Review of the SPEC RSA-M99 Integrated amplifier

The review of my first days with the SPEC RSA-M99 class D integrated amplifier from Japan.

For quite some time now, I am familiar with the brand SPEC from Japan. The first acquaintance dates from about five years ago at the audio show in Veldhoven on a Sunday at the end of September. In a small room, there was an integrated amplifier, the SPEC RSA-M99, playing with a pair of Harbeth HL5 speakers. And a particularly large turntable, even a bit absurdly large. But what was this set making music. Lots of space and depth, beautifully detailed and transparent but also with a solid bass.

I did not know Piet de Vries then. That day I went back to his demo listening room four times. Every time came the same feeling of experience over me. Wonderfully involved music played with a great deal of naturalness and transparency. Even the last tour of the day after five o'clock ended with Piet in the room and a single visitor. In the end, I left around 18 hours with the thought that I certainly wanted to hear this amplifier more and longer in whatever environment. In my view the most beautiful set of the day and the visit in Veldhoven. About the price of almost 11,000 euros I had to swallow, but my own audio experience was also not that great yet. 

Spec RSA M99 Integrated 8792.jpeg    Spec RSA M99 Integrated 8796.jpeg

SPEC RSA-M99    Spec RSA M99 Integrated 8793.jpeg

<< More information on my visit in Veldhoven the next year >> 

<< More information two years ago in Veldhoven for the third time >>

<< More information on the visit at the Highend Munchen in 2019. There I met the Japanese engineers of SPEC. A special occasion with the tradition of handing over the business card. How simple and flat we are then. >> 

Two weeks ago I had a short visit of Piet from Nieuwegein at our place in Dronten with the SPEC RSA M99. He brought also with him the brand new SPEC RSA M11. A short demonstration made me deside not to hear the new M11 but to concentrate the short time listening to the M99 in my own set. A short but impressive introduction again with the SPEC brand on my own new speakers the Discovery 861 homebuilders. That certainly tasted like more. But first on my program was the arrival of the Accuphase e800 from Number One, my regular Cyrus dealer. 

Today I received the SPEC M99 from Piet. Because of the Covid-pandemi I work a lot from home. So I have the opportunity to hear the SPEC during the day in my home office set. I assume this completely new amplifier will need the necessary time to run in. After connecting the SPEC to my DIY Scan Event speakers and the Audio-GD NF28 Dac the first round of playback starts. Immediately with the first tones of Dan Siegel from my Events a very large sound image emerges. Broad deep and almost holographic. My Events that I hardly use anymore show an impressive new reality. A lot of details and a lot of transparency. They play in a way I have not heard before. It is as if the speakers have been given a whole new lease of life and have risen far above their level. The song Crossroads from the CD Inside Out plays like never before. The piano sounds very nice and almost real. But also the drums come out nice and sharp. The system also plays beautifully in the foreground with a wonderfully defined low end. The transmission line of the Events brings out a beautiful image while I had long written these speakers off. All this is remarkable. What if the SPEC is connected to the main set in the living room? 

SPEC RSA-M99 with the Scan Speak Event

Discovery 861 with the SPEC RSA-M99