Innovative Audio: Three Men and An Awesome System

From left: Dan D’Agostino, Vince Galbo of MSB, and Peter McGrath of Wilson Audio Specialties.

In association with Innovative Audio, these gentleman put together a high-performance system made of Wilson Alexia loudspeakers ($48,500/pair); D’Agostino Momentum monoblocks ($55,000/pair) and Ultra-Analog preamplifier ($32,000 with power base); MSB Diamond DAC IV Plus ($27,995) with FemtoSecond Galaxy Clock ($4995), Diamond Stepped Attenuator ($2995), USB2 Signature 384kHz input option ($1395), Pro IS input option ($995), Diamond ($5995) and Signature ($4995) power bases, and Platinum Data CD IV disc player ($3995); and Transparent Reference XL speaker cables ($13,160/pair), balanced interconnects ($9270/pair), and digital interconnects ($3195 each). Power conditioning was also from Transparent, while the equipment was supported by Finite Element Pagode racks.

McGrath’s high-resolution recordings were natural, dynamic, and involving, with an especially realistic presentation of piano and an outstanding sense of space overall. The Doors’ “Light My Fire” showed that the system could rock; but Patricia Barber’s well-recorded rendition was reproduced with remarkable transparency, detail, and presence. McGrath, always the generous DJ, ended with one of my favorites from Amon Tobin’s excellent ISAM, and, while this recording can sound abrasive through lesser systems, here it was appropriately intense, dramatic, and physical, benefitting from the system’s dead-silent backgrounds and exceptional overall clarity.

Photo: Ariel Bitran

This is an expensive and audacious system, but one that faithfully exemplifies high-fidelity performance.

After a long gestation, Dan D’Agostino's Ultra-Analog preamplifier is finally shipping to dealers and distributors. (Photo: John Atkinson)