Hello Mythtrip, I am not much of a ss fan and my opinions on MIT I will keep to myself. In the mid 90s I owned the DMC-20 and the 180 amp. A friend sent me the top of the line MIT cables to sell for him. I think they were called terminator but I'm not sure. Another friend of mine who is also an Audiogon member (Jcbtubes) got together and set up the Spectral gear along with the MIT in his system. We used the Audiostatic 4 panel speaker system and turntable only.
This was the best I have ever heard in all the years I have been in audio. We couldn't stop laughing because we couldn't believe what we were hearing. I could go on and use all the audio buzz words but the best description that comes to mind is real. It was a real memory maker. I haven't heard anything like it since. Maybe Jcbtubes will jump in and give his opinions. I am not sure if this is a negative but Spectral is an expensive commitment. It is my opinion that MIT should be used with Spectral. When you said "I never thought the illusion of a live performance could be created" I felt the same as you. All I have said is coming from devoted tube snob. Go for it. I can't believe you would ever be sorry. Best of luck to you.
I once owned a dmc6 preamp; sold it to finance a home theatre system. I still suspect that were I to acquire a spectral preamp/amp (balanced models) that I would not much miss my audio note tube gear on a day to day basis. I would miss looking at the glowing tubes in the dark, however; maybe that is what makes the tubes sound so much better.
I will get an all spectral system one day.
Give the DMC30 a shot. I think it's better than the DMC20. DMC20 allows you to have an internal phono input.
DMA100 is bettered by the DMA150, which has been superceded by the DMA150 series II (one half of the DMC360 monoblocks).
MIT cables are the only way to go with Spectral. A LOT of people crap all over these cables because of the networks, but they can't seem to realize that it's necessary since the output of the amps go from DC to 2GHz. They also fail to realize some of the junk that's INSIDE their individual components (thin wires, etc.) that they would never place as separate components in their rigs. It's all one system, from AC power to the speakers.
It's about the end result. Spectral with MIT is awesome. No fatigue whatsoever. All of the Reference Recordings LPs and CDs that people just drool over are recorded and mastered with just this setup.
Spectral, IMHO, is some of the finest, if not finest, SS gear available.
Can't go wrong with Spectral. Trust your ears.
P.S. currently listening to the DMC30SL,DMA150MkII, SME10, Amati's and loving it!
To my ears, all the input above is right on the money. You will not tire of this gear. ( Have used, am still using the 200s, the 360s, the 50s switched for mono and the DMA 20 I and II and the DMA 30, all with MIT.)
The DMC30 looks like a cost-down, remote-enahced preamp to fit audiophiles' desire for remote control. The specification stop claiming the use of exotic materials such as Teflon boards and unique capacitors, like the DMC20. Anyone closely compared the 20 vs. 30?
BTW, how many different 30 are there? There was the DMC30, then DMC30SL, then a DMC30Reference.
I A/B'd the 20 and 30SL extensivley. The 30SL is a better preamp than the 20: more resolution, better soundstage, quieter. The 30SL is better than the 30, which I previously owned. The 30 was the single box version of the 20. The 30SL is the new, improved preamp. The 30S or reference, I believe, lacks the surround sound pass-through feature and one or two other items to reduce it's cost and price. Not sure what those other items are.
This is from Spectral's website on the 30SL: "The result of this endeavor is simply the finest preamplifier ever offered by Spectral Audio in our long twenty-five year history."
How it differs from the 20 and 30:
"The SHHA (Spectral High-speed Hybrid Amplifier) line section technology is only part of the unique advances incorporated in DMC-30SL. New power supply topology and precision shunt regulators for all sections offer superior isolation and remarkable 8dB improvement in signal-to-noise over the excellent DMC-30. Power supply transformer capacity also doubles to accommodate massive shielding arrays for improved line isolation and field containment. Cost-no-object component technologies such as hand-trimmed bulk metal resistors and custom polystyrene film caps occupy sensitive signal locations such as gain setting and feedback. Improvements are not limited to performance advances alone. User convenience benefits also as the DMC-30SL incorporates surround sound input programming for home theatre integration. "
Mythtrip- Though not often, I must reluctantly agree with Brulee about his previous comments on the Spectral system! The sound of the MIT CVT Terminator cables and the Spectral pre/amp was beyond anything I've heard before or since. I'm not saying that you are guaranteed that level of performance, just that it is possible under the right conditions. To get the best from a Spectral system requires a complete commitment toward their products and recommended anciliary components which include the best MIT cables available. Very expensive system, but certainly one of the finest regardless of price.
I've since become another tube worshipper, but the memory of that Spectral/MIT system keeps me searching for higher levels of illusion. Good luck.
The comments above on Spectral/MIT parallel my own high regard for this system. In addition, since you are probably buying used equipment, I'd like to add the following: if you buy the MIT a/c equipment, take note of the fact that MIT has recently redone their products. Their Z-3 a/c cord is light years ahead of the Z-2, in fact , with my Spectral system it is trouncing every other power cord I've compared it to, for purity, timbral naturalness, speed and resolution. (It's unfiltered and unshielded, and is used with other filtering units like the stabilizer, isolation transformers etc). If you buy the rest of the system used, be sure to check out the Z-3's, even if you find a good deal on Z-2's. The difference (with Spectal) is worth the splurge.
No Doubt about it. This gear is unquestionably the worlds finest SS equipment. Complete neutrality, NASA grade build. Highest level of resolution. The only SS equipment I would even consider, after using tubes forever, is this. It is for real!!!!!!
I just heard the spectral 100 with the dmc 30 and thiel 1.6 loudspeakers. It was absolutely amazing!! Could be the best setup I've heard. My next step is spectral, without a doubt. I feel really greedy doing this, but hey, I've never been so sure about a purchase before. And I went in the room just to show my brother what the speakers looked like, not caring what was driving them. The question is - do I put down 7 or 8K for the 30, or go used with the 20 and save megabucks? Probably the twenty, though I wish I could do the 30. I'd rather put the extra money in a fund for my dad so he can maybe get a mercedes like he's always wanted.