Monarchy Audio Digital Interface Processor DACs

Digital Interface Processor

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
Olaf   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 14, 2017]

2017. For those who are looking for a recent review. Everything people whrote in former positieve reviews is thru.
I am using the dip with the Arcam 192 cd player. Not a bad player. The optical input is for the Google Chromecast casting Spotify. The DAC is French: Advance Acoustic.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Matt   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 17, 2009]

I purchased this unit to go between my Sonos ZP80 and my MSB Gold Link DAC III after numerous people claimed the Sonos had a "jitter" problem and that it would improve the sound of my system. To my shock, the DIP actually ruined the sound. The difference was not subtle; everything took on a harsh digital edge. I was very disappointed and returned the unit.

The only thing I can think is that the MSB Gold Link DAC III and Monarchy do not get along. Try it at your own risk but it is not a "cure all" anti-jitter device and your mileage may vary.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Rob   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 11, 2005]
Strength:

A tweak that provides exceptional ROI

Weakness:

Absolutely none

I could probably make something up to explain what "jitter" is and what it means to your digital front-end, and then go on to elaborate about soundstage expansion, channel separation, enhanced dynamic range, bass punch, cymbal sizzle, etc, when you reduce jitter. I could also self-indulge and list all my audio gear, piece by piece. But then I'd sound like just another reviewer trying to impress the audioreview.com masses. Here's the bottom line: the Monarchy Audio DIP kicks butt. I received this unit yesterday, and inserted it between my DAC and CD players (yes, it can accomodate one optical and one coaxial player simultaneously), and the result was both immediate and stunning. Passing through the DIP, my admittedly mid-fi CD players breathed new life into every CD I threw at them. Everything you've read below (the positive stuff, anyway) is true. This review is for the original DIP (as pictured above). I actually like the 2-sided hook-up--power cord on one side and digital connections on the other--because when placed sideways in your rack it allows easier access to the toggle switch you need to flip when you go from optical to coax. The newer DIP Classic and 24/96 versions have all the connections in the rear of the unit, so you'd have to reach back and feel your way to the switch. Easily, this is the best 100 bucks I've ever spent on my system. If this thing ever dies, I'll happily shell out the MSRP of $249 for the DIP Classic (the original is out of production) and still feel like it was a bargain. This is a must-have for anyone with a cheapo- to mid-level CD player and DAC who wants to experience what all the audiophiles do when they listen to their $5000 Audio Research or Krell CD "transports".

Similar Products Used: Musical Fidelity X-10v3
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
frank77   Audio Enthusiast [May 26, 2003]
Strength:

Soundstage has greater depth and eveness. A bit more liquidity -- just a touch more analog sounding.

Weakness:

None really, but the difference -- while real -- are quite subtle. This tweak is not like changing your amp or speakers, etc.

I put this unit in as a lark, figuring I would see no change whatsoever. I was wrong. What this unit does best is take off some digital edge and, in my case, refocus the soundstage. In fact I was having soundstage problems and the DIP somehow was able to fix it. Whereas before I had a strange left bias, with the DIP, the soundstage became more evenly spread and realistic. I hesitate to say 3-d, because the difference is not THAT extreme. Nevertheless, I completely expected this gear to be a crock, but in fact it made a far greater difference than cables ever have. I don't claim to understand how it works, but I do know that it does.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
frank   Audio Enthusiast [May 26, 2003]
Strength:

Soundstage has greater depth and eveness. A bit more liquidity -- just a touch more analog sounding.

Weakness:

None really, but the difference -- while real -- are quite subtle. This tweak is not like changing your amp or speakers, etc.

I put this unit in as a lark, figuring I would see no change whatsoever. I was wrong. What this unit does best is take off some digital edge and, in my case, refocus the soundstage. In fact I was having soundstage problems and the DIP somehow was able to fix it. Whereas before I had a strange left bias, with the DIP, the soundstage became more evenly spread and realistic. I hesitate to say 3-d, because the difference is not THAT extreme. Nevertheless, I completely expected this gear to be a crock, but in fact it made a far greater difference than cables ever have. I don't claim to understand how it works, but I do know that it does.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mauricio   AudioPhile [Feb 14, 2003]
Strength:

Make a cheap DVD player sound like a +1K CD player. Less noise. More bass, medium, highs, with articulation and refinement. Upgrades your favorite bad recordings.

Weakness:

It is not intended to pass Dolby Digital or DTS. Stop.

I own a system based on a NAD T761 receiver and Paradigm speakers (5.1) but my entry level JVC-DVD player is not a partner for them (even connected with the wonderfull DH Labs silversonic D75 coaxial cable). While I wait for a winner in the high definition format war(I think SACD will succeed) and prices to come down, both in SACDs and players, I decided to buy the DIP 48/96 Upsampler (wich merits his own page at this site) based on the only review that I found (original DIP extensivelly reviewed). I own it for 3 days (the best is yet to come). I noticed: an inmediate lowering of the noise floor; an increase in the volume of each instrument/voice; an astounding increase in articulation, definition and volume of bass (wich I beleaved would't be possible in my humble system); lots of detail in medium and high frequencies; more refinement in sounds and disparition of irritating "false brightness"; a sense of tightness and grip; better positioning of intruments and more sounstage. Good recordings sound better but the most satisfiying improuvement, for me as an opera fan, is the marvelous gain in tonal richness, softening of edges and reduction of noise in my historical recordings! As with all great purchases I think "how could I live untill today without the DIP upsampler?" Don't upgrade your CD/DVD player, try the DIP 48/96 upsampler!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dan   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 02, 2000]
Strength:

Amazing clarity in the bass to my system. Added lots of air to instruments as well

Weakness:

Well, here goes yet ANOTHER digital cable to my long list of cables!

This was a great deal! For 100.00 shipped it changed my system more than upgrade in cables from entry level MIT to the MH 750 Bi Wire. I was running a very nice Newcastle CD 980 into a Denon 4800 via the digital out on the CD. Thought I would take advantage of the nice Analog Devices DACs on the 4800. Sounded really well actually. I got the DIP & stuck it in the line & WOW!!!!! The bass got very tight and well outlined! The upper register increased in clarity as well. It just made a good system sound better. The DIP can benefit from good cables. I ran the RS Toslink into it at first & Monster M1000D Silver Digital from DIP to DAC and it sounded great. Later I switched the Monster for a JPS Superconductor Digital and things got even sweeter on the highs. Very crisp w/o getting edgy at all. I later got the UJB to use to enhance the DVD player by dejittering it. When compared to the DIP I prefer the DIP. Although the UJB-1 retails for over $700 it lost a little bass in my system. The high end got a tad better but many systems would border on bright w/ it. The DIP is definately a great way to add new life at low cost to any system. I now have the Bel Canto DAC and moved the DIP downstairs to my "B" system. Run Harmonic Tech Cyber-link Copper into it and Acoustic Zen Silver Photon out into a highly modified MSB link DAC. Although not as dramatic as w/ the CD into the Denon, the little DIP still made a nice little improvement to the system. Highly recommended

Similar Products Used: Sonic Frontiers Ultrajitterbug w/ Parts Connection mod for DTS/DD
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dan Twomey   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 01, 2001]
Strength:

Tighter bass, clearer vocals, and cleaner highs.

This DIP made a HUGE difference in my entry level system but I suspect (although I can't say from experience) that the differences in a high-end (i.e. Wadia, Levinson, etc.)system would be much more subtle. But, here lies the paradox. The DIP in an entry level system would occupy a significant portion of the total budget and one would be put in the position to gauge it's value based on performance per dollar spent. In my particular case my DVD player's cost was about $500 so the DIP (at full retail) would represent about a 60% increase in cost of my digital front end. Was it worth it for me? Cost aside, the DIP has greatly increased the 'enjoyment' factor for me by taking away one thing. The treble in my system was harsh enough to make me grit my teeth and since the DIP has been installed that harshness has gone. Also, I've noticed a fascinating increase in the 'tightness' of the bass. Overall I am very happy and I would find it very difficult to go back to a non-DIP system now. For your reference I'm using the following:

Marantz SR7000 Receiver
Sony DVP550S DVD Player
Kimber DV-75 digital interconnects
Nordost SuperFlatline speaker cables
KEF C80 Speakers

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Ron   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 22, 2001]
Strength:

None that I can hear when incorporated in my mid fi system.

Weakness:

Doesn't do much for my system.

Had expected more out of this 'tweak' than I got. My system is modest a Sony DVD/CD player circa 1998 (model 330, mid price at the time, with dual lasers), CAL Gamma DAC (circa 1998), Yamaha RXV-2092 reciever as preamp, Audio Source Amp 3, Polk RT12 speakers, and Velodyne HGS 10.

I find a little more smoothness using the Monarchy DIP and Gamma Dac as compared to running directly into the RXV-2092 internal DAC. The Sony has both optical and coaxial outputs so I can do A/B comparisons. I really had to listen hard to tell a difference. I look at this as a barely perceptible improvement in my system buy is not taking anything away. I can not rate the Monarchy DIP more than mediocre in my system. It will stay only because if I do change something else, maybe there will be an improvement.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Jay   Audiophile [Dec 14, 2001]
Strength:

The products provide "cleaner" sound, deeper bass, and more detail in the music. Allows for Toslink to Digital balanced conversion

Weakness:

None for the DIP Mk 2. The DIP upsampler was not compatible with my Parasound DAC 1100

This is actually a tale of two DIPs. After reading the Stereophile review of the DIP and the MSB DAC Full Nelson, I bought both products. The MSB Link DAC III Full Nelson (without external power supply) did not compare favorably with my resident Parasound DAC 1100, so I shipped it back. THe Monarchy DIP, however, stayed. I originally hooked it up to my Sony CDP XA20ES, and was VERY impressed with what I heard. The DIP allowed me to take the Toslink digital out of the Sony and use the balanced digital inputs of both the Parasound and MSB DACs (I used a 1 meter Balanced interconnect purchased from Monarchy for $59 and am very pleased).
One of the reasons I bought the MSB DAC was I wnted to jump on the upsampling band-wagon. The 96K upsampling sounded OK, but the Parasound still beat it. The 132K upsampling sounded like garbage. As I mentioned, the MSB went away, but I decided to try Monarchy's DIP upsampler. It has user changeable chips to re/upsample to 44.1, 48, and 96K. The unit also reduces jitter, and is supposed to be synergistic with the regular DIP. I tried piggy-backing them, but could not get it to work. The Parasound would not recognize the 48K signal. I was about to send it back when I decided to try it in my home theatre set-up. I hooked up the Toslink out of my SONY DVPS500D, and set the DIP upsampler to 96K and into My Rotel DSP 976 via a BetterCables digital COAX. I then was able to A/B this to the DVD player alone. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! DVD players supposedly upsample CD to 48K but there was such an improvement in BASS response as well as those harsh S-S-S's. I decided to keep the unit. I only wish it would pass through other 96K sources (like DVDs). But for the money ($299) it has a good ROI for me.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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