Jump to content
IGNORED

Integrated Amp for Harbeth Monitor 30.1


Recommended Posts

Seeking opinions on good pairing. Considering LFD integrateds, but no remote, so I'd have to find a very good work-around. Also considering Red Wine Signature 57, Luxman L550AX, and Marantz PM-11S3. Nearfield and midfield listening. Thanks in advance.

 

You mention a Luxman integrated -- a Class A one, why is that, when all the others you mention are Class A/B?

 

I ask, because I've been delighted with the Luxman L-505uX that I bought last June…another Class A/B integrated.

 

The sound is rich, and plenty of power, more than needed for my situation, really, but no strain.

And while the LFD integrates have no remote, this Luxman model has an actual metal one, not plastic, with all the buttons I need.

 

Dave, who just says you'd need a sturdy location for the L-505uX since it weighs close to 50 lbs.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Music is love, made audible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Link to comment
Hi,

 

Seeking opinions on good pairing. Considering LFD integrateds, but no remote, so I'd have to find a very good work-around. Also considering Red Wine Signature 57, Luxman L550AX, and Marantz PM-11S3. Nearfield and midfield listening. Thanks in adavance.

 

I have no knowledge of any of those directly but if the Luxman 550AX sounds like my DA-06 DAC it will sound pretty awesome.

No electron left behind.

Link to comment
Luxman L-505uX added to list. I initially chose the 550AX on the advice of a knowledgeable friend who generally prefers the sound of pure class A. But I have wondered how much audible difference there would be between these 2 models. Thanks.

 

Electronics from Lavardin and Leben have long been associated with Harbeth speakers. Leben CS300XS was used in 6moon's Harbeth M30.1 review. If you don't have any aversion to tubes. And on Lavardin side, perhaps something like the IS.

Link to comment

Thanks, Andy. Unfortunately, it looks like neither of these companies believe in remote controls. I've crossed off the LFD amps because of lack of remote as well. Looks like the new Red Wine unit is going to add some upgrade options, including a tube stage and a linear re-charger for its battery unit, so might be good to wait and see on that one. But I think I still have several fine options.

 

I've received conflicting opinions on how much improvement to expect from the Marantz PM-11S3 over the present PM-14S1 I'm using, ranging from "insignificant difference" to "dramatic improvement", not to mention a dealer who asked rhetorically "Why would you want a Marantz when you can get a Luxman?" As for the Luxmans, I'm attracted to the high quality volume control for near-field low level listening, but am just a little wary of how they might combine with the Harbeths. The Harbeths are a little warm in the mid-range, and the Luxmans are often described as having a little tube-like warmth. I think all 3 of these integrateds would be good in my situation, but would like to dial in the best combination. All 3 are available with 30 day return options and also some options for price breaks.

1070957250_Imprimatur.NihilObstatSepia3Crop(2).jpg.2162a44365e84a5df7d456bf8026ed67.jpg

 

Link to comment
As for the Luxmans, I'm attracted to the high quality volume control for near-field low level listening, but am just a little wary of how they might combine with the Harbeths. The Harbeths are a little warm in the mid-range, and the Luxmans are often described as having a little tube-like warmth.

 

Not my perception of the Luxman L-505uX, which I'd say is very neutral, with neither tube-like warmth nor solid-state coolness.

 

Of course, all my upstream source gizmos could be part of that coloration, too.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Music is love, made audible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Link to comment

Have you looked at Ayre? Their $3k Ax-7e is a pretty serious contender in it's price range, but I suppose they do have a little bit of a house sound. Ayre works well with warmish speakers from what I have heard (Vandersteen 2s)

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

Link to comment

Chris,

 

Just out of curiosity, how did you end up with the Harbeth Monitors? I remember on another thread you had zeroed in on Boenickes.

 

Hi,

 

Seeking opinions on good pairing. Considering LFD integrateds, but no remote, so I'd have to find a very good work-around. Also considering Red Wine Signature 57, Luxman L550AX, and Marantz PM-11S3. Nearfield and midfield listening. Thanks in adavance.

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

Link to comment

Good question. You're right. I thought since there had only been one review, however enthusiastic, it would be smart to try out a couple of speakers. I had been considering Harbeths for quite sometime and an opportunity came up unexpectedly. I'm still not completely sold on the Harbeths with my particular system/space/ears. The smaller Harbeth P3esr would have been a much more obvious fit, but I thought I would miss the music below 75hz. I received very mixed advice on whether or not to try the 30.1 in my space but I went ahead. I do have the option to return the Harbeths.

 

Why Harbeth? The biggest problem I've had in the past 2 years of exploring hi-fi is with listener fatigue. I think I hear some presentations as etched, hard, having glare, that other people are just fine with. This especially shows up with old cds, many sopranos, and strings, particularly violin. I'm listening to a lot of classical music, so I want to be as comfortable as possible with these instruments and many older recordings. I can tell you that listening to these Harbeths is the first I've been fully able to relax and enjoy violin in years. Might sound silly, but there it is.

 

What I'm finding they don't sound great with, at least not yet, is orchestral music. Small ensemble and solo instruments are very good, but not there yet with symphonies.

 

One potential problem is the volume level I use in near field tends to collapse the sound quality. The volume on the Marantz is often set in the -70s. When it push it up into the -60s and -50s the sound comes alive and is overall very good, but I would need to sit 8 feet away to be comfortable and I haven't found a good way to do that yet. Otherwise this Marantz/Harbeth combination can sound damned fine! Even on Spotify with a number of musical genres. So I'm hoping a better volume control might be the remedy. Enter Luxman. We'll see.

 

I really like Srajan Ebaen's reviews. But I didn't have the same experience that he had with the Auralic Vega and did not share his enthusiasm for the Gall 2.1 desktop setup that he uses when I auditioned it. So I don't want to go all in without a concrete alternative perspective.

 

As to the Boenickes, there has been a delay in shipping to the U.S., so it may be another 2-3 weeks before they arrive. The timing may, unfortunately, not allow me to directly compare, so I'm doing what I can to explore the potential of what I've got.

1070957250_Imprimatur.NihilObstatSepia3Crop(2).jpg.2162a44365e84a5df7d456bf8026ed67.jpg

 

Link to comment

I see. Well, the journey is half the fun and getting to try stuff in your house is definitely best. I heard a desktop system with Dynaudio Focus 110a (powered speakers) that was pretty excellent. They may be much less money than you are talking about, but you could just focus on a great preamp, or maybe a DAC with volume control. ... In retrospect they are probably not in the league you are looking to be in. But, what I heard I was pretty impressive.

 

Good question. You're right. I thought since there had only been one review, however enthusiastic, it would be smart to try out a couple of speakers. I had been considering Harbeths for quite sometime and an opportunity came up unexpectedly. I'm still not completely sold on the Harbeths with my particular system/space/ears. The smaller Harbeth P3esr would have been a much more obvious fit, but I thought I would miss the music below 75hz. I received very mixed advice on whether or not to try the 30.1 in my space but I went ahead. I do have the option to return the Harbeths.

 

Why Harbeth? The biggest problem I've had in the past 2 years of exploring hi-fi is with listener fatigue. I think I hear some presentations as etched, hard, having glare, that other people are just fine with. This especially shows up with old cds, many sopranos, and strings, particularly violin. I'm listening to a lot of classical music, so I want to be as comfortable as possible with these instruments and many older recordings. I can tell you that listening to these Harbeths is the first I've been fully able to relax and enjoy violin in years. Might sound silly, but there it is.

 

What I'm finding they don't sound great with, at least not yet, is orchestral music. Small ensemble and solo instruments are very good, but not there yet with symphonies.

 

One potential problem is the volume level I use in near field tends to collapse the sound quality. The volume on the Marantz is often set in the -70s. When it push it up into the -60s and -50s the sound comes alive and is overall very good, but I would need to sit 8 feet away to be comfortable and I haven't found a good way to do that yet. Otherwise this Marantz/Harbeth combination can sound damned fine! Even on Spotify with a number of musical genres. So I'm hoping a better volume control might be the remedy. Enter Luxman. We'll see.

 

I really like Srajan Ebaen's reviews. But I didn't have the same experience that he had with the Auralic Vega and did not share his enthusiasm for the Gall 2.1 desktop setup that he uses when I auditioned it. So I don't want to go all in without a concrete alternative perspective.

 

As to the Boenickes, there has been a delay in shipping to the U.S., so it may be another 2-3 weeks before they arrive. The timing may, unfortunately, not allow me to directly compare, so I'm doing what I can to explore the potential of what I've got.

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

Link to comment

Any current Luxman will work, either the class A or class AB models. Unless you have a smaller room or will use it at low to mid volume, the class AB models will be a better fit. You might also consider the new Rogue integrated. I have heard it with the 30.1 and 40.1 with great success at shows and our local Harbeth dealer.

Link to comment

Thanks quad, and thanks to all. Luxman 505ux is in this system and it has subjectively been an overall improvement from the Marantz PM-14-S1. I do have a smaller room and do listen at low and mid-volume max. So I may look into the the 550AX. Have yet to find anyone who could make a clear distinction between the 2 in their system. This kind of info can be hard to come by, IMO.

 

Overall things are going in the right direction, but aren't where I want them to be. I'm exploring room treatment on a budget. But I might make another amp shift. It is hard when you have a sense of what it could be like to settle for less. Especially when some of what you hear still doesn't sound right. At least it's hard for me.

 

I wish the Rogue Pharaoh had the same volume control as the Hera and Athena. That would interest me. In the near-field that precision and gradation of attenuation become more important. At least for me.

1070957250_Imprimatur.NihilObstatSepia3Crop(2).jpg.2162a44365e84a5df7d456bf8026ed67.jpg

 

Link to comment
Pretty much any old thing will do over there, no?

 

No idea. It's just possible that someone with Monitor 30.1 speakers might have some suggestions.

"People hear what they see." - Doris Day

The forum would be a much better place if everyone were less convinced of how right they were.

Link to comment
Thanks quad, and thanks to all. Luxman 505ux is in this system and it has subjectively been an overall improvement from the Marantz PM-14-S1. I do have a smaller room and do listen at low and mid-volume max. So I may look into the the 550AX. Have yet to find anyone who could make a clear distinction between the 2 in their system. This kind of info can be hard to come by, IMO.

 

I have never heard the 550UX so don't know if I can just sit down and tell the difference. But your listening condition and the 550AX seem to be unusually good match to each other. So I don't see any reason why you shouldn't give the 550AX a try.

 

Since all the Luxman integrated have power meters, it's actually quite easy to see how much power you really need. My personal philosophy is to never use an amp that is significantly bigger than necessary. If I had to make a choice between UX and AX and couldn't tell the difference right away, I'd err on the side of the AX myself. (As there are advocates for the UX already, just thought I'd balance the view a little :))

 

Overall things are going in the right direction, but aren't where I want them to be. I'm exploring room treatment on a budget. But I might make another amp shift. It is hard when you have a sense of what it could be like to settle for less. Especially when some of what you hear still doesn't sound right. At least it's hard for me.

 

What do you feel still doesn't sound right? An acquaintance of mine who sells Luxman says the 590AII is a big step up in both sound and build from the 550AX. If I remember correctly, it's like 50% more power but costs twice as much. But the main point for the 590 is it's supposed to be much "stouter" than the 550. So the 50% more power is rather secondary. Within the Luxman line, that may be worth a try.

 

Or you might want to explore something completely different. I started my journey down the rabbit hole a few years ago when somebody mentioned he has a friend with speakers very similar to the ones I just ordered, and the friend was driving his speakers with an Almarro A318--a very unconventional combo. Didn't end up getting that, but the research started me down the path of SET and have never looked back ever since.

 

Oh, I know you said you need remote control. But above certain level, having a remote is exception rather than the rule. Insisting on a remote might narrow your choices significantly.

Link to comment

No doubt if you're seriously considering the Luxman 590AII, you should also be considering the Pass Labs INT-30A. Both are top flight Class-A integrated amps with the same power ratings.

Mac Mini, Audirvana Plus, Metrum Hex NOS DAC w/Upgraded USB Module-2, UpTone Regen Amber, Pass Labs INT-30A Amplifier, B&W 802 Diamond Speakers, Shotgun Bi-wire Kimber 4TC Cables. Headphone setup: Burson Soloist Amp, Audeze LCD-3 Headphones.

Link to comment
I have never heard the 550UX so don't know if I can just sit down and tell the difference. But your listening condition and the 550AX seem to be unusually good match to each other. So I don't see any reason why you shouldn't give the 550AX a try.

 

Since all the Luxman integrated have power meters, it's actually quite easy to see how much power you really need. My personal philosophy is to never use an amp that is significantly bigger than necessary. If I had to make a choice between UX and AX and couldn't tell the difference right away, I'd err on the side of the AX myself. (As there are advocates for the UX already, just thought I'd balance the view a little :))

 

 

 

What do you feel still doesn't sound right? An acquaintance of mine who sells Luxman says the 590AII is a big step up in both sound and build from the 550AX. If I remember correctly, it's like 50% more power but costs twice as much. But the main point for the 590 is it's supposed to be much "stouter" than the 550. So the 50% more power is rather secondary. Within the Luxman line, that may be worth a try.

 

Or you might want to explore something completely different. I started my journey down the rabbit hole a few years ago when somebody mentioned he has a friend with speakers very similar to the ones I just ordered, and the friend was driving his speakers with an Almarro A318--a very unconventional combo. Didn't end up getting that, but the research started me down the path of SET and have never looked back ever since.

 

Oh, I know you said you need remote control. But above certain level, having a remote is exception rather than the rule. Insisting on a remote might narrow your choices significantly.

 

Thanks. Welcome advice.

 

First, on the remote control: chronic neck and back pain dictate that I settle in when listening seriously so as not to increase aggravation. So the remote is a trade-off I have to accept.

 

Budget: The Lux 590AX, at 30W of class A into 8 ohms, is out of $ reach unless used. I just missed one on Agon that sold for under $6K, which is already a stretch. I'd prefer to keep this under $5K, so the 550AX would work for now.

 

I'm presently listening in the lowest 30% of the volume available with the 505ux, so I think the 20W class A AX would be ample, even though Alan Shaw, the maker of Harbeths, insists on nothing less than 25W for this speaker even if those watts are class A. I also had a

dealer balk at the prospect of selling me the 550AX for the 30.1s because of insufficient power. But I've read 30.1 owners who claim to have no problem using the 550AX. I can't imagine it would be insufficient.

 

At this point it would be difficult to provide a general description with any precision regarding what still doesn't sound right, given all the variables in the chain, the newness of speakers and amp, and my relative inexperience. I'm quite confident that I'm finally heading in the right direction. It just takes me a long time to sort these things out. If I had to guess, I would say I need to acoustically treat the room next. I've only done minimal treatment and didn't feel much need with much smaller active monitors on the desktop. But I believe I'm hearing room reflections that are clouding the sound, almost like there is a bit of echo. So I'm going to be exploring this much further soon.

1070957250_Imprimatur.NihilObstatSepia3Crop(2).jpg.2162a44365e84a5df7d456bf8026ed67.jpg

 

Link to comment
Thanks avta and BobP63. No doubt the Pass Int 30A is a great recommendation. Going strictly from reading, I developed a sense over the past year or so that I'd personally lean toward favoring the Luxman sound. Nothing stronger than that and an audition might very well make sense.

 

If you're in the U.S. and decide you'd like to explore the Pass Labs option, you shouldn't have trouble arranging an in home demo of the Pass Labs INT-30A. I highly recommend contacting Mark at Reno Hi-Fi to explore a demo, he's truly an excellent person to do business with. I have no affiliation with Mark or Reno Hi-Fi other than being a very satisfied customer.

Mac Mini, Audirvana Plus, Metrum Hex NOS DAC w/Upgraded USB Module-2, UpTone Regen Amber, Pass Labs INT-30A Amplifier, B&W 802 Diamond Speakers, Shotgun Bi-wire Kimber 4TC Cables. Headphone setup: Burson Soloist Amp, Audeze LCD-3 Headphones.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...