you really need to go to the harbeth users group
this topic is truly covered ad nauseum over there
you will read about amplification for various harbeths until your eyeballs fall out
just remember, p3's are an outlying harbeth....it is their only mini monitor
Perhaps a good idea, but HUG has Alan and his any amp over 100 watts will be fine watching over. With that the case, I wonder if users feel they are able to be candid with their opinions...? The usual suspects seem to be Luxman, Hegel, LFD, Sugden...to name a few. There appears to be quite a divide of opinions on Harbeth with tubes. It appears many have gone from tubes to solid state. There are certainly exceptions to this. I’m running a Croft phono integrated which was ok with my 3’s, but better with my 7’s. It’s a nice little amp, and you’d be hard pressed to beat it for the dollar if you’re running a table. If not, perhaps a Belles Aria, though I’ve yet to hear it. The new Aria has gone up in price so the Aria II wouldn’t be comparable price wise with the Croft. So shall we suggest NAD or Dagostino.? Help us out a little. (-:
I have a Belles Aria and I think it would pair nicely with the Harbeth sound!
@fjn04 you could not be more correct about Alan watching over HUG. lol. I have read most of the opinions on that forum and really come out with Luxman, Hegal, LFD and inclining towards more power using a solid state amp.
Curious on your take on Croft integrated being 'ok with my 3's' statement. not using phone but listening to all digital via Metrum Onyx DAC and roon.
ghulamr- With the caveat that everything is subject to our own taste...my feeling is you may want more power than the Croft. There is so much out there to consider. My close friend loves his Cary Sli-80, but he uses a 93 db speaker. Perhaps an INT that uses a quad of 88 or 150 tubes would be fine if your room isn't too large. But I also think ample power will help flesh out the 3's to be more engaging at low listening levels. The Croft is very nice, but it's a 2k integrated with a surprisingly good phono section. I was using my backup table, which I've since sold, and my other table is relegated to my SET/Horn setup. So I too may go all digital with my C7's. If I do, and were looking in the 2K range, I may try to first hear the Aria. If I end up saving a few more bucks, perhaps the Aria II.
Alan Shaw has Hegel H360 and H390 in his lab and has used them to demo Harbeth at audio shows. He also has other amps of course, but you can be sure that these two specific amps meet his approval and were used while voicing Harbeth speakers.
I’m using my Jeff Roland Concentra 2 with Harbeth 40.3, and it sounds exquisite. Actually have paired this amp to many different speakers and they all sounded wonderful.
It’s a class A, and runs quite hot......but trouble free for close to 15 years.
Price range would help for suggestions!
belles aria has a highly linear response with an ever so slightly uplifted treble similar to (but not quite as pronounced) to the croft and lfd sound
op has been through an extensive discussion on his other thread, his sound is too bright with the p3 mini monitors, driven largely by his room, his DAC is a metrum, it is smooth and warm as dacs go
tube amps would be a good solution, but the real solution is solve the room
once again, all covered on his other thread
The problem with HUG is that AS clamps down on anyone giving a subjective report on the sound of a amp+speaker combination. AS uses Hegel because they fulfil all his requirements/criteria for good electrical engineering, not because he favors their sound signature.
The point is that there are a number of pre-existing threads here and elsewhere that report good results with a strikingly wide range of amps, both tube and SS, and both modestly and high powered.
The Harbeth importer in the US has shown them paired with Luxman and Vinnie Rossi, among others. Two major Harbeth dealers demo them with LFD and with high-powered tube Conrad-Johnson.
Bottom line: there is no unanimity.
agree w you completely
there is no unanimity - harbeths as high end speakers go, are pretty easy to drive, reasonably efficient -- and thus many many many amps work just fine, just depends on the priorities of the owner... better amps sound better for sure, the speakers, while warm and full in tone (p3’s less so than the bigger brothers/sisters), are sufficiently transparent to be true to the quality of source and the amplification
i personally feel the compact 7 and up like very high quality ss amplification more than tubes -- brings a bit more snap to the speakers and make the full bass more tuneful and tighter at the margin
yes alan shaw plays this game about being totally amp-agnostic - smart business decision, is all i can say... momma didn't raise no foo...
@jjss49 I agree with you - except had I not brought in my large
Earthquake 300 w/channel, 1.6V line in, 120 lbs tank of an amp into my office to do a A/B I would have been content with the Croft. Used my second Metrum Jade DAC as pre.
It definitely brought the Harbeth to life - adding more dynamics to the music with a punch. All the Croft details were there but with more authority. Vocals were a lot more clear and pronounced. After comparing I thought the Croft vocals were a little recessed. Earthquake made the Harbeth sing without fatigue and sharpness.
Call it a curse - but the reason why my interest in the Aria. Now could be that it's not a big difference between the Aria and Croft - from what you wrote - but that's why I have experts like you who have the experience across different amps and speakers help.
I'm driving my 40.2's and 30.1's with a combination of the Audio Research Ref 5se tube preamp and the Hegel H590 using the Schitt Yggdrasil R2R ladder DAC as the source. The sound is sublime in all respects. As it is when just using the dac, preamp and amp of the H590 integrated.
But... this morning I was surprised to find that driving the Harbeths with the ARC 5se and my Class D Audio SDS 470C is nearly as good. It provides 300 watts @ 8ohms and 600 watts @ 4 ohms - plenty of power to control the Harbeths...
A local friend has a Coda Class-A amp driving his Harbeth SHL5s and I was smitten every time I heard them. Enough so that I went a similar route: Harbeth C7ES-3 (better fit for my smaller room) powered with a Pass Labs XA30.5 Class-A amplifier. Sonic and musical bliss.
Driving my Super HL5+ with the SST Son of Ampzilla and use a tube preamp.
My current set-up is a Luxman AX590II, full class A with the 30.2's Sure, a little more power would be nice when I'm cranking the Stones at 100db, but I don't do that much and even then, it's an amazing combination. I had them with a McIntosh amp/preamp but that was not a good match. Mushy is the best I can describe it. So lots of power is not helpful unless it's really good power. Hope this real-world info helps.
Luxman AX590II is my dream amp. It’s beautiful and class A. I am sure it sounds amazing.
@ghulamr It took me a long time to save up and I also had to trade in some equipment. But it's something I won't need to upgrade or replace for many, many years. I wish you the best of luck in getting one.
@deadhead1000 - thank you and God bless.
I'm currently using my Luxman 590 AX II with my Harbeth P3ESRXD speakers along with two subs and am very happy.