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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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  • Bummer indeed... but I think that NAD might well surprise you... it has enough grunt for the P3ESRs, well made & from a reputable manufacturer - and TBH it's not what I'd call a cheap amp. Let us know what you think when it arrives.

    Maybe you'll be able to re-cover the grilles if Harbeth are able to tell you what kind of material to use. It's probably worth while, IMO the P3ESRs are "right" grilles-on.

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    • I agree with honmanm. NAD amps give you a lot for your money. I have owned one, and listened to several, and I have always been impressed with their performance.

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      • Thanks for the replies. I do want to replace the grilles...not recover them as I want them to be original. These are heirloom quality speakers to me and I want them to be right. I will definitely let you know how the amp works out. Thanks again for the replies. I apologize if I sidetracked the thread.

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        • Actually, Yamaha's A-S2000 gets good reviews. One of our local hi-fi critic tested it and was very impress. He said that this amplifier plays in the range of $5000 amplifiers. The A-S2000 is less than half this price: $2199 at my local dealer. Plus, it has tone control, phono stage and headphone socket.

          I'm wondering if anyone had the chance to give this Yamaha a try with a pair of Harbeth.

          It will probably be one of my holiday listening session. I'll come back on this.

          Sebastien

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          • Sebastien, the As2000 also has a loudness control and not to forget the moving coil preamp. Im convinced, based on past experience, that Yamaha makes non fussy or finicky amplifiers which are simply plug, play and enjoy (like Harbeths?). It is a serious electronic item not for those who have amp fetish or amp-ile envy.

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            • Originally posted by Sebastien View Post
              ....I'm wondering if anyone had the chance to give this Yamaha a try with a pair of Harbeth....
              I have an A-S2000 for the last two months with my SHL5's, replacing a Krell KAV300i. The amp is very good in any aspect, more quiet, more transparent, you can see (and hear) your money well spent on it.
              It is built like a tank and is fully protected -and so are the connected speakers to it-

              Originally posted by kittykat View Post
              Sebastien, the As2000 also has a loudness control ....
              It doesn't have a loudness control, it has bass, treble and balance. They don't affect the signal when in "0" position (I can hear a slight click from a relay when I turn them and the sound stops for a moment. The same happens when I set them back to "0"). That's nice, I don't have to push a "Direct" or a "Tone Defeat" button to engage them.

              Sebastien,
              is it possible to give us a link of the test you mentioned?

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              • Originally posted by Takis View Post
                ...Sebastien,
                is it possible to give us a link of the test you mentioned?
                The comments from that guy are in French on a local HIFI website here in Quebec. Let me check later what I can do to translate this.

                Sebastien

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                • Originally posted by Takis View Post
                  It doesn't have a loudness control,
                  Sorry, my mistake Takis, Thanks for pointing out. i was drooling over the AS700 last week and thought all their amps had one. Australian hifi tested the AS2000 here...

                  http://www.avhub.com.au/index.php/Pr...amplifier.html

                  More importantly, they measured it (downloadable pdf) and it is pretty awesome performance wise. The AS 700 was also tested (and measured) and it is here

                  http://www.avhub.com.au/index.php/Pr...amplifier.html

                  The AS700 is also pretty awesome for what they ask for. Think Yamaha has just also launched the 500 and 300, and is one of the few mega electronic companies which still tell who actually designed these amplifiers.

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                  • Update to my earlier post. I was able to keep my Sonneteer amp and I can not adequately express how well the Alabaster and P3's work together. Never heard better in my home. Cheers!

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                    • Yamaha A-S2000 review summary

                      Originally posted by Sebastien View Post
                      The comments from that guy are in French on a local HIFI website here in Quebec. Let me check later what I can do to translate this.
                      I read back his words. Here is the essence of his comment that I translate on my own.

                      He said that he tried the Yamaha A-S2000 amplifier with a pair of Verity Audio Parsifal Ovation speakers ($25,000) and Yamaha CD-S2000 cd player and the results were astonishing. He used the balanced input and good cables. In his mind, this amplifier can be combine with high end products. It is a hifi product at low price. At around $2000, the author declares that you get an amplifier that plays like someo of them in the $5000-7000 range.

                      He concluded, that this amplifier represent an incredible value at that price and that with its global quality, its balance and musicality, its great construction, its nice look, it is "de facto" a classic that we will talk for a long time.

                      Sebastien

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                      • Thank you Sebastien.

                        Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year !

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                        • Originally posted by Sebastien View Post
                          ...It will probably be one of my holiday listening session. I'll come back on this...
                          Well I have the Yamaha A-S2000 at home since yesterday. I think it is a quite interesting integrated amplifier at this price point. But to tell you the true, I have read so many good comments on it that I was a little bit disappointed. I was expecting much more from that amplifier. Some folks found it better than a Moon i3.3. I don't.

                          For sure, my reference amplifier is a Luxman L-590AII and the Yamaha is far less musical than the Luxman. Even at 90W, it doesn't handle that bass as the L-590AII does and the realism with voices and accoustics intruments is not there. I also tested the MC input and the headphone output. Both are far superior on the Luxman.

                          Like I said on another post, a reviewer said that the A-S2000 beats some amplifier in the $5000-7000 range, I'm wondering which one. Unfortunately for their image, Yamaha provided the store where I borrow the A-S2000 a demo in really bad shape full of scratches everywhere. Bad...

                          In the end, I think that for the customer who wants an amplifier in the $2000-3000 range, he should give the A-S2000 a try but he should also try others in the SAME price range. I heard amplifiers much more musical with my SHL5 and the rest of my system.

                          Sebastien

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                          • A little bit more on the audition of the Yamaha A-S2000. It is not the last word in low listening fatigue. Someone with a $2000-3000 budget should give an audition to some of the tube amplifiers from the far East at these prices or to a Sugden class A. I think they can be some more musical match than the A-S2000.

                            It also surprises me that the Yam distortions on some cd that I know very well where that I never heard this.

                            I feel a little uncomfortable to give such a "bad" review for the Yamaha A-S2000. Maybe I have difficulties to relativize the fact that this is not a $10,000 amplifier. Maybe the unit the store provide me is not in the best shape and suffer for what I saw from the outside. Anyway, here is my humble review. Please take it for what it worth.

                            Sebastien

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                            • Originally posted by scottc1968 View Post
                              I have previously had my SHL5's controlled by Marantz PM11S1, Leema Tucana MKI, Graaf GM50 but have now for the past 6 months settled on a Pathos Classis MKII which to my ears is perfection, I have absolutely no intention of changing.
                              Same here - Pathos Classic One MkII which works perfectly with C7ES3.

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                              • Changing a whole system with a more rational approach

                                I am on the cusp of purchasing my first set of Harbeth speakers and am thinking of having a total clear-out of my other equipment at the same time. I just sold my Nagra CD player and am using a Cambridge Audio BD650 universal player in its' place. I am thinking of selling my other Nagras too - a Nagra PL-P valve preamp with phono-stage and a Nagra MSA 60wpc MOSFET poweramp.

                                Reading the HUG, over time I have begun to accept the idea that maybe I don't need such costly equipment. I am a music lover really, not an audiophile. That is to say connecting with the music is of paramount importance to me - listening for micro-differences is not. I like the idea of a simpler, well-made, reliable integrated amplifier like a Sugden A21SE. I would consider a pre/power again if it's really worthwhile.

                                I'm totally off the idea of cables - mine are Russ Andrews'/Kimber and I'm not spending anymore on them. They're fine as they are. I find my other hobbies are more fun for the money than cable upgrades. A lovely Leica camera costs less than a new interconnect! Reality check needed...

                                I do think it's worth spending more on a turntable though, as it is mechanical engineering like speakers so good design and expertise pays dividends in sound quality. Again I'd like something very robustly made and reliable that won't let me down - SME springs to mind...any others?

                                I notice that Harbeth is an ISO 9001 certified company and so is SME Ltd. Is this a good indicator of quality products/good service back-up? Are Sugden or any other amplifier manufacturers ISO 9001 certified?

                                Your thoughts/suggestions would be read with interest...

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