“…from his Arizona workshop and his new company called D’Agostino Master Audio Systems, he’s once more wowed me with his new triple-threat package of Mom
entum monoblock amplifiers, phonostage, and preamplifier. Coupled with the new Wilson WAMM Master Chronosonic loudspeakers they produced
an unrelenting combination of grip, slam, and musicality. Lithe and nimble, they belong in the top echelon of audio products. No matter the musical genre, they were a pleasure to audition.”
The above quote is from Jacob Heilbrunn’s tremendous review in the current issue of The Absolute Sound . Jacob’s evaluation is the first complete Momentum system review and his abundant praise is spread among all three Momentum models. In addition, the Momentum M400 Mono Amplifiers are named one of the Products of the Year.
There isn’t enough room in this email to include all of Jacob’s laudatory comments but below are some of the highlights. Please read the entire review in the January, 2018 issue. We will have reprints available on our website shortly.
“ …What I hear from the changes that D’Agostino has instituted in the amps is a remarkable degree of control-the ability to disentangle complex musical passages with great fidelity, thereby rendering them easily intelligible to the ear. And don’t kid yourself: If you’re going to run a big speaker like the WAMM, power is a must to get what you paid for. This is a speaker meant to be run full-range; SET amps need not apply.”
“ On a Sony CD of Emmanuel Ax playing Haydn piano concertos, I was struck by the flowing ease of the sound. There is a kind of understated gravity, a pearl-like enunciation of the notes that the Momentums convey. …Once more, the Momentum amplifiers, for all their power, were able to reproduce Ax’s trills with great delicacy, allowing them to be sounded and then fade away into the distance. So here we come to the fabled decay so prized by audiophiles, which the Momentums possess in abundance…”
“But it’s not simply a question of a low noise floor and superb decay of the notes. Another thing that is taking place is that the control of the amplifiers means that the notes and instruments are properly scaled. No bloat or flab here. This is an amplifier with a six-pack. You can listen to a Haydn piano concerto played by a top-notch performer like Ax at low volume and even then it sounds like the proportions are spot on. In some ways, it even becomes more alluring because the sound hovers in the air in a rather spooky fashion.”
“One of the immediate benefits of these measures is a fascinating blend of silky
smoothness and control. …But the Momentums we
nt as far as I have heard in sorting out matters in an enticing fashion. They seem to possess a grip on the notes that helps to prevent things from flying out of control. Precision, for the most part, supplanted confusion.”
“On a Concord CD produced by the great jazz arranger Benny Golson, for example, I was quite taken with the presentation of the Momentum gear on cuts like “Whisper Not,” which features Al Jarreau. Even as Jarreau croons away, the bass line, which is deep and can be somewhat murky on lesser gear, was clearly audible. Ditto for piano. On the Golson album the deepest notes resounded with an authority and decisiveness and richness that reminded of what I recently heard in New York at Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club…”
“…There come moments when it’s time to put on your big boy pants, crank the dial and get those air molecules vibrating. So I plopped on an SACD of Monty Alexander… I defy you to hear more realistic instruments than what I heard emanating via the Momentums-a robust, resonant, life-size trombone backed by an emphatic rhythm section. The scale of the soundstage wasn’t big; it was cavernous.”
“ Nor do you lose anything when going to vinyl. …a Pablo from 1984 featuring Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Cedar Walton, and Mickey Roker. Jackson’s mallets on vibes came through with concussive force and the shimmer of the cymbals was to die for. The precision and force of Walton’s piano playing was enthralling,… Pacing was also spot-on-propulsive and snappy like a string of firecrackers going off.”
“ …On Led Zeppelin II, the phonostage easily coped with the welter of information let loose… Throughout, the nonchalant command of the Momentum over complex material was abundantly in evidence. Bass may have been tops so far in my system, getting the burr around the electric guitars to an unprecedented level on cuts like “What Is And What Should Never Be.”
” …the D’Agostino complement will give you both refinement and a dose of rocket fuel. The word for this gear is commanding. Dan D’Agostino is back and ready to rumble.”