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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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  • Will
    started a topic New Harbeth P3ESR

    New Harbeth P3ESR

    I see from Stereophile's CES 2009 blog that Harbeth has released a new version of the P3 using a radial cone!

    http://blog.stereophile.com/ces2009/...tes_a_classic/

    If I had not just bought my Stirling LS3/5a a couple of months ago, I'd buy a pair of these new P3R's... DOH! This fulfills one of the 2 things I'd really like to see from Harbeth. The other is the floorstander.

    Or if not a floorstander, I'd really like to see something to fill the huge gap (in terms of price) between the SHL5/M30 and the M40.1

    Will

  • Miles MG
    replied
    Reunited with P3ESRs

    Originally posted by Miles MG View Post
    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.
    The P3ESRs have arrived and it's so good to have a pair again. I had forgotten just how good they are...

    Martyn.

    Leave a comment:


  • Miles MG
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • willem
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • A.S.
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • topquality
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • LDYCA
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • jbarcelona
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • tubegem
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Miles MG
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • Miles MG
    replied
    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 !

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heretic
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • cornelius
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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