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10-22-2011, 05:32 PM #1
D'Agostino Audio's New Momentum Preamplifier is...Beautiful?
Legendary audio designer Dan D'Agostino unveiled his new high-end, no holds barred pre-amp in the form of the Momentum preamplifier. I caught a photo of it via Stereophile's coverage of the Rocky Mountain Audio Show (I wasn't able to attend this year) and one thing immediately stood out to me -it looks JUST like his monaural amps. It appears he slapped some buttons, which look like a complete afterthought, on the face and added a volume dial around the meter (why it has a meter is beyond me) and said done. While I'm sure it sounds utterly fantastic (Stereophile seemed to love it) I question the design.
While Dan's mono amps have a certain floor mounted flair a preamp with the same form factor seems like a mistake -to me at least. Can't wait to see it with my own two eyes at CES in a few months. What do you think? Is the Momentum preamp a work of audiophile art or not?
10-22-2011, 06:16 PM #2
God knows how expensive this is.
I have heard Dan's new amps on Wilsons and they are SWEET. Really a departure from Krell (not that I am not Krell fan boy no. 1) which was a smart move.
I would have expected this preamp to be more like Classe's with DACs built-in, Airplay and more.
I am not sure how much room there is for a stereo-only preamp but there are people (especially in Asia) who will buy this because Dan designed it. I will be SURE to get a listen at CES as I KNOW Andrew will want to hit this room up with me.
10-22-2011, 09:03 PM #3
I think it has internal DACs and there is a button labeled server so lord only knows what Dan has put into this beast.
10-22-2011, 10:24 PM #4
I agree with Andrew. The timepiece-esque meter works on an amp, but seems strange for a preamp. I will hold off final judgement as it may grow on me.
10-23-2011, 06:38 AM #5
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I am holding off on judging it from pictures....
I saw the Momentum mono blocks in photos and thought they were hideous and fell in love with them in person, yes, seems odd to have a meter on the preamp, but....
10-23-2011, 08:35 AM #6
Looks kind of cool...I love machined metal...especially copper
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10-23-2011, 09:17 PM #7
It would look great mated to the amp with the same design. I like it, but wonder what the meter does.
10-24-2011, 06:49 AM #8
Here is a press release I found on the preamp. Judging from the images below it appears the unit on display was a prototype?
D’Agostino LLC releases initial specs of new Momentum
preamplifier at CES 2011
Innovative design combines digital streaming and Internet radio features with
groundbreaking analog circuitry refinements.
LAS VEGAS, NV, JANUARY 7, 2011 — D’Agostino LLC, the new company founded by
acclaimed high-end audio designer Dan D’Agostino, today released initial design
concepts and specifications for its upcoming Momentum stereo preamplifier. The
Momentum preamp will combine the finest analog audio circuitry ever built into a
preamp with advanced digital streaming and Internet radio technologies.
The Momentum preamp features integral Internet radio, with the capability to
tune in thousands of streaming radio stations worldwide. It can also play files stored on
network-attached storage (NAS) hard drives, USB memory sticks, and computers.
AES/EBU and coaxial digital inputs allow connection of digital source devices such as
CD players and satellite radio tuners.
The analog section of the Momentum represents Dan D’Agostino’s most
ambitious preamp design to date. Six balanced XLR stereo inputs allow connection of
analog audio sources; unbalanced connections can be made through adapters. The
analog preamp circuitry is fully discrete, using separate transistors instead of integrated
circuits. Even the digitally controlled volume circuitry is fully discrete, employing an R/2R
resistor ladder with relays instead of a digital volume control chip or an analog
potentiometer. A theater throughput feature lets users incorporate the Momentum
preamplifier into a home theater system.
The control arrangement is as unique as the circuitry inside. A 3-by-4-inch screen
on the front shows metadata from digital files, listings of Internet radio stations, and
basic operating information for the preamp. The remote is an included Apple iPod
touch®, specially programmed for this application, which also shows the same
information available on the front-panel screen. Through the remote, the user can
browse digital audio content from the comfort of the couch.
The unit’s power supply employs a unique design D’Agostino has never before
used. It offers nearly 1 farad of storage capacitance—three to four times as much as
found in many of the best high-end amplifiers and far more than ever before used in a
preamp. “It’s more like a battery than a power supply,” D’Agostino said. “The power it
delivers is extremely pure, totally unaffected by variations at the AC outlet. The result is
extremely low noise and sound that’s more pristine than I’ve ever heard from a preamp.
“I’m eager to see the reactions of our customers and dealers to this new design,”
D’Agostino continued. “Not only does it push digital technology to the limit, it takes
analog preamp technology to heights never before achieved. You could say it’s the best
of both worlds.”
The Momentum preamp will be built by hand in the USA at D’Agostino LLC’s own
Connecticut facility, employing the same sturdy, machined aluminum chassis used in
the Momentum monoblock amplifier. D’Agostino expects to ship the Momentum preamp
toward the end of Q2 2011. Price has not yet been set.