Fidelis Distribution

Walter Swanbon of Fidelis AV Distribution brought not only the Harbeth loudspeakers and Pure Fidelity turntable I raved about in recent Stereophile reviews, but also a couple brands I was unaware of until now. Walter always gets great room sound, so I was looking forward to a discovery.

Walter included the Pure Fidelity Harmony record player complete with Origin Live Encounter tonearm ($9995), (plus $500 for the premium finish shown), Lab 12 Melto 2 tube phono preamplifier ($4490), Lab 12 DAC 1, a non-oversampling DAC with a tubed output stage ($3290), and an Aurender N200 server/streamer ($6300) for the digital front end. The Lab 12 Pre 1, a class A tube preamp ($2290), Lab 12 Integre4 Mk2, a 75Wpc tubed integrated amp ($6490), and the Lab 12 Suono class A, 25Wpc, SET, stereo power amp ($3490) comprised the amplification. Those fabulous Harbeth Super HL 5XDs ($7900/pair) and Harbeth P3ESR XD ($3190/pair) speakers were also in action, with a Lab 12 Gordian power conditioner and Argent Pur cabling.

The Harbeth Super HL 5XDs always play with excellent resolution and Formula 1–worthy dynamics, and Walter's CAF room was no exception. Streaming the blistering pace and rich sound of Paco De Lucia one moment, the breezy and beatific Ella Fitzgerald ("Black Coffee") the next, I could've sat in Walter’s room all day, listening to this intimate, flowing sound. But there were more rooms to cover, more coffee to drink, and more shoe leather to grind to dust.

Ortofan's picture

... high-power solid-state amplifier - such as a Hegel H360 or H390 - falls on the deaf ears of Harbeth's US importer/distributor.

JohnnyThunder2.0's picture

integrated amp and they sounded amazing. Did you ever listen them play music or do you just read manuals? Speaking of deaf ears do you like music or just care about being a contrarian ?

Ortofan's picture

... on the Harbeth forum?

Yes, I have heard them reproduce music - and I do enjoy listening to (and performing) music, although mostly not that of the sort which typically passes for demo material at hi-fi shows.

zimmer74's picture

Alan Shaw has also stated over the years that all amplifiers sound the same, use any stand you want, and so on. Now he is selling a stand/subwoofer for the PS3, so this is the stand to buy.

Ortofan's picture

... sufficiently low output impedance so as not to audibly alter the speaker's frequency response and sufficiently high output power capability so as not to clip on peaks. Inaudibly low noise and distortion, as well.