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Amplifier for P3esr, and a DAC too.

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  • Amplifier for P3esr, and a DAC too.

    Hi,

    I'm using a Naim Supernait, source is a Mac Mini playing lossless and using the optical into the DAC of the Supernait.

    I'm looking to downsize as the SN is a little overkill for these small speakers. I could get something cheaper and save some money. I have tried a Nait XS for a while and this sounded pretty similar to the SN, and is half the price. The problem was, it doesn't have a dac.

    Just wondered if anyone has any suggestions for a decent integrated amp to drive the P3esr, or any amp/dac combos which are good?

    I have looked at Cyrus, Naim 5i, Naim Unitiqute, Early Naim Naits 1 & 2, Rega Brio-r. Ideally, something quite compact would be good, but I could go full size.

    Budget, I would say max 1200 for both amplifier and dac, and willing to buy used, too.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    No need to over-spend

    Originally posted by Novak View Post
    Budget, I would say max 1200 for both amplifier and dac, and willing to buy used, too.

    Thanks!
    For about half of that budget, you will get excellent amplification for the speakers, as good as any will sound to your ears. The Rega seems to be getting lot of good reviews. But there are plenty of others, just as good, so choose what will give you features and after sales support.

    There are many DACs around that should be sub 500 pounds. But here, I suggest hearing them in place to see if they have an audible impact on the heard sound, after level matching of the volume is done. You may find that there isn't any audible difference, and may end up saving the cash.

    Alternatively, you might want to try some home theater amps that have built in DACs and run them via their 2 channel output. Good enough ones should be for half the budget too.

    Comment


    • #3
      Brio-R

      My Brio-R drives mt P3ESR's with ease. Add the Rega DAC and you are home free.

      Comment


      • #4
        Something even better?

        Originally posted by Art K View Post
        My Brio-R drives mt P3ESR's with ease.
        Agreed. Rega Brio is musical, but P3 cannot show it's high precision and resolution with this amp... IMHO...

        Comment


        • #5
          Use what you have ...

          Why don't you just stick with the Supernait. It's a good amp, works well with Harbeth, has all the facilities you want and you have it !!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Musicality in amps - what excatly is that?

            Originally posted by Reinhard View Post
            Agreed. Rega Brio is musical, but P3 cannot show it's high precision and resolution with this amp... IMHO...
            On this forum, you will be challenged for saying this, so let me get in the first shot:-))

            First, I have never really understood what the word musical means when talking of amps. But we will let that pass, since you concede that the Rega passes that test.

            I see from its spec that it is a 50wpc amp. I admit I haven't heard it, but I have another amp that is 55wpc. And in my main system, driving the Harbeths, is a 140wpc Quad amp. Personally, I can't hear the difference between the two when I move them across systems, at volume levels up to those that the smaller amp can comfortably deliver. Of course both systems sound different, but that is because one has Quad 11L bookshelf speakers, and the other has C7s. But my experience is that is the speakers that are better suited to being described as musical - or not. Or by any other adjective that refers to how they sound. And it is speakers that drive sound differences in the two systems. Along with the different room acoustics.

            So I am curious to know why you think that the Rega isn't good enough for the P3ESR. Is it underpowered for the P3, do you think?

            Comment


            • #7
              Other amps to demo?

              Thanks guys, any more pointers about which other amps to demo? And indeed any good DACs also?

              Comment


              • #8
                I vote Sugden

                I have the P3ESR and i got the best results on a budget amplifier from Sugden A21 no dac though but still much better sound from the Naim. Sugden are bullet proof they last for ages and the are very popular on the second hand market.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Avoiding change for change sake?

                  Originally posted by Novak View Post
                  Thanks guys, any more pointers about which other amps to demo? And indeed any good DACs also?
                  As reply number 5, you will pay a lot for a DAC which sounds as good as that in the Supernait and when you take into account that you also have an excellent amp built in, it doesn't make much sense to change it. As a dealer, perhaps I should be persuading you to make a change but in all honesty, bearing in mind your requirements, I would suggest you keep your Supernait. Other than that, it's change for change's sake. IMO

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    USB dacs

                    If playing from mac, I encourage you to check out USB-coax converters like the Audiophilleo 2. You will likely be pleasantly surprised by what these devices can do with bass (tightness), placements of instruments in the soundstage, depth and overall fluidness.
                    Simpli-Fi: Kuzma>Nighthawk>LebenCS300XS>P3ESR

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                    • #11
                      Staying with SN

                      Thanks guys, I will probably stick with the SN for now. Been reading up on various alternatives, but would end up with something around the same footprint and a similar cost (unless I went for a used Qute)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You do benefit from amp upgrade

                        Originally posted by Kumar Kane View Post
                        So I am curious to know why you think that the Rega isn't good enough for the P3ESR. Is it underpowered for the P3, do you think?
                        I did not speak of power but resolution and precision. My attention was drawn to the P3ESR because they are very precise an resolving. I do not agree with Alan that amplifier choice is only of little importance with harbeth speakers. If you got a loudspeaker which is capable of high precision and resolution you need electronics (source and amplifier) which are capable of deliver a precise and high resolved signal to the loudspeaker (garbage in grabage out).

                        Change a Rega Bripo R against an amp of for example Accuphase and you will immediately know what I am talking of. I do agree with Alan that every amp will do somehow, but if you want to learn about what these little loudspeakers are able to produce, you will have to combine with a stable, precise and resolving amp. Luxman 505/507 works fine too, also does McIntosh and many many others. High resolution and revealing precison I unfortunately could not find with amps in the lower price classes...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Qute?

                          A Qute instead of a Supernait ????

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Can amps REALLY be distinguished?

                            Originally posted by Reinhard View Post
                            if you want to learn about what these little loudspeakers are able to produce, you will have to combine with a stable, precise and resolving amp..
                            The best description I know of a quality amplifier, is that it should be like a straight wire, with gain. Which means, it should not add the tiniest bit to the signal coming through, other than signal strength. From your words, it looks like the amps you refer to add the least amount, while an amp such as the Rega Brio, injects something of its own on to the incoming signal.

                            Now, I haven't been able to identify this characteristic in the amps I have heard so far - which isn't to say that it doesn't exist of course. Among the solid state ones that have passed through my greedy audiophile hands in the past are brands such as Conrad Johnson, Plinius, Unison Research, Nad, Arcam, Marantz, Rotel, to my current, and as long as it lasts faithful, the Quad 909. A reasonably wide range.

                            But if something like this does occur, I guess it would have shown up in the Alan offered blind comparison challenge with a premium Harbeth speaker as the prize. As we know, no one took him up on the challenge even though it was one sided in favor of a challenger, who had nothing to lose in posing the challenge.

                            Again, this by itself doesn't necessarily lead to any conclusion, but it certainly doesn't add anything to strengthen the claim that amps can be distinguished audibly for the kind of traits you refer to.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Testing out other amps

                              Originally posted by Kumar Kane View Post
                              But if something like this does occur, I guess it would have shown up in the Alan offered blind comparison challenge
                              Hi, Kimar Kane.

                              I've been a fan of Hifi for over 35years now an came to the conclusion just to trust my ears, as I do listen to music only for my own personal pleasure. I suppose this is, what Alan would agree to. If you don't hear differences when switching amplifiers, feel happy: you can save lots of money. I do hear differences but it is not my slightest aim to convince others what they can hear and what they cannot. In my humble opinion, no one is really able to, as emotions and feeelings cannot be proven. If I post about amplifier sound, my only idea is to encourage others to switch components If they haven't done yet just for testing reasons.

                              Greetings

                              Comment

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