Thought on Spectral Audio's future?

Who might consider continuing the quest for perfection? All companies eventually sell.

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Well I really wouldn't be surprised if something bad happened to them. There are so many negatives surrounding the company.

Still the nonsense about only using MIT cables which now offer insanely priced top end version. They were always expensive though.

Their preamps are World Class but the last model came out 12-15 years ago.

Class A beats their power amps. Which has been proven over time.

The key people are aren't exactly spring chickens and no new blood, or so it seems.

What's the point of making some of the best equipment in the World if you don't sell it. The coming recession may put them under.

Their stuff was insanely fragile and unreliable. I have a friend who had Spectral Gear. It was so bad he turned to McIntosh for his next system just because of Mac's reliability and service. Good riddance.  

@mijostyn . What gave you those ideas?  Please back up your derogatory comments. I'm all "ears" :)

I have seen / heard Spectral in exactly one store ever.  It should have been the delight of the older ARC fans looking for solid state.

It was so rare to see it in person I though they were gone 20 years ago.

Agree Eric. I never could understand Spectral's business plan. Perhaps the owners have other sources of income - or don't need income?

@ptss, my friend had 4 pieces of Spectral equipment and it all went south sometimes more than once. Then there is their reputation which is not so hot. All this fits with my friends experience. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is usually a duck.

@mijostyn your "friend" certainly never complained in a public way.... I welcome being corrected-- with facts, just the facts :)

@ptss , The first piece to sh-t a brick was a DMA 180. It fried itself and had to be sent back to the factor and rebuilt. 5 years later it did the same thing but this time off warrantee. I do not know the exact number but you can give it a guess. 

I too have heard the same thing about the spectral equipment being fragile. I also know someone who has had problems with his DMA 260 and his spectral CD player. He said spectral is no longer repairing the older gear due to parts no longer available. I have a Spectral Preamp but hesitant to add their amp due to their reliability. I like the speed of the spectral and I’ve had no trouble with their preamp. The company scaled back production many years ago,  only 2 or three dealers.  Rumor has it that the owners don’t need the company to make money,  they do this because it’s their passion and hobby.  Doesn’t help us who need a company that will stand behind their product no matter how old it is. Properly setup they can sound fantastic tho. 

I'd be more than happy to take yours off of your hands.  A few upgrades and they sound fantastic.

I'll pay the shipping!



It’s sad to hear people are having trouble with the Spectral gear.

‘I purchase my Spectral system in 2012. I have Not had any problems with the gear. Preamp is a 30SS, power amps are DMA 360 mono blocks. I listen to my system everyday.

‘I do use all MIT power and interconnect cables. I have been using MIT cables in all my systems even before I purchased Spectral equipment. Purchased my first MIT interconnect in the 80’s. 
‘We are always trying to find cables that sound best with our equipment. Spectral recommends MIT cables. So that’s what I use. I have never had a problem with MIT cables. Yes they make very expensive cables but they also make reasonably priced cables. $2k - $10k.

Good luck to all. 
Joe Nies

@roxy54 It mean nothing. It gets put in automatically when I type and I don’t catch it all the time.

Joe Nies

I’ve heard spectral , Avalon Speakers. MIT combo. For piano, violin , cello, they sound real.If Iam not mistaken to have this set up , the dealer must also do power rewirring or install filtering into it. Mick from Quintessence audio told me. Correct me if Iam wrong PTSS.

@jayctoy I do have the Spectral, Avalon and MIT system. Never heard about power re-wiring or filters being used.

Joe Nies

Joenies yes there is in that system, they did rewired the electrical and they were using MIT Z center power conditioner as well. This is the audio store Quintessence in ILlinois ask for Mick. Or if you will attend Axpona go ask Him. He has plenty of set up there.

@jayctoy I’m also using the MIT Z Center.
Do you know what they are re-wiring?  Are they re-wiring the internals of the Spectral amps and preamp? 
I live up in Alaska so I won’t be going to the Axpona.

Your clarification of this re-wiring and filter will be greatly appreciated.

Joe Nies 

Joenies they did not rewire any gear only the wire from the box to the wall..When I see Mick I will ask Him.The guy who was auditioning that system is a cello player when I was in the room


I got into Spectral’s website yesterday. They seem to still be in business. They list contact information. The information I read seemed to be very positive about their company.

I have had no need to contact them. I have had no issues with my equipment. I eventually will want to have my equipment serviced 

I have found the best way to contact manufacturers, is to call your audio dealer and have them contact the company. I have had this happen to me on 2 occasions. Some manufacturers do not want to talk to the general public. Some companies for some great equipment are a small organization that don’t have the personal to answer questions.

Joe Nies

I guess I will be the old guy on the porch...

I have heard many of the Spectral items at CES and in a couple Audio Stores. The audio quality of the equipment is easily in my top 3 as well as the sonics. One of the shops I visited in Miami was the local hang out for they Spectral folks and I even met Dr.Keith there a couple times. If you ever had a chance to converse with these guys you would understand why they build their products. 

They really don't make any money doing it because about 75% of the cost of the product is in the parts, pieces and manufacturing. The dealers don't make a ton either because the profit margin is minimal (10-15%) compared to other audiophile stuff. Hence they only have a handful of folks that sell the products for them. 

I will bet that most of the problems people have with Spectral equipment is using interconnects that do not have the proper filtration and feedback inhibitors. Everything they build has frequency response way above most other equipment like up into the Radar range. That is why they recommend MIT cabling; as many of the cables were designed exclusively for their equipment. 

I buy ton's of used MIT online for 1/10 of the original retail and it sounds great with most equipment.

Does anybody beat up Levinson for using Lemo-Camc connectors that cost $100ea? 

I do own a couple of their amps and they sound great. I use a David Berning pre-amp he custom built for my listening operations. It took two years to get it but what would you expect for a built from scratch piece of gear. Same goes for the Spectral stuff. 

As far as specifying what cabling to use, would you run pump gas in your Testarossa? I have a couple vehicles and bikes that I only run Drum VP Fuels in. I can't afford detonation of a $100K engine to save a couple bucks a gallon on cheap pump gas. 

My favorite quote of all time comes from Hirotake Arai, "$50 Head; $50 Helmet", not an exact quote but I'm sure you get the picture.

If you are a serious person, it is easy to get replacement parts and repair help for any piece of audio equipment out there. The internet won't usually find these folks as they don't want to be bothered by every dumba$$ that wants something fixed for minimum wage pricing. You call a dealer and find out if they will send it to their fixer. It may not be as cheap as taking it down to Circuit City and having the Geek Squad fix it but it will be repaired to the standard by which it was built. 

All of this is just my humble opinion after 50 years of loving Music and trying to get it to play back in a real way.

Mark in GA

Oh yea, if you have any broken Spectral, I will take it off your hands.

Just PM me on here or post to this link with good contact info.

Mark in GA