my shortlist for integrated Harbethsuper hl5 plus xd - please advise

Hi All,

the four amps below are those within my price range,

seeking recommendations please on final purchase


-yamaha a-s2200 (concerned not powerull enough)

-rega aethos (same power concern and quality control complaints around transformer hum)

-paradigm str integrated

-exposure 3510


Recently purchased an integrated amp for my Harbeth super HL5+XDs as well.

A Modwright KWH 225i, which has tubes in the pre-amp section. Bought it online used (1yo) and paid half price. Otherwise, I’d never have been able to afford it.

I spent a lot of time researching units for these speakers, and what I discovered is that pretty much anything will pair with them. More important is to buy an integrated amp that doesn’t have anything you don’t need. 

I was looking for something that was just a pre-amp and amp — because I don’t want to pay for things I don’t need — and that’s all the Modwright is (not even a headphone jack). I ended up buying a unit that had the optional phono preamp. Didn’t need it, even though it’s better than the one I had, but that unit ended up being cheaper than another used unit that didn’t have it.

Also, the guy I bought from threw in a pair of $300 tubes as well.

I was also wary of buying something with an overseas markup of some sort (I also bought my Harbeths used for almost half price). And Modwright is made in, I believe, California. (Unsure where you’re based)

Also I like less well-known brands (sometimes) because (sometimes) I feel like part of what you’re paying for is a brand name.

There are a lot of other smaller players out there you might like, though the smaller the player sometimes the greater the cost.

But going the other direction, another name to consider that might fit a slightly expanded budget is Naim. The Naim Supernait 3 gets a lot of good press for working well with Harbeths.


ok well thanks all

I'm going to heed some of this advice  and seek to get into the higher levels of integrated amps

i think i have this with my speakers, jl sub, and lumin streamer


as I'm in no rush, I'm going to remain with my modest front end and start a quest towards an  accuphase e480 and luxman 509x which I've lusted after and then try and compare against the AVM and go from there





"...or is it more than just specs to this?"

@audiocanada : Yes, I'm afraid that, in spite of what Mr. Alan Shaw is claiming, there's much than specs to this. You will not find two different amplifiers that sound identical, regardless of their specs. Just a very simple example (not that I could explain it!): sometimes adding weight on top of the amplifier (I've witnessed it with a Pass amplifier) or placing it on some isolation feet or a platform may change the sound, even changing the power cord will make a significant difference, yet you will not find anything about this in the specs. Also those specs will not tell you exactly (even if it might be technically possible) how will a certain amplifier drive a specific pair of speakers. Some educated guesses are possible, but up to a point; beyond that, advancing toward the Holy Grail of the audiophiles is a complicated trial and error procedure IME.