PreAmp: The Standalone Component Vs DAC Built in Module

Ultrafast69

VIP/Donor
Aug 28, 2018
152
101
200
Seattle, WA
www.audio-ultra.com
Hi Everyone:

I was asked to compare the MSB Reference Preamp Module against the D’Agostino Momentum updated HD PreAmp that feeds a pair of updated M400 Momentum Mono’s.

So this past weekend, I pulled things apart and ran the MSB Reference as the PreAmp/DAC, leaving the Momentum HD PreAmp unpowered sitting lonely on the sidelines and perhaps even grinning.

- Was it good? Yes!
- Does music sound fine without a mated preamp? Yes!
- Anything to be embarrassed about? No way!

MSB did a great job with the preamp module, they really did and I am just not saying that, they really have things down checking all the boxes. The tonality is sharp and crisp full of detail, dynamics are carried to the amps with ease. If one wants simplicity, space, cost savings and a good sound, then running this configuration is certainly something to consider.

With that being said, audio is a game of points to shape a sound you are working to acheive, it's what I call the hobby. Now in this case with knowing what I have in a preamp, it becomes an easy choice; the Momentum HD preamp goes to the dance over the DAC direct, but why?

It’s that holographic imaging and tonal qualities that present themselves in a manner of cohesiveness and with more meat on the bone, you won’t go hungry wanting more. There’s no playing around, it just works. IMO a matched preamp and amplifier is simply designed, constructed and voiced together. All the qualities of internal cabling, transformer specs, circuitry and even the case dampening work together in perfect harmony. Of course there is no fight for matching gain and impedance. So with all this plus the options for additonal sources to connect to, it's hard to beat.

In the end this is audio, and it really boils down to budget, sound quality and space. With that, others may experience something different since audio has lots of variables. Soon I will be comparing the combination of the MSB Reference with the S500 stereo amplifier and will see how this works as now it checks some of the boxes mentioned above.

I hope my point of view helps, Stay Safe and Long Live Audio!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0461.jpeg
    IMG_0461.jpeg
    643.4 KB · Views: 11

R S

New Member
Mar 14, 2021
19
2
3
Hi Everyone:

I was asked to compare the MSB Reference Preamp Module against the D’Agostino Momentum updated HD PreAmp that feeds a pair of updated M400 Momentum Mono’s.

So this past weekend, I pulled things apart and ran the MSB Reference as the PreAmp/DAC, leaving the Momentum HD PreAmp unpowered sitting lonely on the sidelines and perhaps even grinning.

- Was it good? Yes!
- Does music sound fine without a mated preamp? Yes!
- Anything to be embarrassed about? No way!

MSB did a great job with the preamp module, they really did and I am just not saying that, they really have things down checking all the boxes. The tonality is sharp and crisp full of detail, dynamics are carried to the amps with ease. If one wants simplicity, space, cost savings and a good sound, then running this configuration is certainly something to consider.

With that being said, audio is a game of points to shape a sound you are working to acheive, it's what I call the hobby. Now in this case with knowing what I have in a preamp, it becomes an easy choice; the Momentum HD preamp goes to the dance over the DAC direct, but why?

It’s that holographic imaging and tonal qualities that present themselves in a manner of cohesiveness and with more meat on the bone, you won’t go hungry wanting more. There’s no playing around, it just works. IMO a matched preamp and amplifier is simply designed, constructed and voiced together. All the qualities of internal cabling, transformer specs, circuitry and even the case dampening work together in perfect harmony. Of course there is no fight for matching gain and impedance. So with all this plus the options for additonal sources to connect to, it's hard to beat.

In the end this is audio, and it really boils down to budget, sound quality and space. With that, others may experience something different since audio has lots of variables. Soon I will be comparing the combination of the MSB Reference with the S500 stereo amplifier and will see how this works as now it checks some of the boxes mentioned above.

I hope my point of view helps, Stay Safe and Long Live Audio!
Curious on any updates pairing the MSB DAC direct to the MSB S500 as mentioned? Sorry if missed on another thread.
 

K3RMIT

Active Member
Sep 4, 2020
124
32
28
I can agree with all you said
but judging by replies you made no friends
I would not own a dac at any price and depend on it for the preamp alone.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing