"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 may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"

Feb. 2018
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P3ESR at home

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  • P3ESR at home

    We welcome you to post pictures of your home set-up featuring the Harbeth P3ESRs here .....

  • #2
    My P3ESR Setup

    Hi guys,

    I would like to take the stage and share with you some pics of my stunning new P3ESR setup. Complementing these rather special versions of the P3ESR is a Sony STR-DB940 AV Control Centre, Samsung 32" HD TV and a Sony PS3 for Blu-ray/CD duties. A MacBook and Fujitsu Siemens AMILO laptop also provide the tunes through digital WAVs. Feast your eyes on this unique example of Harbeth's modern classic...

    Pictures to follow .....
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Originally posted by dave_shaw View Post
      Hi guys,

      I would like to take the stage and share with you some pics of my stunning new P3ESR setup . . .
      I see no pics!


      • #4
        Pictures of P3ESR in my room

        Originally posted by Labarum View Post
        I see no pics!
        My apologies, a slight technical glitch is causing me issues here! More pics of the full setup will be added later. Sorry to keep you waiting.

        P.S. Pictures now attached.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Originally posted by dave_shaw View Post
          these rather special versions of the P3ESR .
          Hi dave_shaw. Very nice. What finish is the speaker in? thanks.


          • #6
            P3ESR at home ...

            Yes. Very nice. What are those stands and how tall are they?


            • #7
              P3ESR at home

              @ kittykat: These P3ESR's are in a unique high-gloss silver. I am currently using them as home evaluation samples. What do you guys make of them...?

              @ Labarum: I will confirm the brand later, but they are 0.8m tall I believe.


              • #8
                P3ESR HG finish

                Wow, very cool finish. I thought the color was all washed out in your photo, or that the color on my monitor had gone crazy!


                • #9
                  P3ESR with Sony av amp .....

                  How do you find the Sony AV Amp drives the P3s?

                  Do you use the PS3 to access internet radio as well as to play discs?

                  Have you ripped any discs to play via the PS3? I think that can be done.

                  Have you plans for sub-woofer?


                  • #10
                    High Gloss finish

                    [QUOTE=dave_shaw;10848What do you guys make of them...?

                    Very unique, looking almost metallic.

                    Personally, feel it will fit a themed living area eg. modern or hi tech very well. Fashions do change and appears to me that silver fascias are strong and these speakers will go well with them. Personally I like the wood ones due to the craftsmanship flavour emanating but thatís just my personal opinion. But if I were to start a new listening space, Iíd consider these ones together with say the silver mini Denon M38ís (or M37ís if still avail). Theyíll look good and i'm sure sound fantastic.


                    • #11
                      High Gloss

                      Originally posted by dave_shaw;10848What do you guys make of them...? [/QUOTE

                      Very unique, looking almost metallic.
                      Is this finish a special order from Harbeth, or have they been repainted?

                      I quite like them, but would not chose them for any room as currently furnished.

                      A finish like this would make Harbeth cosmetically attractive to folk who would consider small monitors from the likes of Genelec.

                      I would consider small acitive monitors from the likes of Genelec and others, but few of them have grills, and none of them look good in a traditional lounge. I do wish the small Harbeths were available in active versions - saves domestic clutter and has some technical advantages.


                      • #12
                        HG cabinets for a new demographic?

                        The pair I have are the only ones in existence, direct from Harbeth UK. They are genuine Harbeth P3ESRs – albeit a one-off sample pair in unique high-gloss silver. They have been specially developed for trial in a more contemporary, younger demographic living environment, where they could, for example, share space with more avant-garde surroundings.

                        I am understood to believe that the exclusive example I am in possession of (with this particular test high-glossy silver finish), is not the preferred final production finish if the factory proceed with the concept. As far as I know, a less ‘sparkly’, slightly darker tinted silver option is preferred for production units. This silver finish option could potentially be offered as “Unobtanium”, “Planetanium”, “Startanium”, "Gem Stone", “Star Dust” or “Moon Dust”. Again, this is based on preliminary thoughts and ideas and should be treated as such.

                        I am very happy indeed with these special P3ESRs. They look great in the modern surroundings of my new (and first) apartment and certainly sound fantastic and match the kit I currently own, which is no doubt typical of my demographic. I think Harbeth could be on to a real winner here...

                        @ Labarum: The Sony amp is perfect for my requirements. It is the hub for all my AV kit and works reliably. I am not an audiophile but believe that the speaker are the most important component. I have not tried accessing internet radio with the PlayStation 3, but this is something I could certainly try. And the main use of the PS3 is Blu-rays playback (which through HDMI look great on the Samsung and sound fantastic on the P3ESRs – especially with the added bass over the previous generation P3s providing a real ‘oomph’ on Hollywood blockbusters!). Sadly my setup is limited to 2.0 at this stage due to a sub and centre or additional channels not being very apartment i.e. neighbour friendly!

                        I will keep you all updated with my progress with these special Harbeth gems...


                        • #13
                          P3ESR - finish meeting young tastes?

                          Originally posted by dave_shaw View Post
                          I am not an audiophile but believe that the speaker are the most important component.
                          I agree: the speakers make the biggest difference, and this is more true than ever. A digital sourse is a digital source, and a DACs don't vary that much. As with amplifiers, once a certain level of engineering competance has been acheived, the rest is snobbery and kiddum.

                          I was surprised how well my son's PlayStation3 sounded through my Beresford Caiman DAC - the analogue output of the SB3 is an uninspring "consumer grade", but take the optical out to a decent DAC and, as with cable or sat TV boxes, all is transformed.

                          I really would not rush to a centre channel. Good imaging speakers in a two channel stereo system should leave you in no doubt where "centre" is. On the other hand a sub can make quite a difference for cinema effects.

                          I have moved my main system to a retirement house in Cyprus where I have some space for large floorstanders. In a small UK flat I have a pair of old shoebox speakers with a fairly decent KEF sub. The shoeboxes are poor for decent music, but great for telly and DVDs with the sub.

                          P3ESRs are on my wish list - my Quad stereo amp will drive them nicely.

                          Do we know if these painted speakers will cost less than the veneered ones, and if piano black and white laquer is to be available?

                          It is great that Harbeth are trying to meet the tastes of the young who like the techie look - next step to make it possible to plug the Harbeths into the USB of their laptops?


                          • #14
                            Asymmetric setup in my listening room

                            Finally, an arrangement of the system in our new living room that works reasonably well. The house is newly built and the room has plasterboard walls and ceiling, and a laminate floor - surfaces that are simultaneously reflective and resonant.

                            The room has a bay window at one end, and the door is 1/3 of the way along a side wall. It's a living room, so must be suitable for entertaining TV watching, etc.

                            The picture is taken from behind the listening seat, which is 2/3 of the way along the window wall, just inside the bay window area. A high-backed sofa is to the left (hopefully absorbing some side-wall reflections), TV in the other bay window corner, and the door to the right. A coat rack is cunningly fitted to the back of the door.

                            Although having a window facing the speakers or behind them is generally not recommended, in this case it seems to help because with the bay window the front wall consists of 5 segments - sending reflections in different directions.

                            The back of the LH speaker is almost parallel to the wall behind the speakers, but this does not seem to be a problem, most likely because (a) there is a bookshelf behind the speaker and (b) the parallel wall near the listening position is only 0.5m wide.

                            The RH speaker is angled inward by about 30 deg - which means that side-wall reflection on that side of the room are relatively weak.

                            While this layout has its quirks, it does provide a wide and deep soundstage and generally uncluttered sound.
                            Attached Files


                            • #15

                              Hi Dave, I too would like information on the speaker stands you're using.