"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. 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 offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by 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, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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P3ESR and a Subwoofer

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  • P3ESR and a Subwoofer

    I wonder if there are any thoughts on pairing the P3esr with a good Subwoofer. Some say It will destroy the sound, others saying "nice experiment "or even WOW.

    The equipment I use is NAIM based;


    Fred from Holland

  • #2
    P3 and a sub

    I can't see why it would not work if one were so inclined. My idea would be to get a subwoofer that was comprehensively adjustable (like a REL). You'd need to carefully adjust the roll-on/off and sometimes subs have a phase invert switch. This can be useful when trying to get the sound right.

    I must say, in my small room - even when I play 90s 'Now' CDs (the shame of it!) - I experience no shortage of bass nourishment.


    • #3
      For really deep bass ... try REL

      I added a REL T5 and it really integrated well with the P3's. Try it, you might like it.


      • #4
        Rel + c7

        Another vote for Rel over here, chose a B3 to go with my C7's. My short list consisted of the JL F110 and B3, ended up preferring the B3's sound and it integrated very nicely.


        • #5
          Use the REL Speakon connection

          The REL B3 integrated seamlessly with my C7's. After changing from tube/valve amp to SS the sub does not work as hard. IMO the REL Speakon connection is the only appropriate connection for two channel sound.


          • #6
            AB1 with P3ESR

            Hmm i am wondering if the Rogers AB-1 (originally designed for LS-3/5A) would work with the P3ESR.....

            {Moderator's comment: I certainly should do.}


            • #7
              80Hz and below

              Thanks for youre interesting replys , It"s certainly worth trying then? I miss some body under 80 Hz...A good sub could do the trick I guess.


              • #8
                Do you really need a sub? P3ESR is perfect as it is

                I would suggest you try before you buy.

                I've never managed to get any sub woof working to my liking and prefer the P3ESR as nature intended. I'd rather have a slight lack of good bass to lots of poor bass.


                • #9
                  Subsonics stimulates room problems

                  Beware though, the register from 80Hz down is also a register where room interaction is very noticeable. I get the best results from measuring (there is nice free software available online) and cutting down peaks, don't even bother boosting null points. There are also devices available that will do this automatically, the ones i've tried work well indeed. So basically, a well integrated subwoofer can really give a nicer experience with certain music, but it's better without one than with a poorly integrated one.

                  Also, most music rarely contains much information below 30-40Hz or so, so in case you're also a movie fanatic with a multichannel receiver, you can get away with a much smaller unit. Unless you listen to a lot of pipe organ or percussion/drum music.

                  Good luck!


                  • #10
                    Self-adjusting sub v. REL


                    Hi Tim.

                    No.Im not a "heavy music" user. Listen to female voices most of the time or light acoustical arrangements.

                    As for the subwoofer. The Rel might be the better sub, on the other hand I was thinking of Velodyne because as I understand it they have far more possibilities to measure and adjust the sub by means of a microphone packed with the sub and some software. And a remote is also a nice thing to have. The REL has nothing off these.

                    Difficult choice


                    • #11
                      Forget about subwoofers for stereo music.

                      I used to have a Veldyne sub before I purchased the P3ESR's, I never even bothered integrating it, sold it while it way in my garage. You should not muck around with stereo music.


                      • #12
                        Subs and human voice? Needed?

                        With all due respect but add a Subwoofer and it"s still stereo. Just looking for some body in the lower regions and giving voices a touch more dynamics.

                        {Moderator's comment: voices do not extend that low so not sure what objective you are pursuing.}


                        • #13
                          Subs - necessary?

                          @Fred40: In one room, with Compact 7ES-3, I am using the new (smallest) REL T5 subwoofer. I only wanted a touch more low frequency extension and chose smaller T5 so as not to overshadow the speakers. In another room, I am using a REL B3 with the P3ESR. Either sub with either pair of speakers sounds very good.

                          I have also tried the Martin Logan Descent i with both speakers and it works very well too. And of course, for certain types of music, I disable the subs altogether. The Harbeths all sounds very nice all by themselves. In a room appropriate to their size, the P3ESR does not really need any augmentation at all.


                          • #14
                            REL Strata + C7

                            I am using a REL too. It is a very old REL strata sub with my C7. The result is good. If you are main for music, REL sub is still the best. Using the high level on REL to augment the low bass can achieve good result. Velodyne is great for movie.
                            "Bath with Music"


                            • #15
                              The best subwoofer = the one with lowest distortion

                              REL for music and Velodyne for movies? Bollocks! The best subwoofers are those that distort the least and here Velodyne is king. Has anyone actually heard both brands side-by-side? Everytime I hear a REL, I hear distortion (a nice 'warm' sound for sure, but not accurate at all).