Dma-300rs

ack

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I haven't listened to it yet but when the specs are eventually published on their site you will notice that, from that perspective, they beat the 400s in all but one (and of course power), and by a significant margin. The amp is also a work of art to look at.

More in a week or two
 

StefanT

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Mar 28, 2014
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I haven't listened to it yet but when the specs are eventually published on their site you will notice that, from that perspective, they beat the 400s in all but one (and of course power), and by a significant margin. The amp is also a work of art to look at.

More in a week or two

Interesting. So you mean that it will sound better in many ways than the 400RSs, if you don't need the extra power?

Do you base this on the technical spec's or that you have talked to others that have already listened to the 300RS?
 

ack

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Regarding its sound, I wouldn't make any more comments than I already did: we'll see in a week or two (when I get some time to listen to it). Regarding specs, let's just wait and see what goes up on the web site - I won't be surprised if the 400s' are also updated, or if perhaps the spec sheet distributed has typos. From my perspective, I have learned not to try to be among the first through the door with Spectral products; instead I wait it out (most of my Spectral gear has been Series 2), and in the case of monos, I will usually await the subsequent stereo amp in hopes of new innovations making it to slightly-modified monos of late serial numbers; so we'll see what my 400s sound like compared to the demos I had in-house... I will only add that the 300RS's specs appear to be so spectacularly sensational that they merit trickling some changes up and down the line. Spectral appears to be taking giant steps lately towards extremely transparent-to-sources sound.
 
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StefanT

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I'm looking forward to reading your listening impressions. Also from others of course that have a chance to listen to the 300RS.

Currently I have a DMC-30SS series 2 preamp and I'm now looking into buying a new power amp.
 

ack

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Good that you own their preamp - I was told that, with the 300RS, they are going back to *requiring* Spectral preamps (and MIT cables) for warranty; the language wrt preamps was softened in the 400s' manual, but it looks like it will be as strict (if not stricter) for the 300RS as in my 360S2's, on which the warning label on the plastic wrap reads:

spectral-preamp-requirement.JPG
 

ack

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Current price is $18K
 

ack

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coopersark

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If the updates to the 260 are anything like the sonic improvement in clarity, sparkle, dynamics, and overall resolution that the 400RS wrought over the 300's, it could prove to be one of the biggest bargains in the market for amplifiers. Certainly a "best buy" at its price point! (Although I speculate that there will be about a $2K price increase for the Series 2. Rarely does a manufacturer introduce a "Series" change without raising the price.)

This new amp may tempt me to upgrade my DMA-180 that I am using in one of my secondary audio systems. We will see, as I just had my dealer send my 180 back to Spectral to replace all of its aged power supply capacitors. I still love my classic DMA-180!

Lastly, until I hear the 300RS and 260 II for myself, I would think that the major difference between the 400RS, 300RS, and DMA 260II is that of power delivery and dynamics.
 

ack

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I've been SO itching to say this, but until we see the 300RS specs officially published on their site, take the following with a grain of salt: these amplifiers have finally reached noise and distortion levels of any kind as low as their exceptional 30SS S2 preamp; and extremely low at that, if not even lower (as you will hopefully see, the 300RS's noise floor is staggeringly low); plus slew rates very close to that of the preamp's (that in itself is extremely difficult to achieve in a high current, high power amplifier). These alone are not measures of anything if they don't sound good, but as you and others can probably attest, they sound sensationally realistic (save for ultimate dynamic headroom and power delivery), grain-free and accurate - and only if you have MIT cables throughout. So when Spectral says that they can reproduce the signal from input to output with parts-per-million precision, that should probably be taken verbatim. Absolutely, outstanding breakthrough products when judging from the 400's perspective, and I have yet to audition the 300RS...

PS: I just added internal pictures of the 400s last night under my system's page here http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showt...end-of-round-1&p=270518&viewfull=1#post270518
 

StefanT

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Mar 28, 2014
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Noone that has listened to the 300 RS yet?

This is what Goodwin's HighEnd is writing: " Spectral DMA-300 RS stereo power amp. After a long wait this stunningly good power amp is finally here! Along with the DMA-400 RS mono amp, this is now the other Reference Standard amplifier in Spectral's range of componentry. In our listening the DMA-300 RS has proven to be a very special power amplifier indeed—and in the context of a properly configured Spectral system will take you closer to a recorded musical event than you might imagine is even possible! Stay tuned for details...".

Sounds very interesting...
 

ack

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Would it help if I told you I am a little afraid to go listen to it? :) But seriously, been too busy and want to acquaint myself with the 400s first
 

StefanT

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Mar 28, 2014
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:)

I live in Europe and I will probably not have a chance to listen to it before I may be ordering it. Thus, listening impressions from you guys would be very much appreciated.
 

ack

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I'll do my very best to audition it this week. But I can tell you one thing: I've been a customer of Goodwin's for two decades and to me they are extremely responsible and truthful people with exceptional hearing acuity, who, like Spectral, will NOT use words haphazardly.
 
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StefanT

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Thanks.

I guess I'm not the only one interested in 300 RS listening impressions.
 

ack

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The DMA-300RS link is now up http://www.spectralaudio.com/DMA-300 WEB/DMA-300.htm with interesting pictures; I assume the specs page is also forthcoming soon

Some interesting language, virtually identical to the 400RS:

In a waveform or time sense, the output signal from the DMA-300 traverses from point “A” to “B” of a musical event with exactly the same waveform shape as its input signal. It does this with parts-per-million accuracy that is free of memorialized unnatural artifacts either before or after the input event.

...

The new generation amplifier systemboard of the DMA-300 features advanced RF layout techniques for ultra stable high frequency operation without ferrite stabilization or capacitors in the signal path.

...

In the DMA-300 Spectral further develops the SHHA driver technology, a radically improved amplifier topology featuring double the speed and signal response of our previous drivers. At these elevated speeds, device energy storage and thermal memory can now be observed as significant signal distortions, bluring transient detail and smearing instrument decay and interplay. Sophisticated new testing methodology identifies these fast-moving, thermal tail artifacts and directs their elimination in the advanced new SHHA driver topology. Combined with the innovative new push-pull, balanced gain section and the sophisticated internal interfaces, the new SHHA driver achieves parts-per-million waveform accuracy and the lowest distortion levels attained in an audio amplifier. The long sought after ideal of ‘instantneous accuracy’ with virtually no signal memory is significantly realized in the DMA-300RS Stereo Reference Standard, the most advanced reference amplifier yet from Spectral Audio.
 

ack

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These are not the specs that I have seen; we'll see what goes on their site...
 

ack

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Consider the following VERY PRELIMINARY impressions.

I had a brief one-hour audition of the DMA-300RS, driving the Q7 with the dCS Vivaldi stack as source. I think whoever is considering this amplifier better try them head to head with the 400s for a more informed opinion - I feel they are not just a less-powerful version of them (though it's been a while since I heard the 400s driving the Q7, fed by the SDR-4000SL), some things may be better or more to one's liking, others perhaps not; I didn't have time to compare them. I played the same music I always do, and my impression was that the system had some of the [minor] euphonic colorations of the 360s (though overall a completely different and better presentation), which can be very appealing with certain types of music; but I think I heard a couple of off piano notes, something that I don't notice with the 400s (but different sources); and equally evident with french horns (also absent from the 400s but again with different sources). The difference in sources is reason enough to listen for oneself. Apologies if this is confusing, but can't do it all in an hour; I would certainly like to go back and listen again, because I heard things I never heard before - probably an indication (but not proof positive) that the dCS Vivaldi is superior to the 4000SL (but at what cost!), though there is a slight possibility those off notes were the Vivaldi's doing...

Overall, though the system was quite impressive with RBCD, I felt it really came alive with HDCD and could do a lot better (no time for hi-rez, but just a brief 2-minute exposure to hi-rez while tuning the system left me a little speechless). I think it was a disservice to evaluate this type of system with RBCD but I had to use the same source material for first-impressions, plus time was limited. Turn this comment on its head, and I think it's a waste to buy the Vivaldi stack just for RBCD. With large symphonic RBCD program, I am quite certain I prefer my 400s, even fed by the much-lower-priced Alpha DAC - they are clearly more controlled, natural and effortless.

Switching to Magico for a bit, I realized that the Q3 (based on past auditions) imaged differently (and more to my liking) than the Q7 as set up, while playing Bruch's Scottish Fantasy/Oistrakh. I take this as just one data point, but important enough that it rekindled my desire to get a Q3. And for the umpteenth time, I was reminded that Magico Qs have ALL the qualities of electrostatics and more.

Back to the 300... if I were to compare it to the 260 based on past memories, I'd say go listen and keep the checkbook with you. As much as I love the incredible 260, I felt the 300 is superior in all sorts of ways.

Beautiful stuff, so I will make a point to go back and listen to hi-rez and analog at some point...
 

StefanT

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Mar 28, 2014
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Thank you ack for your very interesting and well balanced first impressions. It seems I should really try to get a way to listen to this amp myself. Hope my nearest dealer will get one so I can audition it and compare to their other amplifiers.
 

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