Your tube amp related Harbeth experience.


Please share your experience (good or bad), with any model Harbeth when driven with tubes. I have C'7's, and have just moved on from Class A solid state. Again, if you ended up with solid state, your experience still qualifies, as long as your journey had tube amps in the picture. I should mention that while my plan is to go integrated, I would still like to hear any experience with tube amps, even if it was a stand alone tube amp. Please let's not go in the Alan Shaw (HUG) direction here. Anyone involved likely knows the deal there. That's not for this thread. Just personal experience with a dealer, a friends system, buying used, or the like...

fjn04

I could definitely see old CJ Premier being too soft. This would likely hold true with other classic sounding tube gear...It’s been decades since I have owned CJ. I’m trying to reassemble a second system, from which the C’7’s and budget pair of Mogami speaker cables are the only thing I held on to. My budget is $2500-$5000, but I will be trying to do this in the $2500 range.. BEK Hi-fi has some interesting choices, and they are drivable from my home. Those of interest would be Audio Hungary, and perhaps Sugden. I will say I’m concerned that tubes and C7’s may not be happening synergy wise. If I do venture out to hear (and enjoy) a low-mid budget system with another speaker,  I will simply move on from Harbeth. I’m speaking of something like a Vandersteen 1 or 2, where 60-100 tube WPC is plenty. I’m simply using Vandersteen as an example. Thank you for the zotl 40 ref, Mac 275, and the other suggestions. I should ad I have Ton Trager stands, and even though I have an open mind, I would like to see the C7's work. 

@fjn04

i was just reporting my own experiences, as you asked, those were not recommendations

within your budget and as an actual recommendation, i would recommend a modest hegel integrated (h90, 95, 160 and so on) as an outstanding mate for harbeth c7’s - outstanding bass control/prat, uber clean treble that accentuates great imaging, and pure midrange that takes advantage of the c7’s greatest strength... if you want some tubey goodness, run an mhdt nos r2r tube dac upstream

Appreciate that jjss. I've been doing some You Tube homework on Dac's. I'm sure you are aware of the ladder (R2R) type Dac's and how they generally differ sonically versus standard chip DAC'S. I'm extremely out of touch with Dac's, so I won't push my luck and try to comment here. Hegel...? Guess I should be open minded...they are certainly easy to find used. No offense to anyone that has offered their generous thoughts so far, but I just have to ask....Is there anyone who feels I am setting myself up for a merry-go-round ride with tubes and the C'7's. Sorry to be repetitive, but please don't forget, $5K Max retail. 

I have run the Harbeth C7ES3 and SHL5+ on tune amplifiers in my med-large room.  I tend to like the higher powered KT120 amps and used the Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II and then the Rogue Audio Stereo 100.  

The sound in all cases was sublime.  Rogue tube amps sound much better than many people give them credit for.  Power, punchy bass, ultra refined, transparent and a humongous sound stage.  

I ran my Super HL5 Plus with Rogue Audio M180 amps and they sounded great.  I've also used them in a second system with an ARC Vsi55 integrated and that may have been an even better combination.  The best I've heard Harbeths sound was at my friend's house - he had a Line Magnetic LM-805iA integrated and the 40.2s and has a very well treated room.  Sublime.