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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Which Harbeth speaker is right for me?

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  • Which Harbeth speaker is right for me?

    This is the best place to ask that first basic question. It somewhat depends upon your room size, how close (or how far away) you listen, how loud you play, your musical tastes and of course, your budget.

    Detailed question about specific Harbeth models should be posted in the other forum.

  • #2
    Buying the Compact 7ES3

    Hi,
    I never owned a proper hifi audio set, but after buying a nice Pana Plasma, I found it time to start getting myself a nice sound too.

    Now I have the possibility to buy the compact 7ES3. Of course I will hear them first.

    Any expert advice is more than welcome.

    Ciao

    Comment


    • #3
      my room is 8 meters long and 3 meters wide. My sofa will be about 3 meters away from the speakers. I don't like to play too loud. I listen mostly to Reggae,Ska, Jazz, Classical and Indian Classical music. And I'm in the position to buy some secondhand Compact 7 ES 3.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Vaidya, give the C7ES3 a listen. Harbeths excel on all types of acoustic music, esp classical music where its unbeatable midband & tonal attributes will be fully glorified.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello Vaidya,

          My room is the size of yours, my sofa also stands 3 meters away from my new C7 and they work fantastic. I have no better description of the C7 than the one given by Gan CK: Harbeths excel on all types of acoustic music, esp classical music where its unbeatable midband & tonal attributes will be fully glorified

          The best would be to audition the speakers in your room and then decide.

          Comment


          • #6
            thanks all,
            To audition the speakers will be difficult. I could buy them next week in Holland (secondhand) and than I have to bring them back with me to Italy.
            So it's a bit of a gamble, but hearing everyone say that they are more than wonderful speakers, should be enough. At least I can hear them at the sellers house.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Vaidya, its good if you can hear the C7ES3 at seller's plc. But beware, if you are used to upfront, artificially bright & forward spks, then your initial impression of the C7s might not be good. These days, 99.9% of speakers in the market are lean & mean with exagerrated highs to give false impression of detail & transparency. In particular, french & some American panel spks. If you are accustomed to those kind of speakers, my bet is you won't like the C7s. However, if you are a regular classical concert goer, then any Harbeth should appeal very much to you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Gan CK is right, but in my opinion I'd take the punt. I replaced forward and bright Proacs (Studio 100, then Response D15) with second hand P3s with really appreciated results.
                Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello again, vaidya.

                  I bought both pairs of my Harbeths, having never heard them before. The first were Compact 7 ES-2's, strictly on word of mouth and curiosity. I was totally unprepared for what I heard-stunningly natural sound! A couple years later, buying the Monitor 30's (never having heard them before, either), was an easy decision, having lived with the 7's.

                  Go up to Holland and grab them-I can promise you you'll love them!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vaidya View Post
                    my room is 8 meters long and 3 meters wide. My sofa will be about 3 meters away from the speakers. I don't like to play too loud. I listen mostly to Reggae,Ska, Jazz, Classical and Indian Classical music. And I'm in the position to buy some secondhand Compact 7 ES 3.
                    you've got a big listening room, go for the SHL5 for speed, accuracy, sweet treble, soundstage. although you wont go wrong with Harbeth 7ES3 but i dont think it will satify you completely if Classical or Jazz music is your favourite genre. especially complex, quick jazz, fusion jazz, big orchestra performance. it will do very well with vocal, smooth jazz or blues. it really boils down to what you are listening and how good is your CD media. a good CD media is important and will compliment what you play thru Harbeth speaker with your favorite track / album / songs. the philosophy is favourite music / artist / album comes first..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by coredump View Post
                      you've got a big listening room, go for the SHL5 for speed, accuracy, sweet treble, soundstage. although you wont go wrong with Harbeth 7ES3 but i dont think it will satify you completely if Classical or Jazz music is your favourite genre. especially complex, quick jazz, fusion jazz, big orchestra performance. it will do very well with vocal, smooth jazz or blues. it really boils down to what you are listening and how good is your CD media. a good CD media is important and will compliment what you play thru Harbeth speaker with your favorite track / album / songs. the philosophy is favourite music / artist / album comes first..
                      Coredump, may I add.. "trash in trash out". IMO, all are important room, cables, speakers, cdp...
                      A good cd media with low quality cdp would not show the full potential of your set-up. I know because I've just replace my cdp. The differences is like "day and night"..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How important is it to have distance from the rear/side walls?

                        From all I have read, the 7 ES3 sound perfect for my new large room, but I will not be able to place them more than a foot or so away from the two walls of the corners of the room. I also understand that for the P3ESR, that is not a problem, but I suspect the room might dwarf the speaker. Also, I am looking for a replacement for my current speaker pair, Spendor S3/5 se, that I love, but it loses out on bass even on acoustic jazz and I am not sure it will work in the larger room I have to move to.

                        But for that fact, I love the little Spendors, and I am guessing that the P3 won't give me all that much more than what they do, while the 7ES3 will. But if I place the latter around 18 inches away from each of the walls in the corner, how will they fare?

                        Or will the P3 itself do significantly better than the Spendors - my listening is acoustic music+vocals at normal listening levels.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jmohd View Post
                          Coredump, may I add.. "trash in trash out". IMO, all are important room, cables, speakers, cdp...
                          A good cd media with low quality cdp would not show the full potential of your set-up. I know because I've just replace my cdp. The differences is like "day and night"..
                          I have brought a Marantz SA11S2 and now i believe that a quality player will show the potential of your set-up. i didn't my setup of Harbeth SHL5 with Lavardin IS would sound so nice. I would like to emphasize that it is an improvement and not different...

                          from now on, 'Trash in Trash out' is a valid statement...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kumar Kane View Post

                            But for that fact, I love the little Spendors, and I am guessing that the P3 won't give me all that much more than what they do, while the 7ES3 will. But if I place the latter around 18 inches away from each of the walls in the corner, how will they fare?

                            Or will the P3 itself do significantly better than the Spendors - my listening is acoustic music+vocals at normal listening levels.
                            I believe this has been answered on another thread but for completeness I would say that the C7ES3 will be just fine, a foot from the nearest walls. The P3ESR will also work perfectly in this situation.

                            As to the P3ESR v the Spendor - the latter sounds flat and uninvolving to my ears, whereas the little Harbeth is dynamic, solid, tactile and good fun. It betters the Spendor in all areas, to my ears.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Posted a thread to ask but then find this is probably a more appropriate place to ask: I am planning to set up a separate audio system in the basement just for music alone. I have a large L shape room not divided, with about 12' W x 35' L x 7' H.

                              I listen to many kinds of music but mainly classical (from solo piano to chamber music, concertos and large orchestra work), also some instrumental/new age, vocal, Pops, etc. Not many rock music. I have been using an old Rogers LS/2 bookshelf and are used to the British sound, this plus my music taste makes me consider the Harbeth, which I had a chance to audition lately.

                              Source: i'm fully digital and use a Squeezebox 3 with lossless files on server. May consider adding a turn table later.

                              Amp:not decided.

                              Will Compact 7 works in the room size that I mentioned ? I really hope I don't have to go bigger due to cost. If I have to, I can add a bookshelf to use as a room divider to limit the size.

                              Thanks !

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