Spectral DMC-12 Preamp With Phono Input and Power Supply - Complete Set
This is one of the cleanest measuring preamps we've tested to date. Even the phono section performed admirable.
A quick look inside reveals why... just LOOK at the component selection, layout, and obsessive attention the detail as shown in our photos.
This is also the rare version of the DMC-12, including a phono section capable of reproducing just about any cartridge with a few internal settings.
Super clean with no signs of use. Complete like the day it left the factory with its box and manual.
Check our other listings listings here for the matching Spectral amplifiers.
More from Spectral:
The The DMC-12 High Resolution Preamplifier defines the critical importance of preamplifier performance in high quality music systems. The essential role of the audio preamplifier cannot be overestimated in its profound impact upon the performance of the electronics and transducers which follow it. Such strong influence over sonic quality is probably exceeded only by the signal source itself, making the preamplifier's role a critical link in the audio electronics chain. The audio preamplifier defines the potential performance of the system's power amplifier and loudspeakers. Compromises in the essential preamplifier link are magnified downstream and strongly determine the ultimate fidelity of the total music system.
Awareness of the critical role of the audio preamplifier drove the formation of Spectral Audio in the 1970s and resulted in performance breakthroughs in preamplifier design. Starting with the innovative MS-ONE Instrumentation Preamplifier in 1976, Spectral has pioneered a new generation of high-resolution preamps which define the state-of-the-art in high performance music systems to this day. Design innovations such as full DC coupling, high-speed Megahertz operation and dual monaural instrumentation construction were introduced to audio in Spectral preamplifiers, and continue to define the finest products available. It is from this uncompromising tradition of preamplifier excellence and innovation that the remarkable Spectral DMC-12 High Resolution Preamplifier is inspired.
A SPECTRAL CLASSIC
The DMC-12 High Resolution Preamplifier represents a distillation of Spectral's broad experience developing the most sonically accurate preamplifiers for the enthusiast. Spectral preamplifiers combine the oft-praised "musicality" and naturalness of the finest vacuum tube designs with solid state's frequency extension and long term reliability. More than just a synthesis of tube and solid state virtues has been achieved in the DMC-12, rather a new level of total sonic realism which transcends the strengths of both design traditions.
Spectral designers have always made a clear distinction regarding the essential role of audio electronics and preamplifiers in particular. In respecting the sovereignty of the original recording, the preamp must always be a faithful music reproducer and not a musical instrument in its own right. Audio components which artfully beautify or euphonically "improve" the sound of the recording are more musical instrument than truthful reproducer. In time, these initially attractive qualities pale in comparison with components which accurately reproduce the source and allow the true voice of the recording to be fully presented without coloration. Revealing the musical source in all its complex dimensions without subtle distortions is the design goal of the DMC-12, moreover, it is the ongoing engineering quest at Spectral.
THE TIME ELEMENT
The DMC-12 incorporates the fruits of two decades of Spectral research into time domain and phase behavior in audio circuit topologies. The DMC-12's high speed and ultra wide stable bandwidth are signature traits of a Spectral high-resolution preamplifier. These techniques combine to allow significant reduction in time based distortions which dominate the sonic character of virtually all other high performance preamplifiers.
Fundamental accuracy in audio circuitry requires more than just flat frequency response and low overall distortion in the audible range but must take into account the "big picture" of signal linearity over a broad frequency spectrum. This is because the human ear is especially sensitive to phase distortions. These out of band distortions reflect back into the audible range to blur the individual sounds of musical instruments and their distinctive acoustical space.
To solve the problem of time based distortion in audio circuitry Spectral has turned to solutions developed by the instrumentation and microwave fields and adopted their "low-pass filter" model. Achieving the most linear signal amplification modeled on the ideal of a low pass filter requires flat circuit response from DC to a magnitude above the critical bandwidth. In the case of all Spectral circuitry the signal response range extends from DC to at least one million cycles (1 MHz) at full rated power. Above this frequency a precisely tailored high-frequency roll-off (the low pass element) is then tuned to eliminate even the smallest phase reflections keeping audio frequencies pristine and transient-perfect. By designing the DMC-12 circuitry to the precise criteria of a perfect low-pass system, time-based distortion and intermodulation noise is virtually eliminated in the audio band. No other approach to audio electronics design will result in greater freedom from the vast array of distortions or allow more fundamentally accurate reproduction of music.
As with other Spectral components, the DMC-12 presents a face of simple elegance and clean purpose to the world, to discover the most important qualities one must look inside. The DMC-12 has much in common with cost-co-object laboratory instrumentation where a premium is placed on performance and component quality. Conventional consumer audio parts and design practices are insufficient to support the requirements of Spectral's ultra precision, high-resolution discrete circuitry. For this reason, custom signal devices and proprietary components are sourced from premium suppliers worldwide for Spectral preamplifiers. Component assembly and soldering quality and materials are similarly uncompromising.
Music is complex and transient in nature requiring tremendous circuit precision to track the subtleties of dynamic waveforms. The ability of the circuit to rise quickly to amplify fast moving transients and to settle virtually instantaneously is a capability uniquely developed in Spectral preamplifiers. The DMC-12 line level gain stage employs a cascode Fet front end for maximum linearity and complimentary power Mos-Fets (of a custom-made, proprietary design) as output followers. Localized feedback is used to keep overall feedback very low while providing nearly spontaneous correction of output signal errors. The line level stage exhibits a very high and symmetrical slew rate and lighting fast rise time (65 nanoseconds) combined with remarkably low overall energy storage.
The output section of the DMC-12 is a miniature class A power amplifier, including inboard heat sinks. This unusually high-current output (up to one-half ampere per channel) is a result of Spectral's research into the difficult demands made by complex, high quality interconnect cables and sophisticated, low impedance power amplifiers. The DMC-12's high current output capability allows it to dominate and control the cable and amplifier load, making it self-isolating from the effects of system energy storage and reflections.
The DMC-12 is supported by the powerful DMS-12 Supply which produces output voltages typically associated with tube preamplifiers. As a result, the DMC-12 is characterized by a sense of total openness, lack of strain and crystal clear dynamic resolution at both low and high listening levels.
IN THE DETAILS
In Spectral preamplifiers the gods do "live" in the details. So in addition to fundamentally superior signal response, every detail of the DMC-12 circuitry has been lovingly tuned, optimized and refined for the highest musical resolution and long-term stability. The straight-line signal topology reflects a philosophy of high performance and purist design. No higher quality componentry and construction are available in a preamplifier today. The elegant functionality of the modular DMC-12 system proclaims high value and freedom from obsolescence which is all too rare among audio components. As the essential centerpiece of the finest available music systems, we believe you will accept nothing less.
Front Panel Controls
•Input Selector switch
•Balance Control switch
•Output Attenuation control
•Tape Monitor switch
•Protection Circuit LED indicator
•Input Trim 10 dB range for aux 1/phono, aux 2, disc, tuner, tape
•Phono Input Impedance selector (opt.)
•Phono Section Gain selector (opt.)
•High Level Gain selector
Rear Panel Connectors
•Signal Ground post (gold)
•4 RCA Input connector sets (gold)
•2 RCA Output connectors (gold)
•Tape Input and Output RCA connector sets (gold)
•DC Power Hi-Rel input connector
DMS-12 Power Supply
•Illuminated Power indicator
•AC Line connector
•DC Power Output connector
•AC Line fuse
•AC Power switch
DMC-12 Preamplifier Technical Data
5 Inputs - aux 1, aux 2, disc, tuner, tape, (phono) optional
2 outputs - main, tape
32 step conductive plastic custom pot, modified log taper
Continuous action conductive plastic custom pot with center position
0, -20 dB attenuation
Input Level Switches:
0 to -10 dB attenuation all inputs
Output Level Switches:
30 dB, 36 dB gain
Stereo/mono, Stereo/reverse, Tape Monitor
4 plus tape monitor
12 lbs (5 1/2 KG)
2 1/2" (6.35cm)H x 19" (48.26cm)W x 12 1/2" (31.75cm)D
7 lbs (3 1/4 KG)
2 1/2" (6.35cm)H x 6" (15.25cm)W x 10 1/2" (26.65cm)D
High Level Output Section
DC to 3 MHz, -3 dB DC to 12.5 MHz, -1.0 dB
1200 V/us or greater
Less than 0.02% THD and IM
Greater than 90 dB
105 dB A Weighted, ref 100 mV @ 1 KHz
5.8 VRMS, 16.4V P-P
140 mA per channel
30 or 36 dB (selectable)
Model 120 Phono Section (optional)
Continuously variable 20 - 40 dB
0.25 dB, 20 Hz thru 20 KHz
Less than 0.01% THD and IM
95 dB A Weighted, ref 100 mV @ 1 KHz
Selectable 10, 30, 100, 800, 47K
The SkyFi Testing Process for Preamplifiers:
We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure there are no signs of stress or aging. Capacitors are checked for telltale sings of bulging or leaking, resistors are checked for signs of overheating or cracking, and transistors are checked for signs of stress or damage. Special attention is paid to the power supply which is the most common source of failure for preamps. We then power up the unit and run a simple 1k sine wave while monitoring the low voltage output on an oscilloscope for signs of distortion or noise to get a baseline.
At this point we will lubricate and clean all switches and potentiometers (that are not sealed) with a high quality contact cleaner, and then re-test all functions for any signs of noise or scratching.
Final testing involves putting actual music through the preamplifier We have learned over time that some issues are only noticeable to a trained ear while listening to a familiar source material. Our test bench has reference vintage KEF speakers that we are super familiar with which will quickly reveal any discrepancies. Some preamps will then move into the listening room where they will be tested with our in-house reference system.
Please click here for detailed specifics regarding our specialized packing process that separates us from the rest.
Yes - Power