For all those budget seekers, Monoprice has long been the destination for cheap cables. The early interconnect sets could sometimes be found for less than a dollar a foot and were the safe haven for those of less means and patrons new to the hobby. Now the company is deep in the thralls of launching a true audiophile-oriented brand umbrella called Monolith. Complete with its own logo, the new venture has already released six pairs of headphones with two more on the way.
The focus at the Canjam show this weekend was a recent partnership with longtime premium amp maker Cavalli. Still in prototype form, two new amps were on display on the small table of the right side of the hall. Both products are an extension of the direction the Cavalli brand was going before they shut down suddenly last year. Indeed, much the same innards and concepts have been executed with the Liquid Platinum ($699) and Liquid Spark ($99), but the latter’s price point is perhaps as big a surprise as the resurrection partnership for many.
$100 as a price point is quiet a stretch for the flagship amplifier maker known for constructing gear costing several thousands of US dollars. It also drops in with direct competition in a relatively unsaturated field where the center of the Venn diagram is a bit off center from the rest of big spends and exclusiveness of the high end.
The Monolith Liquid Platinum is a balanced version of the original Cavalli Audio Liquid Crimson. The hybrid design here utilizes two tubes as well as solid state amplification to push either fully balanced or SE operation.
The initial run of headphones for the Monolith brand was exclusively planar magnetic technology, priced from $149 to $299 and even included a pair of in-ear planars for $149. Two new dynamics are on the way, also on display at the show. The new Monolith M600 ($130) and M650 ($150) are scheduled to ship in late May/early June.
The company is pushing quite deep into the hobby, covering off loudspeakers, turntables, furniture and even back to the audiophile cable – perhaps offering slightly different proposition at $5/ft this time around. You can check it all out on the revamped site, plenty of value-driven objects of affection to behold for any audio lover.
Expect shipping dates for the new Cavalli amplifiers to start around late June/early July. The cosmetics shown in the photos here could also change before the product is released.