D'Agostino Promises More Momentum

Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems' newly upgraded Momentum monoblocks, now called the Momentum M400 monoblocks ($65,000/pair, and shipping now), sounded fantastic in the dCS Suite in the Mirage. The photo is slightly deceptive, because this early-issue pair is housed in the slightly different, original Momentum chassis, but who cares? The mating of D'Agostino Momentum400 monoblocks with Wilson Audio Alexia loudspeakers, Transparent Audio Generation V cabling, HRS SXR isolation system with new Vortex isolators, Meletzsky Stromtank power supply system, and the newly upgraded dCS Vivaldi DAC system delivered the most color-saturated, full-range, impactful, emotionally satisfying and frankly wondrous sound of any room I visited at CES.

Most notable was how clearly I could hear subtle dynamic shifts, as well as the slight change in sound when string players changed bowing direction. Every artistic intention was crystal clear, yet never exaggerated or etched. I think this was the first time I could actually hear the unique and surprisingly complex texture of the tubas on Ivan Fischer's recording of Mahler Symphony 9. Wow! Musical lines were fleshed out to an extent unprecedented in my listening experience, depth was staggering, and dynamic contrasts were outrageous. (The new chassis M400s were also in the EgglestonWorks room—blog to come—where the sound via the dCS Rossini player and clock and Transparent cabling, was very different.)

The Momentum M400's power output has been upped to 400W via a new, 20% larger, 1800VA linear transformer, and new output stage, whose increased drive doubles the amp's open-loop gain. Original Momentum owners can have their amps upgraded to M400 status for $15,000/pair (more if you need new heatsinks).

Elsewhere in the show, in static display, were D'Agostino Master Audio Systems' new Momentum phono stage ($28,000 and shipping now), and Progression 800 watt monoblocks ($45,000, shipping in February), and, in the MQA room I'll cover elsewhere, the Momentum 250 stereo amplifier ($35,000).