[Recommendation needed] Tube amp for Harbeth 30.2

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ecmjazz-lover, May 7, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I haven't heard any of your gear (though I was familiar with the old Rogers LS3/5A speakers), so this is more of a general caution than a specific on, but, before you run out and spend more money on gear, and especial on a tube amp in search of greater clarity, I would just suggest that the amp or amp-speaker interactions may not be the cause of your problem. You have different speakers and they sound different.

    Just looking at the numbers, I think those LS3/5A have a -3 dB point in the bass of 70 Hz. I think those Harbeths have more low frequency energy and roll off a half octave lower, you could be having more issues with speaker boundary interference response or a room mode with the Habeths creating a sense of muddiness vs. the Chartwells.

    Also, have you played with speaker positioning? If you look at the vertical and lateral response plots for those Harbeths in the Stereophile measurements, there are severe frequency response alterations when you listen off axis, and even when you're a little off axis.

    Do you have these speakers pointed more or less directly at your ears with your ear height at tweeter height or at a point just at the point between the tweeter and the woofer? If not, you may be listening to a pretty substantial drop off in the top octave and a pretty substantial suck out in the 2kHz to 3kHz, which are traits you certainly might hear as muddy.

    Of course the amp-speaker interaction could be a problem and of course you may just want a different amp. But I'm just saying there may be causes for what you're hearing that are unrelated to the amp-speaker interface and might not be solved by changing amps. (And, of course, you could always go back to speakers you prefer, if you prefer the other speakers.)
    Mike-48 likes this.
  2. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Portland, Oregon
    I agree with @chervokas that the Harbeths go way deeper, and they are stronger in the bass, than something like an LS3/5, so that careful positioning will be needed to get the best out of them in your room. (As it happens, I tried them in my system and was unable to get them to sound good -- but that was before I had added much of the bass trapping I have now.)

    Although I neglected to say it, one reason I suggested trying a solid-state amp is that they often give better-controlled bass than tube amps.

    It's easier to buy gear, but I agree, it's always the best idea to work hard on positioning and other acoustic matters first.

    Have fun!
  3. ecmjazz-lover

    ecmjazz-lover New Member Thread Starter

    I think you are definitely right. I haven't spend much time on this.
    thank you for pointing this out.

  4. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    The Vinnie Rossi amps (with tube linestage) sound spectacular with the 30.2s but you'll wind up using your entire budget and not get the full soundstage that an all tube amp provides.
    A Rogue Audio setup with RP5 preamp and Stereo 100 power amp using the sensational, powerful KT120 tubes will drive the Harbeths with all they can handle- solid state power and tube sound stage.
    If you have other things to budget for the Rogue Cronus Magnum II with some creative NOS small signal tube swapping will get you really close.
    I've been running a CMII and Harbeth C7ES3 for a coupe years now and there aren't many systems at audio shows that makes me wish I had "that" sound.
  5. whaleyboy

    whaleyboy Forum Resident

    San Diego, CA
    I used a Conrad Johnson LP-66 with my Harbeth 30.1 speakers and was very happy with the result.
  6. Mintsauce

    Mintsauce Forum Resident

    Hertfordshire UK
    Following this thread with interest as I’m plotting my next move upwards and I was thinking the primaluna might be a good match for the Harbeth 30.1 but I’m yet to hear either, please keep us updated.
    Echoes Myron likes this.
  7. thesisinbold

    thesisinbold Forum Resident

    Camarillo, Ca, USA
    Forget tubes. Get a LFD.

    that's what I did.
  8. ecmjazz-lover

    ecmjazz-lover New Member Thread Starter

    well, folks.
    I had a locally-made 6L6G based tube amp rated only less then 10W at home (I didn't use this amp for a while). I tested this amp with the new Harbeth 30.2. TO my surprise, my 30.2 started to sing... unlike when used with Accuphase E600. I can hear/feel every piano keyboard touch, and everything is smooth and airy again.. I ordered EL34 for this tube amp..

    I think I will order Prima Luna HP when this tube amp match is more successful with EL34 tubes.
    thanks everyone.

    LARGERTHAN Forum Resident

    Having trialled valves with my Harbeth, I returned to solid state - they appreciated the power, and I appreciated the extra control on the bass. Out of interest, it was a prima luna. Its impedance graphs shown elsewhere demonstrate the it will modify the intended FR of the speaker, for better or worse.
  10. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Washington, D.C.
    I am NOT surprised by your result with the 6L6 tube amp. I am a big fan of that tube type, particularly with vintage tubes, even though the power output is quite low. I've heard the 30.2 with a Synthesis 6L6 amp and with their more powerful amps (KT66 tubes) and the cheaper, smaller 6L6 amp holds it own at reasonable volume levels.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page