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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P3ESR and a 30w Synthesis Ensemble

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  • P3ESR and a 30w Synthesis Ensemble

    I've been auditioning the Ensemble (34L tubes) with some Audio Notes, Quads, and ProAcs. Wish I could try them with P3ESRs. The dealer, who is extremely knowledgeable and low pressure, is skeptical that the Harbeth will be a good match for the 30w valve amp...that it would prefer more power.

    I really enjoy the warmth of the sound from the Ensemble, and I tend to listen to jazz at low to moderate volume. I'm concerned the P3s will be hungry for more watts. Oh, and I don't have a Harbeth showroom within several hours. Any commiseration?

  • #2
    30W will work just fine ....

    I often use low powered amps like the Sugden A21 and Leak Stereo 20 with good results. I would suggest that, unless you have a large room and/or go in for head-banging, the 30 watt tube amp will work just fine.


    • #3
      Harbeth - an easy load and plenty of volume

      I would like to affirm hifi_dave's response. I purposely demo Harbeth speakers with the Sugden A21 to show what an easy load they are and produce sufficient volume for most people.

      Given the listening habits you mentioned in your post, I expect you should be OK.


      • #4
        Triode connected Leak 20

        Just a bit more reassurance, I use a triode connected Leak 20 which in theory halves the output with mine and in a 12 x 12ft room all is just superb. Whereabouts are you Chesterton ? Ooops, sorry, just spotted USA - you'll not be fancying popping round then !


        • #5
          Dance music with 30W at home

          I use the P3 with a Luxman SQ-38u which produces 30W into 6ohms. I think the valves are even the same type as your amp's. In my 25-30 sqm. room they play loud and clean for normal use and will even deliver sufficient sound pressure and bass for dance music with plenty of people in the room.

          As long as you don't expect actual discotheque or rock concert levels your 30W should be plenty.


          • #6
            Thanks for the responses

            Thanks for the input. I should certainly take the time to seek out a pair for audition. Since it's a 4 hour drive, I thought I better make it worth the trip. At this point I'd be hard pressed to say why the Quads I can get locally wouldn't do instead. I guess I have to admit that the styling and reputation of the Harbeth is influencing my decision. But don't tell anyone.

            I'm also considering very compact floorstanders (e.g. Devore Gibbon Super 8), since in truth these speakers will not be on furniture. But bookshelf speakers are flexible and not as imposing, given a proper stand.

            {Moderator's comment: just a point to be aware of (although this is a general point rather than a specific one). One trick seen in recent 'stats is of significantly eleveated HF response i.e. a "cranked-up top end". This may at first sound very detailed etc. but will saw your head off after a hour's use. Beware.}