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Thread: Which Harbeth speaker is right for me?

  1. #1
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    Default Which Harbeth speaker is right for me?

    This is the best place to ask that first basic question. It somewhat depends upon your room size, how close (or how far away) you listen, how loud you play, your musical tastes and of course, your budget.

    Detailed question about specific Harbeth models should be posted in the other forum.

  2. #2
    vaidya Guest

    Default Buying the Compact 7ES3

    Hi,
    I never owned a proper hifi audio set, but after buying a nice Pana Plasma, I found it time to start getting myself a nice sound too.

    Now I have the possibility to buy the compact 7ES3. Of course I will hear them first.

    Any expert advice is more than welcome.

    Ciao

  3. #3
    vaidya Guest

    Default

    my room is 8 meters long and 3 meters wide. My sofa will be about 3 meters away from the speakers. I don't like to play too loud. I listen mostly to Reggae,Ska, Jazz, Classical and Indian Classical music. And I'm in the position to buy some secondhand Compact 7 ES 3.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Hi Vaidya, give the C7ES3 a listen. Harbeths excel on all types of acoustic music, esp classical music where its unbeatable midband & tonal attributes will be fully glorified.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default

    Hello Vaidya,

    My room is the size of yours, my sofa also stands 3 meters away from my new C7 and they work fantastic. I have no better description of the C7 than the one given by Gan CK: Harbeths excel on all types of acoustic music, esp classical music where its unbeatable midband & tonal attributes will be fully glorified

    The best would be to audition the speakers in your room and then decide.

  6. #6
    vaidya Guest

    Default

    thanks all,
    To audition the speakers will be difficult. I could buy them next week in Holland (secondhand) and than I have to bring them back with me to Italy.
    So it's a bit of a gamble, but hearing everyone say that they are more than wonderful speakers, should be enough. At least I can hear them at the sellers house.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Hi Vaidya, its good if you can hear the C7ES3 at seller's plc. But beware, if you are used to upfront, artificially bright & forward spks, then your initial impression of the C7s might not be good. These days, 99.9% of speakers in the market are lean & mean with exagerrated highs to give false impression of detail & transparency. In particular, french & some American panel spks. If you are accustomed to those kind of speakers, my bet is you won't like the C7s. However, if you are a regular classical concert goer, then any Harbeth should appeal very much to you.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Gan CK is right, but in my opinion I'd take the punt. I replaced forward and bright Proacs (Studio 100, then Response D15) with second hand P3s with really appreciated results.
    Ben from UK. Harbeth P3ESR owner.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2006
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    USA
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    Default

    Hello again, vaidya.

    I bought both pairs of my Harbeths, having never heard them before. The first were Compact 7 ES-2's, strictly on word of mouth and curiosity. I was totally unprepared for what I heard-stunningly natural sound! A couple years later, buying the Monitor 30's (never having heard them before, either), was an easy decision, having lived with the 7's.

    Go up to Holland and grab them-I can promise you you'll love them!

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vaidya View Post
    my room is 8 meters long and 3 meters wide. My sofa will be about 3 meters away from the speakers. I don't like to play too loud. I listen mostly to Reggae,Ska, Jazz, Classical and Indian Classical music. And I'm in the position to buy some secondhand Compact 7 ES 3.
    you've got a big listening room, go for the SHL5 for speed, accuracy, sweet treble, soundstage. although you wont go wrong with Harbeth 7ES3 but i dont think it will satify you completely if Classical or Jazz music is your favourite genre. especially complex, quick jazz, fusion jazz, big orchestra performance. it will do very well with vocal, smooth jazz or blues. it really boils down to what you are listening and how good is your CD media. a good CD media is important and will compliment what you play thru Harbeth speaker with your favorite track / album / songs. the philosophy is favourite music / artist / album comes first..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by coredump View Post
    you've got a big listening room, go for the SHL5 for speed, accuracy, sweet treble, soundstage. although you wont go wrong with Harbeth 7ES3 but i dont think it will satify you completely if Classical or Jazz music is your favourite genre. especially complex, quick jazz, fusion jazz, big orchestra performance. it will do very well with vocal, smooth jazz or blues. it really boils down to what you are listening and how good is your CD media. a good CD media is important and will compliment what you play thru Harbeth speaker with your favorite track / album / songs. the philosophy is favourite music / artist / album comes first..
    Coredump, may I add.. "trash in trash out". IMO, all are important room, cables, speakers, cdp...
    A good cd media with low quality cdp would not show the full potential of your set-up. I know because I've just replace my cdp. The differences is like "day and night"..

  12. #12
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    Default How important is it to have distance from the rear/side walls?

    From all I have read, the 7 ES3 sound perfect for my new large room, but I will not be able to place them more than a foot or so away from the two walls of the corners of the room. I also understand that for the P3ESR, that is not a problem, but I suspect the room might dwarf the speaker. Also, I am looking for a replacement for my current speaker pair, Spendor S3/5 se, that I love, but it loses out on bass even on acoustic jazz and I am not sure it will work in the larger room I have to move to.

    But for that fact, I love the little Spendors, and I am guessing that the P3 won't give me all that much more than what they do, while the 7ES3 will. But if I place the latter around 18 inches away from each of the walls in the corner, how will they fare?

    Or will the P3 itself do significantly better than the Spendors - my listening is acoustic music+vocals at normal listening levels.

  13. #13
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jmohd View Post
    Coredump, may I add.. "trash in trash out". IMO, all are important room, cables, speakers, cdp...
    A good cd media with low quality cdp would not show the full potential of your set-up. I know because I've just replace my cdp. The differences is like "day and night"..
    I have brought a Marantz SA11S2 and now i believe that a quality player will show the potential of your set-up. i didn't my setup of Harbeth SHL5 with Lavardin IS would sound so nice. I would like to emphasize that it is an improvement and not different...

    from now on, 'Trash in Trash out' is a valid statement...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kumar Kane View Post

    But for that fact, I love the little Spendors, and I am guessing that the P3 won't give me all that much more than what they do, while the 7ES3 will. But if I place the latter around 18 inches away from each of the walls in the corner, how will they fare?

    Or will the P3 itself do significantly better than the Spendors - my listening is acoustic music+vocals at normal listening levels.
    I believe this has been answered on another thread but for completeness I would say that the C7ES3 will be just fine, a foot from the nearest walls. The P3ESR will also work perfectly in this situation.

    As to the P3ESR v the Spendor - the latter sounds flat and uninvolving to my ears, whereas the little Harbeth is dynamic, solid, tactile and good fun. It betters the Spendor in all areas, to my ears.

  15. #15
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    Posted a thread to ask but then find this is probably a more appropriate place to ask: I am planning to set up a separate audio system in the basement just for music alone. I have a large L shape room not divided, with about 12' W x 35' L x 7' H.

    I listen to many kinds of music but mainly classical (from solo piano to chamber music, concertos and large orchestra work), also some instrumental/new age, vocal, Pops, etc. Not many rock music. I have been using an old Rogers LS/2 bookshelf and are used to the British sound, this plus my music taste makes me consider the Harbeth, which I had a chance to audition lately.

    Source: i'm fully digital and use a Squeezebox 3 with lossless files on server. May consider adding a turn table later.

    Amp:not decided.

    Will Compact 7 works in the room size that I mentioned ? I really hope I don't have to go bigger due to cost. If I have to, I can add a bookshelf to use as a room divider to limit the size.

    Thanks !

  16. #16
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    Default

    You should be fine with the Compact 7. What really matters is your distance from the speaker. I think in your other post you mentioned setting the speakers up across the short dimension so allowing about 3 feet from the side walls the speakers will be about 6 feet apart and the listening position the same or slightly more. Since you have a rather long room, keeping the speakers a fair distance from the back wall will be a good thing to do too.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Leman View Post
    You should be fine with the Compact 7. What really matters is your distance from the speaker. I think in your other post you mentioned setting the speakers up across the short dimension so allowing about 3 feet from the side walls the speakers will be about 6 feet apart and the listening position the same or slightly more. Since you have a rather long room, keeping the speakers a fair distance from the back wall will be a good thing to do too.
    Don: Thanks for your confirmation and advice on placement. Looks like it's good to have some space around the speaker and I can do that since it's empty.

    Now I need to find a matching amp for the setup and will do some more reading.

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