Karma - Monoprice Fabulousness!

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Comments

  • anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 2,495
    congrats
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 6,479
    edited March 2018
    That feeling when you enter a drawing for a giveaway of a piece of ****, not expecting to actually win it, and then you do.

    Uh, thanks @verb, I think? I've already ordered a fire extinguisher off Amazon and I'm going to have to call Farmers Insurance on Monday to make sure my renter's insurance is up to snuff. Better to be prepared, I say.

    But in all seriousness I'm looking forward to checking this beast out. I definitely WILL be ordering some new tubes to roll into it, because why not?
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • verbverb Posts: 6,097
    You're most welcome. We all expect one of your signature detailed reviews (walls burning, roof collapsing, cats being rescued, emergency vehicles blaring, etc.) ! And yes, how it sounds! :smiley:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 su, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Furman M8-LX Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • verbverb Posts: 6,097
    F1nut wrote: »
    I'm struggling to understand why so many want a piece of gear that is likely to fail or worse. Shakes head......walks away.

    I was gonna proxy enter a number for you father @F1nut , but then thought better of it! :smiley:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 su, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Furman M8-LX Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 6,479
    Because humans just can't resist FREE STUFF!
    F1nut wrote: »
    I'm struggling to understand why so many want a piece of gear that is likely to fail or worse. Shakes head......walks away.

    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 3,464
    F1nut wrote: »
    I'm struggling to understand why so many want a piece of gear that is likely to fail or worse. Shakes head......walks away.

    What's life without a little adventure?
  • Tony MTony M Posts: 7,784
    Remember, third time's a charm.

    The 3rd amp just might perform well.

    Who knows. I haven't heard a tube amp in 40 years, so I took a chance. ;) :p
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • verbverb Posts: 6,097
    Agreed. I'm a tube newbie, but got the bug. I picked up a Bottlehead SEX amp for the office rig to replace the Monoprice! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 su, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Furman M8-LX Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,905
    Clipdat wrote: »
    But in all seriousness I'm looking forward to checking this beast out. I definitely WILL be ordering some new tubes to roll into it, because why not?

    Dude, I'd wait on ordering new tubes, first find out if it's stable enough to warrant the expense. Just a word of caution....do not leave that thing on while your not home. ;)

    Looking forward to the story....lol

    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,517
    F1nut wrote: »
    I'm struggling to understand why so many want a piece of gear that is likely to fail or worse. Shakes head......walks away.

    Cause tubes are cool! And you might as well have another amp... even if it’ll burn your house down :lol:
    Micah
    If you're reading this, I've put up devices for a week; maybe more. I'll talk you guys later!
    I've always thought the goal of high-end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 6,479
    Fair enough. I'll let it "burn in" with the stock tubes at first.
    tonyb wrote: »
    Dude, I'd wait on ordering new tubes, first find out if it's stable enough to warrant the expense. Just a word of caution....do not leave that thing on while your not home. ;)

    Looking forward to the story....lol

    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 6,479
    My Karma Monoprice...thing... arrived today.

    i0wx29rxzddl.jpg
    odrp2sldrhbz.jpg

    Few things I noticed right away that just scream quality. The taller left tube's socket is skewed which makes the tube sit at an angle, it comes short of touching it's cage by just a few mm.

    It smells like electronics and glue. Like a little taste of what a transformer factory in China must smell like.

    Fit and finish on the EQ knobs, power button, and master volume knob are mediocre. Volume knob turns super smooth though. Also, I didn't take a photo of the speaker binding posts but they are very nice.

    When you power it up, it makes a pop sound come through the speakers. That's nice. Then it makes a high pitched noise for about 10 seconds until it fully turns on. At idle there is a slight hum from the amp, as well as a background noise coming through the speakers. When powered on, it continues to exude it's electronics and glue smell, although now with an added burned smell. Like melting electronics.

    Tried to play a CD through it, and as soon as the signal comes in, even with the volume knob turned down, there's a ton of static crackling. If I turn up the volume knob, I can hear the music behind the crackling and it sounds OK but there's just tons of almost constant static crackles over top of the sound.

    Tried unplugging it and then removing and re-seating all the tubes, but same symptom. So maybe a bad tube or broken solder joint somewhere?

    As it is right now it's not usable. So yeah, off to a great start here!
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 3,807
    jiyspgjhhsl5.jpg
  • verbverb Posts: 6,097
    Well at least you have the fire extinguisher nearby! :smile:

    I never ran a CD through it, just the BT of which, well already documented here!

    Have fun bro! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 su, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Furman M8-LX Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • Tony MTony M Posts: 7,784
    I'm going to start the Popcorn now. ;)

    I wonder what the static crackles are?
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,905
    xgizcg9x3mzu.png
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,460
    edited April 2018
    For those of you playing along at home, our story so far:
    F1nut wrote: »
    I'm struggling to understand why so many want a piece of gear that is likely to fail or worse. Shakes head......walks away.
    Clipdat wrote: »
    My Karma Monoprice...thing... arrived today.
    ...

    When you power it up, it makes a pop sound come through the speakers. That's nice. Then it makes a high pitched noise for about 10 seconds until it fully turns on. At idle there is a slight hum from the amp, as well as a background noise coming through the speakers. When powered on, it continues to exude it's electronics and glue smell, although now with an added burned smell. Like melting electronics.
    ...

    In all seriousness -- well, some seriousness -- such crackles are likely either poor contact of the tube pins in the sockets or a loose (e.g., cold soldered) connection or possibly a poor grounding contact (e.g., a wire with a lug on the end that is supposed to be secured to a grounded screw -- but has worked loose).

    Reseating the tubes is a good idea, but it may be that the pins are dirty and/or the "receptacles" for the pins on one or more of the tube sockets needs to be retensioned. This can be done with patience and a pair of hemostats. Tube pins may be cleaned effectively with emery cloth (wipe the pins down with a slightly damp cloth or Q-tip afterward to remove schmutz). For less severe cases, I have been known to use a bit
    of CAIG DeOxit D5 spritzed delicately onto a Q-tip. Again, follow up with a dry Q-tip or cloth. The only issue with Q-tips is to be careful of leaving cotton fibers behind. One may procure foam swabs for electronics cleaning, if one is so inclined.


    The odd thing, though, about this particular amplifier is that it's pretty well documented that the tubes don't actually do anything in it. Thus, it seems relatively unlikely that the tubes are the root cause. Not impossible, but fairly unlikely. Easily testable by wiggling the tubes in the sockets (gently) while the amp is on and connected to loudspeakers (low volume, of course).

    Another fun troubleshooting tool for loose connections and for microphonic tubes is a Tinker-Toy or a chopstick. I am guessing the application of such a tool for troubleshooting should be self-evident. ;)

    1rptpu74dtxv.png

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 6,479
    Thanks. I'll try testing it again later and see if I can determine if it is the tubes that are causing the issue or if it's something else.
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,460
    I'm guessing loose internal connection due to shipping/handling (on top of perhaps less than stellar QC).

    Guessing.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 6,479
    Alright, so I tried it again and it was doing the same thing when I had a CD player hooked up, so I decided to hook up my phone to the RCA input instead.

    No more static crackles! However, the static crackles returned when I increased my phone's output to the 80-100% range. If I dialed it down to like 75% volume on the phone, no static.

    So I guess this means it's not the tubes or a bad ground, but something in the preamp section being overloaded when the input signal is too "hot"?
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 6,479
    So, it's sounding "good" now, but I just walked back into the room where it's playing, and the entire room smells like slightly burned/melting electronics.

    So basically this thing is putting out it's own disgusting potpourri while you use it.
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • verbverb Posts: 6,097
    Clipdat wrote: »
    So, it's sounding "good" now, but I just walked back into the room where it's playing, and the entire room smells like slightly burned/melting electronics.

    So basically this thing is putting out it's own disgusting potpourri while you use it.

    Hmmm. Is that what you call burn in? :smiley:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 su, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Furman M8-LX Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 3,807
    Another 80 hours of burn-in and that thing will be singing.

    xjckg4q6joyq.jpg
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 6,479
    edited April 2018
    I mean it actually sounds decent. A bit anemic on the bass and a bit shrill/harsh on the highs, but it sounds better than I thought it would.

    Just not sure if I can actually tolerate it's nasty **** stench.

    Edit: Also the fact that you can't use with any standard line-level sources like a CDP that outputs at 2v or whatever is pretty lame.
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 6,479
    Ok so an hour of listening later, I hate to say it, but it doesn't sound half bad.

    Just playing files off my phone, but this would be a cool setup for someone's garage, etc. As long as you're cool with using a source like a phone with a variable volume output so you don't overload it and get the static. It would've been nice if they put in a simple muting relay so it didn't make a static pop through the speakers when you turned it on. I guess all the budget went to add Bluetooth to it instead.

    That being said it still stinks to high heaven and I'm pretty sure whatever odor it's releasing is cancerous.

    So with that glowing endorsement, does anyone who didn't get "lucky" and win this Karma still want it?
    • "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • teekay0007teekay0007 Posts: 2,092
    Clipdat wrote: »
    ...as soon as the signal comes in, even with the volume knob turned down, there's a ton of static crackling. If I turn up the volume knob, I can hear the music behind the crackling and it sounds OK but there's just tons of almost constant static crackles over top of the sound.


    And you thought you had to spend a fortune to get that sweet vinyl experience!


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