What solid state power amp are you using with your Harbeth Super HL5+ speakers?

Harbeth Super HL5+ speaker owners: Are you driving the Harbeths with a solid state amp? If so, what amp and how much power? Your impressions. I’ve been using a Conrad Johnson CA-150 (SS) integrated with my Harbeth SL5+ and the sound is nice but is underpowered at 135W@8ohms. Also, I would like a little more refinement with the amp. Bryston 4B3 perhaps? Thanks!

you are conflating input sensitivity with power output, like how far you need to push the gas pedal down in a car to get it to accelerate... a car can have a more sensitive gas pedal... doesn’t make it more powerful at peak output


thanks... the lil is naim just used in my system in second system in smaller room... look at the list of amps... if i wanted naim separates i would have them... but i am glad you enjoy yours, naim is wonderful stuff
Isn't midway or just over midway on the volume control usually an optimal position for performance of the pot?

I don't know. I just assumed that turning up the volume too high (midway and above) gets that much closer to the clipping point of the amp rather than having more reserve to handle the harder to drive Harbeth's. On the other hand, I may be too fussy about the whole thing because if it sounds good, as it does, stop thinking about it.
I find this thread interesting because I went back and forth for a long time trying to decide whether high watt solid state would be necessary for the Harbeths. While more power will not go amiss, based on the benign impedance curve and the high impedance coinciding with the Harbeths one or two severe phase angles, I went for low watt class A: Pass labs INT-25 (XA25 power amp section). The volume topic is interesting because most digital tracks sound best to me at around 35 clicks (out of 63). In this range, the amp is wonderful, with a deep and wide soundstage (also a function of the Harbeths), smooth and detailed treble, and articulate bass. I love Jazz and this setup is amazing for it. 
Drawbacks: High volume listening can be a little “shouty”. I don’t think this is a function of increasing distortion, but rather a slight lack of cohesion from top to bottom where the mids and highs outpace the bass. I do this more for experiment and less for listening as it does get quite loud even though my room is on the larger side. 
I agree with your latest assessment and would try to not let the gear head in you bias your choice too much. Think about what kind of listening you will be doing and go with your ears. Hope this helps.

I have driven my SHL5+ 40ths with:

  • Bryston BP26 pre > Forte1A (class A 50 wpc)
  • Bryston BP26 pre > Michael Yee Audio PA-1 (class A/B dual mono 100 wpc)

  • Bryston BP26 pre > Ampzilla 2000 2nd Edition (class A/B 300 wpc monoblocks)

  • Hegel H190

In my 14x17 room, even the wonderful sounding Forte1A didn't cause clipping when cranked up just below painful levels.

What size is your listening room?