DIY Paradise – Monica 2 DAC in a Jewelry Box


In my post “How to Camouflage Your Hi-Fi System for Higher WAF” I called for a modular, fine, antiqued wood paneling system that would make your high tech CD player look like a antique decoration instead of ugly kit. At least one audio component manufacturer agrees: DIY Paradise.

For the past week I’ve been obsessively searching for an affordable outboard DAC to improve the performance of my Airport Express (haven’t found anything that I can afford that will outperform my Onkyo TX-DS989’s DAC, but I’ll post a survey of what I’ve found). Along the way I found the Monica 2 DAC in a Jewelry Box at DIY paradise. You can buy the DAC as a bare bones DIY PCB up to a fully built model in a high grade aluminum case. Another option is to conceal the electronics in an antique jewelry box. The above pictures give you the idea. I have no idea if it’s a good idea to set a DAC PCB on velvet (probably not).

The Monica 2 is well regarded on forums (like where I first read about it). As an audiophile, you have to ask yourself if the wood enclosure gives the DAC a different sonic character than aluminum. Falsely transferring visual asthetics to sonic ones you could guess that the jewelry box sounds warmer, fuller with lots of treble “sparkle”; the normal aluminum case is cold and hard and analytical. Heh.

So now that we have a real world example of a camoflaged hi-fi component do think it’s a good idea or just a novelty. I wonder if DIY Paradise sells many of these compared to the fully assembled aluminums.

2 thoughts on “DIY Paradise – Monica 2 DAC in a Jewelry Box

  • February 27, 2007 at 4:49 pm


    thx for visiting my site and highlighting one of my stuffs. :)

    suprisingly, very few customers opt for this chassis. however, a plainer version, without all those intricate carvings, seemed to have more appeal.

    does this show audiphiles are real geeks? 😀


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