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Thread: Harbeth HL Compact 7ES-3 specific

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Which Taps for the 7ES3?

    In truth I don't suppose it will make much sonic difference whether you chose the 4 ohm or 8 ohm tap since the speaker's 6 ohm load falls mid way between.

    The rule of thumb is that the source impedance (the tube amplifier's output setting) should, in theory, be lower or the same as the speaker's impedance. In that case, the 4 ohm tap would meet that rule.

    However, this is a really fine argument: you may prefer the sound (in the bass) on the 8 ohm setting. What matters is what sound best to you, not the grand theory. Either way, no damage will be done to the speaker or the amplifier.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  2. #62
    Bill C Guest

    Default Re: Which Taps for the 7ES3?

    Thanks Alan. I'll just give them both a try.

  3. #63
    Bill C Guest

    Default What stand height for 7ES3?

    Is there a recommended stand height for the 7ES3 with regard to bass performance? My ears are about 34" off the floor if that is a factor. Thanks,
    Bill

  4. #64
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    Default Re: What stand height for 7ES3?

    Actually, at low frequencies the wavelength of sound is long. At 68Hz for example, the wavelength is 5m (about 15 feet)! What that means is that at low frequencies it really doesn't matter about an inch or two up and down on the stand height.

    Notice that I said at low frequencies. The situation is very different in the mid to upper frequencies. For example, let's compare the situation at 68Hz where an inch or two made no difference to a frequency fifty times higher - say, 3400Hz, slap bang in the middle of the crossover range between woofer and tweeter. Now, if the wavelength is (approx.) 5m at 68Hz, at fifty times that frequency ( that's 3400Hz) it will only be one fiftieth of 5m which I calculate as 10cms. - about 4 inches.

    So, I think this leads to an observation: at low frequencies the stand height (give or take a few inches) has a negligible effect - but at mid/upper frequencies small changes of an inch or two doesn't 'do' anything to the speaker itself - what it does do is to reposition the listener's ears below/on/above the design reference axis: just that inch or two will make the difference.

    In the special case of the Compact 7ES-3 I found a way (in the crossover design) to integrate the drive units over an unusually wide vertical arc - which means that in the case of the C7ES-3 the stand height is less critical. But - if you are a perfectionist you should try to put your ears on axis (level with) or just a bit below the tweeter: that's where my B&K measuring mic was during the design measurement cycle. Picture attached from which I hope you can just about see the mic and tweeter in-line.

    I apologise if the environment at The Old Dairy doesn't look high-tech but it did the job when it wasn't possible to get outside into the Bluebell woods. In the background you can see a stack of reference speakers - the test equipment is on the Mk1 trolley on the left. (Somewhere I have a stop-frame video of the entire test process.)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  5. #65
    Bill C Guest

    Default Re: What stand height for 7ES3?

    Thank you very much Alan. Your explanation clarifies things for me. Should the speakers be angled directly toward the ears as well? Or should they be slightly off axis? Thanks,
    Bill

  6. #66
    hificafe Guest

    Default Harbeth 7ES-3 and int. amp with 2A3 tubes

    Hello all,

    if any of you have had experience with 7ES-2 or 7ES-3 connected to "power amps" or integrated SE amp with 2A3 tubes in output stage (declared power 2 x 4 W)?

    I've did it yesterday very carefully and couldn't imagine if it will work at all (but with latino, bossanova and similar genres which I've played until now, it sounds very musically)

    Regs,
    Sasa



  7. #67
    d55124 Guest

    Default Re: Which Taps for the 7ES3?

    I just picked up a pair of C7ES3 Anniversary models - with my setup (McIntosh SS), the 8 ohm taps provided noticeable more bass energy than the 4 ohm taps. I prefer the 4 ohm taps.

  8. #68
    d55124 Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

    Hi - wondering about the break-in characteristics of the C7 ES-3. Anyone have suggestions as too how long they take to break-in and what the changes over time might be?

    thanks!

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

    After owning my C7 and drive them very well, sound like heaven with my Marantz PM17 mkII KI 60watters and even my pretty old PM66 KI 60watters amp and a even cheap AVR5300 multipurpose home theater amp...I really wonder why there are so many people still suffer from play mega bucks few hundred watters drive big tower or mega bucks small speakers and busy with room treatment and also cable matching and in the end blame the CD/SACD recording...

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    USA
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    Default Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

    Hi Keithwwk,

    I can agree with all you say with the exception of room treatment. As fine as all Harbeth speakers are, they - and almost all speakers - will benefit from room treatment and/or DSP. Reflections and room modes will inevitably effect the sound of a system. Controlling them as much as practical is, I think, always worthwhile.

  11. #71
    Harbie Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

    Hi folks

    I am very interested in buying the new Compact 7. My problem is that i could not place the speaker in free space. I have to place it in a bookshelf. The are only a view inches on the back (3.3 inch), 1.25 inch left/right and 6 inch above.

    The bookshelf is based on a very massive wood construction up from the floor in about 13.8 inch height. The cabinet of the bookshelf for the speaker is 31.5 x 13.2 x 15.4 (h x w x d). So I am able to place the speaker on the right height, but here is less free space around.

    If it helps it is possible to put the speaker 3 inches out of the top and left/right surrounded bookshelf on the massive wood bookshelf base.

    Have anybody experiences with bookshelf position of the Compact 7? I would be very happy about any reply, because I like the Harbeth sound (could we say sound for a harbeth?), but I am not sure if they will work in my bookshelf position.

    Thanks in advance.

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

    Hello. Speaking theoretically, the close proximity of the rear wall will trap the sound at low frequencies and reflect them back to your listening position. Hence, you will hear more bass.

    However, you may like more bass (!) and/or you may have become used to the extra bass with your previous speakers used in that situation (!) or you may find that a little bass-cut using the tone controls on your amp brings you back to neutrality. Tone controls are there to help out in tricky room situations and in my opinion, all good amplifiers should have some sort of control to make the most of difficult rooms. The craze to delete tone controls from amps that got a grip in the 80's is totally incomprehensible to me - unless you listen in an anechoic chamber.

    Of course, I'm giving you the theory - even I break my own 'rules' by using my P3ES2s on a deep window ledge behind my desk simply out of convenience. There is an extra richness but it's not unpleasant. I would imagine that the same situation would apply to your Compact 7ES3.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  13. #73
    Harbie Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

    Hi Alan

    Thank you for the quick reply. I use actually (and for the last 18 years!) very small speakers called "Audioplan Kontrapunkt". They are comparable in size and used drivers with your P3ES2, but I think the P3ES2 has a little more bass.

    This speakers don?t produce to much bass in this situation (of course, they have less in general), the 7ES3 would probably do. But I think, the only way to check this, is to catch a pair 7ES3 on a harbeth dealer for a demo at home.

    After 18 year good, but "small" sound I would like a high quality speaker with more "body" in the sound, so thats why I won?t use the P3ES2 (which is probably better than my previous speaker, but still "small" sound).

  14. #74
    Join Date
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    Default Some speaker designs need a rear wall .....

    As I commented, the presence of a wall in close proximity to any speaker will boost the bass.

    Now, another craze that seems to have gripped the industry (and a certain consumer) is the drive for greater efficiency - or specifically, the marketing department's desire to quote the largest number for sensitivity. According to this mad line of reasoning, '99dB must be better than 95dB'. The easiest and cheapest way to achieve this is to fit the bass unit with an oversized magnet. Unfortunately, whilst this does increase the loudness (sensitivity) in the middle frequencies (and keeps the marketing boys happy) it will over-damp the bass which means .... less bass.

    In this situation, the weak bass can be somewhat improved by bringing the speaker close to the wall, using the wall to boost the bass end. Then the marketing people have a win-win situation: a loud loudspeaker that can/must conveniently be used near a wall or on a shelf and not out in the room.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  15. #75
    lofey Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth 7ES-3 and int. amp with 2A3 tubes

    Hello,

    I use my DIY SE2A3 (6SL7 driver, first as SRPP driver, then changed to cathode follower configuration) to drive a pair of 7ES-2 in a 10' x 21' living room.

    Just didn't imagine it could be an ideal match, but the result is far better than expected.
    The tonal purity is astonishing. The sound-stage is realistic, tone is airy and sweet. There's even some bass, while light, it's tangible and lively. The dynamic range is surely limited for a 3.5W amplifier. One has to be "emotionally competent" about listening volume when using a flea-powered amp to drive modern speakers like the 7ES-2. But I found listening in a quiet late night setting magical and enjoying.

    I found the 2A3 amp superb in vocals, jazz and light classics. Don't expect Jimi Hendrix jumping into your living room though.

    Lofey

  16. #76
    salm Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL Compact7ES-3 specific

    Hello,
    I'm the proud owner of a pair of C7ES3 that I bought on the used market a few months ago. They are used with the Sound Anchor 4-post stands. I use McIntosh C45 pre and MC402 power amp to drive the speakers. I have to say, the tiger ebony finish is quite striking. Before asking my few questions I'd like to relate an incident when a 13 year old friend of my son was visiting and heard the C7s. This boy comes from a musical family, he plays drums, his dad plays bass, and his sister (15years old) plays flute and has already performed at Carnegie Hall. Suffice to say he probably has a good ear for how musical instruments sound in their natural environment. His response to the C7 was "Wow, the bass is so nice and resonant, full like it's supposed to be." From a 13 yo! In addition to the bass response I also love the midrange accuracy and detail. This speaker is so natural and non-fatiguing. Great job on the design of these speakers Alan!

    Anyway, a few questions:

    I am looking at getting new speaker cables and was wondering if you have any feelings one way or the other about using banana connections at the speaker rather than spades?

    Is it ok to tilt the speakers (stands actually) a few degrees to help lift the tweeter a bit higher and angle the wave upward slightly? I think my listening position may be a little high and the tweeter not quite at ear level as recommended.

    Thank you in advance,
    Sal

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
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    34

    Default Harbeth C7ES 2 to C7ES 3

    Is there an upgrade from one speaker to the other ? If so what are the costs ? What is the main differences between the old and the new speaker.
    I presume that the new version was not made becuse the other was obsolete but that the designer viewed the new speaker as an improvement.

    If so what areas of improvement have been made and is there any value in looking to upgrade to the new model ?

    Regards

    Zenith

  18. #78
    oferab Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth C7ES 2 to C7ES 3

    Very intersting question, I would also like to know the answer
    I have the Harbeth 7es2

    Ofer

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Harbeth C7ES 2 to C7ES 3

    I think the differences between the C7ES2 and C7ES3 have been documented here or on the main Harbeth web site ....

    They are:

    C7ES3 has ....

    1. A new woofer
    2. A new tweeter
    3. A new crossover
    4. Revisions to the cabinet damping arrangement that would be difficult to retro-fit to ES2 cabinets
    5. Longer ports
    6. Single wire, not bi-wire terminals

    A Compact 7ES3 is the sum of all these parts and any lesser combination is not, technically a Compact 7ES3. At this time, and especially because of item 4 above, there is no upgrade path and we do not want to have a half-way situation between C7ES2 and 3 whereby 1, 2, 3, and 5 are upgraded but not item 4 (the cabinet).

    Furthermore, there are two other factors to consider. After detailed discussions with our Accounts dept. who have carried out a full costing of this possibility, it is self-evident that upgrading is not cost effective for the user because it is so time consuming in the factory which is working at 100% already. The economic argument presented to me is that not only would the user have to pay for the necessary parts detailed above, but the labour time for fitting and testing them and towards the 'opportunity cost' of diverting precious production line resources. Our order book already extends to November 2008 (14 months ahead) and is completely full for 4 months ahead. Every man hour is needed on the production line.

    As for our ISO9001 status, it is completely prohibited for us to pass out of our control upgrade parts to be fitted by users without them having approved/calibrated test equipment and demonstrable assembly and QC processes.

    As for why I invested 9 months in the redesign, I did it because I accumulated over several years detailed ideas as that led me to improve an already great and much enjoyed speaker. No parts are obsolete from the Compact 7ES2. At this level of performance it is attention to ever more minute detail that is the future for Harbeth, not sweeping changes.

    On the commercial side, I see that our like-for-like sales of the C7ES3 v. C7ES2 are 3 times greater.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Malaysia
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    Default Re: Harbeth C7ES 2 to C7ES 3

    Hi Alan,

    In view of item (4) description does my 7ES3 (s/n C7 274) which utilised the ES2 cabinet does not have the revised cabinet damping arrangement? Not that it really matters though cause it really sound superb even with 10W budget Trends Audio amp driving it!.
    Thanks.

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