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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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An integrated amp for my SHL5s?

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  • #16
    Hifi should't sound impressive

    Hi aakrn, you are too used to your previous speaker sound. Now you suddenly into natural sound of harbeth you feel less engaging. It is like audiophile comment the sound of a live unamplified music in a decent concert hall no high and dull and his home hifi sound is much transparent and airy.

    You can contact Roland for the LFD (Sg dealer). He is using SHL5 and enjoying it very much.
    "Bath with Music"

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    • #17
      Originally posted by aakrn View Post
      Alan,

      I was using a Primare pre power combo (120 watts rms/CH) and a matching Primare cd player to drive a pair of JM Labs floor standing speakers. It was a perfect match.

      When I "inherited" the SHL5s, i used my Primare electronics to drive them instead. Immediately there was less sparkle to the music (but for a better top end). Overall, things became dull. I have since sold off my entire Primare electronics and the JM Labs are used for Home Theatre.

      So it is quite difficult to accept that amps (or cd players for that matter) make little or no difference to the quality of music reproduction. At the very least, different brands have varying characteristics (i.e. Type of sound).

      {Moderator's comment: so you changed the speakers and didn't like the dryer sound. How can you blame the amps .... surely that's to do with the speakers ....}
      Dear Moderator,

      Indeed it was the speakers that was the cause of the duller sound. But I loved the musicality and good top end of the SHL5s. They were a very easy listen

      I felt that the Primare equipment was either not a good match or insufficient to drive these speakers adequately. For example, with the SHL5s, I had to crank up the volume higher to hear what I used to be able to hear at a lower volume with the JM Labs.

      Hence my decision to sell my entire swedish electronics and to start afresh. So this is exciting times (at least for me).

      {Moderator's comment: strange. Sound like you are describing the difference between the bright 'Eurobox' speaker sound and the natural sound of music. Fear you have needlessly disposed of your electronics}

      Comment


      • #18
        Used to a speaker sound ....

        Originally posted by keithwwk View Post
        Hi aakrn, you are too used to your previous speaker sound. Now you suddenly into natural sound of harbeth you feel less engaging. It is like audiophile comment the sound of a live unamplified music in a decent concert hall no high and dull and his home hifi sound is much transparent and airy.

        You can contact Roland for the LFD (Sg dealer). He is using SHL5 and enjoying it very much.
        Thanks Keith! You may have actually hit the nail on the spot. That's helpful.

        Comment


        • #19
          Primare in Japan with Harbeth

          Originally posted by aakrn View Post
          {Moderator's comment: Fear you have needlessly disposed of your electronics}
          I agree, and Primare is a well respected name in audio, with very well specified and built to last gear. Cool and timeless Scandinavian aesthetics too.

          {Moderator's comments: curiously, the original Primare electronics were imported for many years into Japan by our shared importer there and sold as the perfect match with Harbeth. Bo Christiansen is a fine designer.}

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          • #20
            Need assistance

            I am new to the Harbeth family. And I was sharing my own listening experience over a period of time with the SHL5s. Merely needed some assistance with new equipment matching and generally the feedback has been helpful. However, the sarcasm is not welcomed.

            {Moderator's comment: I do not think any comments are to be taken personally. You have touched a nerve with this subject. As you read, there is wide range of opinions. We are frustrated with the whole non-subject of amplifiers to Harbeth match. Please be very careful how you spend your money.}

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            • #21
              Will proceede with caution

              Originally posted by aakrn View Post
              I am new to the Harbeth family. And I was sharing my own listening experience over a period of time with the SHL5s. Merely needed some assistance with new equipment matching and generally the feedback has been helpful. However, the sarcasm is not welcomed.

              {Moderator's comment: I do not think any comments are to be taken personally. You have touched a nerve with this subject. As you read, there is wide range of opinions. We are frustrated with the whole non-subject of amplifiers to Harbeth match. Please be very careful how you spend your money.}
              Dear Moderator,

              Thanks for the advice. Appreciate it. It is because I am careful with money that I was asking for recommendations. I will be selective pursuant to what I've read.

              Comment


              • #22
                Thanks!

                Originally posted by aakrn View Post
                Thanks everyone for pitching in. Appreciate it.

                Based on the discussions above (excluding the made in China discussion), for an integrated amp, it seems a toss up between Lavardin IS, Lavardin IS Ref, Lavardin IT, LFD LE Mk4, LFD NCSE, Sugden A21SE. Has anyone had the privilege of making a comparison of these amps with the SHL5s?

                I listen to a wide range of music from vocals, to pop, R&B, soft rock and jazz.
                Well for those on this forum who have experienced the above amps with the SHL5s, I will really appreciate your views on the comparison. Thanks!

                {Moderator's comment: Buy British!}

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                • #23
                  I'm bemused ....

                  Hi,

                  Must admit I'm a bit bemused by this forum.

                  It seems that nothing makes a difference to the sound quality of ones system. I previously posted about a suitable CDP to go with my set up and promptly blinded with scientific facts as to why I'd be mad to spend much more than £1,000 on a player and now it seems you can hook up some cheapo amp from Comet and still get the same results soundswise from your Harbeth speakers.

                  All I know, is that I've had various amps over the years from a Sony tuner amp in the 80's which was dreadful right up to my current amp, a Sugden Masterclass IA-4, which, would be ridiculous to in the extreme to try and compare with said Sony.

                  The only thing I don't like about the Sugden and the reason I may consider changing to a Lavardin, is the heat it radiates.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Lfd

                    If you can afford I would recommend the LFD NCSE Integrated amplifier for the Harbeth SHL5, this is a wonderful combination.
                    Thanks Jason.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      its simple....nothing to be bemused about....

                      Originally posted by Maccar View Post
                      Hi,

                      Must admit I'm a bit bemused by this forum..
                      Hi maccar

                      There’ll be sound differences, im sure, between electronics but the quantum is the one most can’t agree on, or even perceive, to make an objective cost benefit assessment. I think the issue is made more complex by some electronics giving off a flavour, however subtle, of its own. It reminds me of pimply school boys arguing vital statistics of the page 3 model. Its at best pretty academic!

                      Would you actually use a comet or target cd player if you could afford say a 20 kg behemoth such as a Teac? The Sony PS3 makes a great CD player but it is rough as a camels back when its spinning ie. its noisy and vibrates.

                      So, imo, it all really comes back to what we can afford and whether we like the look and how it sits in your setup. Do you like the philosophy of the company selling you its cd player/ amp? It all sounds rather shallow but if I had a mint ill buy an Esoteric CD player. Why care who thinks what? Ill then get a Bryston monoblock even if the SHL5 doesn’t need 1/10th of the current. If that is not responsible spending, where do we draw the line then. Only we can make that decision.

                      What im trying to say at the end of the day is it doesn’t pay to ask for a cd and amp opinion.  cause they really do sound the “same”.  same same as they say in Thailand.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Differences are relatively (very) small between electronics: Buy Wisely!

                        I think we should tread a sensible approach. The differences between amps, CD players, stands, cables etc are relatively small, sometimes miniscule when compared to the gross differences between speakers. Sometimes, you sit and struggle to discern the differences between cables but swop speakers and it can be wham, bang - huge changes. I believe that is what the Forum is trying to explain.

                        Earlier this week, I spent a few hours with a customer, auditioning speakers using his recently purchased, megabuck integrated amp and matching CD player. He settled on Harbeth speakers, even though he'd never previously heard of them and then I did a 'naughty' - I swopped in my Croft Integrated amp and Rega Saturn CD player. You should have seen his face because these two cost less than his fancy mains leads and incons but were clearly, audibly superior to his expensive electronics.

                        Moral of the story is buy wisely and you don't need a small fortune to assemble a system when the speakers are easy to drive, Harbeth.

                        {Moderator's comment: but did you investigate *why* the other amp sounded different? It cannot be a circuit design/component issue. It must be a loudness difference which of course is a variable that you couldn't control without measuring equipment. A change in loudness utterly changes human perception of 'quality'. An M40.1 FOC winner is found?}

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Designed in Sweden ... made in????

                          Isn't Primare designed in sweden and made in china? Luxman is chinese owned? Does it matter where things are made or who owns what? Does is make Range Rover being Indian owned a lesser vehicle? Unless we're on a mission to prop up certain economies or have a definite dislike for communism this surely couldn't be a serious dealmaker?

                          All the clothes on my body now are made in china, listening to proudly made British speakers, Canadian owned and made amplifier, Japanese CD player made somewhere near Shanghai.

                          Happy easter!

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Science, Not Art

                            Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                            I'm well versed in the art of keeping volume levels the same and to keep everything constant whilst you make a change, one unit at a time. [snip]

                            Differences were clearly audible and if you don't believe, you are all welcome here to do similar comparisons.
                            But wouldn't Alan and Hug-1 tell us that volume matching must be science, not art: it cannot be done by ear, or else you're using your ear to test your ear, so it must be done electronically. And when the levels are matched in this way, what were {significant} audible differences are no longer audible.

                            Bruce

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                            • #29
                              Thread forked here

                              At a members request this thread has been split here.

                              To continue reading about the general issue of amplifier sonics please jump to this thread here.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

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