High Current Amp for Harbeth C7ES-3 ?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Khorn, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Khorn

    Khorn Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Setting up new bed/sitting room and I’m considering Harbeth C7ES-3 speakers.

    I would appreciate some feedback from anyone who uses or has used a high current capable amp with these speakers.

    This will be my prime A/V system but even though it’s my secondary the sound system music is still my priority.
     
  2. Art K

    Art K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    We have a couple of threads here with insightful conversations relative to C7/amp pairings. Also a good one at Audiokarma. Just use the search feature here. I would post links but kinda busy here on NYE!
     
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  3. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Depends on many factors. How loud do you need it to be and how large is the room?

    My Line Magnetic amp with 48WPC is very loud but is a tube amp which changes things a bit.
     
    Khorn likes this.
  4. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    The C7 need a lot of room around them to perform at their best, just a thought.

    Good luck.:)
     
    Khorn likes this.
  5. Khorn

    Khorn Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Hi

    Thanks for the replies. My desire for a high current amp has nothing to do with loudness it’s the total performance I’m after.

    Maybe the Harbeths might perform better in a larger room but then so do my Klipschorns which are in a room not very much larger.

    Im looking for a relatively near field listening experience with the Harbeths while my Klipschorns are a “Down the block” experience :D
     
  6. Ulises

    Ulises Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    FWIW my experience is that tubes > power when it comes to making the C7s shine. I've found the opposite with the P3ESR. For A/V, pairing the C7s with a sub is a game changer.
     
    Khorn likes this.
  7. gov

    gov Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Are you saying your experience with C7’s is that using tubes (of whatever power) is more important than power (high wattage or otherwise) not from tubes?
     
  8. Ulises

    Ulises Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Not exactly. There has to be a floor on how low you could go given their sensitivity. I doubt you could run them with a 6 wpc SET amp, for example, and get satisfying results. My point was that in my comparisons running a vintage Mac integrated (100 wpc), a Belles Aria, a Sugden A-21, and a Primaluna Dialogue Two with the C7s, the Primaluna (to me) delivers the most satisfying results. My second favorite pairing was the Sugden (class a, 25 wpc). Therefore, I think throwing a ton of current at the C7s isn't really necessary to get the best out of them. Conversely, I find the P3esr unlistenable with both the Primaluna and the Sugden as the dynamics collapse with more demanding music. I could be wrong. I'd love to try a pair of giant Mac monoblocks with the C7s and see if this theory holds, but am trying to stay married over here ;).
     
    Bertram, timind, wellers73 and 3 others like this.
  9. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    what room size tells you you need a high current amp?
    my C7ES3s sounded amazing with a rogue audio cronus magnum II and I would highly recommend it.
     
    Khorn likes this.
  10. gov

    gov Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    That's what I thought you were saying and I'm in violent agreement--and like you, my own listening has proven it out. I demoed or lived with my C7s using a Marantz AVR (110w) a Luxman 509 (120 watts) an Ayre AX (125 W I believe), the Belles Aria and finally a Rogue CM2 (100w tube). Ultimately the best of that bunch was the Rogue and I lived with it for about 2 years or so until I got tempted into a Leben CS600 (32W with the 6L6GC) and it's by FAR the best of the bunch. It even worked with the EL34s delivering 28 Watts. The Leben is endgame power for me with these speakers (speakers might not be endgame but that's another matter ;) )

    Also the LFD was something I considered for a while and it's a notorious great partner with Harbeth and considerably less than 100 watts. Ironically I passed because of no remote and wound up without one anyway!
     
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  11. Khorn

    Khorn Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks for your input. For me this has to do with my ultimate SQ preferences. Many may think I’m bonkers but I do hear definite differences in circuit topologies. Blessings to custom transformers!
     
  12. GyroT

    GyroT Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    I'm using a rega elex r and a rega aria phono stage with my c7es3 and I am really happy with the sound. Free to focus on the music and vinyl playback is quiet. Spending huge bucks on amps is fine, but not vital. Your cart is cool which is more important as is a decent phono. Heard good things about recent offerings from rotel and Yamaha are good value. Good luck
     
    Khorn likes this.
  13. dianos

    dianos Forum Resident

    Location:
    The North
    Check out the Hegel amps. Great match with Harbeth and strong enough to make them shine. Personally I'm using Naim Supernait 2 but will move on to a more powerful NAP250DR. I've used a Line Magnetic 508ia with my SHL5 Plus and cannot recommend it. Sure it plays and can play loud but it does not have good control of bass and audio in general if you play dynamic music requesting power. For Harbeth I recommend solid state amps and as much power you can afford. Tube amps need higher sensitivity speakers. Even Allan the designer himself have a strong opinion on the same matter and I fully agree with him based on my own experience.
     
    Khorn likes this.
  14. Khorn

    Khorn Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Anyone have experience with the Cambridge Edge A Integrated and how do you think it will match with the Harbeth C7ES-3 speakers? It’s a really interesting looking piece of equipment.
     
  15. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I had my eyes on that one but have seen some showing up quickly on the used market. Probably a good match but there are better values out there. At that price point I would recommend going preamp / power amp.
    I recently bought a Rogue Audio RH-5 headphone / line stage preamp and paired with a cary audio 200 solid state power amp (very high current- 350 watts/ channel @ 4-ohms).
    The Rogue Audio Stereo 1oo is another consideration- a very robust tube power amplifier.
    If you like a smaller form factor the Benchmark AHB2 amplifier is extremely interesting. I would pair it with a rogue audio tube preamp but their LA4 preamp appears super dynamic and transparent which you really need for the C7's. Warm veiled sound (what I heard in Hegel for example) is not a good match with the C7s.
     
    Khorn likes this.
  16. Ulises

    Ulises Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    No experience but I did see this one come up for sale online. Never used. "Ordered without permission from partner." Hard to hide a fifty pound amp, I guess.

    Cambridge Edge A
     
    Khorn likes this.
  17. Khorn

    Khorn Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks for the response.

    My limited experience with Cambridge (CXU) has been positive so far and I’ll be doing more research on this one and hope I can find out the story on this one.
     
    Ulises likes this.
  18. fjn04

    fjn04 Forum Resident

    Location:
    clifton Park, NY
    I wanted give this one a bump. I have a new pair of C7's here. Looking for an amp (Not integrated) to drive them. My Shindo preamp
    w/ phono is a must, because my TT/cart, and Step Up are all matched up there. Thoughts are Belles (ARIA?) stereo amp, because
    I've heard great things about it. Not necessarily with Harbeth of course. I'm also considering Quicksilver mono's. Anything with
    at least 60 watts, so if new, the Sixty watt monos or mono 120's.
     
  19. William Bryant

    William Bryant Forum Resident

    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    This is the high current amp I use with Harbeths. Can’t imagine how it wouldn’t work for you too. 120wpc into 8 ohms, 50 amps peak output current, over 300 wpc into 2 ohms—capable of doing a little welding without complaint if you short the wires.

    [​IMG]
     
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