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Old 01-09-2012, 08:02 AM
BillK BillK is offline
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Default OK, what's different about the amps?

Just speaking for myself, I never really liked the sound of Krell amps. To me, they all sounded horridly "solid state" in the worst sense of the word - dry, mechanical, listener fatigue inducing, you name it.

But the new D'Agostino amps sound wonderful, almost tube-like in their euphonic but accurate character with the heft and power of the best of solid state.

Certainly designers can change their idea of what sounds good to them - witness Bob Carver's transformation into a tube maven - but I was curious as to what others thought were the reasons that even folks who never liked Krell seem pretty unanimous in their praise for D'Agostino's new amps.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:07 AM
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To paraphrase D'Agostino's comments at Paragon in October I think he designed these to sound good and not worry about how they might measure on a test bench.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillK View Post
Just speaking for myself, I never really liked the sound of Krell amps. To me, they all sounded horridly "solid state" in the worst sense of the word - dry, mechanical, listener fatigue inducing, you name it.

But the new D'Agostino amps sound wonderful, almost tube-like in their euphonic but accurate character with the heft and power of the best of solid state.

Certainly designers can change their idea of what sounds good to them - witness Bob Carver's transformation into a tube maven - but I was curious as to what others thought were the reasons that even folks who never liked Krell seem pretty unanimous in their praise for D'Agostino's new amps.
Your comments make me more and more interested in the amps. I, like yourself, dislike the krell sound with a vengeance but if the new amps sound different may be they would be worth checking out...

howie
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:38 AM
jdebonth jdebonth is offline
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Bill, your comments reminded me of what Jeff said in his Tone Audio review of the 911mk3:

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I continue to draw the same conclusion with the 911 MK 3. It has a huge, three-dimensional soundstage that I would normally associate with tubes, with the pace and drive I would normally associate with solid state, yet the weaknesses of neither.
It seems like the sound signatures of these ultra high-end SS amplifiers such as the momentums and the 911 fall somewhere inbetween that of SS and tubes, taking the positive characteristics of both.

Last edited by jdebonth; 01-11-2012 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:51 PM
PHC1 PHC1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillK View Post
Just speaking for myself, I never really liked the sound of Krell amps. To me, they all sounded horridly "solid state" in the worst sense of the word - dry, mechanical, listener fatigue inducing, you name it.

But the new D'Agostino amps sound wonderful, almost tube-like in their euphonic but accurate character with the heft and power of the best of solid state.

Certainly designers can change their idea of what sounds good to them - witness Bob Carver's transformation into a tube maven - but I was curious as to what others thought were the reasons that even folks who never liked Krell seem pretty unanimous in their praise for D'Agostino's new amps.
I can't really agree on that statement about Krell. First of all not all generations of Krell were that horrible as you say, some were actual quite good and were rather enjoyable in the context of a right system. I have plenty of friends who have built their systems around Krell and the results were very, very good. The latest Krell is really quite good as well and matched with the right speakers makes for a very impressive system and I have heard many a Krell amp on many a speaker. It's all about synergy and what Krell offers not many amps out there can match in terms of bass slam, speed, perceived resolution and ultimate control of any speaker out there. I've always enjoyed the Krell+Sonus Faber combo, it was dynamic, alive, focused, fast with excellent transient response, great bass and sounded resolving and transparent without tipping the scale into dry and mechanical side of the equation too far. On other speakers like Wilson, the bass was even better, resolution, transparency, imaging, focus was even better still but.... on some not so great recordings, laying it bare and speaking the truth like Wilsons tend to do... It often highlighted the imperfections in many of the recordings. You want the truth? You can't handle the truth.... On great recordings and I have heard good stuff on them too, like many of the Peter McGrath's own, I thought it was as good as the very best out there in high end audio.

D'Agostino Momentum monoblocks are a different beast all together though. I'd say they sound more like a typical Krell for the first 20 minutes as they are warming up. After that? It gets very interesting. While my 3 Momentum monoblocks are still in the break in phase, I have spent some time on the demo's at my dealers and what I hear from them is pretty amazing.

To my ears the D'Agostino amps have been able to extract the very essence of what the recording has to offer and redefine what it means to "give all". You want to talk about dynamics? Yep, they have that in spades with 1200w on tap. Bass has never sounded better, not even with Krell. I'm not talking about the dry type of bass that emphasizes the leading edge/initial impact and lacks much of everything else, the Momentums are capable of bass that reminds me of SET amps and vinyl except on an even bigger scale, more punch, more impact, more drama, more presence. You feel it, you hear and visualize the texture, your body reacts to the dynamic force of such powerful instruments as the drums and other bass instruments. This requires tons of current and lighting fast power supplies and transistors with incredible bandwidth. Dan D'Agostion is really good at that.

Top end is about as good as I've heard to date. Listening to some of my favorite recordings as well as watching very well recorded concerts such as B.B King live on BluRay, the cymbals explode and shimmer with incredible vibrancy and realness that is quite new to me... It just sounds so damn real! I've heard drums up close and personal many times, the Momentum monos and Wilson Sasha are able to recreate this in a very colorful, vibrant and realistic way, much better than anything else I've owned or heard to date. Seriously!

The midrange. Now, this is where I feel the Momentum monos are a departure from Krell in an even bigger way. I've heard many a Krell amp, I've preferred the Ayre MX-R/KX-R combo in a big way, I've enjoyed and also preferred the Lamm M1.2's/LL2D with Wilsons, I'll even draw parallels about my Shindo Cortese/Masseto all tube system.... Momentum monos and Sasha are able to recreate much of the midrange magic of the Shindo SET but now I am a bit confused as to which is actually truer to life... While I have lately thought that Shindo is the very essence of midrange magic, the Momentum/Sasha combo has realigned my way of thinking. Listening to some intimate vocal recordings, once again, the emotional response one gets from such recordings is elevated by the fact that the vocals are presented in a very holographic, fleshed out, smooth, full, weighty, engaging and captivating manner. The female vocals that are recorded well come across just as seductive as they do on a SET amp... This is a new one for me.

Imaging? Forget about it, this is as good as it gets. The Wilson speakers have always been incredible at recreating the acoustic space of the recording and the Momentum monos simply elevate that talent to a new level. Walls don't exist in my theater, they are vaporized away by the amps and speakers and images appear behind and beyond the physical walls.

Taking all those traits and characteristics of the new Momentum monos and the not so small fact that Dan D'Agostion voiced them around the Wilson Sashas, I am not surprised this has become my absolute favorite system to date. While perhaps there is no such thing as a perfect speaker and a perfect amplifier, given my effort to give this system the best chance to show it's capabilities in the form of dedicated and fully ASC treated as well as wall and ceiling floated room, the multiple 20 amp dedicated outlets for all the amps to never have to share and fight for current, the investment in what I consider the very synergistic and necessary Transparent cabling, I feel the system is able to give me most if not all of it's potential and it is stunning.

So while I can say there have been some very enjoyable combos I have heard such as the Ayre and Lamm and even ARC, the Momentum/Sasha combo is THE most realistic, dynamic, engaging and yes, even moving and seductive system I have heard or had the pleasure of owning. The Momentums seem to possess all the qualities I loved about the naturalness and bass of Lamm M1.2s, just as liquid and tube like as Ayre MX-Rs, just as "illuminating" as the KX-R preamp was when I owned it in my system but the Momentums are even more realistic and able to convey the vibrancy and sparkle of the recorded material that much better.

To sum it all up. The vibrancy, the sparkle, the rich tonal colors, the dynamic slam, texture, weight, fullness, impact and scale, the transparency, speed, resolution as well as emotional impact and engaging qualities, the Momentum's and Sasha's (and I'm sure some other speakers out there would also be fantastic) are what I consider the "pinnacle" of high end audio performance today.

If there are even better components out there, I'd love to hear them but I am convinced the difference in price for such would not be worth it to me at this point. Yes, the Momentum are quite pricey but at $50k a pair retail, that is half of some other amps out there that may or may not even match the Momentum performance. I am not surprised Momentum have won a prestigious Asian award as the best amplifier out of many they were stacked up against.

I have tried to explain the best I could and it is often difficult to put what we hear into words. High end audio is about emotions and how we react to any given system. If there wasn't an emotional component to high end audio, there would be very little reason to spend the big bucks we do for such things.

So perhaps if I explain how I feel while listening to the Momentum/Sasha and or Momentum/Sasha/Mezzo/Watch surrounds with a few analogies it may help. It's just my opinion of course and as always, YMMV....

Here are a few analogies in terms of "emotional response" of Krell or any other amp I've heard to date vs Momentum.

It's the difference of being a passenger vs actually getting behind the wheel of a supercar....

It's the difference of admiring a Salvador Dali painting in a book vs. standing right in front of it...

It's the difference of that pretty woman talking to a crowd vs. having an intimate conversation with you only...

It's the difference of watching a beautiful sunset on TV vs being there...

I can go on and on....

Yes, the Momentum amps are not only gorgeous to look at but reward you with incredible performance and appeal to many senses, stimulating, seductive and rewarding and will continue to be that long after you write the check for them.





Last edited by PHC1; 01-11-2012 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:38 PM
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Paid Professional Reviewers -"Eat your hearts Out". This is an absolutely seductive review that would make anyone want the Momentums. How do Irene and the boys like them?

I know the Wilson family will get to read this and I hope D'Augustino has the pleasure of reading it as well. Wonderful review!!!!
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:05 PM
PHC1 PHC1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkval View Post
Paid Professional Reviewers -"Eat your hearts Out". This is an absolutely seductive review that would make anyone want the Momentums. How do Irene and the boys like them?

I know the Wilson family will get to read this and I hope D'Augustino has the pleasure of reading it as well. Wonderful review!!!!
Howard, my wife is seriously impinging on my theater time now! She did enjoy the SF and the rest of the gear I had before but she absolutely loves the new Wilson look and sound with the new amps and wants to watch concerts and movies more than ever. Of course you know how that goes, it's not what "I" necessarily want to watch that evening but more like "what would you like to watch honey"? It's all good, we both enjoy movies and concerts even if it's not in the order I'd like to watch them. Both of my sons love the theater as well but you know teenagers, they have other priorities... We have watched quite a few movies together with my boys already.

Thanks for the compliment! I don't consider myself a reviewer by any means, just speaking from the heart. I enjoy sharing my passion for audio with others and give praise to gear when I think it is deserved and this is one of those moments for sure.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:23 PM
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the momentums are in my House only for 4 days and I Must say as a really fan of AR that they Play the best music i ever head !
They are playing really MUSIC and I heard CDs and LPs which I know very very Good like no Other Amp. I ever heard!
Congratulations to all owners of this Amp and thanks to Dan for this terrible Thing ! It will be One of the best for many years ! I Hope I can make the Deal of Buying These Amps Soon !
can anybody explain me the positives of the Stands I have Seen on some pictures?
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHC1 View Post
It's the difference of that pretty woman talking to a crowd vs. having an intimate conversation with you only...
You mean the sound is totally unrealistic??
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howiebrou View Post
You mean the sound is totally unrealistic??
Howie... Don't you have a fish to fry?
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