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The Harbeth User Group is the primary channel for public communication with Harbeth's HQ. If you have a 'scientific mind' and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual Science of Audio sub-forum area of HUG is your place. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and should be accessible to non-experts and able to be tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge. From a design perspective, today's award winning Harbeths could not have been designed any other way.

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Devi--- and Harbeth, anyone?

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  • Devi--- and Harbeth, anyone?

    Hello all,

    I have owned various brands of kit to date, including Naim, Sugden, Teddy, Croft, Metrum, Luxman, Yamaha, Audiolab. I have owned many types of speakers too, but have always gravitated back to Harbeth. I currently have M30.1 and P3ESR and rotate them now and then. I have owned the Compact 7s and tried the SHL5 before, both were very good but were just too big for my room.

    I came to realise that differences in electronics are quite small, and that speakers, rooms and positioning tend to make the biggest difference.

    However, last August I bought a Devialet 110 and have been very happy with it since. Yes, itís expensive at £4500 but I did manage to sell thousands of pounds of Naim kit, and also became free from lots of boxes, upgrade spirals and buzzing transformers.

    I was wondering if anyone else has had success with the Devialet and Harbeth combo? Itís brilliant, because it:

    - Has ample power (110wpc at 6ohms I think)
    - Has programmable tone controls
    - Works wirelessly
    - Is one slim box which is hardly visible (although some like to look at Ďgearí)
    - Has a fantastic remote
    - Is updateable via an SD card
    - Has a remote app available for the main smartphones.
    - Good technical support

    In addition to the functional aspects, itís the best system I have had, sound-wise. I guess itís down to component quality, design (class A>digital combo?) and also design in terms of minimal connection / distance between components. Iím not technically minded in any way, so making a few guesses here, but something seems to be working!

    Would be good to hear from any other users out there. Whatís your set up?
    In my current room I always tend to require a tiny treble lift and bass reduction (although P3ESR less so) so it tilt the tones by -2/3db on the bass and +2/3db on the treble.

    Works well!

  • #2
    Devialet and Harbeth

    Hi Novak

    It's good to see someone is using this combo. Often search for Devialet on the HUG forum without too many results.

    I'm not yet an owner but I know Dave @ Radlett is supplying Devialet now so i'm very keen to try one. Currently own an ATC integrated amp, a seperate phono stage, now with my entire music library in FLAC on a Synology NAS - getting a network streamer is next on my list.

    The thought of having a wonderful sounding integrated amplifier, MC phono stage, USB input, huge power reserve, etc. all in one shiny box would be fantastic. When funds permit (mid Apr) i'll be getting a Devialet 170. I'm really excited about it.

    For those able to track changes, It's been noted that burn in time is quite long. Have you may any observations in this area at all?

    atb,
    Joe

    Comment


    • #3
      Radlett Audio's hi_fidave

      Hi Joe,

      Dave is a good guy, I bought from him a couple of times.

      As for burn in, I haven't heard a significant difference since I bought it but I have rotated speakers also, so it's difficult to tell.

      Enjoy the new Devialet in April!

      Comment


      • #4
        Devialet matching

        Not sure if this has been mentioned already, but you can have Harbeths matched with Devialet, through their active speaker matching.

        The M30.1 are almost there with 80 something votes... Vote now!
        http://voteforsam.devialet.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Monoblocks

          I've heard the P3eSR, M30.1 and C7's driven by Devialet Monoblocks at the recent Harbeth show day. I liked the sound albeit difficult to quantify with two top of the range amps running instead of one. It is expensive but add the cost of a phono stage, DAC and Amp together and it's not OTT.

          Novak - AFAIK the 110 has an upgrade of power output recently which can be done over software but I guess you probably already tried that :)

          One thing I will say is that the remote would be hard to misplace, in fact it could be used for a workout of the biceps!

          Comment


          • #6
            Just marketing

            Clever design and marketing with a beautiful remote, a shinny tight box and you keep busy (so you won't buy another one) with this amp with smart upgrades.

            And further, it is nothing more than an amplifier.

            Comment


            • #7
              The oxygen of free publicity

              Originally posted by hendrik View Post
              Clever design and marketing with a beautiful remote, a shinny tight box and you keep busy ( so you won't buy another one) with this amp with smart upgrades.

              And further, it is nothing more than an amplifier.
              This is a brand and product that I have not heard of, so I cannot give any meaning opinion about either.

              However, my position about the sonics of amplifiers has not shifted an inch, namely that under controlled conditions they cannot be told apart, assuming that they measure equally flat. What intrigues me is that during the years that HUG has been running we've cycled through several must-have amplifier group-think wind-ups, each of which has been ultimately usurped by a new Emperor. As I recall, we started out with Sugden; are we now in our post-NAIM era?

              It really is beyond rational comprehension why there is this barmy belief in amplifiers, that they have a meaningful impact on the fidelity of music beyond the technical standard they reached in the 1970s. This forum simply cannot be used as a marketing channel for the latest fashion in amps which we on the inside know is the use to which canny marketeers put social media.

              In our view, the overarching criteria in the selection of a new amplifier is who will provide proper after care remembering that every power amp operates in the micrometer safety zone between controlled power and total speaker destruction deep inside the transistors themselves. A look at the vendor's filed accounts will give you a good insight into how they are positioned for the long run and what resources they can draw on, and this tends towards favouring well established, larger brands perhaps of Japanese origin where they have significant R&D facilities to thoroughly examine long term durability. If your speakers are destroyed by your amp, this will be a very expensive repair.

              Now I know that those who must believe in, have a deep unfulfilled psychological urge to seek comfort in the miracle of amplifier sonics simply cannot, will not contemplate the ugly reality that they are in love with the concept of amplifiers and not the sound. But under controlled conditions broadly comparable amplifiers cannot be distinguised at all, and to the best of my knowledge, there has not been a single instance where amplifier sonics have been proven under controlled conditions in the past 30 years or so. Not even between tube and transistor amps!

              Evidence: try HUG here

              or here

              I'm afraid, folks, that amplifiers are a non-issue beyond a most basic level of performance and power. On the other hand, it makes no sense at all to spend big money on electronics and little or zero money on adapting the listening room to tame echoes and standing waves .....
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #8
                The loony fringe alive and well everywhere ....

                Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                What intrigues me is that during the years that HUG has been running we've cycled through several must-have amplifier group-think wind-ups, each of which has been ultimately usurped by a new Emperor. As I recall, we started out with Sugden; are we now in our post-NAIM era?

                It really is beyond rational comprehension why there is this barmy belief in amplifiers, that they have a meaningful impact on the fidelity of music beyond the technical standard they reached in the 1970s.
                Alan, this belief is alive and flourishing all over the world even in 2014. A conversation I had yesterday on an Indian forum, that is heavily populated with such believers. My conversation, abridged for brevity, ran as follows for 2 days, with one of the moderators of the forum, who commands a lot of respect there.

                Me: I have read a recent review of 2 comparable modern solid state amps, one is described as musical, one as analytical, but punchy. Will the cause for this be measurable on instruments?
                Mod: Yes
                Me: Measurement of what will correlate to these differences?
                Mod: Inter modular distortion - IMD
                Me: Ok. Given so, all amps with the same IMD levels will sound musical, while those with that of the punchy amp will sound so?
                Mod: Yes
                Me: Ok. Is this IMD happening by design or by accident?
                Mod: By design.
                Me: So that means 2 different companies are building in 2 different levels of IMD, to achieve a desired sonic signature, and both are departing from what is considered to be the objective of hifi amp design in the area of fidelity to the source signal?
                Mod: It isn't by design, it is something that is inherent in the amplifier
                Me: Ahh..ok, so it isn't by design. Isn't it true that the technology to keep IMD down to levels where it will not produce a sonic signature isn't rocket science now, and known/available to all the global majors making amps today?
                Mod: It isn't as straightforward as that. You can't generalise. Different amps have different colouring, some are transparent and neutral.
                Me: Perhaps some one will give me an less ambiguous answer to my latest question.
                Another member: Just because you don't understand it, it doesn't mean it is ambiguous.
                Yet another member: You need to take an audiogram, if you can't hear any differences.
                Me: Perhaps I don't understand. I am happy to wait for someone here to chip in with one I can understand.

                Today, I noticed the thread was closed:-). I have decided not to participate in any discussion there again.

                If it wasn't sad, this would be hilarious.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The profiteers leading the influential leading the gullible leading the downright stupid?

                  Originally posted by Kumar Kane View Post
                  Alan, this belief is alive and flourishing all over the world even in 2014. A conversation I had yesterday on an Indian forum, that is heavily populated with such believers. My conversation, abridged for brevity, ran as follows for 2 days, with one of the moderators of the forum, who commands a lot of respect there..... If it wasn't sad, this would be hilarious.
                  It really is sad. As you've seen, one element of trying to bring any sort of rationalism to the subject is that you are debating with self-appointed experts. That is, people who probably couldn't remove the lid of an amplifier and correctly identify even 10% of the components, who couldn't talk through its circuit diagram even in block elements, who've never built an amp successfully from a kit, who have never used audio test and measurement equipment or even held a soldering iron. No, you are debating with people who need none of those abilities because the almighty has graced them with an insight into the subject beyond human education. You've seen that a smattering of technical buzz words is really all the knowledge you need to equip yourself to be an amp expert and even that can be bent and twisted to make a case or not.

                  Fair enough - we are all self-appointed experts on something or other but the daft thing is, people actually take notice of what these misguided folk think! That's the real mystery.

                  I draw the parallel with the nuclear industry. Its a surprise to me that there are not forums (perhaps there are!) of wannabe DIY nuclear experts pontificating about a subject they really know *!$% all about telling those who have an objective grip on the matters how it should be done. Incredibly, one could reasonably expect that they would have their disciples. Just as well the raw material is as well guarded as it is.

                  Is the whole game one big con from start to finish? You decide: I made my mind up years ago!

                  Test question to identify danger: ask "when did you last have your hearing tested, and how did the curve look?" The odd thing is, no one seems willing to discuss that all-critical matter yet they can (miraculously) hear 'huge differences' between amps that under lab conditions are indistinguishable? Something odd there methinks!
                  Last edited by A.S.; 16-06-2014, 01:33 PM. Reason: the golden robes, the pointy hat, the swirling mist ....
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Short audio memory

                    Well I do have heard the Devialet and it is very tricky to compare amplifiers due to the different conditions as mentioned above. Before you know it you make the false conclusions and another personal problem... when I listen twice to the same piece of music I notice different things without any change in the audio chain, so in my opinion you must be a genius in terms of perception to know exactly what you hear.

                    (Listening and comparing different speakers is another issue, within a minute I could describe the qualities.)

                    Last year I was able to listen to different amplifiers because I needed a new amp and ( audiophile) friends/family who constantly wanted to hear my C7 ES2 with their own very special and distinctive amp. So I have heard: Copland, Sugden, Cambridge, Naim, Quad, Job Stereo, Goldmund and the last one was a Devialet. (I still like it to compare stuff.)

                    All amplifiers sounded beautiful and I could live with them all thanks to my 'old' Compact 7.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Talking out of a dark place

                      Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                      It really is sad. As you've seen, one element of trying to bring any sort of rationalism to the subject is that you are debating with self-appointed experts. That is, people who probably couldn't remove the lid of an amplifier and correctly identify even 10% of the components, who couldn't talk through its circuit diagram even in block elements, who've never built an amp successfully from a kit, who have never used audio test and measurement equipment or even held a soldering iron. No, you are debating with people who need none of those abilities because the almighty has graced them with an insight into the subject beyond human education.

                      Fair enough - we are all self-appointed experts on something or other but the daft thing is, people actually take notice of what these misguided folk think! That's the real mystery.
                      Nicely described ! I see the audiophile (salesman) in front of me with his own theories , hearing Patricia Barber or Diana Krall on the background (never a good piece of music) and he tells me that my beautiful classical cd's are badly recorded.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh no! Not the subject of ph*&$?

                        Originally posted by hendrik View Post
                        Nicely described ! I see the audiophile (salesman) in front of me with his own theories , hearing Patricia Barber or Diana Krall on the background (never a good piece of music) and he tells me that my beautiful classical cd's are bad recorded.
                        Yes, that's an interesting point. Some audio sellers do seem to have an entire library at their fingertips of prejudice, preconceptions and downright erroneous (mis) conceptions about audio generally, studios (they've never been to), recordings (they've never sat in on), equipment (they've never looked inside) to the point that the poor customer is swamped by claptrap.

                        One of my favourite overheard Grade 1 BS claptrap junk science is any salesman talk of "phase". If you hear the word "phase" dribble from the moist lips of an audio salesman, tell him it's time for you to listen to some music. Truly. Except in the most obvious sense that the speakers are out of phase, the word 'phase' is so close to blasphemy that it should be kept in a locked cupboard and only allowed out for five minutes a year in the presence of The One, who grants it a quick flash of sunlight and a flick round with a feather duster .... then away again for another 364!
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Beaten back by the flames

                          Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                          It really is sad.
                          How this happened is because of what I read in a recent issue of What Hifi, that I read once in a couple of years to see what is happening in the market. In a review of the Marantz PM 6005, there were clear statements to the effect that it sounded better than its award winning predecessor, the PM 6004. It also happens to have a new feature, a built in DAC.

                          I became a member of the forum just a month ago, and I thought I might share my reasoned views that the only valid reason to upgrade is if the DAC feature is needed. If not, this statement was just a brazen lie that would create dissatisfaction in PM 6004 owners, best ignored, because in general I noticed a lot of upgraditis noise and money being spent by other members as evidenced in many threads. And statements about how this 50wpc make of amp is better than that 50wpc amp of another make for the sound quality, musicality, and the usual adjectives.

                          Never again. I have made my last post on that forum.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Talking nonsense

                            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                            Yes, that's an interesting point. Some audio sellers do seem to have an entire library at their fingertips of prejudice, preconceptions and downright erroneous (mis) conceptions about audio generally, studios (they've never been to), recordings (they've never sat in on), equipment (they've never looked inside) to the point that the poor customer is swamped by claptrap.

                            One of my favourite overheard Grade 1 BS claptrap junk science is any salesman talk of "phase". If you hear the word "phase" dribble from the moist lips of an audio salesman, tell him it's time for you to listen to some music! Except in the most obvious sense that the speakers are out of phase, the word 'phase' should be so close to blasphemy that it is kept in a locked cupboard and only allowed out for five minutes a year in the presence of The One, who grants it a quick flash of sunlight and a flick round with a feather duster .... then back again.
                            Difficult English for me but I think a got the clue , although I am trying not to visit these shops anymore because my experience is that without exception they all talk nonsense.

                            In the future of my dreams I will order the M40.x ..............in your webshop.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Lost contact with mother earth?

                              Originally posted by hendrik View Post
                              Nicely described ! I see the audiophile (salesman) in front of me with his own theories... and he tells me that my beautiful classical cd's are badly recorded.
                              And when was he last at a classical music concert? Ten years ago? Never? If so, deprived of that connection with reality, he is the last person able to comment sensibly on the recording of classical music. Your dog could give you equally reliable advice, possibly even better advice. You'd (surely?) not be tempted to believe your dog - or would you?! Personally, I would - you've everything to gain in honesty and nothing to lose financially.

                              "One woof, Rover, if you hear a whisker of intermodulation distortion at 43kHz.... and a good strong bark if you hear that god-awful picosecond phase jitter because I forgot to polish the MDF CD platter isolator today ...."
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

                              Comment

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