Spectral audio today


Hi guys, been a Spectral fan in the early 90s but couldn't afford the gear at the time.I'm wondering how good are the latest Spectral pre-power compared to much more recent top SS brands like Gryphon, CH Precision, Dartzeel, Soulution, Audionet, Boulder, D'agostino, Burmester and so on.Is Spectral still competitive vs modern high end brands ?It is very difficult to audition Spectral gear as they have very little distribution now days.Thanks.
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Showing 7 responses by carey1110

I’ve used Cardas and Transparent but preferred the MIT
I have Been comparing two preamps the Spectral SV ($15k) and the Gryphon Pandora( $32k)  for almost a month. I don’t have a complete Spectral or Gryphon system yet. I have DCS Rossini and Wilson Alexia 2s. Both transparent and mit cables. I went back and forth between the two and my wife and I both preferred the Spectral SV. I couldn’t believe how good the new spectral gear is. The new SV series is so much better than the older stuff,  (back in the day I owned the DMC 20). Very organic and real sounding. Textures and wood tones are especially good. The Gryphon may have a little more Bass and larger soundstage but not by much. However over all I found the Spectral to be more involving.  I bought the Spectral DMC 30 SV. They now have the 30SV s2 and I hear it’s really something. I know they don’t have the really nice expensive cases but I think that is why they compete with Way more expensive gear. With the Spectral you are paying for the design and parts inside not the box. If you haven’t heard it you need to.  They don’t have the cult following they have for nothing. 
There is some info online about it has to do with a new transistor designed by spectral eliminating “thermal tails”. It’s very technical and way over my head. Has to do with how the value of transistors can change during the heating up when a signal is introduced. IDK? All I know is the smoothness in high frequencies is amazing. Almost a life like warmth to the sound.  Night and day to me from the older gear I had. I’m very excited to get the Amp down the road. 
Since the new SV series 2 has been released you may start to see the original SV coming up on the used market. The SV is way better in my opinion than the older stuff. More organic and natural no brightness at all. The older spectral could sound a little clinical and dry if the setup wasn’t perfect.  The SV series I can listen to for hours. It’s a very clear clean window into the music,  very real and I don’t even have the Spectral amp yet. 
Sure I understand. The top of the line Gryphon Mephisto MSRP $60k is a fine amp and not typical of the Gryphon line. Not doubt this is quite an amplifier I’ve heard it. I’m not familiar with the CH precision but hear it’s in the same camp as spectral in many ways. Like I said I preferred the Spectral over the Gryphon Pandora preamp In my system. I’m sure there are others that prefer the Gryphon. Depends on what the setup is, what cables, speakers etc. if you can get the Mephisto I’m sure you’ll be happy with it. At this level is all good just a matter of preference. I enjoyed the Mephisto and have nothing bad to say about. When I had the Pandora in here comparing to the Spectral I was disappointed in the Gryphon. I was prepared to shell out the extra for the Pandora. I tried very Hard to like the Gryphon After all it was twice the price. It had a bigger soundstage but the instruments within it didn’t seem as real and tonally correct. The Spectral made me want to sit and listen. Now I’m sure the Gryphon could be taken to great heights if you’re willIng to put it all together, they also have their own cables too. I have a friend that has put it all together with the Gryphon Mephisto and it sounds great. 60k for the amp and that much again on cables not counting the Preamp. It sounds great. Even after hearing that I’m satisfied with the Spectral. For me it just works. It sounds right. Yes I’m thinkIng of Getting the 300 SV. The question becomes which will give the most musical satisfaction,   for me  it’s the Spectral,  Price may also play a part lol!  Spectral is a fantastic value.  It was a no brainer. 
The only problem  I ever had with spectral over the years was with the phono section of a 30 year on DMC 20. It was returned repaired for $200 foe the repair and I had it back in two weeks. 
The new spectral has really changed. I felt the same way about the older stuff. I finally broke down and let a dealer send me the latest 30 SV.  Even compared to the 30ss I found It so different,  very Rich and full bodied. The midrange is now one of its stronger traits. Almost sounded like a different company. However it still retained the speed and dynamics and detail Spectral is known for.   I can only tell you my personal experience,  not hearsay,  not what I heard someone say but what I heard myself. I come from a long history of tube gear so I can’t stand bright or edgy. I’m using a very revealing Wilson Alexia 2 speaker too. If you get the opportunity check it out,  I did and I’m glad I did. I hear solutions is good too but I haven’t heard it.