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Thread: Harbeth C7ES3 with Leben integrated amp - too smooth

  1. #1
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    Default Harbeth C7ES3 with Leben integrated amp - too smooth

    Hello,
    currently I have a Leben CS300 tubey (you know only 2x12 watt per channel) at home for testing, because of seeking a new integrated amp.

    After two days of testing and hearing I find that it not do very well with my Harbeths, it is not bad, but I find it has too little power.
    Does anyone here also have the same impressions?

    Does someone use C7s with the little Leben?
    Regards
    Last edited by errhoo; 16-04-2012 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Not to smooth but too little power

  2. #2
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    Default Smoother the better ...

    Cant really answer your question but I use the 300XS (15w) with P3ESR. After some warm-up time (maybe 1/2 hour), I do not find it too smooth. The smoother the better for females. ;)

    What amp are you comparing against?

  3. #3
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    Default Leben and C7ES3

    I also have the 300XS with C7ES3, and love it. As I have previously posted, in comparing the Leben to the LFD Mk IV Signature, the LFD is more detailed, and a bit stronger in the bass which is an advantage on large scale works. I prefer the Leben for jazz, chamber music and vocals perhaps because of it's smoothness.

    My room is small, and I do not listen at very loud levels. If I moved the system into a larger room, I would probably use the more powerful LFD.

    DG

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    Default Which easier?

    I am comparing it with an Euphya Alliance 250 integrated amp from France.

    Which speaker is easier to drive? The P3ESR or the C7ES3?

  5. #5
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    Default 12W or 15W

    Quote Originally Posted by Drdennis View Post
    I also have the 300XS with C7ES3, and love it. As I have previously posted, in comparing the Leben to the LFD Mk IV Signature, the LFD is more detailed, and a bit stronger in the bass which is an advantage on large scale works. I prefer the Leben for jazz, chamber music and vocals perhaps because of it's smoothness.

    My room is small, and I do not listen at very loud levels. If I moved the system into a larger room, I would probably use the more powerful LFD.

    DG
    DG, which room size do you have for your Leben / C7ES3 combination ? My room size is just a liitle bit over 20 m2. Do you think there is a great difference between 12 and 15 Watt of Leben amps? And which impedance do you use, 4, 6 or 8 ohm?

  6. #6
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    Default Beyond moderate levels?

    My room is 12'X12'X9'. I have not heard the 12wpc Leben. I would speculate that it might make a difference if you go beyond moderate listening levels. The XS may be more refined than the standard model, but the 300 had an excellent review in Sterophile. I use the 6 ohm setting.

  7. #7
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    Default Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Drdennis View Post
    My room is 12'X12'X9'. I have not heard the 12wpc Leben. I would speculate that it might make a difference if you go beyond moderate listening levels. The XS may be more refined than the standard model, but the 300 had an excellent review in Sterophile. I use the 6 ohm setting.
    Thank you very much for your helpful post.

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    Default Different amps for different music!

    Quote Originally Posted by Drdennis View Post
    I also have the 300XS with C7ES3, and love it. As I have previously posted, in comparing the Leben to the LFD Mk IV Signature, the LFD is more detailed, and a bit stronger in the bass which is an advantage on large scale works. I prefer the Leben for jazz, chamber music and vocals perhaps because of it's smoothness.

    My room is small, and I do not listen at very loud levels. If I moved the system into a larger room, I would probably use the more powerful LFD.

    DG
    What is the size of your room.
    I feel I could do with a little more bass and extension and looking to get the compact 7.
    But again I have a smallish bedroom setup.

  9. #9
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    Default No sub?

    My room is 12'x12'x9'. I do not have a bed in the room. I should also mention that I have a REL B-3 sub (the smallest in the B range).I am not aware of the sub until I turn it off. I think you could be very happy without the sub.

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    Default

    The size is it in feet or mts.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kraiker View Post
    The size is it in feet or mts.
    I think in meters.....

  12. #12
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    Default

    The size is in feet.
    I believe the C7ES3, is slightly more efficient, i.e. easier to drive than the P3ESR.

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    Default Frugal power?

    Gosh .... so frugal on the power for the Compact 7s ?

    Harbeths' whilst being indeed an easy load for most amps, would almost always reward the listener when there's oogles of juice on tap to rock these puppies.

    My buddies use a selection of Quads, Exposures & Naims to push them cones & give good vibrations.

    I go a little bit further with full glory American Krells.

    Sonic Nirvana anyone?

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    Default Surprising Leben

    You may well be very surprised by what 15 leben watts can do. ;)

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    Default Watts is watts

    The danger when one starts associating "watts" to a certain brand or technology, is when the amp manufacturers are really succeeding in brainwashing the poor consumer to pay for hype and fluff. There are many such types, Brand-A watts, brand-B watts, Tube/Valve watts, solid state watts, high-current watts (which is really just a play on words). etc etc etc...

    One tube amp manufacturer even goes so far as to state on their website that 1 "tube watt" is equivalent to about 3 or 5 "transistor watts".

    The only gold-standard Watt one should be interested in would be the "Watt" definition named after the Scottish Engineer James Watt and the indisputable electrical definitions of what is a "watt" of power.
    (Voltage times Current, or Voltage^2 divided by load, or Current^2 times load.)

    Granted, some amp manufacturers may execute the delivery of such watts (into the speaker load) better than others, but mainly due to the competing underdog (ie. the inferior quality amp) probably did not have a decent enough capability to deliver such power as required by the loudspeakers for an accurate & honest portrayal of audio reproduction.

    {Moderator's comment: also, the ear is not good at detecting second-order harmonics (fortunately). Those crazy 2W flea-powered amps are certainly running with at least 10-50% continuous harmonic distortion. Some folks love that extra warm sound. They love adding distortion.}

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    Default The lovely 'Marchall sound'!

    Quote Originally Posted by Heretic View Post

    {Moderator's comment: also, the ear is not good at detecting second-order harmonics (fortunately). Those crazy 2W flea-powered amps are certainly running with at least 10-50% continuous harmonic distortion. Some folks love that extra warm sound. They love adding distortion.}
    Ask all those fans of Marshall valve guitar amps. That lovely, lush ' Marshall sound ' is all distortion with the amps running into severe clipping.

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    Default Finding that amp sound

    Flea-powered amps may seem crazy in today's world of cheap watts and inefficient speakers, but the right pairing is a beautiful thing. I've been building all kinds of amps lately: chip amps, mosfet amps, class-d amps, hybrid class-d/valve amps, mosfet amps with valve buffers, etc. And I still struggle to make anything that sounds even remotely as good as a basic single ended triode or pentode valve amp. I keep trying, though, because I'm after that great single ended valve sound, but without the heat, energy waste and speaker matching problems associated with low output power. Of all my experiments, the most promising approach so far has been a class-d amp behind a valve input buffer or gain stage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heretic View Post
    {Moderator's comment: also, the ear is not good at detecting second-order harmonics (fortunately). Those crazy 2W flea-powered amps are certainly running with at least 10-50% continuous harmonic distortion. Some folks love that extra warm sound. They love adding distortion.}

  18. #18
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    Default The 'Marshall sound'

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    Ask all those fans of Marshall valve guitar amps. That lovely, lush ' Marshall sound ' is all distortion with the amps running into severe clipping.
    Great example of this in the following clip of "How many more times" from Led Zeppelin's 1970 concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

    In contrast to later rock guitarists, Jimmy Page (at least early on) used almost no effects boxes on stage. He varied the tone of his Marshall amp by his playing style, and also by adjusting the volume potentiometers of the two pickups on his electric guitar.

    In this clip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs_O_Jm1gQ0 - between 1:01 and 1:56 - you can see that he's playing some call and response blues figures on the guitar, using only the bridge pickup with the volume turned low, so the amp's input is not overloaded and the sound is very clean.

    Then, at 1:57, as the music accelerates, he switches to the neck pickup, which has the volume pot turned all the way up, overdriving the amp's input, and suddenly ... there's that "Marshall sound".

  19. #19
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    Default The role of the hi-fi system is ....

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    Ask all those fans of Marshall valve guitar amps. That lovely, lush ' Marshall sound ' is all distortion with the amps running into severe clipping.
    Well, if you're a musician and you're adding intentional distortion as part of your musical performance... go right ahead! Jimi did it (with alot of Jim Marshall's gear, I might add), Slash does it, & Tom Morello does it too.

    But the role of an honest hi-fi system is to reproduce the original sound & music with as much fidelity as possible, which is what the original music & sound that the artist played and the recording engineer captured into some form of physical media. Anything else would be a deviation from the original standard. So we aren't really comparing the same situation here.

    On perhaps an unrelated topic, has anyone ever tried asking for tomato ketchup (to go with their main course) in a Michelin 3-star French restaurant ?
    :P
    Last edited by Heretic; 16-05-2012 at 02:45 AM. Reason: typos

  20. #20
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    Default

    Some Americans do - I've seen it.

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