I did consider this unit when looking for a DAC. Monarchy is currently selling theses at about 50% of their advertised retail. I never got a clear answer as to why, but I suspect that competition from other high quality DACs at lower prices drove them to it. I was told by one guy (via email) that Monarchy had some kind of incident at their factory and that these discounted units may have some minor cosmetic defects. I was not able to confirm this. C.C. Poon did tell me that a customer-installable remote control volume kit is in the works. He hopes to keep the price down around $50. That would really add to this units appeal, IMHO. I found a used 22C for $500, but I didnt go for it, mostly because I havent seen this unit favorably compared to the latest upsampling DACs. I suspect that the 22C is based on the (somewhat outdated) 18 bit Monarchy DAC which has been discontinued and remaining stock sold off for about $250. Upsampling DACs seem to be evolving very quickly, and the 22C is one of the older ones. My personal assessment of the 22C is that is probably is a good sounding, well-built unit, but there is better sound to be had for the money. Still, if you only listen to a single digital source, you could keep your system really simple with just a 22C between your player and your amp.
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