In love with spectral

Noctilux

New Member
Jul 21, 2020
6
11
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34
Goodmorning everyone.
I write here because I think many of you think like me.
I am a big fan of the brand and, over the years, I have assembled a system that, to my taste, is of a sweet good balance and a full of pleasantness.
Compared to what I hear a lot at fairs or at a passionate home, where brand new and latest generation products are shown, I "settle" for a system that is close to turning 30 (if not already ...).
I am currently listening to an SDR200 + DMC20 + DMA90 and I think I have never listened better. There is always improvement possible, it is true, but at this price, with this quality and with the synergy of the whole system, it seems that the appliances demonstrate young freshness!
Hello!
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
6,411
853
610
Boston, MA
Enjoy, and welcome!
 
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Noctilux

New Member
Jul 21, 2020
6
11
3
34
Thanks Ack!
Maybe I will insert some photos!
Right now I'm trying to optimize even more components with the best cables.
On the signal I am using the MIT UL330 and magnum MA while the speaker cable is MIT matrix 12.
Advice regarding for power and speaker cable?
 

Robertd

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2015
44
20
213
Old spectral is great! I drop in a DMA 50 from time to time. Btw, I like your name. Shot with a summicron 50 but never a noctilux.
 
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Joe Whip

Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2014
1,297
145
320
Wayne, PA
Still using a DMC 5 driving my rebuilt McCormack DNA1 with the full gravity base upgrade from Steve McCormack at SMc Audio. sounds fantastic. This was the last pre before the MIT cable requirement. Spectral still services it. Great company. A friend has the new stereo amp and it is awesome.
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
9,243
3,435
820
i owned a 50mm 0.95 Noct, 50mm f:2 APO, and 35mm FLE. then wife said i had to choose between new hifi gear and Leica. we know how that went.

welcome to What's Best Forum!
 

Robertd

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2015
44
20
213
Leica glass is incredible, And the cameras are beautiful, but you can still have a fantastic creative experience with Nikon, Canon or whatever camera it is you have with you.
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
6,411
853
610
Boston, MA
One of the beautiful things about Spectral is that you can go back decades and you will probably never claim that their products don't sound great. In fact, they sound sensational, no matter what the generation. Which is why there are many users that still own old gear, like my 20 year old transport design, which sounds just spectacular. Vision, engineering prowess and execution that transcend time. Rarely will you find folks talking about "vintage" gear like that, save for R2R, Nagra and some very few others.
 
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Noctilux

New Member
Jul 21, 2020
6
11
3
34
Thanks to all!!
My next natural step is to take a SDR3000 trasport... but is hard to find!!! One day...
I like shoot with my leicas and Leica glasses. Of course the fascinarono of Noctilux was unrivalled! :D:D
Now i’m playing a Ron Nelson Reference Recordings cd and i’m in exstasis :p
 

Noctilux

New Member
Jul 21, 2020
6
11
3
34
Hello again!
I have recently hearing the Spectral DMA100s series 2 in my personal system.
Surprise of surprises I preferred my old DMA90 series 2. I think the 100 is more refined and sophisticated, but I preferred the old one: dense, precise, with a more sense of rhythm and fuller bass.
Just my 2c.
Regards!
 
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acousticsguru

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2014
260
71
258
Hello again!
I have recently hearing the Spectral DMA100s series 2 in my personal system.
Surprise of surprises I preferred my old DMA90 series 2. I think the 100 is more refined and sophisticated, but I preferred the old one: dense, precise, with a more sense of rhythm and fuller bass.
Just my 2c.
Regards!
I'm not surprised. I bought a DMA90 Series 2 a few years ago as a temporary replacement when one of the big amps was in Italy for repair (there's no Spectral importer in this country), and still have it. Using it just now in fact in the small "music chamber" I'm currently relegated to, no need for more power, sounds just like you're describing, really one of my favorite Spectral products ever. I'd like to add that in contrast to some of the other amps from that era, even more so older ones, the DMA-90 Series 2 has this ever so slightly "golden" versus "silvery" treble that gives it a less ethereal, more hands-on character. It's also space-saving, light and handy, a cool little machine with a big sound.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
 
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marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,891
1,192
585
United States
The DMA 50 and DMA 90 might just be the best amps Spectral ever made pound for pound. Owned them both and loved them! Of course, that was back in the day when you weren't obliged to use only a Spectral preamp with them or MIT cable (although both were recommended). But at least you weren't castigated to Antarctica if you chose to us other ancillary gear!
 
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beeswax50

Well-Known Member
Apr 5, 2017
1
0
66
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
I'd had my Spectral DMA-90 amp for about 3 years (also a DMC-12 preamp) when I first saw the DMA-100S amp at the Spectral dealer for the Chicago area (entire midwestern U.S.A.?--there were about 14 in the country). I then asked the dealer "Does this mean I really should upgrade to the new DMA-100S?" He thought for a bit less than a second (probably analyzing my emotional state of the moment), and answered (to his credit; he is a good person and still in business but hasn't been a Spectral dealer for years): "No, what you have now is fine."

I wandered around the store for a while in a confused, conflicted state: I was a big believer in "the latest and greatest", and I always expected to and was fine with upgrading my Spectral gear if financially feasible--but just not so soon! Eventually, I spoke with one of the dealer's part-time employees, a college student, about this.

He answered me: "I just work here--not an owner--and have no strong financial interest in whether you purchase a new amp. I hear both amps in the course of my workweek. I have to tell you, the DMA-90 sounds better to me." He then said something to the effect that, with the DMA-100S, it seemed as if there was something going on "behind the scenes" (as if it were doing more? working "harder"? working "differently"?) as it created the amplified music signal. It almost seemed that he was implying that the DMA-90's amplification of music signals was more "organic".

---------------------------

According to the Spectral Audio website, the specs on the two amps are nearly identical. The following seemed to be the major differences (unless these are typographical errors):

DMA-100S:
Noise:
Signal to Noise:
90dB unweighted, 107dB ASA A
Crosstalk:
80dB @ full power 8 ohms

DMA-90:
Noise:
Signal to Noise:
97dB unweighted, 107dB ASA A
Crosstalk:
98dB @ full power 8 ohms

Might these differences have accounted for (some of) any perceived difference(s) in sound between the two?

---------------------------

A final question: As other(s) have written, there is not much info about the DMA-80 amp. People like the DMA-50 and DMA-90 amps--the DMA-100S, it seems not as much. But, according to Spectral Audio, all three of these have a slew rate of 1000 volts/microsecond. (How unusual it seems for an amp to have the same slew rate as the company's preamps!) Some of Spectral's latest amps, such as the Spectral DMA-300SV Reference Standard and the DMA-400 Monaural Reference Standard, claim a slew rate of "only" 650 volts/microsecond. (The DMA-300SV's bulletin [0319] claims it is their "best performance to date.")

Could the high slew rate of the DMA-50 and the DMA-90 be responsible for their much-liked sound? Hopefully, forum members much more knowledgeable than I will share their thoughts on this--and, also, regarding how high a slew rate is "enough" to reach the Spectral level of audio performance!
 

acousticsguru

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2014
260
71
258
I'd had my Spectral DMA-90 amp for about 3 years (also a DMC-12 preamp) when I first saw the DMA-100S amp at the Spectral dealer for the Chicago area (entire midwestern U.S.A.?--there were about 14 in the country). I then asked the dealer "Does this mean I really should upgrade to the new DMA-100S?" He thought for a bit less than a second (probably analyzing my emotional state of the moment), and answered (to his credit; he is a good person and still in business but hasn't been a Spectral dealer for years): "No, what you have now is fine."

I wandered around the store for a while in a confused, conflicted state: I was a big believer in "the latest and greatest", and I always expected to and was fine with upgrading my Spectral gear if financially feasible--but just not so soon! Eventually, I spoke with one of the dealer's part-time employees, a college student, about this.

He answered me: "I just work here--not an owner--and have no strong financial interest in whether you purchase a new amp. I hear both amps in the course of my workweek. I have to tell you, the DMA-90 sounds better to me." He then said something to the effect that, with the DMA-100S, it seemed as if there was something going on "behind the scenes" (as if it were doing more? working "harder"? working "differently"?) as it created the amplified music signal. It almost seemed that he was implying that the DMA-90's amplification of music signals was more "organic".

---------------------------

According to the Spectral Audio website, the specs on the two amps are nearly identical. The following seemed to be the major differences (unless these are typographical errors):

DMA-100S:
Noise:
Signal to Noise:
90dB unweighted, 107dB ASA A
Crosstalk:
80dB @ full power 8 ohms

DMA-90:
Noise:
Signal to Noise:
97dB unweighted, 107dB ASA A
Crosstalk:
98dB @ full power 8 ohms

Might these differences have accounted for (some of) any perceived difference(s) in sound between the two?

---------------------------

A final question: As other(s) have written, there is not much info about the DMA-80 amp. People like the DMA-50 and DMA-90 amps--the DMA-100S, it seems not as much. But, according to Spectral Audio, all three of these have a slew rate of 1000 volts/microsecond. (How unusual it seems for an amp to have the same slew rate as the company's preamps!) Some of Spectral's latest amps, such as the Spectral DMA-300SV Reference Standard and the DMA-400 Monaural Reference Standard, claim a slew rate of "only" 650 volts/microsecond. (The DMA-300SV's bulletin [0319] claims it is their "best performance to date.")

Could the high slew rate of the DMA-50 and the DMA-90 be responsible for their much-liked sound? Hopefully, forum members much more knowledgeable than I will share their thoughts on this--and, also, regarding how high a slew rate is "enough" to reach the Spectral level of audio performance!
That's what I hear, too: a bit less subtlety and finesse in the DMA-90 versus the DMA-100S perhaps, but a more organic sound ("warmth" for lack of a better term), very much as Noctilux describes it in Post #10 above.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
 

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