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If you have heard D’Ag gear, it is good, but it is also one of the products that is designed for the a’phile who uses his eyes possibly more than his ears alone. There are a number of competing ss products that are, depending on your system make-up, going to be as good or even better.
The synergy between components has to be considered.
I have actually heard D'Agostino gear in person a couple years ago, it is quite good. It also has that cool Captain Nemo look that I really like. That said, I own ARC Ref gear. It did not make me want to change. But I doubt I would be happy with any solidstate gear long term.
You can learn nothing by listening to gear on Youtube. It is hard enough making judgments while listening to gear at a dealer. The only way to truly compare is at home in your system.
This comparison is not quite fair because D'Agustino preamp is in both set-ups. But, can you hear the difference, regardless of what you prefer ?
Nothing will ever come close to a Pass Labs amplifier, especially if it is of class A design, if you can live with the heat that it generates.They are very good, but they were even better to me back when he used complimentary bi-polars instead of mosfets. They had far more current ability, (and no mosfet mist) and the reason I think Dan D'Agostino stayed with them.
None of Pass Labs (mosfets) can "out current" Krells or D'Agostino (bi-polars) into low impedances, like into Wilson Alexia's 0.9ohm bass
George, I don’t know Antillion amps and I’m sure they are great, but 7500W into 0.25ohms requires 173 amperes? What kind of power supply can deliver 173 amperes? What about size of conductors? Most of the current will go to woofers, but there is a choke there that has on average 0.1ohm. Power dissipated at this choke would be close to 3000 watts. This choke would evaporate. Perhaps we are talking about average power ( sinewave typical for bass frequencies). This average power would be half of peak power equal to 3750W. It will result in 122 amperes and woofer choke will get close to 1500 watts and will still evaporate instantly. What am I missing?
The Sugden A21se single ended pure class A will give your pass lab a run for its money. It is based on the original circuitry developed by Sugden well over 50 years ago. They pioneered SS class A, they were first....and this model is only the lower tier model....the Masterclass series is even better...go and read all the countless wonderful reviews for the A21se.
"The A21 was the worlds’ first production pure class A transistor amplifier and a great success.
The partnership with Richard Allan was short lived and within a year the amplifier was renamed the SUGDEN A21."
Change the premise of the comparison; I’d wager the D’Agostino amps would be used typically in conjunction with larger, über-expensive, multi-way, lower efficiently and passively driven speakers with rather complex and power-draining cross-overs, which are in the dire need of a proper amp-kick in the b*llocks to begin with to have them wake up. Use an amp costing much less or even a fraction of the D’Agostino in an active configuration with higher efficiency speakers, and that cheaper amp would be comparable looking into a much easier load without the interference of a load-varying passive cross-over. Amps like the D’Agostino’s are a symptom of extravaganza and difficult speaker loads; change the circumstances, and it’d render them unnecessary.
The problem is, if you aren't listening to the amps in the exact same system, changing only the amps and absolutely nothing else, we are all speculating.
Because in separate systems, as you know, you are listening to everything else also. Cables, source, room, power coming in, speakers, etc. It doesn't matter that you are listening to the same recording. you are also listening to everything else.
I know, what can you do? But, I just want to be clear. Luxman, Gryphon, Audio Research better? How could you possibly know?
but, take that amp in a system, play your favorite music, set the level. replace the amp with Gryphon, adjust the level to match, then play the same music. Making sure the levels are matched. Do you hear differences? probably, but better? maybe different. That is the fun part.
Problem is many dealers don't carry what you want and if they do, would they let you take it home to try in your system versus your own amp? They should. for high end, very expensive equipment like this, they definitely should.
Audio shows are a good way (when they restart), but you are still listening in different rooms with different equipment. Not an apples to apples comparison.
George, I don’t know Antillion amps and I’m sure they are great, but 7500W into 0.25ohms requires 173 amperes? What kind of power supply can deliver 173 amperes?
I’ve usually found the Danes don’t bullshit about their measurements.
Yes it is impressive to look at my friend owns one, and that was peak wattage, somewhere independent backed it up also, (can’t find it) with that same peak amperage also that you stated.
And if you think that’s impressive, their Mephisto monos can do 9000w!!!! peak into 0.25ohm
My amp can do similar to those Antillion
There is no one "best" ss or tube or whathaveyou amplifier. You have to consider which "horse" you're riding on which "course". IME DAG is certainly a worthy option among many.
I've been listening to a D'agostino S250 in my system for the last month, after using a Luxman M900u for a year. The DAG does have some outstanding qualities that could match the certain speakers/systems/rooms/tastes just right. It portrays a beautiful midrange that is simply mesmerizing - - fully fleshed out, 3D palpability. It definitely comes from a "bass-weighted" voice, which works quite well with my TAD CR-1's, but may not with speakers that are already voiced a bit "richer". Even with it's richer voice, the DAG digs deeply into the mix, delivering an enveloping musical experience. On the right course, it's a great horse.
I have been running my D'Agostino Momentum with my Sonus Faber Amati Anniversaires and outboard EMM DAC for two years now and am never less than thrilled with the sound. The D'Ag replaced an outstanding Accuphase integrated which I loved before I heard the D'Ag. There is a detailed and relaxed purity to the sound that never never tires my ears. The soundstage is deep and focused even in a somewhat compromised room setting. My wife, who always thought that almost any sound level was too high, finds the D'Ag sound so clean she seldom complains. She also adds, "finally a system that looks almost as good as it sounds". I rest my case.
I’m an original ksa 100 krell owner. I love his amps and his design. Design is very important. I’d love to afford his new stuff. Steampunk at its finest. Sound is sublime and they are beyond spectacular looking. There’s plenty of other manufacturers that are just as or more expensive than Dan’s gear. Definitely one of the best ss setups I’ve ever heard.