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Thread: HL Compact 7 es3 vs. es2

  1. #1
    sfogar Guest

    Default HL Compact 7 es3 vs. es2

    Hi,

    I am looking for a dealer here, in Italy, where to listen to a pair of HL Compact 7 es3, but no luck...

    I can instead listen to a pair of HL Compact 7 es2, how can I compare them to the new model (which I'll have to purchase without testing it ?).

    Many thanks

    All the best

    Alessandro Fogar

  2. #2
    sfogar Guest

    Default Re: HL Compact 7 es3 vs. es2

    Hi, I listened to the HL Compact 7 es2 and super hl5 but probably they are too big for my room (4.5 x 2.5 mt.).

    Don't know, probably the Harbeth HL-P3ES-2 are better in my room...

    All the best

    Alessandro Fogar

    Quote Originally Posted by sfogar
    Hi,

    I am looking for a dealer here, in Italy, where to listen to a pair of HL Compact 7 es3, but no luck...

    I can instead listen to a pair of HL Compact 7 es2, how can I compare them to the new model (which I'll have to purchase without testing it ?).

    Many thanks

    All the best

    Alessandro Fogar

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,389

    Default Re: HL Compact 7 es3 vs. es2

    Actually, there is no hard technical reason why any particular Harbeth will/will not suit a room. What tends to decide suitability is your/your partners prefrence for the maximum physical size of the speaker cabinet.

    One of the defining features of a Harbeth is that its sound does not change as you move nearer or further from the speakers.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  4. #4
    Kevin M Guest

    Question Re: HL Compact 7 es3 vs. es2

    The size issue is the one that's concerning me. I auditioned a pair of Compact 7s a couple of weeks ago, and compared them with a pair of Quad ESLs (988). I was tremendously impressed with the 7s, and decided there and then that I had no need to defer making a speaker replacement until I had space for the ESLs - the Harbeths were at least on a par with speakers at twice the price!

    However, although smaller than the Quad panels by some margin, I was still taken aback at their physical dimensions, as I knew that they they wouldn't go down too well at home (i.e., with my wife!). If I lived alone it wouldn't be an issue - I'd have bought them by now.

    My current speakers are about the same size as the HLP-3s, but I've assumed that the larger models would be the more marked upgrade (for want of a better term) as their drivers are 'better' and they'll move more air (which I'm assuming contributes to the effortless presentation that I was so struck by when I heard the 7s). The third option is the Monitor 30, which seems to be [a] smaller and [b] fitted with a better tweeter.

    I guess my question is this. As I have a smallish room (3.5 x 4.5 m) what would I gain by buying the either of the bigger models? Or put another way, if the HLP-3 shares the sonic qualities that I admired so much in the Compact 7s, should I simply go for these?

    On a more personal note, and as I'm new to this forum, I'd like to take the opportunity to congratulate Alan on both his speakers and his obvious commitment to his customers. They're shining beacons of hope in an increasingly tawdry world.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South of England, UK
    Posts
    4,389

    Default Re: HL Compact 7 v. P3ES2 v M30?

    Welcome Kevin - kind words from Scotland especially welcome to this Govanites ears! We strongly believe that it is our duty and responsibility to take control of the communications pipeline as nobody knows our products better than us.

    I see your dilemma. It makes me wonder if your domestic situation (very similar to mine) is representative of a larger demography and that thought will be considered at the next product planning meeting. Now, considering the options: there is no real substitute for cone area when you start to turn up the volume. A willing 5" driver can not compete with an 8" above a certain volume level especially if there is the dual scenario of lots of bass and lots of volume. We're back to the analogy of a Bentley and a Mini; no practical difference when pootling around town but out on the open road the power really shows. I guess you need to consider how loud you play, the spectral content of the music you listen to (very heavy bass?) and how far away you listen. If, all considered, you listen at a sensible level, you sit (say) 2m away, your music has a well balanced energy spread between bass/mid/top and the P3 has a high 'WAF' - then that's the solution.

    It is true that the RADIAL cone used in the M30/40/C7/SHL5 has special qualities in the mid frequencies but there is no doubt that all share the same even handed, natural, wide stereo balance. Don't forget: all are designed for use on stands as far from the rear wall as you can manage unless the rear wall is lined with a bookcase loaded with books to absorb the reflected low frequencies.

    You may find - many Harbeth owners do - that in time your living space increases. If you do invest in the P3s I assure you that you won't feel able to part with them. You'll find another use for them as rear channel or in a secondary set-up. It's extremely rare for Harbeth owners to part with the Harbeth speakers that have become part of the family over many long years.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: HL Compact 7 es3 vs. es2

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin M
    However, although smaller than the Quad panels by some margin, I was still taken aback at their physical dimensions, as I knew that they they wouldn't go down too well at home (i.e., with my wife!). If I lived alone it wouldn't be an issue - I'd have bought them by now.

    My current speakers are about the same size as the HLP-3s, but I've assumed that the larger models would be the more marked upgrade (for want of a better term) as their drivers are 'better' and they'll move more air (which I'm assuming contributes to the effortless presentation that I was so struck by when I heard the 7s). The third option is the Monitor 30, which seems to be [a] smaller and [b] fitted with a better tweeter.

    I guess my question is this. As I have a smallish room (3.5 x 4.5 m) what would I gain by buying the either of the bigger models? Or put another way, if the HLP-3 shares the sonic qualities that I admired so much in the Compact 7s, should I simply go for these?

    On a more personal note, and as I'm new to this forum, I'd like to take the opportunity to congratulate Alan on both his speakers and his obvious commitment to his customers. They're shining beacons of hope in an increasingly tawdry world.
    Hi Kevin

    As someone who has owned a pair of P3s for the past two years, but remains intrigued to know what I'm missing by not having the RADIAL drivers, I can sympathise with your dilemma.

    I can confirm that the P3s are marvellous 'speakers: they astonish everyone that listens to them in any serious way, and are far better balanced than my previous Martin Logans. I can confirm Alan's point that if you don't need very loud or low bass and don't listen at very high volumes they are wonderful for domestic listening, even in my largish room and with a relatively low-powered amp.

    But I'm not sure you'll be able to banish forever that nagging curiosity about just what little bit of extra clarity and weight the C7s might offer... It's a terrible obsession, this hobby.

    And I wholeheartedly second your observation about Alan as his team, "shining", as Shakespeare puts it, "like a good deed in a naughty world". We are very fortunate to have someone who is not only unparalleled in his dedication to quality products, but also so caring about his customers.

    David

  7. #7
    sfogar Guest

    Default Re: HL Compact 7 es3 vs. es2

    I will listen to the P3ES2 in the weekend here in Italy.

    I already own the Atacama Nexus 7 stands, 700mm (27.6"), will it be enough ?

    The amp is a Primaluna Prologue One, 35 w EL34 push pull.

    All the best

    Alessandro Fogar

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S.
    Actually, there is no hard technical reason why any particular Harbeth will/will not suit a room. What tends to decide suitability is your/your partners prefrence for the maximum physical size of the speaker cabinet.

    One of the defining features of a Harbeth is that its sound does not change as you move nearer or further from the speakers.

  8. #8
    Kevin M Guest

    Default Re: HL Compact 7 es3 vs. es2

    In reply to both Alan and David, I'm sure I'm not alone in having a domestic problem vis-a-vis the size of the speakers. Indeed, I've noticed that many commentators/reviewers on this site allude to listening 'dens' (e.g., spare bedrooms etc) and I've decided to go down the same route. Hence it's simply a question of C7 versus Monitor 30 (no need to 'worry' about the absence of a RADIAL driver, or that old chestnut - 'Should I have gone for the more expensive model given that I had the money?). That said, whichever I opt for, I'm still left with the tricky issue of stands - given the recommendations for Skylan stands, does anyone have any experience of having these shipped to the UK from Canada? I believe it's not easy getting a reply from the seller via email.
    I've looked at the IKEA Lack stands but it seems they've changed the dimensions, so rather than being the snug fit that's shown in Alan's photo elsewhere on this site, they're now 55 x 55 cm.

  9. #9
    jttlee Guest

    Default Re: HL Compact 7 es3 vs. es2

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin M
    In reply to both Alan and David, I'm sure I'm not alone in having a domestic problem vis-a-vis the size of the speakers. Indeed, I've noticed that many commentators/reviewers on this site allude to listening 'dens' (e.g., spare bedrooms etc) and I've decided to go down the same route. Hence it's simply a question of C7 versus Monitor 30 (no need to 'worry' about the absence of a RADIAL driver, or that old chestnut - 'Should I have gone for the more expensive model given that I had the money?). That said, whichever I opt for, I'm still left with the tricky issue of stands - given the recommendations for Skylan stands, does anyone have any experience of having these shipped to the UK from Canada? I believe it's not easy getting a reply from the seller via email.
    I've looked at the IKEA Lack stands but it seems they've changed the dimensions, so rather than being the snug fit that's shown in Alan's photo elsewhere on this site, they're now 55 x 55 cm.
    Hi Kevin,

    I live in Hong Kong and just received the Skylan stands from Canada via TNT. Once the shipment was ready for TNT pickup, Noel informed me through email. Afterwards, I can track the shipment status through TNT website. No problem at all.

    I suggest you give Noel of Skylan a call before you order. He is very nice and helpful.

    The new C7ES3 is less demanding on stand height (as Alan deliberately takes care of this in the design). Before the Skylan stands arrived (which are 20" tall), the C7 rested on 14" wooden chairs. Sonically it was still acceptable on this sub-optimal height. Of course, C7 sounds much better on 20" stands.

    Regards,
    John

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: HL Compact 7 es3 vs. es2

    Not sure this helps but I it does . I use and have owned the C7 II for about three years . They were a replacement for a pair of Celestion SL600i units that my Krell fried when it went dc .

    I enjoy music and use the speakers probably most if not every night and value the even nature and natural character of the speakers which mean I never get that feeling of wanting to turn the music off.(in fairness the SL600i were also good on this area but were a little duller in balance)

    The Harbeth arrived without me being able to listen to them and not being able to see them first as they were an Insurance replacement not anything like ideal and something which worried me quite a bit at the time.

    I have to say they are much bigger in size than I expected with the Compact but to my surprise my wife really liked the look of them on stands as they are used with the cloth covers on at all times which my wife much prefers to the naked look of the SL600i.

    She has also come to love using them and really enjoys the sound and while I would never make any claims that she has converted I did notice her look of horror at a friends recently when he demonstrated his new ?7000 system and her comment to me afterwards was that it sounded awful which sad to say I had to agree .

    So for me I would advise to take the plunge and go for the C7 and the extra volume and life this will bring to your music it is not night and day away from the smaller harbeth model but it does give you that extra ease and ability to swell when you reach crescendo in a piece and I found it makes for a larger stereo image not sure if anyone else would agree but I found the smaller model while it imaged as well as all Harbeths do gave you a smaller image the C7 seemed to have more air .

    I aslo think your wife might well be quite pleased with the C7 as they do look very good when placed on good stands and quickly become an accepted part of the decor when she hears how good they stand for.

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