they are indeed
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I have a pair of Spectra 3's. They were purchaesd new by my dad in 1987 or 1988. He used them for a few months and replaced them with Soundlab A-1's. He handed them to me about 5 years ago. They are awesome sounding speakers but need a lot of power to make sing. Although its the only pair Acoustats that I have heard, I have a feeling that they in general were underated speakers.
I believe the reason the Acoustat 2200 got mediocre reviews was a lack of amplifier power. I had original Quad ELS's for 15 years, and the Acoustat was the only speaker to make me want to switch. They had the same beautiful mid range, but much better highs, lows and imaging. But the Acoustats didn't really sing until I mated them with a Conrad Johnson Premier 1, which is capable of putting out over 250 watts into the very difficult Accoustat load.
Hi my name is MrAcoustat i have owned 5 pairs of Acoustats since the 1980s 1+1s - 2+2s - Spectra 22s and 33s i say five pairs because i now own another pair of highly modified 1+1s that can be seen in the members system or just google MrAcoustat system at the volume that I listend to the 1+1s are the best of the ones that i have owned but my fried Jocelyn that modified mine owns a pair of MODIFIED Spectra 6600 ++++ and i do mean plus plus plus all metal frame they weigh 600 pounds each the transformers are completly seperated from the panels in wooden boxes they don't only look good they sound incredible i have put a picture of his Acoustats in the audio circuit under Spectra 66 dollar for dollar NOTHING beats Acoustat
I have had Acoustat 2s since 1981 and would never part with them.Just moved them down into the man cave and omg they sound incredible!
The first tip I would give anyone with Acoustats is:get some decent (not expensive)power cables.I put some ebay $32.00 a piece snakes on mine and boy did they wake up. Much better details and immediacy and even more transparency and low level details.
This makes me think about recapping the transformers.After all, they ARE 30 years old.
But right now they sound so good I can only imagine what mods could do.
I have a pair of Spectra 22s that I bought new years ago and I absolutely love them but I'm wondering if I could get more out of them with a better, more powerful power amp. (I'm using a Hafler XL-280 now.) There's a MacIntosh MC402 available at an estate sale here this week. Would this work measureably better with my Acoustats?
My thinking is with the Acoustats is that they put out only as good as they are given. The best I ever heard was a set of 2+2 with ARC tube gear. That was back in the 80s.
I don't have a tube amp but that is the way to go. I hear that the ultimate is a set of KR SETs. BIG MONEY!!!
That said I have a friend with the Dehavilland SETs that put out 50watts.We are going to try them on my model 2s soon.
Rageorge: I think your 22s are more efficient than my 2s. I would audition 100 watt tube push pulls or better still 200 watt push pulls like a ASL Hurricane which can run in triode mode over 100 watts.
Personally I have never been a Mac (amp) fan.Too expensive.Good build quality,ok sound.BIG MONEY. Better sounding gear out there for less.But if you can "steal" it for a song, go for it.
The amp you have is a excellent choice for the Spectras,you may want to upgrade what you have and put the rest in a tube preamp/phono front end. This may make for a nice combination of strength and beauty.
It all depends on what you want and what you listen to.Personally, tubes are the only way to go.
These speakers only repeat what signal they are given, so the better the signal....
Thanks everyone for your good advice. I do like my current set up but am always wondering about improvements that could be made. (FYI: my pre amp in a Lazarus Balanced Deluxe from the same era as my 22s (1990) and I have an Acoustat Spectra SPW-1 subwoofer as well.)
I'll probably take a look at the Macs just out of curiosity but I won't bite unless they're an absolute steal.
I've found a great guy here who is rebuilding my Lazarus and wonder if I should have him take a look at my Hafler also as it's been years since anyone has been inside of it. Good idea??
Rageorge: check out Musical Concepts for your Hafler. Also there are others out there that do Hafler mods. Indeed, next to the Dynaco ST70, the Haflers are the most modified amps out there.Says something for the design.Also says something about the late great David Hafler since both the Dynaco and the Haflers are his.
You don't need a monster amp, you only need a GOOD amp, Classe - Krell - Mark Levinson - Threshold - Bedini - Paslabs - Plinius - and many many more, if i was you i would stick with solid state BUT with a good tube preamp, i owned a Classe DR3-VHC & Conrad Johnson preamps premier three & premier ten for thirteen years with four different models of Acoustat's it was a match made in HEAVEN.