Great Sound from a Familiar Pairing

dCS, D'Agostino, Wilson, Transparent, and HRS—how often have we found products from these companies making a synergistic and most musical match? As you'll learn from Jana Dagdagan's video once it's posted, Jana, John Atkinson, and I visited the spacious suite in the Mirage Hotel in which these companies paired a dCS limited edition Vivaldi 1 ($80,000 or, in the striking bright nickel finish seen in this room, $92,000) and Rossini clock ($7999); an HRS VXR rack; D'Agostino Master Systems Progression preamplifier ($22,000) and Progression stereo amplifier ($22,000); Wilson Audio Sasha 2 speaker, with Transparent Generation 5 XL cabling (approx. $50,000 total); and Transparent Reference Power Isolator ($5995).

Because the Vivaldi 1 had just become MQA certified, John and I were able to compare MQA and hi-rez versions of his recordings. To these ears—you'll hear what John has to say on the video, but it certainly isn't contradictory—the sound was superb on both: open, clear, and colorful, with a rainbow range of tonalities and extremely clear delineation of different choral lines in tracks by Ešenvalds and others. MQA brought us noticeably closer to the music, and rendered the acoustic with greater realism, but plain old 24/88.2 sounded wonderful through these components.

Ortofan's picture

... cost more than the pre-amp and power amp combined, wonder if Dan D'Agostino thinks that either he's in the wrong segment of the business or his products are way under priced?

Also, when the MQA and hi-rez versions were compared, were you able to switch between the two instantaneously, or did you listen to one version and then the other in sequence? Did you know which version you were listening to while the comparison was underway?