In the realm of digital amplifications, this Spectron Musician II is among the best there is. It is probably only supeseded by the more expensive Jeff Rowland amps (in our opinion) and definitely more musical sounding than the Bel Canto and NuForce amps that we have sold before. This particular amp is capable of producing 500W in 8 ohms, 600W in 4 ohms and 1,200W in 2 ohms. That is a lot of power for an amp that had a price tag of only $3,500. And unlike other digital amps, the Musician II is a pretty hefty (47lbs) and physically imposing amp as compared to other digital amps. That is due to its huge toroidal transformer situated in the center of the amp. Most other digital amp manufacturers just use a small transformer in their amps.
We have never had the chance to listen to a non-upgraded Hybrid Plus model(a $1,300 option) but based on what we have heard in our system, it ran along the same lines on what the previous owner said about the amps after the upgrade – it was more organic sounding, its transparency was less “cold” and clinical and it took on a nicely controlled warmth that borders on Class A sounding. The soundstage was nicely weighted with well defined edges and firmly controlled. It paired very nicely with a variety of monitor and florstanding speakers we have in the store. On Spectron’s website, they said that with the Hybrid Plus Upgrade, it brought the Musician II closer to its $7,200 Musician III MKII amplifier. For under $2,000 now, this is an excellent amp for the money.
Cosmetically,the amp looks really good. A minor ding on the left edge of the faceplate and minor scuff marks on its cover but overall, looks pretty presentable. A spot around the infrared lens cover has some paint scuff but its minor. Amp is internally switchable for 230V operation and is currently set for XLR input. To use its RCA input, you need to flip a switch inside. Amp will be securely packed for safe shipping and a copy of the manual will be included (very important).