Monarchy NM24 as a pre-amp -- good enough for me?


I'm currently mulling over getting an NM24 to use as a DAC and pre-amp and I'm wondering how good the pre-amp section is. I read one review that complained about the lack of transparency that went along with the internal volume control, but I'm trying to figure out what that would mean to me. I'm upgrading from a Rotel A/V receiver, RSX-1055. Would it be safe to assume that it will sound better than the rotel, as far as the pre-amp goes? I'm guessing that it's not particularly transparent, although I don't have anything better to compare it with.


I am assuming if your ordering direct from monarchy in cali that you would have a decent return policy and be able to check it out and see for yourself, in general monarchy units get high praise with great sound a quality for the dollar.. Worse case scenario you are out shipping costs to see if its going to be fine and solve your issue easily and cheaply.
The preamp section is very good and you should be happy with it. Other than the volume control, the only negative is high gain, but that applied to my system and in yours may not be an issue.

You could always switch out the volume pot later if you decide it's a keeper, or if you want to add remote get a Placette RVC and implement it so that you bypass the NM24 volume control. I can give you easy instructions on how to do this and it requires nothing more than an extra set of ICs to hook up the Placette.
I have the M-24, the more early model....(DAC and tube preamp only). I have a tube preamp that is better (Audioprism Mantissa), so I don't use the Monarchy preamp very often.

That said, I think it's a nice sounding preamp. (and very nice for the price!)

It has a lot of gain, to much for some amps (eleven O'Clock could be "very" loud). The sound of mine is somewhat forward...not a bad thing, in some systems.

Thanks to everyone for the answers. Now that I've had a chance to listen for a while, I can tell you that the pre-amp section does indeed sound very good, but I'm generally listening around 6 o'clock on the dial -- not the end of the world though...
Try a few different tubes after you have had it a while...

Not sure I understand 6'oclock on the dial. When I tried the preamp section I got to about 9'oclock. I generally prefer 12 o'clock (straight up).

Tube rolling is fun with the unit. Try to ditch the volume control in the future as well for something better. Assuming you feel the NM24 is a keeper.
I agree with the other posters who recommend the Monarchy as a preamp, probably the biggest bang for the buck I've listened to if one includes the superb tube DAC. I have the original M24 model and replaced all tubes with 2 matched pairs of EH6922s to better complement my polite ACI Sapphire/Stello M200 system. Totally satisfied except for the very high gain that forces me to use 6 to 9 o'clock volume, no big deal.

The monarchy NM24 is a bargain....and even better if you do 2 things. Replace the cuurent tubes with some Amperex 6922 PQ d-getters and replace the coupling caps. The caps were replaced on the DAC side only with Mundorf M supremes..a difference that is well worth it. Clarity,and transparency are improved greatly.Also the bass is a winner and the sound is like velvet. My tech increaased the wire gauge also. Try it you will be impressed. The tubes run about 150 a pair and the 2 caps are about 60 dollars.