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@runner You can use a Spectral pre amp with another brands amp but, not vice versa.
Personally, I wouldn’t risk voiding a warranty or a service issue. If you have a problem with those requirements or using MIT Cables. I wouldn’t even bother with Spectral. Spectral is really designed as a system. Pre+Amp+MIT Cables
As others have stated. There are plenty of other great brands out there to try.
@ebm Not over priced garbage. Under priced compared to high end solid state from Europe; in specific Switzerland (Soulution, CH, Dartzel).
It may not be your cup of tea but, please Mcintosh isn’t in the same league as Spectral. Current and modern Mcintosh gear although nice is midfi compared to the current Spectral stuff.
@stereo5 Compared to those brands I mentioned it most certainly is.
I’m not delusional and I won’t go into a debate with McIntosh owners as this hobby is very subjective but , if we use the car analogy.
The only thing a Mustang GT and Porsche 911 have in common is 4 tires and a steering wheel.
You’d only be able to tell the diff if one drove them back to back.
There is reason the 911 costs more but , won’t dispute the mustang Gt is a great car and value compared to the 911.
But at the end of the day ; it’s no Porsche.
Likewise at the p end of the day a McIntosh amp isn’t a Spectral or Soulution amp.
@roxy54 By choice. They’ve had the same owner for 40 years. How many cars does Ferrari produce a year compared to Toyota?
How many high end manufactures at the mercy of audio reviewers ; who in turn write a positive review based on a financial interest of the product they are reviewing ?
You are right that you have let your ears be the judge and make your own conclusions.
Too bad that there only I think 3 Spectral dealers I think in the us. Additionally , I don’t they have been or dealer has shown Spectral at a us audio show in many years.
Just don’t assume that because they are a low volume brand compared to say McIntosh that they lack the engineering or quality of a bigger big box brand.
Hardly the case but , as I’ve said most audiophiles will never experience Spectral even at dealer or show conditions because of the points I made above.
And my point is that it's all different flavors of ice cream. Whether it's McIntosh, which I admittedly own, or any other brand, I lose patience with people commenting that this or that perfectly good brand is "not in the same league" as another brand that is perceived to be more esoteric. Yes, I do think that there is poor, fair, good and better than that, but at a certain level of quality, it is just a matter of taste.
@roxy54 Fair enough and look this hobby is so subjective that we all never agree or like same thing.
That’s what makes in unique but , I wanted to help @runner out with the original post and question bout Spectral.
When it turned to people critical of his question and started to malign Spectral based of their past experiences ; I had to chime in.
Yes , maybe I was wrong calling McIntosh midfi and offended the owners on this forum.
But, should have stated that it’s not my flavor of ice cream.
To each their own.
I recently visited Goodwin's High End in Waltham, MA. and listened to the Rockport Cygnus being driven by Spectral, fronted by a dCS Vivaldi stack.
The performance quality was excellent.
Here is more information on amplifier compatibility from Goodwin's website:
"Founded in 1977, Spectral is one of the most respected names in high end audio today. Spectral Audio makes wide bandwidth, extremely fast, high resolution amplifiers. Notably their amplifiers use many smaller distributed power supplies, rather than only one large one. This approach allows Spectral to locate a power supply (capacitors, rectifiers, regulators, and secondary windings) closer to each FET output device. Spectral amplifiers have a very transparent sound, with excellent settling (the ability of the amplifier to stop the speaker after a transient)."
Right. The Parasound JC-1 is just as fast and doesn’t blow up if you put someone else preamp on it. It is also watt for watt less than 1/2 the cost.
And one more thing. I would not buy a 1955 Zenith from Goodwin’s high end. Unless you spend $500,000 with him and he has to think you will do this every three years, he would not give you the time of day. That friend with the blown up Spectral got his system at Goodwin’s and he got s---- for support. If it were not for the fact that the store is in an area with extremely wealthy people with money to burn he would be OOB.
Having been inside both Spectral and Mcintosh equipment I can tell you that the construction quality of Spectral gear is no better than Mcintosh. Sound quality is a subjective matter that I will leave for people more familiar with that gear than me. Neither is my cup of tea. But I can tell you that Mcintosh has great service and support and to some of us spending more than we can afford on this stuff that is very comforting.
Wow , I didn't expect to have folks get in a debate comparing Spectral with other brands. I have a Spectral DMA-150 series II amp and DMC-20 series 2 preamp. I have had them for several years mated to Avalon Ascendant speakers and find them to my liking. My reason for asking is should the amp or pre go bad, beyond repair etc I would not be in a position to purchase another Spectral component. Obviously I would need to look at used or replace both units. Anyway, thanks to those who directed their response to my question.