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Martin Dew

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Monolith by Monoprice has added two eight-channel Class D home theater amplifiers to its portfolio, the 8250X ($2,999) and 8125X ($1,999, pictured in header). The blocks are designed, engineered and assembled in the USA with globally sourced parts, and use high-end audiophile-grade Hypex NCore modules. Monoprice promises that the Class D topology ensures both models will deliver outstanding efficiency and accurately reproduce the most dynamic soundtracks while articulating the subtle sonic details found in music.
“We take great pride in our Monolith products, and these new Class-D amplifiers are no exception. Engineered for uncompromising performance and value, our new Monolith amps efficiently deliver powerful and precise audio output across the entire frequency range, regardless of output gain levels. On top of all that, we were able to provide this level of world-class performance at an incredibly competitive price point,” said Hobie Sechrest, Monolith Business Unit Manager...

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JohnRice

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JohnRice

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Also, nobody should be put off that the Monoprice amps only have XLR inputs. You can use RCA to XLR cables if you don't have XLR connections. Just sure to get the right gender (male) on the XLR end.
 

Martin Dew

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Great also for home theater racks that Class D amps run so much cooler. But the Hypex module-based amps I've heard so far, while detailed, just sound too bright and shrill compared to Class AB. Most manufacturers say they've overcome those limitations but I think the jury's still out...
 

John Dirk

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Thanks @Martin Dew and @Sam Posten . This is big news! Monoprice is a well known and trusted, value-focused brand. Their decision to produce Class-D multi-channel amps at these price points and with excellent warranty coverage may be just what is needed to bring the topology into the mainstream enthusiast space. While I would have preferred to see a couple of additional models with higher output capabilities for dedicated LCR or 2-channel duty, this is a great start. Curious to hear @Dave Upton 's take.
 

John Dirk

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Great also for home theater racks that Class D amps run so much cooler. But the Hypex module-based amps I've heard so far, while detailed, just sound too bright and shrill compared to Class AB. Most manufacturers say they've overcome those limitations but I think the jury's still out...
I would think they have in order for Monoprice to get into the game. The great thing about these is you know you can send them right back if you're dissatisfied.
 

JohnRice

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I would think they have in order for Monoprice to get into the game. The great thing about these is you know you can send them right back if you're dissatisfied.
Doesn’t D-Sonic use Hypex?
 

Dave Upton

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Thanks @Martin Dew and @Sam Posten . This is big news! Monoprice is a well known and trusted, value-focused brand. Their decision to produce Class-D multi-channel amps at these price points and with excellent warranty coverage may be just what is needed to bring the topology into the mainstream enthusiast space. While I would have preferred to see a couple of additional models with higher output capabilities for dedicated LCR or 2-channel duty, this is a great start. Curious to hear @Dave Upton 's take.
I've heard plenty of NCore amps and while they're just fine, I tend to listen to my D-Sonics a lot more. There's something about the input circuit in the NCore amps that doesn't do it for me.
 

Martin Dew

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I just read your 2016 D-Sonic review, Dave. They sound like fantastic amps. I'm looking for a solution to my aging Parasounds which now have a big cost of ownership associated with them. I'm looking at more 'budget' options including Nord and Apollon, both of which get a lot of bandwidth on the forums. They're both NCore based. Do you have any experience of those brands? And what are your specific reservations about input circuits in NCore amps?
 
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Dave Upton

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I just read your 2016 D-Sonic review, Dave. They sound like fantastic amps. I'm looking for a solution to my aging Parasounds which now have a big cost of ownership associated with them. I'm looking at more 'budget' options including Nord and Apollon, both of which get a lot of bandwidth on the forums. They're both NCore based. Do you have any experience of those brands? And what are your specific reservations about input circuits in NCore amps?
I have an NCore NC200 based amp powering my desktop setup. It's fine - sounds good, but it lacks that something special that the best amps have. It's a bit of bloom/tonal warmth in the lower registers that most folks associate with Class A/AB amps.

Hypex boards include the input circuit, so you're basically just getting a wire with gain. I think that's not a terrible idea in principle, but the end result for me is a slightly unengaging sound. The D-Sonics get a lot more listening time in my house. I'm sure Dennis would be happy to discuss it with you.
 

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I'd be interested to see future reviews on these. As some may know, I recently bought an Outlaw 7000X as my first separates. I wondered if I was making a mistake going with older Class AB tech vs. Class D or Emotiva's Class H+AB implementation.

A couple of weeks into ownership of the 7000X and I'm super thrilled with its performance, using my Denon 4500h as the pre-pro. But I also know "it can always be better" and I do have 2 home theater setups. So if these turn out to be as good, or better sounding, than Class AB, and also fulfill the promise of Class D being both more efficient and running cooler, then I have no problems in a year's time relegating the Outlaw to the less-used bedroom system and upgrading the main HT to one of these.

I will say, my Denon used to run at 105F or hotter when pushed. I was very surprised when I got the Outlaw at its running temp. Even during an intense MCU action movie, the Outlaw never gets anywhere near as hot as the Denon did even though it's clearly pushing out as much (or more) power to the speakers. I realized I haven't used the thermal gun on the 7000X yet, but I have to estimate it probably doesn't get hotter than mid 90s Fahrenheit, and may be even cooler than that. It also allowed me to set the Denon to Eco mode (sadly on this model you can't fully disable the amps) so now the Denon also runs in the mid 90s (that I did confirm via the thermal gun).

If the Monoprice don't measure up well to the D-Sonics, I'll put those on my future list as well. I was really hoping to stay at the 2K price range though of the 8125.
 

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If the Monoprice don't measure up well to the D-Sonics, I'll put those on my future list as well. I was really hoping to stay at the 2K price range though of the 8125.
I can pretty much assure you they won't but that's not a bad thing in my opinion. D-Sonic is aimed at serious enthusiasts and audiophiles. Monoprice is more for the masses. If even a decent Class-D implementation can gain a foothold in this space I'd say it bodes well for the future of the technology.
 

Carlo Medina

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I should have used more nuance in my statement. I know they won't measure up specs and performance wise. I meant more in terms of audio quality at lower volumes. I have a medium sized room and don't run my speakers very loud, which is why I was more than happy with the Outlaw 7000x vs. going with the Monolith 7X. I've been pushing my 7000X to the upper end of what I could conceivably be listening at (normally I listen with an overall average volume of around 60-65db with peaks going up to around 75-78db. If I raise it so the average sound is between 65-70db with peaks in the low 80s I'm already wanting to turn it back down. So I'm not necessarily using a ton of power. The 8125 should provide more than enough power for my modest needs, I'm just hoping the sound quality is as good as it is with AB amps.
 

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I don’t understand 8-channels.

An enthusiast currrently is building a conventional surround 5.2 or 7.2 or an Atmos 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2, or 7.2.4.

8 channels doesn’t fit cleanly in any enthusiast setup. It’s either too many or to few channels.
 

JohnRice

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I don’t understand 8-channels.

An enthusiast currrently is building a conventional surround 5.2 or 7.2 or an Atmos 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2, or 7.2.4.

8 channels doesn’t fit cleanly in any enthusiast setup. It’s either too many or to few channels.
Actually, it does. You get a more powerful three channel amp for the front, and add an eight channel to create a 7.x.4 system.
 

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However, having said that, between the 8125 for $2K and two Emotiva A-4s for $1,100 total, with similar specs, I'll take the Emotivas.
 

DaveF

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Actually, it does. You get a more powerful three channel amp for the front, and add an eight channel to create a 7.x.4 system.
Ill Allow It Spanish GIF
 

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