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Zen amplifier with Harbeth SHL5

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  • Zen amplifier with Harbeth SHL5

    Is there anyone who had the chance to try Nelson Pass designed Zen amplifier, 10W Class A, with a pair of Harbeth SHL5?

    I red twice that we must have a speakers with a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms to get good results. Your feed-back are welcome.

    Sebastien

  • #2
    The SHL5 is a relatively easy load and you should be OK with the 10 watt Pass amp but it does depend on the size of room, your choice of music and the volume level you prefer. Get these all right and you will have no problem but a touch too far on the volume control will not sound pleasant. It is a suck it and see combination.

    As always, the recommendation must be for you to try the combination yourself, in your room.

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    • #3
      Hi Dave,

      My room is 32 ft x 15 ft. I listen to many differents kind of music. Mainly, I listen to a quiet level, sometimes louder. As it is a friend of mine who has this amplifier, I'll probably give it a try.

      Sorry but I don't understand this: "It is a suck and see combination." Could you explain it to me in a different way? Thanks.

      Sebastien

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      • #4
        Idioms ...

        Sebastien:

        "Suck it and see" means you won't know till you try it yourself. It's a matter of taste and you'll only know if you like it once you've tried it. Like trying a new food you've never had before: no one can really describe the flavour - you have to taste it yourself.

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        • #5
          Thanks Eric. That was my French Canadian limit to understand such an expression.

          Well, I'l have to suck and see... It reminds me of a popsicle.

          Sebastien

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          • #6
            I borrowed a Zen amplifier from of friend who made it in a true DIY style few years ago. I just listen a bit yesterday and wow! It has many qualities. What a magic midrange with the SHL5. I like that class A sound. At this time, I find this design more natural than a Sugden A21al. The presentation is more organic and the bass is really present. Unfortunately, it's 10W limits a little bit the experience.

            Sebastien

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            • #7
              So you won't be going in for any Reggae or Drum-n-bass then ?

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              • #8
                Well, give me few days to try it. Actualy, my little daughter is sleeping so it's not the time for it. Soon, I'll try some reggae and alternative musics.

                Sebastien

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                • #9
                  Sounds similar to my experience with my little single-ended class A Separo through P3s, also 10W a side. Stunning with string quartets but no good with big Russian stuff.

                  I wonder why this is? Are these amps soft-clipping when the source gets going? The effect is the same even at low listening levels... perhaps there's some non-linearity going on. Or, if you imagine a waveform, the part below the bias level is less than an exact mirror image of the part above it.
                  Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                    So you won't be going in for any Reggae or Drum-n-bass then ?
                    Well I've just try hip-hop music this afternoon witht the Zen: surprising. I listened to A Tribe Called Quest, album The Low End Theory. For those who know, this group of intelligent hip-hop uses a lot of jazz instruments in their band. I can tell you that I rediscover all the double bass lines. From a 10W amplifier, the bass is excellent! And the mix in every music is really coherent.

                    To follow: reggae and techno ;-)

                    Sebastien

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