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

  1. #61
    danrubin Guest

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    Super HL5
    Amps: Rowland 201 monoblocks
    Pre: Rowland Concerto
    CD: APL Hi-Fi modified Marantz
    LP: Linn LP-12/Ittok II/Benz L2/ Benz Lukaschek
    Cables: Oriotek X-1 (IC), Audience AU24 (speaker)
    Stands: Ikea 18" plant stands, but I will soon order Skylans

    The Rowlands are a holdover from when I had larger speakers and may be overkill (power-wise) for the Harbeths. I plan to play with some alternatives, including tubes, but the current setup sounds very good.

    And by the way, I am currently running the Harbeths with grilles off after I discoved that low frequency information was producing a "rattle".
    Last edited by danrubin; 06-02-2006 at 03:39 PM.

  2. #62
    Peter Jacobsen Guest

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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?
    The "ea" in SEAS is pronounced like the "ea" in IKEA. SEAS is Norwegian, IKEA is Swedish. (I'm from Denmark, what do we have??) ;-)

  3. #63
    danrubin Guest

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    Audiophilia does tend to be a faith-based, science-free hobby. I have had the experience of not hearing differences in blind tests. And yet, in the day-to-day of the hobby, cables seem to make substantial and musically important differences, such that I can't ignore them.

    I agree with the suggestion that you give it a try, Alan (and others). See if you can find someone to loan you a pair of Nordoost Valhalla speaker cables, and then maybe try something from Cardas.

  4. #64
    mou Guest

    Default Speaker stands

    Hi,

    and welcome everybody. I've recently purchased a pair of compact 7, and a pair of stands to place the speakers on.

    I noticed that with certain low frecuencies, the left speaker did vibrate sometimes (the right wall of the speaker). I phoned the salesman where I bought them and he asked me how did I place the speakers. He recommended me not to use four spikes or four balls of blue tack (or however it is written). Instead of that, he told me to place them with something between the speaker and the stand which allowed full contact of the bottom of the speaker with the stand.

    What do you think about that? What would you advice? Thanks for your help

  5. #65
    Celadus Guest

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    A cure for Audiophilia Nervosa:

    Harbeth Compact 7ES-2 on IKEA "Lack" stand 18"/45cm (danrubin you read my review on smartgroup? It's Alan's suggestion!)
    Accuphase E-307 Integrated amp
    Linn LP-12 Sondek with Cirkus and Valhalla PS/Ekos/Klyde, Linn Linto MC preamp.
    MIT MH-750 Shotgun biwire speaker cable, Linn Silver interconnect and MIT Z Chord II power chord.

    Lorenzo Verger
    Milan, Italy

  6. #66
    danrubin Guest

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    (danrubin you read my review on smartgroup? It's Alan's suggestion!)

    Yes indeed I did. Was a significant improvement over the chairs I had them sitting on before, and I can only hope that Skylans won't be a step backwards. I am thinking that 20" might be even better than 18".

  7. #67
    tomryan Guest

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    As regards cables, I also was skeptical and didn't give it much concern until borrowing a pair of very expensive speaker wires about 15 years ago. They made the system a little noisy as if there was very slight static in the background. The dealer even heard it. I use TG Audio cables because when I first listened, I heard "backer backgrounds and less noise" than the Kimber and Audioquests I'd been using. Things also sounded more solid, is best I can explain.

    I also tried a pair of Audience AU24s which were indistinguishable from the TGs except for a slight but irritating upper frequency "etch". A buddy was over before I took the AUs back and switched them without me knowing. As I listened that night I thought some tubes were going bad or some other problem. That high frequency irritation was back and now, I thought, it's not the wires; must be some other problem in the system. I went to check things and found the AUs installed - I'd thought my TGs were back in line. I suddenly realized what the problem was: the Audience wires. Threw the TGs back on and the high end was smooth again.

    I also think the argument all the signal processing happening before the signal hits our system has validity. However, I think once the signals are impressed into the software, what we subject them to has immense effect. We are now in a new universe; our hardware (cables included) handle these things and do effect them.
    It's kind of like cooking: how the ingredients are made is important to but completely determining of the final dish.

    As regards double blind testing, an interesting article occured in our local newspaper about a vet who gave a couple the wrong dog. It took them over a day to figure it out. Thank goodness they were forced to pick their dog based on double blind testing. Thank goodness I'm not forced to do the same thing as regards peoiple who call me on the phone - "You have 2 seconds to figure out who this is!"

    There used to be a neighborhood cat who visited us on a regular basis. He disappeared for a while, then showed up at a neighbor's house. I went over to help ID the little guy and it took a few min for the sublties of his personality to register him as Little Red Teddy. Under dobule blind testing he'd still be on the street.

  8. #68
    tomryan Guest

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    Sorry for some of the spelling errors!

  9. #69
    googalang Guest

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    Since the thread asked for amps...

    mine's a Symphonic Line RG10. 150wpc is just about enough.

  10. #70
    Grant C Guest

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    Super Hl5 driven by Consonance Cyber 800 70 watt tube momo blocks and Tom Evans Vibe pre amp

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,274

    Default Amplifiers for your Harbeths

    This thread concerns finding the best amplifier solutions.

  12. #72
    J?rg Guest

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    HL C 7 ES driven by an Alchemist Kraken.

  13. #73
    John Parkyn Guest

    Default Integrated receiver versus separates

    On the previous Harbeth user group, a respected audiophile praised receivers and suggested that it was not necessary (essential) to use a separate amp or separate amp / preamp.

    I hope I'm recalling the writer's sentiment accurately.

    I wonder if anybody has thoughts on this topic, particularly as it relates to driving Harbeths?
    Last edited by John Parkyn; 08-02-2006 at 09:12 PM.

  14. #74
    Hu Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Parkyn
    On the previous Harbeth user group, a respected audiophile praised receivers and suggested that it was not necessary (essential) to use a separate amp or separate amp / preamp.

    I hope I'm recalling the writer's sentiment accurately.

    I wonder if anybody has thoughts on this topic, particularly as it relates to driving harbeths?
    I always wonder what the advantage is separate amp/preamp than integrated one.

  15. #75
    lelexiao Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by googalang
    Since the thread asked for amps...

    mine's a Symphonic Line RG10. 150wpc is just about enough.
    I am very happy to find a chinese friend and even chinese name in Harbeth group. I am in Beijing

  16. #76
    sevodude Guest

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    Its many reasons: separate power supply, separation from EMI etc, ability to use larger transformers.. a large part of auidio sonic quality has to do with quality of power source and sheilding from interference, noise etc.
    Then again, design does matter too. They are very good integrated amps too.

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    87

    Default Best amplifier: valve or SS Class-A?

    I've posted something related to this on the HPL3 thread, but I think it's probably also of more general interest.

    Having bought a pair of the smallest monitors, and being generally delighted with them, there are problems which suggest that I should perhaps think of changing my amplifier. I hate this! I can see the costly, painful spiral of never-ending substitutions (aka upgrading) consuming my life. The problem with buying Harbeths, I have found, is that they are ruthlessly revealing of shortcomings in equipment down the line. In short, I'm thinking of replacing my custom 90watt SS amp (with which I've been very happy for some 12 years!) with a good, but affordable valve amplifier. The other possibility is a Class-A SS. A friend brought around a restored, 25-year old Sugden which sounded glorious (with only 25 watts). Problem is that I can't afford a new Sugden (having spent my budget on the Harbeths) and there are not very many of the vintage Sugdens around.

    Does anyone have any experience to share? I'm not sure if it makes a difference whether you've got the bigger Harbeths or not, since the smaller ones don't have Radial drivers.

    Thanks

    David

    PS If anyone thinks the Harbeths are hard to drive, try my previous 'speakers, Martin Logans. They were hell--beautiful mid-range, virtually no treble, lumpy bass and very temperamental!

    Quote Originally Posted by alanshaw
    This thread concerns finding the best amplifier solutions.

  18. #78
    Bruce Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schalkwyk
    The problem with buying Harbeths, I have found, is that they are ruthlessly revealing of shortcomings in equipment down the line.
    As one considering Harbeth's, I'm sorry to hear that. I have an audition of the C7 and Monitor 30 set for this Sunday. So I will hear for myself.
    Last edited by Bruce; 08-02-2006 at 07:00 PM.

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    87

    Default Ruthlessly revealing Harbeths

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce
    As one considering Harbeth's, I'm sorry to hear that. I have a audition of the C7 and Monitor 30 set for this Sunday. So I will hear for myself.
    Bruce, why should you be sorry? I would have thought it would be an incentive (even though it's caused me some pain).

    Best

    David

  20. #80
    Bruce Guest

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    That's no incentive to me. Having to swap out amplifiers to make the speakers sound good is not a game I want to play. Maybe Spendors are better for me. Can you say the "S" word in this forum.

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