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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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  • Tweeter dot

    Look very carefully at your P3ES2/P3ES/P3 tweeter and you should see the plastic dot. Not obvious against the silver coloured dome perhaps. Whatever - do not remove it!

    Great pictures and welcome to the Harbeth family. If you pass by Tuen Mun, Castle Peak Road, think of Alan at the Gold Coast Hotel. His favourite haunt.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

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    • Let me post some more photos of the arrival and unboxing of my new P3ESR. =)

      The carton ... giving full protection on these beautiful speakers


      Rosewood.

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      • QC sealed


        Open!

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        • My lovely speakers


          Owner's certificate

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          • "Special Edition"


            A temporary home for my P3ESR (What a mess, isn't it? Yet I'll move house next month.)

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            • The speakers sing beautifully even with a cheap JVC mini-hifi. Yet next month Exposure 3010S2 will come in.


              These are my old P3ES-2. I bought them new in 2003 for HK$73XX. I sold them to a gentleman last week for HK$70XX. Not a bad deal at all! This is another reason why I love Harbeth.


              Thanks for watching. Cheers.

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              • Thanks for sharing..nice photos...may I know what camera you are using?

                Btw, regarding the dot, you shd able to see it on your p3es2 too. Due to the old tweeter grille, it is less obvious. My old c7 and SHL5 do have the dot as well.
                "Bath with Music"

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                • chowyeung, you're passionate enough to take the photos and share with us, thanks. Your pair of P3ESR was inspected by Sam Heeler. Alan told me that she's an extremely picky girl, in other words your pair of speakers have passed the most stringent test and inspection. :-) May I know whats the power rating of that JVC?

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                  • The camera I use is Canon IXUS 870IS.
                    You are probably right - There should be a dot in P3ES-2. Yet I had sold my P3ES-2.

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                    • Originally posted by miniwatt View Post
                      chowyeung, you're passionate enough to take the photos and share with us, thanks. Your pair of P3ESR was inspected by Sam Heeler. Alan told me that she's an extremely picky girl, in other words your pair of speakers have passed the most stringent test and inspection. :-) May I know whats the power rating of that JVC?
                      wow... I'm lucky!
                      My JVC is UX-7000. I'm not sure about its power rating. Perhaps 30W?

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                      • Yes very nice pics indeed showing the pride of owning a pair of Harbeths. I reckon the latest batch of Harbeths are all inspected by Sam Heeler...

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                        • ¿Who is it Sam Heeler?

                          Regards.

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                          • The photos of chowyeung's new P3ESRs are interesting ... lovely speakers ... in fact they look just like mine with the notable exception of the back panel.

                            You see, mine are "standard" P3ESRs, that are not advertised as being made with "Studio Grade Ultra-Pure OFC Cable".

                            I'm not sure how to feel about this. Perhaps I own an inferior product? But seriously, the following hypotheses come to mind to explain the difference (which is surely down to marketing, I would guess to meet the perceived needs of a particular market):

                            1. The cable is in fact the same as the cable in the "standard" P3ESRs, which differ only in that they don't purport to have "special" cable in them; or

                            2. The cable really is different, "upgraded" cable, but it's not a meaningful or consequential difference in that it has no actual impact on the speaker's performance, it's just something for the buyer to feel good about; or

                            3. The cable is different, and there's an impact on performance.

                            Based on everything Alan has said about cable, and his desire to make his speakers as good as possible, one can safely dismiss #3, I think (and hope). That leaves #1 and #2 as the possibilities. Does it matter which is true? From the end user's perspective, probably not - either way, the performance of the speaker is unaffected.

                            However, I'm not sure I understand or agree with this practice. To go on so long about audiophilia nervosa, to decry the audiophile pursuit of "tweaks" and of "magic" solutions to better sound, to insist on differences that are scientifically measurable and meaningful - how is any of this consistent with a "special edition" Harbeth that purports to have special, super-duper, razzle-dazzle internal cabling that "ordinary" Harbeths are presumably deprived of?

                            I thought Harbeth was a company that did not play this particular game. I mean, if you don't want people to "chase the dream", to wonder if there's some way their Harbeths could be better, why engage in a practice that actually encourages that very belief? It seems - excuse the word, but I can't think of how else to say it - a bit hypocritical.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by EricW View Post
                              ...if you don't want people to "chase the dream", to wonder if there's some way their Harbeths could be better, why engage in a practice that actually encourages that very belief? It seems - excuse the word, but I can't think of how else to say it - a bit hypocritical.
                              Well, we have to separate two factors here. First, let's not forget that we are running a business, not a hobby. A business takes soundings from its customers, and if necessary, adapts its products to suit the market conditions. BMW, for example, will make minor specification changes according to particular markets. Whether a gold-inlaid dashboard really improves the performance of an already good car is not the issue: the owner feels better seeing it (and living the dream) and that really is the end of the story for them. They wanted it. They paid for it. They can have it.

                              As I said in the Google video of me in giving a presentation in Malaysia recently, 'my opinion really doesn't matter'. And it doesn't. Our criteria in deciding upon a special edition is a) will it disrupt production? b) could it degrade the product? c) will the customer pay for the feature? e) does it make business sense. Whether I personally believe in it is utterly irrelevant; I'm only the manufacturer.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                                Well, we have to separate two factors here. First, let's not forget that we are running a business, not a hobby. ... 'my opinion really doesn't matter'. ... Whether I personally believe in it is utterly irrelevant; I'm only the manufacturer.
                                Surely this is only partially true. I mean, if that's the whole story, why not make sculpted, sexy, floor-standing cabinets? Why not do what most other speaker companies do, and talk about the quality of your wiring, your fancy boutique capacitors and resistors, etc. etc.? Why not follow fashion?

                                I think you have a large percentage of your customer base that is attracted by your approach and your reputation for integrity and truthfulness, and pursuing only improvements and features that are meaningful in terms of the listening experience, not as a fad. I realize you're a business, but it's that reputation for doing it right that I think resonates with a lot of people. And in that context, I would humbly suggest that what you, Alan Shaw, personally believe is indeed important to a lot of your customers who admire and respect your approach both to business and to audio design. I think that that integrity, besides being admirable in and of itself, has paid dividends for you in a business sense and is a bigger asset than anything else you have apart from the fundamental quality of your design. I question whether you really want to do anything at all that may be perceived as derogating from it.

                                There's a difference between upgraded cable and a gold dashboard. Yes, the latter doesn't improve performance but no one expects it to. It's a purely cosmetic feature, akin to a premium finish on a pair of speakers - people may happily pay the upcharge for rosewood or tiger ebony, but no one thinks their speakers will sound better as a result. But when you advertise upgraded cable - which is invisible to the user, after all - surely the only point of doing so is to provide an implicit promise of improved performance. No, you don't say so outright, but there can be no other reason it's there.

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