Amplifier for Harbeth 40.2


Hi,

I have Harebeth 40.2 speakers and looking for thoughts on amplification for them.

Currently I use the pass labs int-250 and like it but feel could be improved upon.

One recommendation was given by dealer was to go to separates and pass labs 350.8.  That would improve bass further but not sure would improve midrange where previous VAC integrated had advtg over Pass.

Another recommendation was Luxman 900u amp.  This probably gives me midrange improvement but seems less powered than pass pas int 250 and def far less than 350.8.

Michael 

radioheadokplayer
Hi,
first all no have experience on 40.2 but have C7 and now M30.1.
Me also Pass lover and own several amp/pre including INT-150.
in my experience move to tube amp bring more plus/magic to the midrange what harbeth famous for !
when switching to SS to tube I can clearly find that SS win in bass control /quality but I’m fans of female singer so that not I’m after or looking for .
also note that harbeth love power so my tube amp have 80w ,never try tube amp below 50w.
hope this help.

I would try both Gryphon and Ypsilon integrateds and would go with tube separates if I insisted on tubes. I believe that no tube integrated would cut it. No, I didn't hear what I suggested to try.
Upgraded to synergistic research Galileo UEF speaker cables and has added more punch and more feeling to music seems like the solution for my system
You might want to add Synergistic or another brand power cord for your Pass.
 My new Mac MC462 works wonders with the 40.2‘s. 
It s the best amp I’ve ever heard with these speakers ( I previously owned the PS audio BHK 250 and the pass labs 250.8 ) and it is best app I have heard. Period
The MC 462 is one of three or four new generation power amps from McIntosh that feature several updates (including increased filter capacity) which  increases  clarity, dynamic range and bass control (among other things) which is very apparent when listening through the 40.2’s.(Check the mcontosh website)
 I think you would be hard-pressed to find anything better for the 40.2s under 20k
You might want to read the RMAF show reports on new Vinnie Rossi amps driving precisely a pair of 40.2's.
Look into the Digital Amplifier Company's (DAC) amp selection. I have had many different class A (Pass, ATC), A/B(too many to mention), and class D amps over the years. DAC's amps have a grain-less sweet clean tone, perfect bass reproduction, and all the power you will need! Plus you get 30 days to try them with a no hassle return policy!
https://www.cherryamp.com/
I heard the 40.2 driven by Vinnie Rossi's newest design amps at Axpona 2018. Wow! I also heard the SHL 5+ 40th anniversary speakers driven by the LIO integrated at Axpona 2017. Based on what I heard I bought a pair of the SHL5+. As impressive as the Lio integrated sounded, Mr. Rossi's newest creation is a clear step beyond. He is a true gentleman and very personable. If you are so inclined I'm sure you could call him for more info.
I also heard (twice) the VR/40.2 combo at RMAF. Drop dead. My second favorite room of the weekend (same VR w/Spatial was my fave). If I had $30k to drop on electronics, I would get the VR in a heartbeat.

I have heard the Lio with the 40.2s as well. Much less expensive and sounds great. It is quite low power, however, and I think would limit you to near filed set up.

I would put the Ayre ax-5/20 on your list. Plenty of power, ultra-low noise floor, and very musical. 
I have them with Luxman 900u monos.
Magic 
I am sure the luxman sound great but preamp mono combo north of 30K to replace integrated costing me 10K is too steep 
Surely the new Luxman L-509X would fit the bill.
I run the Harbeth HL5+ with a Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT, the sound is pretty amazing. 

Air Tight is also a perfect match for Harbeth speakers. 


Any of the Audio Research amps are great. I heard the 40.2 anniversary pair with the top MSB amps and digital. All were run with Audioquest Dragon and Hurricane cords (best I’ve heard and I"ve heard Elrod and Enklein). Just the best I’ve ever heard a pair of Harbeth’s sound in my life. Where do you live?  
Hi...thanks for additional options....am pretty content now would consider the gryphon integrated otherwise am content...this is second system in living room main sys has dartzeel separates that are my fav...
Hi...update time I added a pair of REL S5/SHO subwoofers and now have all the bottom grip I wanted...........the REL are conservatively set at a low crossover so no midrange overlap....

I am quite happy however I have been offered a ten day trial on pass x260.8 separates and am toying with the idea.....

the advantage of the monoblocks is far more class A power 34W versus 15W and so a bit fuller and warmer sounding which might be the icing on the cake for me......

anybody think I should not bother to try it?
I think the Pass 260.8 will be overkill, especially when running dual subs.  If looking for more class A power, go with Pass XA series amp... the XA 60.5 (or 60.8) should be adequate for 40.2's.

I'm using a vintage 125 wpc Music Reference RM9 MK2 tube amp with EL34's with 40.1's and it gives me more than enough power.
@radioheadokplayer @karmapolice Is the Harbeth 40.2 the perfect speaker for Radiohead lovers? I'm a hardcore fan and would love to hear your impression on how Harbeth handles Radiohead with the various amps that you've been trying.
I have 40.1's and have used them with two amps.  First was a Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP integrated.  This amp was magical with them, but upgrade-itus got the best of me and I now run a Lyngdorf TDAI-3170 integrated with them.  The Lyngdorf is the best I have heard.  You should definitely look into this wonderful amp.  I mainly listen to analog through it and it's just awesome.  It's room correction is the difference.  It also has an excellent DAC built in that is pretty great.    
Also, I'm a huge Radiohead fan and have all of their recordings on vinyl.  The Harbeth speakers are an excellent match for their music.  Radiohead have pretty good dynamic range and excellent sonics in their recordings.  Harbeth speakers are meant to present the music as it was recorded, and I will attest to this in my experience.  OKNOTOK on vinyl is one of my reference recordings.  I often play the MQA version of this on Tidal for comparison.  Both sound wonderful.  
Radiohead99,

Harbeth 40.2 needed a lot of amp power and REL subwoofers to truly shine for rock music in my room ....

I found my previous VAC 85 watt tube integrated nailed the ballads and some but not all Radiohead music well....

Depending on your room the subwoofer might not be needed but would recommend at least a powerful solid state amp....