"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 may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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  • Finally

    After searching 30 years for the sound I liked , this quest is finally over.

    Next wednesday I have my pair off PS3 where they belong ( at my place offcourse)

    Thank you Mister Shaw for making this possible.

    Greetings to you all from a cold and damp Holland


  • #2
    Welcome, Fred. Is it P3's that you have? They are marvelous speakers!


    • #3
      Welcome to HUG Fred. All Harbeths are marvelous & have unbeatable tonal & musical attributes. You are definitely in good company.


      • #4
        Welcome Fred. Your experience is identical to mine. If I'd discovered Harbeths earlier, I'd have saved a fortune on amps and players. Then I'd have had enough to buy me ESRs!
        Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.


        • #5
          Nice Fred! Glad to see another recent P3 owner here.


          • #6
            Thanks for the warm and friendly welcome.

            Yes...I bought the P3ESR. I had them compared with a wide selection of speakers which are known to be a good match with Naim. Like Spendor, Neat, Sonusfaber, Wilson Benesch. They all have their benefits, But the small Harbeths did it for me....

            In case you wonder what speaker stands they are on!

            The custummade fs 104...Fits nicely

            Greetings to you all from Holland


            Please to excuse my English


            • #7

              Plug and Thrill



              • #8
                Your English is fine Fred...welcome to the P3ESR club! You will have many happy hours of enjoyable listening!


                • #9
                  Fred, I'm thinking that you must be enjoying them!


                  • #10
                    Oh Sure...Although at First I had the feeling off a small curtaIn hanging in front of the speakers. Anoying! I removed the grilles this morning and now I enjoy them much more. The curtains are open. Maybe it has also something to do with my room acoustics. Well.. Small thing(sorry) |The vineer on the right speaker is lighter than the left one, not disturbing but noticable.

                    Have to get used to the sound which is totally diferent to the speakers I had for over 15 years.


                    • #11
                      Hi Fred, take your time to enjoy these little beauties you have. The thing about Harbeths is that they may not wow you initially but spend a little more time with them & their subtle beauty, musicality & accuracy of instrumental timbre will soon get to you.


                      • #12
                        I think I already am much more enyoing them already. It"s a learning proces. Although I think they could do with a touch more up frontness. And it seems to me they sound a bit dry.Maybe it has something to do with my room acoustics.


                        • #13
                          Hi Fred, are u using the P3ESRs with Naim as mentioned above? Naims are by nature a tad dry but compensate with a faster & more immediate presentation. Try an LFD LE III or IV or Lavardin IS Ref or perhaps a Creek Destiny with the P3s. Of the 3 amps, LFD is the closest to Naim in terms of 'PRAT' but has a more organic, liquid & transparent midband & sweeter highs. Some folks here like their Harbeths with Luxman. All of these amps will sound more liquid than Naims.


                          • #14
                            Hi Gan,

                            Thanks for the suggestion but I leave it the way it is. I came to the conclusion that it all came down to a learning process. you have to learn to appreciate the neutrality and the clarity off this speakers. When you do you really enjoy them and nothing in this price range sound better.A big plus is the total absence of Listening fatigue.

                            On the other hand, sometimes they sound a bit dull....Maybe that has something to do with the recording. BTW Bought them just in time. A week later and I had to pay 15 % more.

                            Fred from a sunny but cold Holland
                            Last edited by fred40; 20-02-2011, 02:45 PM. Reason: addition


                            • #15
                              Fred - It looks like you're acquainting yourself with your new Harbeths.
                              IMO, the P3's are neutral/accurate speakers. This is a tough description to throw around - I wasn't in the studio when the artist was recording. But I do notice that the P3's sound very different from recording to recording, they simply pass along what was recorded/mixed/mastered. Yes, some mixes can be on the dull side, if that's the case, then that's what the Harbeths will show you. No hyping or extra color...