View Full Version : P3 ES2 - Feedback

29-11-2010, 11:01 AM
Dear all,

I'm proud to say I'm now a Harbeth owner! I bought a pair of Black Ash P3 ES2s yesterday to replace my Proac D15 floorstanders.

They are pure delight - this is the first time I have heard non-fatiguing music outside a real concert hall. Until now I had the impression you could have either a sweet tone or high detail but never both (e.g., Epos ES14 and Proac Studio 100 respectively, in my experience).

Interesting to observe that the P3's metal tweeter has sonics more in common with Proac's silk dome units than the Epos's metal domes. The Epos's give some sibilance that is absent from the P3s.

Amp is a 1980s Rogers A75 transistor and works perfectly. My other amp, a little 10WPC single-ended valve amp, is less suitable—it runs out of puff—the same effect when hooked up to the Proacs.

Stands are an appalling model from Argos with the rigidity of a slinky spring, brought to height with a stack of telephone books. They are frighteningly insecure so a pair of Something Solid open frames will be on order shortly. I'll be interested to note any sonic difference; I suspect there won't be any, after reading the information of this very helpful group.

Cables are Chord Rumour bi-wire. I've tried them in single and bi- set ups and wouldn't be confident telling the difference in a double-blind. I keep the speaker post links closed, as per the user's manual guidance.

Many thanks Harbeth for an excellent product; these will be treasured for a long time.

29-11-2010, 11:38 AM
A pair of P3's to replace a ProAc floor stander - that speaks volumes.

A pair of Something Solid stands will improve the sound even more. I have tried many stands over the years and these always deliver the goods.

As to 'metal dome' tweeters. There are metal domes and there are metal domes. Many speakers in the 80's and 90's used the same tweeter which had an upper mid suckout, followed by a nasty resonant peak and it was these which gave 'metal domes' a bad name. The Harbeth tweeter is not one of these and sounds sweet, detailed and airy. As you are discovering.

29-11-2010, 12:38 PM
Welcome to the Harbeth family.

As hifi_dave says, there were indeed some very nasty metal dome tweeters in the 80s. But actually it was the deadly combination of a theoretical crossover design + the inherent characteristics of those domes that created a horrible sonic combination. If speaker designers in that era had thrown out the theory and got down to some proper listening (on speech would have told them all they needed to know) they could have greatly ameliorated the hardness with a sympathetic crossover design to work around - or rather, work with the mechanical design of the tweeter.

I keep meaning to make a tech talk or two about crossover design and how simulations can help - but in the absence of appreciative feedback I'm not to sure if it's the best use of my time. I'll put it on the ever expanding list!

29-11-2010, 01:46 PM
Many thanks for your comments Dave and Alan. Such feedback from a manufacturer's community is rare and appreciated. Interesting information about tweater and crossover design.

I will post some comparative observations on stands when the Something Solids arrive.

If you have time to consider, I have a question about the ES2s - there is a bloom in response, somewhere around the mid-cello frequency range. Is this a known speaker issue? I suspect not, because all speakers I have used in my room exibit this property to a greater or lessor extent. I strongly suspect the room is at stake, here.

Kind regards, Ben