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Hamburg58 3rd April 2016 08:41 AM

Little Labs MONOTOR.... WOW
 
1 Attachment(s)
Got a chance to have a first look at the Monotor. We've been waiting for a worthy solution to get a good headphone option in our control room from our API 3288 from 1977.

None of the amps we tried were impressive. Most had their own noise and or were shaping the playback in a false way. We have the very first unit out there from Little Labs and we are so appreciative for Jonathan letting us put it to work! The most surprising asset this box possesses is that it is completely quiet. There's no hiss or hum at all!!

We can hear just how loud OUR API's control room monitor section really is... But skipping your monitor section and hitting mix out directly or listening to your converters, HOLY ****! Being so quiet it also sounds enormous. Bigger than any headphone presentation I've heard in another studio. Every studio should have one of these just so they have square one. Forget what your modern console came with, forget your headphone input on your interface, put this thing in front of your outs and have a listen.

I want one in my car to bypass the iPhone ! The modes are extremely handy as well. Especially for checking a mix in mono or to flip the phase in a mix in mono it's just a turn of the knob. Anyone looking for a great control room headphone amp, look no further. This box is SERIOUS !

I know Jonathan said they'll be shipping in late April. The price point is a steal. This easily some of the most audio file headphone amp out there. I've listened to some other audio file headphone amps that cost upwards of $1000, no comparison.

I realize this should be a review but no one has any of these guys yet, and won't till May once they ship. I'm happy to answer any questions to the best of my ability. Just got it hooked up the other day, will be putting it through the paces this week!

natpub 3rd April 2016 08:48 AM

Really exciting, looks great. Thanks for the info. Don't suppose you got a ballpark figure on the price?

Cheers freshflowe

jdvmi 1st June 2016 03:50 PM

Just picked one of these up to go between my Apollo 8p and power my Sen HD800's. Hoping this will do the trick.

Hamburg58 1st June 2016 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdvmi (Post 11933278)
Just picked one of these up to go between my Apollo 8p and power my Sen HD800's. Hoping this will do the trick.

You're gonna love it! I love it even more now than when I first got it. It gets used EVERY day in my room.

jdvmi 1st June 2016 05:45 PM

Thanks, glad to hear! I was originally going to spend about 2K on a DAC2 but thought it would give this a go as the Apollo DACs should be good enough. I was also looking at the Dangerous Music Source but there was no way to go digital from the Apollo 8p into the Source so it was overkill. Haven't seen much mentioned about this box but taking a leap of faith.

Doc Mixwell 1st June 2016 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by natpub (Post 11814232)
Really exciting, looks great. Thanks for the info. Don't suppose you got a ballpark figure on the price?

Cheers freshflowe

Little Labs Monotor is $540, and frankly, it is one of the best sounding headphone amps I have ever witnessed. I had an identical experience to Hamburg58

audslu 5th June 2016 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hamburg58 (Post 11814226)

None of the amps we tried were impressive. Most had their own noise and or were shaping the playback in a false way. We have the very first unit out there from Little Labs and we are so appreciative for Jonathan letting us put it to work! The most surprising asset this box possesses is that it is completely quiet.

What other amps did you try, lake people g103/109 or the new portico amp included?

LuXx 5th June 2016 08:44 PM

Hd800 tend to need a tube headphone amp in my opinion, I've been using a Schiit Valhalla 2 with mine and LOVE it, however, I'm always open to new options. Has anyone tried one of these with a pair HD800 yet? If so, how'd it sound?

audslu 15th June 2016 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hamburg58 (Post 11814226)
Got a chance to have a first look at the Monotor. We've been waiting for a worthy solution to get a good headphone option in our control room from our API 3288 from 1977.
...

I read the manual and it seems practical and well thought but i want to make sure, when u use the through outputs with speakers connected can u hear the 3.5mm mini jack input in ur speakers?

adam_f 2nd July 2016 11:30 PM

Little Labs has a winner with the Monotor, John has out-done himself!

InMyGalaxie 3rd July 2016 01:07 AM

Somehow all the Little Labs stuff is amazing, at a super affordable price. Dude knows what he's doing.

MartijnNL 18th July 2016 09:05 PM

Can't wait to read about this Little Labs Monotor vs Rupert Neve's RNHP. At first glance I like the extra stereo/mono/phase options on the little labs. Both units are praised by their owners. Price wise they are pretty close.

StudioGoblin 17th September 2016 08:16 PM

I heard the MONOTOR at the TonyShepperd Mix Factory event. I was pretty blown away. I would't have loved an A/B with a 'regular' headphone amp, but even without it, it was really impressive. Clear as HELLLLLLLL! rockout

Crazy4Jazz 17th September 2016 09:24 PM

The Valhalla has a preamp out so you can run your monitors off it. Wonder if the Monotor or the RNHP can do that? Wonder if it matters?

pentagon 18th September 2016 12:28 AM

The Monotor can do signal pass through to your main speakers (most likely actually your main monitor controller). The inputs are wired in parallel on the combo and trs jacks so one set can be outputs.

pentagon 18th September 2016 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz (Post 12142655)
The Valhalla has a preamp out so you can run your monitors off it. Wonder if the Monotor or the RNHP can do that? Wonder if it matters?

I think it'd matter more the Valhalla doesn't have balanced inputs/pass through.

Ribbonmicguy 23rd September 2016 01:48 AM

can't wait to try (and buy) next week!

Hamburg58 23rd September 2016 05:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audslu (Post 11940848)
What other amps did you try, lake people g103/109 or the new portico amp included?

Haven't tried either. Tried some HIFI amps and a few other solutions. I can guarantee you the Neve will not be as quiet as the Little Labs. It's DEAD quiet.

dankin 24th September 2016 02:16 PM

So yesterday I stopped by vintage king and tried out the neve, monotor, SPL phonitor 2 and mini phonitor. They had them setup with an iPad feeding hi rez files through a burl dac. I used some hd650s and audeze LCD-3 they had at the store. The neve was slightly less detailed in the highs, making it sound a little warmer than the others. My thoughts is that if I was buying one for purely listening it would be a contender. For working though, it was between the monotor and the SPL mini, which sounds the same as the bigger Phonitor 2. I'm leaning towards the SPL mini, because of the cross feed, which is better to my ears than the plugins I've tried. To me the monotor and SPL sounded very similar, much closer than either sounded to the neve. The monotor had the most output level by far. Very impressive. I feel like I'm going to end up with the SPL mini for now, and probably add a monotor for tracking. I'm going back to VK next week with my own cans (LCD-X) to make a final decision and bring one home.

Ribbonmicguy 11th October 2016 06:54 AM

Just put them to use this week. One of the best buy for this year!

I have an SPL 2Control and Monotor smokes it. The SPL sounded broken in comparison to the Monotor.

I am using Sony MDR-CD900ST and I can't wait to put my custom IEM to use as well!

scowboy 27th October 2016 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LuXx (Post 11941034)
Hd800 tend to need a tube headphone amp in my opinion, I've been using a Schiit Valhalla 2 with mine and LOVE it, however, I'm always open to new options. Has anyone tried one of these with a pair HD800 yet? If so, how'd it sound?

I'm another Schiit user. As a full time IEM bass player I have an Asgard II which I have been using as an IEM amp for about 3 years now. It's been flawless and can really bring big booty to my 4-way IEM's and is extremely easy to listen to in my particular application.

The Neve RNHP has piqued my interest but I guess I really need to check out the Monotor as well. Though the Schiit is not a pro level amp I've been running it using +4dB outputs over a long distance, it's got headroom to spare and is quiet. When I bought it, I conversed extensively with the Schiit guys about the inputs and if they could take +4db. Once they convinced me, I was like well then build a version with proper XLR connectors on it! I think they missed the boat.

Still, props to Schiit though. For the money it's hard to touch them, but alas as a G.S. I'm always wanting to try other alternatives.

sd270 27th October 2016 06:16 PM

Hafler HA-15 is another amp in same price range, has anyone compared to Monotor or Schiit Asgard-2.

audiotechnica 20th December 2016 03:02 AM

Can anyone say how this compares to the headphone out in the Crane Song Avocet IIA? I have the Monotor now but just ordered and Avocet IIA and it might now be redundant.

Hamburg58 20th December 2016 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by audiotechnica (Post 12323743)
Can anyone say how this compares to the headphone out in the Crane Song Avocet IIA? I have the Monotor now but just ordered and Avocet IIA and it might now be redundant.


No idea but I could guarantee you it's quieter than the Crane Song. It's for critical listening.

audiotechnica 20th December 2016 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hamburg58 (Post 12324242)
No idea but I could guarantee you it's quieter than the Crane Song. It's for critical listening.

Interesting. I have the Monotor and the Crane Song Solaris right now and they're both silent as a tomb and sound pretty much identical (listening on DT1770s and DT770s). I'm assuming the headphone out on the Avocet IIA will be the same quality as the Solaris at least, and likely better. We'll see when my Avocet IIA arrives in January.

legolee 21st December 2016 09:09 AM

does someone has listened to both little lab monitor and the headphone amps on Benchmark DAC1/2/3?
Would love to hear your comment.

audiotechnica 22nd December 2016 08:36 PM

I opened my Monotor the other day and found that it's full of huge caps, a bunch of relays with a bunch of resistors (assuming this is the stepped volume control) and only two absolutely tiny SMD chips near the actual headphone outs (plus two slightly larger chips near where the power comes in).

Some pictures here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0t0mbzlkb...selY_Sx7a?dl=0

I'm really curious how these chips don't require any heatsinking - they're microscopic! Very interesting. Was expecting a fully discrete circuit.

Brad Blackwood 22nd February 2017 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by legolee (Post 12326046)
does someone has listened to both little lab monitor and the headphone amps on Benchmark DAC1/2/3?
Would love to hear your comment.

Testing the Monotor out now and right out of the gate it's far better than my DAC2 HGC. I'm very impressed, probably selling the DAC2, which I bought as a DAC/HP combo, but it can't touch the Weiss DAC2 paired with the Monotor.

alternating.bit 11th September 2017 10:26 PM

I saw someone mentioned the SPL Mini, which like its more expensive counterparts is specifically designed to simulate a monitor / room environment for mastering via headphones. How does this Monotor compare with that aspect?? Can it be used exclusively for headphone mastering and account for MID/SIDE splitting, etc? Thanks

Bob Ross 12th September 2017 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sd270 (Post 12219334)
Hafler HA-15 is another amp in same price range, has anyone compared to Monotor or Schiit Asgard-2.

I haven't done any side-by-side comparisons, but I just auditioned a couple of the Hafler headphone amps this past week and I was quite favorably impressed.