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Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

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  • #31
    Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    Subwoofers are a pain in the ass. They are called "sub" because they cover the lower bass. About 2% of all music occurs in these registers. You need more cables. Invariably, they connect to "something else". Yes, they allow you to hear the lowest octave on an organ. Is it worth it? Quad sells a moderately priced one that has gotten some decent reviews, but i have never seen an HLP3 paired with a subwoofer.

    You may need a loudspeaker that has better bass than the HLP3. If you do not have a monster room, i would recommend the Compact 7.

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 and subwoofers...!!!?

      Re. subwoofers: I'm in a similar position. The living room in my small, 1955 house won't accommodate speakers larger than bookshelves and I'm starting to miss the lower octaves that my P3's just weren't designed to provide. Plus, with live music you actually feel the music in addition to hearing it. This aspect requires larger floorstanders or a subwoofer.

      I'm currently searching for a compatible sub too. So far I've only tried the Velodyne SPL-800r. Pretty impressive, but seamless integration with the Harbeth's is proving to be a bit tricky. I may be able to give the B&W PV1 an audition this weekend as well.

      I'd be curious to hear others' thoughts on this conundrum. David, have you found anything encouraging yet?

      Cheers,
      _Todd

      Comment


      • #33
        Amp for HL-P3 speakers

        I'm new to this User Group, but hoping to purchase a pair of HL-P3s for use in my new conservatory. I'm a great lover of 'BBC type' speakers , having been the proud owner of a pair of Spendor BC1s ( for 30 years ! ). I wish to drive the Harbeths with an Audiolab 8000A, using a Linn / Mission 774 / Entre M C cartridge and an Alpha Arcam ( original ) CD with Dac-in-the-Box outboard D/A converter. OK, I've thought about LS3/5as ( Harbeth and others ), but would like something new. I appreciate there is a ' new '( Stirling ) LS3/5a, but speaker technology has moved on. Any comments / ideas would be appreciated. M G Miles [email protected]

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        • #34
          Re: Amp for HL-P3 speakers

          Dear Martin

          I have HP-3s which I've driven with a variety of amps: my current amp is an old Sugden Class-A P-51 which puts out about 17 watts. My room is large, and the amp has no difficulty filling the room (although I don't listen at very loud levels). I've also used a home-made bi-polar that produced about 90 watts and a NAD 820 BX2 (I think about 30 watts). They were all fine, although the Sugden is the most satisfying. So your Audiolab should do the job well. The 'speakers are not very sensitive, but they appear to be an easy load. And they're wonderful. You won't be disappointed.

          David

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          • #35
            Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

            I've recently bought HL-P3ES2 speakers. I'm very satisfied.

            I use an Exposure 2010s amp (75W into 8 ohm) and NVA LS1 speaker cables providing a great sound for my room (that is about 30-35 m2).

            I read some posts about power and Harbeth and I would like to avoid this situation:
            http://www.harbeth.co.uk/sales/servi...ifier-DC-F.jpg

            I mean: 75w are too much power for P3? How much can I turn up the volume without burning the woofers? I must say that I usually need a rather low level of volume to achieve a good sound.

            Thanks in advance for your advice.

            Regards.

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

              There are at least two issue here: 1) gain in your amp and 2) how your amp will treat the load presented by the HLP-3s. Not being able to turn up the volume very high relates to 1), not necessarily to 2) for your amp. Your amp will work fine. Where the load is a little reactive, your amp can't dump too much current into your speaker and where the impedance drops wthout a sharp change in phase angle, you will have enough current reserve to drive through the lows.

              The HLP3 is not a really easy load, but it's not really hard to drive either. Your amp must be very sensitive if you have to keep the volume knob below 0900.

              But in general, you are Not goin to have problems. Your ears will burst, first! I think.

              Comment


              • #37
                Overdriving small-diameter woofers ...

                There is another issue here too. Whilst it is absolutely correct to talk about technical things like 'phase', 'current', 'reactive' and so on, the answer may be more intuitive that that! I'm thinking about the quantity of air, its volume (measured in litres or cu. ft) that a drive unit moves when it is stroking backwards and forwards.

                The key point is that the woofer in motion is performing just like a car engine's cylinder and the displacement (or air volume) of a cylinder (or woofer) is the multiplication of (diameter of radiating surface area x height). Remember that from school maths? Pi x r2 x h.

                So, how does that relate to our drive unit? Well, for a small diameter driver (like the P3, LS3/5a etc.) to displace the same quantity (volume) of air as a bigger diameter unit it has to vigorously move backwards and forwards: it has to increase the h (height) term because it can't magically increase its diameter. In other words, it has to (attempt to) make up for its small diameter by moving more air in a 'cylinder' in the forwards and backwards direction. Conversely, a 300mm (12") Monitor 40 driver with a big r2 (radius squared) hardly has to move forwards and backwards at all to move a lot of air volume.

                But - a big but - the suspension a small driver is tight and it simply doesn't have the available stroke that a big driver can have. The consequence: the user may keep on turning up the amp, the drive unit reaches flat-out drive and then, over a period of minutes, the voice coil fries through overload - all without any increase in loudness since the air volume (diameter x stroke) has not actually increased despite pouring more Watts into the voice coil.

                BUT: this process carries with it plenty of warnings for the careless user! The poor speaker cries out "Turn me down - can't you hear that you are flogging me to death? Can't you hear that the quality in the bass frequencies has deteriorated? Can't you see that my little cone is working really hard in and out? Help! Turn me down!".

                The danger time is when the speakers are left unattended, perhaps in another room when the user just isn't able to read the signs of overload. Or smell the burning! Luckily, overdrive is extremely rare: a reflection of our user's self control and musical tastes.

                Ths challenge and trick when designing with small drivers is to manipulate the physical and acoustic parameters so that there is just enough percieved bass, just enough stroke, just enough sensitivity and just enough maximum output that listening to even a small speaker can be very enjoyable. That take a lot of time.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: Overdriving small-diameter woofers ...

                  Originally posted by A.S.
                  Ths challenge and trick when designing with small drivers is to manipulate the physical and acoustic parameters so that there is just enough percieved bass, just enough stroke, just enough sensitivity and just enough maximum output that listening to even a small speaker can be very enjoyable. That take a lot of time.
                  Thanks, Alan, for this illuminating explanation. Ever since I bought my P3s I've been amazed not only by their speed and transparency, but also by their weight. Your explanation helps me to understand why they perform as they do.

                  A while ago I submitted a post about using subwoofers with the P3. I felt I needed a bit of extra bass, especially with full orchestra. This was perhaps underlined by the specs of the 'speakers, which indicate 75Hz as the lowest range. Since that posting, however, I've been changing things a bit. I worked on the supension of my Thorens 125 and took greater care with the placement of the P3s. Now I wonder why I ever thought I needed subwoofers. Which raises a question: the P3s now seem to go much lower than 75 Hz. They seem to be much better than my previous Martin-Logans, which were specified as going as low as 32Hz. Clearly figures don't tell the whole story. Bass appears to be a very subjective matter. What is going on here? What IS it that we hear, or think we hear, or expect to hear?

                  Regards

                  David

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Cheating with bass specs ...

                    Originally posted by David Schalkwyk
                    Which raises a question: the P3s now seem to go much lower than 75 Hz. They seem to be much better than my previous Martin-Logans, which were specified as going as low as 32Hz. Clearly figures don't tell the whole story.
                    I've moved this reply to the section 'Ask the designer' since it applies generally to loudspeakers regardless of size or brand.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Overdriving small-diameter woofers ...

                      Thanks Alan,

                      You covered the "demand/load" side. Could you extend this analogy to the "supply" side? Specifically, can you compare a power amp that delivers constant voltage and variable current vs. a power amp that delivers constant current and variable voltage?

                      Thank you,

                      John Callaway

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Overdriving small-diameter woofers ...

                        John: I would if I actually knew anything about the subject of comparative amplifier topography. As a speaker designer my entire experience is on, as you say, the demand/load side so others are far better qualified than me to comment on supply side (amp) matters.

                        I just make sure that our speakers will work with just about any general purpose (voltage gain, low output impedance) hifi amplifiers.
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Building A New System Around Harbeth P3

                          Dear All,

                          I'm in the midst of identifying the right electronics i.e. cd player and amplification around my recently acquired used HLP3. In the dealer's room, the P3 really play music beautifully with Quad 66 cd player, 34 preamp and 606 power amp.

                          Good the 66 is, I prefer a new CD player like Quad 99 CDP-2 which can be connected directly to a power amp and I've been offerred a Quad 306 and 405mk2 quite cheaply.

                          My questions are, would a 306 or the bigger 405mk2 suffice to drive the P3? Would I lose much of 606's grunt, soundstage, transparency and rhytm? and what interconnect and speaker cables should I use for this system?

                          Please help me on this one. Thank you.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: Building A New System Around Harbeth P3

                            That's a very good question and has arrived one day after I have been conducting some technical measurements on my own 405 and 606 in the deadroom! Good timing!

                            Even the 306 has enough power to fully drive the P3 but it will leave you with no reserve. I think the problem with the 306 is not so much the amp but the fact that the 34 preamp seems to clip with a CD input when the volume is at about 13 so if it is true that the 66 can drive the 306 (with a remote volume control?) that that's probably a good idea. But what about the excellently useful tilt control of the 34? You'll lose that functionality.

                            I noted yesterday that the 606 is definitely less concerned by the speakers frequency dependent electrical loading than the 405, which means that it must be a better design all round. It is also extremely powerful although I must say from my own experience, less reliable. Both the 405 and 606 have loads of power, far more than you'll even really need, but nice to have though when used with care.

                            Knowing what I now know, I'd select the 606 every time assuming that it sounds OK compared with the 405/306. I'm sure that it does, especially in the bass. You may also want to think about the limiter option if you use the 405 with the P3 (also the 606?).

                            Hope that helps.

                            Oh - don't forget: amplifiers age (this has been covered here in depth) and you may wish to have QUAD service whatever one of these classic amps you buy. Put your ear to the speaker (take care!) and with no music playing you should hear nothing but the tiniest hiss. If you hear a buzz ..... QUAD need to service it. My 606 was expensive to service recently because it seems that they replace the entire PSU where as they change individual components in the 306/405.
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Building A New System Around Harbeth P3

                              Originally posted by A.S.
                              Oh - don't forget: amplifiers age (this has been covered here in depth) and you may wish to have QUAD service whatever one of these classic amps you buy. Put your ear to the speaker (take care!) and with no music playing you should hear nothing but the tiniest hiss. If you hear a buzz ..... QUAD need to service it. My 606 was expensive to service recently because it seems that they replace the entire PSU where as they change individual components in the 306/405.
                              My former Quad 909 never gave any hiss or buzz to the speakers, but my totally new Plinius SA102 gives in Class A with no music playing.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: Building A New System Around Harbeth P3

                                Originally posted by Hu
                                My former Quad 909 never gave any hiss or buzz ...
                                In that case it was working perfectly.

                                The point I was making was that if your (old) QUAD does have a feint buzz, than it definitely needs servicing by someone who knows them very well - such as QUAD UK or their agents. They are extrely durable and as long as the capacitors are replaced every 15 or so years then it should give really good sound forever.
                                Alan A. Shaw
                                Designer, owner
                                Harbeth Audio UK

                                Comment

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