Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 96

Thread: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

  1. #41
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    825

    Default Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

    Perhaps you need to get your LFD checked out !!! I sold a pair of P3ESR yesterday, using the LFD to drive them. The first comment from the customer was something like ' wow, where does that bass come from ? ' He was amazed at the amount and quality of bass plus the volume we could get from this tiny speaker.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    214

    Default Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    Perhaps you need to get your LFD checked out !!! I sold a pair of P3ESR yesterday, using the LFD to drive them. The first comment from the customer was something like ' wow, where does that bass come from ? ' He was amazed at the amount and quality of bass plus the volume we could get from this tiny speaker.
    I think this is mainly due to the bass output of the P3ESR, not specifically due to the LFD?

  3. #43
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    Perhaps you need to get your LFD checked out !!! I sold a pair of P3ESR yesterday, using the LFD to drive them. The first comment from the customer was something like ' wow, where does that bass come from ? ' He was amazed at the amount and quality of bass plus the volume we could get from this tiny speaker.
    I second that. I strongly believe that the LFD LE III is powerful enough to drive the P3ESR. After all, if the LE III can drive notoriously difficult speakers like ATC & Verity Parsifal, i don't see why it cannot drive a P3ESR.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

    Thanks for your thoughts Lorpuris... so I am not the only Lux user on here! If I had the money I would have been tempted to buy higher up the Luxman range as you have. I think everyone needs to find the 'sweet spot' where they have attained the price vs performance ratio that most satisfies them. I think it's different for different people. At the end of the day it's all about finding satisfaction in the music. I fully concur with Alan's philosophy that a half-decent amp is sufficient for Harbeth speakers. What I have found though is that by spending a bit more on the right amp the music is that much more addictive and involving. My guess is that Harbeth speakers are so good that the point of diminishing returns is actually quite high, as your experience with the Lux 590 II seems to testify!

    The Luxmans are also very well built and specified and their amps are known for long-term reliability. Just as with Quad equipment, you see quite a few decades-old Lux units turning up on ebay.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

    Quote Originally Posted by tozen View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts Lorpuris... so I am not the only Lux user on here! If I had the money I would have been tempted to buy higher up the Luxman range as you have. I think everyone needs to find the 'sweet spot' where they have attained the price vs performance ratio that most satisfies them. I think it's different for different people. At the end of the day it's all about finding satisfaction in the music. I fully concur with Alan's philosophy that a half-decent amp is sufficient for Harbeth speakers. What I have found though is that by spending a bit more on the right amp the music is that much more addictive and involving. My guess is that Harbeth speakers are so good that the point of diminishing returns is actually quite high, as your experience with the Lux 590 II seems to testify!

    The Luxmans are also very well built and specified and their amps are known for long-term reliability. Just as with Quad equipment, you see quite a few decades-old Lux units turning up on ebay.
    I use the Lux 550a II with SHL5. Oh, My God. Best thing I've ever heard.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

    Hi Dave,

    I debated a long time before posting my thoughts on the LFD. I could have predicted the reaction. As a 35 year veteran of the audio industry, you would think by this time I would have learned to keep my big mouth shut. Apparently not !

    The LFD that I have is not the first I've owned, nor will it be the last. I said it last night and I'll say it again, it is one of the finest ,sweetest , musical amps ever period ! My opinion is that it really falls short in the bass department. My guess is that it has a smallish power supply. If it cost another 3 grand, Richard Bews could have put a crazy power supply in. Power supplies always cost a fortune.

    My CAT JL1's Limited edition amps/Ultimate preamp combo has amazing bass. The amps are fitted with KT-99's. WOW ! That is my reference. The Luxman shocked me as to how good the whole sonic picture is. While not an inexpensive amp, it is a fraction of the cost of the Cat equipment. I think it is a stunning value.

    Make no mistake, I love the LFD, but I would highly recommend comparing these two amps, specifically on the P3's. At that point, I think you will understand why I am making the statement that I am. Less tech speak: It will blow your mind !

    Peace,
    Lorpuris

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,028

    Default Remember! Harbeth speakers will work with any amp

    Just to make it clear again in case any new members get the wrong impression.....

    Whilst I welcome discussions about amplifiers, even 'ultimate amplifiers' I myself as a mere speaker designer know where the real issues fall in the reproduction chain - with the speakers.

    So, please be careful in promoting this amp or brand over that amp or brand. Any competent amplifier will make great music with Harbeth, if it is in-spec, serviced and working as intended. Even amps that are 30 years old will work just fine if properly serviced.

    Enjoy whatever you have to hand. I do not use and never will use a exotic amplifier.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  8. #48
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    825

    Default You don't need expensive amps ...

    Exactly so Alan, which is why I have been saying that you don't need an exotic or expensive amplifier to enjoy Harbeth speakers. Indeed, I have demonstrated Harbeth over the weekend using excellent amps way below ?2000, which is mid-priced nowadays.

    -------------------------------------

    Lorpuris,
    I would agree that LFD doesn't have seismic bass but it does have other attributes. Having said that, I haven't noticed any shortcomings against similarly priced competition and I actually sold a pair of P3ESR the other day using the LFD when the customer remarked about the quality and quantity of bass. He was sufficiently impressed to part with his cash.

    I know Luxman well, having owned and do still have some vintage Luxman. The main problem in GB is the horrendous prices. The problem being that it goes through the hands of a 'Worldwide distributor' who puts his markup on before passing it to the importer who does likewise and then on to the dealer. So what starts out life as good value product, ends up as high-end in GB. A great pity but this is the case with a lot of excellent Japanese equipment such as Accuphase and Koetsu.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,028

    Default Re: You don't need expensive amps ...

    Although I'm not an audiophile (actually, I'm not any sort of 'phile) I'm well aware of the audiophiles need to tinker with amplifiers. As I take great care during the design to make sure that Harbeth speakers are an 'easy load' it opens up a vast panorama of potential amplifiers that audiophiles can experiment with.

    That's a good thing, but we must take extreme care not to frighten would-be buyers into thinking that after investing their money in new speakers, that they are then on a never-ending upgrade path of amplifiers, stands, cables etc. etc.. For me, frankly, it's about the music not the equipment.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Ultimate Integrated Amp For Compact 7ES-3 and SHL-5

    Hi Alan, just out of interest, what counts as an 'exotic amplifier' in your mind?

    I want to take slight issue, if you don't mind Alan, with the idea that anyone might be 'promoting' one amplifier over another. I think there is real value in people just sharing their experiences, and that's one of the things I love about this forum. I am sure that most forum users here are like myself - music lovers who greatly appreciate our Harbeth speakers and what they can do, who have no vested interest at all in any particular amplifier brand. My experience has been that the Lux 505U with the Harbeth SHL5 has brought me a wonderful level of musical satisfaction, greater than the previous amps I have used. I enjoyed the SHL5s with the Quad 909. I now enjoy them even more. That's just my experience. I could be misguided... but I am enjoying my music

    I think there is a positive spin to put on this, which is that Harbeth speakers sound GREAT with basic amplifiers and EVEN BETTER with some other amplifiers. That surely is music to any potential customers' ears, because it actually underlines that Harbeth speakers are a long term investment.

    And just whilst I am being so bold as to take issue with something the designer has said (!), I would also question your view hifi_dave on current Lux pricing. Compared to another well-known Japanese brand on sale in the UK there is nothing like the same mark up!

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,028

    Default Exotic amplifiers and the Harbeth 'value proposition'

    An exotic amplifier, to me, would be one with a lot of marketing buzz about it. Just standing back and watching and listening to the process that audiophiles use to evaluate amplifiers - in particular - really worries me a lot. Fact - if I allowed myself to be emotionally tugged this way and that, you wouldn't be enjoying the Harbeths you are today. Because of my concerns about the evaluation process I think that it is misleading to give members the firm impression that buying this or than amp with transform their system beyond logical expectations. Under the cold cruel light of day changing the amp may (or may not) make a minute difference. In a consumer democracy only you can decide if that is a goal worth striving for or not.

    That's not my issue: my issue is giving the impression that a massive transformation can be achieved when, logically, the weakest link in the audio chain is the speakers. Most of our members are ordinary listeners not wealthy audiophiles with big budgets and Harbeth's 'value proposition' appeals to them, and to me. (Upgrading your speakers to Harbeths will make by far the biggest change in your set-up - beyond that point where to you go?)

    Your are absolutely correct that if a Harbeth works with a basic amplifier it will work even better with an exotic one. But not for the reasons that audiophiles believe.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  12. #52
    yeecn Guest

    Default Amplifiers .... simple is better?

    Being somebody who is just venturing into hi-fi, I have been doing quite a bit of research on some phenomena in the audiophile world that I find incomprehensible, amplifiers being one of them.

    The first puzzle is valve amplifier vs solid state amplifier. An expensive valve amplifier has a typical total harmonic distortion of over 1%, while even an entry level sold state amplifier has a THD of 0.05%. Now - how can something with 200 times more distortion sounds better - that is simply beyond me. I gathers that the high 2nd harmonics distortion of valve amplifiers does gives its a unique sound that some may find appealing, that is OK with me. A very expensive amplifier may boast a THD of 0.001%. But are we able to hear the differences between 0.001% vs 0.05% distortion through a very imperfect medium of speakers + room acoustics with a distortion of at least 100 times bigger? I seriously doubt so.

    I was introduced a voltage regulator for my Denon AV receiver recently. The AVR is spec for 220V - 240V, and I knew for certain that the power supply at my house can go up to 245V. So I thought the voltage regulator, which is set to 230V would at least make some differences. But after spending 1.5 hours switching back and forth, I concluded that if it made any differences at all, it is beyond my hearing capacity to detect.

    Anyway I was just reading with great interest the following article which someone posted in this forum: http://bruce.coppola.name/audio/Amp_Sound.pdf. I find the article quite illuminating. I wouldn't mind participating in experiments of such nature myself.

    I concur with Alan that the speakers is the weakest link in the whole chain of sound reproduction. I had the chance to do a AB comparison between my new Harbeth C7ES3 with the old speakers 3 weeks ago, and the differences was quite dramatic. I was seriously thinking of upgrading to a 'proper' amplifier setup a while back, but after 3 weeks of enjoying good music and good sounds with my humble Denon 1909AVR, the urge is fading fast. If anything at all the room acoustics can do with a lot of improvements, but that is not a simple matter for a family living room.

    Most music that I enjoyed are not audiophile recordings anyway, and some were recorded in the 1960's. The less than perfect sound system and recording does not impede my enjoyment of great musics and performances in anyway whatsoever.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,028

    Default Re: Amplifiers .... simple is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by yeecn View Post
    ... Anyway I was just reading with great interest the following article which someone posted in this forum: http://bruce.coppola.name/audio/Amp_Sound.pdf. I find the article quite illuminating. I wouldn't mind participating in experiments of such nature myself...
    Now, that is a fascinating report and the comments on page 5 are exactly what I would expect.

    Again, what worries me when I read rave 'reviews' of amplifiers is the emotional hyperbole that the observer dresses his comments in. There is a great need in human relationships and language to express not only that we prefer X over Y but that we deeply prefer A,or we adore B, or C blew my mind or D was stunning, or E was a huge improvement etc. etc. etc.. Does that sort of language sit comfortably with a more rational line which is that, at best, the differences between dumb amplifiers which have a very simple role to play in the reproduction chain (read the report above) are extremely small under controlled conditions.

    I liken this to SLR cameras. I'm just a happy-snapper who wants a natural looking image. I know well that the most important part of the photographic game is illumination, lighting. And that's the one I have the least control over. So, whilst theoretically a Canon lens may under lab conditions be fractionally sharper than a Nikon (or vice versa) in my hands, it wouldn't make a scrap of difference which one I had: I'd be limited by other factors such as lighting, composition, subject matter.

    So, if 1950s jazz was my thing, recorded on analogue equipment that was dumped in land-fill thirty years ago, then I too find it incredible that spending out money on exotic electronics would be a worthwhile pursuit. I'd be totally limited by the resolution of the recordings, the way the performers were sonically illuminated. Of course, as I've said before, it's a buyers democracy - if you have the money and want to a little flutter that's fine, but please let's be realistic about that the investment will yield in additional musicality for the rest of us mere mortals.

    We promote the excellent value proposition of Harbeth speakers, and exercise constant efforts to minimise the selling prices by cost control. I believe that the lower the prices, the more we sell and the happier you are. The consumer must not be led to believe that any money he has saved on buying Harbeths must then be spent on upgrading his electronics. That's called a false aspiration gap between what performance he's got and what system performance he's told he could experience by spending more on equipment. I'm strongly opposed to planting that idea in the buyer's mind. It's my job to design these speakers with the highest possible performance, regardless of how difficult that is or how long it takes. It's not a realistic expectation that an electronics engineer who knows nothing about the (ghastly) world of speaker design could take my work and then, magically and mystically, extract performance that I couldn't. Speakers and microphones are the dominant component in the sound of the system and they are both mechanical devices which is why there are so many variations and alternative design strategies.

    Whatever amp you've got will work just fine, providing it was competently designed and is in spec.. If it's some years old, then we recommend that it is competently serviced and old capacitors are replaced. Old caps. dry out, their capacity declines and this changes the bass quality of the amp: a real physical phenomena with an entirely predictable sonic consequence.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  14. #54
    Vlado Guest

    Default Re: Amplifiers .... simple is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by yeecn View Post

    The first puzzle is valve amplifier vs solid state amplifier. An expensive valve amplifier has a typical total harmonic distortion of over 1%, while even an entry level sold state amplifier has a THD of 0.05%. Now - how can something with 200 times more distortion sounds better - that is simply beyond me. I gathers that the high 2nd harmonics distortion of valve amplifiers does gives its a unique sound that some may find appealing, that is OK with me. A very expensive amplifier may boast a THD of 0.001%. But are we able to hear the differences between 0.001% vs 0.05% distortion through a very imperfect medium of speakers + room acoustics with a distortion of at least 100 times bigger? I seriously doubt so.
    Hi Yeecn,
    try to figure out also the TIM figures of a solid state amplifier, its influencing considerably the sound of solid state amps.

    Best regards

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,028

    Default Re: Amplifiers .... TIM?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlado View Post
    ...try to figure out also the TIM figures of a solid state amplifier...
    Do you mean Transient InterModulation Distortion within the amplifier? How many percent do you suppose this could be for a typical amplifier?
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  16. #56
    Vlado Guest

    Default Re: Amplifiers .... TIM?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    Do you mean Transient InterModulation Distortion within the amplifier? How many percent do you suppose this could be for a typical amplifier?
    Hi Alan, I mean exactly this. I don't find any free scientific explanation on the net, even Wikipedia is short on this. Anyway, the TIM was initially described by Matti Otala in early 70' and the first amplifier based on TIM measurement was build by Per Abrahamsen and ? Lohstro under the name Otala - Lohstro amplifier. There are some white papers describing the TIM measurement and listening test on Audio Engineering Society net, but only on payment access; the latest is a simplified measurement method of Otala standard:

    A New Approach to Transient Intermodulation (TIM) Distortion Measurements
    http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=12003

    I think I understand your question. The TIM figures lies far below the distortion of a loudspeaker, but independently on speaker distortion figures, the TIM figures of an amplifier are changing the character of the sound. Higher TIM figures, the sound is edger and harsher.

    Kindly

    V.

    P.S. Yeecn:
    ...I gathers that the high 2nd harmonics distortion of valve amplifiers does gives its a unique sound....

    It is the total spectrum of harmonics which is making sound so specific and those harmonics are odd at valve amplifiers, not even.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,028

    Default Re: Amplifiers .... TIM, just another tool.

    Yes, you read my mind - I was curious about how TIM distortion could be identified by ear.

    In my opinion, Transient InterModulation Distortion (which has been know about for around fifty years) is just another in a depressingly long line of measurement observations desperate to find a correlation with what we hear. That would allow the folks who write these erudite papers to claim that they had, finally, discovered what subtle, difficult to measure characteristic of audio equipment resulted in a certain type of sound quality - for example - "grittiness".

    Fifty + years on and I can assure you that TIM is just one of a whole array of measurements that individually tell you little or nothing about subjective quality. For that reason, the audio magazines, rightly or wrongly, moved away from objective (measurements) to subjective (listening only) appraisal. The objectivist magazines were producing more or less the same graphs month after month yet still claiming significant audible differences between equipment, even equipment (amplifiers) with basically identical measurements.

    We must take extreme care not to create mental associations between negligible and difficult to measure distortions and perceived sonic differences. It really isn't that simple.

    As a matter of interest, what level of distortion do you think a trained listener under optimum conditions could detect? 10%, 1%, 0.1%, 0.001% ? I'm interested to know what you think. Remember: you can only hear amplifier distortion when you listen to the amp driving a loudspeaker. You can never hear the amp itself: you need a loudspeaker to generate the sound waves.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  18. #58
    Vlado Guest

    Default Re: Amplifiers .... TIM, just another tool.

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    Yes, you read my mind - I was curious about how TIM distortion could be identified by ear.
    Hello Alan,
    I fully agree on what you state above. Regarding your question, I have no clue! By my opinion it?s not possible to discern types of distortions. Also I think that does not exist a threshold from where is possible to hear the distortions. The distortions could be remarked at vocals and speech more easily as on instrumental music.
    On some kind of music is even impossible to observe distortions. Think Jimmy Hendrix guitar! ..............

    As we previously discus some other items which influence the sound, eg. damping factor , I think that there are so many variables and the measurements with test signals do not comply (exactly - more ore less - what correlation is there? ) with music.

    Kindly
    Vlado

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,028

    Default Re: Amplifiers .... distortion thresholds

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlado View Post
    ... Regarding your question, I have no clue! By my opinion it?s not possible to discern types of distortions. Also I think that does not exist a threshold from where is possible to hear the distortions...
    Actually, much research has been done on the audibility of distortion and there are very clear, unambiguous conclusions about human ability to detect distortion.

    The first research was carried out in the early days of broadcasting. Broadcasters needed to know how much distortion was allowable in the complex distribution network from microphone, studio equipment, distribution cables to transmitters, transmitters, home receivers and finally home loudspeakers. That's a tremendously long "signal processing" chain involving literally hundreds of miles of unshielded cables, hundreds of tubes (then), countless connections, switches etc.. So the perfectly reasonable assumption was made by the broadcasters that every 'component' had a potential influence on distortion and/or frequency response and/or noise. They were not aiming for high fidelity, their target was to define a threshold for distortion which was not detectable by trained ear, and spending any more money to drive down distortion below that just-perceptible level would be a waste of money.

    Actually, that's good engineering practice. It is a waste of money, time and natural resources to engineer a product which is needlessly complex, uses more parts than necessary, is heavier than necessary, consumes more power than necessary, is bigger than necessary, is laden with unwanted features and strives for a needlessly high specification far beyond its practical application.

    So, back to my question: what did they find was a 'just detectable' distortion contribution superimposed on music or speech? 10% or 0.001% perhaps? And do you agree that whatever that threshold is, there is no logical, practical or even moral justification for chasing a standard that is, say, ten times better than need be? That specmanship takes a product from pure engineering functionality into the world of emotional self-congratulation. The 0-60mph in sub 3 seconds mind-set.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  20. #60
    Vlado Guest

    Default Re: Amplifiers .... distortion thresholds

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post

    ....emotional self-congratulation.
    Alan,
    I have to note this term!

    As I understand you use amplifiers designed by J.F.
    Beside the correct design and non puffed prices, are those amplifiers closest to the accuracy? Referred to price or absolutely?

    Regards

    Vlado

Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •