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View Full Version : Any Harbeth SHL5 users matching with Mcintosh gears?



bluejazz
02-11-2009, 05:41 AM
Hi,

I thinking about to getting a McIntosh MC275(tube amp) and C2300 (tube pre amp) for my Harbeth SHL5.
Seems like not many people using with McIntosh gears.

Anybody has a experience with them???
Any input would be help.

Thanks in advance.

Paul

ryder
02-11-2009, 06:27 AM
I don't think you can go wrong with the Mcintosh. I have personally tried a Mcintosh MC275Mk4 in my system for 2 weeks, though not with the Harbeth. I preferred this amp more than the Plinius SA-100Mk3 with its higher degree of resolution, detail and a more organic presentation across the board. This was achieved with stock tubes(I was told the unit will take on a whole different league with NOS tubes). I have another friend who used the MC402 solid state amp with a matching pre in driving the Harbeth M40. Sounds good.

Bottomline I don't think you can go wrong with the Mcintosh in driving the SHL5. I have listened to the Plinius, LFD and now the Rega on the SHL5. At any rate I believe the Mcintosh sits at a higher hierarchy above all the amps I have listed above, probably on par with the LFD. As you may have known, there are others here who have reported great success matching their Harbeth with some other amps like the Naim and Luxman. I have found out that there is no consensus really on which amp sounds *the best* with the SHL5 as there is no end to the chase of holy grail. Just pick a good one that suits your budget. No doubt there will be minor differences here and there, and at the end of the day it is a question of whether the sound is up to your expectations as the SHL5 puts out beautiful music into your room. I believe the Mcintosh will match very well with the SHL5. I rate the Mcintosh higher than the Plinius, if that matters to you.

Cheers.

ryder
02-11-2009, 06:36 AM
Before I forget, if you are happy with the sound of the system, don't make any changes. Once one starts comparing, eventually one component will come out superior, and the inferior sounding one will need to go. I have a friend who keeps comparing stuff, and he seems to be changing components like changing clothes. Two months ago he did a shoot-out between his PS Audio DAC and an Ayre DAC at the dealer. He bought the Ayre on the spot. Just last Friday he did a shoot-out between the Ayre and a Weiss Minerva DAC, and now he is contemplating of getting rid of the Ayre. The Ayre is just barely 2 months in his system bought new. This is the result if one compares stuff too much. If you start comparing, that's it.

bluejazz
02-11-2009, 04:33 PM
Thanks a lot for your input.

Currently I own two sets of gears.

1.NAIM NAP250.2+NAC282+CDX2+Hi-CAP
2.Manley Stingray int amp.

Both of them sound really good with my Harbeth SHL5.

and I am kind of new for tube gears.
I went to McIntosh dealer and auditioned with MC275 and C2300 sounds was so impressive and warm & sweet.
What I listen to is mainly Jazz (1955~1965) and I found the tubes sound better than SS.
but there are not many people using this McIntosh and Harbeth combo so what I'm afraid is....what if they don't have any synergy with Harbeth....I do know is kind of silly question but I do really want to hear input with any McIntosh users ,,,

Also they are expensive too....

Thanks again

dzeikei
03-11-2009, 10:28 PM
I think you have two excellent setups already and IMO those should work perfectly well with the HL5's. Do you think there's something wrong in the sound of your system right now? Macintosh is propably sweeter sounding than Naim but it's your decision which one do you like best. I just think that Harbeths have certain sweetness in their sound and too sweet sound from the amp could be too much and the system could start sounding a bit dull. I prefer controlled solid state amps with the sweet sounding Harbeths, I'm using Exposure myself. It's a good combination IMO, but on the other hand, I like to listen a lot of rock and metal music but jazz too. There's no other way to find out which one you prefer than trying the Macintosh at home in your own system with HL5's.

Thanos
03-12-2009, 08:31 AM
Hi,

I thinking about to getting a McIntosh MC275(tube amp) and C2300 (tube pre amp) for my Harbeth SHL5.
Seems like not many people using with McIntosh gears.

Anybody has a experience with them???
Any input would be help.

Thanks in advance.

Paul

Hi Paul,

with a big delay I read your question, a late reply then, but I hope a useful one.
I drive my SHL5s with the MA6500 which is not with autoformers. This proved a better choice, because -except the very good power and amp's facilities- I have a very high damping factor (fast amp) together with the Mac sound. No, I wouldn't call it sweet to the point it gets like a ...chocolate cake! Just sweet, extended, very full and delicate (excellent with classical, jazz & voices) and so easy listening, incredible for late night calming down.
The guys from Binghampton (Mac's HQs) during a call I gave them to ask some tech questions, called it a very robust integrated, although one of their little children of the family.
Why go with a pre-power combo? As far as the 5s are so easy & not demanding to match, you save a lot by not spending on extra interconnects and shelves.
I never had to move the vol. knob more than past 5 to 12.00 o'clock to hear in really big spl. this Mac is rated conservatively at 120wrms/8ohms and 200wrms/4ohm without clipping even at 2ohm loads. Not to mention that it works slightly warm even in midsummer with 40degrees F outside (Greece here you see).
I think they just stopped producing it, but one can find it mint condition out there with less than 2.000$... The MA 6300 replaced it, although I would prefer the previous series 'cause I love more the older Mac approach. I would even be happier with that old MA6800 or MA6850 behemoths, that -despite autoformers- were od incomparable build.

Hope this helps,

Regards from athens,

Thanos

wkatzir
11-01-2010, 03:18 AM
Hello All-

I have had some experience with combining Harbeth Speakers and McIntosh Electronics. The first setup I had combined the McIntosh C220, MC252 and Harbeth HL P3es-2's. It was a fantastic desktop system, probably the best I have heard. Before I integrated the McIntosh gear I was using an Audio Research combo (SP16 and VS110). The ARC setup was great when used with my Magnepans, but when matched with the Harbeth's, the combination sounded a little too harsh and analytical.

When I purchased Super HL5's, I used the pair of MC352's and a C2300 that were powering my Magnepan 3.6r's. I ran the pair in Mono Parallel first which sounded great, but I preferred them in a bi-amp configuration. There was an increase in high frequency clarity and midrange dimension. Bas was always great with these speakers and the shift only provided a slightly better grip I also tried running a single amp to the pair. This sounded almost as good as in the bi-amp configuration! The loss in dynamic range was equalized by more accurate timing and naturalness. This got me thinking, maybe I should exchange more power for more refinement.

I am awaiting the arrival to two MC275-V's that I will run in Parallel Mono. I will report back when I have everything setup, but from what I have heard from the one that I demo'd, I think that this will be the best setup for the speakers yet.

911turbojk
24-02-2010, 07:58 AM
Hi Guys,,,

I have been using the MA7000 with my Harbeth for a while ,, and I hate to say it ,, but the sound is just some lack of body ,,, when you have a great recording (JAZZ , PIANO CONCERTO, XRCD ETC,,, ) ,, it sounds great on the upper part , but the bass is still not quiet there, but on normal pop recording.. a lot of them just sound horrible.... but !!! I finally found what seems to be the problem, on the MA7000 the jumper they give us ,, it is a piece of CRAP!,,,,, that is the main cause of all the bright sound and lack of body!,,, I just changed it to a Monster $20.00 RCA cable, and guess what ,, it made a world of difference, the voice is now fuller and with warmth ,, and the whole music just seems more balanced.! ,,, I am going to get a better pair of RCA interconnect to be used as the jumper in the next few days,,, I will report back with new updates,,, and also please dump your MAC power cable that came with the package !!! it is a piece of crap as well, do yourself a favor and get a better AC cable ! it will make a HUGE DIFFERENCE ON YOUR MAC !

Cheers,,,

Jacko

unleash_me
24-02-2010, 12:14 PM
I'm using MA2275. Even with their modes power rating, this amp makes my SHL5 sing at its best.

Thanos
24-02-2010, 06:10 PM
[QUOTE=911turbojk;8049]Hi Guys,,,

I have been using the MA7000 with my Harbeth for a while ,, and I hate to say it ,, but the sound is just some lack of body ,,, when you have a great recording (JAZZ , PIANO CONCERTO, XRCD ETC,,, ) ,, it sounds great on the upper part , but the bass is still not quiet there, but on normal pop recording.. a lot of them just sound horrible.... but !!! I finally found what seems to be the problem, on the MA7000 the jumper they give us ,, it is a piece of CRAP!,,,,, that is the main cause of all the bright sound and lack of body!,,, I just changed it to a Monster $20.00 RCA cable, and guess what ,, it made a world of difference, the voice is now fuller and with warmth ,, and the whole music just seems more balanced.! ,,, I am going to get a better pair of RCA interconnect to be used as the jumper in the next few days,,, I will report back with new updates,,, and also please dump your MAC power cable that came with the package !!! it is a piece of crap as well, do yourself a favor and get a better AC cable ! it will make a HUGE DIFFERENCE ON YOUR MAC !

Hi Jacko,
I'm using a system say a portion of yours (MA6500+ Meridian 507), and have body to spare from my SHL5s. So, something might be wrong with other factors I guess, if the problem still exists. Room damping, measures and distances play a role, there's plenty of chit-chat and good advice on this in our forum. By coincidence with your advice, I've changed the AC cables with Kimbers (PV10's), almost from purchase date. Nice they are and sound, but just a bit heavy and difficult to bent in order to easily connect...
No way that a Mac, especially when partnered with the 5s, will lack in body and soudstage depth... Macs are famous for their "wide'n deep sound" against almost any other brand, and the 5s produce a sound XXL for their size...
Let us know,
Regards,
Thanos

John Geisen
25-02-2010, 04:49 AM
Hi Thanos,

I recently took in a MA6300 McIntosh on trade and have tried it with both the SHL5's and M40.1's. I do not notice a lack of body but have decided to try replacing the power cord to see what happens. The MA6300 and 7000 use the same jumper between the preamp and amp. Is this the jumper you are talking about?

John

Thanos
25-02-2010, 08:05 AM
Hi Thanos,

I recently took in a MA6300 McIntosh on trade and have tried it with both the SHL5's and M40.1's. I do not notice a lack of body but have decided to try replacing the power cord to see what happens. The MA6300 and 7000 use the same jumper between the preamp and amp. Is this the jumper you are talking about?

John

Hi John,

No, I'm talking about the standard AC power cord (provided by the Mac factory), from socket to amp, that I replaced. To be very honest, I think that sonic improvement is not equivalent -IMHO- to the price paid. I did this in three devices, first to feed the Exactpower ep15a power stabilizer/regulator from the AC wall socket, second from a stabilizer's socket to the MA6500, and third from another stabilizer's socket to the cdp. In all cases, Kimber PV10 power cables replaced the factory provided ones. Sometimes we go too far, influenced by ads or sellers' advice... I don't know, now it's done! By the way, the MA 6500 hasn't got jumper connectors at its rear, it handles pre-main functions through a switch, so it has internal wiring and can't do any changes there.

Regards,
Thanos

pdreher
05-11-2010, 03:52 AM
I just got an MA2275 from AudioClassics and upgraded the tubes to Gold Lion reissue KT88's and Telefunken's in the 12AX7 & 12AT7 slots. I'm having no problem whatsoever driving my M-40.1's... and the sound is sublime!