There are amplifiers, then there are high-end amplifiers, and then there are ultra high-end amplifiers. Which is where we find Dan D’Agostino, who has long since left Krell – who he helped start up – and who now produces hi-fi under his own name.
Nothing that bears that name is cheap. Last year we wrote about how Dan had upgraded the power amplifiers in the Progression series with a completely new circuit and better output stages.
Where the stereo stage S350 costs £26,000, the unit price of the mono amplifier M550 is £40,000. So, no, it’s not cheap.
And now things become really expensive. For now, the time has come to give the Momentum series a little extra attention.
The Momentum S250 stereo amplifier and the Momentum M400 mono amplifier are known to be among the best on the hi-fi market. But since real high-end knows no bounds, the even more expensive flagship series Relentless resides at the top. What do you think about a mono amplifier for around £300,000 per pair? Or a £200,000 preamplifier? So do we!
Dan D’Agostino has used the lessons learned from the development of Relentless, and now lets the technology trickle down on Momentum. The new amplifiers are called Momentum S250 MxV (stereo) and Momentum M400 MxV (mono, main image), where the number represents power measured in 8 ohms.
What has been upgraded?
In the MxV versions of the amplifiers, all the most important parts have been upgraded. New power supply, input stage, driver stage and output stage.
A new circuit design on the transformer promises us more than a 50 percent increased power supply from the same size. The extra power provides better headroom during especially dynamic passages in the music.
The input stage has also got a completely new circuit layout, and we also see more advanced components in both the driver stage – which regulates the current to the power transistors – and in the output stage.
New bipolar transistors will deliver ten times more power than the original ones. Higher bandwidth gives better control in both the bass range, but also in the top frequencies. With lower distortion at both ends of the frequency scale.
The new amplifiers operate in Class A operation in a larger power range, as the new circuits and improved heatsinks make the amplifiers disperse much more heat.
Output transistors are new from the Relentless series, and the number has also increased, which means that each of them has a lighter load, and the entire output stage now works more efficiently. The result is, according to Dan D’Agostino, a “richer, more dynamic, intimate presentation regardless of music type”.
The transistors are among the fastest on the market, with a huge bandwidth of 69 MHz.
As with all D’Agostino amplifiers, the Momentum S250 MxV and Momentum M400 MxV have discrete, directly connected balanced circuits. The most accurate circuit platform possible, according to the manufacturer.
Dan D’Agostino Momentum MxV: Prices
And then there were the prices, then. Well, let’s just say we hope you did get that Christmas bonus. We are talking GBP 49,000 for the stereo amplifier Momentum S250 MxV, while the unit price for the mono amplifier Momentum M400 MxV ends up at £45,000.