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Amp question regarding M30.1

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  • Amp question regarding M30.1

    I've read all the posts regarding amp power when matching up to Harbeth speakers, and certainly understand the recommended minimum amp power and also ensuring proper matching of sensitivity as well. My specific question is as follows:

    If I had a tube power amp such as Shindo Corton Charlemagne mono blocks rated at 25 watts per channel - then this should be ok with M30.1 speakers as the minimum recommended power is 25 watts - all good. However, the speaker sensitivity is 85dB/1W/1m - however for this particular Shindo Power amp (using EL34 tubes), the Shindo site recommends a speaker of at least 86 dB/1W/1m - is the M30.1 close enough that I will be ok and wont notice the 1db off the recommended minimum?

    This may sound silly but I am guessing this combination should still work perfectly fine. Any advice would be appreciated from the experienced group out there - the 25 watts should be the main ingredient that gets me over the line with this combination, and the sensitivity should be close enough?

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks

    Kilmainham

  • #2
    It will work, but it will often not be enjoyable. It really is at the very low end, depending on the type of music, the room, and the loudness required. Why not drop the tube idea, and go for a beefy solid state amplifier? It may sound rather better, and save you money.

    Comment


    • #3
      That combo will work but there could be a point where the amplifier clips depending on the type of music and volume you want. 25W will provide enough for moderate levels but you will always be limited by that power. I used a 30W amp for years and whilst it could drive my (89-90dB sens) loudspeakers to high volume it was no doubt actually clipping.

      I used to think tolerating some distortion was part of playing audio loudly yet it was simply down to amplifier power reserves.
      Getting to know my C7ES3

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with the above. If you are determined to use your Shindo Corton Charlemagne mono blocks, I think a more efficient speaker than what Harbeth offers would be more satisfactory. Something probably greater than 90dB sensitivity. But if you do want to go with Harbeth 30.1s, more power would be advantageous.

        Comment


        • #5
          Why simple power answers are not possible ...

          The reason why there can never be a completely satisfactory answer to what is a very reasonable and oft-repeated question is that the amp power is directly correlated with variable factors which are unknown to us wishing to give advice.

          For example, a few that come to mind ....

          1) How far you sit from the speakers
          2) Your personal preference for loudness (neighbours etc.)
          3) The type of music you listen to
          4) How much dynamic compression you are aware of / can tolerate due to inadequacy of motive power
          5) The overall condition and health of your hearing system

          Taken together, you'll appreciate that any well intentioned suggestions must have a margin of error of, say, +/- 500%. So, for example, if "25W" is suggested as a typical amplifier power, that might be a significant overestimate, and listening up close, at night, children in the next room, a flute concerto, perhaps only 5W is needed. Concersely, family away for the day, out with the rock records, and 100W might be needed to provide enough acceleration to the speaker cones to make them reproduce the sound waves of the recording as intended. Or mayve even much more than that - say, peaks of 300W. So there in one sentence is a suggested power amplifier range from 5W to 300W!

          What can we conclude from that? Well, to state the blindingly obvious: a 500cc engine cannot ever produce the power output of a 3000cc engine (obviously?) but a 3ltr. engine can behave as a 500cc engine in the power range where they are both comfortable in. Same with amplifiers: a 300W amp can behave exactly as a 5W amplifier does providing they are both working in a comparable 5W arange and no more, but a 5W amplifier can never, ever, not in this universe, behave as a 6W or 10W or 100W or 300W amplifier. Power cannot be magiced out of nothing.

          However, one thing is an absolute certainty: the more power you have available, the less those five factors matter becuase you have the power reserve to 'cut through' their limitations. All other factors being equal, always go for the more power option to give yourself a reserve which every so often, you just might need to reproduce music as the musicians intended. It's the same as setting off on a safari through unknown terrain. Would you intentionally select a 500cc engine or a big lump which you know can soak up anything thrown at it.

          Remember: the electro-acoustic conversion efficiency of a typical home audio speaker is about 2%. Shockingly power hungry and energy inefficient, which is why so much power on-tap is needed.
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
            Why simple power answers are not possible ...

            The reason why there can never be a completely satisfactory answer to what is a very reasonable and oft-repeated question is that the amp power is directly correlated with variable factors which are unknown to us wishing to give advice.

            For example, a few that come to mind ....

            1) How far you sit from the speakers
            2) Your personal preference for loudness (neighbours etc.)
            3) The type of music you listen to
            4) How much dynamic compression you are aware of / can tolerate due to inadequacy of motive power
            5) The overall condition and health of your hearing system

            Taken together, you'll appreciate that any well intentioned suggestions must have a margin of error of, say, +/- 500%. So, for example, if "25W" is suggested as a typical amplifier power, that might be a significant overestimate, and listening up close, at night, children in the next room, a flute concerto, perhaps only 5W is needed. Concersely, family away for the day, out with the rock records, and 100W might be needed to provide enough acceleration to the speaker cones to make them reproduce the sound waves of the recording as intended. Or mayve even much more than that - say, peaks of 300W. So there in one sentence is a suggested power amplifier range from 5W to 300W!

            What can we conclude from that? Well, to state the blindingly obvious: a 500cc engine cannot ever produce the power output of a 3000cc engine (obviously?) but a 3ltr. engine can behave as a 500cc engine in the power range where they are both comfortable in. Same with amplifiers: a 300W amp can behave exactly as a 5W amplifier does providing they are both working in a comparable 5W arange and no more, but a 5W amplifier can never, ever, not in this universe, behave as a 6W or 10W or 100W or 300W amplifier. Power cannot be magiced out of nothing.
            .
            What is astoundingly and cultishly bizarre is the notion that low power is not just sufficient but desirable (are tube watts very expensive??). Beard stroking whilst admiring a 12W hand crafted unit might please some but as you say it will forever be the limiting factor of the system (if the user has 103dB sens loudspeakers it might be OK).

            There is a lot of online chatter mocking the need for high power but what many fail to realize is that to push out a clean, speaker safe, extra 5dB past what say a 40W amp can manage you really do need a chunk of power, how many times have you had somebody crank the volume enthusiastically for 15 horrible seconds and have it blindingly obvious that the speakers are about to melt through clipping??

            I tried to run a big pair of cerwin vega (a fairly modest 93dB sens) with a 30W hifi amp, it was a hopeless situation, sure you could get to 85dB but a loud passage had the drivers hitting end stops and obvious distorting prior, the remedy: a 400-500W pro amp, that would drive the speakers within an inch of their life way before clipping set in, the difference could not be understated. My ears are thanking me to the move to Harbeth however.
            Getting to know my C7ES3

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the replies. I have heard and researched enough. Will stick with a decent solid state amp of plenty of power.

              Cheers

              Kilmainham

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi folks,
                I will soon be joining the Harbeth bandwagon once my house is done. Have already put a deposit on 30.1s and eagerly waiting for it. My question is I don't have many amp choices where I live and can get Rega Elicit R at a very good price. I am sure it has been mentioned numerous times that maybe amp brand doesnt matter much as long as it has decent power to drive them.

                I'm just curious and wondering if this will be a good pairing with 30.1s? I received few mixed feedbacks saying it could be lean sounding but it seems theses guys have never tried Rega Elicit R with 30.1.

                any help would be greatly appreciated.

                thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Alvin View Post
                  Hi folks,
                  I will soon be joining the Harbeth bandwagon once my house is done. Have already put a deposit on 30.1s and eagerly waiting for it. My question is I don't have many amp choices where I live and can get Rega Elicit R at a very good price. I am sure it has been mentioned numerous times that maybe amp brand doesnt matter much as long as it has decent power to drive them.

                  I'm just curious and wondering if this will be a good pairing with 30.1s? I received few mixed feedbacks saying it could be lean sounding but it seems theses guys have never tried Rega Elicit R with 30.1.

                  any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks
                  The rated power output for the Elicit R of 127 watts into a 6Ω (Harbeth) load would likely be sufficient.
                  The price of the Elicit R is probably higher than you would need to pay for another equally suitable amplifier, but that's your decision.
                  What other choices of amplifiers are available to you?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IMF+TDL View Post
                    The rated power output for the Elicit R of 127 watts into a 6Ω (Harbeth) load would likely be sufficient.
                    The price of the Elicit R is probably higher than you would need to pay for another equally suitable amplifier, but that's your decision.
                    What other choices of amplifiers are available to you?

                    Few other brands or models I can get include:
                    Cyrus 8a
                    Primare I32
                    Rotel RA1592
                    NAD C388
                    Sudgen A21se

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How about a Yamaha A801? It has 2x100 watt rms into 8 Ohm, a range of digital inputs, and it is quite affordable. I am sure you can order this from somewhere in Australia. However, I think you need to decide on the required power output first .The power outpout of the Yamaha would be enough for a small to medium size room. For a bigger room I would prefer more power. How big is the room?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Definitely can but would have never thought about Yamaha pairing with 30.1
                        I will look into it.*

                        thanks



                        Originally posted by willem View Post
                        How about a Yamaha A801? It has 2x100 watt rms into 8 Ohm, a range of digital inputs, and it is quite affordable. I am sure you can order this from somewhere in Australia. However, I think you need to decide on the required power output first .The power outpout of the Yamaha would be enough for a small to medium size room. For a bigger room I would prefer more power. How big is the room?
                        *

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alvin View Post
                          Few other brands or models I can get include:
                          Cyrus 8a
                          Primare I32
                          Rotel RA1592
                          NAD C388
                          Sudgen A21se
                          From that list, the Rotel RA1592 is certainly worth consideration.

                          But, as suggested above, can you possibly get the Yamaha A-S801 (or the A-S701)?
                          Tests show its output is closer to 130 watts, and it ought to be significantly less expensive than the Rega.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It is a big mistake to think that for good quality electronics you have to get an amplifier manufactured by a small boutique manufacturer. The technology is mature, so all that is needed is a proper implementation of tried and tested designs. Mass market manufacturers have far more engineers and far better engineering facilities than small scale outfits. The other thing is good manufacturing technology. That too is precisely where mass market manufacturers excell.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by IMF+TDL View Post
                              From that list, the Rotel RA1592 is certainly worth consideration.

                              But, as suggested above, can you possibly get the Yamaha A-S801 (or the A-S701)?
                              Tests show its output is closer to 130 watts, and it ought to be significantly less expensive than the Rega.

                              thanks for your suggestions. Curious Yamaha suggested as a brand, Is it more to do with lower costs or it does sound good with Harbeths?

                              I guess members here have used Yamaha integrated successfully with Harbeth speakers.

                              I will try to demo if I can.*




                              l


                              *

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