You might not have enough power with the 15 watt Montille. The Habeth is 86 DB sensitivity although it is 8 ohms. Might work but you would have to try it
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The Harbeth official spec at 86 db is very conservative. One of the British magazines actually measured it at closer to 90 or 91. Also the steady impedance loadline makes for an easy drive for tube amps. I've been running my SHL5's with an Allnic 300b integrated rated at 12.5 wpc. In a reasonably sized room and sitting within 10 foot proximity of the speakers I get all the volume level I need for my satisfaction. My preferred music genre is small jazz trio, acoustic, etc.
Ultimately, the dynamic headroom may be a little compromised with low power tubes but the quality of the presentation makes up for any lack of quantity (ultimate SPL) as far as my preferences go.
Yeah, I also heard from many sources (users, dealers) that SHL5 do not have offical parameters sound good for tubes but in reality this speaker is quite OK. It is recommended for Leben CS600 but Leben has 30watts so no big deal. As for Shindo+Harbeth combo I was interested in in musical synergies also - would Harbeth be as good speaker for Shindo as it is for Leben? My room is approx. 20m2.
You got to be kidding, right? Shindo is about as cultish as they come..the guy's a scatter brain with his designs. Buy today, changed design tommorrow...very hit or miss. 15 watts are a joke anyway for almost any speaker unless your one of those limp eared listeners who are offended by realistsic music levels.
Dave_b: "...the guy's a scatter brain with his designs." Beg to differ strongly, and predict many others will do the same, whether they voice their opinions herein or not. Ken Shindo is one of the geniuses making important contributions to the ongoing pursuit of allowing audio systems to reproduce the live event as believably as possible. Change is at the heart of that pursuit. There are many quality speakers available that will do just fine with 15 watts or even less per side into 8 ohms. BTW, what to you believe is a realistic music level? Is that level across the board for all music genres? If not, what other levels are "appropriate" for various music genres, and how did you come by these numbers?
Adam3city: I would suggest the Leben CS600 for those Harbeths if you cannot afford equivalent quality power from the Shindo offerings.
Dave b - Try the decaf.
Adam - I had the larger M-40.1's and drove them with a VAC 30/30 (32 wpc). My guess is you may be fine with with this pairing unless you like to listen to complex music (classic rock, pop, full scale orchestral) at high volume levels. Harbeth's are not made to be cranked at high volumes... they excel @ more moderate volume levels, which is one of the things that makes them appealing. Even though their efficiency rating is not high, they do have a benign impedance curve which makes them a good match with moderately powered tube amps. To be safe, I'd be leaning towards something with a min. of 25 "quality" wpc.
For me, a Shostakovich Symphony demands to be played back at concert level (row 5-10). Even a trumpet played live can make your eardrums distort...it's crazy dynamic and visceral. Music is a living, breathing, aggressively seductive experience. Flea watt amps and limited range speakers do not serve the music IMHO.
Dave_b - I believe I understand your comment better now WRT what for you would be a realistic music level. And I agree, a Shostakovich symphony and comparable large scale classical and other works are better heard at higher SPLs generated by full-range systems. However, I still believe that low powered amps, when partnered with appropriate speakers, can do a superb job of rendering highly musical presentations of other musical genres, e.g., solo vocals, some solo instrumental works, and many small ensemble works. I guess this is one of the reasons I have chosen to have multiple systems. When I want to hear large scale music, I listen on a system that includes Verity Fidelio Encores, a REL B-2, and a 225 wpc SS amp. When I want to listen to solo instrumentals, solo vocals, and small ensemble works, I listen to my Solovoxes powered by Wavelength Cardinal X2 300B monoblocks. In each case, I find the music to be just the way you described.
I augmented the Maggies with 2 subs and found them to be more than capable with symphonic music. Dynamics at lower levels were not as good as with dynamic speakers. The main reason I changed speakers though was do to a repurposing of my den, so I moved to a smallish sitting room. It's all good at this level...sorry for the negativity. I just like to play loud sometimes and I find complex music needs lot's of power IMHO:O)
I actually had the opportunity to A/B the Harbeth Super HL5 with the Leben CS300XS and a Shindo Vosnee Romanee and Montille pre/amp combo. No question, the Leben was the superior amplifier. The dealer thought so as well. There is a certain synergy between Leben and Harbeth that makes music. The Shindo sounded anemic and lifeless in comparison to the Leben. Definitely didn't sound like it had enough power...which is funny because the Leben is rated the same wpc. We listened to Eric Clapton's unplugged album and Norah Jones come away with me. Both sounded better to me with the Leben. To be fair, I didn't have much time to A/B, and the Shindo combo was only warmed up for 30-45 minutes before being connected to the Harbeth. But I left that audition a firm believer in the Harbeth/Leben synergy. Just goes to show that spending more money doesn't necessarily get you better results.