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Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

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{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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New Harbeth P3ESR

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  • P3ESR is wonderful

    Congratulations on a purchase that you will not regret. The P3ESR is a wonderful speaker. I'm enjoying mine as I type. Cheers!

    Comment


    • Don't look any further

      You'll not regret that purchase. I'm still as impressed by my pair as on the day I bought them.

      As someone who comes in contact with real performed music for the better part of the day, it's my personal opinion that you won't find another brand that will come closer to the sound of real musicians. Get a decent amplifier, source and connectors (and none of these have to be expensive), a pair of Harbeths that suit your room.. and enjoy the music. Don't look any further. That's my advice I'll gladly give to anyone.

      Comment


      • P3ESR is evolution

        Originally posted by Heretic View Post
        Hello.

        Recently heard both the Mon20 & the P3ESR at Harbeth's Dealer in KL, MY.
        The Mo.20 had a more nasal and "flat earth" (shades of Naim?) presentation while the P3ESR managed to project a more layered soundstage. The P3ESR seemed to be able to throw a fair bit more bass than the Mon20 as well.

        Needless to say, ended up bringing home a pair of the P3ESR in gorgeous rosewood finish.

        Happy listening.
        I concur; the ESR is a noticable evolution of the ES2 and therefore of the Monitor 20 (M20=P3ES2 with Speakon inlets).

        Using Rosewood ESRs here as well; still a classy finish on any speaker.

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        • Harbeth, long term investment...

          Congrats on you new P3's. I have to listen to lesser studio monitors all day *cough - Genelec - cough* the P3's are my sanctuary when I get home...

          Comment


          • Crooked?

            Hmmm... the "Harbeth" badges on the front grilles of my P3ESR's are somewhat crooked ( as in, not quite squarely stuck onto the grilles). :P

            Comment


            • Realigning your grille badges

              Originally posted by Heretic View Post
              Hmmm... the "Harbeth" badges on the front grilles of my P3ESR's are somewhat crooked ( as in, not quite squarely stuck onto the grilles). :P
              These are self-adhesive badges which can droop in transport etc.

              To straighten them, remove the grilles from the P3's and with the aid of a hairdrier, slightly warm up the back of the badge, through the inside of the supergrille (just for a few seconds maybe ten seconds). Then carefully rotate the badge until it seems straight/level (allow some play for the elasticity of the cloth) and finally pinch the badge to the cloth with your fingers so that the adhesive can get a good grip on it.

              Hope this helps and good luck.

              Comment


              • Upgrade to P3ESR from P3

                At last I have a pair of P3ESRs on the way. I am sure I will agree with the many comments here. Having lived with a pair of 1993 HL-P3s, after dabbling with the LS3/5a for many years, I expect the ESRs will be everything that is said about them.

                Seeing a pair of HL-P3s, of the same age and condition as mine, sell for nearly 500 on eBay I hope to achieve something similar.
                We shall see...
                Last edited by Miles MG; 19-11-2013, 03:12 PM. Reason: Spelling !

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                • P3ESRs arrived to upgrade P3s

                  Originally posted by Miles MG View Post
                  At last I have a pair of P3ESRs on the way. I am sure I will agree with the many comments here. Having lived with a pair of 1993 HL-P3s, after dabbling with the LS3/5a for many years, I expect the ESRs will be everything that is said about them.

                  Seeing a pair of HL-P3s, of the same age and condition as mine, sell for nearly 500 on eBay I hope to achieve something similar. We shall see...
                  The ESRs have arrived. An evolutionary move on from the P3s, which are still superb loudspeakers. Lots of listening to do...

                  Comment


                  • Help with P3ESR in large room

                    Hello, I have read most of the posts and last week listened to my first Harbeths, the P3ESR and the 30.1. I would like your input as to the P3ESR working in my great-room

                    Recently moved into house with a much open concept design. The great room is approximately 17 feet wide by 21 feet long, open into a hallway + dinning room on one long side and windows on the other side. Small rear wall with large opening into kitchen. The only wall I have to work with has a floor to ceiling fireplace with two built-in book cases on either side. Ceiling is 10 feet tall. Space above the top of the bookcase is open to the 10 ft ceiling.

                    Currently there are two built-in wall speakers above the bookcases. Bookcases are 43" H x 41"W x 21" deep. There is no room for floor standing speakers nor stands. My only option is to place speakers on top of the bookcases. Speakers would be 9 feet apart and listening position is about 14 feet.

                    All the reports I have read and my own evaluation was in a small room. My question is does anyone have any experience with this kind of set up? Do you think the P3ESR will work in this kind of set up? The closest dealer is 3 hour drive return trip, so home evaluation is not possible. I realize this is not an ideal set up. Most of the listening in here would be either back ground music during the day and more attentive easy listening in the evenings.

                    My main system is in a dedicated HT/audio room in the basement. I have been using the Oskar speakers for the last 8 years. The smallest I have are the Aulos and they are just too tall for the bookshelves. I greatly enjoyed listening to both Harbeths and it's the first speakers I could live with as an alternative to the Oskars. Thank you.

                    Comment


                    • P3ESR for the rear?

                      P3ESR as a rear speakers

                      I have the HL5's as my main speakers and wondered if anyone has had experience with the P3ESR's as their rear speakers. I am considering this and wonder if this is not serious overkill.
                      Thanks for any help.

                      Comment


                      • With Adcom amp

                        I bought a pair of P3ESR to replace Cambridge Soundworks ensemble for my small room (14*13 feet). Adcom GFA535 amp 60 watts, GTP400 Preamp.

                        It sounds natural and smooth for classical music with my Adcom. Really enjoy the speakers.

                        I also use my old 'Cambridge soundworks' passive subwoofer (from old ensemble). The 8 inch subwoofer is more like a bass in a seperate cabinet than a subwoofer. It is 6 ohm impedance as well. I am not sure the frequency response range of this subwoofer.

                        It seems to be a good combination since this subwoofer voice does not standout that much.

                        Comment


                        • Sound stage?

                          I'm wondering how the p3esr would compare with larger Harbeths such as the c7 or m30 regarding

                          1. Sound stage size, ie. is it as open sounding?

                          2. Tonal qualities on acoustic instruments and the human voice.

                          These questions apply to a small to medium size listening room. I listen to classical music at low to moderate volumes.

                          A reply would be much appreciated as I have not read anything on these important aspects. Obviously the p3esr won't play as loudly or go down as low in the bass.

                          Comment


                          • One speaker for all? No.

                            Originally posted by topquality View Post
                            I'm wondering how the p3esr would compare with larger Harbeths such as the c7 or m30 regarding

                            1. Sound stage size, ie. is it as open sounding?

                            2. Tonal qualities on acoustic instruments and the human voice.

                            These questions apply to a small to medium size listening room. I listen to classical music at low to moderate volumes.

                            A reply would be much appreciated as I have not read anything on these important aspects. Obviously the p3esr won't play as loudly or go down as low in the bass.
                            There is, logically, a correlation between drive unit size and sound stage, and we can say that as a general rule, as the surface area of the bass/midgange drivers increase, so does the sound stage, realism, power handling, effortlessness and maximum pressure output improves. Were this not so, we would make just the P3ESR and that would satisfy all users in all rooms at all distances and loudnesses.

                            The 'Harbeth house sound' (or absence of it) is common across the range.
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • My new P3ESRs

                              My new P3esr's were delivered just before Christmas, and they are glorious. They are intended to replace the LS3/5a's in my home office, but they now sit in the living room to amaze the rest of the family.

                              The comparison with the LS3/5a's is one of night and day, proving that technology has indeed moved on in big strides (manufactured quality is also on a different level). The little Harbeths are so sweet, neutral and clear that the only fair comparison is with full range electrostats. Nothing else that I know comes even close.

                              Two other characteristics also stand out. The first is indeed the lack of listener fatigue, and the second is the presence of real bass. Unlike with the LS3/5a, this is not an upper bass hump, but real bass. Of course it does not go down into the sonic basement, but the balance is perfectly fine for real musical enjoyment.

                              I am now experimenting with them in an unfairly large 60 sq m living room and that is fine at lower listening levels. On the other hand, they obviously do not fill the room as larger speakers would. They project a smaller bubble, perfect for near field listening. I am sure they will be perfect in my 18 sq m study. Before doing that I also plan to experiment a bit with adding my daughter's small REL Quake subwoofer (out of curiosity and not because I plan to add one).

                              Many will be curious about the electronics that I use them with. It was immediately obvious the P3esr's only demand one thing: plenty of power, because they are not very sensitive. So as a power amplifier I use a completely refurbished second hand 2x100 watt Quad 405-2, fed from an ODAC usb dac (this is a desktop system that only uses a computer as a source), and an Emotiva Control Freak volume control between the ODAC and the QUAD. The Control Freak also conveniently deals with the level mismatch between the dac (2.1V) and power amplifier (0.5V).

                              Speaker cables are budget stuff that I still had lying around (1-2 euro per m?) with decent connectors (2.50 euro each). Total cost of the electronics was about 325 euro. For a smallish room it is, therefore, a perfect example of a basic system of the highest possible quality given curent technology. Replace the computer and the usb DAC by a Chromecast and you have even more convenient streaming for even less. In fact, that is what I have just done out of curiosity, and without proper testing my first impression is that the sound is absolutely identical to that from the state of the art ODAC usb dac.

                              Comment


                              • Returning user

                                I know just what you mean about the P3ESRs. Rather sadly I sold mine to finance something else, which didn't work out...

                                Fortunately, some of the money has returned to me from that venture and I have just left a deposit on a pair of used maple-cabinet P3ESRs.

                                I've been living with a pair of LS3/5as, but would never sell them as they are part of British Audio history.

                                I also have a pair of Harbeth M20s, which I believe are P3-ES2s in M20 cabinets. The cabinets are currently being restored, so I may well sell them when the 'ESRs arrive.

                                This time I'm definitely hanging on to the ESRs!

                                Martyn.
                                Last edited by Miles MG; 29-12-2015, 02:58 AM. Reason: Spelling

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