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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Suggested amplifier for P3ESR (any will work)

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  • Suggested amplifier for P3ESR (any will work)

    hi all, I am convinced to buy my first will based on a couple of P3ESR.

    I prefer to listen classical (piano) music and rock. I would like to have clean, clear sound with more pushing on the medium/high frequencies than on low frequencies.

    please can you suggest me the best amplifier? (no more expensive than 1.000 euro if it is possible).

    how will it combine with for example myryad z142?

    many thanks

  • #2
    P3ESR with ... Exposure 2010 or Myriad Z142?

    Does anybody of you already tried p3esr with exposure 2010? or myryad z142? thanks


    • #3
      Audiospace Galaxy 34

      I all unfortunately I am not receiving any feedback. Sorry but this is my first experience in Harbeth.

      During these days I tried to connect P3ESR with a VACUUM TUBE stereo integrated amplifier AUDIOSPACE GALAXY 34. does anybody already tried these combination? do you suggest a better combination? thanks

      {Moderator's comment: the lack of response could be that we have stated here many times that Harbeth will work well with ANY competently designed amp working to original spec. Therefore, you should expect this combo to work well.}


      • #4
        Make up your own mind about amps ..... and then settle down to music

        Hi pablozz,

        Welcome to HUG. I am perhaps the last person to answer you because I am disconnected from hifi market for some time after I settle down with my Harbeth/LFD combo in yr 2009. Between exposure and myryad I personally prefer exposure based on my previous experience and I do not hear it with P3ESR till now.

        Have you tried all mentioned amps with the P3ESR yourself? You should choose either one of them if the combination sound good to you regardless how other comments good or bad.
        "Bath with Music"


        • #5
          Buy the best amp you can afford

          I bought a pair of P3ESR speakers when they first came out. At the time I owned a LFD amp. It was just OK. I borrowed a Luxman 550 and that was much better but still no magic. I took a deep breath and borrowed a Luxman 590. OK, that was magic ! I am still using that combo today. The Luxman 590 is almost $10,000.00 USD but 2 years latter and it still rocks my world. The point I am making is to buy an amp that makes the speakers come to life ! No regrets!! Life is too short !


          • #6
            Harbeths official "this amp with those speakers" position (AGAIN)


            As the moderator has stated, this subject has been covered very extensively in past threads, and it's likely that no one really wants to go over that ground again.

            Basically, Harbeth's position as I understand it is that all of their speakers are carefully and specifically designed to present an "easy" electrical load to the amplifier - click on the "Products" link and then go to "F.A.Q.", answer 5(b) - so that any reasonably good quality amplifier will drive the speakers without any difficulty at all. Based on my own limited experience, this is true and not just sales talk: I've driven my P3ESRs with three very different amplifiers rated from between 20 to 100 watts per channel, and they have sounded equally excellent with all three. I've heard other models of Harbeth driven both by extremely modest and extremely expensive amplification - perhaps the expensive amplification sounded a little bit better, but with the lights out and a drink in your hand, I'm not sure you'd notice the difference.

            A corollary of Harbeth's view of the world is that there's little or sonic difference between amplifiers (unless they're truly bad or out of spec) if you equalize listening levels and compare blind. If one starts as an "audiophile" by inclination, that may be a hard view to come around to, because the audio press will go into exquisite detail about minute differences between things like amplifiers. You should do your own listening, and take everything anyone else says with a grain of salt.

            If you still want recommendations, integrated amps that seem to consistently receive favourable mentions on this board are the new Rega Brio R, the Naim Nait 5i and XS, the Rogue Audio Chronos, and - if your budget can stretch to it - the LFD. There are doubtless many others. Good luck choosing, but don't worry about your choice too much - the important thing is that you have the right speakers: the rest is easy by comparison.



            • #7
              Now I'll order P3ESR

              hi all, thanks for reply.

              I tried p3es2 (my friend) with amplifier myryad z142 and last also with VACUUM TUBE stereo integrated amplifier AUDIOSPACE GALAXY 34.

              I understood that p3esr are very very good. But amplifier is fundamental. I found a different sound with AUDIOSPACE, with more focus on bass frequencies.

              Now I want to order new P3ESR.

              I would like also to hear with exposure 2010s2 but I think it will be similar to myryad.

              IMPORTANT: does anyone of you already tried P3ESR (or other Harbeth) with a VACUUM TUBE AMPLIFIER? what is you suggestion?

              thanks, regards


              • #8
                Experienced valve (tube) user (QUAD, Radford etc.)

                I've used quite a few valve based amps including Quad, Leak and Radford vintage.

                Currently, I regularly use Puresound A30, EAR and many Croft designs which are truly excellent and very good value.


                • #9
                  Simaudio + P3

                  IMO Simaudio works well with P3's. I went from a Cyrus 8vs to an old Simaudio i-3. I was not expecting to hear a difference, but a friend gave me the amp, so I tried it. Glad I did, because I much prefer the i-3...


                  • #10
                    Audiospace productsd

                    hi, what do you think on the combination (AMPLIFIER) AUDIOSPACE GALAXY 34 + (CD) ADVANCE ACOUSTIC MCD 204 ??



                    • #11
                      Asking about amplifies on a SPEAKER forum - any will work!

                      I have a suggestion. Either go out and listen to something or buy one of the products in question and listen to it. No one here at HUG can listen with your ears, preferences and gear. You are not going to get the answer you are looking for. It's simple, Harbeth speakers work well with any well designed amplifier.

                      That said some of those amplifiers will sound different than each other through Harbeth (or any other) speakers. Variables such as which source you are using, your room and etc along with the fact that we are not likely to speak a common language when describing what we hear means that it is impossible to recommend any one amp for Harbeth speakers as "best". That will depend on you which you believe is the "best" for you after you listen.

                      {Moderator's comment: we note that this non-question of which-amp-which-speaker is being asked over and over again. As Art K says, HUG members cannot be expected to give reliable advice. ANY COMPETENTLY DESIGNED AMP WORKING TO ORIGINAL SPEC WILL WORK WITH HARBETHS -please don't ask this question.}


                      • #12
                        Amps, P3ESR and Krell monoblocks

                        I drive my P3ESRs with a Krell behemoth. The results are nothing short of Magical.


                        • #13
                          Listen for yourself - don't ask others

                          You are in a good place with Harbeth P3s. The speakers are unfussy and relatively easy to drive. We all hear differently so it would be difficult to base your decision on what others have heard. The best thing is to listen to the amplifiers yourself and let your ears be the judge!


                          • #14

                            ok thanks all for your suggestions, bye


                            • #15
                              An easy speaker electrical load = path to expanding sales

                              The question of 'will this amp work with these speakers?' seems to have a life of its own. I just cannot fathom out why there is so much anxiety about grabbing any competent amp and hooking it up to your Harbeths and making great music.

                              It seems to me that the fundamental essence of a good amp, well designed and working to original specification is that it must be relatively load-independent and the essence of a good, well designed speaker is that it must be amplifier-independent. So what's the anxiety about then? Who has planted the fear in the minds of an entire generation of hifi consumers that the amp/speaker interface is super-critical to the musical experience? With Harbeth it isn't.

                              Let's consider this from an entirely business oriented, profit motive. It takes about the same amount of development time to design a speaker which presents an easy load to the amplifier as a difficult load. It takes about the same amount of time to design an amplifier that can cope with a wider range of speaker electrical loads as one which is only able to tolerate a narrow range. So, as business people looking to maximise our sales of speakers why would we be so stupid as to narrow the market by designing our speakers to have a difficult amplifier-dependedent load? We'd be completely barmy to do so.

                              To maximise our sales and profits and give total customer satisfaction we have made sure at the design stage that our speakers present an easy electrical load to any, competently designed hifi amplifier working within specification. That's the path to expanding sales. Any other design route is just sheer madness - unless the cunning plan is to sell your own fancy amp with your difficult to drive speakers.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK