty is only one year but Mr Poon (the Boss himself) will answer your doubts and advise you. I think this is real warranty.

Weakness:

For one not acustomed to Class A amps: warm chassis.

I finally got my SE-100Deluxe pair. Since I purchased my DIP upsampler (fantastic piece) I was dreaming of it. I read all the reviews. The reviewers were wright, but, reading the reviews will not prepare you to the sound of these amps! It seams that Class A, by maintaining the continuity of the electric signal, makes the brain to accept the music as such, not as an artificial product. They convey a naturalness to acoustic instruments and voices that moves you. They are "sweetly detailed", posses a natural middle and the bass is solid, tight and controlled. Specially pleasing are the reproduction of string instruments. Percussion also is wonderfully "re-created". The amps are famous for its soundstage an localisation of players so I won't extend on that. Just know that it is absolutelly true. If you love opera like myself, be prepared to orgasmic experience: the portrayal of the scenes and voices are so natural that you probably feel obliged to pay the entry ticket. And all of it using only a NAD receiver(slightly moded) as DAC/preamp and budget speakers. I can't wait to upgrade to better partners. If you value musical satisfaction you must audition these.

Similar Products Used:

Only Class AB mid-fi amps: unfair comparison. My NAD T761 receiver was refered as "decent stereo amp" by Hi-Fi Choice and, when you listen to orchetral music it sounds like different orchestra sections playing. The SE-100 sounds like 6 violinists on the center-left plus 4 violas on the center back plus 4 cellos on the right and the conductor's feet making noise...etc.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 04, 2003]
Kevin Huynh
AudioPhile

Strength:

Exceptional sound in every aspect at this price range.

Weakness:

Cosmetics can be improved

I got into Monarchy Audio after listening to a Monarchy 10A and M22A DAC at a friend's house and was so impressed. These are 1995 pieces. When I hooked up the SE100 delux to replace my Bryston 3BST, I immediately was astonished at the difference in the sound. I have A/B compared Bryston vs Adcom vs Rotel vs Yamaha and found that Bryston made the most difference in the bunch, but relatively the same sound signature. But the SE 100 delux was totally different. In 30 seconds I was able to conclude that it sounded SMOOTHER, more powerful bass, has more depth to the sound. This amp sounds extremely smooth for a solid state. After listening longer, I was able to notice that the layering of different vocals was much more separated and smoother. The music over all became less loud and noisy. It seems that when I turn the volume higher, I hear louder singing and instruments, but somehow it wasn't "noisy" loud. The music seem to appear to be more local also between the speakers rather than flying around in the room. I think the placement of different sound is more accurate from this. Vocals sound extremely personal and distinctive. These amps togther with my Monarchy M33 pre and DAC, Moncarchy DIP upsampler, and Martin Logan SL3 make listening to music a joy. Just a side note on the other Monarchy pieces. I think the M33 is exceptional in dynamics. The DIP upsampler makes any CD player into a highend transport. The DIP upsampler tends to accentuate and make things sound just a little more right in their characters. I am most impressed with how wood sticks clanking sound so real. I can see why the SE100 delux is Soundstage's 2002 reviewer's choice. I can tell you amps in this price range don't sound this good or as distinctive as the SE 100 delux. I am a very practical and critical guy. So my review is based on very critical and unbiased point of view.

Similar Products Used:

Bryston Adcom Rotel Yamaha

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Feb 17, 2003]
sydney
AudioPhile

Strength:

Soundstaging, imaging, musicality, size, price.

Weakness:

Resale value so buy used. Cannnot understand why they do not hold their value

System: Sony 9000ES (transport for redbook/standalone for sacd) Monarchy DIP Monarchy 33C Monarchy SE-100 deluxe monoblocks Legacy Audio Signature III speakers Nordost Quatrofil i/c Purist Audio Desgn Colossus Rev A speaker cable Balanced Power Technology power conditioner I have had this current system for about two months now. All of the Monarchy gear was added at the same time so this review is as much about the amps as it is the 33C and DIP. I bought these amps by virtue of the reviews. You can't really audition used gear. These are the best amps I have ever owned. Tremendous soundstaging, imaging, and are they musical! You are listening to music with these amps, not the pieces of gear in your system. I literally cannot sit still. The background is totally black and the sound is the most "live" sound I have ever had in my listening room. State of the art remastered redbook cd's sound nearly as good as an SACD through the Monarchy gear (I do have some SACD's that I don't think are all that great). The Monarchy gear is a great buy at full retail and at used prices it is an absolute steal. Hard to believe these little amps can sound this good but this is a case of the reviews being right on the mark. Cannot recommend highly enough. The amps and the 33C are a match made in heaven.

Similar Products Used:

Atmasphere M-60 MK II, McCormack DNA-1 deluxe, ARC V-70, Ayre V-3, Bel Canto 200.2. Classe Dac-1, ARC Dac3 Mk2, Perp Tech P-1/P-3.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 03, 2000]
Gordy P
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Incredibly crisp, powerful, almost non existent fatigue even at very loud levels. And, of course, price!

Weakness:

None

My system:

B&W Nautilus 804 speakers
Paradigm Servo 15 subwoofer
Sony 7000 DVD/CD player
Monarchy M22C DAC
Monarchy DIP
Monarchy/DH Labs interconnects

I paid around $1600 for these 100w monoblock beauties from Gino Yang(415)337-7578, who is a broker for Monarchy and definitely the one to talk to about Monarchy products as he is helpful, knowledgeble, and not at all pushy. I also bought a M22C DAC preamp at the same time($750).

I based my purchase on the reviews here and those of Soundstage!, Bound for Sound, The Audio Observatory; and after some conversations with other people familiar with Monarchy products.

I replaced a Carver 806x amp(Stereophile class C) which I had bridged to give 360W per channel to my 804's. A Rotel 980 was my preamp/processor(still using these for HT).

I also listened to Classe, Krell, Mark Levinson, and Rotel products with 804 speakers.As far as I can tell the Monarchy's sound absolutely just as good if not better(difficult to compare with different listening environments).

The difference compared to the Carver is like night and day. These things are smooooth! So crisp and punchy yet immensely more laid back. They also CRANK! Yet they do not create fatigue at higher volumes like my Carver. The spatial seperation between the instruments is unreal(The M22C also helps I'm sure). When I literally shake my house to its foundations to More Human Than Human by White Zombie I get chills and sit there in an absolutely giddy state of dementia. My heart races and every once in a while I get all freaked out because I think someone(wife or friends) just came in my house behind me(No I don't do drugs!). This is an experience like a thrill ride and I love to take my friends along for the ride, after which they sit there speechless and dumbfounded. The band Tool tends to have the same effect on people(and the amps don't even run hot after extended jam sessions!).

However, my tastes in music varies greatly. Classical, Rap, Top 40,Metal, Hip Hop, Classic Rock, Techno, Country, Jazz, Big Band- I mean anything and everything has its place in my C.D. collection-and it all sounds nothing short of incredible. The pipe organ on Bachs Toccata in D minor is so real and palpable that it takes you back several centuries in your mind. Music that sounds this good can do wierd things.

So did I make the right choice in going with these amps over the Plinius SA 100 mkIII, and the Conrad Johnson 25, which were my leading contenders? I don't know, but I can tell you that I believe that the Monarchy's represent a bargain that has no trade-offs.

Happy Listening!

Gordy

Similar Products Used:

Carver 806x(6x133w), Rotel, Mark Levinson, Classe, Krell

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 25, 2000]
Darin
Audiophile

Strength:

Spatially (imaging, soundstage), the best I've heard; spectrally, very balanced and smooth

Weakness:

very minor, but I'd like a little more low end impact; initially had some ground loop hum but after removing ground pins from power cord it was gone

The spacial charactristics of these amps are unbelievable - easily and by far the best I've heard in my system. This alone makes the listening experience so much more involving and enjoyable than any of the other amps I've tried. These amps also have a very smooth and non-fatiguing sound.

The only minor weakness in my system is a slight lack of low end extension and oomph. Of the amps I evaluated the Aragon 8008 was the best in that area. Maybe the soon to be released Monarchy model 160 will help address that area.

System:
Magneplanar 3.6R
Ah! Tjoeb '99 CD player
Lexicon MC-1 (doubles as a HT/2 ch preamp for now)
JPS Labs Ultraconductor (bi-witred) speaker cable
Audioquest interconnects

Similar Products Used:

B&K Ref 4420, Adcom 5802, Citation 5.1 (bridged), Proceed, Rotel, Aragon 8008

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 13, 2000]
Bernard
Audiophile

Strength:

Midrange, female vocals to die for. The treble is liquid and smooth. Projects an extremly palpable image with every element of the musical performance converging perfectly to create, well, beautiful music.

Weakness:

Runs hot. Not the best looking thing this side of $2000. Turn on thump, low level hum, transformer hum. Seems like a perfect application of the Ah! AC offset killer.

I was wallowing in audio hell when these Monarchy amps found me. My Totems were proving to be impossible, slapping down all who came to power her. Many ear bleeds were suffered. Even at the hands of the vacuum tubed Super Compact 150, the Seas tweeter still showed signs of glare and harshness. The soundstage was flat and unimpressive. I won't even mention the sound when coupled with the Adcom.

The Symphonic line was my first taste of really good solid state. However it was akin to Mark Levinson SS. Boring and dry. It seems to take perfectly good music and make it background music. I never thought my Totems could sound so polite, so cold. At least the treble glare was gone and I had some imaging. "Yawn" sums up that experience well.

Enter the SE-100 Delux from the soldering iron of C.C. Poon of Monarchy Audio. I've read the raves, here, at Soundstage and at Bound for Sound. I knew the topology I was dealing with here. Single ended, Class A. Oh yeah, I've auditioned Pass Labs before and I wasn't exactly floored. So upon my first listen to the Monarchy SE-100 Delux I wasn't impressed. Just didn't sound right. Had I writen my review then it would have been a 3/3. It took me a full week of listening to realize the strenghs of the Monarchy. The amps produced music with such realism in such an effortless way that I thought they were "wrong" in their presentation. I now know that this is my first truly musical amplifler. Everything just sounds so right with these amps. What more can I say? I am upgrading to Merlin VSM speakers and I want my electronics to be the best to take full advantage of such a talented loudspeaker. I'll be keeping my Monarchy amps although my new speakers cost 4x what I paid for the SE-100s. Thats how much I LOVE these amps.

Downsides? Well, I don't know if I like the way they look. The thick faceplate is nice and all but something is missing(appearance wise). Soundwise the only qualm is the hum. Hum that feeds into the speakers and in the transformers. I don't know why it bothers me so much because I cannot hear it without being within 10 inchs of the speaker or amp. It's gotta muck up the music somehow. I've gotta plan for the hum though...

Music Producing Boxs Used:
Totem One Signature & Totem Arro
Monarchy SE-100 & Symphonic Line RG-250 & Transcendent SC150
Audible Illusions L-1(amperex 7308) & Audio Alchemy DLC
Ah! Tjoeb 99(amperex 7308) & Pioneer DV-414

All wires are DIY ala Jon Risch
The music used ranged to every genre, even a little rap and country amazingly enough.

I'll be purchasing some Ah! AC offset killers shortly along with Monarchys M22C linestage and Merlin VSM's. I'll be sure to post my results.


Similar Products Used:

Transcendent Super Compact 150, Adcom GFA-565, Symphonic Line RG 250

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 12, 2000]
gene
Audiophile

Strength:

Silky smooth sound quality.Huge,deep sound stage.Pin sharp detail and image.Precise and fast low end control.

Weakness:

SE160s are still proto type, need more cosmetic improvement.

I had a chance to listen to Monarchy Audio class A single ended amps at T.H.E. show while I was attending the CES show, I was so impressed that I feel foolish to spend so much money to bought the Pass Aleph 0 mono block I am using now. The Monarhcy SE100 deluxs have all the sound qualities of Aleph 0 and not running as hot, the sound stage of the SE100 is even deeper than Aleph 0. I was listening these Monarchy mono blocks driving a pair of Sound Lab Millennium-1 speakers and that combo was simply one of the best sound I heard at the show and the cost is just fraction of the other best sound show room. Mr.Poon and Gino was very helpful and willing to swith between SE100, SM70 and the all new proto type SE160 for me to compare. I just can't get enough of the silky smooth sound coming out of these Monarchy amps.To me the SE160s are no question one of the best amps in the world as all the amps I have been listen to during my 15 years of audiophile life. Open,transparent,smooth and precise, the SE160s sound like a 200W single ended tube amp that will cost you $20k or more. I will recommend these amp to those who like music but don't have lots of money to waste, or even you do, to check out these right priced Monarchy amps. I am selling my Pass Aleph 0 to get a pair of SE100 and take my wife to a nice vacation.

Similar Products Used:

Threshold T-400, Pass Aleph 0

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 34  

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