Input cables for Spectral preamps?

Feb 17, 2014
93
0
6
#1
Learnt something that I'd never heard before (surely not from marketing or sales) during a chat on the phone with the service department at Spectral: the input cable may be thought of as "courtesy of the source component manufacturer's" - in other words, of course Spectral-approved and/or -branded MIT may be used, but if the source component manufacturer has a preference for an interconnect to be used with their equipment, use that.

When I expressed my surprise, I was told the requirement is to use a Spectral-approved/-brandend MIT loudspeaker cable with a Spectral power amp as a matter of course, as well as a Spectral-approved/-brandend MIT interconnect between a Spectral preamp and power amp, but that unless the source component were e.g. a Spectral CD player, one could use any interconnect on the input side of a Spectral preamp one liked.

Experience has taught me not to believe much in "mixing and matching" (exceptions apply, other than that, simple combinatorics), thus figured it would be best to use the same Spectral-approved/-brandend MIT interconnect on the preamp's input side as from its output to the power amp.

Now wondering, of course, who does this (i.e. use something else on their Spectral preamp's input side), and what are your findings? Experiences?

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
 
May 30, 2016
156
4
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#2
Learnt something that I'd never heard before (surely not from marketing or sales) during a chat on the phone with the service department at Spectral: the input cable may be thought of as "courtesy of the source component manufacturer's" - in other words, of course Spectral-approved and/or -branded MIT may be used, but if the source component manufacturer has a preference for an interconnect to be used with their equipment, use that.

When I expressed my surprise, I was told the requirement is to use a Spectral-approved/-brandend MIT loudspeaker cable with a Spectral power amp as a matter of course, as well as a Spectral-approved/-brandend MIT interconnect between a Spectral preamp and power amp, but that unless the source component were e.g. a Spectral CD player, one could use any interconnect on the input side of a Spectral preamp one liked.

Experience has taught me not to believe much in "mixing and matching" (exceptions apply, other than that, simple combinatorics), thus figured it would be best to use the same Spectral-approved/-brandend MIT interconnect on the preamp's input side as from its output to the power amp.

Now wondering, of course, who does this (i.e. use something else on their Spectral preamp's input side), and what are your findings? Experiences?

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
Spectral has told me the same but, the dealer said the opposite. They advised me that only "High Bandwidth Spectral and or MIT cables" must be connected to the Pre-Amp. As much as I love the Spectral sound and engineering. I'll admit I have a hard time with the MIT whole rabbit hole IMHO.

Like yourself, I prefer a full loom of the same brand of interconnect. To that end, I'd have to re wire my whole system with MIT and not just the speaker and pre/amp to amplifier connection. This opens up MIT's whole poles of Articulation, boxes with switches and dials on them etc... Ugh...decisions...
 
May 30, 2016
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#4
I would want to know from an engineering / scientific standpoint 'why' one should/must use MIT cabling ??
I also would to know and have been reading, asking the same question and making myself crazy for the past few months. I'm not an engineer but, It is my understanding in the case of MIT with Spectral they are being used as a filter so the amplifier doesn't overheat and or oscillate. I have read posts from other Spectral owners that have abandoned MIT. They state that the products do run warmer and or perhaps lock up but, they work without MIT.

To that end, If I'm going to invest in new Spectral equipment I'd go for MIT but, thats the issue. I'd only use the cables to avoid a warranty or hardware claim. The higher end MIT cables cost as much as some of the Spectral hardware. For what? More Poles of articulation ? MIT gimmicks that manipulate the signal somewhat? It seems like an endless rabbit hole and very frustrating to me.
 
Feb 17, 2014
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#5
No worries, the rationale behind using MIT cables with Spectral amplification is sound. I don't have the time for a lengthy explanation, but yes, it is directly related to the extreme bandwidth of the amps. The cables keep them from being driven into oscillation. That's not all there is to it, though - but it's the part that has to do with the "requirement" and warranty.

I've used Spectral with other cables and once paid the price for it (blowing a power amp). Even so, I've been wondering sometimes why audiophiles aren't glad to get something that functions as a system? I have plenty of audiophile acquaintances who've spent at least equally absurd sums trying to find the right cables mixing and matching, or cable looms for that matter, for their non-Spectral systems, and guess what, they're still on the lookout for something better to come along. Spectral is easy: get what's recommended, and it's not only safe but also sounds (much!) better.

The point of this thread is, no more and no less, that there appears to be no such requirement for the preamp input cables (and it won't void its warranty to use a Spectral preamp in a non-Spectral system and with any cable one likes, whether or not sonically recommendable), unless the source component is from Spectral, too.

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
 
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ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,409
107
63
Boston, MA
#6
David, there's never been a requirement for MIT cables at the preamp inputs. Whatever requirements there have been or are, they were about the amps only. However, probably still a good idea to go full-loom with any cable vendor of choice.
 
Oct 1, 2010
937
8
18
Cleveland Ohio
#7
Cable sensitivity is a sign of poor circuit design.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
As for high frequency instability, there are countless circuit designs that are stable into the GHz region.
 
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May 30, 2010
14,802
338
83
Portugal
#8
Cable sensitivity is a sign of poor circuit design.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
As for high frequency instability, there are countless circuit designs that are stable into the GHz region.
Yes, I hope my mobile phone is stable! But unfortunately is does not sound like a Spectral amplifier. :)

Two points I would like to add:

Spectral designs have evolved a lot along decades - people often repeat facts that only referred to some particular model as universal truths about the brand. IMHO when addressing cables for Spectral we must identify the models we are referring.

Surely poor sounding is a sign of poor circuit design. In the high-end sound quality it what matters most, as well as reliability. If a manufacturer designs an amplifier that operates with great reliability in the conditions he expressly recommends as mandatory and sounds excellent I consider it an excellent circuit design. IMHO, YMMV.
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,409
107
63
Boston, MA
#9
Oct 1, 2010
937
8
18
Cleveland Ohio
#10
May 30, 2010
14,802
338
83
Portugal
#11
Here's an short but enlightening MBL pdf http://www.mbl.de/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Wiring-high-bandwidths-amplifiers_EN.pdf ["Using cables with power amplifiers mbl 9008 A and mbl 9011 (or any other high bandwidth amp)"], on cables, magnetic fields, wide bandwidth amplifiers and oscillation. The subject is much, much deeper and complex, if one cares to explore it.
Ack,

In fact, what is referred in this MBL pdf is not deep or complex, just very basic.

IMHO the only complex part it refers is "Non-compliance leads to interference of radio signals from mobile phones and mobile phone masts, Wi-Fi radio waves, DECT signals or other RF signals." People should think about the frequencies involved in these interference signals and that the classical approaches are sometimes unable to deal with such high frequencies ...
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,409
107
63
Boston, MA
#12
Ack,

In fact, what is referred in this MBL pdf is not deep or complex, just very basic.

IMHO the only complex part it refers is "Non-compliance leads to interference of radio signals from mobile phones and mobile phone masts, Wi-Fi radio waves, DECT signals or other RF signals." People should think about the frequencies involved in these interference signals and that the classical approaches are sometimes unable to deal with such high frequencies ...
Hmm, I didn't say the PDF is deep or complex. I said the PDF is short but enlightening but the subject is deep and complex, meaning the PDF is basic but to the point. High-powered, wide-bandwidth amplification has many challenges.
 
May 9, 2012
410
5
18
Italia
#13
Cable sensitivity is a sign of poor circuit design.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
As for high frequency instability, there are countless circuit designs that are stable into the GHz region.
I'm sorry but I totally disagree.
All amplifiers are sensitive to the type of cable you are using. But that does not mean they are badly designed.
As for high frequency instability, first of all Spectral's are stable amplifiers.
The particular design of the spectral, is based on a high transient response speed and consequently to a large current emission, as well as a large damping factor (stability factor, for instance, contrary to your assumtpion).
The high transient response speed may cause oscillation, but the high damping factor reduce the risk it happens.
It is like the F16 aircraft, it uses controlled instability to be more maneuverable.
Spectral's design is recognized as one of the best projects on the market currently avaliable, contrary to be a "poor circuit design".
 
Feb 17, 2014
93
0
6
#14
Cable sensitivity is a sign of poor circuit design.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
As for high frequency instability, there are countless circuit designs that are stable into the GHz region.
Heard this before and it just doesn't make sense. It's like saying that even though bicycle tires are a no-go on a passenger car, the fact a Formula 1 racing car would tolerate the use of them even less is a sign of poor design?

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
 

Console

New Member
Apr 17, 2017
29
0
1
Timbuktu ;)
#15
I have all Ansuz except Pre to Power and to Loudspeaker

Learnt something that I'd never heard before (surely not from marketing or sales) during a chat on the phone with the service department at Spectral: the input cable may be thought of as "courtesy of the source component manufacturer's" - in other words, of course Spectral-approved and/or -branded MIT may be used, but if the source component manufacturer has a preference for an interconnect to be used with their equipment, use that.

When I expressed my surprise, I was told the requirement is to use a Spectral-approved/-brandend MIT loudspeaker cable with a Spectral power amp as a matter of course, as well as a Spectral-approved/-brandend MIT interconnect between a Spectral preamp and power amp, but that unless the source component were e.g. a Spectral CD player, one could use any interconnect on the input side of a Spectral preamp one liked.

Experience has taught me not to believe much in "mixing and matching" (exceptions apply, other than that, simple combinatorics), thus figured it would be best to use the same Spectral-approved/-brandend MIT interconnect on the preamp's input side as from its output to the power amp.

Now wondering, of course, who does this (i.e. use something else on their Spectral preamp's input side), and what are your findings? Experiences?

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
I have Spectral MH770 UL II for Speakers and MIT Shotgun Balanced from DMC30 SL to DMA 180. All Power Cables and Distributor are from Ansuz. I also used to run Shotgun from DAC to Preamp, but exchanged ALL except above mentioned cables against Ansuz Loom from C and Diamond Class. And it was a good move! From Preamp up to Loudspeaker I will stay Spectral / MIT, but the rest ANSUZ. Mighty good cables. Heavily recommended, especially the Power Cables. I also have Ansuz Diamond Class Footers under each component for resonance control: Wonderful! Incredible upgrade to my sound. Test it!
 
Jun 17, 2010
272
4
18
SE Pa
#16
so , is it fair to assume that if another brand of cable meets the same specs as MIT all is good with Spectral ? Is it not fair to assume the meeting those specs (resistance, inductance and capacitance) can be done so at not such an astronomical price ?
 

Console

New Member
Apr 17, 2017
29
0
1
Timbuktu ;)
#17
Ansuz actually is also astronomical in pricing. Guess that comes with industry and business interests: They make you pay for waht works (better). Material price in the cables is a fraction. You pay for the concept of the products. Ansuz cables actually even don't feel and look expensive. Expensive, but beautiful hobby we have with Highend... ⚡️
 
Feb 17, 2014
93
0
6
#18
so , is it fair to assume that if another brand of cable meets the same specs as MIT all is good with Spectral ? Is it not fair to assume the meeting those specs (resistance, inductance and capacitance) can be done so at not such an astronomical price ?
If indeed there were another brand making cables which meet the same specs - I do not know of any others that are optimized to be used with Spectral electronics (= designed to keep megahertz wide-band amps from oscillating).

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
 
Feb 17, 2014
93
0
6
#20
makes you wish Spectral would fall under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act ............. or does it ???
I'm Swiss, so please enlighten me: that act is to prevent against "problems as a result of manufacturers using disclaimers on warranties in an unfair or misleading manner", whereas here, amps are advertised to be used with specific cables to be used as a system (I couldn't use another brand's accessories with my Magimix food processor either, to give just one of countless examples one could think of)? In this particular case, misapplication doesn't even pose a potential health risk to the owner, merely the product, and it's just a fact technically that one can't use wide-band amps with any type of cable. There are other brands that build wide-band amps (even if not in the U.S.), and the technical restrictions and warranty disclaimers are similar or the same. No one forces audiophiles to buy a wide-band amp to begin with if they disagree with the system concept. I agree MIT cables are expensive, but I fail to see how pricing would come into the equation. Needless to say, MIT can't be forced to share their patents only for some other brand to offer copycats for less. In short, what makes you think Spectral products do not comply with the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act?

Greetings from Switzerland, David.
 
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