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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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Kuala Lumpur Audio/Video International (KLIAV) 2011

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  • Kuala Lumpur Audio/Video International (KLIAV) 2011

    Well, so i just came back from the KLIAV 2011 that was held over the weekend & i am excited to say that the P3ESR, demonstrated by Tropical Audio, was the star of the show despite it being the smallest spk there. Amidst all the other much bigger & expensive spks where the loudest boom, bang & tizz was supposed to win the day, the P3ESR distinguished itself with a thoroughly musical & natural presentation. Vocals especially, was simply top notch being spookily real, natural & richly textured without being forward at all. I feel that none of the other spks (some as costly as a semi-detached house in M'sia) at the show could do vocals quite like the dimunitive P3ESR. Even the venerable LS3/5A showcased at an adjacent room (with very expensive swiss electronics) couldn't quite match the P3ESRs for tonal purity, sophistication & an inherent rightness to the sound. Immediately after the P3ESR, the quacky coloration of the LS-3/5A midband became rather obvious but the LS-3/5A was still more musically satisfying than many of the 'big boys' there IMHO.

    In addition, the P3ESR didn't just sound good with simple or vocal music, it handled big band & difficult classical pieces with equal aplomb sounding bigger & more dynamic than it should. Bass was sufficiently weighty & well defined. Soundstage was appropriately expansive & 3 dimensional. When Sam played Amanda Mcbroom's emotionally packed 'Portrait' on the P3ESR, it almost made me tear. A fellow show goer quipped that after his getting his ears badly abused by the other spks, it was a definite welcome change to sit down, relax & get lost in the music with the P3ESRs.

  • #2
    My P3ESR sound like real

    Originally posted by Gan CK View Post
    Well, so i just came back from the KLIAV 2011 that was held over the weekend & i am excited to say that the P3ESR, demonstrated by Tropical Audio, was the star of the show despite it being the smallest spk there. Amidst all the other much bigger & expensive spks where the loudest boom, bang & tizz was supposed to win the day, the P3ESR distinguished itself with a thoroughly musical & natural presentation. Vocals especially, was simply top notch being spookily real, natural & richly textured without being forward at all. I feel that none of the other spks (some as costly as a semi-detached house in M'sia) at the show could do vocals quite like the dimunitive P3ESR. Even the venerable LS3/5A showcased at an adjacent room (with very expensive swiss electronics) couldn't quite match the P3ESRs for tonal purity, sophistication & an inherent rightness to the sound. Immediately after the P3ESR, the quacky coloration of the LS-3/5A midband became rather obvious but the LS-3/5A was still more musically satisfying than many of the 'big boys' there IMHO.

    In addition, the P3ESR didn't just sound good with simple or vocal music, it handled big band & difficult classical pieces with equal aplomb sounding bigger & more dynamic than it should. Bass was sufficiently weighty & well defined. Soundstage was appropriately expansive & 3 dimensional. When Sam played Amanda Mcbroom's emotionally packed 'Portrait' on the P3ESR, it almost made me tear. A fellow show goer quipped that after his getting his ears badly abused by the other spks, it was a definite welcome change to sit down, relax & get lost in the music with the P3ESRs.

    That sounds right to me,very happy with endorsements one after another after purchasing the P3ESR's, many audiophile friends ask me whether I continue to enjoy them and when will I upgrade, I for one can't see an upgrade. They sound like it is happening in my room.

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    • #3
      Upgrade from P3ESR? How???? Imposible

      Make no mistake Kraiker, the P3ESR is a cracker of a spk, even in comparison to spks much larger & much more costly than itself. I am now seriously considering getting a pair for my bedroom when the bedroom becomes available. Its definitely a reference standard mini monitor & thoroughly deserves all the praises heaped on it & more. Upgrade? Other than going for the larger Harbeths, i really cannot see how one can upgrade from the wonderful P3ESR!

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      • #4
        Beaten the upgrade bug with the P3ESR?

        I have yet to hear any sibilance in music produced by the P3ESR's with Leben CS300X driving them. I have never heard any speaker or headphone system without sibilance from one song or another.

        I might have just beaten the upgrade bug.

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        • #5
          3/5a and it's unique sound.

          Originally posted by Gan CK View Post
          Well, so i just came back from the KLIAV 2011 that was held over the weekend & i am excited to say that the P3ESR, demonstrated by Tropical Audio, was the star of the show despite it being the smallest spk there. Amidst all the other much bigger & expensive spks where the loudest boom, bang & tizz was supposed to win the day, the P3ESR distinguished itself with a thoroughly musical & natural presentation...... Even the venerable LS3/5A showcased at an adjacent room (with very expensive swiss electronics) couldn't quite match the P3ESRs for tonal purity, sophistication & an inherent rightness to the sound. Immediately after the P3ESR, the quacky coloration of the LS-3/5A midband became rather obvious
          It's interesting that you should say that. As you know, it was back in 1990 (over twenty years ago) that it became apparent to me that on a live-v-reproduced test (this was written up in 'Schoolboy's Ambition' at the time) using my daughter's live v. reproduced voice, that the venerable 3/5a had a presence and as you say, some associated coloration, which was just not there in her actual voice.

          Not unpleasant to listen to, but certainly not truly her inside the box. Picture from the time (she's 28 now) of the original P3 which came out of my piqued intrigue with the 3/5a, some two or so years after we were granted the BBC licence.

          And as we know, the 3/5a ages horribly and the sonic result depends on numerable factors, not the least of which was the batch to batch stability of the bass units as supplied by KEF.

          Picture to follow ....
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

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