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ernesto
28-10-2010, 01:37 PM
Hi there,

I am currently using my Harbeth Compact 7 ES3 with a Marantz 6003 integrated amp.
Now I am very much interested in swapping the Marantz to a Class A Tube amp (Yaqin MS 300B, checked an revised by a professional in Germany).
I normally listen at quiet low volume levels but I am worried if the power the Tube delivers (10 watts per channel approx.) are sufficient to drive the speakers seriously.

Any experiences from your side would be very much appreciated.
Best regards from Hamburg/Germany
Oliver

hifi_dave
28-10-2010, 06:49 PM
I think that 10 watts max might be pushing your luck a bit. However, If you listen quietly and you don't play anything 'heavy', you might get away with it.

I do occasionally, use vintage Quad II amps with just 12 watts available and for most of the time they sound great. Though you do have to be aware that cranking the volume up just that bit too much will be greeted with 'gargling' bass.

The best advice I can give is to borrow the Yaqin for a while and see how you get on with it in your system.

denjo
29-10-2010, 11:08 PM
I have tried the Cary 300 SEI (8 watts) with my Harbeth SHL5s and they sound very good indeed! As Dave says, so long as you keep the volume within moderate range you should quite happily be able to drive the Compact 7s with 10 watts of pure class A!
If your amplifier has a 4/8 ohm toggle, I would put it at the 4 ohm tap! If you do a search here you will find that there are quite a few HUGGERS who drive their speakers with a 300B integrated. Monoblocks would be much better, of course!

ernesto
30-10-2010, 09:39 AM
Thank you very much for for comments and input.

While searching the "amp-market" a demoed Nait 5i/2 at an interesting price came by...at a local dealer. Fortunately I am given the possibility to test it at my home with my equipment for a number of days.

I have now listened for a few hours and like it a lot. Now I am thinking whether the "Naim-plop" when switching it on is something I could live with...

hifi_dave
30-10-2010, 11:30 AM
The switch on 'plop' is completely normal and won't harm your speakers.

tobes
16-11-2010, 03:05 AM
I've recently changed from a 175W solid state amp to a 50W Audio Research VS-55 tube amp. I think the C7's sound great with tubes, wonderfully expressive, vivid and 3 dimensional.

The VS-55 is a pretty gutsy 50 watter - but I did give up some of the slam and grip of the 175W Plinius amp I was using. Personally I think 10Wpc would be pushing it with C7's.

jplaurel
21-12-2011, 12:42 AM
Ernesto-

The Yaqin 300B SET is not nearly enough for the Compact 7 at just 10W. It might be ok, as others have said, at very low volume levels, and I mean really low. I think Harbeth recommends something around 25w minimum for the 7.

I build single ended tube amps as a hobby. I like the 6L6 in particular, and my amps based on that tube typically put out around 9 watts per channel. I've tried them with my Compact 7s and it's just not enough.

There are a number of decent push-pull tube amps from China that would be a better match for your Compact 7s. Jolida, for example, make several models that produce from 50-75 watts per channel.

Like you, I would love to have a speaker that sounded as good as the Harbeth efficient enough to be used with low powered (2-9 watt) single ended tube amps. Others have asked Alan about this and it's clear that it will never happen. I think Alan or HUG-1 once described full range high efficiency speakers as a "sonic dead end".

But the good news is that the Harbeth speakers seem to sound just as good on solid state amplification as with tube amps. I normally run my Compact 7s with a McIntosh MC275, but once I tried a Bel Canto Class D amplifier that produces 60WPC at 8 ohms. I was surprised that it sounded very good indeed. Even my 40WPC gainclone sounds very good with the Harbeths. Alan isn't kidding when he says that his speakers sound good with any competent amp. It's the truth.

With this in mind, you may want to reconsider your motives for switching to a tube amp if the Harbeth 7 is going to be your speaker of choice. I enjoy mine with the McIntosh tube gear, but would also be satisfied with a good Class D amp from Bel Canto or Wyred 4 Sound.

KT88
22-12-2011, 01:56 AM
I run my Monitor 30's, which are marginally less efficient than the C 7's, with a 15 WPC solid state amp, and have no problems at all-and in a fairly large space. As long as you're not into head=banging music, I think the Yaqin will be fine.

Spindrift
22-12-2011, 04:43 PM
Ernesto-

The Yaqin 300B SET is not nearly enough for the Compact 7 at just 10W. It might be ok, as others have said, at very low volume levels, and I mean really low. I think Harbeth recommends something around 25w minimum for the 7.

I build single ended tube amps as a hobby. I like the 6L6 in particular, and my amps based on that tube typically put out around 9 watts per channel. I've tried them with my Compact 7s and it's just not enough.

There are a number of decent push-pull tube amps from China that would be a better match for your Compact 7s. Jolida, for example, make several models that produce from 50-75 watts per channel.

Like you, I would love to have a speaker that sounded as good as the Harbeth efficient enough to be used with low powered (2-9 watt) single ended tube amps. Others have asked Alan about this and it's clear that it will never happen. I think Alan or HUG-1 once described full range high efficiency speakers as a "sonic dead end".

But the good news is that the Harbeth speakers seem to sound just as good on solid state amplification as with tube amps. I normally run my Compact 7s with a McIntosh MC275, but once I tried a Bel Canto Class D amplifier that produces 60WPC at 8 ohms. I was surprised that it sounded very good indeed. Even my 40WPC gainclone sounds very good with the Harbeths. Alan isn't kidding when he says that his speakers sound good with any competent amp. It's the truth.

With this in mind, you may want to reconsider your motives for switching to a tube amp if the Harbeth 7 is going to be your speaker of choice. I enjoy mine with the McIntosh tube gear, but would also be satisfied with a good Class D amp from Bel Canto or Wyred 4 Sound.

I second that; Bel Canto & Harbeth harmonise well.

Loop4fun
23-12-2011, 12:02 AM
I currently driving 7ES-3s with a Shindo 10 watt SET. My room is only 12x13 and I get moderate volumes with no problem. I think its something that is doable in a small room, but pushing it. I have some more efficient field coil single driver speakers coming that will be an easier load, but I could easily live with the 7s and the 10 watt amp.

I'm keeping the Harbeths...

Drdennis
23-12-2011, 11:43 AM
I also have a small room (12x12x9) with 7ES-3. I have used several amps, and all have been good matches. I now alternate between an LFD LE Mk IV (60 wpc), and a LEBEN CS300 XS (15 wpc). They are both wonderful, but different.

Other tube amps have had noticably weaker bass, but the Leben grips the woofer better than other low powered amps I've used. Waiting in the wings is a Marantz 7 and 8B that I've been fortunate to acquire. Stay tuned!

magnus
24-12-2011, 01:08 AM
@ernesto - It would depend on the type of music you would listen to. I use an 8-watt 300B SET with my C7s and they sound magical with string and wind instrument solos and vocals. This is not the amp if your choice of music is listening to the 1812 Overture :)

Drdennis
24-12-2011, 11:30 AM
Magnus is right. For Jazz, and small ensemble, tube amps are great. If you are trying to fill a large space, solid state may also be a better choice, at least in terms of integrated amps. If you can only have one amp SS may be better overall, or add a really good sub.

{Moderator's comment: just to repeat our long standing advice ... you *need* more current than a tiny amp can deliver for anything pretending to be real-life high-fidelity reproduction. Our minimum recommendations are shown in the sales brochure. Small amps unintentionally driven too hard can fail and destroy your speakers.}

Pencey
28-12-2011, 02:13 PM
I've listened to a dozen+ amplifiers connected to my C7's. I am in a small (eight person) audio group that enjoys equipment exchanging and music discusses. Not one of the amplifiers that I've heard with my C7's would not suffice with my C7's. My listening room would best be characterised as moderate size. I happen to have a LFD NCSE and it is more than fine for my needs. I don't miss the extra heat, electrical use or expense of tube rolling I had with class A tube gear in the past.

do_Ob
30-12-2011, 12:47 AM
I agree Pencey, I also have tube gear and I found the rolling unacceptable! The bass response on Tube amp might sound romantic with its blooming, however the bottom end response is sluggish. My tube gear is more or less a decorative feature in my listening room these days. Looks cool!

JJack
11-01-2012, 04:35 PM
There's no way to tell if it will work unless you indicate your music choices. Certainly, 10 watts creates "an issue." Whether it's a determinative issue depends on your room and how you listen.

More directly to your point, I just sold my Class A 25 wpc tube amp because the amp just ran out of steam on the big orchestral and opera stuff I listen to (rock is MUCH easier). Yes, there was fantastic tube magic with that combo, but there was no denying that some of that wonderful Harbeth bass was MIA with this amp. And these were Cary monoblocs with new Gold Lion KT88 tubes, with about 30 pounds in transformer weight.

Again, my listening choices determined that 25 watts was really pushing it. On the other hand, if I listened only to chamber music and solo vocal - and I have a great deal of that music - I'd head straight to a Cary 300 integrated and never look back because THAT is magic.

Hope that's helpful.

errhoo
04-03-2012, 01:05 PM
If your amplifier has a 4/8 ohm toggle, I would put it at the 4 ohm tap...

Why would you use the 4 ohm tap?

BAS-H
05-03-2012, 12:28 AM
Just wanted to add that no one yet has mentioned the fact that amp A's 10 Watts are not necessarily equivalent to amp B's 10 Watts (or whatever number you choose). With valve amps, you need to take the linearity of the valve and the output impedance of the output transformers into account, just as much as the nominal power output.

Drdennis
05-03-2012, 12:07 PM
This is why my Leben CS 300XS at 15 wpc does such a good job in my 12x12 room. I have used tubed and solid state (LFD Mk IV, Signature), and I just prefer tubes for listening to jazz, vocals and chamber music with my Compact 7's. I will give the edge to SS on symphonic music. Both of my amps are good quality amplification, and the differences are subtle. Different horses for different courses.

jwhiii56
04-03-2013, 12:37 AM
This is why my Leben CS 300XS at 15 wpc does such a good job in my 12x12 room. I have used tubed and solid state (LFD Mk IV, Signature), and I just prefer tubes for listening to jazz, vocals and chamber music with my Compact 7's. I will give the edge to SS on symphonic music. Both of my amps are good quality amplification, and the differences are subtle. Different horses for different courses.

I concur with the different horses approach. Swapping cables takes 5 minutes, so if the wallet is large enough, why not supply the right tool for the job.

I am running my Compact 7's with a Rogue Audio Cronus with the KT120's. it is great for large scale music and rock that comprises about half of my listening. The other half is acoustic blues, small ensemble jazz, and vocals. I am looking into the Cary, now rated at 15 watts per channel. I do near field listening, at 7 feet in a room that is 14 x 12. The Rogue is excellent for the larger scale music and it does not suffer from overly loose bass, it held its own against Musical Fidelity's A5. I believe the Cary would be an admirable rack mate with the Rogue and am willing to swap cables as the mood arises. The 7's are rated at 86db at one watt, so at 12 watts, I could achieve levels into the mid 90's at one meter, well above my listening levels, and still have headroom.

I've heard from several SET enthusiasts they have never been more involved with music after adding a SET into their system.