Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Momentum HD line preamplifier $40,000 Review
March 3, 2020 § Leave a comment
“I briefly switched DACs and used a single S/PDIF cable from the dCS Network Bridge to convey signals from the Roon Nucleus+ to the EMM Labs DV2. With the Momentum HD preamp controlling volume, I heard more air around Cassandra Wilson and Rickie Lee Jones’s voices and accompaniment, but a bit less midrange profundity. After realizing that the comparison was flawed due to setup constraints—I’ve since moved equipment around on my eight-shelf double rack so I don’t run into this problem in the future and sent the DV2 back for a major upgrade—I acknowledged that a valid comparison between the two DACs would have to wait.
When I returned to the Rossini DAC/Momentum HD preamp combo, revisiting Cassandra Wilson’s performance revealed a complexity of string tone, deep bass grind, and increased color contrast and depth that, compared to what I heard from either DAC alone, left me in awe. Adding the preamp delivered Rickie Lee’s creepy vocals with much more subtlety and intimacy, and markedly greater dynamics, even at low volume. I didn’t want the music to end.”