Momentum HD vs Arc Ref40 Preamp Momentum HD vs Arc Ref40 Preamp - Page 3
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  1. #21
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    Re: Momentum HD vs Arc Ref40 Preamp

    Duplicate post
    Last edited by Marck1973; April 30, 2020 at 05:34 AM. Reason: posted twice for some reason

  2. #22
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    Re: Momentum HD vs Arc Ref40 Preamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Marck1973 View Post
    Hi,

    So I managed to obtain a demo unit and had this in place for a week or so before it was returned to the dealer, hence I wanted to provide an update.

    The look, build and quality of the unit was amazing – the meter for the volume control was just superb.

    So in some areas I thought the preamp was excellent, such as the detail and control. The bass was much better focussed too. These were definitely better than the ARC Ref40 unit.

    However, the soundstage was not that large to start with and although it did improve over the initial couple of days, it never really opened up. The soundstage was always limited between the speakers – the system had lost its air, naturalness and sparkle. It sounded maybe more accurate but more clinical.

    We swapped the ARC back at the end and the soundstage and airiness returned (minus that detail and control to some extent).

    In summary and being honest I was actually disappointed. I had expected the D’Agostino to excel in all areas and simply blow the ARC away, but it didn’t.

    I did query with the local distributor if this was what they expected or if there happened to be any other issue (such as compatibility of some type) that caused my above findings. The only response was that it was not valves and hence possibly the difference in presentation.

    Although this is true, I used to have the ARC Ref250SE amplifiers before the Momentum M400’s and the M400’s were substantially better than the ARC in every way, valves or no valves!

    Has anyone else found this when trying the preamp? Any other ideas welcome! I am kind of wanting to re-try again when we are back to a more normal way of life and have the distributor here so he can come and hear it.

    Thanks and stay safe
    M.
    Hi M.

    This sort of does not surprise me, although I would have hoped the HD woukd have been a lot better as well.

    Great tube pre amps excel in soundstage, air , sparkle and 3d like depth it's hard to go back to SS preamps after you have lived & breathed this in your system.

    I recently compared the Dag Progression pre amp with my cj GAT - The Progression has a higher retail price. the Progression sounded nice and by itself was very enjoyable, but putting back the GAT added life to all music and with similar transparency .
    My friend like the Dag as it was smoother in the top end- to me it was be a bit more muted and boring.


    cheers
    Source: TW Raven AC-3 - Thales Simplicity II, Graham Phantom, SME 3012-R, Exclusive P3,Technics SL-1000MK3D,Linn LP12 - Naim ARO
    Cartridges: Lyra Atlas SL Etna SL, Delos, Dynavector XV-1s,Technics EPC100mk4, Ortofon A90, GM Royal, GM Classic, Denon ESC'd 103R, DL-S1, Audio Technica AT25, OC9II, Linn ESC'd Troika
    Phono Stage: TW Acustik phono, Accuphase C-37
    EQ: ​DEQX HDP-4
    Preamp: conrad johnson GAT,
    Amps: conrad johnson teflon premier 8a's, D'Agostino Momentum S250
    Speakers: Wilson Maxx3

  3. #23
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    Re: Momentum HD vs Arc Ref40 Preamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Marck1973 View Post
    Hi,

    So I managed to obtain a demo unit and had this in place for a week or so before it was returned to the dealer, hence I wanted to provide an update.

    The look, build and quality of the unit was amazing – the meter for the volume control was just superb.

    So in some areas I thought the preamp was excellent, such as the detail and control. The bass was much better focussed too. These were definitely better than the ARC Ref40 unit.

    However, the soundstage was not that large to start with and although it did improve over the initial couple of days, it never really opened up. The soundstage was always limited between the speakers – the system had lost its air, naturalness and sparkle. It sounded maybe more accurate but more clinical.

    We swapped the ARC back at the end and the soundstage and airiness returned (minus that detail and control to some extent).

    In summary and being honest I was actually disappointed. I had expected the D’Agostino to excel in all areas and simply blow the ARC away, but it didn’t.

    I did query with the local distributor if this was what they expected or if there happened to be any other issue (such as compatibility of some type) that caused my above findings. The only response was that it was not valves and hence possibly the difference in presentation.

    Although this is true, I used to have the ARC Ref250SE amplifiers before the Momentum M400’s and the M400’s were substantially better than the ARC in every way, valves or no valves!

    Has anyone else found this when trying the preamp? Any other ideas welcome! I am kind of wanting to re-try again when we are back to a more normal way of life and have the distributor here so he can come and hear it.

    Thanks and stay safe
    M.
    Hi Marc,

    You may want to hold out for the ARC Ref 50, which is due out this year for ARC’s 50th anniversary. I owned the ARC Ref 10 and its dimensionality, huge soundstage and powerful dynamics are hard to beat in a preamp.

    Best of Luck,
    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases, Femto 33 Clock, Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon Power Cords

  4. #24
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    Re: Momentum HD vs Arc Ref40 Preamp

    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for the update, so are ARC definitely doing an anniversary preamp this year? Any idea on pricing?!

    I have compared my preamp to the current Ref10 and tbh I prefer mine - they did something in the anniversary edition which is superior (in my view) to the actual full production run. I know that they lost money on the anniversary preamp - it was more of a show of what they can produce (in a limited supply).

    Rgds
    Marc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Hi Marc,

    You may want to hold out for the ARC Ref 50, which is due out this year for ARC’s 50th anniversary. I owned the ARC Ref 10 and its dimensionality, huge soundstage and powerful dynamics are hard to beat in a preamp.

    Best of Luck,
    Ken

  5. #25
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    Re: Momentum HD vs Arc Ref40 Preamp

    Exactly my view, I thought it would still surpass the ARC in every area.

    I am aware that Dan has always focussed on amplifiers (Krell days etc) and ARC has always been known really for this preamps, so shouldn't be surprised really, however I was still disappointed.

    Did your friend also comment on soundstage?

    The Ref50 could be interesting....

    Take care
    M.
    Quote Originally Posted by XV-1 View Post
    Hi M.

    This sort of does not surprise me, although I would have hoped the HD woukd have been a lot better as well.

    Great tube pre amps excel in soundstage, air , sparkle and 3d like depth it's hard to go back to SS preamps after you have lived & breathed this in your system.

    I recently compared the Dag Progression pre amp with my cj GAT - The Progression has a higher retail price. the Progression sounded nice and by itself was very enjoyable, but putting back the GAT added life to all music and with similar transparency .
    My friend like the Dag as it was smoother in the top end- to me it was be a bit more muted and boring.


    cheers

  6. #26
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    Re: Momentum HD vs Arc Ref40 Preamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Marck1973 View Post
    Exactly my view, I thought it would still surpass the ARC in every area.

    I am aware that Dan has always focussed on amplifiers (Krell days etc) and ARC has always been known really for this preamps, so shouldn't be surprised really, however I was still disappointed.

    Did your friend also comment on soundstage?

    The Ref50 could be interesting....

    Take care
    M.
    LOL. My friend is no audiophile, so listening with him is generally some beers just enjoying the music - I was surprised he noticed that difference.

    If you can get a demo of a GAT2, try it out. Or hold out for the REF50

    cheers
    Source: TW Raven AC-3 - Thales Simplicity II, Graham Phantom, SME 3012-R, Exclusive P3,Technics SL-1000MK3D,Linn LP12 - Naim ARO
    Cartridges: Lyra Atlas SL Etna SL, Delos, Dynavector XV-1s,Technics EPC100mk4, Ortofon A90, GM Royal, GM Classic, Denon ESC'd 103R, DL-S1, Audio Technica AT25, OC9II, Linn ESC'd Troika
    Phono Stage: TW Acustik phono, Accuphase C-37
    EQ: ​DEQX HDP-4
    Preamp: conrad johnson GAT,
    Amps: conrad johnson teflon premier 8a's, D'Agostino Momentum S250
    Speakers: Wilson Maxx3

  7. #27
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    Re: Momentum HD vs Arc Ref40 Preamp

    Your findings aren't that surprising to me. A few years ago I purchased the new Mark Levinson No536 mono blocks and the No52 Ref preamp. They sounded amazing together but then last year got a chance to try a BAT Rex II in place of the Levinson preamp and well ... sold the Levinson as the RexII had the warmth and presence the Levinson did not. The Bat Rex II is a two box 18 tube preamp(only 16 active). Enjoy your ARC and the 50th Anniversary might be really special and I plan to audition that also but BAT did just release the Rex III. It never ends .....

    George
    Wilson Audio Alexx|Pair of BalancedForce212's
    ML No536|BAT Rex II Pre
    VPI Avenger Plus w/ Transfiguration Proteus/VTL TP6.5
    Esoteric D-02X|Esoteric P-02X|Aurender N100H
    MIT Oracle SC and IC
    Transparent Reference Power

  8. Likes Marck1973 liked this post
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