which amp for bedroom system with harbeth 7es-3 XD

I have enjoyed my Art Audio18W set amp in my bedroom for a long time but recently got the Harbeth 7es-3 XD and while excellent sonically do think a little more juice might be better still.  


This is for a bedroom system so dont want to spend big bucks so primarily considering the Rogue stereo 100 or the Benchmark AHB2.  I have the benchmark la4 and benchmark dac so leaning towards going all benchmark.  I can say that with my ZMF verite closed headphones I am quite happy with the dac and heaphone amp on the preamplifier.  So I am not considering an integrated amplifier nor a tube preamp.


I hesitate with the AHB2 only in that dont need nor would get subterranean bass with the Harbeth in bedroom so perhaps the Rogue would sound better in the midrange.  I do like Herb Reichert reviews and he suprisingly preferred the rogue in ultralinear mode with the smaller still Harbeth 30.2.  I listed to all types of music but want a vocals champ and certainly dont want an amplifier that is forward sounding (although that is hard to do with Harbeth).






I had the Rogue Stereo 100 and it would be a good match with the C7ES (which I also owned) but they sounded better with my old rogue audio cronus magnum ii which has become quite a classic pairing with the C7s.  

not recommending the cronus magnum ii but rather the atlas magnum power amp. 

if you haven't heard a hegel amp do so before you buy.  suffice to say i have not heard one that i liked the sound of, including the H190 driving the C7ES3 and the pairing was as soft as mashed potatoes.  


Well thanks for other rogue idea....as I sold the set amp and currently using the EAR 890 and so far it's great there....borrowed it from other system thar was ear 890 monoblocks but seemingly ear 890 as stereo in other room sounds glorious still...


Still curious about other amps there maybe even pass xa25 but may just stick with one EAR in each system 

if you haven’t heard a hegel amp do so before you buy. suffice to say i have not heard one that i liked the sound of, including the H190 driving the C7ES3 and the pairing was as soft as mashed potatoes.


That’s a good point. Despite the Hegel endorsement by the Harbeth designer, I don’t buy into it as his views on amplifiers before this have been rather controversial. I disregarded the Hegel as the looks and build quality of the amps don’t quite match up to my expectations. The sound was said to be neutral and on the soft side, so I’m not surprised that you find the combination to sound soft as mashed potatoes. Some folks prefer this sort of presentation though so to each his own. I always prefer a more upfront, vibrant and dynamic amp for Harbeth loudspeakers.

i am a big hegel fan, own/have owned many many of their units, up and down the line

one of my favorite ss amps of all time is the h20

hegel has an ultra clean low distortion sound, dead silent ink black background... there is zero introduced sibilance, grain or artificial high frequency emphasis typical of solid state modes of distortion that is the too-frequent achilles heel of so many solid state pretender high end amps ... as a result, the sound is very natural, very pure, very linear and the imaging, tone/timbre, instrument separation is absolutely wonderful

due to lack of artificial treble emphasis and superior damping factor, hegel’s midrange has a rich slightly warm texture and bass is deep, with slam, utterly well controlled - so in my view, the overall sound (and ability to drive tough loads) is in the same class as uber high end ss - such as ayre, pass, gryphon, boulder, coda, the best of classe, levinson, luxman...... yet at a notably lower price

something has to give, and that is that the gear is assembled in china, the styling is simply scandinavian plain/elegant and there is no bling... but what you get is truly top flight performance/sound and power at a significantly lower tier price

some will shy away due to sonic or aesthetic preferences, or perceived quality or other reasons, but this is my personal take on what hegel is/does, coming from having much experience with this and other brands

(no affiliation to hegel other than being a happy customer many times over)