Spectral SDR-3000

jzzmn88

New Member
Feb 14, 2017
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1
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#1
Hi all,

First post and am interested in getting a Spectral SDR-3000 transport to pair with my MSB Analog dac. I'm thinking these will pair nicely but has anyone heard this combo before?
It is my understanding that Spectral components are very well built but in case it does need servicing, does Spectral still support legacy products like this?
Lastly, do I need to use a MIT digital coaxial cable? I heard Spectral components are usually paired with MIT to avoid damage but wasn't sure whether that only pertained to their amps and preamps or does that apply to their digital components as well.

Thanks very much!
 

ack

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May 6, 2010
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#2
Welcome. I've been using this transport for decades; by many accounts, still ones of the best. By my account, part of the incredible sonic results I get with digital nowadays, better than my analog. No problems getting it serviced, they service equipment all the way back to the 80s if not prior. Laser strength still at 95% as of 2014. Products built for decades worth of life, to outlast the owners. Using the MA-X digital cable as well - nothing to do with "damage" here, just best sonics. But be careful to buy one only if it's been recently serviced, or you know the history of a unit.
 

jzzmn88

New Member
Feb 14, 2017
15
1
3
#3
Welcome. I've been using this transport for decades; by many accounts, still ones of the best. By my account, part of the incredible sonic results I get with digital nowadays, better than my analog. No problems getting it serviced, they service equipment all the way back to the 80s if not prior. Laser strength still at 95% as of 2014. Products built for decades worth of life, to outlast the owners. Using the MA-X digital cable as well - nothing to do with "damage" here, just best sonics. But be careful to buy one only if it's been recently serviced, or you know the history of a unit.
Thanks for your response and info Ack. Its great to know these units are built to last a lifetime but can still be serviced if needed.

These rarely pop up on the market so will have to bide my time looking for one.
 

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#4
Hi there!

The Spectral should work just fine with your MSB Analog DAC, but I'd urge to check out one of MSB's own transports.

Instead of the brute force, overbuilt approach used by some vendors, they use simple computer CD-ROM drives (easy and cheap to replace), and work effectively as memory players, buffering the discs in memory, and if you use the ProI2S interface, it'll also reclock the signal to the DAC's clock. And with the ProI2S, you can use regular Ethernet cables for an interconnect.
 
Mar 3, 2011
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#5
Hi, never heard 3000 + MSB combo, but the 3000 will work with any DAC / digital cable. I use Transparent digital cable to good effect.
 

Elberoth

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Dec 16, 2012
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Poland
#6
I would check with Spectral if they still have the parts needed to service this player. SDR-3000 is based on Teac VRDS drive, which was a popular choice in the 90s and can be found in many hi-end CD players, from Wadia to Krell. Most, if not all of the parts, are no longer available from Teac, so unless they built a huge stock of spare parts - they may not be able to service it.
 

jzzmn88

New Member
Feb 14, 2017
15
1
3
#7
Hi there!

The Spectral should work just fine with your MSB Analog DAC, but I'd urge to check out one of MSB's own transports.

Instead of the brute force, overbuilt approach used by some vendors, they use simple computer CD-ROM drives (easy and cheap to replace), and work effectively as memory players, buffering the discs in memory, and if you use the ProI2S interface, it'll also reclock the signal to the DAC's clock. And with the ProI2S, you can use regular Ethernet cables for an interconnect.
Asiufy, thank you for the comment. I had considered the MSB UMT but since I had just spent a fortune on purchasing the Analog dac, my wife would kill me if I spent another fortune on the UMT :D

However, I agree, the UMT/Analog pair would be ideal. Maybe I should save up and wait.

Also, I stream Tidal quite a bit as well, currently using my Macbook Air usb direct to the Quad USB module on my Analog dac. From what I understand, it can be done directly to the UMT through an ethernet connection? Can you confirm this is possible?
 

jzzmn88

New Member
Feb 14, 2017
15
1
3
#8
I would check with Spectral if they still have the parts needed to service this player. SDR-3000 is based on Teac VRDS drive, which was a popular choice in the 90s and can be found in many hi-end CD players, from Wadia to Krell. Most, if not all of the parts, are no longer available from Teac, so unless they built a huge stock of spare parts - they may not be able to service it.
I just called Spectral and they did confirm that they still service these units. That's great to know. The lady I spoke with cautioned I buy one that has not been modified as they will not work on any modded units. This all confirms what Ack said earlier about being careful where I purchase this from.
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
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Boston, MA
#9
Mine was last serviced in the summer of 2016 - some blown thermal sensor of sorts. So rest assured, they do service them, and they have a very long history of supporting just about everything they've ever made, as long as it's not modified. You are dealing with top pros. The real problem with getting a 3000 is finding one from a dealer, as they don't necessarily get any trade-ins anymore; I have searched myself high and low to get a second one, for a second system, to no avail. It would not be a lie if I told you that mine, despite its age, runs and looks virtually brand-new. If you care about why transports make a difference from a technical perspective, and why I said many think this is one of the very best, just look at Lampizator's website http://www.lampizator.eu/lampizator/TRANSPORT/CD_transport_DIY.html

I guess I just created more competition in my quest to find another one :cool:
 

jzzmn88

New Member
Feb 14, 2017
15
1
3
#10
Mine was last serviced in the summer of 2016 - some blown thermal sensor of sorts. So rest assured, they do service them, and they have a very long history of supporting just about everything they've ever made, as long as it's not modified. You are dealing with top pros. The real problem with getting a 3000 is finding one from a dealer, as they don't necessarily get any trade-ins anymore; I have searched myself high and low to get a second one, for a second system, to no avail. It would not be a lie if I told you that mine, despite its age, runs and looks virtually brand-new. If you care about why transports make a difference from a technical perspective, and why I said many think this is one of the very best, just look at Lampizator's website http://www.lampizator.eu/lampizator/TRANSPORT/CD_transport_DIY.html

I guess I just created more competition in my quest to find another one :cool:
Interesting that you posted that link because its that very article that I learned about this player!

Well, I suppose you and I are in competition with one another to look for a unit :)

Seriously though, thank you for the info. Its been very helpful.
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,035
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63
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#11
Asiufy, thank you for the comment. I had considered the MSB UMT but since I had just spent a fortune on purchasing the Analog dac, my wife would kill me if I spent another fortune on the UMT :D

However, I agree, the UMT/Analog pair would be ideal. Maybe I should save up and wait.

Also, I stream Tidal quite a bit as well, currently using my Macbook Air usb direct to the Quad USB module on my Analog dac. From what I understand, it can be done directly to the UMT through an ethernet connection? Can you confirm this is possible?
You're welcome :)

The UMT can be put on the network, and work as a UPNP streamer! To use Tidal, you'll need to install a piece of software on your Mac (BubbleUPNPServer), but that's simple enough!

Here's a little bit about it:

http://www.msbtechnology.com/transports/umtv-features/

cheers,
alex
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,411
107
63
Boston, MA
#12
Interesting that you posted that link because its that very article that I learned about this player!

Well, I suppose you and I are in competition with one another to look for a unit :)

Seriously though, thank you for the info. Its been very helpful.
Check audiogon - there was one up for auction by Overture just recently. I dismissed it because the attached repair sheet had a laundry list of repairs.
 

jzzmn88

New Member
Feb 14, 2017
15
1
3
#13
Well I was able to locate a SDR-3000! Bought it from a dealer in Florida that deals in used high end equipment, so while not an official Spectral dealer, this was the next best thing. Plus this was the only one I could find for sale. Probably paid more than I should have but overall I'm happy with the deal. Received the unit today and hooked it up to my system. Sounds fantastic and everything that I imagined it to be. Will be enjoying this for the long haul.

Couple of questions for the board:

1) The unit I bought is a SDR-3000SL. What is the difference between this and the regular SDR-3000 (without the SL designation)?

2) I cannot afford the high end MIT digital cables at this time (the MA-X that Ack uses). What are some affordable alternatives, either MIT or other manufacturers that have worked well with this unit?

Thanks!
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,800
79
48
#16
Well I was able to locate a SDR-3000! Bought it from a dealer in Florida that deals in used high end equipment, so while not an official Spectral dealer, this was the next best thing. Plus this was the only one I could find for sale. Probably paid more than I should have but overall I'm happy with the deal. Received the unit today and hooked it up to my system. Sounds fantastic and everything that I imagined it to be. Will be enjoying this for the long haul.

Couple of questions for the board:

1) The unit I bought is a SDR-3000SL. What is the difference between this and the regular SDR-3000 (without the SL designation)?

2) I cannot afford the high end MIT digital cables at this time (the MA-X that Ack uses). What are some affordable alternatives, either MIT or other manufacturers that have worked well with this unit?

Thanks!
Congrats...those great finds make for some of the best moments in audio. Enjoy. Perhaps 2nd hand MIT? I recall that Spectral is very particular about signal cables with their amps/preamps. Do not know if that applies to their digital (i would not have thought so).
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,411
107
63
Boston, MA
#17
Well I was able to locate a SDR-3000! Bought it from a dealer in Florida that deals in used high end equipment, so while not an official Spectral dealer, this was the next best thing. Plus this was the only one I could find for sale. Probably paid more than I should have but overall I'm happy with the deal. Received the unit today and hooked it up to my system. Sounds fantastic and everything that I imagined it to be. Will be enjoying this for the long haul.

Couple of questions for the board:

1) The unit I bought is a SDR-3000SL. What is the difference between this and the regular SDR-3000 (without the SL designation)?

2) I cannot afford the high end MIT digital cables at this time (the MA-X that Ack uses). What are some affordable alternatives, either MIT or other manufacturers that have worked well with this unit?

Thanks!
Wow, the SL is a very rare find, with souped up power supply and other goodies - I've been looking for one myself for years, so a very warm Congratulations!!! From the MIT line, try to get at least the SL-Matrix Plus, or a used older digital, and they pop up in frequently. Very nicely done my friend!
 

jzzmn88

New Member
Feb 14, 2017
15
1
3
#18
Thank you all for the kind words! The dealer had listed the unit without the "SL" designation so when I unboxed it yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to find the SL, even though I had no idea what that meant. I feel very fortunate to have found one.

Ack, thank you for your thoughts on a digital cable to pair with it. I will begin my next hunt for one.

Did more listening last night and there is a huge difference between the Spectral and my old transport, the Sony XA7ES. The Spectral has a much wider soundstage, more separation and greater depth....just fantastic and couldn't be happier with the purchase. Paired with the MSB Analog dac, it is musical bliss!
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,411
107
63
Boston, MA
#19
Right, it is so good that if I offered to swap mine for yours plus cash so you can buy a cable, you would probably promptly refuse :(
 

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