Monolith Hi-Res DAC

DAC Chip: ESS ES9018K2M & ESS ES9601 Amp (Single)
PCM 32-384kHz DSD256, SNR: 122db , Power: 2 Vrms, USB Type-A Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: NO), Plastic Chassis



  • Natural timbre with balanced tonality, decidedly organic
  • Natural Mids with natural toned Male and Female vocals
  • Crisp Treble with commendable textures, snappy decays
  • Commanding and fast Mid-Bass with ample punch and textures
  • Sub-Bass is present and with good seismic feedback.
  • Good details retrieval with rounded nuances
  • Decent soundstage to not feel as boxed in
  • Commendable speed and transients handling, no congestion observed.
  • Moderate resistances to sibilance
  • Drives Tin HiFi Magnetic Planar at 65/100
  • Very usable independent volume adjuster


  • Dynamics a bit tame and mild, lean bodied timbre
  • Falls slightly short on that ESS sparkle found on top performing Sabre DAC/Amps.
  • Hazy separation lines, lacking sharpness.
  • Linear non holographic imaging and spatial staging. Two dimensional
  • Slightly dull edged percussions, guitars, piano, and cello
  • Not as forgiving on poor recordings and re-masters
  • Require Type-A to Type-C Adapter


Monolith Hi-Res DAC. For this sort of quality, you can already get it from JCally JA21, JA04 or JM01. This is an aged Hi-Fi enough DAC/Amp that is now bordering on obsolete compared to the fierce Hi-Fi standards we are being offered today, the sound signature is classically tame by current ESS Sabre standard. Considering that Monoprice still sells this unit at rather steep $80 I don’t see the logic to buy it anymore when you can get the same quality from a $10 JCally. The saving grace for this unit, great synergy with an already resolving and detailed IEMs like the Etymotic ER4SR and ER2XR.

⭐⭐⭐ ($80.00)

Best Pairing: An already bright and resolving IEMs/Headphones

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  1. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any techniques to help prevent content from being ripped off? I’d certainly appreciate it.


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      I wish I can help but honestly this is my fist and only page so I am a newbie relying on whatever tool WordPress has placed


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