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Old 02-21-2019, 01:22 AM
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zettelsm zettelsm is offline
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Default New (to me) D'Agostinos in the house

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

After a not-too-long search I've now got a new (to me) D'Agostino Momentum S250 stereo amp and Momentum preamp in the house. A Momentum phono amp will be here soon.

There are thanks to go around and pictures to share and the AudioAficionado D'Agostino forum deserves its fair portion of the credit/blame/responsibility.

Besides, I promised Ivan I'd post something and it's good not to abuse the hospitality of ones host!

I'd seen the pictures and read the reviews with each introduction of Dan D'Agostino's new models, but it wasn't until very recently I'd actually had the chance to spend some quality time listening to his handiwork. Through the courtesy of the good folks at Definitive Audio in Seattle, and Ron Paternoster in particular I spent a some enjoyable hours in their reference room while comparing my (then) Chord DAVE/Blu MK II digital gear to their dCS Rossini 2.0 and Rossini + Clock combination. The rest of the system in Definitive's big room is impeccable -- Momentum M400s, Momentum preamp, Momentum phono all fronting Wilson Audio Alexx, cabled together with Transparent Opus.

I walked out of Definitive minus a deposit on a new DAC and Network Bridge (to be the subject of another post) and a keen appreciation bordering on outright lust for Dan's electronics.

Unfortunately, I can't just plank down the long green for a new suite of Momentum amplification. My conscience satisfied that I hadn't abused my brick and mortar friends by trying there and buying elsewhere since I had after all placed a big order with them for a digital front end, I set off searching for pre-owned or demo Momentums.

D'Agostino amplifiers are by no means thick on the ground, but with a bit of persistence and a bit of luck they can be found. I located a like-new S250 in the American southwest, and after everything checked out purchased it sight unseen. In a nice bit of serendipity, the owner gave me leads on at least two Momentum preamps currently for sale as dealer demos, and I soon had one of those on the way as well. The last piece of the puzzle came together a couple of weeks ago when I located a photo shoot/show special Momentum phono amplifier that was back at the D'Agostino facility being thoroughly checked out and could be had with a nice discount. It hasn't arrived yet -- and I've been *dying* here without DAC or phono amp for what seems like forever -- but it should be arriving next week.

So, pictures and listening impressions in the next post!

Steve Z
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Teres turntable, VPI rim-drive, SDS, VPI 12" Fatboy gimabled arm, Dynavector XV1-S & Helikon mono; Zenith STD MK 2, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP-21 reference clock, Playback Designs Pinot ADC.

D’Agostino Momentum S250 amp, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono, Sonus Faber Aidas in gorgeous graphite. Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon QR, Typhon, Sigma NR, Alpha NR cords and cables, Stillpoints ESS grid system rack, Stillpoint Ultras . . . and music!

Last edited by zettelsm; 02-22-2019 at 12:37 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2019, 01:34 AM
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zettelsm zettelsm is offline
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Default New (to me) D'Agostinos in the house, part 2

Enough of the teasers, here are some pictures. The brief sequence is:

1. Who left this suitcase on my doorstep? Kind of looks valuable -- I better take it inside just in case someone is, like, looking for it. . .

2. D'Agostino, D'Agostino. That name rings a bell.

3. That is really impressive looking (and OMG -- very, grunt, heavy!)

4. Temporary stand in the new system.

5. Uh oh, the Pass stuff is starting look nervous

Steve Z
Attached Images
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Teres turntable, VPI rim-drive, SDS, VPI 12" Fatboy gimabled arm, Dynavector XV1-S & Helikon mono; Zenith STD MK 2, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP-21 reference clock, Playback Designs Pinot ADC.

D’Agostino Momentum S250 amp, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono, Sonus Faber Aidas in gorgeous graphite. Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon QR, Typhon, Sigma NR, Alpha NR cords and cables, Stillpoints ESS grid system rack, Stillpoint Ultras . . . and music!
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2019, 02:03 AM
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zettelsm zettelsm is offline
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Default New (to me) D'Agostinos in the house, part 3

So what did I think when I heard the S250 in my own system?

Like somebody else posted about their experience -- about ten seconds into the first track I was laughing out loud. I think my first words were, "You have got to be kidding me!". There might have been a salty nautical expression in there somewhere, too.

In a good way, of course.

Now, I've got a lot of respect for Nelson Pass and his creations. He is a deserved giant in the field as is Dan D'Agostino. Obviously, you don't end up with a rack full of Pass Labs boxes without really liking what it does for your favorite music. And I still do have that respect. But oh my gosh, that S250 made my X260.8 amps sound flat, grey and fuzzy in comparison. No way I'd have believed that would be possible if someone had told me what I would hear beforehand. But there it is.

The best word I can borrow from the reviewers is "continuousness" to try to encapsulate the sound of the S250. From top to bottom instruments and voices are presented as whole, complete, solid instruments perfectly grounded in my living room. Just as we don't talk -- well, most of us don't anyway -- about the bass or midrange or highs of a violin or guitar or singer when we hear them live, we just see and hear and accept them for what they are as real entities with no analysis necessary to validate their existance, so too the images of these and every other instrument and vocalist come through with real weight and texture and palpability via the D'Ag S250.

A nice thing I noticed right away as well was how much better the depth of the sound stage became with the S250. I'd kind of started thinking my room was limiting the presentation of my Blade 2s and that short of moving or building a dedicated listening room (right after my wife's indoor pool and spa!) I was just going to have to live with them the way they were. Holy schnikies, Batman! The D'Agostino amp just knocked out the bay window behind my equipment rack and added about ten feet to that end of the room. Uncanny.

Finally, the colors and textures of everything are just drop-dead gorgeous, given well-recorded material. Not the gorgeous of everything sounds wonderful dipped in honey -- rather, the gorgeous of my goodness, that sounds live and right here right now! I can't begin to count how many times my startle reflex has made me jump when I thought something in the recording was right in the room with me.

The S250 experience sealed the deal and only furthered my resolve to add a Momentum preamp ASAP.

More to come,

Steve Z
__________________
Teres turntable, VPI rim-drive, SDS, VPI 12" Fatboy gimabled arm, Dynavector XV1-S & Helikon mono; Zenith STD MK 2, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP-21 reference clock, Playback Designs Pinot ADC.

D’Agostino Momentum S250 amp, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono, Sonus Faber Aidas in gorgeous graphite. Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon QR, Typhon, Sigma NR, Alpha NR cords and cables, Stillpoints ESS grid system rack, Stillpoint Ultras . . . and music!

Last edited by zettelsm; 02-22-2019 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:13 AM
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zettelsm zettelsm is offline
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Default New (to me) D'Agostinos in the house, part 4

Enter the dragon, er, preamp.

1. Another one of those suitcases. I'll just take it in to get it out of the weather.

2. Dan D'Agostino again. Does he build luggage or something?

3. Oh, shiny!

4. Phantom the Wonder Dog approves.

5. Very shiny!

6. Smooth, too.

7. New home. Where did all the Passes go?

Steve Z
Attached Images
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Teres turntable, VPI rim-drive, SDS, VPI 12" Fatboy gimabled arm, Dynavector XV1-S & Helikon mono; Zenith STD MK 2, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP-21 reference clock, Playback Designs Pinot ADC.

D’Agostino Momentum S250 amp, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono, Sonus Faber Aidas in gorgeous graphite. Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon QR, Typhon, Sigma NR, Alpha NR cords and cables, Stillpoints ESS grid system rack, Stillpoint Ultras . . . and music!
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2019, 02:39 AM
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zettelsm zettelsm is offline
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Default New (to me) D'Agostinos in the house

The Momentum preamp is a double-dose helping of what the Momentum amp brings to the system. With sprinkles on top.

Same continuous, cut from the same bolt of cloth sound. Same great spatial rendering, same great color and tone and texture.

Not warm and gooey. No way -- just the opposite, like diving into the most transparent, gin-clear tropical lagoon ever and swimming around looking down through the water at the perfectly clear grains of sand and shells on the bottom 40 feet below. I've never listened so deep into and through my music as I have with the Momentum preamp and amplifier in my system. It's a feeling like I could get up and walk around, between and behind the performers in my living room. And I like this feeling very, very much! The two Momentums seem to have an undeniable synergy between them, and are very seductive together.

When the phono amp gets here next week, fingers crossed, I'll follow up with some gushing I'm sure. Until then, I'll just have to content myself with keeping them dusted and turning them on to see the meters light up.

Steve Z
__________________
Teres turntable, VPI rim-drive, SDS, VPI 12" Fatboy gimabled arm, Dynavector XV1-S & Helikon mono; Zenith STD MK 2, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP-21 reference clock, Playback Designs Pinot ADC.

D’Agostino Momentum S250 amp, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono, Sonus Faber Aidas in gorgeous graphite. Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon QR, Typhon, Sigma NR, Alpha NR cords and cables, Stillpoints ESS grid system rack, Stillpoint Ultras . . . and music!
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:52 AM
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zettelsm zettelsm is offline
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Default New (to me) D'Agostinos in the house

Finally, I'll leave you good people with this non-D'Agostino item. Just the thing to have in the listening room if the power goes off.

Steve Z
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1069.jpg (97.7 KB, 108 views)
__________________
Teres turntable, VPI rim-drive, SDS, VPI 12" Fatboy gimabled arm, Dynavector XV1-S & Helikon mono; Zenith STD MK 2, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP-21 reference clock, Playback Designs Pinot ADC.

D’Agostino Momentum S250 amp, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono, Sonus Faber Aidas in gorgeous graphite. Shunyata Triton v3 & Typhon QR, Typhon, Sigma NR, Alpha NR cords and cables, Stillpoints ESS grid system rack, Stillpoint Ultras . . . and music!
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:35 AM
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NICE!
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:45 AM
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Welcome to D’Agostino, I can read the excitement!

There’s a few of us here in the NW
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Source Analog: Kuzma Stabi R with 4point 9 arm & Kuzma 40 Cartridge
Source Digital: Aurender N10 | Brinkmann Nyquist MK II
Amplification: Dan D’Agostino Momentum Pre Amp and Monos | Boulder Phono 508
Speakers: Wilson Alexias
Cabling: Nordost Odin/Valhalla 2; Power, Interconnects & Speaker | Ansuz; C2 Power & Interconnect | Audioquest Diamond RJ 45’s
Power: Nordost QRT series | Furutech FP55SN cable from 20 amp breaker within grounded Sub Panel to Furutech GTX D NSF receptacle packages | Surge Guard on Main Panel | Keces P3 & P8 | ADD-POWR series
Other: HRS M3X | Stillpoints Ultra 6, SS & Mini | Nordost Sort Cones TC, BC | AQ Vox SE switch | Vicoustics | Audio Desk Systeme - Gläss
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:04 AM
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Very cool, congrats on beautiful setup.
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Magnepan 3.7 with modified crossovers.Esoteric A-02. Esoteric C03xs. Esoteric K-03x. Esoteric G-02x. Cary Audio 500.1 Solid State Monoblocks. Cary Audio Tube Preamp. Linn Majik DS Streamer. Linn Fm Tuner. McIntosh 1700 Tuner. TTW Turntable with Jelco ARM Modified 11 inch. Ortofon Quintet Black Cartridge. Aesthetic IO with Single Separate power supply. A pair of JL Audio F113, PS Audio P 10 Power Conditioner. PS Audio Dectet. Ps Audio Power Port Outlets. PS Audio Noise Harvesters. Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 XLR Cables. Gold Eclipse 6 Speaker Cables.Silver Electra 7 Power Cables. GIK acoustics Sound Panels. Omnimount 42 u Rack with AC Infinity fans and controllers. A work in Progress.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:10 AM
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Great story and congratulations!
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Main room - Sonus Faber Stradivari, JL Audio F113v2 & CR-1 Crossover, McIntosh MC2301 Amplifiers with Stillpoint Ultra SS feet, McIntosh C1100 on Stillpoint Minis, Esoteric K-03X on Stillpoint Minis, Cybershaft Ultimate 2 OP17 on Stillpoint Minis, SilenZio v.2 Audio by -E- Media Server (running ROON), GigaFoil v4, Keces P3 with Ghent PC, 9 M Supra Cat 8+ and 0.65 M Revelation audio ethernet cables.

Other - 5 Stillpoint Apertures, GIK Bass Traps, Vicoustics Waveguide panels, Shunyata Alpha Clock 75 1.5 meter BNC, Shunyata Alpha 1.5 meter USB, WW Gold Eclipse 7 SCs, WW Silver Electra 7 PCs, WW Silver Eclipse ICs; 3 X 20 Amp Power lines, PS Audio P10 & Dectet, 3 Sound Anchor stands, Powerports and numerous Noise Harvesters. Furutech Flex 50, Cable risers, HRS dampeners

TV Room Audio - Panasonic TC-P60GT50, McIntosh MX-121, MC7106, Revel F52 & C32, B&W LM1, Sonos Connect\W4S Remedy\iFI 9V Power, WW & Kimber cables, PS Audio Dectet
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