DAC direct to Spectral Amps

Jun 22, 2016
30
0
6
Greater Boston
#1
I'm considering buying DMA-360 V2 or the 260 to drive my Magico S1's. My DAC is a Bricasti M1-SE which has adjustable voltage output and volume control. At some point in the future I would likely add a Spectral pre.
I've read that Spectral should be used as a complete system and there is potential of damaging the gear when mixing/matching. My question is whether I can safely use the DAC to drive the amp. I would use the appropriate MIT interconnects and speaker cables.
Thanks.I appreciate any guidance.
 
Jun 5, 2010
857
11
18
#2
It depends on how important the factory's warranty is to you. If you don't care about the warranty, then by all means, experiment.

I have been using and kept Spectral amps from the original DMA 100 to the DMA 360 series 2 and the DMA 100S. I have used them with various interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords. So far, the Spectrals have worked without ever breaking down.
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,301
177
63
Far Hills, NJ
#3
I'm considering buying DMA-360 V2 or the 260 to drive my Magico S1's. My DAC is a Bricasti M1-SE which has adjustable voltage output and volume control. At some point in the future I would likely add a Spectral pre.
I've read that Spectral should be used as a complete system and there is potential of damaging the gear when mixing/matching. My question is whether I can safely use the DAC to drive the amp. I would use the appropriate MIT interconnects and speaker cables.
Thanks.I appreciate any guidance.
This topic has been discussed several times. If there is a rule that says Spectral amps sound best only with Spectral pre-amps, I am not aware of it. This is the Spectral police at their marketing best. The owner's manual for my Spectral 400 monoblocs says only you must use a preamp of sufficiently low output impedance that it can drive a 10K ohm load typical of most Spectral amps. My read slows the Bricasti output impedance is 40 ohms which is fairly low, so I think you'll be fine. I would definitely use MIT interconnects and speaker cable. This is not without some risk, but it would not scare me off either. (FYI I use a VTL 7.5 III preamp with my Spectral amps because I prefer their sound to any Spectral preamp in my system. YMMV.
 
May 30, 2016
157
4
18
#5
I'm considering buying DMA-360 V2 or the 260 to drive my Magico S1's. My DAC is a Bricasti M1-SE which has adjustable voltage output and volume control. At some point in the future I would likely add a Spectral pre.
I've read that Spectral should be used as a complete system and there is potential of damaging the gear when mixing/matching. My question is whether I can safely use the DAC to drive the amp. I would use the appropriate MIT interconnects and speaker cables.
Thanks.I appreciate any guidance.
Hello,

I've also pondered going down this road. A DAC driving the driving the Spectral amp directly But, after speaking with Spectral directly if there is a warranty left on any of the amplifiers they would not indeed not cover this under their factory warranty.

They are really designed as a system as others have said. With the inclusion of the Pre amp and MIT cables. This to me is just the way it is.

I've decided that if i indeed go for Spectral, I'll have to include the pre amp and MIT cables as a part of the purchasing decision.

I should also add that the Spectral employee I spoke to suggested to purchase the pre amp first even if I have to use a 3rd party amp in the interim. Rather than purchasing a Spectral amp and using it with a non Spectral pre amp. Even with MIT cables connecting the two it would certainly not be ideal.


Good Luck
 
May 9, 2012
410
5
18
Italia
#6
I'm considering buying DMA-360 V2 or the 260 to drive my Magico S1's. My DAC is a Bricasti M1-SE which has adjustable voltage output and volume control. At some point in the future I would likely add a Spectral pre.
I've read that Spectral should be used as a complete system and there is potential of damaging the gear when mixing/matching. My question is whether I can safely use the DAC to drive the amp. I would use the appropriate MIT interconnects and speaker cables.
Thanks.I appreciate any guidance.
I currently (and by long time) use my TotalDac D1 Dual to drive directly my DMA 260, without any issues and with great outcome. I guess using tube pre may create some troubles. But Bricasti M1-SE has a well done SS output stage, so I don't see any issue
 
May 30, 2016
157
4
18
#8
I currently (and by long time) use my TotalDac D1 Dual to drive directly my DMA 260, without any issues and with great outcome. I guess using tube pre may create some troubles. But Bricasti M1-SE has a well done SS output stage, so I don't see any issue
Are you using MIT interconnects between the dac and amp? If so , what model?
 

WDW

Member
May 25, 2011
51
2
8
BC, Canada
#10
yes, MIT cables, Oracle Matrix 50 as interconnects and Oracle MA as speaker cables (as you can see into "view Profile" of my account).
If of any value, was told by a senior member of Berkeley Audio (with close affiliation with Spectral) that they run their DAC directly into Spectral amps...always wondered why these guys are so "precious" about their gear. Hard to buy, difficult to connect to...etc...etc...
 

Console

New Member
Apr 17, 2017
29
0
1
Timbuktu ;)
#14
Hi there... I used a Mark Levinson integrated 585, then listened to Spectral by chance and fell in love.
The ML is for sale, and now I started to explore Spectral stuff... what an exciting journey!
So, a friend of mine sold me an 100% new-like DMA 180 with renewed capacitors by authorized Spectral distro in Germany. A wonderful machine and just a few bucks.
I am still currently looking for a DMC 30 SL G2 or SS2. For now my Weiss DAC-202 (with Volume control) runs directly into the DMA 180 - and it sounds great.
But I had a DMC 30 first gen connected for listening sessions: Better than the Weiss DAC directly connected - more macro and micro-dynamics and soundstage dephts and size.
For me it is clear: Spectral preamp is A MUST, but DAC direct already sounds great. No damages or other problems here at all.
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,464
148
63
Boston, MA
#15
It's been said a number of times - Spectral amps are current driven, and very few DACs or other preamps can properly drive them. Spectral eased the language in some recent amps, like the 400RS, but tightened it again in the 300RS. That alone creates user confusion, and understandably so. Other functions provided by their preamps include DC and oscillation protection, and I have triggered the DC-offset protection circuit a number of times with my Pass XP-25 myself; apparently, it is not all that stable in that department.
 
May 30, 2010
15,090
482
83
Portugal
#16
It's been said a number of times - Spectral amps are current driven, and very few DACs or other preamps can properly drive them. Spectral eased the language in some recent amps, like the 400RS, but tightened it again in the 300RS. That alone creates user confusion, and understandably so. Other functions provided by their preamps include DC and oscillation protection, and I have triggered the DC-offset protection circuit a number of times with my Pass XP-25 myself; apparently, it is not all that stable in that department.
Current driven is usually a nice name for low input impedance in an amplifier. Sensitivity and input impedance completely characterize the amplifier input in technical terms. Do you know what is the impedance of the 400RS and the 300RS?
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,464
148
63
Boston, MA
#17
10K input impedance, and the manuals of the various models claim anywhere from 100-180mA input for rated power output
 
May 30, 2010
15,090
482
83
Portugal
#18
10K input impedance, and the manuals of the various models claim anywhere from 100-180mA input for rated power output
100mA at 10 kohm means an input voltage of 1000V for rated power ...

Probably claims of amplifiers with completely different input stage specs are being mixed. The DMA-180 lists:

Input:
Impedence:
100K ohms in parallel with 100 pf
Sensitivity:
1.5 volts/nominal output


It looks perfect for a tube preamplifier!
 
Dec 17, 2015
6
6
3
#19
It depends on how important the factory's warranty is to you. If you don't care about the warranty, then by all means, experiment.
Spectral would like you to believe that, but they would run afoul of the Federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Basically one of the things the act states is that if a consumer product warranty is contingent on the use of particular accessory parts, those parts must be supplied with the item for free.

This was originally meant to prevent say a car company from invalidating their warranty because you used Fram or some other brand filters rather than those sold by the automaker themselves.

In this case, however, it would apply equally if Spectral tried to void your warranty for not using MIT or Spectral cable.
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,464
148
63
Boston, MA
#20
10K input impedance, and the manuals of the various models claim anywhere from 100-180mA input for rated power output
Correcting myself: the manuals claim at least that much current capability out of the preamps, and do not discuss input-current requirements for the amps.
 

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