Naim/Harbeth

Would someone have any idea how the new Naim Uniti Nova would drive a pair of Harbeth Super HL5 Plus's? I cant find the current rating on the new Nova, so I am having to guess, and I don't have a Nova to try.

Original Post

Thank you for the quick response! I looked at the Harbeth spec and thought that there would be no issue, it was more of a current thing really and I cant find the actual current capability of the Nova, It is always good to get viewpoint's from people in the field. I am a dealer and have someone interested in a Nova, but lack of stock blaa,blaa. Really trying to give him an heads up if worth pursuing.

IIRC, the HiFi+ review had measured specs that show >80 W into 8 Ohms, >160 W into 4 Ohms and almost double again into 2 and 1 Ohm loads... so it is not likely that the Nova is current limited. You can maybe surf and find the graphs to confirm my recollection...

Regards alan

Many thanks to those members that have taken the time to reply, been very helpful. I appreciate that at the end of the day listening is the only proper way forward, just getting a Nova is proving a tad difficult - thanks again. I know! An Atom as a pre into a NAP500! Yes kidding here.

I am not sure how the Uniti Nova would compare with other Naim amps but I have used the following configurations:-

Nait XS - Harbeth SHL5

NAC 202 / NAP 200 / PSU / NAPSC - Harbeth SHL5 and SHL5 Plus

NAC 202 / NAP 250DR / HicapDR / NAPSC - Harbeth SHL5 Plus

NAC 282 / NAP 200 / HicapDR / NAPSC - Harbeth SHL5 Plus

NAC 282 / NAP 250DR / Hicap DR / NAPSC - Harbeth SHL5 Plus

As what others have said here the Uniti Atom would drive the SHL5 Plus without any issues. The sound presentation will be different with all options. Generally you would obtain beefier lows and an overall more muscular sound when going from a smaller amp to a larger amp (ie. NAP 200 to NAP 250DR) apart from improvements in poise and refinement. In summary, the Uniti Nova would be fine driving the SHL5 Plus if the speakers sound reasonably good with the Nait XS.

IT can be really hard to differentiate the general effect of a better power amp from it's ability to drive more complex loads.

To give an example, I've used Whafedale Diamond 9.1s and Spendor SP2s with both a Denon DM40 and a 272/555DR + 300DR, so comparing each to the 272/555DR + 300DR + SP2s system...


272/555DR + 300DR + SP2s - Just as superb as you'd expect!

272/555DR + 300DR + Wharfedales - Quite a surprise as to how little this looses in terms of 'musicality'.  There's considerable loss of mid range detail, the bass 'hump' of the Wharfedales is clearly present, there's a lot more 'graininess' in the treble, and there's significantly less control particularly at the frequency extremes, but it still sounds very 'musical' with a very engaging presentation.

Denon + SP2s - Much less detail all over, and a less involving presentation, but nothing really stands out for criticism given the cost of the Denon!

Denon + Wharfedales - Again, much less detail all over, and a similarly less involving presentation.  The bass 'hump' of the Wharfedales is a bit more noticeable than with the Naim system present and the loss of control particularly at the frequency extremes is a little greater, but it's still a very creditable performance given the cost of the Denon and the speakers.


Conclusions?...

Interestingly the Wharfedales are a much harder load than the Spendors, but they don't reveal changes to the electronics anywhere near so clearly.

If I could ask, without hijacking this thread?

I'm tempted to purchase a second pair of speakers, Harbeth it may be. Would SHL5 plus be to much for my room? 6 x 4,5m, speakers on the long wall, but I can turn them 90 degres if needed, or may Compact 7 be a better choice. Yes, I know they are different.

Super 20 are 30cm from back wall, 2,2m apart, 1,6m from side wall and 2,8m to listening position. I guess Harbeth need to come further from back wall? I know this will change from room to room, but still, any thoughts. System 272/XPSDR/250DR.

I may audition at the dealer and after that do a home audition.

Thanks, S

 

Stover posted:

If I could ask, without hijacking this thread?

I'm tempted to purchase a second pair of speakers, Harbeth it may be. Would SHL5 plus be to much for my room? 6 x 4,5m, speakers on the long wall, but I can turn them 90 degres if needed, or may Compact 7 be a better choice. Yes, I know they are different.

Super 20 are 30cm from back wall, 2,2m apart, 1,6m from side wall and 2,8m to listening position. I guess Harbeth need to come further from back wall? I know this will change from room to room, but still, any thoughts. System 272/XPSDR/250DR.

I may audition at the dealer and after that do a home audition.

Thanks, S

 

The placement will be dependent on your listening preference. In the Harbeth user manual, the recommended distance for the SHL5 Plus is 75cm from the front wall. Although I read about folks having great success with close placement of the speakers to the front wall (30cm or thereabouts), I always had the speakers at 80cm or more from the front wall (currently at 95cm) for an airier and more open presentation. A matter of preference. The sound will be fuller with the bass and midrange sounding thicker when the speakers are placed closer to the front wall.

In summary, a 4.5 x 6.0m room is quite perfect for the SHL5 Plus, whether it's on the long or short wall. Again, experimentation will determine which configuration will be better. Ideal distance of speakers from listening position is 2.5m to 2.8m.

The SHL5 Plus is the leanest sounding speaker in the Harbeth line and sounds airier and more open than the Compact 7ES3 to my ears. The Compact 7ES3 is warmer sounding than the SHL5 Plus and has less bass.

It seems like Harbeth's not the hottest speaker choice by Naimers. Still, last night I purchased a s/h Compact 7es3, and expect them to arrive in the end of this week. I just have to deal with my Harbeth itch and which model was based on what would appear on the marked first. That's my approach, buy realatively cheap, try them over a period and evaluate.

They may be sold, replaced by SHL5 plus, end up in the LR with an Atom or just be an alternative to Super 20 in the main setup. Who knows 

S

Lol! You're in trouble. You're going from a speaker where "it's all in the treble" to "it's all in the midrange".  You'll probably hate them at first - the lack of 'detail' that you're used to from the Super 20s will nag. And the fact that they will sound as slow as mollases. Oh yeah - and where's the bass?

Give it a few days, and they'll grow on you. When you put the Super20s back on, you'll find a lot of detail gone missing (again). The C7s have tonnes of midrange detail and layers - you'll miss that when you go to the Super 20s...

Or maybe you'll learn to live with them both. I'm curious to see how you do. See my profile for why I can say all this. ;-)

I'm aware of this MM  just could not resist and you know, this is the only way to find out what Harbeth`s all about . Hopefully I can sell them again with only a small loss, if any. I will be patient with them..... and yes, I know you are already there.

S

Looking at your gear, believe it or not, you'll find the biggest upgrade by doing the following:

a) Ensure you have the latest generation netgear switches. They don't have electrolytic capacitors and inject less noise into the network.

b) Not sure how old you synology is. I found a big upgrade when I went from a Synology 212 something to the QNAP TS-453A. It was like the music got a whole new layer of emotions. 

a) is cheap. b) is fairly cheap too, but a lot of work ... and probably no chance of an a/b test.

Oh - and I tried several times to downgrade from my Nap300 (Non-DR) to the Nap250DR. Believe me - the Nap300 is in a league of it's own - maybe you can find a s/h one... but don't want to send you off in a crazy direction..

MangoMonkey posted:

Looking at your gear, believe it or not, you'll find the biggest upgrade by doing the following:

a) Ensure you have the latest generation netgear switches. They don't have electrolytic capacitors and inject less noise into the network.

b) Not sure how old you synology is. I found a big upgrade when I went from a Synology 212 something to the QNAP TS-453A. It was like the music got a whole new layer of emotions. 

a) is cheap. b) is fairly cheap too, but a lot of work ... and probably no chance of an a/b test.

Oh - and I tried several times to downgrade from my Nap300 (Non-DR) to the Nap250DR. Believe me - the Nap300 is in a league of it's own - maybe you can find a s/h one... but don't want to send you off in a crazy direction..

Thanks, I appreciate your input, especially when cheap upgrades.

a) In fact, I checked availability and price on Cisco 2960 this morning, and found it quite expensive (being a switch) so will check out newest generation Netgear.

b) I have already decided to try something else, using Synology as a family drive only, pictures and such. I will check out the mentioned alternatives.

NAP300- No thanks. I know its good, its available s/h as DR, but there you go up the ladder again 

S

Stover posted:
a) In fact, I checked availability and price on Cisco 2960 this morning, and found it quite expensive (being a switch) so will check out newest generation Netgear.
 

The reason it has been popular is that it is easy to pick up used 8-port models quite cheaply, often £50 or less on the usual auction site.  

Just to add my opinion on the matter. I previously ran the Harbeth SHL5+ with a NAC82, Supercap olive into NAP300. 

I have since revamped my system. I am now running the Harbeth Monitor 30.1 with NAC252, Supercap, NAP250DR.

Although the pre-amp/ amp combo was different I believe I could still discern the obvious difference. The SHL5+ is not a lean speaker by any measure to me. It was a very smooth sounding speaker with a large scale sound. That was the most addicting thing about it. The NAP 300 was able to power it very well. So much so that I had to put the grill on the speakers to reduce the bass and improve driver integration. 

The monitor 30.1 in comparison is a more agile speaker. I had to remove the grills in the same room to extract more low end grunt. It has more detail retrieval although, it looses out on scale a little bit due to its smaller cabinet.

The real champion to me is the NAP 250DR.  Initially, I was running a non DR 250 which all changes considered, sounded similar to my previous setup.  Although I’d admit I do not know how much of the performance is based on the NAC 252 preamp, but to my ears the DR 250 is a very noticeable improvement on the NAP 300. Much more air. Treble extension is so sweet. Control of the entire frequency, power. Low end detail. It just seems to track the rhythm of the music effortlessly. 

Now onto the Harbeth speakers. I will honestly say I have tested several speakers from other brands that initially provide a more dynamic sound. But I will always choose a Harbeth speaker for its tuning. Naim gear exceptional PRAT and dynamics so I prefer the speaker to just showcase the flabbergasting talents of the amplification rather than add more attributes of its own. Although I am no engineer or technician, I will make two points about the Harbeth speakers that stand out to me.

All speaker cabinets have a resonant frequency.

Harbeth tunes their speakers to avoid this frequency to dip I  the middle octaves where most of the music lives.

And secondly. People often say Harbeth’s thin wall design is out of date and of poor quality compared to modern designs. But Harbeth deliberately tune their cabinets to flex and work with the drivers to produce an almost instrument like sound. This makes perfect sense to me and along with Naim gear I am completely blown away by the musicality of my system. 

I cannot reccomend this combination highly enough. If anybody has any doubts please do your self a favour and have a long listening session. preferably with a separates setup and good speaker placement i.e speakers away from the walls and coupled to one another perfectly within a room.

Khan

 

 

 

MangoMonkey posted:

Looking at your gear, believe it or not, you'll find the biggest upgrade by doing the following:

a) Ensure you have the latest generation netgear switches. They don't have electrolytic capacitors and inject less noise into the network.

b) Not sure how old you synology is. I found a big upgrade when I went from a Synology 212 something to the QNAP TS-453A. It was like the music got a whole new layer of emotions. 

 

Hi MM

Point A I agree

Point B can you please elaborate - somewhat confused how a NAS can sound better, although by now in this game I am very open to this.

I can hear a distinct improvement when playing music through Audirvana + compared to ITunes. Same machine, different software, but the music is so much better on Audirvana. No idea how they do this....

Stover posted:

a) In fact, I checked availability and price on Cisco 2960 this morning, and found it quite expensive (being a switch) so will check out newest generation Netgear.

 

I'm not convinced the latest Netgear unmanaged switches are better than old models, I had the opposite impression when looking at the latest plastic cased models.    If you can't go to the undoubted very capable Catalyst series (2960) which to be fair totally way over spec'd & wasted on the very basic function of audio streaming,  then have a look at Cisco's small SOHO unmanaged & semi-managed models in their 100 200 & 300 series.  The 200 & 300 models have smart or managed functions that are not really needed for audio streaming.    I have the SG110 & that replaced a Netgear GS105,  it does perform well, seemingly better than Netgear & I believe it improved SQ.     NB:  the Cisco gigabit models are S'G'  not to b confused with the S'F'  ('Fast' 10/100Mb/s)     

analogmusic posted:

Point B can you please elaborate - somewhat confused how a NAS can sound better, although by now in this game I am very open to this.

 I have yet to hear any real difference between normal standard NAS type units,  yes I hear difference with Melco & US  (better/worse & maybe just different).   I look forward to the reply,  & I guess another ensuing debate.

I helped someone replace his old Synology 212 (meaning its the 2 bay 2012 model) with the latest & better spec'd model   The 212 had a 1.6 GHz single core processor & the RAM Installed was 256 MB.    The new 216+ii has dual core 1.6 GHz CPU & 1 GB RAM.      He did not hear anything different with his Cyrus streamer audio,  but noticed faster access. 

The QNAP TS-453A mentioned by MM is a 4 bay, it has a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor & 4 GB RAM (or a 8 GB model) . 

Khan posted:

Now onto the Harbeth speakers. I will honestly say I have tested several speakers from other brands that initially provide a more dynamic sound. But I will always choose a Harbeth speaker for its tuning. Naim gear exceptional PRAT and dynamics so I prefer the speaker to just showcase the flabbergasting talents of the amplification rather than add more attributes of its own. Although I am no engineer or technician, I will make two points about the Harbeth speakers that stand out to me.

All speaker cabinets have a resonant frequency.

Harbeth tunes their speakers to avoid this frequency to dip I  the middle octaves where most of the music lives.

And secondly. People often say Harbeth’s thin wall design is out of date and of poor quality compared to modern designs. But Harbeth deliberately tune their cabinets to flex and work with the drivers to produce an almost instrument like sound. This makes perfect sense to me and along with Naim gear I am completely blown away by the musicality of my system. 

I cannot reccomend this combination highly enough. If anybody has any doubts please do your self a favour and have a long listening session. preferably with a separates setup and good speaker placement i.e speakers away from the walls and coupled to one another perfectly within a room.

Khan

 

 

 

Khan- I really liked your post and especially your thoughts about Harbeths speaker design. I'm even more eager to receive those Compacts, hopefully I van enjoy them the coming weekend.

Mike-B: I will check out the mentioned switches 

Khan posted:

Just to add my opinion on the matter. I previously ran the Harbeth SHL5+ with a NAC82, Supercap olive into NAP300. 

I have since revamped my system. I am now running the Harbeth Monitor 30.1 with NAC252, Supercap, NAP250DR.

Although the pre-amp/ amp combo was different I believe I could still discern the obvious difference. The SHL5+ is not a lean speaker by any measure to me. It was a very smooth sounding speaker with a large scale sound. That was the most addicting thing about it. The NAP 300 was able to power it very well. So much so that I had to put the grill on the speakers to reduce the bass and improve driver integration. 

The monitor 30.1 in comparison is a more agile speaker. I had to remove the grills in the same room to extract more low end grunt. It has more detail retrieval although, it looses out on scale a little bit due to its smaller cabinet.

The real champion to me is the NAP 250DR.  Initially, I was running a non DR 250 which all changes considered, sounded similar to my previous setup.  Although I’d admit I do not know how much of the performance is based on the NAC 252 preamp, but to my ears the DR 250 is a very noticeable improvement on the NAP 300. Much more air. Treble extension is so sweet. Control of the entire frequency, power. Low end detail. It just seems to track the rhythm of the music effortlessly. 

Now onto the Harbeth speakers. I will honestly say I have tested several speakers from other brands that initially provide a more dynamic sound. But I will always choose a Harbeth speaker for its tuning. Naim gear exceptional PRAT and dynamics so I prefer the speaker to just showcase the flabbergasting talents of the amplification rather than add more attributes of its own. Although I am no engineer or technician, I will make two points about the Harbeth speakers that stand out to me.

All speaker cabinets have a resonant frequency.

Harbeth tunes their speakers to avoid this frequency to dip I  the middle octaves where most of the music lives.

And secondly. People often say Harbeth’s thin wall design is out of date and of poor quality compared to modern designs. But Harbeth deliberately tune their cabinets to flex and work with the drivers to produce an almost instrument like sound. This makes perfect sense to me and along with Naim gear I am completely blown away by the musicality of my system. 

I cannot reccomend this combination highly enough. If anybody has any doubts please do your self a favour and have a long listening session. preferably with a separates setup and good speaker placement i.e speakers away from the walls and coupled to one another perfectly within a room.

Khan

 

 

 

Nice post. Interesting that you find the NAP 250 DR to sound better than the NAP 300 non-DR with the Harbeth M30.1 when another member was suggesting the NAP 300 to be a significant improvement over NAP 250 DR, though on the SHL5 Plus. Either way, the SHL5 Plus sounds exceptionally fine with the 250 DR in my system. 

Mike-B posted:
Stover posted:

a) In fact, I checked availability and price on Cisco 2960 this morning, and found it quite expensive (being a switch) so will check out newest generation Netgear.

 

I'm not convinced the latest Netgear unmanaged switches are better than old models, I had the opposite impression when looking at the latest plastic cased models. 

Still the same model - just v4 vs v3 for the 8 port ones and v5 vs v4 for the 5 port ones. Otherwise they are identical and metal clad.  

I received one speaker this afternoon, the other will arrive on monday I guess. I was surprised by its size, weight and by its impressiveness. while waiting I will spend some hours making some stands, inspired by Tontraeger.

And yes, it seems like I have hijacked this thread.

S

My current switch is Netgear Gs105 and should be good to it's price. I have ordered a Cisco SG110D-05 just to see if theres a difference and caise I need another one.

Both Harbeths are received and I have done a brief listen. So far I have found they are very different to S20 indeed and a comparison would not be the issue here, it's , more of a different taste thing, they both have their strengths and weaknesses and with different priorities. 

Enjoy, S

MangoMonkey posted:

Lol! You're in trouble. You're going from a speaker where "it's all in the treble" to "it's all in the midrange".  You'll probably hate them at first - the lack of 'detail' that you're used to from the Super 20s will nag. And the fact that they will sound as slow as mollases. Oh yeah - and where's the bass?

Give it a few days, and they'll grow on you. When you put the Super20s back on, you'll find a lot of detail gone missing (again). The C7s have tonnes of midrange detail and layers - you'll miss that when you go to the Super 20s...

Or maybe you'll learn to live with them both. I'm curious to see how you do. See my profile for why I can say all this. ;-)

So far I think this post suits my first impressions well 

Stover posted:

.............. I have ordered a Cisco SG110D-05 just to see if theres a difference and caise I need another one.

Interested to read your opinion when you get it.   

Take care to power it up correctly,  switch it on first,  then introduce the powered up ethernets  - either power each device up or plug in the 'live' ethernets.   I didn't do it right with mine   -  D'oh  

ryder. posted:
Khan posted:

Just to add my opinion on the matter. I previously ran the Harbeth SHL5+ with a NAC82, Supercap olive into NAP300. 

I have since revamped my system. I am now running the Harbeth Monitor 30.1 with NAC252, Supercap, NAP250DR.

Although the pre-amp/ amp combo was different I believe I could still discern the obvious difference. The SHL5+ is not a lean speaker by any measure to me. It was a very smooth sounding speaker with a large scale sound. That was the most addicting thing about it. The NAP 300 was able to power it very well. So much so that I had to put the grill on the speakers to reduce the bass and improve driver integration. 

The monitor 30.1 in comparison is a more agile speaker. I had to remove the grills in the same room to extract more low end grunt. It has more detail retrieval although, it looses out on scale a little bit due to its smaller cabinet.

The real champion to me is the NAP 250DR.  Initially, I was running a non DR 250 which all changes considered, sounded similar to my previous setup.  Although I’d admit I do not know how much of the performance is based on the NAC 252 preamp, but to my ears the DR 250 is a very noticeable improvement on the NAP 300. Much more air. Treble extension is so sweet. Control of the entire frequency, power. Low end detail. It just seems to track the rhythm of the music effortlessly. 

Now onto the Harbeth speakers. I will honestly say I have tested several speakers from other brands that initially provide a more dynamic sound. But I will always choose a Harbeth speaker for its tuning. Naim gear exceptional PRAT and dynamics so I prefer the speaker to just showcase the flabbergasting talents of the amplification rather than add more attributes of its own. Although I am no engineer or technician, I will make two points about the Harbeth speakers that stand out to me.

All speaker cabinets have a resonant frequency.

Harbeth tunes their speakers to avoid this frequency to dip I  the middle octaves where most of the music lives.

And secondly. People often say Harbeth’s thin wall design is out of date and of poor quality compared to modern designs. But Harbeth deliberately tune their cabinets to flex and work with the drivers to produce an almost instrument like sound. This makes perfect sense to me and along with Naim gear I am completely blown away by the musicality of my system. 

I cannot reccomend this combination highly enough. If anybody has any doubts please do your self a favour and have a long listening session. preferably with a separates setup and good speaker placement i.e speakers away from the walls and coupled to one another perfectly within a room.

Khan

 

 

 

Nice post. Interesting that you find the NAP 250 DR to sound better than the NAP 300 non-DR with the Harbeth M30.1 when another member was suggesting the NAP 300 to be a significant improvement over NAP 250 DR, though on the SHL5 Plus. Either way, the SHL5 Plus sounds exceptionally fine with the 250 DR in my system. 

Khan, thank you for your very thoughtful post!

I have never been able to audition Harbeth's SLH5 or  M30.1 with Naim gear where I live. I did hear M30.1 at show and was impressed with its musical insight and focus. I found M30.1 seductive, but not being powered by my Naim kit NAC552DR, NAP300DR, I'm not sure what I will find.  Though Khan, after reading your post I will definitely visit an out of the way Harbeth & Naim dealer. One question, Harbeth is known for difficult room placement and my new listening room's "listening space" is about     14" X 12" but overall space is more than 20" wider, do you think Harbeth models your familiar with can project sound within my listening space?

Charles         

Unfortunately the power rating into an 8Ω resistor is only relevant when you're driving a resistor.  When you're driving real speakers, the situation is much more complicated.

However...

No they won't sound the same...

However...

The Nova has plenty of current reserves to successfully drive the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3 in it's own way (rather than trying to be a SN2).

 

(Incidentally the NAP250DR has the same output power as the SN2 when driving an 8Ω resistor, and they doesn't sound the same either.)

Mike-B posted:
Stover posted:

.............. I have ordered a Cisco SG110D-05 just to see if theres a difference and caise I need another one.

Interested to read your opinion when you get it.   

Take care to power it up correctly,  switch it on first,  then introduce the powered up ethernets  - either power each device up or plug in the 'live' ethernets.   I didn't do it right with mine   -  D'oh  

I have installed the Cisco switch and the change in musical presentation is more than just noticeable. Better timbre, more dimensional and natural to my ears. Making music clearer, less fatigue, still more enjoyable. Very positive, recommended.

I have sold off the Harbeths. They where far from new and I don`t like the Tiger Ebony finish. That said, I really liked their musical presentation. I have decided to have visit the dealer and have a listen to M30.1 and SHL5+ upon Christmas. If I cope with some of them I`ll buy new since s/h prices in Norway are not that far from new. It might end at C7 for that sake.

For my further journey within Harbeth speakers I will maybe start a new thread when/ if time comes.

S

Stover posted:

I have installed the Cisco switch and the change in musical presentation is more than just noticeable. Better timbre, more dimensional and natural to my ears. Making music clearer, less fatigue, still more enjoyable. Very positive, recommended.

Good to read the little Cisco SG110 worked for you.  Your description reads much like as I found when I changed.    The problem I had at the time was I could not get straight into it.    http://forums.naimaudio.com/to...-audiophilia-nervosa

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