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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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.