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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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  • Manley, Pass Labs amps

    So many combinations that I've given up worrying! I normally run my SHL5's with a pair of 100w Manley mono blocks but of late have been lucky enough to run them with a 30w Pass Labs XA30.5. While they both sound very different, depending on the music and mood I could live with either of them. I don?t think there is a perfect amp for every source, sitting and recording?. just one that fits the budget.

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

      Originally posted by Robnz View Post
      So many combinations that I've given up worrying! I normally run my SHL5's with a pair of 100w Manley mono blocks but of late have been lucky enough to run them with a 30w Pass Labs XA30.5. While they both sound very different, depending on the music and mood I could live with either of them. I don?t think there is a perfect amp for every source, sitting and recording?. just one that fits the budget.
      Agree with you, Robnz, even my Plinius gives different sound at his A Class and A/B class, for some sort of music this sounds better or for other sort of music that sounds better for my ear.

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      • Experience of three different amps with C7

        Hi Everyone,

        Although I've been lurking around for a while, this is my first post here. I run my C7s (non-ES) with Audio Note P1 SE, Odyssey Khartago monos and Audio Note Conquest monos. Naturally, each amp gives a different sound, but to me, all are musical with (in varying degrees) rythm and soundstage that I cannot really complain about

        Listening area is almost square living room, about 5.7 m x 4.5m x 3+ m, with corner of wall behind speakers opening to dining room etc. No sound treatment whatsoever unless kids' toys, newspaper rack, sofa and piano are counted. Sources are a mix of digital and analogue.

        My first time trying to express in words how each amp sounds, so please forgive me if I am not very clear:

        Conquest - Musical presence can be felt (fills the space between the speakers and listener as someone put it). Musical notes have "weight". Good rythm and pace.

        Khartago - A bit more laid back than Conquest. Notes have less "weight" (i.e. a little more thin?) but nonetheless sweet and musical. However, bass seems to go lower than Conquests (not surprising as it is solid state and has much more power).

        P1 - Rated at only 9 watts, but drives the C7s competently. Good soundstage and rythm, musical, but of course not as good in bass as the other 2. A little less refined and notes have even less "weight" i.e. even thinner. The slight lack of refinement could perhaps be improved with a change of tubes - I haven't changed the factory supplied tubes. Will try one day.

        Hope this helps anyone trying to figure out what amps to get. What I find special about the C7s is that it has no problems matching all of them and helps to bring out the character of each amp. They are the single greatest improvement I've experienced so far.

        By the way, Soundbyte, I think I bought your C7s.

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        • Experience of three different amps with C7

          Originally posted by LGCS1 View Post

          By the way, Soundbyte, I think I bought your C7s.
          Is that so? I sold off my Compact 7ES2 - I didn't have the C7 Non ES version... Anyway welcome to Harbeth Sounds!

          Cheers.

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

            My mistake - they are ES-2s. For some reason, I keep thinking of them as non-ES, perhaps because they are not the new ES-3s. Bought them end Oct 07.

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            • Transformer Volume Control (TVC) with Harbeths?

              Has anyone tried a TVC (transformer volume control) preamp with your harbeths? I have a Bent Audio TAP TVC powered by a Sanders 360 watt SS amplifier and would welcome views on the combination.

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              • TVC from Promitheus Audio with a Trends Audio TA 10.1 (C7ES3)

                Originally posted by denjo View Post
                Has anyone tried a TVC (transformer volume control) preamp with your harbeths? I have a Bent Audio TAP TVC powered by a Sanders 360 watt SS amplifier and would welcome views on the combination.
                I'm using the TVC from Promitheus Audio with a Trends Audio TA 10.1 ( used as power amp ) driving my C7 ES-3. To me the combination is really great coz I don't / can't listen loud and it gives me great clarity at night listening.

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                • Re: TVC from Promitheus Audio with a Trends Audio TA 10.1 (C7ES3)

                  Originally posted by mznn View Post
                  I'm using the TVC from Promitheus Audio with a Trends Audio TA 10.1 ( used as power amp ) driving my C7 ES-3. To me the combination is really great coz I don't / can't listen loud and it gives me great clarity at night listening.
                  mznn,
                  I have heard great things about Promitheus! I know the Trends but did not know they were powerful enough to drive the Harbeths! Cool! My Bent Audio TVC is much like the Promitheus - very transparent and pure!

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                  • Re: Experience of three different amps with C7

                    Hello Everybody... I didn't post any message for a while here but continue to follow the discussions with highest interest from time to time.

                    I'm thinking about changing my close-to-15 years old Woodside tube amp (2X30 W)... I'm used to enjoy my Compact 7s with tube amplification for so many years that I will certainly look at new possiblities in the same direction.

                    Would anybody have experience with Jadis tube amps? I'm in particular looking at the JADIS DA50, which runs with four KT88 tubes..

                    Anybody with any experience with Jadis or with similar tubes?

                    Thanks a lot,

                    Philippe

                    Note: a quote about C7s I really liked some time ago on this forum:

                    " ... Compact 7s, like most Harbeth speakers, are relatively easy to drive and will sound great with just about any quality amp out there. However, they also tend to be very revealing and therefore, you must make sure that they are fed a high quality signal..."

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                    • Re: Experience of three different amps with C7

                      I would very respectfully suggest that Jadis make "male jewelry" products that wouldn't perform any better at all than the Woodside amps you have and love, apart from using up even more electricity and heating the room excessively.

                      The Woodside amps were made by a Bristol firm I think; the same firm that made the 1990's AVI solid state amps. My advice would be to have them serviced, as the electrolytic capacitors may be getting a bit tired now after ten - fifteen years and if you must have a change for the sake of it, then look at EAR Yoshino - beautiffuly crafted valve designs and apparently utterly reliable...

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                      • Re: Experience of three different amps with C7

                        Thanks for this comment which indeed makes a lot of sense... I'm afraid I cannot take the risk of having my old Woodside serviced as I have more and more problems with it (not only "tired" tubes but also difficulties with one of the lines: a canal "vanishing" from time to time). Unfortunately, I may indeed have to spend a lot of money to find better than the Woodside as it used to work in the past... Would a separate amp-preamp combination bring more (including more bass etc..)?

                        Thanks for any further advice,

                        Philippe

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                        • Re: Experience of three different amps with C7

                          If you use a CD or line level source, then a good integrated is fine in my view.

                          However, LP souces may need to have the phono stage away from a big, powerful amp. You may also prefer your amps near to the speakers, in which case a separate pre/power may be better.

                          The EAR amps I mentioned tend to be big integrateds, their pre/power combinations costing a lot more money. They are utterly reliable though and the valves/tubes last for years before needing replacement.

                          Shame the Woodside is failing so badly. Many valve designs do work their components hard. Even the revered Quad II's had a few component failures (before the valves needed replacing).

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                          • Re: Experience of three different amps with C7

                            Thanks again for all these useful comments !

                            Philippe

                            Comment


                            • Re: "Harbeths need lots of power" ???

                              Hi Alan

                              Hmm ... 50 w solid state amplifier? Well, it must be a British made amplifier (certainly not American made since they like a lot more power). It is also likely to be MOSFET. And, I read somewhere that your amplifier has not changed in at least 20 years! I think it might possibly be a LFD integrated, not much different from their latest Zero Mark III (save for power rating which has now gone up to 65 watts).

                              I have heard the LFD MI100 (dual monos) paired with Harbeth Super 5s and they were a very musical combo.

                              Best regards
                              Dennis

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                              • Re: Experience of three different amps with C7

                                Originally posted by Philippe Monteyne View Post
                                Anybody with any experience with Jadis or with similar tubes?
                                Hi Philippe ,

                                I don't know this DA 50 but I suggest you to listen the Jadis JA 30 monoblocks .. fantastic amps
                                I owned the JA 80 that are more powerful but less musical

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