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Integrated amp for P3 ESR

Discussion in 'audio' started by TonyScarlett, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I well remember the charismatic (?) Ivor Tiefenbrun’s opinons, when the country was in the grip of the
    Linn/Naim axis.
    I’ll admit to buying an LP12...
    Minio likes this.
  2. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    So we can deduce from this discourse, that source, amp and speakers are all fairly important.

    As to which philosophy you follow and where to put your serious money?

    Ask the fishes!
  3. TonyScarlett

    TonyScarlett pfm Member

    I Started this thread to try & narrow down my options for an amp to go with my P3's. The exact opposite has happened, turns out as well as the amps I was considering there are a lot out there I hadn't even considered or in some cases even heard of. I've decided to narrow my search by ruling out valve amps or amps with power outputs below 50 wpc, the consensus seems to be that P3's work best with higher power outputs. Also going to rule out amps with built in DAC's, I already have 2 redundant DAC's in my system. I am also going to prioritise British built (as opposed to made in China by a British brand) although I'm still extremely tempted by the Crayon CIA currently on EBay. I am going to set a maximum budget of £2000 as well. I think that pretty much leaves me with the Croft Integrated R, Sonneteer Alabaster or a 2nd hand LFD Zero III LE so the question is; would the 2nd hand LFD be as good as the Sonneteer or Croft? There is an LFD on EBay at the moment in Italy for €1300, does that look like a fair price?
  4. barryb

    barryb pfm Member

    I think it would be prudent to prioritise a demo/loan of any of the above if at all possible. Perhaps even worth a trip for that budget.
  5. TonyScarlett

    TonyScarlett pfm Member

    Audio Affair in Birmingham are a Croft dealer so will arrange a demo with them, nearest Sonneteer dealer I can find is in Stoke which isn't to far from me. Problem will be getting a demo of an LFD, nearest dealer is in Taunton & cheapest in current range is well over budget new. Of course the usual caveats will apply regarding system matching & room acoustics when demoing amps. Made expensive mistakes in the past because of this so I am a little sceptical about the value of demoing an amp in isolation on the end of unfamiliar sources/speakers. That is why resources like PFM are so valuable to form an opinion on how piece of kit might work in a particular set up.
  6. barryb

    barryb pfm Member

    Agreed in room is preferred.

    Will be interested to see your outcome - I'm currently using SHl5 Plus with two relatively inexpensive amps (Brio-R and A-S701 Yam). TBH, I prefer the Yam, which is cleaner sounding to my ears - likely less distortion artefacts, I'd wager. Though the Brio does other things better - treble is less grating, bass a little better, at least in my room.

    Though I do wonder about trying amps like your selection, which conventional wisdom deem great mates with Harbeths.
  7. TonyScarlett

    TonyScarlett pfm Member

    Currently using a new Rega Brio, it's a great little amp, just lacks some of the midrange magic that my Leak ST20 possesses. Hoping that the amps I'm going to audition can fix this. Decided to add the Exposure 3010S2D to the list of amps to audition, some great reviews for this amp & reckoned to work well with the Harbeths (British built as well).
  8. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Let us know how you get on. I find the Exposure works very well with the C7s - totally took care of a few niggles I had with the speakers.
    Tarzan likes this.
  9. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    Yes good luck and enjoy.
  10. TonyScarlett

    TonyScarlett pfm Member

    Set up an audition for the Exposure at Sound Cinergy in Aldridge on Saturday afternoon, will post some thoughts after. Clive at Sound Cinergy suggested I should bring my P3's along so I should get a pretty good idea of how they work together.
    BLACKMASS and Tarzan like this.
  11. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    Let us know how you get on and enjoy your demo.:)
  12. Tigerjones

    Tigerjones Bagpuss

    No idea why people think the P3s need 50 watts, they don't. They also work extremely well with valve amps. Personally I think they sound best with Class A amplification, Sugden is a great match and so is Luxman. I think the nicest sound mine ever made was when Bourney bought his Leben down, very sweet indeed.
    hifinutt and matt j like this.
  13. simon g

    simon g Grumpy Old Man

    Which just goes to show that all these "recommend me" type threads are mostly useless :) We've all got different opinions, experience and systems. Not much of a consensus on anything much (sounds like the current political mess).
    Old Shatterhand, hifinutt and brab like this.
  14. Tigerjones

    Tigerjones Bagpuss

    Yes they are. Best to try a few amps and see what you like, just think the op is rejecting lots of possibles for no reason. If I were him I'd buy something like the Prima Luna in the classifieds or an old A21a but each to their own.
  15. deek

    deek pfm Member

    There's a Sonneteer Orton on eBay right now - I seem to remember someone here using one with P3s (or was it on SteveHoffman?)

    BLACKMASS pfm Member

    Look forward to your findings. I ordered a 3010S2D from Clive just before Christmas and should be picking it up next week. I did initially order the 2010S2D….

    I went to demo the Naim ND5 XS 2 streamer and some integrated amps. I tried the Naim Nait 5Si and Nait XS2 as I was looking to match the streamer. Sadly I didn’t like either (flat and unengaging) and found the XS2 extremely fatiguing.

    Clive suggested the 2010S2D as he knew it was a good match to my speakers (Roksan TR5’s). Within a couple of minutes I knew I would be ordering one. The lift in performance and engagement was massive.

    A few days after the demo I made the fatal mistake of reading comparisons between the 2010 and 3010. I decided to book another demo with Clive to compare the two myself…the rest as they say is history.
  17. TonyScarlett

    TonyScarlett pfm Member

    It's not a case of "rejecting" amps, at some point you have to narrow down your search based on your own needs, wants & particular prejudices. I would love to audition every amp out there but ultimately life if to short. That's why resources like PFM are so useful. I think I have put together a great shortlist of amps which I think will meet my needs.
  18. Tigerjones

    Tigerjones Bagpuss

    That’s fair enough I was just trying to say that, in my experience, the P3s work perfectly well with lower powered amps. Suppose it depends how hard you want to drive them, although they’re not built for headbanging loudness.

    I’m sure whatever you try will sound great. I found them to be pretty unfussy in terms of amplification, YMMV.

    They’re lovely speakers and I’d still have a pair but the wife wasn’t keen as they didn’t suit the layout when we moved house.

  19. badger748

    badger748 pfm Member

    I have the P3 ESR anniversary / ltd edition in Olive wood. Got them last year. They replaced an older pair of same.
    So, having lived with these for many years, I feel reasonably well qualified.... they need power.
    I have a Tron Atlantic 300b power amp and it works ok - but the Tron Convergence 50w SS power amp is a much better partner.
    I’m not into headbanging volume levels - ironically the 300b amp usually works better on most speakers, whether efficient or not, but with the P3’s more power definitely helps.
    I have heard the P3’s with even more grunt from Luxman and Burmester power amps - and again the sound improved.
    As long as you keep the quality along with the increase in power, the more you throw at P3’s, the better they get.
    My opinions of course, having lived with them.
    Tarzan likes this.
  20. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    listened last night for some while with my ancient rotel 30 w 820AX amp . it was utterly beguiling and that midrange , so sweet and if you can get such a sound from an ancient rotel worth pennies , i should think a Leben would sound out of this world

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