Building second system around Harbeth P3 esr


I bought the P3's a couple of months ago. I should have some cash soon to go forward with this system. My thoughts are the Croft Phono Integrated. Please share your thoughts on not only the amp choice, but what this systems strengths might be. I just want to listen at low to moderate levels, and be engaged. I wish they were more efficient, which is why I'm thinking Croft, which has a tubed stage, and SS amp.

fjn04
The Croft will be perfect. Rolling in some Telefunkens will bring it to a new level.
noromance- Any thoughts on a nice MM cart to keep things simple.  I was thinking Nagaoka. Thanks (-: 

That should sound great. 50 watts is plenty to drive the P3’s.  BTW, I own the P3's and they are a great speaker !
just reading the headline i was going to say croft too. great match. others that would go well are the vinnie rossi lio, and hegel is great but no phono stage. 
Fjn04, no clue. Depends on what your turntable, arm, budget and taste dictate! The world seems to think the Ortofon 2M Black does the business. Dynavector 10x5 and Soundsmith Carmen worth a look too. Nagaoka solid too. Judging, if I may, from your primary rig, you have good knowledge of what's out there.
Thanks- I was hoping 50 watts would be plenty, especially the way I plan on using this system. Does anyone know who the Croft US importer is? I want to get some recommendations for a well matched cartridge. So far, going only from what I've read.... 2M black: no romance (-: , Nagaoka: some romance.
Here ya go!
http://www.bluebirdmusic.com/sections/croft.html
Give Gene Rubin a call,he sells Croft. He also sells Harbeth!
http://www.generubinaudio.com/
Yogi- I called Jay (Bluebird) last week, and left a VM. No return call. I figured it was a fluke, called again, and left another VM. No return call. At that point, I figured he wasn't responsive because he was only the Canada, but not US distributor.
fjn04, Give Gene Rubin a call. I purchased Harbeth and Spendors from him. He sells Croft so that would be the guy to ask. Check out his site!
Here is another Croft dealer.  http://store.acousticsounds.com/index.cfm?get=results&searchtext=croft+acoustics

http://shop.generubinaudio.com/
Thanks all. I may give Gene a call, but will first seek out a closer dealer. 
With regard to a cartridge, I have some time to figure that out. I would like to avoid an SUT, and the extra cable that would be needed. So either an MM, or a High output MC.  I want to play to the strengths of the system. What I mean is a nice refined, fleshed out midrange. 
I am setting up my office system as I write this.  I bought a pair of P3ESR used ($1200) and went with the Rega Brio-R, DAC-R, and Apollo-R (I got all three new for less than $2000).  I had Mike at Audiophile Vibration Control build me a desktop stand for the components.
Another recommendation for Gene Rubin. Very personal, helpful, and professional. I have purchased from him more than once. Satisfied every time. 
miner42- Very nice office system you've set up there. If I was going to set up a digital based system, I may have taken the same route.  What I plan to do is integrate this system in to my main listening room. It will be for shorter listening sessions, when I don't want to play the main rig. The benefit there is I can use my Well Tempered GTA. In the future, I may try this in the bedroom, but I'm thinking playing vinyl in the bedroom may be a little over the top. Please update us when your Rega/Harbeth system has some time on it.
You may also contact Michael at Blue Jay Audio. (It’s me). Anyway, I find that the best synergistic match with the P3ESR is the Exposure 2010s2. In my opinion it surpasses all the other usual suspects. Naim, Rega, LFD, Leben, Luxman are all excellent matches but the Exposure is the ideal compliment in my opinion.
Hello Don
 Make sure you hear the Belleshttp://http//www.powermodules.com/ewExternalFiles/HFC_412_Exotica_Belles_Reprint.pdf Aria
 its very special on many speakers, well made and fairly priced
 Best,
 JohnnyR
 Audio Connection




 
Thanks Michael and Johnny R. I will try to hear all that I can. Please keep the thoughts coming. Ultimately, I have to figure this out, but it's always interesting to hear what's working for other Harbeth users. 
Don
 Here is another affordable winner
 Heed Elixir
   Best JohnnyR

http://www.stereophile.com/content/heed-audio-elixir-integrated-amplifier-page-2#bOQchtK5K2vPdYM9.97
I have now had my office system set up and running for 3 weeks.  The P3ESRs do put out plenty of full spectrum sound, more than I expected from a mini-monitor.  The Rega gear has matched rather well with the Harbeths (Brits love Brits).  People who stop by to chat about projects now seem to stay a bit longer to enjoy the background music.  I always tell them, when they ask "why?", that music soothes this angry soul due to the short time frames I am constantly given on a daily basis.  I have my P3ESRs on small desktop stands (Iso-Acoustics) to isolate them.  Now when I have to work on weekends the music I can play at my listening level helps to make the day flow by effortlessly.  The Rega Brio-R has a nice phonostage onboard, also (MM or HO MC).
The Croft is on it's way for a home trial. 

A lot of good suggestions as to partnering gear above. I will say this, the Croft/Harbeth is a fine combination, have listened to the P3's with Croft off and on and like the combination, very much to like there.

I currently use the Croft Micro 25 pre and Series 7 amp with Larsen 4 and Shahinian Larc speakers, certainly a different take than the Harbeth, but each have their own strengths.

As to cartridge, have read/heard Croft owners enjoying the Nagaoka's with their systems. I have an MP110 waiting for a turntable purchase at some point, will see how that part goes at some point.

In the meantime, enjoy your demo, trust your ears!

Thanks so much for the response frazeur1.  My dealer also carries Nagaoka, and mentioned setting up a  Nagaoka w/ Croft for a customer. He did say this was very good. For now I will run my Tsd-15/ A23 SUT/ Amadeus table. This combo may ruin me, because it is pretty darned good. But it's a borrow from my main system, and is currently my only source for the Croft audition. Nagaoka is first on my list, assuming I keep the Croft. (-:
I have the P3 as well as the 40.1. I have found that he least expensive Naim integrateds work extremely well with Harbeth, along with Plinius electronics 

Nagaoka's are nice all around cartridges, and fairly reasonably priced. One can buy the cheapest cartridge and upgrade the stylus assembly up to the MP200 I believe.

Certainly so many various combinations to chose from, have fun and enjoy the little ride! Keep us posted on the Croft demo!

It’s a hard to be too critical of what I’m hearing from the Croft and P3’s. For my taste, it’s really quite engaging. It’s does that immersive tube thing, which allows me to forget I’m listening to a system. It has the color, but with an ever so slight opacity. In other words, I wish it was a tad more fleshed out. I also find it begins to sound strained when you go beyond mid/loud listening levels. The above said, I’m being critical, and I’ve heard 100K systems which I’ve enjoyed MUCH less. This combo has the right thing going on. For a one box solution, it’s really quite good. I think about a what a good 40 watt tube Integrated, like LM, would do for the P3’s. But then I’d need a phono stage, and another cable. I also think it would take a pretty good phono stage to beat the Croft. Wanting to keep things simple, I think the Croft, at it’s price, is a very nice amp. Plus, having Followed A’gon, and other forum comments about the P3’s, I’m not so sure a 35-40 watt tube amp is the answer. I would imagine this being less true as you go further up the Harbeth line.
Rolling out the 3 JJ 12AX7s for NOS Telefunkens will bring the Croft up a notch. I found the stock unit a little too creamy and warm, albeit very musical but lacking in inner detail.
I would agree on changing the stock tubes for the Telefunkens, definitely a nice improvement. Still, out of the box and stock, the little Croft is a very nice piece! One can certainly spend more and get a good deal less.....

All much appreciated (-:  It's nice to have just a few tubes, especially when dealing with NOS prices. frazeur1- funny you mentioned the MP-200. That's the one my dealer just got in. However, I am ONE turntable short at the moment. I plan to look at a new table for my main setup, that would take the place of my WT Amadeus. Then, the WT would move to the Harbeth & Croft system. If that falls through, I could see a Thorens TD160 Super with a Jelco fitting in very nicely within this setup. The Hana cartridges also have my interest. Does the Croft have enough gain to mate well with a High Output MC?
Any cartridge with an output of 1.5 mv or more will have enough gain for the Croft. A high output mc is made to use with a mm input on any phono section.
Thanks yogiboy- That should give me quite a few options. I want something that will shine with that Harbeth midrange. Not that I don't want an even handed cartridge, but here, it's about the mids.
(((Plus, having Followed A’gon, and other forum comments about the P3’s, I’m not so sure a 35-40 watt tube amp is the answer. I would imagine this being less true as you go further up the Harbeth line.))))

   Don,
 I loves tube amps also, P 3s nice little speakers but you will find tube amps not at their best with them.
 The SS Belles Aria will drive the load and sound big doing it as well as many other ss designs mentioned above.
 Cheers JohnnyR
Johnny R, the Croft Integrated is tube preamp with MOSFET power amp.
I think at this level there are always trade offs. For instance, I heard the exposure (2010) has better bass than the Croft, in to the P3’s. However, the Croft had a bit more tube magic. That was simply one persons opinion, but it stands to reason. Johnny R- It’s a nice little amp, and my guess is that MM phono is hard to beat for the money. Like yogi said above, 1.5mv or above, and you have a nice little setup. I’m sure you’re making them sing as well. You certainly have world class sounds in that shop of yours. Always loved that Quicksilver & Vandersteen combo. Cheers -Don

" I loves tube amps also, P 3s nice little speakers but you will find tube amps not at their best with them." Thats’s pure Hogwash !
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(((Thats’s pure Hogwash ! )))

Yogiboy
Try playing symphonic dances instead of Jingle bells and
 KennyG and you might get it.
Its an absolute great little speaker   
a good 100 WPC solid state amp with these has less compression.
 Harbeths in general ime clean up and run best with lower distortion ss amps or tube pre amps / ss outputs.
 
Best
 JohnnyR
 
JohnnyR
"Try playing symphonic dances instead of Jingle bells and
KennyG and you might get it. "
I didn’t know that you knew my taste in music.
BALDERDASH!
Yogiboy
Yogiboy+1
I use the P3’s with a 50 watt Rogue Audio power amp. And they sound spectacular!