I'm not sure why this thread got posted twice.
I am also considering a Krell KCT.
I am also considering a Krell KCT.
I only used this pre for a while last year (nothing wrong w/ it, I couldn't afford it); so what follows is worth, around $0,01.
*If your idea of a good pre is a pleasantly rounded, 50 - 16kHz sound, the 30sl is a very bad idea.
*If your future includes Spectral amps, the 30sl is a good idea.
*I don't know how well this pre will mate with yr Krell. Keep in mind that the 30 is a wide-bandwidth design: it is designed to amplify anything from dc - daylight (figuratively speaking). The Krell isn't.
*The highs are deliciously powerful, clear and stable, with a very slight touch of artificiality.
*Being very extended in the high frequencies, you get the impression this is a very "fast" pre. You should also find that the audibility of low frequencies is improved.
*Finally, the pre's high resonant frequency puts any harshness, sibilance, whatever... well beyond audibility -- if you do have sibilance, harshness, etc... it's not the 30SL.
*Ideally, this pre would benefit from a wide-bandwidth / hi-res source which you don't use (apparently ?).
*I used this pre as source driving variably a 10kOhm load Or 10k & 33k (two amps, that is).I teamed it with Symphonic Line Krafts (wide bandwidth as well) & a Genesis bass amp.
Concluding, I enjoyed the sound. It is a seriously good performer. In other words, it doesn't distort as many other pre's do; It doesn't falter when the dynamics are high; and certain difficult sounds (cymbals; brass; etc;) sound OK.
greg thanks for all the great information. what i gather from your post is the 30sl, although a very good preamp, may not be the best fit for my current system, unless i get the spectral amps. part of my reason for posting this thread was to get some idea, from the experience/knowledge of others, if it would mate well with the krell amp. it seems your thoughts suggest the krell kct may be a better sounding preamp with the stuff i have.
any other thoughts out there?
This is not exactly what you are asking, but it may shed some light to help with your decision making.
I had a DMC-30 mathced up with either a Krell FPB-300 stereo or 350M mono amps and grew to find the combo to sound overly analyical and sterile/bright.
I eventually moved on.
As previously suggested, unless working toward an all spectral system, this may not be your best option.
I used the Spectral DMC 30 SL with the Krell 300C and thought it was an excellent combo. I used also the Krell KCT which was slightly more warmer and musical but the CD's seemed to turn at half speed compared to the Spectral.
Be careful with the cables, Transparent and MIT work well. Spectral amps can oscillate because of the high bandwith.
I used Wilson WP6 and Maxx as speakers.
where do you stand on this at this moment? You've followed my Spectral system, so you can easily guess that I wouldn't part with my 30SL G2, and I could tell you not even for the 30SS, for reasons I can explain if you PM me.
If you ever listen to this preamp, I think you will find that it's simply stunning.
ack...i ended up getting a berkeley alpha dac which i run directly to my amp. i cannot say enough good about this dac. outstanding. at present, i still have the krell but i also have a dma 180 which was just rebuilt at spectral. the dma 180 is listed for sale but i am giving serious consideration to keeping it. i believe it is one of the finest amplifiers and is head and shoulders above most of the amps being sold today. this particular dma 180 is pretty special given all the work that was just done so i am really torn. i also did end up getting some pretty solid information confirming that the alpha dac is appropriate to drive spectral amps. by my ears they are a wonderful match too! if things work out well down the road i hope to end up with the same amps you have. i am guessing you are enjoying the 360's!
Excellent choice on the DAC - VERY analog-like sound. If you are interested about my ruminations on it vs. analog, take a look at http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9365
On the following: "i also did end up getting some pretty solid information confirming that the alpha dac is appropriate to drive spectral amps"... Yes indeed, I have the same solid info and will drive the new 360's likewise directly in balanced mode, while the preamp will go in via SE, so I can A/B the DAC doing directly to the amps vs. through the preamp :-)
Oh that's funny... there is a 30SS here on Agon just 6 months old... Gee am I NOT surprised.
On your DMA-180: keep in mind that the Spectral sound has changed significantly in recent years. Whereas your amp has this very wide but diffuse soundstage, the newer models, including the 250, have an extremely well focus but still wide soundstage. This was the sharpest contrast between the Alpha DAC and the old SDR-2000 I had, as well as the DMC-20 preamp's and the new 30SL's. Essentially, the newer designs offer this walk-around soundstage, and the reason you can "walk around" it is that you can actually feel the instruments due to the sharp focus - that's how palpable the presentation is.
the new amps must be amazing. to call the soundstage diffuse on the 180 is a wild statement! compared to just about any other amps it is super etched and detailed. it makes my krell, which sold for twice what it retailed for 10 years later, it is more than polished. i am a big fan of that krell too. i still think the dma 180 is one of the top 10 amps ever.
email me your issues with the 30ss. i find it interesting that you prefer the 30sl.
i do not recall you having the alpha dac...is it new? i could go on and on about that thing. i have absolutely no desire to change digital sources and i do not think that will fade. this is an unusual state for me to be in.
I got the Alpha in May of 2009 I believe. It took me about 20 mins of A/B testing with the 2000 to discern that the Alpha completely trounces its competitor. The real test was against the analog rig, where the bottom line in my comments is that with RR/HDCD recordings it clearly surpassed it, but this is partly due to the superior RR recordings against anyone else's, and with all other material it came extremely close.
Moreover, I compared it with the Spectral SDR-4000 Pro CD player, and couldn't tell a difference whatsoever - Harley did. What a bargain.
I also did a direct A/B of the Spectral SDR 4000 Pro versus the Alpha DAC fed by a High End dedicated PC based music server, and I must say I could not tell the difference either. That will probably be the way I go with my system, especially given the pace and direction the digital/online/hi-rez computer music world is moving.
I also own a DMC30 SL (latest version), so I am kind of curious as to why one would prefer it over the current DMC 30SS. Presumably the DMC 30SS should out perform the DMC 30SL for Spectral to go through the trouble of developing and releasing it...