HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts


"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound, realisable by controlling the confounding variables between tthe microphone and the listeners' ears.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. 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 electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

If you desire to intentionally tune your system sound to your personal taste, please consider carefully how much you should rely upon 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, listening loudness and listening room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

Alternatively, if faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over your speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that objective is what this forum has been helping with since 2006. Welcome!"

Jan. 2018
See more
See less

P3ESR at home

This is a sticky topic.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16

    I love my P3's!


    • #17
      I love my P3s!

      Wau nice CD collection and beautiful P3ESR
      Originally posted by Art K View Post

      I love my P3's!


      • #18

        The P3ESR certainly looks great on either cherry or rosewood. Oh & black ash too.


        • #19
          Less sparkle?

          Originally posted by dave_shaw View Post

          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.
          These are very nice, but the proposed production version (slightly darker and less sparkly) sounds perfect. If Harbeth comes out with these, I may have to buy another pair!


          • #20
            Nice setup and you are a serious classical musics lover...I am very sure..
            "Bath with Music"


            • #21
              My first ever Harbeth listening experience = Instant P3ESR sale!

              On Saturday just gone, I travelled down to see David Wren at Radlett Audio in Essex, UK. Specifically, I went to demo the P3ESR. It was my first ever time for hearing Harbeth loudspeakers. Since I've been very enthusiastic about Harbeths just from what I'd read here on the HUG and elsewhere, I was looking forward to the session immensely.

              I took with me plenty of suitable CDs to test the speakers - a few favourites plus a few difficult and interesting CDs too. Yet from the first few tracks I knew I'd found an amazing speaker (in the P3ESR), that lived up to everything that's written here about it and even living up to my huge expectations too, and more.

              Throughout the listening session, it is no exaggeration to say that I was repeatedly shocked and astonished by what the P3ESR was capable of. As some HUG members may have read, I am an LS3/5A owner and I thought that that would make me reasonably prepared for what I would experience with the superficially similar sized P3ESR.

              I did not prepare me one bit! I played a Capitol Records CD of Frank Sinatra (Come Swing With Me) and the voice was delivered with such grace, human warmth, impeccable timing and rhythm, amazing detail and emotion that it brought a tear to my eye. Dave wouldn't know that as he was sitting behind me in the room! In short, the P3ESR finally gave me a personal Holy Grail of hearing Frank Sinatra as if he were singing in the room with me. I thought the LS3/5A had come close, but the P3ESR shattered that pretence and delivered resolution and emotion on a whole new plane of fidelity. I have been searching, hoping for such an epiphany for years and finally Harbeth have delivered.

              I was also amazed at the P3ESR's performance with rock/pop material. I had expected magic from jazz, classical and vocals but in a way the P3ESR's grasp of rock/pop like Donald Fagen and REM was even more astonishing because I hadn't expected it. Their rendition of Fagen's The Nightfly was the best I have ever heard it on any speaker and that includes speakers at yes, 10 times the price! That shouldn't be right - but it is!

              Time and again I would get a sudden feeling of surprise as a particular musical moment would pass by with an uncanny and alien lack of harshness and distortion. But it was a wonderful and thrilling surprise each time. I was shocked at how Donald Fagen's vocal on I.G.Y. was no longer recessed in the soundstage and covered up by other instruments forcing it to get lost in the mess that is (relatively) every other speaker I've heard, including the LS3/5A.

              I also played REM's Automatic For The People on LP and again it was easily the best rendition I've ever heard. Michael Stipe's vocals were so clear and were delivered with real feeling that I've heard hints of before, but nowhere near as powerfully as Saturday afternoon with the P3ESR.

              I took along a piano recording of some solo Mozart works because I'd read that Alan considered piano sound to be the crowning glory of the Harbeth sound. Well, I have never heard Mozart's piano sonatas played in such a riveting, exciting way that keeps you interested and draws you in as it goes along. The P3 succeeded in making solo piano almost like a small orchestra by the amount of musical colour and brilliance it seems to bring out of the piano. Not colouration! But some kind of colourful essence of the music I'd not had access to before with other speakers.

              Another shocker was the scale and bass power from the P3ESR. I played an RCA Living Stereo SACD of Liszt'z Hungarian Rhapsody no.1 and was actually open-mouthed at the depth and presence of the bass strings section. I - involuntarily - said aloud "How can they do that? I joked with David about subwoofers hidden in the cupboard behind the speakers, but I could have been fooled. It sounds over the top to say that, but the sense of bass fullness and power is something to behold with these little marvels. Those who haven't heard the P3ESR may doubt this but believe me they really deliver quantity and quality in the bass region - enough to satisfy me indefinitely.

              Needless to say, I placed an order immediately for a pair in Rosewood and left smiling knowing that I'd saved myself thousands of pounds by not buying any of the contenders I had been lining up costing up to £9K instead, that don't sound as good as this insane give-away bargain of a speaker!

              David Wren's room and setup at Radlett Audio were perfect and allowed me to really hear what is so special about the P3ESR and he deserves praise for putting up with my classical and jazz that maybe weren't quite to his tastes!

              I can now understand why Stereo Sound Japan gave Alan and the P3ESR the Grand Prix Award. It's marvellous and just about perfect! Well done Alan and all at Harbeth and thank you for giving us such a dream speaker at such a very fair price.


              • #22
                Well done!


                • #23
                  My setup

                  Latest look from my listening chair with the Skylan stands and the grilles in place.


                  • #24
                    Radlett Audio's demo setup

                    Originally posted by GregD View Post
                    David Wren's room and setup at Radlett Audio were perfect and allowed me to really hear what is so special about the P3ESR and he deserves praise for putting up with my classical and jazz that maybe weren't quite to his tastes!
                    Would you be able to share what amp was this P3ESR being demoed on ?


                    • #25
                      CD cabinets?

                      Originally posted by Art K View Post
                      Art - Are the CD cabinets custom made? I really like them.
                      Simpli-Fi: Kuzma>Nighthawk>LebenCS300XS>P3ESR


                      • #26
                        Moving on and upwards

                        @Dave_Shaw; very nice finish! We use Santos Rosewood ESR's here, but that silvery grey could be very appealing (I might be tempted).

                        A bit less sparkly would be fine but a too flat, dark grey could actually deter the group of customers that Harbeth HQ wishes to address/attract... The glossy sheen works surprisingly well on the elegant ESR cabinets, it is probably preferable to matt.
                        Ferrari/Alfa Romeo silver-grey was once used by Monitor Audio on their anniversary Studio 20SEC; a good finish, not at all overly bling.

                        @GregD; thanks for sharing your findings; I also used to own LS 3/5a's (several pairs) and loved them to bits but post-ESR, I cannot say I truly miss them... Even the QUAD ESL's that resided in our livingroom for ages have since moved on to another owner.


                        • #27
                          CD cabinet

                          I happened across the CD cabinets in a Home Decorator catalog and bought 2 of them. I have over 3000 titles (that equates to several thousand discs) and I don't intend to rip them to a hard drive so I needed some way to store them and have easy access. I'll put up more pics later as I'm settling out a few things with my setup.


                          • #28

                            Latest with the Rega Brio-R and Apollo-R.


                            • #29

                              Nice! Great looking system!


                              • #30
                                Thank you.