28. October 2021 · Comments Off on Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier · Categories: Hifi News · Tags: , , , , ,

totaldac sponDAN D’AGOSTINO MASTER AUDIO SYSTEMS RELENTLESS PREAMPLIFIER RELEASED

The D’Agostino Relentless Series expands with a preamplifier to match the Relentless Mono Amplifiers.

The Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Relentless Preamplifier is the companion model to the Relentless Mono Amplifier, which was released in 2018.

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier

THREE CHASSIS PREAMPLIFIER

The Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier design requires the use of three separate chassis, a dedicated audio chassis for each channel and a separate power supply centred between the two to keep the power supply feeds as short as possible. The three chassis interlock through special mechanisms in the mounting feet of each chassis. Thirty pin interlocking 20-amp, gold plated connectors eliminate wiring normally used for these applications and the associated anomalies that can occur. This distinctive construction isolates the audio signal completely, both physically and electrically from the power and digital control sections. Physical isolation offers additional room to maximize both power and audio circuitry. This monaural structure also separates the two audio channels from each other ensuring channel separation.

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier in black

DAN D’AGOSTINO RELENTLESS PREAMPLIFIER POWER SUPPLY

Positioned between the two audio channels, the power supply makes use of extensive electrical and magnetic shielding to keep radiated interference out of critical preamplifier circuits. Internal line conditioning circuitry filters RF noise on the AC power and compensates for asymmetric power waveforms and DC on the mains. Power for the preamplifier stages comes from two 150 VA toroidal transformers – one dedicated to the analogue circuitry and one for the digital and control circuitry. These transformers drive an 8-amp bridge rectifier and 26,400 microfarads of filter capacitance. The two regulators for the analogue stages are scaled-down versions of those used in the Relentless Mono amplifier.

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier

AUDIO CIRCUITRY

The input stage in each mono preamplifier is the result of a design experiment for a circuit that hadn’t been used in any previous D’Agostino preamplifier. The audio circuit topology starts with a completely unique new discrete differential FET input stage featuring a voltage input signal capability of 30 volts. With an input impedance of over 1 MOhm, the Relentless Preamplifier’s front end is said to be immune to source related electrical issues. In normal operation, component heating can lead to performance and sonic degradation. Developed specifically for the Relentless Preamplifier, a unique circuit maintains a stable bias so that temperature-related anomalies are offset thus preserving performance during extended listening.

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier rear view

Featuring only balanced XLR inputs the Relentless Preamplifier topology rejects common-mode input noise over a wide bandwidth. All signal gain is realized in the current domain using proprietary multiple-output current mirrors with nearly 30 times the linearity of other designs.

Analogue and digital circuit elements are isolated, including ground planes, from each other. Where necessary, digital control signals are optically coupled to analogue circuits. The signal switching relays are hermetically sealed and use gold-plated contacts for maximum signal integrity.

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier

Core D’Agostino circuit concepts include a signal path that is fully complementary, direct-coupled, and balanced from input to output achieving a frequency response flat to 120 kHz.

DAN D’AGOSTINO

“The new Relentless Preamplifier is a major moment in our pursuit of making audio components that deliver the most musical presentation possible. It has been a more than four-decade pursuit and the Relentless Preamplifier is a crowning jewel of my career.” Said Dan D’Agostino, Co-Founder and Chief Engineer.

Find out more about Dan D’Agostino, the man behind the brand, in our  interview with him from 2020

DAN D’AGOSTINO RELENTLESS PREAMPLIFIER CONTROLS

Arguably, the most striking looking element of the Relentless Preamplifier is the pair of volume controls fronting the two audio chassis. Each volume control is constructed using 14 separate metal components ensuring the smoothest response and control of the military-grade, high-linearity solid-state switches and discrete precision resistors employed in the volume circuit. The bandwidth and transient response of the Relentless Preamplifier is completely unaffected by the volume setting. The volume settings are displayed via the Swiss watch inspired volume wands or can be displayed numerically, from 0 to 99.

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier

DUAL-ZONE FUNCTIONALITY

The Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier is a two source/two zone preamplifier. This means that the Relentless Preamplifier can simultaneously control the switching and volume of two sources in two separate rooms or zones. This may be two analogue sources or when equipped with the streaming digital module, one digital source and one analogue source. In a one-zone system, either volume control will adjust volume in the main room or Zone 1. If two zone operation is desired, the upper volume control manages the Zone 1 volume and the lower volume control adjusts the Zone 2 volume.

DAN D’AGOSTINO RELENTLESS PREAMPLIFIER BIDIRECTIONAL REMOTE

Housed in machined aluminium and copper, the Relentless Preamplifier remote control is a comfortable design, operated via touchpad. Bluetooth Six technology extends the usable range of the remote control and eliminates the line-of-sight issues that plague conventional infrared designs. New bi-directional remote functionality reflects all adjustments made on the Relentless Preamplifier front panel to the remote control’s display screen including input, volume, and balance selections.

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier remote control in silver

OPTIONAL DIGITAL STREAMING MODULE (DSM)

The Relentless Preamplifier is the first D’Agostino preamplifier to offer an optional DSM. This digital enhancement adds connectivity for legacy sources, USB functionality, and premier streaming capability. Field upgradeable, the DSM adds SPDIF coaxial, Optical, USB-A, and RJ-45 and Wi-Fi network inputs. For latency-free playback of high-resolution network content, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet is supported.

Customized apps for iOS devices provide easy control of music collections, streaming content, and unit control. Subscription streaming services Tidal, Qobuz, and Spotify are native within the app. With appropriately encoded music files, MQA decoding is standard. Additionally, Roon Music management is also available as an alternative music management program.

Completely isolated from the analogue circuitry, the DSM is housed in the power supply/control chassis. Requiring three separate circuit boards the core element is a pair of DACs configured in differential mode with each one configured to handle the positive and negative signals for each channel. Capable of handling today’s highest resolution sources, PCM signals up to 32 bit/384 KHz and DSD signals up to DSD256 (11.2MHz) are decoded natively. Often overlooked or downplayed, the analogue section of a DAC significantly impacts the final sonic performance of digital music. Internal balanced connections carry the final analogue signal to the connecting feet and onward to each audio chassis. From here, the analogue music signal takes advantage of the entire power and analogue circuitry within the three chassis of the Relentless Preamplifier.

DAN D’AGOSTINO RELENTLESS PREAMPLIFIER PRICE

The Relentless Preamplifier is priced at £165,000 in the UK (inc. VAT and installation) and begins shipping in November 2021 in silver, black, or custom painted finishes. Distributed in the UK by Absolute Sounds.

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier

Dan D’Agostino Relentless Preamplifier black remote

HiFi Pig Says: There’s high end and then there’s ultra high end HiFi and you probably can’t get more ultra high end than the D’Agostino Relentless pre and mono amplifiers…the combined system costs over £400,000.

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