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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Harbeth P3ESR

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  • Harbeth P3ESR

    Having now had my P3ESRs for a month, I am inspired to post this personal review, finding it hard to believe what performance these small Harbeth units offer, a standard which seems to compete with many of the significantly more expensive competitors on the market.

    As a short way of introduction, I am a young British conductor currently working as Kapellmeister at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, one of the renowned opera houses in the world. Finding my feet in the world of music, I was determined to find a hi-fi system that would provide me for the years to come with a musically "true" means of listening to and learning from the great classical recordings. I am tired of the compromises that modern MP3 players and their music systems provide, which tend to reduce extremes and obscure the all important details that make music worth listening to.

    In preparation and performance, my aim is to find the unique qualities of a piece, focus upon these and bring them to the fore - this often involves concentrating on the finer points of articulation, blend and balance between instruments, colours and moods created by instrumentation as well as clarifying and enhancing the extremes of dynamic (of which the quality of sound during the loudest passages and the intensity of the softest moments are the most difficult to achieve).

    The P3ESR loudspeakers recreate these qualities to a quite simply astonishing degree. They allow the listener to listen into a strikingly three dimensional sound image, where details are made tangible to an extent that a recording begins to live - the speakers offer such a effortlessly neutral sound that I can only describe them as being incredibly "musical". I am currently listening again to all my favourite Kleiber, Karajan and Furtwängler recordings, documents that I have already heard countless time. Not only am I learning from them anew, but I have the sense that I can come a great deal closer to experiencing their presence as artists and individuals, something that my age should properly deny me. From my perspective, I cannot think of a greater compliment for a creator of reproductive technology.

    My sincere compliments and thanks to the Alan Shaw and his team at Harbeth. They have produced a product not only of exceptional quality and beauty, but one with an extraordinary audio capability that I am sure is the result of a great deal of time, care, patience and a deeply held commitment to the highest of standards.

    Christopher Ward
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Csward, I was wondering what color your Harbeths are. I'm having a hard time trying to find colors of each of the P3ers. Thanks


    • #3
      A modern marvel!

      Nice review Christopher,

      I feel the same way about my P3ESRs. That's what this hobby is about -- reproducing recorded sound in a natural manner and enjoying the sound.

      The P3ESRs are a marvel of modern design -- Alan Shaw -- you've outdone yourself -- they are perfect in form and function -- kind of like an another English classic pre war Norris 5a smoothing plane -- perfect in every way!

      By the way I love the figure in your veneers Christopher. Attached is a photo of my pair in book-matched rosewood

      All the best

      Attached Files


      • #4

        This is such a fantastic review.


        • #5
          Great read

          I don't often post on this forum and I'm not one usually given to superlatives in describing hifi, but this was a very enjoyable review - and one which I wholeheartedly endorse.

          The P3ESR is indeed a brilliant little speaker.