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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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Review of P3ESR in Malaysia

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  • Review of P3ESR in Malaysia

    After Alan's visit to Malaysia in May 2010, we have the first review of Harbeth loudspeakers. You can read the review here. It is a well read blog in Malaysia despite you see nil comments. Again the silent majority.

    Readers may want to take note that the reviewer who attended Alan's talk but seemed to disagree on Alan's take on stands and amplifiers. Personally, I think a minimum of 100W for P3ESR is ridiculous.

    ST

  • #2
    British sound?

    To be honest, I found the review rather poor. "British" sound (as opposed to? Asian, American?) and MIT cables (enough said). I think that the reviewer would be more at home with 'high-end' stuff like Krell, Wadia and the likes.

    Comment


    • #3
      Reviewers preferences ....

      Yes some people just don't like the so called British sound. The reviewer is just another one of those who goes for quantity rather than quality. And i guess he missed the point on why we like Harbeth so much. Its not just the comfortable under the blanket type of sound as he mentioned. Its much more than that.

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      • #4
        Reviewers preferences ....

        "Warm cosy sound that wraps around you like a comforting blanket" ????? apparently the reviewer has somewhat different expectations.. granted.. after listening to ATC's I think that description might be reasonable. I think many speakers would be considered "cosy" after ATC's.. laff..

        My own pair of P3ESR's in my vinyl lounge rig driven by the humble NAD C162 and C272 sound peppy and full of life.. yet their tonal structure and balance is the equal of my Monitor 30's in my primary rig, just scaled down. Which is as it should be.

        While I gathered that although the reviewer did understand the P3ESR, he didn't really "connect" with it. This is something that is perhaps true of most Harbeths. You either "get it" .. or you don't. Much like the affinity that others develop with other brands, this holds true to the Harbeth "sound" and family line.

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        • #5
          Musicians don't make good judges of sound ...

          [QUOTE=Double D;10334] I think many speakers would be considered "cosy" after ATC's.. laff..

          Hahaha that's a good one...lol....ya i agree that the reviewer didn't get connected with the P3ESR as he should. One thing i can never comprehend & agree is when people say that Harbeths are coloured. Somebody from our local forum (Singapore) stressed several times that he is a professional violinist but yet say that Harbeths are coloured & not accurate when reproducing the sound of violin. He actually prefers to hear his instrument on his highly acclaimed & expensive American spks that is cold, overblown, exaggerated & devoid of any richness, warmth & deep instrumental timbre of the real thing. And he claims to be a professional violinist! Lol....

          {Moderator's comment: not surprising. Remember, he hears his instrument playing at his ear (in the super-nearfield). It sounds horrible - try it yourself. We hear it 10m away when the direct sound is blended with the hall's sound: a completely different and much warmer tone. He won't recognise that as he's conditioned to think that the super-nearfield "is" the sound of the violin. As you suggest, he'll probably be much happier with more 'in your face' speakers. We, the audience, definitely wouldn't be.}

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          • #6
            Musicians

            [QUOTE=Gan CK;10336]
            Originally posted by Double D View Post
            he'll probably be much happier with more 'in your face' speakers. We, the audience, definitely wouldn't be.
            It is known that many violinists (and musicians) have affected hearing. A typical practice session will see 90dB, with 110-115dB peaks. Some musicians wear ear plugs to lessen what could be signs of tinnitus. Yes, listening to an instrument is much more enjoyable, but probably more fun playing it. Anyone who listens to a good loudspeaker like Harbeth knows the music transcends the box, but playing an instrument ensures you are still with and "within it".

            Comment


            • #7
              Nearfield, musicians, sonic perspectives

              Originally posted by Gan CK View Post
              {Moderator's comment: not surprising. Remember, he hears his instrument playing at his ear (in the super-nearfield). It sounds horrible - try it yourself. We hear it 10m away when the direct sound is blended with the hall's sound: a completely different and much warmer tone. He won't recognise that as he's conditioned to think that the super-nearfield "is" the sound of the violin. As you suggest, he'll probably be much happier with more 'in your face' speakers. We, the audience, definitely wouldn't be.}
              That's a very apt observation. Thanks for pointing it out. I remembered reading about an interview of Alan some months back, where he says something like "close you eyes and listen to the sound around you, notice how distance they are ...". Emphasis is mine.

              That statement took me completely by surprise. The Harbeth User Group is full of information of such nature. That's the type of thing that one won't find in the mainstream audiophile lingo, but yet I find them being much more informative and important than most of the myths peddled in the audiophile literature.

              The sense of distance and spacial location has everything to do with the ambiance - the richly textured and multi-layered sound that is very specific to the acoustics of the recording hall. I believe that the ambiance constitutes a significant amount of energy to the total sound (is there any quantitative measure on this?).

              Many low-fi speakers are not able to reproduce the micro details in the ambiance - so they came out as noise. The music would mask these noise so normally we are not aware of their presence, but those who are less endowed and have to live with cheap speakers for some length of time would know the difficultly of trying to have a conversation while the music is on. We have to shout through the noise that we don't usually hear. In contrast with a hi-fi speaker holding a conversion is a lot more easeful even when the music is rather loud. I have the impression that some speakers, especially the so called hi-fi/analytical speakers are filtering out the ambiance, and the energy balance shifted to the direct sound of the instruments.

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