Today I had my first experience with these 3 speakers. Some months ago I briefly heard the Super HL5 and although initially unimpressed, they quickly grew on me in that brief session. The SHL5 is visually too big for my living room, so I decided to explore some of the smaller models. I listened to each model for about 30-45min, not that much, but it would give me a fair impression to say the least. My lovely girlfriend decided to come along, which was nice, we're both active musicians, but still enjoy listening to music. She however does not care about brands or equipment, it's the sound that counts, and that would give me a more objective opinion, as she has no knowledge of models or prices. I took along various CD's, with a variety of styles (orchestral, folk, vocal,..).
The very friendly distributor gave me complete freedom in each of the sessions, leaving us alone with all of the equipment, 'enjoy' he said.
The differences between the speakers were there, but they were subtle. You could tell all of these were related to each other. I'll say upfront, it's all a matter of taste and preference. The things I like or don't like about a loudspeaker, could very well be the exact opposite of the person reading this.
First, the P3ESR. It's small, perhaps too small, or so I thought. I put in some orchestral music to start, I was curious to see if the small box would deliver. It did. They delivered a sound far exceeding the physical size of these speakers, or the room for that matter. Instrument placement was top notch. Even at higher dynamics the speakers did not choke up or budge, very impressive. The bass output was fantastic when taking into account the size of the speaker. Some tracks and styles later, we listened to some folk with female vocals. My girfriend commented on how the voice sounded very natural, she said it gave her goosebumps. These were the points where the P3ESR excelled, soundstage and natural timbre. Not only of voices, every instrument sounded more natural than on any brand I've heard before.
Next up, the M30. Very close to the P3ESR. I was surprised it also disappeared into the sound, despite being quite larger in size. It had a bit more punch and extension than the P3, quite logical also. The wall of sound was huge, my girlfriend mentioned how this pair seemed like a wall of speakers at one point.
Then came the compact 7ES3, this speaker sounded a bit different to me than the previous two, still similar, but (and I'm going to try my best here, sound is difficult to descrive, let alone describe accurately for others to understand). more intimate, big sound, but not the wall of sound that the other two produced. It sounded a bit warmer to me, very easy to listen to. I'm sure a lot of people will adore this loudspeaker. I just prefered the other two over this one.
It's quite difficult to decide between the P3ESR and the M30. The P3ESR will probably be enough in my room, and will visually look better. The M30 on the other hand sounded every bit as good, but with some added extension, perhaps a tad more warmth and higher power handling (not that important now, but maybe in 5 years in a bigger house..).
To round it up, I loved these speakers. I could have listened for hours to each of them. They just sound right, not too much or too little of anything. Very balanced, they simply invite you to listen. Low volume, high volume, they are very consistent in sound. They didn't seem to give up anything in sound if you turned down the volume, which is new for me in a loudspeaker. I'll leave it at that for now!