Setting-Up the NM24
In the photos below, we will illustrate how to set-up the NM24 while using the DIP Combo. In the system below we are using both a Mac Mini and a CD Player as inputs (right). The Mac Mini is using an optical cable that plugs into the Mini's headphone jack and then into the DIP. We also have a CD connected via a Coax cable. You can choose the source of input on the front of the DIP. In our case, select Opto for the Mac Mini and Line for the CD player.
In the photo above you can see where we have the Coax of the DIP going out to the the Coax of the NM24 (below). If you are not using a DIP, then you can use either an optical or coax cable to feed into one of the Digital Inputs below.
Note: The two pairs of "Analog Outputs" above may be used with the headphone jack. It is important that if you are using either of these for your headphones and have an amp plugged into the Line Out (below) that you do not use the Line option (on front of NM24) to power your power amp. The headphone adapter should always be unplugged from the NM24 if power amps are used. This avoids loading down the signal level that might affect sound quality.
In the image above we are using the Line Out to drive a power amp. If you wish to bypass the NM24 DAC, then you can plug your component directly into the Line In (above) to use the NM24 solely as a pre-amp. Note: Always power down all components and let them set a few seconds before connecting any interconnects. Begin by powering down components closest to the speakers and working back to your audio source.
High-resolution PDF of the rear connections Opens in new Window
If it is difficult to read the text above then here is the original draft:
Modding the NM24
Tubes and Cap Mods
There are 2 mods that used by the DIY community. You can upgrade the tubes if you like, but the biggest bang for the buck is in upgrading the coupling caps. Below are some conversations pulled from some forums describing the mods and their impact on the listening experience. We have included an image of the cathode caps.
Compared to the original Philips tubes, the Svetlana tubes sound more detailed, "airy," three-dimensional, and much more dynamic. The sound stage is MUCH wider and deeper, as well. When I went back to the Philips tubes, the sound seemed "dull" and flat. Overall, for me, the difference is very obvious.
I have a modded Monarchy NM24 DAC....very well designed DAC....you can replace the stock dac side tubes with Amperex NOS and will be a great improvement. But the best mod is to replace the 2.7uf Wima MKP coupling caps with Mundorf M supremes 2.7uf caps. It is a tight squeeze but they fit and the difference is a jaw dropper. Crystal clarity,the best bass I have ever heard...tight,well defined and powerful,Midrange is smooth as silk, and imaging that is pinpoint. But the kicker is the perceived power and weight of the music....it like tripling the power supply.....a winner.
Also I increased the gauge size of the wiring.
The tubes cost me $150 on E and the caps are $60 total....so for 1400 I got a truely killer dac.
So I then came across a post where the same DAC was modded where the coupling caps were replaced. This DAC uses 2.7uf 400v Wimas....not bad but there is better....Mundorf 2.7uf 800V were used in place of the Wimas. The poster said he thought the DAC was transformed and sounded better than DAC's costing thousands more.
Being the tweaker that I am....I tried it.....He is right...A richness that sounds like very good analog and focus and clarity magnitudes better. But the big difference was the feeling of presence that is created...Wow. Right now I'm using my SS amps in place of my tube amps....but after this change even the solid states sound warm and rich.
Headphone Adaptor for Monarchy DAC's
Many audiophiles already know that the Model 22C and Model 24's Line Amp output has enough drive for all dynamic headphones.
The Line Stage actually outperforms all headphone amps on the market.
But a simple RCA to phone jack adaptor has to be used to connect the headphone directly to the Line Amp's output.
We supply such an adaptor to owners of the Model 22C and Model 24
for just $10 plus $5 shipping/handling(total $15). Attached picture shows
M22C has a very low output impedance(about 50 Ohms) to drive any headphones.
M24's Line Amp output impedance is 300 Ohms and is perfect for higher impedance headphones like the Sennheiser HD650.
A step down transformer per channel would be required for lower impedance headphones such as Grado's SR60 or RS-1. Please contact factory for such arrangements.
Using a high quality headphone will immediately convince all Monarchy DAC owners the spectacular performance from these Line Out's.
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