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INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"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 http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
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New Harbeth P3ESR

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  • No, the M40.1 is far, far better than that !!!

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    • it was nice to see the P3ESR's and Compact 7's spoken about so highly in the latest issue of Stereophile (June). Though the Harbeth's were not actually reviewed, they were used as a reference in comparison to Proac D2 speakers w/ the Leben 600 int. amp. and a pair of smaller Devore ( forget which model)speakers.I understand reviews are not super important, but I always enjoy when Harbeth speakers are written about with such reverence..Especially when used as a reference for comparison with other speakers, or to test the performance of amplifiers and such.

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      • Originally posted by DrewTurner View Post
        It was nice to see the P3ESR's and Compact 7's spoken about so highly in the latest issue of Stereophile (June).
        We're not on the circulation list so it's always a pleasant surprise to hear good news. Thanks for the feedback.
        Alan A. Shaw
        Designer, owner
        Harbeth Audio UK

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        • Just a quick word of praise for the P3ESR. I am a professional musician using my speakers all day nearly every day , either as near field recording monitors, for listening to music , or for practicing. They replaced an expensive pair of Genelecs. I am finding them totally natural and non fatiguing, yet with all the detail i need. In a word, perfect companions in my musical environment. Thanks Alan!

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          • Does anyone know if the P3ESR drivers are magnetically shield? I'm going to place them adjacent to an LCD TV. Thanks in advance for your advice.

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            • They are not. But as far as I know, you only need shielded magnets for the old CRT sets, not LCD or plasma - which is why we dropped the shielding when changing from the P3ES2 to P3ESR.

              When the original P3 was designed in 1990, CRT sets were the technology of the day. Twenty years on, they are obsolete.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

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              • Alan, thank you very much. I just curious because I noticed that my LCD TV has distorted and faded color when I put a pair of LS3/5a close to it. I will try again when I get P3ESR soon. Appreciate your answer.

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                • Alan, how about Compact 7ES-3? Are they magnetically shield?
                  Cheers

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                  • Magnetic shielding - no

                    They are not magnetically shielded - no current Harbeth's are - but they have a reduced stray magnetic field thanks to an anti-magnet which concentrates the inevitable field around the (back of) the cabinet.

                    I'm surprised to hear that an LCD TV is sensitive to the stray magnetic field from a speaker. I can't imagine why the LCD technology would be influenced by a magnetic field. In a conventional CRT TV, visible colour distortion occurs when the almost weightless electrons are fired like a bullet from the neck at the back of the (deep) TV cabinet onto the screen, and a magnetic field in close proximity pulls them off target.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

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                    • Alan, I've just realized that the speakers do not affect the LCD TV. I misunderstood that they made colour distortion. I'm not worried about the speaker placement now.
                      Thank you very much for your comment.

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                      • I bought a new pair of rosewood P3ESR today. The speakers are so beautiful that I consider they are pieces of art work. Great and flawless craftmanship !

                        I had been using P3ES-2 for the past seven years. I must say P3ESR outperforms P3ES-2 in all aspects. The first thing I notice is the improvement in bass - it's tight and fuller. To my ears the sound of P3ESR is smooth, solid and sexy. Perfect for vocal. I'm so happy I have made a correct decision to make a purchase of P3ESR. The speakers are going to be my great companion in music enjoyment in the coming years and years !

                        I'm totally satisfied with P3ESR. Thanks Alan for bringing us these beautiful and wonderful speakers.



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                        • Dear Alan,
                          I can find a sticker behind the tweeter grille. Should I remove it?

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                          • That's a diffuser. Please do not attempt to remove it.

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                            • Yes do not remove it. Btw, that's a very nice pair of P3ESR. Congratulations. Pics very well taken.

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                              • I see. I asked because I did not find such sticker in my P3ES-2.
                                Cheers ~

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