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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

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.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Amplifier selection for your Harbeths (general, not specific Harbeth models)

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  • Re: Amplifier selection for your Harbeths (general, not specific Harbeth models)

    Originally posted by NikPer
    Greetings,

    I just got a pair SHL5's, the rest of my gear is a Cary SLI-80 integrated valve amplifier with 2xKT88 per channel, a Cary CD308T cd player, a vintage AKAI turntable with the small BENZ cartridge amplified by a creek OBH-18 phono-stage and a SONY tuner. The room is my kitchen-living room combo area, about 5.5 by 6 meters.

    So far i am very happy with the speakers, I really appreciate their full bodied sound and clarity plus i just love their "old-school" look.
    Above is my post of about six months ago.... Quite recently (last month and a half) i have been using a Yamaha stereo receiver (RX-797) which is spec'd about 2x100W. I am quite happy using this amp so far and this was, needless to say, a big surprise to me!

    Comment


    • Re: Harbeth in Indonesia

      Hello, Alan.
      Thanks for your kind information. Why do you think I need to audition the C7 Mk3 'cos I already own a pair of cherished Compact 7? Any significant sonic difference between those two?
      Is there any Skylan speaker stand dealers in Indonesia too?

      Regards,
      J.L.

      Comment


      • Re: Replacing my amp...

        Ned,
        I try to keep my system running naturally and simple. Wattage speaking I guess 80 - 100 Watts per channel is adequate for my Compact 7...am I right?? (My listening room is 3 meter x 5.5 meter)
        I prefer some England-made amplifier so that my system can sound "wholly" made-in-England.. hehehe.
        I read some of the threads discussing about choosing amps between Naims and Sugdens. Perhaps any of those two brands can represent and be suitable for my future system.
        Any suggestions again is warmly welcome.
        Thanks

        J.L.

        Comment


        • Re: Replacing my amp...

          J.L.,

          Nothing wrong with keeping your system purely British! Frankly, the question of how much power one needs is still an open one in my mind. Because I've read posts by those who have measured output in the neighborhood of a few hundred watts (during brief peaks) when playing music over speakers of 'average' efficiency, I opted to use an amp that should never run out of power. That being said, I also have played my Harbeths with my Adcom 60 watt amp and not noticed any strain (and the amp has a warnng light that let's one know if it is being pushed beyond reason). Still with solid bass, smooth highs, etc. So, yes, I suspect that 80 to 100 watts would be quite adequate for the C7s, as it seemed to be for my SHL5s, and seems to be for my M40s. As Alan has often said, his speakers are designed to be easy to drive, and any competently designed amp in the power range you mentioned should afford complete musical enjoyment.

          Ned

          Comment


          • NVA anybody?

            Hey folks,

            anybody here familiar with the NVA (Nene Valley Audio) stereo or mono amplifiers?
            Is any one of the amps from that brand is suitable to Harbeth Compact 7?
            Thanks for your advice.

            Cheers,

            J.L.

            Comment


            • Re: Amplifier selection for your Harbeths (general, not specific Harbeth models)

              After three years my M30 finally sing? Recently I tried Audio Note M3 preamp with my Plinius SA102 instead of Quad 99 pre. Wow, what sound! Such warm, mellow and clear sound!

              Comment


              • Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

                Has anybody here in the community ever tried matching a class-D amplifier with a pair of Harbeths?
                I was thinking about purchasing a Pro-Ject amp box mono. According to its specifications, it delivers 28Watts per channel. Can it deliver a good result for my Harbeth Compact 7? Any comments are welcome.

                Cheers,

                J.L.

                Comment


                • Class-T amplifier for Harbeths?

                  By coincidence I have just returned from the home of a BBC sound engineer to whom I was giving the UK-first demo of the Monitor 40.1.

                  After the main demo his friend arrived with a home-made stereo 2 x 20W Tripath Class-T amp in a small box powered from an internal 12V battery charged from an wall-PSU type external mains supply. I have no direct experience of 'digital amps' (although I'm told that Class T is not actually digital but Pulse Width Modulation) and was very curious.

                  I was astonished how good it was: warmer and sweeter than the main amplifier. I was doubly astonished that such a low power amp could drive the M40.1 adequately loud and to such an excellent standard. I've borrowed the amp and ordered from him the 2x100W big brother.

                  I'm so impressed with this miracle amp and its sweet sound - which would certainly drive C7ES3, M30 and probably M20 that I wonder if there is a small market for it at a sensible price? I am not saying that it would compete with big 'audiophile' amps or have a long life expectancy - I am saying it opens up many possibilities and is definitely a small investment worth considering.

                  Thoughts?
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • Re: Class-T amplifier for Harbeths?

                    Oh dear ...... I have been searching for the Tripath chips ...... I found this meaasge on the Profusion (former UK importers) website today:

                    "Tripath have now stopped trading due to bankruptcy and their assets have been sold. All Tripath parts should be considered obsolete and are only available while stocks last."

                    I guess that's the end of that project then.

                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • Re: Class-T amplifier for Harbeths?

                      Have you checked out the Hypex line of class D amplfiers?

                      http://www.hypex.nl/

                      I've been following them for a while. They are consistently reviewed very highly and are sometimes said to be warmer, more musical etc. than the Tripath offerings (and once as having "a hint of coldness"). Perhaps they're just really good.

                      Comment


                      • Re: Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

                        Hi Alan and all you guys...

                        the class-D amplifier stuff popped up into my mind after seeing so many of them reviewed on the internet. I am not quite sure and certainly cannot judge if such amplifiers would fill up the tightly competing amplifier map nowadays (i.e. low-priced A/B solid-states, mid-to-high end solid-states, low-priced Eastern-made valve amps, and high-end valve amps). But I am sure that technology will improve over time if you all agree.
                        My mind is still boggling if class-D amplifier will somehow have the quality of the exotic valve amps, but mass produced with lot lower prices... don't we just dream the same thing here? I'd be joining the band if such an amp exists in the near future.

                        Alan, drop us a line after listening to those class-D amps. Will ya? Thanks.

                        Cheers all,

                        J.L.

                        Comment


                        • Re: Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

                          I will be borrowing a couple of Kharma MP150 Class D amps over the next couple of days to drive our Super HL5's. It will be nice to see if and how they compete with our McIntosh solid state gear.

                          Comment


                          • Re: Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

                            Um. I have to report that after a day long listening session it was a relief to change back to a conventional linear amplifier from my session with a Tripath digital amp. In discussion with reviewer Martin Colloms recently I told him of my brief and seemingly positive experience in another listening environment. He commented that it was in the low frequencies where digital amps had a (theoretical) advantage over conventional linear transistor amps and that at high frequencies 'there are various issues including a 'halo' around the micro-detail in music or speech due to the digital amp's internal sampling system'.

                            Anyway, the amp arrived yesterday and I set it up in my listening room. The first impression - and one which lasted right through the long day's listening was that, contrary to the theory, the bass is fat, slow and flabby. The higher frequencies also have a slight tizziness which became irritating. The stereo image was narrow.

                            I am not concluding that all digital amplifiers behave this way but it does validate the design of my power amp (dating back to the 1970s) which is, in comparison, rock-solid in the bass and with a sweet airy top and wide stereo. I would suggest extreme caution: listen carefully before investing any money in a digital amplifier.
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • Re: I am using AVI laboratory series Integrated amplifier

                              I have been very happy with using an original Krell KSA 50 which is a nominal 50watt class a design. However this has had a problem and getting it repaired is proving to be difficult.
                              I was donated a very blown up Quad 405 mk 1 which had blown one of the mains smoothing caps which is not a major problem but at the same time it had melted the wiring loom in a number of places which to replace was going to labour intensive and expensive. Having looked at it I have decided it is well beyond my level of competence so have sent the unit to Net Audio who will do a complete upgrade for cheaper than a rewire which will involve replacement of the caps and some other items like op amps for better quality. I hope this will work well with the Harbeth C7 2,s I have and should at least provide me with music while i wait for the krell. Will post a separate thread on how the amp did. presume that the Quads 100 watts are more than enough to keep the Harbeths happy would suspect though that the quality may not be there but will have to see

                              Comment


                              • Re: Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

                                Interesting comments but given the quality of the individual pieces I would guess it is not a surprise.
                                Any amplifier can be excellent be it valve,solid state or digital. The mechanism of how it works is not the deciding factor it is the quality of the designer and what they are aiming for.
                                The t-path is a cheap mas produced amplifier for computer speakers ipod extenders and the like. used within that frame it is an excellent and nice sounding unit as the speakers it is driving are often the limiting factor . It was never intended to power monitor quality speakers such as the Harbeth ranges.

                                The fact it produced anything of even middle quality is a sign of it being a good original design.

                                As to digital amps well I have to say my experience is a little limited as Tact make a number of models that I have been impressed with and have also heard the Flying Mole mono blocks which are very powerful but in my view not the best in sound quality.

                                No doubt if some one really gets in to Digital then they will make a very good sounding , probably cool running and powerful unit but do not hold your breath that it is likely to be cheap. Good design , good engineering and good quality are almost always expensive to produce and so end up being expensive to buy.

                                We all wish it was different but to date I have not found the exception that proves the rule.

                                Comment

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