Sometimes, there is no one better than yourself to do the thing. Here it is! I found an interesting thread from Audiogon regarding the use of a voltage transformer with Luxman product from Japan. Plus, there are exchanges about the "grey" market vs. USA distribution.
Yours to read:
Are you not keen on Brystons, Anthems or Classe's? Id think they may be good value where you are, since they are made closer to you, no?
According to the reviews, the Simaudio "Moon" series is very nice gear as well, and even made in Quebec...
Another nice Canadian option is Blue Circle: not widely distributed, but the ones I've heard do sound truly excellent.
I don't doubt the Luxman amps are very very good, but if you have Harbeth speakers, it's probably just slightly sweeter icing on an already delicious cake.
Thanks sunshine. I have already ordered SHL5! Maybe C7ES3 could be more suitable for my room but there are some reasons for my decision:
Originally Posted by sunshine
- Alan himself said that SHL5 was designed in a space of 3x3 m, and they work very well
- I frequently listen to low volume late in the night. I think SHL5 could be better in this case, they are more linear at low volume
- I don’t want any upgrade for a long period on! SHL5 seems to be a choice for a long time…
I already heard Bryston and Classe. I don't want to go in that direction. I don't know about Anthem. I'll check about them on the net.
Originally Posted by kittykat
I do have a phono preamp from Moon: the LP5.3. It's an amazing one. This winter, I heard the i3.3 100W integrated from Moon with my Audio Physic Virgo III. The sound was quite impressive. This is the amp who makes me think: "Let's give a try to solid state amplifier!"
Originally Posted by EricW
Unfortunately, beside a lots of his qualities, the Moon have not the realism of tube when it comes to the mid-range. Then, I heard of the solid state amplifier from Luxman who is pretty close of a tube amplifier with the quality of solid state. Plus, I'm really interested in the front meters, the bass and treble tone, the XLR input and the japanese built quality which look impressive. Last but not least, I do prefer the apparence of the Luxman over any Moon.
Hi Sebastien, I use the Luxman 505U with the SHL5's. I am very happy with the combination. The 505U is a very good all-round amplifier, with more tonal refinement and midrange texture than a lot of solid state and yet with the bass grip and power of the best. If you want even more midrange magic then one of the class A integrateds might be the way to go (550Aii or the 590Aii).
The Luxman L550Aii also has a very nice sounding built-in phono preamp. It sounds amazing, very 3-dimensional with great width and depth. The downside is that it is fixed gain and wished it came with a selectable gain. Still, it is suitable for most MC type cartridges.
I also run a tube setup and the Luxman do sound like a valve amp. There's plenty of detail and like a valve amp - delivers decay and harmonics. Ohhh... the bass...
I've ordered (can I say this in english?) a Luxman L-505u yesterday at Audio Cubes 2. It looks like I will have important new parts in the next weeks: a pair of Harbeth SHL5 and a Luxman integrated amplifier.
It's always a pleasure to get new pieces of gear. This will allow me and my girlfriend to appreciate the music that we love in a new natural way.
Give it a long time to run in! About two weeks or so....
Hi again Sebastien,
Yes, you are right, there is a local dealer here in Toronto that is selling the Luxman product. John at MyKindOfMusic can probably help you out if you decide to pursue a Luxman integrated. He is authorized by Philip O'Hanlan (On a Higher Note) as a qualified dealer.
You might want to also consider some of the Blue Circle amps with your new Harbeths. It's a terrific sounding combination. A FtTH integrated with your SHL5's would be absolutely dreamy sounding.
I'm running top of the line BC gear on my Monitor 30's and I have to honestly say that I haven't been **THIS** happy with the sound in my home in years.
Has I said above, I already order a Luxman L-505u from Audiocubes 2 one week ago. I'm really excited to hear and see it. I also agree with something that Alan said before about the presence (or absence) of tone control for bass and treble on new amp. I'll be glad to find such features on my new amp.
Unfortunately, I send an email to M. O'Hanlon, president of On a Higher Note, two weeks ago and he didn't answer me. On their site, Audiocubes 2 answer the email quickly and provide clear information for my questions. Plus, I read a lot of good comments on them from buyers from Canada.
I just setup a system with Harbeth P3 paired with a very cheap Denon mini system. The pairing is ridiculous in audiophile terms, but it was amazingly good.
I am curious - did anybody experienced a bad pairing of Harbeth with any amplifier at all?
Originally Posted by yeecn
Good to hear you are enjoying your P3 with a Denon mini system. I thought you own the C7ES3 in your main system? I thought the Harbeths sounded different with all the amps I have tried on them. The Sony AV prepro/power fared the worst out of the lot and this is the only combination that I thought sounded bad with the Harbeth. I can go into details but probably not worth mentioning. Tried a plethora of "audio-grade" amps on the Harbeth and the performance varies from mediocre to good. A few outstanding ones made the Harbeth shine to their potential. Of course everyone hears differently so results will vary among individuals. One thing for sure is Harbeth are truly transparent and revealing speakers that show the true colors of each and every component changes.
The P3ES2 + mini stereo is for the bedroom. The C7ES3 + AVR is in the living room. I actually preferred listening in the bedroom because of room acoustic issues with the living room.
I had thought about upgrading the AVR to something proper - but I dropped the idea a while back when I decided that room acoustics improvements would have a much bigger impact than any amplifier I can throw in. The Denon AVR is serving me well at present - considering that I only ever play at very quiet to moderately loud level. There could be some amount of cross talk - but that would be easily overwhelmed by the reflections off the marble floor, cement ceiling and many glass surfaces.
I don't think amplifier make that much an impact as compared to the speaker and room acoustics unless it is a very badly made amplifier. I was actually quite surprise by how competent the Denon mini stereo is. I would not hesitate to pair it with the C7 and live happily with the pairing.
I ventured into the audiophile world thinking that it would break my bank account. Now I can honestly tell my friends that we can enjoy good sound with moderate budget.
All Harbeth speakers are relatively easy to drive, so you don't need anything special to suit. Having said that, they are an open window on what is driving them, so if you have a naff sounding amp (home cinema ?) the speakers will let you know it.
You really don't need to spend heaps of money on a good sounding amp though. I have three very happy customers using a Rega Brio-3 which is far, far better than you would expect at the price and it goes very well with Harbeth.
YOu are right in that room acoustics(not forgetting setup and speaker placement) play a huge part and can either make or break a system. If speaker setup and room acoustics are bad, no matter how good an amplifier the speakers won't sound optimum when conditions are not permitting. However, in a reasonably good room and properly set-up Harbeth system the quality of amplifier will reveal the sound differences better. I have found out the long and hard way.
If you're enjoying the sound from your AVR then there is no further need to look at anything else. Enjoyment from music is of utmost importance. It is unhealthy to get addicted to equipment as some of us keep seeking the best sound from continuous upgrades, those with deep pockets an exception.
Yesterday, the new pair of Harbeth SHL5 in eucalyptus veneer, arrived to my home! I am very happy and too proud as I am the first owner of Harbeth in Romania! Special thanks to Mr. Aleksandar Maksimovic, the dealer from Serbia, who made this possible.
About speakers is no much to say. I put them in my setup, the Luxmans combo (L 505U + DU 50), and they really sound amazing. After a very long time my ears are only focused to the music and this is the most important thing in my opinion. I can listen now to the music and not to the speakers!
The synergy between Luxman and Harbeth is absolutely magnificent!
Excuse me for my enthusiasm, I know you understand me.
Next time I will put some pictures…
Wow....1st Harbeth owner there. Congrate! Good choice.
Originally Posted by Tudor
Hope to see your picture here.
"Bath in Music"