What's your budget.. and are you willing to go with seperates?
I've had good success driving my M-40.1's with both solid state (Plinius SA-102) & tube amps (McIntosh MC275 MKV & Conrad Johnson Premier 140). The Plinius amp tended to give me a little too much bass, but overall it was (and is) a fine amp.
I did try a Musical Fidelity M3-Nuvista, but did not like it... sounded mid-fi at best.
I have my CJ amp listed as I'm going to try the VAC Renaissance 30/30 MK III. I'm hoping this 30 watt tube amp will suffice... and I'm trusting it will based upon Stereophile's M-40.1 review in which they successfullly paired it with a few moderately powered tube amps... and the guys at VAC thought the 30/30 would work fine with the big Harbeths.
Suggest you consider going with some quality separates.
Here are the amps I Have used with the 40.1s. The best by quite a large margin is the
BAT REXPower amp. Most inner detail, best control of the bass, huge soundstage. Just no faults with the harbeths.
VTL MB-185 signature monoblocks. Had i not tried the BAT, these would have been here today. SUPER big and liquid midrange. Plenty of power, bass a little loose though.
Manley Snapper monoblocks. Good Sound, and lots of pop. Just could not get the soundstage to open up with these amps. They were great with the SHL5s though.
Bryston 7Bsst monoblocks. Last and all around least.
Have you thought about trying a crossover between your pre/amp? Thats the way i am going with the new YGA speakers and my JL Audio subs. You might try a cheap one from Marchand or someone and use your REL to cover the bass. (from where ever you Xover) Fairly cheap fix (no amp changes) and you still keep the best of the Harbeths and use the REL to your advantage.
Are you ready for this? Spectral DMA 260. Transparent but in the best way. Clarity. Great amp. Loving my spectral/harbeth combo.
There's a Harbeth owner named "Denjo," who posted his extensive experience using many different amps with his speakers. The thread was here, on AA, or at the Harbeth Users Group. I think you'd find it worth your time to track it down. Good luck.
I have the same speaker . I have the pass xa 160.5 very beatyfull bass and very control mid , high and the bass . I have the bat 52se preamplifier to me it's a good match . I hope it help you
Although Im not a fan of Harbeth at all,I would go with a quicker SS amp as suggested, Pass labs.The 40.1 is somewhat sluggish and rounded for lack of a better term IMO.As a Jadis owner for 2 decades it would be one of the last amps I would suggest for the 40.1s.
A "better term" would be musical, beautiful, and engaging. I do agree that Jadis would not be my choice for this speaker, would match better with something like Dynaudio - but that is another thread. The Pass would certainly work very well, though Mr. Shaw might recommend a >$1000 Quad amp.
A "better term" would be musical, beautiful, and engaging
You forgot,IMO.. as alot would disgree with that statement ,as you do with mine.The bottom line for original poster is a quicker amp may help with issues.
Your view of the Harbeth sound seems to be in the minority, but not sure that matters or proves anything either way. I did not add IMO, because I think that is the view of most folks that have heard Harbeth, overwhelmingly one can find the words "musical, beautiful, and engaging" used by those describing their house sound, as well as "draws you in". Now I chose not to buy Harbeth as I prefer something a bit more incisive, transparent, and faster, and I assume you do to (I think on a different post you mentioned you penchant for Dynaudio). And yes, your amp recommendation seem like the right approach in matching with Harbeth - we agree:)
@ Frontier1: IMHO, if you have boomy bass or other bass issues, my suggestion is NOT to buy any new components. Rather, I would focus on changing your room acoustics and speaker placement. There are many good articles on how to tame bass / maximize room acoustics on the Net. Once you have achieved the best you can with room treatments and speaker placement ONLY THEN would I think about buying new gear.
You may well find that inexpensive room changes will remedy any problems. HTH
I was told the the Lfd amps are a great match for the harbeths. I personally have the Lfd ncse paired to spendors and love it. The bass is very well controlled and staut but not boomy.
You can probably find some demos or used around the $3-4k tag. An alternative is to check out the Lfd iv or Lfd III. You should be able to find some used for less than $2k.
2channelchicago has it exactly right.
Interesting comments at http://lfd4u.com/?s=40.1
Can't do much about that bass 'hump' though on the early versions of the 40.1 I heard. Have the fixed that yet? Best I heard to date was the LFD PA2M (SE).