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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.

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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.

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Harbeth HL Compact 7ES-3 specific

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  • #16
    Re: Any information about Compact 7ES3 yet?

    thank you,
    but it's just out of curiosity as I'm an Happy M 30 owner....

    regards,
    David

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    • #17
      I just bought Compact 7ES3 ...

      Just bought a ES3 last Fri. I've heard both the ES2 & an older C7 model. The highs are more airy & delicate - a bit more towards the HL5.

      I'm new to Harbeth and has never heard one until a few weeks ago...so please take my description from the perspective of someone new to the "sound".

      Although it sounded impressive on a Rega Mira3, changing to a more powerful 100W amp made the sound more effortless & bass slightly more defined.

      Like the older models I've tried, it's tolerant of non-audiophile recordings.

      For lack of a better description all the C7s i've heard sounds "organic", and the ES3 even more so.

      This speaker sounds almost alive - the presence of the singer's body, the piano key after key strike and the sound board of a strummed guitar leaves little to the imagination - not in a emphasized and etched manner like some "high definition" speakers though.

      An incredible piece of engineering!

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      • #18
        Re: Any information about Compact 7ES3 yet?

        what's your Primare amp and what your source, Naimeo?

        David

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        • #19
          Re: Any information about Compact 7ES3 yet?

          I30 & Pioneer DV989.

          Take note that proper isolation tweaks on both and using the "Direct" button on the 989 makes a lot of difference.

          Speaker cable is just a generic multistrand from Rega.

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          • #20
            Re: Any information about Compact 7ES3 yet?

            Alan mentioned that his new Compact 7ES3 is a "ground-up redesign". Obviously this redesign reflects new ideas. So, the natural question must be: is this new Compact a better speaker than the SHL5? Anyone heard them both?

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            • #21
              First picture of C7ES3

              For the first picture of the new Compact 7ES3, please go to the top of the Harbeth homepage here: http://www.harbeth.co.uk

              I don't think you can make simple comparisons across the model range. The SHL5 is quite a bit bigger and can not fairly be compared with a smaller one: each does things slightly differently; there is not one 'best' solution - it depends upon taste, preferences, budget available and room size.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #22
                Announcing HL Compact7ES-3

                We have now added detail of the new ES-3 model to the Harbeth website. We have good stocks of parts and are able to take your orders now!
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

                  Originally posted by A.S.
                  We have now added detail of the new ES-3 model to the Harbeth website. We have good stocks of parts and are able to take your orders now!
                  Hi Alan,

                  I have just read the marketing brief for new ES-3 on the main website and as an ES-2 owner I am intrigued as to the difference in presentation (as I'm sure many others are too). I hope you can indulge me for a few moments with questions about the new design:

                  1. Is the radial driver completely different or is it just the surround?
                  2. The tweeter grill now has an 'unobstructed' view of the listening area. Does that mean the ES-2's grilles are obstructed and should I be removing them for an 'unobstructed' view (I am semi joking here)?
                  3. You state that the crossover is the most important change. How much of the sum of the parts is this responsible for the change in presentation (I know it isn't possible to get a quantitative assessment)?
                  4. Have you swapped your ES-2's for ES-3's?
                  5. Should I swap mine?!
                  6. Can you describe the major difference in presentation from your perspective?
                  7. Do you have any plots of frequency response comparisons between ES-2 and ES-3?

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Technical overview of HL Compact7ES-3

                    OK, I'd like to reply, and hopefully to give an overview that will not lead to lots of needless fears and worries amongst our many users. So here goes:

                    We are, of course, a commercial business, and we track the sales of individual models with an eye to increasing our overall sales and market share. In this modern world this includes a sensitivity to product life cycles, consumer expectations, manufacturing costs and the march of technology. For example, the software tools we have perfected now are streets ahead of those of ten years ago and dramatically cut the graft of design. They are not any sort of substitute for listening though, but they do allow more time to be spent on that listening and less scratching about in buckets of components looking for the ideal values at 2am.

                    One overriding comment I would make is that we are acutely aware of our pedigree and we do not take needless risks in product development. The entire HL Compact/Compact 7 family is extremely important to me and close to my heart; it put Harbeth on the road to success. In fact, as I started to unpick the question (as one does every few years) 'just what is it about model xyz that makes it as good as it is' I concluded that any improvements in the Compact 7 would be organic, detail, incremental. The 7ES-2 is a great speaker, but the ES-3 is a tiny bit better. To say that the ES-3 is such a step forward that it's not recognisable as a traditional Harbeth is not credible - and simply not true. But what our customers say is another matter: they seem to really like it.

                    To answer your questions -

                    1. Is the radial driver completely different or is it just the surround?

                    The surround is the biggest change. Don't underestimate the key role that the surround plays though - it has a huge acoustic effect.

                    2. The tweeter grill now has an 'unobstructed' view of the listening area. Does that mean the ES-2's grilles are obstructed and should I be removing them for an 'unobstructed' view (I am semi joking here)?

                    My dear chap, you really should know better than to ask such a question! DO NOT CONTEMPLATE REMOVING THE ES-2 GRILLE.

                    3. You state that the crossover is the most important change. How much of the sum of the parts is this responsible for the change in presentation (I know it isn't possible to get a quantitative assessment)?

                    The energy disposition is smoother, the phase alignment is better (the crossover frequency is slightly lower, this helps).

                    4. Have you swapped your ES-2's for ES-3's?

                    Um. Having sweated for six months on the C7ES-3 day and night what do you think?!

                    5. Should I swap mine?!

                    The C7ES-2 is great speaker, as are all Compact 7's. If you have the resources to change your speakers then we'd gladly take your order! Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the music.

                    6. Can you describe the major difference in presentation from your perspective?

                    A little more open, a little more up-front, a little more sparkle, a little more air, and much easier to use on shorter stands (the ones that the wives like), a flatter frequency response and an overall involving presentation.

                    7. Do you have any plots of frequency response comparisons between ES-2 and ES-3?

                    We don't publish frequency response plots. They convey nothing whatsoever about the sound quality, only sound quantity.

                    I hope that this will suffice at this time.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

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                    • #25
                      Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

                      Thanks Alan. I have put my screwdrivers away!

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                      • #26
                        Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

                        I listened to the 7-3 a few weeks ago (just perfect), purchased, and will receive shipment (hopefully) tomorrow.

                        When I audtioned them, I thought they were "too high" on 20" stands (before I read anything from A.S. et al.). I decided that I will fiddle with the height on makeshift props and work from there. More to come.

                        Dave

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                        • #27
                          Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

                          Hello Alan ,

                          I'm Curio Allocchio from Brescia (Italy)
                          I'm happy to see you're fine and still on the way to produce masterpieces

                          Long time passed but I'm still a proud owner of Compact 7ES2
                          I can say to be one of your best C7ES tester :-) because my loudspeakers work not less than 6/8 hours every day since year 2000 and never had one problem
                          I have the satellite decoder into the preamp so we don't use tv speakers but your HL C7ES so they work so many hours every day .. apart when I listen my Hi-Fi and those are additional working hours :-)
                          Unbeliveable .. no one problem! My compliments Alan
                          I have lost userID and password of my old subscription into this group .. so I had to subcribe with this nickname .. and here I'm now!
                          I'm following since two days your debatings about the new babe C7ES3 .. and I already called our Italian importer Hi-Fi United but they didn't know you have released this new jewel :-( it would be better if you call them and send the new C7ES3 cos I want to buy a pair as soon as possible

                          I'm happy to see you and so many nice users .. well let's go! :-)

                          Here thank to the only digital I appreciate , the Digicam , one pic about my listening room and my loved C7ES2




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                          • #28
                            Where can I buy Compact7ES-3 - veneers available?

                            Hello,

                            I'm also very eager to get HL Compact7ES-3. Hope that distributor for Slovenia will have them on stock very soon.

                            BR,
                            Sasa

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                            • #29
                              Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

                              Nice Picture, Curio !!!

                              ciao,
                              david

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                              • #30
                                Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

                                Ciao Curio,

                                Thnak you, I've received your private message, I'm glad another italian in our group.
                                Nice photo but where's the projector? Is that a TV?
                                ...Just kidding!
                                BTW I've a Sanyo PLV-Z5 projector, a fantastic value for money like the C7, in my system with an HTPC fitted with Lynxstudio L22 professional sound card, Accuphase E-307 amp and of course Harbeth monitor I've never wished a center channel, sub or surround speakers to enjoy a great Home Cinema experience!

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