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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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Subwoofer and cables: now I'm satisfied

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  • Subwoofer and cables: now I'm satisfied

    This afternoon I received my Harbeth P3esr Speakers. I at first wanted the Compact 7-3's but those didn't fit my budget so I settled for the smaller P3's. I wasn't sure I did the "right" thing.

    I am an "audio skeptic" doubting that ANY audio component is "better" than any other. For example, in the world of speakers there are "MANY HOUSES"....er...many brands-----QUAD 22L2 (my previous speaker), the B&W 645, PSB Imagine T's, Wharfedale, Totem, Dynaudio, KEF, Monitor Audio, etc..etc. Who can say which of all these is "better" or "above the rest"?

    I connected the Harbeth's using my Naim Speaker Cable (solid copper) and Kimber Hero Interconnects (copper). I WAS APALLED! THERE WAS NO "THERE" THERE...NO 3D IMAGING....NO "AIR" BETWEEN INSTRUMENTS....NO TRANSPARENCY....WHAT A MESS!!! After getting my breath back into my lungs and taking a few LONG breaths I said to myself: "All is not lost...MAYBE if I change the speaker cables and change the interconnects I might hear a difference.", I said to myself.

    I changed the Hero Interconnects leading from my Cambridge Azur 840C CD Player (known for 3D imaging) to morrow.com "copper coated with silver" ($60). I tried the speakers again. Better. Then I changed the NAIM speaker cable again to morrow.com "copper coated with silver" speaker cable (about $225). Then I hooked up my Definitive Technology 800 Subwoofer, now $228 (a very good subwoofer for the money. (PLEASE NOTE THAT SINCE THE ABOVE I TRIED SOME "TELLURIUM Q BLACK" SPEAKER CABLES WHICH WERE MUCH MORE TRANSPARENT AND FOCUSSED THAN THE MORROW CABLES MENTIONED ABOVE.)

    i put on a CD (Erato---Salieri, "Concerto per Fortepiano e Orchestra" and "Sinfonia 'La Tempesta di Mare" performed by Claudio Scimone. It's not Mozart but it turned out to be pleasant...VERY PLEASANT! The instruments had AIR between them, the soundstage was very transparent, good imaging with placement of instruments in their own space from left to right....."WOW, THIS IS A GOOD SPEAKER" I said to myself.

    Then I started to fall asleep after about 10 minutes...then woke up after about 3 minutes to the playing of SWEET FLUTES AND OBOES....I NEVER HEARD FLUTES AND OBOES SOUND SO SWEET IN ANY RECORDED MUSIC BEFORE! I wondered, "Is this natural sweetness a function of the CD or of the speakers?" Well, I'm still wondering...but I am inclined to believe that the speakers had something to do with the VERY PLEASANT SOUND OF THE INSTRUMENTS.....not to mention again the transparency and imaging and air of the sound stage!

    So, that's "my story" about my experience, so far, with The Harbeth P3 esr. Oh! I forgot to mention the results using the Definitive Technology 800 Sub-woofer. That subwoofer...not the most expensive one but worked VERY WELL with the Harbeth P3 esr Speakers! I found it VERY GOOD in that it gave GOOD AND TUNEFUL BASS that the little P3's couldn't provide.

    In conclusion, if you're like me and you don't want to "mortgage the farm" to get a pair of Compact 7's.....or go for the other more expensive models...my skepticism is much lessened so that I can suggest that you go for the "little guys", The P3's, BUT. GET A SUBWOOFER TO SUPPLEMENT THE BASS.....AND i THINK YOU'LL HAVE A VERY SATISFYING EXPERIENCE---AS I DID THIS AFTERNOON!

    Sincerely, John Boland ADDENDUM 3-14-13: TODAY I TRIED SOME "TELLURIUM Q BLACK" SPEAKER CABLES. WOW...VERY TRANSPARENT AND FOCUSSED! EVEN BETTER THAN THE MORROW CABLE MENTIONED ABOVE. THEY ARE RIGHT NOW MAKING MY P3'S "SING"!!! :o)

  • #2
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    PS: It's me again....I don't know if I'm allowed to reply to my own posting but here is an ADDENDUM AS ABOVE: TODAY I TRIED SOME "TELLURIUM Q BLACK" SPEAKER CABLES. WOW...VERY TRANSPARENT! EVEN BETTER THAN THE MORROW CABLES MENTIONED ABOVE. THEY ARE RIGHT NOW MAKING MY P3'S "SING"!!! :o)

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    • #3
      Further info

      With my member name, I am on aol.com in case anyone wants to contact me for some reason.

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