OK let's clarify this one!
Originally Posted by tomryan
It is true that throughout the design and listening process I use S.S. (solid state = transistor or MOSFET) analogue amplifiers and I have not (ever) used tubes. This is really a matter of practicalities. My equipment in not stationary in one listening room but moved around in the back of the car. For example, at "The Old Dairy" on the farm we have a mini-anechoic chamber, lab and workshop and so on. This is not a good travelling arrangement for tubes.
Secondly, tube amps start to age from the moment they are turned on for the very first time. Consistency - year in, year out - is actually more important than the fidelity when designing as opposed to listening for pleasure. I know that if I can get a speaker to work well on this modest gear, you will be able to extract a fabulous performance by careful selection of even better tube or S.S. amps; and you have the time to experiemnt. I don't.
I made a conscious decision to use a certain type of amp some twenty years ago, and I have a stock of them to be sure that I have always one or two available in working order. I have no motivation to change my position - these amps work well. And they are truly the product of a brilliant engineer. (Please don't ask what they are!)
As for the electrical load (the "impedance curve") of Harbeth speakers, I am acutely consciuous throughout the design process that the load must be benign so that our speakers will work with 99.99% of properly designed amplifiers. Otherwise my phone would be ringing all day long from customers in far flung places seeking my advice. Sadly, my Mandarin is not good enough to hold those sort of detailed conversations.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK