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Thread: Using vintage electronics with Harbeths

  1. #1
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    Default Using vintage electronics with Harbeths

    Does anyone on the HUG use their Harbeths with vintage gear? Do you find they show up the shortcomings or make the most of the classic kit, with their classic looks and easy-to-drive load?

    I know some people use old BBC-type speakers like LS3/5a and BC1 with old valve amps and turntables like Garrard and Thorens, so I wondered what is the experience like with Harbeths on the end?

    I'd love to get a Thorens TD124 and Radford STA15 to go with my Nagra preamp and Harbeth P3ESR.

    What are your experiences?

  2. #2
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    Feb 2010
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    Default QUAD amps

    BBC tradition speakers were commonly used with Quad amplification. Quad amps can often be found on eBay. They can be serviced by Quad or upgraded using DIY kits or by a number of workshops.

    See

    http://www.net-audio.co.uk/

    http://www.dadaelectronics.eu/

  3. #3
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    Default Using Vintage Valve Electronics Compared to Modern SS

    I have used a modified HH Scott 222c integrated with compact 7's with much success. I have recently posted some thoughts on another thread comparing the Scott to a LFD Mk IV. In short, I prefer the Scott for Jazz because of it's warmer presentation. I use a REL B3, that seems to work harder with the Scott. The LFD has more and tighter bass, and its' ability to resolve detail gives it the edge for symphonic music. I have purchased a Marantz 8B amplifier and hope to match it with a Marantz 7 preamplifier soon. While I don't expect it to resolve as well as the LFD, it should be an improvement over the Scott. I have found the 26 wpc Scott sufficient for my 12x12x9 listening room with the help of the sub.

  4. #4
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    Default Re-issued amps with Harbeth

    Quote Originally Posted by Drdennis View Post
    I have used a modified HH Scott 222c integrated with compact 7's with much success. I have recently posted some thoughts on another thread comparing the Scott to a LFD Mk IV. In short, I prefer the Scott for Jazz because of it's warmer presentation. I use a REL B3, that seems to work harder with the Scott. The LFD has more and tighter bass, and its' ability to resolve detail gives it the edge for symphonic music. I have purchased a Marantz 8B amplifier and hope to match it with a Marantz 7 preamplifier soon. While I don't expect it to resolve as well as the LFD, it should be an improvement over the Scott. I have found the 26 wpc Scott sufficient for my 12x12x9 listening room with the help of the sub.
    Marantz 8b!? That truly is a treasure. I wish more companies would re-issue their old amplifiers like Quad have done with the Quad II Classic monoblocks. I like vintage kit, but would rather buy re-issue versions with a warranty, modern connections, better build etc.

    I have a Quad 306 poweramp in storage and I may get it checked over and give it a run-out with the P3ESR here.

    {Moderator's comment: The 306 certainly works with the P3ESR!}

  5. #5
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    Default Marantz reissue

    Marantz did reissue the 7, 8B and 9. While they were well reviewed, the consensus was that they did not quite come up to the standard of the originals.

  6. #6
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    Default Using a Quad 306 with the P3ESR

    Quote Originally Posted by GregD View Post
    Marantz 8b!? That truly is a treasure. I wish more companies would re-issue their old amplifiers like Quad have done with the Quad II Classic monoblocks. I like vintage kit, but would rather buy re-issue versions with a warranty, modern connections, better build etc.

    I have a Quad 306 poweramp in storage and I may get it checked over and give it a run-out with the P3ESR here.

    {Moderator's comment: The 306 certainly works with the P3ESR!}
    Well, I've been using the Quad 306 with my P3ESR for a few months now and I have to agree with the Moderator - it works very well. In fact, not meaning to be too controversial, but it's prompted one of those "Do I really need anything more?" moments of clarity. It seems to fit all the requirements that A.S. has suggested for a partnering amplifier for Harbeth speakers - even the 50 Watt power output seems entirely sufficient. If I was on a tight budget, the Quad 306 is all I'd need.

    {Moderator's comment: we have a Q306 in the listening room and at one of our homes. Nice and small. Plenty of power for the P3ESR.}

  7. #7
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    Aug 2011
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    England
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    Default Vintage is better than today's TT!

    i just replaced my technics 1210 (with Jelco 750 arm and ortofon 2m black) which was nice with a Garrard 401, SME V arem and same cartridge. I use Quad valve preamp and Croft valve power amp. What a difference, it truly rocks now.

    The Garrard gives it much more drive and far better bass. Some vintage stuff is better than whats out today....

  8. #8
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    Default My vintage system

    I have a vintage system with the Super 5s .... MAC Mini > Weiss AFI interface (slave) > modded Esoteric D70 DAC (master) > BAT V-51SE (preamp) > Classe CA400 (amp) > Harbeth Super 5s. The sound is great, very dynamic but detailed with the 5s shining in the ups and mids. With patience, I had a blast putting this together. Steve

  9. #9
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Hypnotised by the music making amp comparisons impossible!

    The Quad II's in fine fettle also drive SHL5's beautifully at lower volume levels..

    The whole point of this (Harbeth's) brand's success in my book, is that as long as the amp is stable, basically a good performer with no significant weaknesses (I think most modern "non-tweaky" amps broadly fall into this category) and is being run well within its limits, you'll be fine, SHL5's just seeming to accommodate the driving system I've found in recent source and amp comparisons. The trouble is, the music being played always takes over after a very few minutes and comparing bits of kit into them soon becomes a boring chore ;)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default 'Vintage' = > 40 years old?

    How is that a 'vintage' system ???

    I believe that 'vintage' is more than 40 years old.
    Quote Originally Posted by QChicago View Post
    I have a vintage system with the Super 5s .... MAC Mini > Weiss AFI interface (slave) > modded Esoteric D70 DAC (master) > BAT V-51SE (preamp) > Classe CA400 (amp) > Harbeth Super 5s. The sound is great, very dynamic but detailed with the 5s shining in the ups and mids. With patience, I had a blast putting this together. Steve

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Canada
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    97

    Default Beautifully engineered and built to last (vintage QUAD)

    I personally run vintage Quad (34/306)

    Last year I came to the conclusion that Quad has built and designed some of the most well thought out pieces of audio gear in Hi-Fi history, even by today's (misconstrued) standards.

    I desire and demand nothing more then what this beautifully engineered piece of kit offers, even if I could/can? afford more.

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