Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: My first listen to the P3ESR, M30 and Compact 7ES3 ... could listen for hours

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    115

    Default My first listen to the P3ESR, M30 and Compact 7ES3 ... could listen for hours

    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!

    Greetings!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    115

    Default I've been and listened to several Harbeths ...

    Some more afterthoughts. I must say both the P3ESR and the Monitor 30 really left an impression on me. I took some notes while listening, I think it's only fair to do so, and I came to some conclusions now that I've had time to think it over.

    First of all, there is no 'best' Harbeth speaker. Each of the models was designed with a certain purpose in mind if I'm correct, and it was designed to do that as good as possible, following certain criteria. Before I went to listen, I wrongfully assumed that the more expensive ones would automatically be the better ones. I was glad, but surprised that there isn't a 'better' one, they each do what they were designed to do, and although they all have qualities in common, they are also different at the same time. This is where preference and personal requirements come into play.

    For me a loudspeaker has to integrate in the living room, compliment it, but not stand out, it also has to match colour-wise. That's why I'm opting for a P3ESR in black ash for the moment, I'll make one last financial check this week, and if all is well, I'll be off to the distributor next week. However, I cannot just ignore the Monitor 30. The distributor only sells them in cherry, He told me a different veneer would probably take up to 9 months to delivery. That's why I'm considering, perhaps within a month or two, to order a pair of M30's in rosewood, put some money aside during the waiting period, and enjoy both pairs in the end. We'll see!

    Edit: I would like to point out one more thing, this is common for all of the Harbeths I've heard so far. It's about the way they present details in a recording. Some speakers do this by exaggerating part of the frequency band, Harbeths however did it with their imaging. This is hard to explain if you haven't actually experienced it, but somehow they let you hear into a recording, without any noticeable imbalance in the frequency response. I believe the imbalance in some parts of the frequency band in certain monitor speakers is partially responsable for the common idea that studio monitor speakers are not suitable for Hifi use because of their 'analystic and unmusical nature'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    462

    Default Each model has its own charm ...

    Hi Tim,

    Very well put & i totally agree that there's no best Harbeth. Each & every model has its own charm. Due to its superior balance, musicality & inherent rightness of tone & timbre, its easy to sink & get deeply intoxicated into the music. Irregardless of model, if it is music that you seeking, you simply can't go wrong with a Harbeth.

    And the best part of the deal is that they don't need 'exotic' ancillaries to get to this level of musicality which others can only dream of.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Black ash P3

    Hi Tim - Definitely agree about having a speaker fit the room sonically and visually. I have a pair of somewhat new Black Ash P3's and they're everything you've mentioned. The Black Ash looks very nice...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    115

    Default Just ordered P3ESR

    I placed my order today for a pair of P3ESR's in black ash. I'm picking them up somewhere next week!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    96

    Default I love my P3

    Congratulations, you will not be sorry. I love my P3's!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    115

    Default My wonderful new P3ESR... best minimonitor on the market

    I picked them up today. They're simply wonderful, everything sounds just right on them. The fact that this speaker sounds like it does, defies logic. My previous speakers were larger bookshelf speakers, and the little Harbeths outperform them in every way. For the people who worry about a lack of bass, let me tell you this. My previous speakers had a claimed frequency response of 50hz to 20khz, the P3's are stated from 75hz upwards.. And the P3's have better bass performance. At first I thought that perhaps I was overrating them, I asked my girlfriend to listen while I switched between listening with and without subwoofer (through a multichannel receiver it's only the push of a button) at normal listening levels with some quite demanding fragments. She couldn't tell either. They're really that good in my smaller room. Now I'm sure that at high volume listening with very dynamic material it will be noticeable, as with movies etc. But ,before, I wouldn't listen without the subwoofer, and tonight I did, that does say something.

    Staging is also so much more realistic, as is the quality of the instrument(s) and voice(s), very natural indeed. I was worried that I might regret not getting the bigger Harbeths, but I couldn't be happier really. They fit the room perfectly, visual and sound wise. Best small monitor on the market as far as I'm concerned!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    8

    Default Another happy Harbethian!

    Congratulations, Tim. Good to hear of another happy Harbeth ending. What kind of music do you listen to?

    -Bob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Great for Music, and Movies - P3s

    Tim - you briefly mentioned the P3's with movies - I happen to watch a lot of movies on my 2 channel system. When I was first trying out my P3's I had the TV on and stumbled on Transformers and Sherlock Holmes - they sounded great! I wasn't listening at high volume, and yeah, a full range system will fill in the bottom - but I was really surprised at how well the little P3's conveyed the dense mixes. Of course they handled the dialogue beautifully, but when the Hollywood SFX and big music came in - they turned on a dime and filled the room.

    If you want to really hear something - listen to the Blue Ray of "Inception" on the little Harbeths, without a sub That one I played loudly

    Glad your enjoying the speakers they're truly amazing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    115

    Default Music by real people ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hesson11 View Post
    Congratulations, Tim. Good to hear of another happy Harbeth ending. What kind of music do you listen to?

    -Bob

    Anything with a soul in it Anything from orchestral, to vocal, folk, jazz.. as long as it's performed by real people who love what they do

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    115

    Default Best speakers I've heard, bar none

    Quote Originally Posted by cornelius View Post
    Tim - you briefly mentioned the P3's with movies - I happen to watch a lot of movies on my 2 channel system. When I was first trying out my P3's I had the TV on and stumbled on Transformers and Sherlock Holmes - they sounded great! I wasn't listening at high volume, and yeah, a full range system will fill in the bottom - but I was really surprised at how well the little P3's conveyed the dense mixes. Of course they handled the dialogue beautifully, but when the Hollywood SFX and big music came in - they turned on a dime and filled the room.

    If you want to really hear something - listen to the Blue Ray of "Inception" on the little Harbeths, without a sub That one I played loudly

    Glad your enjoying the speakers they're truly amazing.
    I actually have a seperate surround setup for movies, I haven't used the Harbeths for that yet. Although, I can definitely see myself owning a full Harbeth surround setup one day. I have used them for watching regular television, they're excellent with speech indeed!

    And yes, they are amazing little speakers. I've been rediscovering my entire musical collection since I bought them! They are really the most 'true to the source' loudspeaker (brand for that matter) that I've ever listened to. You can easily tell a good mix from a bad with these speakers, and yet even with not so good mixes, they still sound enjoyable.. The best thing however, is the balance, it just sounds right.

    In reviews I often see people commenting about either, the lows, the mids and the highs of a speaker (be it good or bad).. It's my opinion that if any of those is better or worse than the others, then it's just not balanced. Either it sounds natural or either it doesn't. Harbeths do. And that, combined with excellent three-dimensional imaging, makes them the best speakers I've heard, bar none.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    214

    Default Enjoy the P3s!

    That is extremely well put, Tim! Couldn't agree more! Enjoy the P3, it's wonderful!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    115

    Default I am a musician - P3's don't lack anything ...

    Quote Originally Posted by garmtz View Post
    That is extremely well put, Tim! Couldn't agree more! Enjoy the P3, it's wonderful!
    Believe me Garmt, I am! I'm still in vacation, so I have plenty of free time now. And even when I'm busy with others thing around the flat, they provide beautiful background music. I'm glad I went for the P3 in the end, they're just right for this room in every sense of the way, it's tempting to think 'bigger is better', but I'm glad I didn't in the end.

    I said the same on the Dutch HTforum (You're the same Garmt I presume?), but in my room the P3's perform fantastic, they don't give the impression of good bass, they simply *produce it*. Just to make sure I wasn't fooling myself, I measured the response with a calibrated microphone, and the bass started going down below 80hz to about -6db at 60hz, and then the curve was flat(apart from a room bump of 4-5db at 50hz) to just below 30hz. I measured twice, just to be sure.

    As a performing musician I'm fussy about when things are lacking when I listen to music.. I didn't found the P3's lacking anything at all, also down low, and the measurements prove it. I'm very happy that the P3 matches my room so well!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    43

    Default Measurements prove P3's bass

    Quote Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
    Believe me Garmt, I am! I'm still in vacation, so I have plenty of free time now. And even when I'm busy with others thing around the flat, they provide beautiful background music. I'm glad I went for the P3 in the end, they're just right for this room in every sense of the way, it's tempting to think 'bigger is better', but I'm glad I didn't in the end.

    I said the same on the Dutch HTforum (You're the same Garmt I presume?), but in my room the P3's perform fantastic, they don't give the impression of good bass, they simply *produce it*. Just to make sure I wasn't fooling myself, I measured the response with a calibrated microphone, and the bass started going down below 80hz to about -6db at 60hz, and then the curve was flat(apart from a room bump of 4-5db at 50hz) to just below 30hz. I measured twice, just to be sure.

    As a performing musician I'm fussy about when things are lacking when I listen to music.. I didn't find the P3's lacking anything at all, also down low, and the measurements prove it. I'm very happy that the P3 matches my room so well!
    Tim,

    Thank you for sharing. May I know how big is your room and the distance you had placed the P3esr from the rear wall?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    148

    Default Music lives on Planet Harbeth!

    Hello, TimVG

    I'm also a performing musician (symphony and chamber music, on the trombone) and was naturally drawn to Harbeth as well. Usually we musicians can use our imagination and "tonal memory" to fill in missing bass, and even though my Monitor 30's are shy an octave or so of bass, I don't really miss it at all!

    I'm curious to know on what and where you perform.

    Music lives on Planet Harbeth!

    Cheers!

    Bob La Barca
    State College, PA
    USA

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    115

    Default P3ESR in 30m2 room

    Quote Originally Posted by engjoo View Post
    Tim,

    Thank you for sharing. May I know how big is your room and the distance you had placed the P3esr from the rear wall?
    Hi

    The room is about 30 sq. meter and about 2,5 to 3m in height (sloping ceiling) .. the speakers are placed about 50cm away from the wall.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    115

    Default Only Harbeth can reproduce french horn

    Quote Originally Posted by KT88 View Post
    Hello, TimVG

    I'm also a performing musician (symphony and chamber music, on the trombone) and was naturally drawn to Harbeth as well. Usually we musicians can use our imagination and "tonal memory" to fill in missing bass, and even though my Monitor 30's are shy an octave or so of bass, I don't really miss it at all!

    I'm curious to know on what and where you perform.

    Music lives on Planet Harbeth!

    Cheers!

    Bob La Barca
    State College, PA
    USA
    I play french horn is a couple of orchestras and teach in weekends!

    Harbeth was in fact the only brand that, for me at least, could produce the true sound of the french horn. For those that don't know; the french horn has an enormous amount of overtones (the normal playing register for the instrument is rather high compared to the length of the instrument). Not much speakers can accurately produce this.

    A good french horn recording is a great test (or torture test for the bad ones) for a speaker system. If voices and french horns sound natural, you can bet your life anything will!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Malaysia/Singapore
    Posts
    435

    Default Acoustic instruments and Harbeth speakers

    So happy to see two of the acoustic instrument players here share their passion on Harbeth. The way Harbeth reproduce acoustic instrument sound is second to none. This is the main reason Harbeth is the only speaker i want to own for life. The original P3 brought me to Harbeth. The latest P3esr is the best speaker i ever in this size. Cheers.

    {Moderator's comment: are you aware that (as we have discussed before) it is the unique Harbeth RADIAL cone material that is uniquely clean sounding?}
    "Bath in Music"

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Malaysia/Singapore
    Posts
    435

    Default RADIAL sounds just right!

    {Moderator's comment: are you aware that (as we have discussed before) it is the unique Harbeth RADIAL cone material that is uniquely clean sounding?}
    Of course I aware of that. The RADIAL cone sound just right. My 7 and 5 sound are uniquely clean. I love them very much.
    "Bath in Music"

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Malaysia
    Posts
    14

    Default Horns and demo CDs

    Quote Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
    I play french horn is a couple of orchestras and teach in weekends!

    Harbeth was in fact the only brand that, for me at least, could produce the true sound of the french horn. For those that don't know; the french horn has an enormous amount of overtones (the normal playing register for the instrument is rather high compared to the length of the instrument). Not much speakers can accurately produce this.

    A good french horn recording is a great test (or torture test for the bad ones) for a speaker system. If voices and french horns sound natural, you can bet your life anything will!
    Tim
    Any cd(s )you can recommend? I like music of the Baroque and classical periods.

    thanks in advance,
    tinears

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •