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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

INTRODUCTION- PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"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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matching Quad 99cd-p / 909 with SHL5

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  • matching Quad 99cd-p / 909 with SHL5

    New kid in the block. I'm planning to buy SHL5 and are looking for matching electronics. Have been reading that Quad cd66/66/606 seems to do a good job here. They are relatively cheap but these are old amps. Worried that they will not last long. I'm thinking after all the servicing of the old Quads, the cost may run up to close to newer second hand Quad 99cd-p/909.
    Anyone out there who has auditioned both models and please comment on his findings/recommendations?

  • #2
    First, any/all of that equipment will work fine with the SHL5's. No problems there.

    It is true that the older units, especially the CD player will need servicing soon and this could be expensive. Obviously, this won't be a problem with the new units.

    However, I would suggest that you listen to some alternative makes before deciding. You might well find better sounding equipment for less money.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
      First, any/all of that equipment will work fine with the SHL5's. No problems there.

      It is true that the older units, especially the CD player will need servicing soon and this could be expensive. Obviously, this won't be a problem with the new units.

      However, I would suggest that you listen to some alternative makes before deciding. You might well find better sounding equipment for less money.
      Thanks hifi_dave...any suggestion of equipment in the same price range? Would appreciate a few pointers.

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      • #4
        As you may have gathered from reading the pages of the HUG, the speakers are an easy drive, so a big expensive amp is not necessary unless, of course, you can justify it on sound quality.

        I don't know what you have there locally but I get very good sounds with LFD, Croft, Naim, Sugden, Rega, Albarry and Rega amps. At varying price levels but all work well.

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        • #5
          I've only heard Quad 66/606/66cd with SHL5. Really sound good..natural and engaging. Wonder LFD, Croft, Niam and Rega will sound the same or better? Read wonderful reviews on LFD Zero MKiii with Harbeths. They are not easily available in Malaysia. Do they sound as good as Quad 66 series? Any idea of a used one cost?
          It is so difficult to take risk w/o auditioning the various systems 'cos they are not cheap. Guess no pain no gain...

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          • #6
            I’d get a new amp if I could, akasia. Amps (their components) age with use, although you could argue they can last relatively long… from 10-15 years, maybe even 20. However, when they come to the end of their useful life, some of them start to exhibit potentially destructive behaviours – clicks, loud pops (some bypassing protective circuitry), hum etc. Any of the amps hifi_dave mentions will do fine, but id avoid the hot running ones due to tropical weather. Differences in sound between amps are probably overemphasised. I really don’t think there are any modern amps which sound so bad that you couldn’t live with it…but speakers yes, so if you start with SHL5’s, you’re already won 90% of the battle. I personally wouldn’t worry about the 10%, unless I won the lottery.

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            • #7
              Thanks...
              Does anyone out there use chinese made amps and cd players to drive SHL5. Auditioned Yarland Aone and Pro845 valve amps yesterday and sound quite good with chinese speakers...warm, smooth but not very detail. They are relatively cheap compared to European and American models, about 1/3 the cost. Just concern whether it will last long. Any comments on chinese electronics are much appreciated.

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              • #8
                You will find quite a lot on UK forums about 'cheap' amps. Some appear to be OK but a lot are poorly made, sound bad, unreliable and sometimes are dangerous. Most are not certified to be used in the EEC, which might not be a problem for you.

                To be safe, you should purchase good quality, well respected equipment from a local dealer. Anything else is a gamble.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by akasia View Post
                  Does anyone out there use chinese made amps and cd players to drive SHL5
                  Try to select reputable big name Chinese brand amps if you are still interested eg. Cayin, Opera consonance, Dussun (Korsun) , Xindax, Jungson. I use a Cayin A88T during the cooler months of the year. It sounds different from a transistor if i listen hard enough, sweet and warm but not the truth. A beautiful gorgeous liar.  One thing I feel about chinese amps is low pride of ownership unfortunately. However there are some beautiful ones like the Dussun R30 or Opera Cyber 845’s but there is still a wide gap. imo think the gap is currently filled by high quality affordable amps like Rotels, Yamahas, Denons. Marantz and NAD’s. Why not give them a go as well? kittykat.

                  Btw, as we all know most things are made in china, think your question was more related to brand rather than manufacture origin so consideration really is about support, reputation and price.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kittykat View Post
                    Btw, as we all know most things are made in china, think your question was more related to brand rather than manufacture origin so consideration really is about support, reputation and price.
                    Yes, I couldn't agree more on this.

                    I've had good results with Chinese Separo valve amps, though I'm not sure if you'll have a distributor in your country. They drove my Proac and Harbeth speakers equally well. They have limitations but are excellent value and are reasonably well made. The main limitation I found was the lack of transient response, especially noticeable with piano music. (Note however that I compare them with a transistor amp, not with a more expensive brand of valve amp).
                    Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

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                    • #11
                      Decisions..decisions..decisions..Guess I can't run away from it. I'm hoping for an express course in selection w/o much hassle of more research, more auditioning etc. I've a budget of 1000 pounds for CD player, amps- pre and power and hope someone out there would narrow down the selections and recommends a system for me. Local Harbeth distributor is recommending classic Quad 66cd/66pre/606 power, not cheap. They sound great but am deeply concerned about the aging electronics.

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                      • #12
                        Harbeths are Forgiving

                        Do bear in mind that Harbeths are very forgiving of cheaper partnering electronics than many other speaker brands. If you have a good relationship with your local Harbeth distributor, I'd just go along with their advice. You won't go far wrong.

                        Regards your concern for ageing electronics, my amp dates from the eighties; I inherited it from my father. It's nothing special - probably worth 50 or so now. I've no intention of changing it until it physically falls apart. Sounds superb through Harbeths.
                        Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

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                        • #13
                          I agree. Harbeth sound very good with modest partnering equipment.

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