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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.

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.

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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.

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Harbeth Super HL5 + Sugden A21SE

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  • Harbeth Super HL5 + Sugden A21SE

    hi! i'm about to order this combination , i auditioned for a couple of hours using a21 (NOT SE) instead and pretty much liked the full open soundstage... so i guess by adding the "SE" sound will become even bigger and fuller...

    just one thought, i did not auditioned a naim or some other integrated more-"punchy"-than-the-sugden side by side, so i would like your opinion if you like the shl5+a21se sound for rock music (especially old, meaning pre 1975) i did realize that for acoustic folk or jazz etc. the combination is fantastic... fell in love with it... but you know when you are in an audition room you sometimes get excited easily, so i would like your opinion (if you like it for old rock especially) it is enough money after all...

  • #2
    finally, i ordered super hl5, NOT sugden or other new amp, staying with my current one a hegel integrated. so when shl5 arrives i am going to test my current gear with harbeth speakers, then decide for an amp upgrade or not... hope, this is a wise decision

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    • #3
      I am not familiar with the Hegel but it is a wise decision to change one item in the system at a time. Enjoy and get used to the Harbeths and then decide if you want to change the amp and which to go for.

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      • #4
        1st of all, you chose Harbeth already is a wise decision...so you did a wise wise desision
        "Bath with Music"

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        • #5
          hehe, right, you know what my problem is ? time... i aint got time, plenty of time i need to read through all the threads and topics in this forum. i am registered member in tens of fora for years now , moderator or admin in a couple of those, so i think i have some experience but THIS ONE is far beyond my imagination... i've fallen in love with alan's work from the very first moment same happened with this forum.. so as soon as i finish everything every evening, i take my macbook in bed and read read read ... (a bit offtopic, forgive me, thank you again!)

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          • #6
            Hi

            Have some of You guys heard the combo SHL5 - Sugden A21 SE.... I know that the SHL5 is easy to drive. But is the Sugden at 30 Watts able to handle the SHL5 even though its class A?

            thanks

            Best regards
            Holberg

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            • #7
              To quote Alan from his basic facts post.

              4. Harbeth speakers do not need big amplifiers. Generally speaking, 25W per channel is a sensible minimum across the range. That will get you going but 25W won't produce the maximum loudness that a Harbeth is capable of: for that you'll need a bigger amp. If you play soft, late at night or you don't want to annoy your neighbours then a few watts will be enough power. What if you have a really powerful amplifier? A bigger amp, like a bigger car engine, will give you a power reserve which you may or may not ever need depending on your music listening habits. Obviously, if your children take control of your hi-fi then a more powerful amplifier could/may/will do more damage just as a powerful car driven too fast can/may/will. In brief: use whatever power you have responsibly.

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              • #8
                To add to what Don said, more than one review of the Super HL5 has stated that it is a very easy speaker to drive, and appears to be more efficient than its published sensitivity specification would indicate. On a completely unscientific basis (i.e. sitting in Don's basement listening to various Harbeths, and looking at where the volume knob needs to be to obtain a subjectively equivalent sound pressure level with different models), I can confirm that's true.

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                • #9
                  What's with watts?

                  Originally posted by HOLBERG View Post
                  Hi

                  Have some of You guys heard the combo SHL5 - Sugden A21 SE.... I know that the SHL5 is easy to drive. But is the Sugden at 30 Watts able to handle the SHL5 even though its class A?

                  thanks

                  Best regards
                  Holberg
                  Holberg

                  As the many posts have alluded, the SHL5 is a very easy load to drive (roughly a benign 6 ohms). I have heard the SHL5 paired with an Accuphase E560 (Class A 30 watts) and the sound is sublime! As long as you don't play music at 'disco' levels, you will be more than fine. Somehow class A watts are not the 'same' as class A/B watts. I have listened to the Accuphase E450 (class A/B 180 watts into 8 ohms) but the E560 (class A 30 watts) sounds more powerful and controls the bass better than the former!

                  You will be fine with the Sugden!

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                  • #10
                    Hi Holberg

                    I’ll second the guys. Ive run the SHL5’s with a Denon mini compo unit (20-25W?) and it sounds just fine as long as you don’t turn it up excessively loud.

                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2159563...7624312622196/

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                    • #11
                      Thank You guys..... I would like to play loud, but not at VERY high levels that may damage my ears :-)

                      The Sugden A21SE is a very interesting amp. Stunning build quality. I will audition it sometime in the future for sure.

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                      • #12
                        You will have no problems using the Sugden A21SE with the Harbeth HL5, it is an excellent combination making most of the transparency inherent in both designs.

                        I regularly use the A21SE and the smaller A21al with all the Harbeth range and very good they are too.

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                        • #13
                          Well, I have the mentioned combo with SHL5 and Sugden A21SE and when it comes to volume there is no problem at all. I do play a lot of british prog an as you mentioned pre 1975. The quality of the recordings is sometimes the real problem BUT even Steeleye Span "thin" sound on the early recordings is listenable on the Sugden and Harbeth.
                          But as always 30w can not outperform 100w in quantity. Still, the only right thing to do is to stick with the Hegel(which is by no means a bad amp) for some time before you decide, only in your own listening room you will hear the difference between them that matters to you.

                          Yes, I thought it all sounded really good. Then, a few days ago I changed the ic between cd and amp, it lifted the sound to a new level , it was acually a "downgrade" but that is another matter or should I say thread.

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                          • #14
                            Hi LarsS

                            What is the size of Your room?

                            Best regards
                            Holberg

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                            • #15
                              5 x 6 meter , in feet about 15 x 18

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