HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts


"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound, realisable by controlling the confounding variables between tthe microphone and the listeners' ears.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. 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 electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

If you desire to intentionally tune your system sound to your personal taste, please consider carefully how much you should rely upon 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, listening loudness and listening room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

Alternatively, if faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over your speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that objective is what this forum has been helping with since 2006. Welcome!"

Jan. 2018
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P3ESR vs M30 ? Need some experts to answer , for 2.8m x 10m room, focus on vocal

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  • P3ESR vs M30 ? Need some experts to answer , for 2.8m x 10m room, focus on vocal

    Dear Everyone,

    I am very new here. I do plan to own a harbeth. However, i could not decide should i take P3ESR or M30. I like to listen to Vocal, owning a room with measurement above.

    I talk to local sales representative and they told me the following:

    The sound of P3 and M30 is very similiar, one is for small room and the other one is for bigger room.

    1. I read that P3 uses the newer technology , is there any difference in terms of sounds quality ?
    2. Is there any plan to upgrade M30 ? if yes, when ? Thanks
    3. What is the main difference between P3 and M30 in terms of quality ?

    I own a NAIM 5I, Denon CD player.

    Appreciate for reply. Thanks

  • #2
    M30 for me


    I've listened one month ago the P3ESR and the M30 not in the same room unfortunately... and not with the same electronic... But to my ears the M30 is a step above. It's midrange and hight are so natural and detailed that i think you will not regret buying it.

    I've compared the M30 and the SHL5 in the same room and electronic and even if the bass is not in the same level i had more pleasure to listen music throught the M30 which give me the same feeling as if i was at the concert.



    • #3
      Simple choice!

      Just pick the one best suited to your room size, taste and finances. It really is that simple for most people - in my opinion obviously


      • #4
        The importance of a good dealer

        As DSRANCE said "try before you buy".

        having been kicked out of my main room and into a room similar to yours I found myself auditioning some P3ESR's and they are impressive little speakers. Punchy, articulate.

        At the moment i have the Compact 7ES-3, easy to live with more bottom end and playing at lower volume. Monitor 30's being picked up tomorrow for a week and then maybe HL5 after that. 4 weeks and 500 miles of fun with the knowledge I have the speaker that best matches my system and room.

        I found a great dealer who has the patience to let me faff about to my hearts content.

        Oh and at the mo the compact 7 is my preferred choice at the mo...


        • #5
          C7 in small room

          According to Alan, C7ES3 were developed in a small room. I have found them to be a great match for my 12'x12'x9' room. If you can accommodate them with sufficient breathing room, they are truly great speakers.


          • #6
            You can't go wrong ....

            Hi Hong,

            I've owned M30 & HL compact in the past, currently having p3es2 with xtender set up. IMO, if you are looking for vocal, you should go with m30. It has a thicker vocal & closer to human voice compare to p3. It has bigger sound & you will be able to play louder. If money was not a constraint, m30 would be a better choice. However p3 is very musical & easy on ear. My listening room size s about 11x10 ft.

            No worries, you can't go wrong with both speakers. It have good resale value over here in Malaysia, you can always sell it back if you are not happy with it.



            • #7
              A really tough choice ...

              Wow, it really is very hard to decide which Harbeth model to buy. I am chosing between the wonderful 30.1 that I already have have placed an order on, and the smaller P3ESR that I borrowed from the store.

              Many times I find this small one the be exactly what I'm looking for, easy to drive with my 30 watt tube amp and punchy, big sounding, dissappear in the soundstage, enough and even perfect amount of deep bass, I could go on...

              On the other hand, the 30.1's present an almost magically real sound that can't be heard in any other speaker, at least that I've heard. They aren't as punchy as the smaller ones with my amp, but those vocals, so real! The electric guitars, as played for me in the living room, and I love hearing even HOW the strings are being played. And the 30.1 do sound fuller and is making even not so good sounding records very enjoyable and that is important! If they were punchier and more clear in the bass, the decision would have been easy. Delicate problem, I know, and even silly when I think about it.

              But still... Any advice to give me, anyone? :-)


              • #8
                Buy the best - ignore cost

                Originally posted by egoBen View Post
                Any advice to give me, anyone? :-)
                Not about which speaker to get, per se.

                But only this: if the relative cost is having an impact on your thinking, and you are in fact able to afford the more expensive speaker, then don't let the cost factor into your choice too much unless the pricier speaker truly is too much of a stretch for you.

                If you are able to afford either speaker, then a difference in cost that might seem large now will be small in a few months, completely irrelevant in a year or two, and entirely forgotten in five years - at which time you will still be enjoying whichever speaker you chose, and will continue to do so for many years to come.

                I guess I would say, looking at it long-term, get the most speaker you can afford that works well within the constraints of your listening room.


                • #9
                  Increase production so I can enjoy - now!

                  Thank you! As I already have saved up and planned for the 30.1, the cost of the speakers isn't the issue even though spending less of course would be great. The more I think about it, a bigger and fuller sound is probably what I prefer. No matter how good these mini monitors (P3ESR) are, a bigger box do make a difference of course. My girlfriend told me to buy both. Easy for her to say. :-) If the 30 watt from my amp isn't enough for the 30.1 on some more instrument packed and heavy music, it will be an issue but not something I can't live with at the moment. Now I really long for the super natural, warm, involving, detailed and hugely satisfying 30.1 speakers! Too bad it takes forever, as it feels like, until I'll get them. Alan, hire more people. :-)


                  • #10
                    Ample amp!

                    Given the room size you look to have picked the correct speaker size of the two. I have a Naim Nait 3 which is 30wpc. This is ample to drive them.

                    It took a large increase in power and cash for me to hear a significant difference. Enjoy when they arrive.