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"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound, realisable by controlling the confounding variables between tthe microphone and the listeners' ears.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

If you desire to intentionally tune your system sound to your personal taste, please consider carefully how much you should rely upon the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, listening loudness and listening room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

Alternatively, if faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over your speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that objective is what this forum has been helping with since 2006. Welcome!"

Jan. 2018
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C7 ES3 and Rega Amp.

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  • C7 ES3 and Rega Amp.

    Hello everyone
    I have a question: is there someone who can give me his impressions about C7 ES3 with Rega amplification (in particular Cursa 3 and Maia 3)?


  • #2
    A great combination. The Rega amps are very good and excellent value for money,they work well with the C7ES.


    • #3
      Thanks hifi_dave
      I am currently driving the C7 ES3 with Naim nac 122x, nap 150x and flatcap 2x. the sound is quite satisfactory, but there is something that does not convince me.
      Time ago I had with satisfaction Rega Mira (with Dynaudio) then...


      • #4
        The Naim is a good amp so I would definitely recommend you try the Rega amp before spending any more money.


        • #5
          Hi steff1966,

          Can you briefly describe what is it that didn't convince you? I have owned both Rega and Naim on Harbeth(currently using Naim) and they sound fairly different. If you could elaborate in brief on what you are trying to achieve with an amp swap it would be much easier.



          • #6
            Hi ryder
            I find that sometimes the sound of Naim is little refined especially listening to acuostical music (pace, timing and dynamic are good).
            In a few words sound lacks a little bit of magic and emotional involvment.
            Previously I have used a Lavardin IS that was very good in these parameter, but it was a little lacking about pace and dynamic.
            I want to understand if Rega could be the right way.



            • #7
              Hi steff1966,

              Judging from your description I presume you find the Naim/Harbeth match to be analytical and lack the organic qualities(emotional involvement) of the Lavardin IS. I guess you are looking for some organic warmth and mainly listen to vocal-based music. If that is the case, it might be worthwhile to explore the Rega Cursa/Maia3 amps. I have owned the Rega Elicit and there are reports that the Cursa/Maia3 sound more involving than the Elicit. If looking at the Rega, I would recommend either the Cursa/Maia3 or the Brio3 as VFM and good sounding amps. Somehow my gut feeling tells me that the more costly Mira3 and Elicit do not possess the magic of the Brio3(and Cursa/Maia3) based on my experience and comments from others who have listened to all.

              The Cursa/Maia might suit your listening preferences more than the Naim if you like the presentation of the Lavardin IS.

              Good luck.


              • #8
                Alternatively you might want to look at the LFD integrated. This amp gives an almost same PRaT of the Naim but sound more organic and tube-like. Personally I prefer the LFD more than the Rega on Harbeth speakers, but I fully understand that it all comes down to the listener's personal preference and choice of music in the context of his/her system. If you can't try the LFD then the Cursa/Maia3 remains as a worthy candidate.


                • #9

                  Your comments are interesting. I'm a dealer for Naim, Rega, and Harbeth. I have several customers with the Brio3 and C7ES-2's and ES-3's. They are extremely happy with the combination. Regarding Naim, I've always thought the Nait 5i-2 and even more so, the Nait XS to work very well with Harbeth speakers. This is not to say that Lavardin is not as good. I really think it comes down to personal tastes.



                  • #10
                    Hi John,

                    Frankly speaking I love my system to bits(202/200 driving SHL5s) and find Naim to match well with the Harbeth. Nevertheless as both of us have acknowledged it all boils down to personal tastes and preferences. A perfect example is the OP of this thread who finds the Naim/Harbeth combination lacking in certain areas.

                    I suspect those who are into the Naim will not dig the Rega and vice versa although both manufacturers will have their own share of fans.


                    • #11
                      I wouldn't say that any modern Naim amp is 'analytical' - ten years ago maybe but over the last decade they have become more mellow and full bodied whilst retaining the pace and timing they are renowned for.

                      The Rega amps also have good timing but they are brighter and leaner than the Naims. A comparison should be made before any purchase.

                      As for the Brio-3, it is a 'giant killer'. I have sold several to customers who would have spent considerably more on an amp but allocating less on the amp they have been able to buy better speakers than they would otherwise been able to. The Brio-3 can see off many 1K amps with ease and one of these through a pair of Harbeth is magic.


                      • #12
                        Thank you all for the exhaustive answers.
                        Since LFD is a trademark difficult to found in my country, I wil try to listen with care Rega Cursa 3 and Maia 3.
                        The Harbeth are really magical and I want use them in the better way but at a affordable cost.



                        • #13
                          Originally posted by stef1966 View Post
                          Thank you all for the exhaustive answers.
                          Since LFD is a trademark difficult to found in my country, I wil try to listen with care Rega Cursa 3 and Maia 3.
                          The Harbeth are really magical and I want use them in the better way but at a affordable cost.

                          Harbeth loudspeakers present an easy electrical load to amplifiers & as such, so long as the amp is sufficiently competent, gaining access into the magical sound of Harbeths can be easily achieved. I've had great success pairing my SHL-5 with numerous UK amps, from budget ones to the more upmarket ones.

                          Currently, i use the LFD LE III to drive SHL-5 & i really enjoy this combination tremendously. The Rega Brio, as Hifi Dave has mentioned, will work wonderfully too.


                          • #14
                            Rega Brio3

                            I bought the the Brio 3 and the Harbeth C7 combo after listening to both (separately) and also getting advice here (especially John). I think the combo sounds very good. It may not have the best details resolution but it is very musical. Now I really know what a musical hi-fi system can do and have stopped looking for 'audiophile' quality. The only thing that makes me consider upgrading is a remote controlled integrated amp.