any experience w/ Wilson & Spectral?

Hi, I have a set of wilson sophias and I was curious to know how spectal amp (dma 160s) would sound? Also, do I have use spectral pre or can it be mixed with tube pre (audio research ls25).
Thank you in advance for all your inputs.
Spectral and Wilson work very well together. I have heard from a reliable source that Wilson uses Spectral amps to voice their speakers although Wilson would probably never admit it. You can use Spectral preamps with any amplifier but you can not use Spectral amps with any other preamp than Spectral unless you use the 160S which is Spectral's universal amplifier.
I'm using Wilson Watt Puppy 7s. I just moved from all Krell electronics (KP28c, KCT & FPB-200c) to Spectral DMA150 series II amp and DMC-30R pre-amp. Previously I owned the Martin Logan Prodigies. When I changed to the Wilsons I was very happy with the increased resolution, detail and better bass but I found that something was missing, there was an odd coloration in the mid-range especially on female vocals that left me missing my Logans. I also heard the same coloration at my local Krell dealer when I took my KCT in and tried it with Krell FPB250cx amps. To my ears the Krell gear just didn't work with the Wilsons. I was advised that a change to Spectral might help. Initially I purchased the DMC-30R preamp here on Audiogon but was astonished to hear lots of hissing/noise in my system where previously there was none. I was bitterly dissapointed, there seemed to be no benefit that I could measure with the new preamp, plus it was making a noise. I had been warned the Spectral electronics need to be used together so I soldiered on and bought the DMA150 series II. The change was utterly remarkable. The noticeable hissing was completely gone and the system sounded just fantastic. I heard stuff on my CDs that I have never, every previously heard even though I have played some of them literally hundreds of times! Plus, the odd coloration that I had noticed with the Krell had completely dissapeared. I have been into the hobby for 30 years and have owned and heard many many components in that time but I must say that the Spectral with the Wilsons is the absolute best sound I have every heard, anywhere. I'm a complete convert, now I'm looking for a Spectral CD player combo. For me, once I'd heard the Spectrals, there is no going back! You owe it to yourself to check the Spectral electronics out, you may become a convert too.
I have heard Wilson Sophias set up with spectral monoblocks at a lrge New England dealer who has great rooms.

For casual listening stuff like female singer, jazz and lounge lizard music the system sounded great. Nice staging and placement of voice and instruments.


You don't want to know what happened with full-range classical.


Paul :-)
beemer, can you please explain? I do listen to quite a bit of full range classical.
I replaced a pair of Martin-Logan CLSes + Kinergetics subs with a pair of WP7s 2 1/2 years ago. I had been running the CLSes with a Spectral DMA80 that was in turn driven by a Spectral DMC10 delta preamp. While these electronics made a wonderful combination with the Logans they were not as ideal a combination with the WP7s. Truly, there was nothing "wrong". Clarity, punch, frequency extension, imaging and soundstaging were fantastic. They just didn't have the meltingly beautiful, singing quality that I had heard elsewhere with the 7s played with tubes. I noticed the absence of this characteristic with other Spectral/Wilson (Sophia, WP7) combos at shows, dealers and in home systems. I auditioned the WP7s with literally dozens of pieces of electronics, both tubed and solid state, before coming to my decision. I feel it was time well spent.
Hello Allenc:

Full range classical......

To be tactful, I can say that for me the results were less than pleasing. As the volume increased the instruments melded together into an unpleasant congested melee and loss of resolution.


Paul :-)
I heard the WP7 with Spectral amp and preamp in Montreal and found the sound to be extremely analytical and hard.
Wilson's are just picky speakers. Picky about the room, placement within, cables, electronics, source material.

All that said, I LOVE my WP 6's. I have the new 7 tweeters in them which help. I use mostly vinyl and BAT tube pre's and amps. Purist and Transparent cable.

You'll just have to experiment some. Different rooms will cause the speaker to sound different and cause you to select different electronics.

Re: the ARC pre and spectral amps. I'd stick with one of the other. Either go all Spectral or stick with tubes.

This is just a personal opinion and not based on listening.
I have the Watt Puppy 7's with Spectral and they sound fabulous on classical, which is all I listen to, including season subscription at BSO. WPs are fussy in setup.
I have headr Wilson+Spectral combo on HE200x (do not remember exactly). It was deadly combination, I have never heard such powerful bass and dynamic. It was not musical though, I did not like it, I was deafen and shaken, it was opposite to the subtle, not my cup of tea.