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Monoprice Monolith M1060C

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by elcoholic, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. elcoholic

    elcoholic Jet Fuel Genius Subscriber

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    Pulled the trigger and dropped $350 of elcoholic’s magic mirror protractors proceeds (thanks guys) on these. There’s so few choices in closed back cans, (of which I need) and the Audeze are so expensive it seems like a good risk. Impressions to follow.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018

     

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  2. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    :lurk:
     
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  3. w1jim

    w1jim I can fix it but good... Subscriber

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    That’s curious logic that we can all relate to.
     
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  4. Mysteryed

    Mysteryed The Antique Subscriber

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    Had to look them up.
    Had not known that there was a closed version of the M1060 cans. Really looking forward to your impressions. Must say that the photos on the Monoprice site are envy evoking.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
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  5. elcoholic

    elcoholic Jet Fuel Genius Subscriber

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    I'm encouraged by their track record with the open back version and they were quick to make improvements based on customer feedback which will be included in the closed back version. I'm also encouraged by their stated reengineering of the driver for the closed can. My personal experience with my DIY Yamasteins using the Yamaha 50mm HP-1/YH-1 drivers clearly showed that even an excellent sounding open design ortho driver just stuck in an enclosed capsule is not a formula for success. Fingers crossed.
     
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  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Super Member

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    I'm using a pair of Hifiman HE-500 right now but would love a closed back alternative, I look forward to hearing your impressions
     
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  7. elcoholic

    elcoholic Jet Fuel Genius Subscriber

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    IMG_0544.JPG IMG_0545.JPG IMG_0546.JPG IMG_0547.JPG

    My initial impressions:

    Nice packaging
    Great case
    Cable is light and has very low if not zero microphonics
    Big and heavy as expected. On par with my Yamasteins, maybe a bit heavier.
    Comfortable - plenty of room for my Dumbo ears, stayed in place even when reclining without too much clamping pressure
    Freshness - very, they still stink of adhesives and finish

    Listening:
    Genesis, Trick of the Tale, LP
    Thorens TD-125 / Grace 707 / Grace F9e / SS OCL Ruby > Emotiva XPS-1 > Schitt Lyr

    This album has been one of my testing go to's for 42 years. Mostly for the 1st cut, Dance on a Volcano and the last, Los Endos. Listening for Phil’s massive drumming to be clear, tight and have impact with good space around them in the midst of the huge high energy synth and extended bass notes. Test passed. Not surprising for orthos.

    The upper end was a bit bright and slightly harsh. This may be the Emo phono stage, but the tubes in Lyr should smooth that out. It’s probably break in related. I’ve been feeding them Van Morrison’s Greatest on repeat since 10:00 last night and won’t be home until tonight. Since I want smooth and Van’s smooth it seemed a natural choice.
     
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  8. Mysteryed

    Mysteryed The Antique Subscriber

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    Hopefully the burn-in/break in works out the kinks. Nice packaging. Got my fingers crossed for you! Let us know how it progresses.
     
  9. elcoholic

    elcoholic Jet Fuel Genius Subscriber

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    They do continue to improve with use and after a few days of burn-in the little bit of harshness out of the box as smoothed out nicely. The point of my getting closed back head phones is to listen to music in the same room when the other family members watch TV. I had hoped for more isolation. The other night the fam was watching TV while I listened to music. They could hear the phones a bit, but not annoyingly so. I could hear the TV and it was right at the threshold of what I could tune out except in the quietest passages. The amount of isolation isn't given in the specs so I sent Monoprice an email request. I checked a few closed headphones specs online and didn't find much in the way of published isolation specs on any of them. There was a pair tailored for drummers at 35 dB. No specs were given for the Audeze LCD-XCs which I would think is the lofty target for the M1060Cs.

    Back to the music. Silk Degrees, another long time test record with very high production values over a broad range of styles sounded very, very good. Musical, good bass, full rich midrange, sparkling highs without too much brightness and Boz's smooth vocals - enjoyable nothing distracting. For female vocals I listened to the Nautilus Super Disk of Court and Spark. I love Joni Mitchell, but her voice is challenging and can easily sound shrill if everything isn't just right. Test passed!
     
  10. Vaughn

    Vaughn Super Member

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    glad to hear they are sounding good, if a peaky treble shows up again I'd recommend trying a different pad (velour or hybrid), I've found this can have a pretty big impact on sound
     
  11. elcoholic

    elcoholic Jet Fuel Genius Subscriber

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    I found specs for the Beyerdynamic DT 770s & DT 1770s and the isolation is 18-20dB depending on options. The 1060Cs are probably in that range too. Perhaps that’s typical for closed back HPs.
     

     

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  12. elcoholic

    elcoholic Jet Fuel Genius Subscriber

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    These headphones sound so good I decided to keep them. When time permits I plan on adding a layer of Dynamat to increase isolation.
     
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  13. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Ok, have a pair on the way to Australia now. :)
     
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  14. elcoholic

    elcoholic Jet Fuel Genius Subscriber

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    Nice. Looking forward to your comments.
     
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  15. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    I've an Audio Technica Ha-5000 copy headphone amp on the way too. Another member came across some information that indicates OTL amps such as my Darkvoice 336SE are a poor match for planars. Hopefully the HA-5000 will do the trick
     
  16. elcoholic

    elcoholic Jet Fuel Genius Subscriber

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    Generally orthodynamic head phones are power hungry. My Schiit Lyr does 6 watts which is great for my Yamaha HP-1s. However the M1060C’s take much less power. My normal volume is 9:00 with them vs. 1:00 for the old Yamahas. They don’t need big power to sound good, but really open up with power and definitely benefit from amp headroom.
     

     

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  17. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Mmmm.... The volume is 9 o clock on the Darkvoice 336SE OTL amp for me also, with both the AKG K712 Pro or Monoprice Monolith M1060...
     
  18. dmsheehan

    dmsheehan AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I am the person that Matt referenced in his comment about the Darkvoice 336SE OTL amp not being well suited for planar headphones. I am currently waiting on a MassDrop delivery of the 336SE so I can't make a first hand comment on how it will sound with the Monolith M1060c headphones. I will say this. I am currently listening to the M1060c headphones while streaming MQA codec music from Tidal from my computer through a Meridian Explorer 2 DAC that is connected via line out to an xDuoo TA-01 amp and the sound is phenomenal. I can't remember which tube I swapped into the xDuoo but will take a look as soon as I can unpack my audo tools that I just brought down to NC from NY.
    I had also auditioned the 1060c vs. the HIFIMAN 400i headphones and in my opinion they sound better than the HIFIMAN phones using the same setup that I am currently listening on. When I can find the HIFIMAN phones among the boxes of things that I currently have in storage I will do a more detailed synopsis of the comparison of the two headphones.
    It will be, of course, colored by my taste in sound and should not be considered gospel. I have some fairly decent equipment and still have a fairly decent ear as well, but I don't consider myself to be an audiophile in the strictest sense of the word. I simply have been listening to music for a very long time and my main interest is in ENJOYING the music, not expounding on technical details.
    There are some comparisons of the M1060 vs the HIFIMAN 400i phones out there on various forums, but I don't believe that I have seen any with the M1060c vs. the 400i. I have never heard the M1060 phones. I will say that I do love the M1060c phones except for the worrisome free spinning earpieces that continually confound me. The sound, however, is exquisite. They have a non-existent sound floor, great detail and separation.
    Here is an excerpt of the text message that I sent Matt after a quick listen to the M1060c vs 400i phone

    I just did a quick comparison of your phones vs my HIFIMANs.....I think that yours are better overall. More detailed...sounded more like I was there in front of the stage...the overall soundstage was just better. Mine put the vocals a little more forward....had a little less detail in the guitar instrumentation. Only listened to a Grateful Dead (live Pacific Northwest 73-74) on Tidal Master version (MQA) codec that is an wonderfully produced album that was just released this September. I will listen to some other stuff, but I think that my opinion will hold. I was using my computer with the Meridian Explorer 2 DAC connected to my XDUO headphone amp. Both headphones are excellent, but I give the edge to your even though they are not burned in yet.

    I did also listen to a mix of musical genres off of Tidal MASTER quality MQA files and I gave the edge to the M1060c cans. I need to find my HIFIMAN cans so that I can listen to them again, but I doubt that my opinion will change. I will post something in the near future.
     
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  19. elcoholic

    elcoholic Jet Fuel Genius Subscriber

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    We “know” that open orthos sound better than closed, all else being equal. At least that’s the general consensus. I’m not sure how closed back electrostatics fare if they even exist, but I’d expect the same.

    I agree that the 1060C’s turning into a tangled ring puzzle is annoying, but careful handling usually prevents those shenanigans.

    Looking forward to your impressions.
     

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