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The Harbeth User Group is the primary channel for public communication with Harbeth's HQ. If you have a 'scientific mind' and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual Science of Audio sub-forum area of HUG is your place. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and should be accessible to non-experts and able to be tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge. From a design perspective, today's award winning Harbeths could not have been designed any other way.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If you are quite set in your subjectivity, then HUG is likely to be a bit too fact based for you, as many of the contributors have maximised their pleasure in home music reproduction by allowing their head to rule their heart. 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 only, although HUG is really not the best place to have these sort of purely subjective airings.

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P3ESR with Exposure 3010 S2d

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  • P3ESR with Exposure 3010 S2d

    Anybody used or heard the combination of P3s with Exposure 3010S2D? I have a chance to acquire that amp new at super resonable price. Other amps I looked are Heed Obelisk Mk3, Hegel H80, Naim XS.

    Thanks for all your help!

  • #2
    Yes, they will all do the job.

    To that list I would add the Rega Brio, Elex-r and Elicit-r, all favourites with my customers.

    Comment


    • #3
      As a member who rarely (if ever?) posts, may I offer an opinion which I belive is in line with Harbeth's approach to finding suitable amplification?

      Just ask yourself...

      Do you feel the amplifier is competently designed? Do you trust the manufacturer to support you if or when something goes wrong? Is there sufficient power for your needs? If 'yes' to these first order questions then the amplifier is a suitable candidate. Oh... and am I willing to afford it? For me, the Exposure is likely to fit the bill. As an after thought, any amp under consideration ought to have the inputs and outputs that you need.

      Then you have to 'own up'. Are you a person who expects and needs an amplifier to colour the sound in a particular way that you find pleasing? If so then another's view on how amp 'A' sounds with speakers 'B' is likely to be of little use, and you'd better find some way of having a listen. Or do you aspire to the 'straight wire with gain' approach? I don't know in which camp the Exposure resides.

      Finally, do you like the look of it? To some this is important. To others, cosmetics are never a deal breaker. I'm in the later camp. I didn't buy my Benchmark kit for the way it looks.

      This isn't meant to be a rigorous analysis of the issue. Just a few thoughts dashed off on a beautiful Sunday morning.

      Derek.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ArtGo View Post
        Anybody used or heard the combination of P3s with Exposure 3010S2D? I have a chance to acquire that amp new at super resonable price. Other amps I looked are Heed Obelisk Mk3, Hegel H80, Naim XS.
        You ought also consider the new Yamaha R-N803D receiver, which includes a room correction processor function:
        https://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/au...03d/index.html

        Comment


        • #5
          There are three things that matter with amps:
          1 enough power. For the P3ESR some 100 watt is the right order of magnitude
          2 load indepedent frequency response. See here for the excellent result for the Exposure: https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements
          3 input sensitiviy. Many amps have an input sensitivity that is too high for modern components. The result would be clipping on the inputs. The cure is inline attenuators, or a different amp.

          If these conditions are met, all properly designed amplifiers should sound the same. If not, they are not properly designed (they would not be straight wires with gain). Hence price per watt would be my deciding criterion. I am a fan of mainstream Japanese amplifiers as these give you value for money. These days, I would also like to have a full array of digital inputs as on some Yamaha models.

          Comment


          • #6
            In my experience the P3s sound fine with the Exposure. They also sound fine with other amps I've had. As long as you have enough power (the 75Watts of the Exposure are good enough) you have no problem. If you can get a good deal, go ahead. Don't worry.

            David

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
              Yes, they will all do the job.

              To that list I would add the Rega Brio, Elex-r and Elicit-r, all favourites with my customers.
              Will second the rega elex r.i use one with p3 esr,stunning sound,and from what ive listened too.Hegel would be a treat.

              Comment


              • #8
                As I said, amplifiers should not have a sound of their own, and the good ones don't. So asking 'will this one sound good?' is either asking what brands are neutral (answer: many, particularly main stream solid state ones in contrast to quite a few expensive boutique amplifiers) or, which ones have a non neutral sound that I may like (it is a free world)?

                However, if you want an amplifier to function as a tone control, you might as well get one with that facility, and use it. Paradoxically, it is precisely audiophiles who worry about the sonic signature of amplifiers (or cables) who also reject tone controls on amplifiers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  How do you know that "main stream solid state" amps are neutral ? Why wouldn't they have their own sound ?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Gravity - in denial?

                    Originally posted by hifi_dave View Post
                    How do you know that "main stream solid state" amps are neutral ? Why wouldn't they have their own sound ?
                    Properly designed audio power amplifiers should not have, under any circumstances with any speaker load, a 'sound' of their own.

                    If they do, then they do not meet the essential requirement that the power amplifier passes the signal that it receives from the previous equipment in the audio chain to the speakers unaltered in tonality, merely magnified in power.

                    Period. Full stop. End of story.

                    How could one sift through a pile of randomly presented audio power amplifiers to see, at a first pass, whether they fall into the 'will have own signature sound' or 'unlikely to have signature sound' categories?

                    Simple.

                    Measure their frequency response as it is delivered to a real or simulated speaker load with basic test equipment.

                    If the frequency response is not flat (let's, say, deviates by more than +/- 0.5dB across the 50Hz to 15kHz band, which includes all tube amps) then place it in the pile 'will have own signature sound'.

                    There is a basic rule here which has been know for about one hundred years during which the science of audiology has been applied to matters of hearing. It's so simple, everyone should have no difficulty in grasping it.

                    It's this ....

                    If a frequency or frequency band or octave band is presented to the ear which is fractionally or a lot louder or quieter than another band, the ear will perceive that difference in energy and will try to describe that difference with adjectives familiar to audiophiles. So the very first matter that has to be grasped - and never off the top of the audiophiles mind - is that loudness governs his entire perception of sound.

                    So if Amp A is slightly louder or quieter or both than Amp B in one or more octave bands due to its load sensitivity then A and B will have distinct and repeatable subjective sonic personalities to me, you, your maiden aunt and your chiropractor. After listening. we will all most likely agree on the subjective nature of A and B's 'sonic personality' because human ears work the same way, globally.

                    You might not like that, it might be uncomfortable reading, hostile to experience or whatever, but it is actually the indisputable truth. And to deny that is to deny gravity. Sorry.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      P.S. I'll give you an example of how it is the energy (level) in audio octaves that absolutely define our subjective sonic experience.

                      I was listening this afternoon to a piano piece played on a knock-about plinkety-plonk school piano. It was played by an experienced performer more at home playing it in a top flight orchestra. The note sequence was exactly the same as in the concert hall; the pitch was the same; the tempo too, and the school piano had been recently tuned too.

                      The sonic experience, even though played by the very same performer was very different.

                      Why?

                      Because on-stage, playing a magnificent Steinway piano, the relative loudness (levels) of the harmonic contribution relative to the fundamental melody is exceptionally well engineered in the piano design. In the school piano, playing the same notes, the same melody at the same tempo, that energy relationship was subtly changed. And our ears, being frequency-energy receptors detected that difference, which our brain interpreted as an unmistakably different experience.

                      The subjective audio sensation is all about the loudness (level) of tones, individually and in octave (or sub-octave) bands as even the briefest review of a century of study will reveal.

                      Were that not so, had we invented 'music', it would sound perfectly adequate when played on the mechanical equivalent of the Stylophone.
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have also considered Sugden A21.... not really that powerful but many swears by synergy with P3s. What you guys think?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Pianist Saleem Ashkar is touring Australia at the moment. He is also by the looks of things closely and by inference commercially associated with Bechstein.

                          In an interview I heard last night he mentioned that he recognizes the tradition of Steinway, but that he wanted to provide an alternative to the mono-culture of the Steinway sound. The Bechstein he says has a “brightness and warmth” that he likes, especially for the Beethoven cycle that he is recording in full in a project aimed to be finished by 2018.

                          His interviewer, a composer himself said after a brief playing of a recording of a Beethoven late Sonata he could “see why he used the Bechstein , as it is more “lyrical”, something he had not picked up on before.

                          From the Bechstein website.

                          “Why did Saleem Ashkar choose C. Bechstein pianos for his four Beethoven cycles? The former pupil of Daniel Barenboim answers the question himself: “C. Bechstein concert grands offer everything a pianist could possibly wish for: a crisp, richly colored sound, excellent dynamics and a singing voice that’s second to none.”

                          In about 4th Form I did a work experience with a Harpsichord maker, who took on kids for a couple of days as penance for receiving government grants for his business. They were craftsman of very high skills building to plans and designs hundreds of years old. I remember a brief discussion of the brutal and uncivilized nature of the hammer clavier, the piano forte in comparison to the harpsichord, quoting a critic of the time back in the early 19th century of.

                          As I understand it the Harbeth range of speakers are designed and built like a musical instrument because of the materials used, especially in the cabinets.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                            Gravity - in denial?

                            Properly designed audio power amplifiers should not have, under any circumstances with any speaker load, a 'sound' of their own.

                            If they do, then they do not meet the essential requirement that the power amplifier passes the signal that it receives from the previous equipment in the audio chain to the speakers unaltered in tonality, merely magnified in power.

                            Period. Full stop. End of story.

                            How could one sift through a pile of randomly presented audio power amplifiers to see, at a first pass, whether they fall into the 'will have own signature sound' or 'unlikely to have signature sound' categories?

                            Simple.

                            Measure their frequency response as it is delivered to a real or simulated speaker load with basic test equipment.

                            If the frequency response is not flat (let's, say, deviates by more than +/- 0.5dB across the 50Hz to 15kHz band, which includes all tube amps) then place it in the pile 'will have own signature sound'.

                            There is a basic rule here which has been know for about one hundred years during which the science of audiology has been applied to matters of hearing. It's so simple, everyone should have no difficulty in grasping it.

                            It's this ....

                            If a frequency or frequency band or octave band is presented to the ear which is fractionally or a lot louder or quieter than another band, the ear will perceive that difference in energy and will try to describe that difference with adjectives familiar to audiophiles. So the very first matter that has to be grasped - and never off the top of the audiophiles mind - is that loudness governs his entire perception of sound.

                            So if Amp A is slightly louder or quiter or both than Amp B in one or more octave bands due to its load sensitivity then A and B will have distinct and repeatable subjective sonic personalities to me, you, your maiden aunt and your chiropractor. After listening. we will all most likely agree on the subjective nature of A and B's 'sonic personality' because human ears work the same way, globally.

                            You might not like that, it might be uncomfortable reading, hostile to experience or whatever, but it is actually the indisputable truth. And to deny that is to deny gravity. Sorry.
                            OK, absolutely fine. I go along with that but why should a cheap,"main stream, solid state amp" be neutral when a "boutique" amp is not ? I have heard many "main stream solid state" amps which are anything but. It's not a panacea for all ills to recommend "main stream solid state" amps because there is no guarantee they are neutral. In fact, with all the cost cutting on materials and the high profit margins on these cheap amps, the opposite is more likely. A £300 mass market amp probably costs no more than £25 to produce and you can't expect much from that.

                            Neutrality is what we all desire but that isn't cheap to manufacture whether it's an amp, CD player and especially speakers. Harbeth speakers are neutral and natural but not inexpensive. Would a £200 mass market speaker be any more neutral ? I don't think so.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Maybe some observational logic based on being grown-ups in a wickedly commercial world is applicable. They're different because, commercially, they have to be, and a competent engineer so motivated knows precisely how to go about making them sonically different.

                              And that design task starts with intentionally giving the amplifier a drive capability at the speaker terminals which is non-flat across the audio spectrum. Some part-octave bands are elevated in level and some suppressed, exactly the same functionality as applying a graphic equaliser and the same sound too. Dress that up with some fancy cosmetics and a sonic legend is born.

                              Same applies to shoes. "Market the difference" is a winning formula.
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

                              Comment

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