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"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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  • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

    If it was not for the wonderful,informative review I read by Sam Tellig of Stereophile, regarding the Harbeth SHL5 speakers,I would never have known that Harbeth speakers even existed.If not for that "REVIEW".I would never have been compelled to drive 350 km to another city to hear Harbeth ,as their was no dealer in my area. I now own Harbeth speakers.After hearing my pair,my friend also just purchased Harbeth.This all came about because of a "REVIEW".Thank you Sam Tellig...REVIEWER.

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    • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

      Originally posted by DrewTurner View Post
      If it was not for the wonderful,informative review I read by Sam Tellig of Stereophile, regarding the Harbeth SHL5 speakers,I would never have known that Harbeth speakers even existed.If not for that "REVIEW".I would never have been compelled to drive 350 km to another city to hear Harbeth ,as their was no dealer in my area. I now own Harbeth speakers.After hearing my pair,my friend also just purchased Harbeth.This all came about because of a "REVIEW".Thank you Sam Tellig...REVIEWER.
      That's a fair point. Actually, come to think of it, it was probably through Sam Tellig that I became aware of Harbeths myself.

      There have actually been quite a number of Harbeth reviews in various publications over the past few years, so there's no shortage of information about Harbeth as a brand if you follow the audio press, both print and online.

      As for the P3ESR, I expect there'll be reviews eventually. But now might not be the ideal time. If Harbeth is running at 100% production capacity for these speakers, and they have an order book that will take months to fulfill, what's a review going to accomplish for them except to create more demand that can't be satisfied in a reasonable time frame?

      I'm sure we'll see reviews of the P3ESR eventually, just not yet.

      Comment


      • Purpose of reviews is what?

        Originally posted by EricW View Post
        ...If Harbeth is running at 100% production capacity for these speakers, and they have an order book that will take months to fulfill, what's a review going to accomplish for them except to create more demand that can't be satisfied in a reasonable time frame?
        Sorry I should have replied to this! Couldn't have expressed it better myself. I'm curious though; if you are satisfied with them do you want to read reviews just to reinforce your satisfaction? It's unlikely that you'll learn any more about their design or Realisation (ISO9001 speak) from a reviewer than here at the factory's User Group.

        About the leadtime: please understand that this is not going to magically shorten. It is a fact of life. Our year-on-year sales are up 28%, making us (probably?) the UK's most successful speaker brand. The two longest established Harbeth distys (for more than thirty years e.g. Harbeth Japan, China) have monthly orders placed through to June 2009. That is not unusual! They know their markets! They have integrated review/distribution/marketing plans! That takes a chunk of out UK production capacity. The rest is taken first come first served by the remaining 40+ distributors. If yours is one of them then the leadtime doesn't concern you as they've anticipated your demand and ordered ahead. Smart them!

        From our perspective there is nothing at all to be gained by early reviews of the P3ESR. We must not create a demand for something we cannot supply - that just stresses the dealers. It's so obviously a fabulous speaker we here don't need to be reassured. Do you really? As Alan points out Harbeth is (in his words!) "the speakers of last resort". What he means is that customers (eventually) find us having spent a fortune and wasted years trawling through many other speaker brands. They (you) find us when they are ready. We should not hurry that process along.
        Harbeth PR,
        Harbeth UK

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        • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

          Hi DrewTurner

          Stereophiles review was great but if you read UHF magazine's (Issue 84, downloadable from their website and the harbeth review was complete) review of the SHL5's, it sounds like they were completely blown away by it. There were 3 guys who listened to it and their opinions were uniformed. They said something like it was a "candidate for the heavyweight crown" .

          cheers, kitty

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          • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

            Can you find the link please? When you say "blown away by it" do you mean the P3ESR? That wouldn't surprise me. Nor should it you!
            Harbeth PR,
            Harbeth UK

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            • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

              Here's the link to the UHF review of SHL-5. It starts from page 48. The 3 reviewers were totally gobsmacked.

              http://www.uhfmag.com/Issue84/UHF84.pdf

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              • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                Originally posted by Gan CK View Post
                Here's the link to the UHF review of SHL-5. It starts from page 48. The 3 reviewers were totally gobsmacked.

                http://www.uhfmag.com/Issue84/UHF84.pdf
                UHF is a Canadian magazine and I'm not sure they have that large an international profile. But they've been in business for about 25 years, and they're a very credible and serious review magazine. Read the summary in the "Crosstalk" section of the HL5 review - that says it all.

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                • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                  Originally posted by EricW View Post
                  UHF is a Canadian magazine and I'm not sure they have that large an international profile. But they've been in business for about 25 years, and they're a very credible and serious review magazine. Read the summary in the "Crosstalk" section of the HL5 review - that says it all.
                  Yep...in Singapore, we refer these as "underground magazines". And the notion here is that these underground magazines are usually much more credible than high profile magazines.

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                  • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                    Hello everybody, I just received my P3ESR on Friday and have some nice things to report. First, this little speaker seems to have better resolution and more complete harmonic structure in the mids than my previous M40, which I think is a miracle, maybe due to Radial 2. Second, it goes loud enough for a smallish room (15-20 sq.meter) -I feel it is substantially better in this regard compared to HLP3-ES2 and, third, it is so fast and precise, it almost put to shame my alnico-based, high sensitivity wide range/SET system when driven by a Sugden Class A amp. Two things I noticed is that the speaker does not like any kind of electrical filtering in the system and prefers a wooden, medium weight stand with good solidity than an ultra heavy weight metal one-because the latter makes it sound a little dark and slow.

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                    • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                      IMO you definitely need a light open frame stand with any of the Harbeth range. Mass loaded always sounds fat and slow to me.

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                      • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                        When you say.... no electronic filtering for the P3ESR,do you mean,not plugging your amp into a power conditioner?I thought your review described this the P3ESR perfectly.I think this little speaker(GIANT KILLER) out performs many other speaker brands, 2 or 3 times larger and more expensive.I'm listening to Archie Shepp's Sax right now. The P3ESR'S are filling my medium sized room with gorgeous sound.

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                        • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                          I was referering to Ringmat Statfeet, a conductive film put under equipement, designed to absorb "bad" electromagnetic radiaton from PSUs. This thing can be good at times, especially with SET and high sensitivity speakers, but sucked life out of the system when the P3ESR was playing. I don't use conditioners as they generally restrict the abilities of a system.
                          IMO the biggest surprise with this little giant is that given the right stand and system, it can sound much more sensitive, open and dynamic than 83.5 dB would suggest, its "energy" nearly approaching that of big horns. But bass definition is in a class of its own and in the right position it can be quite deep, too, giving a clear hint of even the lowest notes.

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                          • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                            I thought your comments regarding the midrange clarity/resolution of the P3ESR in comparison with your old M40's was very astute..I had a similar experience when auditioning the SHL5's.After hearing the P3ESR, I chose the smaller speaker.For what I lost in volume of sound and bass with the larger speaker,I gained in clarity,detail,speed and musicality.The P3ESR's have a real visceral quality about them that I find ,quite thrilling.Hope I'm not offending any SHL5 owners out there.Just my personal preference.I'm sure other ears will hear things differently,as they are both wonderful speakers.

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                            • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                              In that review of the P3ES-2 and accompanying interview (http://www.avguide.com/review/tested...speaker?page=3) mention is made of a small response rise in the presence region.

                              To what extent is that true of the P3ESR?

                              Comment


                              • Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

                                Why would this be a concern to you? Did anyone hear this effect in the P3ES? I use whatever tools and techniques I have available to create a holistic, involving, natural sound regardless of how the thing measures in the laboratory.
                                Alan A. Shaw
                                Designer, owner
                                Harbeth Audio UK

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