Small correction. The volume control retains a copper ring. Another very beautiful piece from Dan.
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I'm not sure "bright" was the correct word (maybe leaner than normal or thin?), but the intention was that it will not sound its best not having been fully broken in yet. Anyway, I showed up at our scheduled time on Tuesday, but the new amp had "not" shown up. Now, they're saying sometime next week. Anyway, he did hook up the Progression Stereo power amp and Pre-amp that the new integrated circuit is based on. The difference is the separate power amp is 300wpc and the power section in the new integrated is 200wpc. And no, my dealer wasn't saying they'd sound identical, but rather, since I've never auditioned D'Agostino gear before, he wanted me to see if it's something I might be interested in. (My main purpose of visiting my dealer was to audition the Mac 462 pwr amp and 2700 preamp.)
I can tell you after spending a good hour with my own music auditioning the Mac rig, the D'Agostino did sound a little thin at first, but it also immediately displayed some rare magic that quickly overcame the at first perceived thinness.
One of my test LP's is a Columbia 1st pressing of Eydie Gorme's, "Softly As I Leave You" album (don't laugh) - the song "You've Changed" is recorded very hot and when she belts it out on the ffff passages, it is on the verge of tape/console overload and with a lesser amp, i.e., most amps, it can sound shouty, glaring, and rough at the slightly distorted levels it was recorded at. However, the Progression Stereo Power amp flared up it's meters ~250 watts (the Mac jumped up to 400 watts on the same passage [not sure why that is - better power supply or rail voltage on the Dan D. so same volume with less watts??] ) and delivered her voice the smoothest I've ever heard and the best holographic 3D imaging with her voice floating in between the two Maggies (and up high about 6 feet) and the orchestra on either side. I also heard chair creaking and other slight stage noise being made by the orchestra musicians - man, scary real! Hate to use the cliche, but it really applies here; yes, it was like being there on the Columbia sound stage when it was being recorded. Another cliche... yes, Eydie was there in the room with me. The only other thing I'll add is this amp produced bass with tightness, prominence, and control like I've never heard. I had no idea that Led Zep's "Since I've Been Loving You" had so much prominant bass - it was like hearing a new mix. One thing here though, when the guitar enters for the first time with that loud sizzling lick, I didn't like it - hurt my ears in a piercing kind of way. But... having been in bands and standing in front of a Marshall half-stack with the lead pick up on, it "can" sound like that. ;)
So, I have to tell you, now that I've tasted the Kool-Aid, I'm kinda not interested in hearing the new Progression integrated. I just know it's not going to be as good as the two Progression separates I auditioned. So now I'm scheming/dreaming about the Progression Stereo power amp... I will go and hear the integrated when it comes in, but at this point, I plan on being disappointed, but who knows...