Announcement

Collapse

HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

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.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
See more
See less

New Harbeth P3ESR

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #91
    Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

    Originally posted by Lorpuris View Post
    Dear Mr. Shaw,

    As I write this note I am enjoying my SHL5. I have the 30th Anniversary Edition speakers. While I have owned many loudspeakers in my life, I have never been so utterly and completely impressed. So impressed in fact that very shortly after i received them I ordered a pair of the new P3ESR.
    May I ask how does the SHL5 compare with the new P3ESR in terms of sonic performance?


    Hi Alan,

    I noticed the P3ESR has a low sensitivity of 83.5dB. Does this figure imply the P3ESR would be slightly less efficient than the bigger speakers in having 86dB especially for folks who use low-powered amps? I am well aware that there wouldn't be any big issues to worry about but was just curious how the speaker would perform in a technical viewpoint with the lowish figure. I would also be interested to know the parameters that affect the sensitivity and impedance values of a particular speaker during the design process. Your enlightenment would be most appreciated.

    Comment


    • #92
      Harbeth P3ESR - efficiency, gearing and quality etc.

      Originally posted by ryder View Post
      ... I would also be interested to know the parameters that affect the sensitivity and impedance values of a particular speaker during the design process. Your enlightenment would be most appreciated.
      This is a good question which is at the heart of the design process for any quality speaker system - but especially for a mini-monitor which must sound like a much bigger speaker to satisfy the listener. I have actually covered this in quite some detail in the Tech Talk section on the Harbeth web site here. I work with these parameters every day so this is all second-nature to me, but does it make sense to you? If not tell me what I can better explain and I'll do my best. Please remember that efficiency* is an unavoidable consequence of the design process, not, in Harbeth's case, a design objective.

      A very crude analogy occurs to me: think of a big woofer as a Harley Davidson motorbike engine: lots of power (torque) at very low revs. Once you've heard the slow cylinder by cylinder throb of a Harley engine it's instantly recognisable. Think of a small woofer as a 50cc scooter engine: no torque at all at low revs but lots of action in the middle rev range. Somehow, we have to make our 50cc engine fool the driver into believing that he's driving a Harley. If we very carefully adjusted the gearing of the 50cc engine's gearbox (if it has one) we might just be able to reposition that engines power range more usefully - and that's really what we do in the circuit that drives the woofer. Nothing we can do to the woofer itself - that's fixed - but we can do something clever in the 'crossover' that drives the woofer.

      It's hugely important to appreciate that the division of signal between the woofer/midrange and tweeter is only one function of a crossover. Almost an incidental function. The real action is the ability to shape and contour the frequency response just as the designer wants, and that needs numbers of components. You can think of these crossover components as the gear cogs of an acoustic gearbox matching the woofer to the room.

      If you're only interested in the splitting of high from low frequencies, that can be done with just one or two electronic parts in the crossover; but to create an acoustic gearbox to match the speaker to the room you need a good handful of components. (See attached P3ESR circuit photo). There are three functions that can occur in a BBC-style crossover:

      1) frequency splitting
      2) bass/midrange 'gearing' to adjust for flattest response
      3) mid/top relative level adjustment

      To achieve all three simultaneously we will need several electrical components like coils, resistors and capacitors. These functions need components like a gearbox needs cogged wheels. So, if you take a peek inside a speaker (or a gearbox) and count crossover components it gives you a strong clue as to how well balanced the sound will be before you even listen. Because if there are only a few components then there is little the designer can do to 'gear' the woofer to the room. Just as with cars: a six-gear automatic gearbox will match the car to the road better and give a much smoother power performance than a three gear. There's no substitute for gears! And no substitute for crossover components!

      I believe that it was the Shorter and Harwood at BBC Research in the late 1950s (when developing the LS5/1speaker) who realised that once the frequency division function had been implemented, the crossover could then be further manipulated to provide this gearing action on a selective frequency band basis. But that duality needed lots of components which is why the 'BBC monitor' has a complex crossover. Furthermore, only a BBC inspired designer with a deep appreciation for the ingenuity of the BBCs cunning crossover design approach, the subtlety of their 'cogs and wheels' would really understand how to design such a circuit.

      That's why there are really two classes of hi-fi speakers .... the BBC-related designs, and all the others.

      * Loudspeaker efficiency: this means how loud for a (known) amount of electrical power at the terminals. Some manufacturers, those whose customers are ignorant and driven by specifications, would design for high efficiency and inevitability would sacrifice some other parameters including sonic quality.

      ================================================== =====================

      Now I realise that this analogy of gearing is not perfect. The point is to see that the 5" drive unit is like a small fast revolving cog, and we want it to behave in a more sedate manner, like a big, slow revolving cog. That way we can get a smooth response from even a small motor unit. And that means that by using some 'gearing' in the crossover even a small speaker like the P3ESR can be made to sound like a big Rolls Royce not like a city car buzzing around and making a lot of useless noise. We can give the P3ESR some weight and torque in the low frequencies.

      You can get the idea of cogs and wheels and driving forces here. Look at the video.

      Also here watch how we can get a nice slow revolution of the output shaft by selecting the optimum gear.

      >
      Attached Files
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • #93
        Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

        I had a brief audition of the new P3ESR during my lunch hour last week. I have to agree with the early reports of this speaker... it is something special.

        Very authoritative sounding small speaker.... I could not believe the dealer did not have the REL sub turned on. I have listened extensivey to the P3ES-2 and the the new P3ESR is a real step forward. That radial midrange sounded stunning on vocals. It joins the M40.1 and C7ES-3 in having an uncanny ability to reproduce spatial cues and has superb stereo imaging. I think it's no coincidence that these are the three most recent models designed by AS, as all 3 of these models seems to distinguish themselves in this area compared to older Harbeths.

        I'll be going back with my own CD's to listen more carefully. I am sorely tempted to dip into my M40.1 savings fund to buy this little "pocket rocket".

        Comment


        • #94
          Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

          The P3ESR is an absolute stunner and by far the best 'mini monitor' I have heard in thirty six years of selling hi-fi. I have lost track of the number of times I have demonstrated it now but I have never had a negative comment except perhaps 'I can't afford it'. The usual first comment is about the prodigious bass and the scale of the soundstage.

          A sensational speaker by any yardstick.

          Comment


          • #95
            Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

            Originally posted by Will View Post
            I had a brief audition of the new P3ESR ...the new P3ESR is a real step forward. ... I think it's no coincidence that these are the three most recent models designed by AS
            That's an astute observation, and actually true.

            When the time came to upgrade the C7ES2 into the C7ES-3 (2006?) I was self-aware that I had reached a point of comfort in the operation of the test equipment, the (then new) crossover simulator software and my general awareness of the design objective and the path to it. The C7ES3, M40.1 and as you say, P3ESR were designed to the same specification, with common software and test equipment and of course, a common me! The only difference is that the C7ES3 was designed in a small spare bedroom/study at home before we established the R&D centre in the woods (The Cottage) at which the M40.1 and P3ESR were designed. So I know for sure that the C7ES3 is very small-room friendly. Unless something really radical results from my training course in New York next month, all future Harbeths will be designed in the same way.

            Just to remind you - I do not invite, encourage or permit anyone to hear a Harbeth design until I am ready to commit to production. I cannot and do not design by consensus - so it's always a real pleasure to hear from users after all the man months or years alone, that you can get real pleasure from my input. I wonder how common it is amongst speaker brands for one designer to have designed the smallest (P3ESR) and largest (Monitor 40.1) in the same listening environment. Littel wonder they share the same house sound.

            I's like to thank Derek Hughes for his invaluable contribution as my draughtsman, working remotely. His CAD skills are exceptional and he takes care of the drawing details leaving me free to get on with the design work.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • #96
              Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

              Originally posted by A.S. View Post
              ...my training course in New York next month...
              Do tell Alan! Sounds fascinating.

              Comment


              • #97
                Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                I listened to the P3ESR at a friend's place with the Rega Elicit. Superb sound from such a small box. Extremely musical. He is the owner of the 40.1 and so impressed with the performance of the P3ESR he has added this speaker into his collection which was set up in a 4th(or 5th) system in the house.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                  I'm curious when AS will offer up the new P3ESR for review with the Hi Fi magazines?I think I read that he wants fill the back log of orders from dealers before doing so.I'm crazy about my new P3ESR's,but ,it's always interesting to hear what certain reviewers have to say about Harbeth speakers.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                    Originally posted by DrewTurner View Post
                    I'm curious when AS will offer up the new P3ESR for review with the Hi Fi magazines?I think I read that he wants fill the back log of orders from dealers before doing so.I'm crazy about my new P3ESR's,but ,it's always interesting to hear what certain reviewers have to say about Harbeth speakers.
                    As a fellow P3ESR owner I admit to a bit of curiosity as well, but put yourself in Harbeth's shoes: if you're selling every single speaker you have the capacity to make, and are backordered for months, what's the point of sending speakers out for review? My sense is that we might see a review or two when - or if - sales start to tail off a little, and there's a need to rev up a bit of public interest. In a year or two perhaps? I doubt it will be sooner, and it might be later than that.

                    Comment


                    • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                      Also a fellow P3ESR owner: Reviews are a double edge sword to say the least. If anyone really wants a review on the P3ESR, all they need to do is read this thread. They can then listen to the voices of the many instead of the few.

                      Comment


                      • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                        I agree for the most part.But it seems to me, that most of the comments on this site are devoted to the larger Harbeth speakers.Perhaps due to their diminutive size, people tend to underestimate their incredible performance in comparison to the larger,.more expensive Harbeth designs.Not to mention other brands.In this regard,I hope the P3ESR's get all the praise from the HI Fi media they rightly deserve.

                        Comment


                        • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                          If you're in the fortunate position of selling all you can make, what is the purpose of having a review ?

                          Why would anyone want a review anyway ? You can go out and hear the product yourself or borrow a pair to try at home. That way you will know exactly what the product is like rather than rely on a stranger's opinion. We make up our own minds about what jacket to wear, house to buy, car to drive, beer to drink, food to eat so why not decide what hi-fi to buy ?

                          Comment


                          • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                            Hi guys,

                            as IO am saving my bucks for a C 7 or SHL 5 I have to admit that I regard the new P 3 as the most beautiful speaker I have ever seen - and I am in this hobby for 31 years. As they are much cheaper as well they are within my financial reach very soon!

                            The problem: I listen a lot to Jazz from the 50s and 60s, classic, etc BUT I like Led zep, Madonna and Dr.Dre as well. I think they will not satisfy me in this genre esp. as my room is app. 400 sq.feet (36 sq.m.) and very high.

                            Did any body combine them with a sub woofer yet?

                            Would also be nice to use them for Home Theater as well!! ?The older I get the more flexible I become. 1 or 2 years ago I thought 2 channels preferable with tube amps would be the best, now I am thinking of going from 32 inches to 42. There is a lot of good stuff on DVD that I left out because I was so prejudiced towards the "new" things. Just bought Dylan at Newport and a compilation of Muddy Waters from the 60s and 70s. Cool things with exciting music.

                            Most people think that in this case you need to go active but some opinions on the net quote that even running the sub parallel from the speaker terminals of the amplifier make the satellites sound much better.

                            Any comments very welcome!


                            Best regards
                            Heiner

                            Comment


                            • Connecting subwoofers and system loudness

                              Originally posted by heiner1960 View Post
                              ... but some opinions on the net quote that even running the sub parallel from the speaker terminals...
                              Please remember that if you do run a sub "in parallel" with the satellite speakers* the power handling capability and low-frequency output of the satellites is not improved. The satellites will be working as hard as ever producing their full range, and the sub will not be relieving the satellites of their work at all - just augmenting them. So, the system's maximum bass output and maximum loudness is limited by the satellite's own capabilities, long before the subwoofer runs out of steam.

                              To really maximise the system's loudness and bass output by many dBs you need to steer all the low bass content of the audio signal away from the satellites and to a dedicated high-power subwoofer if listening at crazy levels is what you want to do. To do this steering you'd need some sort of filter box (probably software based these days) and all the audio would pass through the box and be frequency-band analysed an then sent to the sub or satellites. I guess this functionality is built into AV receivers?

                              * All this means is that the sub's input is connected somehow across the amp's speaker outputs; the so-called 'high level' connection.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

                              Comment


                              • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                                Heiner:

                                Another point is this: you say you're attracted to the P3ESR in part because they're relatively inexpensive. However, a quality subwoofer system is not going to be cheap (and it would be crazy to get anything but a high quality unit to augment the P3ESRs which are so fast and clear and agile - the slow, lumpy bass of a cheap subwoofer would be a terrible mismatch).

                                So when you combine the cost of the two, it may be that a Compact 7 or SHL 5 is not really that much more expensive. It might be worth saving up for, if it's at all achievable for you.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X