Spectral Amp

I am think about purchasing Spectral Amplifier. My concern is that I have Mark Levinson No. 39 CD Processor, which can directly drive the amplifier. I currently drive my amp with ML No. 39 (CD is my only source). However, the dealer has suggested that Spectral Amp has to be mated with Spectral Pre-Amp or else the amp will blow up. Any thought or suggestion on that. One more thing, if ML 39 cannot drive Spectral, can Wadia CD Player drive Spectral Amp?
I own a Spectral preamp and power amp. No, the Spectral amp will not "blow up" if driven by only a CD player. But, Spectral power amps like high output, current and voltage, preamps. Spectral preamps do both of these things. You will not realize anywhere near the amp's potential without the proper preamp. CD players don't have enough oomph to drive these amps properly. The sound just lays there. If you are going to spring the money for a Spectral amp, get a Spectral preamp.
Spectral recommends MIT cables for their equipment. While some people have used other mfg cables, this is an area of concern you should consider before purchasing Spectral. I also find their equipment a little dry and not musical to my ears (my opinion). I suggest you go listen but ask about the cables.
I heard the spectral amp/preamp driven by the Wadia CD player at a dealer when I was listining to Revels. I asked if the CD could drive the amps directly and was told they tried it and that the music sounded lifeless. This matches my own experience in my system driving poweramps directly from DAC's that from the spec's should have no problem with the amps. More detail but less musicality. I also find Spectral dry.
SANGSERM: Consider Krell FPB of a used KAS before you buy a Spectral amp. JUST BECAUSE Spectral amps can only be driven well by their respective preamps doesn't mean that MOST OTHER power amps can't be driven by a CD player. LOOK DUDES, I have a Resolution Audio CD50 (it's at least as good as your Levinson 39, maybe better). I'VE LOOKED INSIDE IT, AND I GURANTEE THAT IT'S BIPOLAR OUTPUT TRANSISTORS ARE BIGGER AND "BEEFIER" THAN ALL OF THESE KNOWNOTHINGS THAT ARE SAYING THAT THEIR PREAMPS CAN "DRIVE" A POWER AMP BETTER. Spectral is an exception...I use some of the best MIT interconnects to drive my KRELL amp directly from the CD player, AND MY SYSTEM IS SUPREMELY DYNAMIC AND HI-REZ...to the point of blowing away anybody who listens to it! JUST COME BY AND HEAR FOR YOURSELF! I know what I'm doing, here. Do you? Mine'll run with the best of them.
Carl I think it is fairly dependent on the DAC-Poweramp combo. As in the pair of our posts on the topic of passive preamps... How much difference you hear will depend on the specific combo.
...i had pleasure of listening "spectral" at the "golden nugget" hotel, during 97 CES. I cannot remember what model, but i believe it was that year, "spectral's" latest "stuff". Spectral was driving i remember "avalon osiris??" 60k pair of speakers. Anyway, the sound was...as good as it can be. So what i try to say is, mixing and maching is just game of pure chance. You might get better sound, but most likely you wont...so stay with ALL Spectral (if you can afford)
As long as the power amp's input imedance isn't really low, or the voltage sensitivity isn't overly high, driving it with the average preamp won't be a problem. THE PROBLEM IS, you are thinking that a CD player's output stage can't be designed to drive a difficult load. Like the chick with the fake British accent and the funny makup in the movie says, "YOU ASSUME TOO MUCH"...without experiencing one of these beauties first hand.
Carl I'm glad you are so sure of your self. Your taste for clever veiled peronal insults on your various posts is ill-becoming. My more tentative posts come from my experiences that things aren't always so clear. Different combos sound different. Does the specific listener care? Maybe not but they do sound different. The last six months have benn a rather intensive eqipment evaluation project. and have have tried a lot of combos, usually with four plus set ups available at any time to mix and match. Removing the preamp has always sounded different but rarely unequivocally better. Any device has a "better"/"worse" load/interface combo. I often felt that the manufacturer's preamp/amp combo wan't the best. Electonics I have had in the my house for at least two weeks recently (not even counting dealers) Spectral 180 amp/20 preamp, ARC SP 11 Ref 1 VT200, Melos 402/Music Director/333, Bryston 7B, CJ Premier/16LS 8x, Threshold Stasis, Innersound/CODA, Tact, Adcom passive Theta Progen VA, Sigtech with DAC, MSB Gold link. MIT,Illuminations, Synergistic, Quatto fils. Dunlavy SCV and tuned room. BTW eventhough I believe I'm older my last hearing test went out to 19K
I don't need to get into a pissing contest with you here (yet), Plsl, and I'm sorry you LACK a certain sense of humor. In any case, I congratulate you on having good hearing. And also on having the money/connections/time to evaluate SO MANY products at your home in so short a time...BUT YOU STILL HAVEN'T TRIED THE COMBO I HAVE, so calm down and take your blood pressure medication before you have a stroke, dude...Here's something you may not have heard before (heh heh): it's about the music...