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Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

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Nad Vs Rega for C7ES3

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  • Nad Vs Rega for C7ES3

    Hi, I am looking to get a Nad C375BEE to replace my rega brio. Would that be an upgrade or simply a side way move soundwise? I love to try something with a bit more power and dynamic and also love the extra features remote of the Nad. But most importantly it is still sound and reliability.

    Anyone using Nad to drive Harbeth? Thanks.

  • #2
    The C375BEE is a better sounding amp but in the end it's more about your preferences than mine. In my opinion the NAD is one of the better bargains in HiFi. If you wanted to stick with British built and you like the Rega sound the Brio R is quite good. I used to own the Mira 3 and the C375BEE is far better sounding than that amp.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Art K View Post
      The C375BEE is a better sounding amp but in the end it's more about your preferences than mine. In my opinion the NAD is one of the better bargains in HiFi. If you wanted to stick with British built and you like the Rega sound the Brio R is quite good. I used to own the Mira 3 and the C375BEE is far better sounding than that amp.
      Try the new half width Rega amp. 50wpc plus MM phono stage. Nice value for money.

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      • #4
        The new Rega Brio R is a better amp than the Mira, so good, in fact, that the Mira is not going to be replaced.

        The Brio R works extremely well with all of the Harbeth range.

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        • #5
          Unless its brute power that one is after, i seriously do not think that Nad is better than Rega or any other mainstream british amp for that matter. I once heard a NAD top of the range integrated head on with an Arcam Alpha 5 & i feel that the Nad was no contest musically. The only thing that the NAD won hands down was brute power. Other than that, there was no comparison in other areas at all. It was more of a quantity vs quality thingy. But as they always say, YMMV.

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          • #6
            Think what you will but unless you've owned them both I'm not sure how valid your speculation is. The latest from NAD is a far cry better than what you were hearing.

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            • #7
              Peter Walker once said: all amplifiers sound the same when used within their capabilities.

              I start to believe he was not wrong.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the comments. I like the Rega brio 3 sound but I wish it has a bit more dynamic and bass slam. And I sometimes find that it is not transparent enough and different recordings tends to sound the same. Is the Brio-R more transparent?

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                • #9
                  I have both the Brio 3 and the Brio R. Yes, the Brio R is more transparent and refined, with better defined image placement. It is also a bit more dynamic and gutsy as well. But to my ears the most obvious improvement is in the area of refinement. Considering that it has a decent built in phono stage I think the Brio R is a no brainer.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Champion View Post
                    Thanks for the comments. I like the Rega brio 3 sound but I wish it has a bit more dynamic and bass slam. And I sometimes find that it is not transparent enough and different recordings tends to sound the same. Is the Brio-R more transparent?
                    In my opinion, and using SHL5's, a resounding YES

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                    • #11
                      OK, me and the honorable Mr. Peter Walker of Quad have been ignored.
                      One last try: I think you should consider an amp with tone controls.

                      Not modern in todays highend-audio but simply usefull to correct problems that every (!) normal room brings to music reproduction.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by thurston View Post
                        OK, me and the honorable Mr. Peter Walker of Quad have been ignored.
                        One last try: I think you should consider an amp with tone controls.

                        Not modern in todays highend-audio but simply usefull to correct problems that every (!) normal room brings to music reproduction.
                        You are right, that's actually one reason why I am looking at NAD which has tone control. But do you think just bass and treble enough to do any useful adjustment? Or do we need more control?

                        Maybe Peter Walker is right, but I believe most amps will operate outside their capabilities when connected to a loudspeaker. I am a firm believer that speakers is the single most important component in the audio system, but still, in my experience, amps at similar rating and price do sound different enough that it cannot be ignored.

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                        • #13
                          I think that bass is mostly the problem.
                          It seems to me that with the bass and treble are enough. I guess that more possibilities (equalizer with loads of different frequencies to tune) only make things more complicated.
                          My Quad preamp has a rather different tone control.
                          Here someone tried to explain it:
                          http://www.ciao.co.uk/Quad_34_Preamplifier__5329070

                          I am not sure about how often an amp is used not within its specifications. But I guess that most of the differences between amps are psychoacoustics.
                          I know of blnd listening tests where ist was impossible to hear differences between a rather cheap Arcam an an ASR Emitter (german amp) for ten times the price.
                          Of course the testers were sure that there are huge differences before the actual test.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                            The new Rega Brio R is a better amp than the Mira, so good, in fact, that the Mira is not going to be replaced [...]
                            Sorry, I'm a newbie here but I just had to respond to this statement because I feel the opposite about these amplifiers. I tried both amps, the Brio R and Mira3, and found them to be sounding very different on my C7-es3's. To my ears the Brio R was a delicate sounding amp that just lacked the dynamics, air and flow to get me involved in the music it amplified. The Mira3 on the other hand did just that, it got my head floating and my feet wildly tapping. To my taste and needs the Mira3 is an excellent amp for the money, it brings out 90% of the glory that Harbeth speakers can give and in such a way that you don't really care about the other 10%. Needless to say, I bought one, together with a Rega Dac. If only I wasn't a sucker for tubes (I like to stare at glowing objects..) I could swear I would never need another amp again. Offcourse, all that is personal. For others who are more into a dry, clean and detailed sound the Brio R might be the 'better' option. But I think it would be a mistake of Rega to discontinue this model. And I certainly wouldn't label the Brio R as better than a Mira.

                            Just for reference of my personal taste, before I went out listening to the Rega's I had a Naim XS in my system for two weeks. I realise that Naim is highly regarded on this forum. The XS sounded amazingly detailed and clean but in the end I found it's sound to be a bit dry and cold for my taste.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by thurston View Post
                              Peter Walker once said: all amplifiers sound the same when used within their capabilities.

                              I start to believe he was not wrong.
                              I agree too. But I think the problem is that few speakers present loads easy enough to allow most if not all amps to run within their capabilities. Where they do not, the amp differences would start showing up, and the challenging speaker loads would reveal differences in the amps that are driving them. I am guessing that Harbeth is one of the few engineered to present amps with an easy load, so for Harbeth users, the amp question becomes one of psychoacoustics, and non audio related issues such as reliability, cost, longevity etc.

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