Keep in mind, if you go Spectral, you will need to get very
expensive MIT wires to get the best performance.
BTW, I own the 30SS and it is fabulous. It is paired with
the Spectral DMA 250. I have a friend who has Pass.
More tubelike in sound.
I have a Pass XP-20 and XA100.5 which sound great together and in my system. I have heard Spectral gear, though not the top of the line like you mention, in a system that had the same tt as mine but different speakers and room, so I can't really compare. That SME/Spectral/MIT/Magico system was the best I've heard. At this level, you have to match the electronics to the speakers and your taste. I have not heard the Focals. The dealer should let you audition these electronics in your system before committing, but I'm pretty sure the same dealer doesn't represent both of these top brands.
Drjoe brings up a good point about the Spectral gear needing very expensive MIT cables to sound their best. The Pass is slightly warmer with very natural timbre and glorious midrange, while I found the Spectral ultra clean and detailed. They are both great.
I just got a used Pass x1 here and it really sounds wonderful. I agree about the warmer sound, but still towards neutral. I would expect the XP 10 and 20 would be a significant upgrade. The build quality is so nice of their equipment and you can get a human when you call with a question. Haven't needed service but Pass always gets great props from those who have.
I am using Focals with a Pass XA.5 amp, and I can tell you that I love the combination. My system is considerably more modest than yours, but hopefully that helps a little.
completely different sound. think if you like one, you would hate the other.
I agree with the above posts that Spectral equipment requires expensive MIT cables. If you decide on Spectral, you need to include MIT cables for the best sound and performance. In my opinion, the Pass will sound warmer, be more natural and has a great midrange. The Spectral is great sounding with MIT cables and is very detailed. The build quality and customer service on both units are excellent. Both Pass and Spectral are expensive so I suggest you listen to both using your speakers before you make a decision.
For those afraid of the MIT prices---Terry at Overture says the Spectral cables work well,and why wouldn't they; without the sticker shock.
I would think him to be very informed at what cables with Spectral products including the new series 2 of the 360.
I am using a Hegel H10 amp (1 of 20 made world wide) with my Alto Be's to great success. I am selling my Alto's and getting the Scala, and am very interested and excited to hear them together. I just sold my BAT 52SE and will be using my McIntosh MD500 as a pre/CDP/DAC.
Spectral is a good choice.
I have the Pass XA.5 and have heard Spectral amps which contributed to the superb sound of an excellent system. I know you prefer and own Lamm, which I understand is some of the best tube power available, though I have never heard them. I would think that the Pass XA.5 would have the control of the bass that great SS amps like Spectal have and also some of the body, warmth and palpability that the best tube amps like Lamm have. Have you heard the Pass XA.5 series? I'm curious to know why you don't seem to like Pass and prefer both Lamm and Specral which must sound very different from each other. Thanks. Peter
Finally I decided for Spectral.
So I have now Spectral DMC 30SS and 360 mono serie 2.
What I have to say is that the sound is very emotional.
I'm very happy and I can't stop to listen.
It is like a new sound, incredible.
I also have MIT/Spectral cables and next week also the
power MIT cables will arrive.
The next improvement could be Avalon that for Spectral seems
to be the best. Anyway also JM Lab la Scala is very good.
Greetings from Switzerland, Sergio
Congratulations on the Spectral gear. That is an incredible combination. I heard a lower model Spectral amp/pre driving Magico speakers and the sound was wonderful. Have you considered Magico and what was the Pass combo missing compared to the Spectral gear?
I've never listened the Magico speakers.
Seems they are very good with Spectral.
For me it is very hard to find dealers
for a serious demonstration.
The only chence is to go to a show
(maybe in Munchen in may).
Hi Sergio, hope you don't mind me piggyriding on this thread.
I've been made to understand that the Magicos go well with either Spectral or Soulution amps. In fact, the Magico dealer in my country uses Soulution amps to drive them. Well, Soulution is beyond my budget and Spectral is not available in my country.
Anyway, I prefer a slightly warmer sound. So I'm wondering whether Pass Labs XA.5 series would drive the Magicos well. Has anyone heard the Magicos driven by Pass?
congrats sergio! you have my end game amp/pre now. i am working my way there so someday i will join you. everyone has their opinion on what the best are and mine are the amps you own. have a blast and enjoy the music...
i think you will find much to play with along the way with those mit products. the more you climb that ladder the better it gets and it gets quite good. even the power products you said are in transit to you will have a nice impact.
Yes Spectral is an incredible amplifier.
It gives a lot of details and a perfect sound stage.
Lot of emotions. All my system is based on Sectral and
MIT cables rigt now. What I'm missing are Avalon speakers
that seems to be the best with Spectral. My Focal Utopia
are very good but maby I'll get the chance to try Avalon
Indra end we will see..................
yes sergio, avalon and spectral are a superb match. i am also very fond of the synergy between wilson speakers and spectral gear. i am sure the focal's sound fantastic too! enjoy...
I want to give to the Spectral amplifiers a good speaker
combination. That's why if I can sell or trade my JM Lab Utopia (excellent with MC Intosh, a little too detailed with
Spectral) I'm thinking about Avalon but also Magico V3 is in seriously consideration.
Let's see what will happen.
I heard Spectral electronics driving Magico V2 speakers. Excellent combination. I loved it, but it sure was detailed.
I like very much the details of Spectral.
It is a new and very emotional experience
of listening to music
Jm Lab is a speaker that goes well with almost
every amplifier and also with Spectral is OK.
I would like to have a speaker that goes very well
especially with Spectral and his features.
Magico or Avalon is what I'm looking for.
Greetings from Switzerland
I have 30SS and DMA 250 driving Marten loudspeakers, you should take a listen to the combination.
I heard Indra side-by-side with Marten Bird's and I can tell you that Bird's were better match.
I cannot comment on Spectral/Avalon combo but I didn't like the Spectral/Magico combo that much. At a introduction show of the Magico M5 they were using Spectral gear. It all sounded a bit emotionless to me. Magico and Spectral are both really neutral. The combo may be to much. I know we are supposed to like neutral but it can suck out the excitement that music can bring.
I see that my reply is rather stale, but wanted to say with envy "kudos!" on your system choices, especially the Spectral 360's. I heard them with the Avalon Eidolons some time back with a full Spectral/MIT front end and it remains as the most musical, yet impossibly detailed, resolving, and truly hallucinogenic listening experience in my 20 years in the hobby. I was wondering if your system had evolved further, especially with regard to speakers?
Thanks and happy listening!