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Thread: Amplifier selection for your Harbeths (general, not specific Harbeth models)

  1. #41
    Chayro Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groovetracer
    This is a general statement that I do not agree with.
    I agree. That's why I wrote "in general".

  2. #42
    joel Guest

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    The amplifiers I currently use are a pair of Trigon Dwarves



    60wpc is plenty for the Compact 7s which are situated about halfway into the room on high stands, and which I listen to at close range (>1.5m). That is when not cooking, reading or doing something else while listening to music
    Preamp is a large, oldish Accuphase.
    Last edited by joel; 05-02-2006 at 01:27 AM.

  3. #43
    lelexiao Guest

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    I use Naim Nait3R driver HL P3. It sounds great.

  4. #44
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    I have never heard my C7's sound glarey - clearly something other than the speakers is responsible. Room acoustics/treatment (or lack of) would be my guess.

    For the record, much of my system uses silver wiring (tonearm wiring, phono cable and all DIY interconnects). If I were to ascribe a general characteristic to silver wiring it would be purity or lack of grain.

  5. #45
    Paul F. Guest

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    My C7ES 2's are driven by an ARC D200 (110 w/ch) with an IRD Audio Purist Pre, a NAD C521 CD, a Rega P25/Super Elys TT/Cart., and a Pass Labs Aleph Ono phono.
    Everything is on a Stillpoints ESS suspension rack and the C7's are on Skylan 20" 4 post stands.

  6. #46
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    was Pass X250 and now MBL 8011S, MBL is the better match to compliment Harbeth sound.

  7. #47
    sevodude Guest

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    Super HL5
    Benchmark DAC1
    Modwright SWL9.0 pre amp
    Odyssey MONO extreme amp

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Leman
    Just a quick question... Out of interest how do you say SEAS is it like sneeze without the "n" or S E A S with each letter?
    Sea-a-s, S-E-A-S, is how we pronounce it in the UK. Definitely not like 'sneeze without the n'.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  9. #49
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    Default Clipping

    Thinking about this, you did say that you had a degredation of sound at a high replay level.

    I recall a similar situation when driving a CD player into a preamp that really couldn't accept the high voltage output from the CD player, hence the amp's input and/or output clipped. (The Quad 34 suffers from this). CD players output (typically) 2.0Vrms for a fully modulated CD, which may or not be obvious from the music.

    2.0Vrms is a peak-to-peak voltage swing of 5.2V, equivalent to more than 3 x 1.5V batteries in series - enough to light a bulb! That's a very high voltage and whether or not the preamp has a dedicated CD input, can the preamp actually cope with this signal?

    The sonic effect of this persistent clipping is quite subtle until you latch on to it. It's a gritty edge which is really very iritating, manifest in the higher frequencies. My guess is that many amplifiers are actually clipping some or all of the time when driven by CD players.

    The BBC's design of the LS5/8 involved investigation of the effects of driving the active amplifiers into clipping, and to everyone's surprise, proved that the ear was very tolerant of clipping on speech and music providing that it is relatively infrequent.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  10. #50
    jaybar Guest

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    TG Audio SLVR cable is not silver, although silver is used in plating of their power cords and terminations.

    Jay

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaybar
    T....cable is not silver, although silver is used in plating of their power cords and terminations.Jay
    The concept of cables and their claimed sonic differences worries me. Speaking entirely from an amateur theoretical standpoint having never experimented with cables, I find it most difficult to understand how the cable can add anything to the sound, such as 'brightness' or indeed anything else.

    If some sonic character can be attributed to the cable, then either the cable has gain - in which case the perpetual motion generator has finally been discovered - or the gain at one/some frequencies is offset by the loss at others resulting in an overall zero gain.

    Look at the way the signal (the current) moves along the cable. As far as I understand it, there are (almost) countless billions of electrons whizzing around atoms in the cable, and with a gentle nudge (called a potential difference or voltage) the signal will flow from one end of the cable to the other as the electrons hop from the orbit of one atom to an adjacent one all the way down the cable at the speed of light.

    How the 'sonic behavior' of the cable can be influenced by the base metal of the cable seems inexplicable and counter intuitive - unless it is constructed in a weird way in which case it fall into the category of gain at some frequencies, loss at others?
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  12. #52
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    Hello John,
    I drive with a McIntosh Ma 6500 SS integrated (120/8ohms-200/4ohms), player is Meridian 507, turntable (as a collector's choice) Technics 1200 Gold/Shure V15, deck Nakamichi DR 10, speaker cable (biwire) Kimbers 8TC, all interconnects Kimber KCAG and Heroes, speaker stands custom built.
    I dare say, after 25 years of experience and changes of equipment, I' ll end my life with these!
    Regards,
    Thanos.

  13. #53
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    Not necessary gain, it could be the difference in magnitude of subtraction across the frequency spectrum colors the sound somewhat.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevint
    Not necessary gain, it could be the difference in magnitude of subtraction across the frequency spectrum colors the sound somewhat.
    Are you saying that there could be a series of boosts and cuts across the audio band?

    OK, I think I understand but please advise by what *physical* mechanism that could occur. Those electrons in the cable have no brain. They skip to the next atom or they don't depending on the voltage 'suck'. They have no known frequency selectivity at audio frequencies, which compared to the speed of light is so slow as to be almost completely irrelevant.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  15. #55
    Tony L Guest

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    The concept of cables and their claimed sonic differences worries me. Speaking entirely from an amateur theoretical standpoint having never experimented with cables, I find it most difficult to understand how the cable can add anything to the sound, such as 'brightness' or indeed anything else.
    I think it is time for you to play with some cables! I would be very interested to hear someone with a good scientific knowledge explain why there are differences, and what is wrong with the cables that sound the most different. A good starting point would be say Naim NAC A5 and Kimber 8TC speaker cable; these really are chalk and cheese (selected as I have in the past personally blind tested these with 100% accuracy, so the difference between them is certainly not imagined!).

    My guess is that there is a measurable difference between cables, i.e. subtle changes in capacitance / resistance or whatever all have clear sonic traits. I’m not convinced people are measuring the right thing yet, but there is something there to measure for sure.

    Tony.

    PS I recently replaced the Naim A5 in my own system with Mogami 2972 and again the difference was anything but subtle, you could easily spot that change in the hallway outside the room!

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanshaw
    Are you saying that there could be a series of boosts and cuts across the audio band?

    OK, I think I understand but please advise by what *physical* mechanism that could occur. Those electrons in the cable have no brain. They skip to the next atom or they don't depending on the voltage 'suck'. They have no known frequency selectivity at audio frequencies, which compared to the speed of light is so slow as to be almost completely irrelevant.
    Don't think drilling down into atomic level can help drawing any conclusion. Just as a plain layman, we all agree ears are our most sensitive apparatus for sound measurement, so why not relying on them when searching for the best connection way to our trusty Harbeth?

    BTW, I remember Spendor use OFC for internal cable, curious to know Derek Hughes' view on the subject.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevint
    Don't think drilling down into atomic level can help drawing any conclusion. Just as a plain layman, we all agree ears are our most sensitive apparatus for sound measurement, so why not relying on them when searching for the best connection way to our trusty Harbeth?
    Um. I find it a wee bit hard to believe that after all the semiconductor junctions in the microphone's electronics, the mic cables, the mixing desk, the recorder, the editing machine, the CD laser, the CD internal electonics, the analogue output, the hi-fi amp that a few more in the cables of the listening system can somehow swamp all of the aforementioned.

    As for ears, 'sensitive' perhaps, or perhaps not: but unreliable, prone to emotional influence, susceptible to temperature, mood, atmospheric pressure, humidity, tiredness, general health and of course, ageing. In short, just about the least scientific instrument you could possibly imagine. Never trust your ears alone: you *have* to counterbalance your ears with some technical equipment.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  18. #58
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    Hi Alan,
    Friends,

    I'm very much afraid that the myth of "big watts and super cables" comes to its end, every day passing. We made a blind test in Athens with 7 audiophiles, possessing expensive equipment. We played the same thing (opera & solo voice) several times, changing same length cables of different types/values very very fast. The audience couldn't see, and by 80% they finally voted for the cheapest of all. A thick inexpensive copper cable...
    Then, we drove the speakers with pre-power combo of 2 X 400wrms, and immediately switched to a 2 X100 integrated, of the same brand and topology, for several times. We had pre-fixed volumes to be equal (integrated at 12.00 o'clock, pre-power at about 09.00 o'clock), by measuring with db meters at 4 positions where panel sat.
    The panel was totally confused, they did not decide what is what and what's better...
    I leave to you the comments, the thoughts and spices...
    But, one humble point:
    Marketing can sell fridges to Eskimoes... Knowledge can prevent spending our (sweat and hard times) earned income to things that marketing puts in front of eyes, like a Holy Grail.
    So, to cry for help? No.
    Measure, Gentlemen, Measure!
    I totally agree with Alan Shaw's positions and way of dedicating to music itself. Let's read and interprete the man more carefully...
    Warm Regards,
    Thanos.

  19. #59
    John Goodsir Guest

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    Quad 99CDP directly into Quad 909 into Compact 7 ES-2.
    Sounds balanced and natural to me.

  20. #60
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    Currently running on:

    • Compact 7ES2
    • Roksan Kandy MKIII - Still looking for a better amp....
    • Musical Fidelity A3.2 CD player
    • Audience AU24 Interconnects
    • Hisago 7N pure copper Speaker Cable
    • Atacama SL500 Speaker Stand
    • Atacama Equinox Hifi rack
    Last edited by Soundbyte; 06-02-2006 at 03:39 PM.
    Music is not to be denied... is to be enjoyed!

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