The Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Momentum Integrated amplifier is effectively two boxes in one. The lower, base chassis doubles up as the power supply, and a short, green, braided, four-pin connector cable connects this to the main amplifier stage. The amplifier itself sits on this baseboard supply using four sharp screw-in spikes. And the reason for the bluff introduction instead of some florid prose is because the amplifier is so powerfully built it needs no such flummery. It’s a ‘get on with it’ amplifier. So we will!
There are six colour-coded inputs (both as push-buttons on the front panel, and replicated on the unique round remote control handset) and these are all balanced inputs, fed by a central sextet of XLRs inset into the centre of the rear panel. It also features fully defeatable bass and treble controls. There is also a rear mounted headphone jack alongside the solid multi-way speaker terminals (not WBTs, as anything plastic-jacketed is just not ‘deep time’ enough for the D’Agostino). There’s even an RS232 port and a mini-jack for the well-machined IR extender supplied in the box. Although ‘box’ actually means ‘velvet-lined aluminium flight case complete with rolling luggage wheels and handle’ – it’s that kind of product.
We’re dancing round the subject here. It’s the look and the build quality that makes the biggest impression. In silver or black (as per the review sample) with those contrasting copper heatsink bands, this product is machined to look the part. It’s fearsomely heavy for a relatively small box (54.4kg for the two boxes) and runs very warm, but you won’t care. This is one of the most distinctive and powerfully designed amplifiers out there. The green glowing central volume display (inspired by watchmaker Breuget) is a talking point, as is the volume control wheel that flanks this display. This dial supposedly took an age for D’Agostino to get right, but it immediately pays off in ‘engineered quality’ the first time you use it.
Beneath the elegant casework, the amplifier is a discreet, fully balanced very wide bandwidth Class AB design delivering a healthy 200W into eight ohms that perfectly doubles its load to 400W into four ohms and again, delivering 800W into two ohms. This is a useful indicator of the amplifier’s power supply design, as a less ‘stiff’ power supply will never be able to double its power into the lower impedance load. This also helps it to drive tougher loudspeaker loads without effort. Our sample arrived with many miles on the clock, so any questions about running in began and ended long before we took delivery. As a consequence, the Momentum Integrated sounded excellent as soon as we recovered from lifting it out of the case, although a true running in phase may be required.