They are both good choices.....If I were you, I will contact my dealer to bring both amps for in-home audition.
At this level of investment, you want to hear the amp with your upstream components and speakers and not quite make an decision based on other folks experiences and opinions.
The dealer in question should then have to possess both models, and offer the momentum at secondhand prices🙄
Looks like your dealer can’t afford you the flexibility of audition. If you are buying a new amp from a dealer, he should provide you the full service, i.e. in-home or store demo of the amps you’re willing to buy. If he is not capable of providing you full service then I would look at another brand.
If you buy used Agostino amp then you’re assuming all the risk. If you like it, you keep the amp and if you don’t then resell it.
I am sorry but if I am spending $35K - $22K, I would want to hear that amp first before purchase.
The top of the line Luxman's do not do too shabby either. :)
Dan is one of the most disreputable manufacturers of equipment I can think of. I owned one of his Preamps. 8 years into its life one of the micro potentiometers broke. It was a custom pot and he did not keep any in stock for repairs. He told me to get a pot from Radio shack and mount it on the outside!!! A $6 K preamp back in 1981! If you think you are making a lifetime investment forget it. Do not go near any of his used equipment. If something goes you are screwed.
Thats why i got the Audia flight Stremto #4 power amp and am very happy, looks and sounds great.
If you check my system page you can read a brief comparison of the momentum and the Ayre monos (should be similar to the S250, just more power).
I had multiple cases of the original Ayre (non twenty) mono main board going bad after about 1.5-2 years - it was a known issue that I don’t think they were ever able to get the bottom of. The twenty doesn’t appear to have the same issue since it doesn’t use the problematic component. I didn’t have any issues with my twenties but only had them for a year. On my M400s, one of the input boards went bad after about a year. My dealer got D’Ag to ship me a new one and they showed me how to swap it out which was pretty straightforward.
Wow, to be honest I did not expect any negative comments, 1981 and Krell is a long time ago though...but sorry to hear about that negative experience @mijostyn
@bar81 I just read your system story, omg, nice to hear other audiophiles experience the same search for the holy grail!
Great to read the m400 dags deliver the goods, but at that time I guess the progressions weren’t available for comparison?
My future budget 🤪would not allow me monos, just a secondhand momentum stereo (or a new progression stereo which is even 5k more) and both of those are really stretching it way beyond what i can afford really.
Did you get a reason why the input board failed?
Would the dags sound closed in on speakers with soft treble themselves (I have old bw800 matrixes)?
@blueskywalker The progression monos were in the shop as well, but I didn’t have the space for them so didn’t take a listen. However, during my multi-day audition of the M400s, another buyer with Alexxes I think came in who didn’t want to pay for the M400s and so took a listen (on the same setup that I heard) to the progression monos with the intent to buy them but didn’t love them and then listened to the M400s and coughed up the money for the M400s.
From what I’ve read, the Ayre MX-R Twenty and the earlier generation M300 were pretty close - some preferred the Ayre and some preferred the D’Ag (although according to my dealer, since the M300 was introduced pretty much all of his customers went with the M300 over the MX-R Twenty but he’s in Asia and in that part of the world I understand that buyers like high priced items so I’m not sure that all the purchases were due to a preference as opposed to the D’Ag being more prestigious due to it being more expensive).
So, if you can afford the S250, that’s the one you should go for based on my experience with the M400. On the other hand, if you’re only looking at the S200 (the stereo equivalent of the M300), then you should consider the Ayre MX-R Twenty as well.
No idea why the input board failed. D’Ag was quite curious and required that the failed board be sent back to them for inspection. I’m guessing that means that it was an isolated event as opposed to a common issue, but who knows.
Sorry, I haven’t heard your speakers so I couldn’t say for sure, but I would definitely try to listen to the MX-R Twenty given what you’re describing as it’s top end has more bite.
@bar81 thank you for the long explanation, exactly the info I was after. Very interesting indeed that the buyer for the progression monos ended up with the m400 s instead based on sound!
I am still wondering what exactly in the sound is so different then.
I do realise the monentums are twice the price, but I thought initial start up of the company, and complicated engineering to get big power into a smaller jewellery like box added a lot to the cost.
My worry is that maybe the smaller sized amp will be more prone to getting problems, as a big amp allows more space and airflow for all components.
My speakers are 93 db/1m sensitivity so loudest I ever see my mcintoshes meters go is around 10 watts on big movie soundtrack cds...
I do not need wattmonsters, however 2 12 inch woofers wich loose damping, on each speaker do need good control. Impedance does drop to 3.4 Ohms at 118Hz according to Stereophile measurements.
From your system info bar81 II found that Ayre Mx-r doesn’t do well below 4 ohms, is that valid for MX-R20 as well?
Is there a considerable sound difference between the Momentum S-200 and S-250 then?
@blueskywalker It sounds like your speakers are 8ohms nominal and they have high sensitivity so I would think the Ayre MX-R Twenty will handle them fine. It’s only where you have a speaker like mine that you absolutely need a monster amp into 2 ohms.
If the S200 sounds like the MX-R Twenty, then I would say yes there is a big difference to S250 but you have to analyze that in respect of your budget. To be clear, you will likely be very happy with the S200 or the MX-R Twenty so I don’t think you can make a wrong choice.
@bar81 My speakers are nominal 4 ohms actually, thanks for your input!
Anyone had the chance to compare Rowland 725 or 825 to the D Agostinos?
I idid perform the exact comparison you are asking...at Audio Element in Pasadena, CA, I critically evaluated the Ayre Mx-R 20 mono blocks and compared them vs the D'ag Progression Stereo, vs the D'ag Momentum stereo...I thought the Ayre and Progession were pretty close, but preferred the D'ag, but felt the Momentum Stereo S-250 was in a different and better place, and ended up purchasing a new D'Ag Momentum Stereo, which significantly bettered the Hegel H-30 stereo amp it was replacing. I am really enjoying the D'ag, using the VTL 6.5 ii tubed pre, it makes for a wonderful combo...some also use it with the ARC 6 or 10 preamp...all good choices, but as mentioned above, you need to audition with your gear, and your ears, and wallet, and make the choice that works best for you. I am now very happy with my gear, and just enjoying the music. By the way, no reliability issues, and it looks as good as it sounds
Well Dan's equipment sounded excellent to me at Axpona this year.
It did not blow up as did the company's new product next door.
Not going to mention any names. (Remember Noah?)
I probably cannot provide you with information as relevant as Mribob, but for what is worth, I purchased a used Dag Momentum integrated to replace my excellent Accuphase E550 and realized a vastly deeper soundstage as well as a cleaner and finer-grained audio with my Sonus Faber Amati Anniveraries. The sound is more relaxed, transients seem faster and is more transparent with more "air" around the instruments. I expected the bass to be "tighter" as well with the far greater Dag current, but this was the one disappointment although I am still satisfied with the bass. In all, I am very satisfied with the equipment and have had no reliability issues to date. This is the only comparison I can provide. As far as Dan Dagnostino is concerned, I called the company to ask questions regarding power cords and interconnects. I was told that I would receive a call back the following day. I did, from Dan himself, who was willing to spend all the time I needed for my questions even though he knew I purchased the Momentum used. He invited me to call any time. Says much about the man and his company in my opinion.
That seems all good news guys, apparently Dan is more accessible and concerned then 30 years ago and the top product seems indeed to be just that then, no matter if it is smaller!
I look forward to hearing it! So far I just had the occassion to listen to the Progression Stereo at a high end show, but as you can imagine the big room was crowded, and speakers were great but a bit small for the room, so the impression was one that left me curious for more under better circumstances.
Would a highly transparent transistor pre (Halcro) work well, or are tubes more recommended. I will have to struggle for funds as is to get the power amp, so a D agostino pre is out of the picture atm...