DomT

help me choose a power amp for Harbeth P3ESR

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Super Wammer

Hi Dom,

If you might be considering Musial Fidelity, I have an MF X-AS100 power amp that's been in storage for the last ten years or so, owned from new. Pretty neutral to these ears, perhaps a tad warmer than ATC or Bryston integrateds which I compared at the time. Primare A30.1 about the same for 'warmth' and muscle but the power amp gave me more options than an integrated.

100W Class AB, bit of an MF classic. Would be £300 or so, pretty mint. Used to run it into Kef Ref 201s back in the day (£2k in 2001), it drove them beautifully - my first foray into fairly high-end audio. Worked well with valve preamp (MF Nu-Vista) and SS pre (MF X-P100). Was more neutral with the X-P100 but the Nu-Vista was fairly euphonic. You could turn the X-AS100 into a monoblock for more current but the differences were small, I sold the second one I had. An A3.2 preamp had more detail but seemed to suit the power amp less well - a backwards step. My take on the MF lineage around that time was A1 series = very warm and soft, XA series = just warm side of neutral, A3 series getting cooler... the A308 series I didn't enjoy. I do like neutral valve pres and class A power amps though!

All subjective of course.

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Super Wammer

If its quad your after there's a 306 in the classifieds @ £165 & a 909 @£550.

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, Lurch said:

If its quad your after there's a 306 in the classifieds @ £165 & a 909 @£550.

Thanks Lurch have been in touch on the 909

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20 hours ago, DomT said:

Arcam

Warm?  Come on man.  I've had two.  But when comparing the A75 to the A85 when I was purchasing the A85 was definitely warm.  The Hegel 190: dark.  The Hegel 390 not at all.  So maybe a fair bit of variation between models in a lineup?   I wish I could help here, but alas I know nothing of cheap power amps or power amps in general. 

You are certainly keeping us busy keeping track of your needs.  I think it's time you offered up an inventory of ALL your setups in the order that are currently, or will be, in use.

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ChemMan said:

Warm?  Come on man.  I've had two.  But when comparing the A75 to the A85 when I was purchasing the A85 was definitely warm.  The Hegel 190: dark.  The Hegel 390 not at all.  So maybe a fair bit of variation between models in a lineup?   I wish I could help here, but alas I know nothing of cheap power amps or power amps in general. 

You are certainly keeping us busy keeping track of your needs.  I think it's time you offered up an inventory of ALL your setups in the order that are currently, or will be, in use.

Just trying to compete with you Steve!! And to give people something to think about other than viruses 

Edited by DomT

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Super Wammer
18 hours ago, Lurch said:

If its quad your after there's a 306 in the classifieds @ £165 & a 909 @£550.

I have agreed with @Mikeandvan to buy his 909 based on recommendations here. Mike asked that I was to use it with and when I said a Mackie mixer Mike astutely ask about impedance compatibility. 

Am just a musician so know nothing of technical things. Can anyone help please?

Quad 909 has input impedance of 20kohms (Same a proaudio Quad 520)

Mackie mixer output impedance of 120ohms. 

Soundcraft mixer output impedance of 75ohms. 

The proaudio shops are closed today but if anyone can help I can let Mike know if we still have a deal or not. 

Thanks

Dom

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Super Wammer

I found an old SoundonSound article about impedance. It seems that all is well. If I have understood correctly the output impedance of the mixer should be no more than 10% of the input impedance of the power amplifier. 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.soundonsound.com/techniques/understanding-impedance%3famp

@Mikeandvan it looks like we are ok but would appreciate a second opinion on this as whilst I have read the words they may as well have been a foreign language. 

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Super Wammer

Having now read a number of articles this is now resolved. Non-issue with modern equipment. I will continue with buying Mike’s amp.

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, ChemMan said:

@DomT Well, I'd like an inventory so I can make better suggestions on your never-ending carousel.   :rockin:

Well ChemMan main system is now done!  Tomorrow the Harbeth P3ESR arrive to compare to Proac Tablette 10. I should be able to agree to one of these (will use with Marantz PM7000N).

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Super Wammer
15 minutes ago, hifinutt said:

any news on how its sounding ? 

@Mikeandvan the Quad 909 arrived today and it will be plugged in tomorrow. Thanks for sending it quickly Mike!

The Harbeth P3ESR arrived today. Very different to Proac. Did quick test on main system and they sounded much better in that room than the Proacs. 

In the studio on the Marantz PM7000N the Harbeths do not have such an open sound as the Proacs and are warmer and a more easy listen. Trying to get the P3s working well on top of my studio furniture and am struggling a bit. The Proacs are far more easy to place on studio furniture without becoming boomy and initial impression is that the Proacs will be easier to mix on. The Harbeths maybbe be better for listening to some music on in the studio.

This is going to take a few days to sort out between the speakers. The P3s are here primarily for monitoring duties and if they can’t do the job then they are out.

But just to say that as a hifi speaker the Harbeths were stunning on the end of Auralic Altair G1 and Marantz PM11S2. On certain pieces my mouth was wide open in awe.  However before we get too carried away on a lot of music the lack of a octaves compared to the SHL5s was very obvious. But in a smaller room than we have, and as long as you were ok with a lighter presentation, it is a staggeringly good speaker and I liked them as much as I like Audio Notes. 

Will do an update tomorrow evening. 

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Super Wammer

Mikeandvan’s Quad 909 got tested today along with his Little Bear mc2 passive. Just testing commercial music today.  

Amp seems fine for its purposes and works well with the Harbeths. Quite a different character to the Marantz PM7000N. More detail, more bass, more punchy sound. A bit fatiguing via MacBook/Audioquest Dragonfly Red/LittleBear. Tomorrow will hook it up to my Mackie mixer and blast a Vermona 14 through it!

So far it seems to be a good recommendation from you fellas so thanks for that!!

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Super Wammer

Did a quick check of the Quad 909 in the main system. Marantz PM11S2 vs PM11S2 pre-out/Quad 909 (with Auralic Altair G1 & SHL5)

PM11S2 had more detail, lower noise and better definition. The 909 had a little more bass control. The thing that stood out to me was that in this comparison the Quad has a sweeter warmer sound than the Marantz power section. The PM11S2/Quad 909 combo sounded very much similar to the Luxman L505uX mk2 that I have here. Would I get rid of my Marantz for the Quad - no way but having both is great. It also means that I will not miss the Luxman when it goes back  

I have just got very lucky (accidentally) with a very flexible two room system that I can swap about depending on how I want to listen.

Big thanks to you guys who were championing the Quad. As a previous owner of a Quad 99CDPre/909, that I really didn’t, like I approached this purchase a little nervously but it has worked out very well so far with hifi. This afternoon the 909 will be on the end of a Mackie mixer and an East German beast of an analogue synth. Fingers crossed. 

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Super Wammer

Finally my rca to 1/4” adapters arrived today so that I could plug the Quad 909 into the Mackie mixer and P3s. I used Atlas cables and a SilverCore interconnect.

The sound was completely amazing. Am hearing things in my instruments that I didn’t know were there. Totally stunned. Lots of detail and clarity but very smooth and unfatiguing. And the Quad has some real punch on drums. Shame that the neighbours are at home as otherwise would have really turned the volume up!!

I am so happy I am almost crying with joy. Can’t thank you guys enough for the recommendations. Never would have thought that I would get a Quad again!

And once again thanks to @Mikeandvan for a smooth sale. 

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