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

  1. #241
    NikPer Guest

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

    Quote Originally Posted by NikPer
    Greetings,

    I just got a pair SHL5's, the rest of my gear is a Cary SLI-80 integrated valve amplifier with 2xKT88 per channel, a Cary CD308T cd player, a vintage AKAI turntable with the small BENZ cartridge amplified by a creek OBH-18 phono-stage and a SONY tuner. The room is my kitchen-living room combo area, about 5.5 by 6 meters.

    So far i am very happy with the speakers, I really appreciate their full bodied sound and clarity plus i just love their "old-school" look.
    Above is my post of about six months ago.... Quite recently (last month and a half) i have been using a Yamaha stereo receiver (RX-797) which is spec'd about 2x100W. I am quite happy using this amp so far and this was, needless to say, a big surprise to me!

  2. #242
    matthewz Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth in Indonesia

    Hello, Alan.
    Thanks for your kind information. Why do you think I need to audition the C7 Mk3 'cos I already own a pair of cherished Compact 7? Any significant sonic difference between those two?
    Is there any Skylan speaker stand dealers in Indonesia too?

    Regards,
    J.L.

  3. #243
    matthewz Guest

    Default Re: Replacing my amp...

    Ned,
    I try to keep my system running naturally and simple. Wattage speaking I guess 80 - 100 Watts per channel is adequate for my Compact 7...am I right?? (My listening room is 3 meter x 5.5 meter)
    I prefer some England-made amplifier so that my system can sound "wholly" made-in-England.. hehehe.
    I read some of the threads discussing about choosing amps between Naims and Sugdens. Perhaps any of those two brands can represent and be suitable for my future system.
    Any suggestions again is warmly welcome.
    Thanks

    J.L.

  4. #244
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Replacing my amp...

    J.L.,

    Nothing wrong with keeping your system purely British! Frankly, the question of how much power one needs is still an open one in my mind. Because I've read posts by those who have measured output in the neighborhood of a few hundred watts (during brief peaks) when playing music over speakers of 'average' efficiency, I opted to use an amp that should never run out of power. That being said, I also have played my Harbeths with my Adcom 60 watt amp and not noticed any strain (and the amp has a warnng light that let's one know if it is being pushed beyond reason). Still with solid bass, smooth highs, etc. So, yes, I suspect that 80 to 100 watts would be quite adequate for the C7s, as it seemed to be for my SHL5s, and seems to be for my M40s. As Alan has often said, his speakers are designed to be easy to drive, and any competently designed amp in the power range you mentioned should afford complete musical enjoyment.

    Ned

  5. #245
    matthewz Guest

    Default NVA anybody?

    Hey folks,

    anybody here familiar with the NVA (Nene Valley Audio) stereo or mono amplifiers?
    Is any one of the amps from that brand is suitable to Harbeth Compact 7?
    Thanks for your advice.

    Cheers,

    J.L.

  6. #246
    Hu Guest

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

    After three years my M30 finally sing? Recently I tried Audio Note M3 preamp with my Plinius SA102 instead of Quad 99 pre. Wow, what sound! Such warm, mellow and clear sound!

  7. #247
    matthewz Guest

    Default Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

    Has anybody here in the community ever tried matching a class-D amplifier with a pair of Harbeths?
    I was thinking about purchasing a Pro-Ject amp box mono. According to its specifications, it delivers 28Watts per channel. Can it deliver a good result for my Harbeth Compact 7? Any comments are welcome.

    Cheers,

    J.L.

  8. #248
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    4,015

    Default Class-T amplifier for Harbeths?

    By coincidence I have just returned from the home of a BBC sound engineer to whom I was giving the UK-first demo of the Monitor 40.1.

    After the main demo his friend arrived with a home-made stereo 2 x 20W Tripath Class-T amp in a small box powered from an internal 12V battery charged from an wall-PSU type external mains supply. I have no direct experience of 'digital amps' (although I'm told that Class T is not actually digital but Pulse Width Modulation) and was very curious.

    I was astonished how good it was: warmer and sweeter than the main amplifier. I was doubly astonished that such a low power amp could drive the M40.1 adequately loud and to such an excellent standard. I've borrowed the amp and ordered from him the 2x100W big brother.

    I'm so impressed with this miracle amp and its sweet sound - which would certainly drive C7ES3, M30 and probably M20 that I wonder if there is a small market for it at a sensible price? I am not saying that it would compete with big 'audiophile' amps or have a long life expectancy - I am saying it opens up many possibilities and is definitely a small investment worth considering.

    Thoughts?
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  9. #249
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Class-T amplifier for Harbeths?

    Oh dear ...... I have been searching for the Tripath chips ...... I found this meaasge on the Profusion (former UK importers) website today:

    "Tripath have now stopped trading due to bankruptcy and their assets have been sold. All Tripath parts should be considered obsolete and are only available while stocks last."

    I guess that's the end of that project then.

    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  10. #250
    Knut Knutsler Guest

    Default Re: Class-T amplifier for Harbeths?

    Have you checked out the Hypex line of class D amplfiers?

    http://www.hypex.nl/

    I've been following them for a while. They are consistently reviewed very highly and are sometimes said to be warmer, more musical etc. than the Tripath offerings (and once as having "a hint of coldness"). Perhaps they're just really good.

  11. #251
    matthewz Guest

    Default Re: Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

    Hi Alan and all you guys...

    the class-D amplifier stuff popped up into my mind after seeing so many of them reviewed on the internet. I am not quite sure and certainly cannot judge if such amplifiers would fill up the tightly competing amplifier map nowadays (i.e. low-priced A/B solid-states, mid-to-high end solid-states, low-priced Eastern-made valve amps, and high-end valve amps). But I am sure that technology will improve over time if you all agree.
    My mind is still boggling if class-D amplifier will somehow have the quality of the exotic valve amps, but mass produced with lot lower prices... don't we just dream the same thing here? I'd be joining the band if such an amp exists in the near future.

    Alan, drop us a line after listening to those class-D amps. Will ya? Thanks.

    Cheers all,

    J.L.

  12. #252
    Lars I Guest

    Default Re: Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

    I will be borrowing a couple of Kharma MP150 Class D amps over the next couple of days to drive our Super HL5's. It will be nice to see if and how they compete with our McIntosh solid state gear.

  13. #253
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    Default Re: Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

    Um. I have to report that after a day long listening session it was a relief to change back to a conventional linear amplifier from my session with a Tripath digital amp. In discussion with reviewer Martin Colloms recently I told him of my brief and seemingly positive experience in another listening environment. He commented that it was in the low frequencies where digital amps had a (theoretical) advantage over conventional linear transistor amps and that at high frequencies 'there are various issues including a 'halo' around the micro-detail in music or speech due to the digital amp's internal sampling system'.

    Anyway, the amp arrived yesterday and I set it up in my listening room. The first impression - and one which lasted right through the long day's listening was that, contrary to the theory, the bass is fat, slow and flabby. The higher frequencies also have a slight tizziness which became irritating. The stereo image was narrow.

    I am not concluding that all digital amplifiers behave this way but it does validate the design of my power amp (dating back to the 1970s) which is, in comparison, rock-solid in the bass and with a sweet airy top and wide stereo. I would suggest extreme caution: listen carefully before investing any money in a digital amplifier.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  14. #254
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    34

    Default Re: I am using AVI laboratory series Integrated amplifier

    I have been very happy with using an original Krell KSA 50 which is a nominal 50watt class a design. However this has had a problem and getting it repaired is proving to be difficult.
    I was donated a very blown up Quad 405 mk 1 which had blown one of the mains smoothing caps which is not a major problem but at the same time it had melted the wiring loom in a number of places which to replace was going to labour intensive and expensive. Having looked at it I have decided it is well beyond my level of competence so have sent the unit to Net Audio who will do a complete upgrade for cheaper than a rewire which will involve replacement of the caps and some other items like op amps for better quality. I hope this will work well with the Harbeth C7 2,s I have and should at least provide me with music while i wait for the krell. Will post a separate thread on how the amp did. presume that the Quads 100 watts are more than enough to keep the Harbeths happy would suspect though that the quality may not be there but will have to see

  15. #255
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    Default Re: Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

    Interesting comments but given the quality of the individual pieces I would guess it is not a surprise.
    Any amplifier can be excellent be it valve,solid state or digital. The mechanism of how it works is not the deciding factor it is the quality of the designer and what they are aiming for.
    The t-path is a cheap mas produced amplifier for computer speakers ipod extenders and the like. used within that frame it is an excellent and nice sounding unit as the speakers it is driving are often the limiting factor . It was never intended to power monitor quality speakers such as the Harbeth ranges.

    The fact it produced anything of even middle quality is a sign of it being a good original design.

    As to digital amps well I have to say my experience is a little limited as Tact make a number of models that I have been impressed with and have also heard the Flying Mole mono blocks which are very powerful but in my view not the best in sound quality.

    No doubt if some one really gets in to Digital then they will make a very good sounding , probably cool running and powerful unit but do not hold your breath that it is likely to be cheap. Good design , good engineering and good quality are almost always expensive to produce and so end up being expensive to buy.

    We all wish it was different but to date I have not found the exception that proves the rule.

  16. #256
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

    Hello from New Zealand.
    I can not see the point of using Class -D amplifiers when there is Class- A amplifiers available which sound so much better on the Harbeth HL5 speakers.
    I am a bit biased as I distribute Lamm & Pass Labs amplifiers in New Zealand which are both class Class - A.
    I use both these amplifiers with the Harbeth HL5 speakers for demonstrations with excellent results.
    The Pass Labs XA 30.5 is a real high performance amplifier and a great match to the Harbeth HL5 speakers plus a close match in price range, if funds allows try the Lamm M 1.2 Reference amplifiers.
    Thanks Jason.
    www.parmentersound.com

  17. #257
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    Default Why bother with Class-D amplifiers for Harbeths?

    I agree. Linear amplifiers (conventional amps) have been around for a very long time and their performance envelope is well understood by their designers. My enthusiasm for an amplifier with the theoretical advantages of tigher bass etc. etc. (that is, the claimed advantage of Class-D) and which could extrace ever more midrange detail from the Harbeth RADIAL cone just has not been fulfilled. That really is a surprise to me.

    Of course, my experience relates to just one digital ampifier. It would be foolish to dismiss all digital amplifiers based on this brief experience.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  18. #258
    Join Date
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    Location
    New Zealand
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    Default Re: Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

    Hello Alan.
    I think digital amplifiers were mainly designed for bass amplifiers for 2 reasons, one being they are very cost effective to produce plus they are very light in weight for there rated power output.
    Both of these reasons make them ideal amplifiers for use in subwoofers, In my own biased opinion this is where I think they should stay based.

    Thanks
    Jason Parmenter.

    www.parmentersound.com

  19. #259
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Class-D amplifier for Harbeths

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason
    I think digital amplifiers were mainly designed for bass amplifiers ...
    Yes, this was my thinking too. But the point I made in my last post was that the performance in the bass region was poor - very soft indeed. That is why I was so surprised because, as you say, I expected a tight bass with good control.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  20. #260
    Join Date
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    Default Re: NVA anybody?

    Quote Originally Posted by matthewz
    Hey folks,

    anybody here familiar with the NVA (Nene Valley Audio) stereo or mono amplifiers?
    Is any one of the amps from that brand is suitable to Harbeth Compact 7?
    Thanks for your advice.

    Cheers,

    J.L.
    I have heard the Pre amp (passive) and Mono Block amplifiers from this company and they are very good and have similar design objectives to Harbeth being they look for a clean neutral sound with no part of the audio spectrum being highlighted.
    I am sorry to say that I only ever tried them with my previous speakers (Celestion SL600i) and they sounded very good with them but that particular speaker needed lots of power due to its greedy current habit and very low efficiency (82dB for 1 watt). I would have bought the amps but they were just not powerful enough for that speaker. Would suggest if you can get a listen to the NVA they would be well worth it and should work very well with the Harbeths.

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