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Feb. 2018
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Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

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  • #76
    Re: Eyes open or shut?

    Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
    Not wishing to offend but I wouldn't give house room to any of those three. If I really, really had to choose it would be the Creek but only as the best of a bad bunch. Is there any chance of you hearing a Rega Brio or Mira ? Well within your budget and streets ahead in terms of sound. IMO
    The Harbeth Cdn distributor recommends Creek with Harbeth, and it sounds very fine indeed to my ears!

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    • #77
      Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

      To each his own. Tried the Rega Elicit with the P3ESR briefly and sounded okay. However, the Rega didn't sound too good with the SHL5. The house sound of the Rega is to the warmer side of neutral, and the Harbeth is also that. I find the Elicit/SHL5 combination to lack transparency and high-end extension in the mids with slightly muddled bass lines compared to the LFD and Leben CS600. A fairly neutral amp is required to get the best out of the Harbeth.

      On a separate note, if I don't compare amps I would probably be happy with the Rega. After comparing not anymore.

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      • #78
        Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

        i reckon Creek Destiny shouldn't be too bad, though probably still not in the same league as LFD LE III. Now i wondering if anyone here has heard LFD NCSE with SHL-5....I am sure it's a very serious contender in the arena of best integrated amps.....

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        • #79
          Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

          While I usually listen to a Lux 590 with my SHL 5's, I dug out my Jolida 502 for a listen. It is so sweat ! Tubes are such a pain though.

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          • #80
            Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

            Agreed, Lavardin not mentioned too much.....would love to hear one with the Harbeths....

            I've been following these amp/integrated threads for Harbeths for a while, seems like one of the most contested threads, both here and on audiogon and pink fish.

            Those with LFD think they're the perfect match because Gene Rubin and Sam Tellig has said so. Then there's the Leben camp due to Jeff Day's glorious reviews. And then the Luxmans are coming on strong, everyone trying to figure out the right model to use.

            Obviously those that buy whichever brand come out shooting, touting their choice to be the best.
            And then the detractors come, LFD only so so, Leben showing less bass control, Luxman only a glorified Sony. And lately Lavardin also not having complete bass control.

            So what's a person to do or think?

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            • #81
              Re: Eyes open or shut?

              The Brio is the only one which fits the budget. ill try and get a listen with one of them. i might even take a shot with some of the chinese made amps, the 2 ive shortlisted being the dussun T6 or the G&W 2006x.

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              • #82
                Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

                I do not see much reference to this brand, but Linn also makes a very good match with Harbeth I think. The new Majik DS-I in really incredible for the money, with built-in DAC and streaming.

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                • #83
                  Re: Eyes open or shut?

                  Originally posted by kittykat View Post
                  The Brio is the only one which fits the budget. ill try and get a listen with one of them. i might even take a shot with some of the chinese made amps, the 2 ive shortlisted being the dussun T6 or the G&W 2006x.
                  Well,

                  If you're thinking of Chinese products, check if you've got around a dealer for that French company that builds in China under French supervising, the Advance Acoustic. Take a look into their site, When we heard them here driving various speakers, cheap or expensive, our eyes popped out. And they have really very low prices, one can't believe... They are constantly receiving excellent reviews worldwide. Costs vary from 350euros to 800euros, the latter concerns a 100watter/8ohms that goes 200wrms/4ohms, weighs about 19kgrs(!) and has tremendous built with anlogue VUmeters. Heard it myself with Quad 22 floorstanders and was really impressed. A very little bright, transparent and very detailed, I think it would finely match with the smooth & warm character of the SHL5s.

                  Cheers from Athens,
                  Thanos

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                  • #84
                    Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

                    "Luxman only a glorified Sony"

                    WOW ! That actually made me laugh out loud !

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                    • #85
                      Re: Eyes open or shut?

                      Thanks Thanos. Advance Acoustics has a basic integrated (MAP 101) which is half my budget of USD1000, which makes it most interesting. There is a dealer in town and ill try to get a listen. Looks like really good value.

                      Stumbled on a write up of the Abacus Ampino which looks really interesting, They seem to have a very similar philosophy as Harbeth, practical, grounded on science, no fluff.

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                      • #86
                        Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

                        I know, but that was what one dealer has said, and he has some of the best gear.....made me laugh, too.....I hope to hear a newer Luxman piece someday to decide for myself, if it keeps selling and gets better distribution maybe I can. I heard some of the cheaper lines of Luxman back in the 80's, the receivers and some integrateds, and they were about like Yamaha then.

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                        • #87
                          Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

                          Ah Yes. Those electronics were mostly made by Alps Motorola, Some was actually quite good, and some was well, terrible (Servoface). Since I was in the center of mid-fi at the time, I can say that Luxman was vastly superior to Yamaha. I would say that NAD was much more of a peer than Yamaha or Denon. The really nasty stuff was Sony, JVC,and Technics. My absolute favorite in the late 1970's early 1980's was Tandberg. The small receivers were great (TR-2025, TR-2040).

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                          • #88
                            Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

                            I remember those tandbergs quite well.....they had a look about them that once you saw them you never forgot, kind of like a big beogram from b & o....

                            I do believe the particular dealer mentioned earlier was comparing the current Luxman to the Sony ES line, which I've never heard. I remember I did whince a little when I heard the comparison comment, thinking from all the threads that the new Luxman must be quite good.

                            I very much value his opinion, he coming from quite a history of gear. That being said, the only way audiophiles ever agree on anything is if they own it. Why would one believe him or any other poster on these threads? You don't know their gear, setup, room, listening tastes. All one can do is audition or buy with assumptions and hope for the best.

                            I'm presently using Crimson gear, the 710 preamp and 640 monos. I would assume they're far ahead any of the integrateds mentioned, but just a hunch......

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                            • #89
                              Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

                              Originally posted by musicquest View Post
                              I remember those tandbergs quite well.....they had a look about them that once you saw them you never forgot, kind of like a big beogram from b & o....

                              I do believe the particular dealer mentioned earlier was comparing the current Luxman to the Sony ES line, which I've never heard. I remember I did whince a little when I heard the comparison comment, thinking from all the threads that the new Luxman must be quite good.

                              I very much value his opinion, he coming from quite a history of gear. That being said, the only way audiophiles ever agree on anything is if they own it. Why would one believe him or any other poster on these threads? You don't know their gear, setup, room, listening tastes. All one can do is audition or buy with assumptions and hope for the best.

                              I'm presently using Crimson gear, the 710 preamp and 640 monos. I would assume they're far ahead any of the integrateds mentioned, but just a hunch......
                              The best way to judge if an amplifier is of any good is to listen to it in your own setup. Good as many amplifers are, but there's no amp that is all things to all people. And then, there's also an element of bias. Nobody is totally 'neutral'. I am definitely not. I have always preferred Brit stuff over those outrageously expensive, overbuilt & flashy non UK made gear.

                              Having said that, i've also heard many good integrateds trouncing more elaborate & expensive pre/power or monoblock counterparts by quite a long shot.

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Re: Eyes open or shut?

                                Originally posted by kittykat View Post
                                Thanks Thanos. Advance Acoustics has a basic integrated (MAP 101) which is half my budget of USD1000, which makes it most interesting. There is a dealer in town and ill try to get a listen. Looks like really good value.

                                Stumbled on a write up of the Abacus Ampino which looks really interesting, They seem to have a very similar philosophy as Harbeth, practical, grounded on science, no fluff.
                                Hi Kittykat,

                                Try to ask info/listen the MAP 105, same sound with MAP 101, it has all the inputs you'll ever need and almost twice the power of its smaller brother. We heard it in the same shop with the small Quads, DALI and Dynaudio floorstanders. It flattened down with ease a Denon PM1500AE which had 1,5 times its price, and which -strangely- received here in Europe the EISA award for best integrated of the year 2007. The MAP 105 sells here for about 500euros, which still is well below your margin. Therefore you can save money for cables and anything extra needed for setting up. I do have a feeling that it will do pretty much OK with your SHL5s. If the Advance Acoustic MAP305 was in Greece when I paid a hell of money for my McIntosh MA6500, I would have bought it and I would have saved a whole of 4.000 euros out of my pocket... That means I would now have got all my other devices (except the Meridian 507) for free (and they are CDR, Tuner, Turntable and cassette deck). Money doesn't fall from the skies nowadays, it's earned harder than ever before.

                                Regards,
                                Thanos

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