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  #1  
Old 12-30-2019, 10:46 AM
audiofound audiofound is offline
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Default Confused regarding Harbeth speakers and sensitivity

Are Harbeth speakers difficult to drive, or not? For example, the Harbeth Super HL 5+ 40th Anniversary Model speakers are rated at 86 dB for sensitivity. However, they're also rated at 6 ohms and not the usual 8 ohms. Are they considered an inefficient speaker or difficult to drive? Is there more to it than dBs/sensitivity?
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Old 12-30-2019, 11:10 AM
Higgens Higgens is offline
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I used to own the Harbeth SHL 5 35th Anniversary edition. They were paired with a Pass XA 30.8. My 30 watt Pass amp had no difficulty at all with the Harbeth’s. The speakers were a fairly easy load for my amp.
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Old 12-30-2019, 11:26 AM
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MC252 off the 8ohm taps into my C-7es3's.... Effortless...

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Old 12-30-2019, 12:47 PM
BuffaloBill BuffaloBill is offline
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Every 3db increase in SPL requires a doubling of power. Combine that with a mid-bass driver with a wide frequency range and that spells potential problems with modulation distortion.
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffaloBill View Post
Every 3db increase in SPL requires a doubling of power. Combine that with a mid-bass driver with a wide frequency range and that spells potential problems with modulation distortion.
Respectfully, Bill, that doesn't apply with respect to Harbeths. The Radial mid-bass drivers are made from a unique material that is proprietary within the industry and has been in rigorous R&D development for over 40 years by Alan Shaw with respect to to producing superb audio characteristics with very, very low distortion (and that ameliorates this distortion mode).

So, with Harbeths, don't let "specs" mislead you. They are very easy to drive....just ask the dealers that sell them with a very wide variety of amplification compenents, from "mid-fi" to high-end.

I've seen Harbeth C7s driven beautifully with an 8-watt Viva SET as well as mid-power and high-power tube and solid-state amps. Harbeth speakers are probably the most amplifier-agnostic I can think of.

Link to a video of C7s being driven by an 8-watt SET:
https://youtu.be/MytKtPXsfLQ

I drive my 30.2s to levels that will drive folks from the room with an 70 Wpc tube amp. Absoslutely no worries. And they sound amazing and the mid-range is absolutely gorgeous.

Bottom-line: Get the amp you want, get your Harbeths, sit back and enjoy some really beautiful music.

Job done.
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeAllan70 View Post
MC252 off the 8ohm taps into my C-7es3's.... Effortless...

Yup...that's 'Beths for you.
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgens View Post
I used to own the Harbeth SHL 5 35th Anniversary edition. They were paired with a Pass XA 30.8. My 30 watt Pass amp had no difficulty at all with the Harbeth’s. The speakers were a fairly easy load for my amp.
Yeah, they're a piece of cake to drive. I'd love to hear mine with a low-power SET or a Pass XA25.
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:25 PM
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Also, the listening space is important. Smaller speakers in larger rooms will often struggle, regardless of power fed them.
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofound View Post
Are Harbeth speakers difficult to drive, or not?
No, they are easy to drive. No worries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofound View Post
Is there more to it than dBs/sensitivity?
Yes. The Harbeth line of speakers have been in continual research and development for over 40 years by Alan Shaw, regarded as one of the best loudspeaker designers in the world. I would put Alan on the same level as Andrew Jones.

Harbeth don't excel in all areas of high-fi loudspeaker tech specs and "audiophile-geekery" based numbers, nor do they need to be made from X-material, concrete, or aluminum. They are manufactured and voiced like a fine classical music instrument, think of a Guarnerius violin. Each pair is also individually voiced by and matched by hand. Harbeth keeps meticulous records on each pair, and if they ever need to be repaired or refurbished, they can be return to their original specification of performance.

But...they play music better than most any other speaker I can think of.

So...just get 'em, pair 'em with your favorite amp, and call it a day. Sit back and bask in beautiful, natural, and engaging music.

You'll be able to live with these speakers for the rest of your life.
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Last edited by Puma Cat; 12-30-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2019, 03:17 PM
BuffaloBill BuffaloBill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
Respectfully, Bill, that doesn't apply with respect to Harbeths.
You and I can respectfully agree to disagree.
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