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Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. 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.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

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{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

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  • #16
    Re: tube amps?

    Originally posted by johnli08540
    The most of suggetion of amplifer for Harbeth speakers are tube amplifer from website.
    Well that may be how it appears from reading here but I can tell you that as the designer I do not use tube amps, nor do I tailor the speakers in any way to be especially friendly to tube or solid state amps.

    As I think we have said here before, I am extremely concerned at the design stage to ensure that Harbeth speakers have a 'universal' electrical load so that they are all equally suited to tube or solid state amps, analogue or digital. The impedance curves are all available on the main web site from which you can see that Harbeths present a really benign electrical load.

    Having recently spent a very enjoyable weekend at the home of tube amp guru David Manley I am well aware that the proper design of a tube amp requires a lifetime of design knowledge. The design and construction of the output transformer defines the basic quality of a tube amp: solid state amps do not have an output transformer and hence are, theoretically, likely to offer better performance at the lower end of the price scale. Really fine output transformers are exceedingly expensive.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

      The P3es_2's are without question the best small room
      speakers i have ever heard. I was using a Manley Stingray
      with 40-50 watts of power and could not have been more
      pleased -- in fact soo pleased I'm replacing them with M 30's.
      Am I crazy or just looking for more of that wonderful Harbeth
      sound. Will let you know how it compares-----
      Best Regards,
      Hal

      Comment


      • #18
        hlp3 sounding weird

        Dear All,

        I have a HLP3 which I purchased brand new in 1992. It was driven by a Naim Nait 2, primarily using CD and Vinyl for source.

        Lately, I noticed that the bass on the left speaker started to go "pop" when playing musicwith heavy bass, driven at quite high levels. Swapped the speaker between right and left, and indeed, the problem was with that speaker. In order to trouble shoot, the speakers were switched over to a Quad 306, and to my dismay, the amplifier blew!!!

        I now am wondering what is it that caused the amp to blow, and more importantly, what is causing the speaker to go "pop" under certain bass intensive music.

        When played under conservative volume levels, the speakers sound fantastic, with no issues at all..!!

        Anybody got any ideas? I'm thinking its a faulty crossover network. (the bass driver doesnt bottom out when gently depressed)

        Edwin

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: hlp3 sounding weird

          Hello and sorry to hear of your problem. Crossover faults are exceedingly rare - I have experienced just a handful over the years, all due to severe and prolonged overload. It is almost certainly a bass unit problem, but I agree, it does sound odd. I suggest that there may be a partial winding short circuit withing the bass unit's coil which makes it look like a much lower resistance than normal. I am surprised that the 306 struggled, since I have abused mine over the years with dead shorts and have not have any problems.

          Unfortunately, as you will see from http://www.harbeth.co.uk/sales/servi...ares/index.php
          there are no longer any bass units for this model.
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • #20
            BBC uses Monitor 20 at World Cup 2006

            A pair of Monitor 20 was used by BBC as the master control speakers for 2006 FIFA World Cup in their Berlin studios. The sound from the field, the interview studio and all other sources was mixed to the picture using only the M20s and then sent on to London for transmission throughout the BBC in the UK, over the internet and through the BBC World Service.

            Clearly, this is a vote of confidence in such a small speaker. "Although small, good enough to trust with live-to-air sound". That is exactly what this instrument is supposed to be used for.
            Attached Files
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

              Hi, I am new to this group. I was wondering why the HL-P3ES2 does not incorporate the RADIAL driver?

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

                Well that's an easy one to answer! The P3 was designd in 1990, some five or so years before we invented the RADIAL driver. To achive that amount of bass and the generally 'out of the box sound' that belies its size, the electro/mechanical/acoustic parameters of the bass unit have been carefully optimised and considerable time and effort would be required to go around that loop again.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

                  Originally posted by A.S.
                  Well that's an easy one to answer! The P3 was designd in 1990, some five or so years before we invented the RADIAL driver. To achive that amount of bass and the generally 'out of the box sound' that belies its size, the electro/mechanical/acoustic parameters of the bass unit have been carefully optimised and considerable time and effort would be required to go around that loop again.
                  I don't mean to be difficult, Alan, but that means that the P3 driver is now over 15 years old! What is the lifespan of a loudspeaker, especially when you know you have better materials available?

                  David

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

                    Originally posted by David Schalkwyk
                    ... but that means that the P3 driver is now over 15 years old! What is the lifespan of a loudspeaker...
                    In business - indeed in life - there are always priorities: choices have to be made bearing in mind resources, time available and customer requirements.

                    Actually, the P3 driver and the P3ES/ES2 driver are not quite the same and they are not really interchangeable. The P3ES driver started production about 8 years ago if I recall correctly.

                    The LS3/5a driver ran for some 25+ years, so the length of a production run is not really an issue if the driver does the finely honed job it was conceived for.

                    2007 is Harbeth's 30th Anniversary and I am working inhuman hours - I simply can not do everything but of course, one can dream. The problems is that in ones dream state, one can not physically work it seems.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

                      I understand the conflict between dreams and what is humanly possible. I've just returned from an extended trip abroad and was marvelling at what the P3ES2 driver can do, listening to them again last night after a long break. I think that P3 owners feel a little jealous of those who have C7s or HL5s or Monitor 30s and 40s, intrigued by how much better our little monitors might sound with Radial drivers. But this is the occupational disease of this peculiarly male obsession.

                      Incidentally, I stayed in a house in New Zealand that had a pair of Rogers LS3/5s that were at least 20 years old. They're still wonderful 'speakers...

                      David

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: hlp3 sounding weird

                        The answer to this question, after some detailed investigation, is that the woofer in the problem pair is not in fact an original P3 woofer, but a substitute has been fitted at some stage.
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

                          Hello Alan,

                          I am sorry to say that I do not understand your answer to the question regarding the differences between the HLP3 ES2 and the Monitor 20. To say that it is a "professionalised version" states a conclusion. Not to nag you, but what does it mean to "professionalise" the HLP3 ES2 to create a Monitor 20? For instance, are the drivers, crossover, connectors and cabinets all the same? Is a "professionalised" speaker only different in the finish applied to the cabinets or are the differences more numerous and incorporated into the speaker in ways that an ordinary user cannot see? As Harbeth has a home version of the Monitor 20, I am not sure how the "professionalised" speaker compares to the HLP3 ES2.

                          This is a matter largely of curiosity rather than of needing to know for reasons of changing out my mini monitors: I have a pair of 15 ohm Spendor LS3/5a's that I use and intend to accompany me into the grave. If, however, you can persuade me that I should have a pair of HLP3's or Monitor 20's to take that trip, too, please feel free to make your case!

                          Scott

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

                            There is nothing that I would wish to say to persuade you. That is not my role here. Listen carefully. Trust your own ears. Make up your own mind.

                            We've discussed the non-flat response of the LS3/5a 15 ohms before and noted how they degenerate with age.
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

                              Hi Alan,

                              Thanks for your response. I remain curious, however, regarding the differences between the HLP3 ES2 and the Monitor 20. Would you explain those differences?

                              Thanks very much.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Subwoofers...!!!?

                                Well, it was bound to happen--given the psychology of this hobby. Having been perfectly happy with my P3s for a number of months, I am suddenly beset by an evil spirit that keeps tugging at my left earlobe, saying, "What you really need is a bit more bass..." This is a result of having gone to a live performance (are any performances dead?) of Saint-Saens's Symphony in C (with the big organ) and then coming home and listening to the Barenboim recording and saying to myself, "Where's the organ gone?"

                                This is mad. But still. I HATE subwoofers, but am beginning to be pulled in that direction. Does anyone have any personal experience or advice on this illness?

                                Thanks

                                David

                                Comment

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