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Thread: Spectral DMA 400s arrive in New Jersey

  1. #81
    Addicted to Best! Mobiusman's Avatar
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    Since I am down and know Marty's system quite well, I wanted to hear what the V2 would do to his system. After 4 days, in his system, the answer is simple----it does the exact same thing it did to my system, namely make the music more believable, cohesive and simply more involving. Unfortunately, I have heard Marty's system both today and yesterday, because my girlfriend is in a nearby ICU after being bitten by 2 copperhead snakes Monday night. So after a day at the hospital, Marty and I play stereo. Last night was the nice, but tonight was spectacular, in fact the best I have heard Marty's system every sound.

    What Marty did not tell you is that I also leant him a Sigma HC 20 amp PC that arrived the day after I blew up the Spectral when the spades on my G3's shorted. I am hoping that he will put in the HC soon and start the break-in process so I can hear my new acquisition before I get my amp back.
    Russ The Mobiusman

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobiusman View Post
    What Marty did not tell you is that I also leant him a Sigma HC 20 amp PC that arrived the day after I blew up the Spectral when the spades on my G3's shorted. I am hoping that he will put in the HC soon and start the break-in process so I can hear my new acquisition before I get my amp back.
    All things in good time, my friend. I can only handle changing one variable at a time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadFloyd View Post
    Al, you haven't heard the Shunyata gear, why are you so convinced?

    At one point because of the hype, I bought 2 Typhons, a Triton and several Shunyata power cables. I ended up selling the Triton because I nor anyone else who heard my system could hear a difference. I also sold one Typhon. The Typhon does make a difference but it is subtle. The next time you come over I will disconnect the one I still have and you can hear it for yourself.

    Somewhat recently I upgraded my Alpha Digital power cable for a Sigma digital cable and didn't really hear any difference so forgive me if I remain a tad skeptical. I certainly don't suffer from expectation bias.

    To be clear I'm not declaring that Shunyata gear isn't good, but I do hear a lot more difference from changing interconnects or speaker cables than I do inserting a power conditioner. That could be because of my Equitech transformer is doing a good job filtering the power.
    You have a good point, Ian, I haven't heard the Shunyata gear.

    I am so convinced because I know how crucially important good power conditioning always has been in my system, and Shunyata is supposed to be the best.

    Twentyfour years ago my Tice Powerblock II was the best you could buy in power conditioning (it still beats some respectable power gear today). Perhaps the Triton would not make such a difference, who knows? Yet while this is a possibility, I wouldn't bet on it.

    It would be interesting to see how a Triton would work in your system now that your electrical issues are resolved. But you are right, perhaps the Equitech transformers already do such a good job.

  4. #84
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    I think the true issue here is not Shunyata, Equitech or any other brand, but rather how much you enjoy listening to your system. What constitutes "enjoyment" clearly varies from individual to individual. For me, enjoyment means getting me out of my head after a hard day at work to rejuvenate the human in me. In my systems, Shunyata products have made huge differences, some more than others. The Triton V2 and the CupperCon outlets top the list for most change with PC's close behind, especial the Zitron Anaconda and the Alpha Digital series. In my systems the Sigma Digital cable is better than the Alpha, but only marginally. I am hoping that the Sigma HC is markedly better than the Alpha HC because it is a very expensive cord and Caelin has told me that it should truly help the Triton V2 attain new levels of performance.

    All I know is that Marty's system sounded better than I have ever heard during the past 45 years AND the improvements were in the same areas that I experience with the Triton V2 in my system.
    Russ The Mobiusman

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobiusman View Post
    I think the true issue here is not Shunyata, Equitech or any other brand, but rather how much you enjoy listening to your system. What constitutes "enjoyment" clearly varies from individual to individual. For me, enjoyment means getting me out of my head after a hard day at work to rejuvenate the human in me. In my systems, Shunyata products have made huge differences, some more than others. The Triton V2 and the CupperCon outlets top the list for most change with PC's close behind, especial the Zitron Anaconda and the Alpha Digital series. In my systems the Sigma Digital cable is better than the Alpha, but only marginally. I am hoping that the Sigma HC is markedly better than the Alpha HC because it is a very expensive cord and Caelin has told me that it should truly help the Triton V2 attain new levels of performance.

    All I know is that Marty's system sounded better than I have ever heard during the past 45 years AND the improvements were in the same areas that I experience with the Triton V2 in my system.
    Fair enough, Russ. I must admit I'm curious to try one now.
    Speakers: Magico M-Project w/MPods Amplification: CAT JL7s, CAT Legend, CH Precision P1
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    Cables/Power: Kubala Sosna cables / Shunyata Denali 6000T, Sigma Zitron PC's / Furutech outlets
    Misc: Steve Blinn Designs rack & amp stands

  6. #86
    Addicted to Best! marty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobiusman View Post
    All I know is that Marty's system sounded better than I have ever heard during the past 45 years AND the improvements were in the same areas that I experience with the Triton V2 in my system.
    Consider that the reason the system sounds its best after 45 years is that our hearing is worse so we are just happier settling for whatever is there!! Ha!
    The good news, is our hearing is better now than it will be 45 years from now

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    Marty, you owe the audiophile community an explanation. I have heard systems with subs, I have heard great bass and slam from other speakers. But your speed, slam, and jump - that jump, and bss control, is ten fold better than what a speaker can achieve on its own. Also there is a rise that happens on orchestral crescendoes, where I can see the music rising. I can see a drummer bang away in your system without overloading the room in a circular radius, as if he has the drums set up in a circle rather than in a plane, and is not holding back for fear of making the owner reach for the volume remote.


    Can you, in the interest of audiophilia, experiment with the variables to isolate them as far as possible?

    1. Room - How much of that signature on slam, speed, jump, and that rise, do you see in Russ' system which has Spectrals on JL subs
    2. How much of that did you have with the VTL Siegfrieds before getting in the Spectrals
    3. Without the TacT curve, but with that CR1, what has changed. I can see other benefits to taking the room correction out, but in relation to the above points?
    4. Would that jump still stay if you brought the subs closer to the towers? Does it have anything to do with the distance? I did notice some jump when I once change the MBL amps to Spectrals on an MBL, but lower magnitude

    I can see that it is a combination of things, but would be good to breakdown factors

  8. #88
    Addicted to Best! marty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonzo75 View Post
    Marty, you owe the audiophile community an explanation. I have heard systems with subs, I have heard great bass and slam from other speakers. But your speed, slam, and jump - that jump, and bss control, is ten fold better than what a speaker can achieve on its own. Also there is a rise that happens on orchestral crescendoes, where I can see the music rising. I can see a drummer bang away in your system without overloading the room in a circular radius, as if he has the drums set up in a circle rather than in a plane, and is not holding back for fear of making the owner reach for the volume remote.


    Can you, in the interest of audiophilia, experiment with the variables to isolate them as far as possible?

    1. Room - How much of that signature on slam, speed, jump, and that rise, do you see in Russ' system which has Spectrals on JL subs
    2. How much of that did you have with the VTL Siegfrieds before getting in the Spectrals
    3. Without the TacT curve, but with that CR1, what has changed. I can see other benefits to taking the room correction out, but in relation to the above points?
    4. Would that jump still stay if you brought the subs closer to the towers? Does it have anything to do with the distance? I did notice some jump when I once change the MBL amps to Spectrals on an MBL, but lower magnitude

    I can see that it is a combination of things, but would be good to breakdown factors
    Ked,
    I don’t know if I will be able to address your query satisfactorily, but I’ll try my best. To begin, one good reason I’m not sure I can provide a completely satisfactory response to your query is rather obvious; namely, I’m not of the exact answers myself!

    You’ve kindly referred to one aspect of my system in particular that you find compelling, which is that of “speed, slam and jump”. You also refer to bass control and the failure of the room to overload with orchestral crescendos, much as you’d hear in a good hall. Although these are related, I think they are probably due to different things. The control of the dynamics and failure to overload is probably more a function of the room than anything else. It’s a large room (25 x 35 x 14 =12250 cu ft or about 350 cu meters) that is fairly well damped but not excessively so. In addition, buried behind the fabric of the ceiling alcove (see 2nd pic of the OP) are Helmholtz bass resonators in each “corner” of the oval that probably account for the good bass control you’ve noted. I think that part of your query is therefore the most easily explained.

    Now as far as the “speed, slam, jump”, I think there are several factors taken together that might help us understand that particular aspect of the system’s performance. The electronics certainly have a good part to do with that. I’m fairly convinced the Spectral 400 amps contribute mightily here because as you rightly assumed, that characteristic was not there to nearly the same degree with the VTL Siefrieds driving the Pipedream towers. If we consider that I crossover the Pipedream towers to the JL Gotham subs at around 82 Hz, and “speed, slam, jump” was not there in spades with the VTLs but is with the Spectral, this suggests that attribute is derived mainly from reproduction of the midbass and upper bass and not the deep bass which goes mainly through the Gothams. However, the deep bass certainly contributes in part, so I have to give credit to the VTL 7.5III preamp here as well for both its deep bass as well as mid bass performance. Although the VTL has a tube front end, it has a MOSFET output stage that can drive the crap out of anything over any interconnect distance by delivering gobs of current with a low output impedance.

    I’ll also share with you at least one I thing that I believe has nothing to do with the “speed, slam, jump” factor you noted and that is power cables. I spent a year going down that rabbit hole and my results are posted here. (post 169)
    http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...e-noise/page17. In fact, the modestly priced PCs that I am currently using do every bit as fine a job in this department as my previous cables that looked like tree trunks and were priced more like a small car.

    At this point, the relative contribution of two additional key factors need to be mentioned. The first, is the issue of time arrival at the listening position between the sound coming from the subs and those of the mains. There is no question this contributes to “speed, slam and jump”. The second is the relative smoothness of the frequency response from the low bass up through the critical midrange. Let’s talk about time alignment (impulse response) first. This has been discussed at length in some of my other posts; most recently in my comments as it pertains to using DSP correction for timing and crossover function (i.e TacT 2.2 XP) as opposed to an all analog approach using the JL Audio CR-1 crossover. That thread is here:
    http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...ital-crossover

    Not to repeat my thoughts in detail, but the bottom line is this- DSP offers something that no analog crossover can accomplish which is the ability to have the wave fronts from the subs and the mains arrive at the listener position at the same time (if and only if the subs are placed behind the mains) by retarding the timing to the mains by a small increment (i.e. 4-8 msec depending on subwoofer location if placed behind the mains). DSP also allows for a more precise frequency response and careful tuning of the system’s bass frequencies to a level of precision that is to be envied, but may require a great investment in time to achieve. More on that in a minute. That said, what the analog CR-1 crossover delivers is a more transparent and less colored sonic palette most notable in the upper midrange and top end that allows for a easier re-creation of the “air” of the orchestra, or as I have called it, the orchestra’s “penumbra” (roughly translated: an area that lies on the edge of something; a fringe; related to, connected to, and implied by, the existence of something else that is necessary for the second thing to be full and complete in its essential aspect). Bottom line, that’s some fancy bullshit way of saying I like the top end of my system better with the CR-1 crossover than with the TacT.

    So now let me try to answer the question Ked is getting at- if I think the TacT was so critical to time alignment between the subs and the mains, and if that contributes in a major way to “speed, slam, jump”, what happened to that precious attribute when I substituted the CR-1 for the TacT? Did my system's “get up and go” simply “got up and went”? Surprisingly, for the most part, no! Conversely, is it as absolutely spot on as it is with the TacT? Well, no to that as well. However, this is the key- are the benefits worth the liabilities? Did I gain more than I lost by going from a DSP to an analog crossover?

    After a few months of listening, I think the answer is a hearty yes. First, its hard to ignore the beautiful benefits of going all analog from the midrange on up, especially when using a turntable. (Yes, I can hear all my good analog LP die hard friends now: ”OK, so he’s not crazy after all!). But here’s the real shocker. I have had some wonderful conversations on this very issue with JL Audio’s main technical engineer, Barry Ober, who admits that ideally, it would be great if we had a way to retard the timing of the mains to match the subs for perfect time alignment between the two, but concedes that with careful use of the phase control and proper set up of subs, the modest timing error we are talking about would hardly be missed at all by most listeners. He pretty much came right out and said that you’d have to be essentially nuts to even notice the error at all. To which I proudly say: finally, someone understands me!!

    But let’s get back to Ked’s inquiry, as there is one final item to be discussed. I may lament my loss of absolutely perfect time alignment between the subs and the mains with the CR-1 crossover, but as Barry Ober said, I don’t think most people would really notice any significant loss of “speed, slam’ and jump” at all in my current system. However what I do notice, and what I don’t think requires golden ears to hear, is that simply put, the overall frequency response is just not as smooth as when I could tweak it very precisely with DSP. And so, in order to get back some of what I have lost, I recently sold my Gotham subs and have the Gotham v2’s on order which are due to arrive shortly. What the Gotham v2’s employ is a digital automated EQ system for the woofers that can provide a much flatter response than was possible the original Gothams. Whereas the original Gothams allowed one to dial out the main room resonance frequency, the V2’s allow for a multipoint frequency adjustment that I think will be far closer to what I was able to achieve by using the TacT in conjunction with the original Gotham subs. We shall see. If the changes I anticipate with the Gotham v2’s combined with the level of “speed, slam and jump” I currently have using the CR-1 crossover offer an overall improvement from what I am experiencing now, I’m sure the smile on my face will be a good one.

    Ked, your world tour in search of Audio Nirvana is now legendary and I understand you have some super systems lined up for your next leg of the journey. However, you know you are always welcome back to see if the proof is in the pudding.

    Marty
    Last edited by marty; 03-08-2016 at 06:38 AM.

  9. #89
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! MadFloyd's Avatar
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    I'm confused. It sure sounds like Ked heard your system, Marty, but you're on the east coast and I thought Ked was touring the opposite coast...?
    Speakers: Magico M-Project w/MPods Amplification: CAT JL7s, CAT Legend, CH Precision P1
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  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadFloyd View Post
    I'm confused. It sure sounds like Ked heard your system, Marty, but you're on the east coast and I thought Ked was touring the opposite coast...?
    Floyd,
    Correct. Ked was referencing my system when he heard it last fall on one of his East coast tours.
    Marty

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