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Thread: New Harbeth P3ESR

  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricW View Post
    ...people may happily pay the upcharge for rosewood or tiger ebony, but no one thinks their speakers will sound better as a result.
    I'm sorry but you are wrong. Most/many users passionately believe that one veneer sounds better than another. Don't believe me? Do a Google search. Again does it matter what you or I think about 0.5mm of veneer? No. Not a jot. If it makes them happy and fulfills the production line criteria, then we'll consider it.

    I'm surprised you bring this issue up now. We've been making 'specials' for over twenty years. We intend to do so providing, as I've said, it ticks the boxes. If it makes users happy to offer different veneers then we'll do it. I see no problem with that what so ever. As you'll know very well from reading my posts, my position on cables, amps, stands, bi-wire links and so on is not hidden, it's out in the open in black and white. But have I inhibited people investing huge sums in those products? No. What I say is of absolutely no commercial impact whatsoever to the industry. If you want to believe in those products and what they can do for you - go ahead. My only request is that you do it privately, and moderate your enthusiasm so that others don't feel compelled to spend-out their hard earned cash chasing someone elses dream!

    That's really all I want to say about this.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  2. #182
    chowyeung Guest

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    Indeed at the beginning I didn't know those P3ESR selling in Hong Kong are the "Special Edition". I went and bought my new P3ESR simply because I know the wonderful sound of Harbeths and love the rosewood finish. I would still buy P3ESR even if they were not the "Special Edition".
    Of course I don't mind at all of having one more bonus --- "Special Edition".

  3. #183
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    Lucky "chowyeung" ...You can bet that in 30 years from now, your "Special Editions" will be worth significantly more than the non-special-editions.

  4. #184
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    Im sure the “special edition” sticker wasn’t the motivation for chowyeung to buy those beautiful pair of loudspeakers. They really are gorgeous and im sure they sound that way as well. I now want one. Chowyeung, you are very naughty for posting these photos! :-)

    My feeling is that a lot of people don’t really bother whether it’s a special edition. You listen to the speaker and not look at the sticker. I use to see limited edition stickers on cars in Asia all the time. Its just something fun and shouldn’t be taken that seriously. At the end of the day, if I were buying anything second hand, ill ensure that it hasn’t been abused (hard to tell from loudspeakers), cosmetics are sound (no dents or chipped edges), all the original parts etc. I think Alan, if you were really serious about this whole thing, you would have numbered the limited run separately eg. Pair 23/300 in special finish etc. It’s a business for Alan but a hobby and fun thing for us. We all take ourselves too seriously sometimes.

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by kittykat View Post
    ...if you were really serious about this whole thing, you would have numbered the limited run separately eg. Pair 23/300 in special finish etc. It’s a business for Alan but a hobby and fun thing for us. We all take ourselves too seriously sometimes.
    What a great idea! I wish we'd thought of that! And why shouldn't we offer that if the customer is willing to pay for it and gets some special pleasure from it! I'll pass that along.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  6. #186
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    One thing to add. We hare at Harbeth UK never (as far as I know) offer, create or invent any special editions. We only respond to approached made by customers e.g. distributors. So it's unfair to make out that we are hypocritical. We are simply agreeing to fulfill a distributor's requests because we can do it on our terms, as explained.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  7. #187
    chowyeung Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by harbethpr View Post
    One thing to add. We hare at Harbeth UK never (as far as I know) offer, create or invent any special editions. We only respond to approached made by customers e.g. distributors. So it's unfair to make out that we are hypocritical. We are simply agreeing to fulfill a distributor's requests because we can do it on our terms, as explained.
    As I have learnt from some Hong Kong Harbeth fans, they have not seen thus far any non-special edition P3ESR selling in Hong Kong. Yes, I think these Special Edition P3ESRs are probably requested and imported by the HK distributor. Perhaps simply as a kind of marketing technique. As I have said, I don't really care whether my P3ESR are the Special Edition or not. I just love Harbeth and the rosewood finish.

    Sorry if my photos have complicated the issue. My only intention is just to share with you all my overwhelming joy of having these great speakers.

    Happy listening. Cheers.

  8. #188
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    Yes, and I really don't see why we should be 'on trial' at Harbeth UK for merely doing what we're asked to do. This HUG is not the place for us to be justifying everything we think and do. We are not here to discuss the ins and outs of our private corporate strategy which in this instance gives our consumers a choice. It's quite wrong to paint us as commercial villains.

    I'll be pruning this thread later.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    This HUG is not the place for us to be justifying everything we think and do...
    Absolutely.

    I think with all respect, we shouldn't be questioning commercial decisions of Harbeth. We can suggest but i dont think a response even be necessary from you Alan. I dont think anyone who has an interest in buying a BMW (or have bought) would go and ask Mr. Bangle why he decided that the 3 should have this or that design feature...or why the models sold in USA have heated seats as standard etc. The forum will get pretty crazy by then and not serve the purpose of perhaps learning which may be the best model to suit the purposes of different users or how to get the best out of their equipment. Most of the questions have already been covered and are just a plain waste of Alan's time, which could be spent designing new speakers for example. If we can just make an effort to google search this site, we can find the solution or answer in most cases. my 2 cents worth.

  10. #190
    chowyeung Guest

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    Back to my sharing of P3ESR...

    I have been listening to vocals, jazz, pops, classical music (symphonies, solo piano, chorus, etc) these days. I still can't believe what I hear is coming from a pair of small speakers. The sound is stunning. I must say I never found such listening experience with my previous P3ES-2. Of course P3ES-2 are excellent speakers. But I think they are more demanding in terms of the power rating of the amplifier. P3ESR on the contrary are more "amp-friendly" (don't forget I'm using only a cheap JVC mini hifi) and having "more revealing" bass. These make the overall sound richer, yet without sacrificing the details. Alan, how do you achieve this? =)

    I can remember when I went to the Hifi shop with my younger brother to audition P3ESR, we both were stunned. My brother is a very critical listener. When the P3ESR sang, all I found on his face was a smile with satisfaction. We then made both an easy and a difficult choice - Easy, because it is so obvious to us that the sound of P3ESR is what we are looking for; Difficult, because P3ESR are the most expensive small bookshelf speakers in the shop!

    I paid eventually of course.

  11. #191
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    We asians are fond of special edition, limited edition & what not. Just look at the types of special editions one can find of the venerable LS-3/5A in Asia. It even seems that these special & limited editions were specially made for the Asian market to capitalise on demand. So therefore not surprised to see a special edition P3ESR in HongKong. Some years back i recall seeing a Rendevous version of Harbeths appearing in Taiwan. As mentioned earlier, special edition or not, Harbeth is still an inherently excellent product & one will be hard pressed to find another more musically convincing loudspeaker regardless of price or size.

    Btw, after seeing those beautiful pics of P3ESR posted by Chowyeung, i am really tempted to go out & buy or order a pair. :}

  12. #192
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    I think Eric's questioning is valid. What I would like to know is - if a potential customer call in and asked Alan or someone in the Harbeth about the performance of special edition, whether it sounds better or not, what would Harbeth's response be? If the answer is consistence with the views on HUG, then I really don't have a problem with Harbeth making a special edition. The user gets the correct information and willing to pay for it, then why not?

  13. #193
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    Would anyone call Kelloggs and ask if their Special World Cup edition Corn Flakes make them run faster?

  14. #194
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    Hi Champion

    - Do you have go faster stripes on your car?
    -cables have been convered and done to death here. The short answer is they don’t make much of a darn difference. You’ll have a bigger perceivable difference if you sit on a 4 inch pillow listening to the same speakers.

  15. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    They could even be worse!
    if so, not a lot different than the perceivable difference in quality of recordings. The quality of recording plays a much bigger impact than cables, conditioners, plugs, sockets, anti vibration put together.

  16. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by KT88 View Post
    .......and it seems that the opinion at Harbeth is that wire can't possibly make a difference in perceived sound quality. Thus, it does seem rather hypocritical to tout the presence of "special" wiring in the P3ESR.......
    I know of another loudspeaker manufacturer who stated openly in his webpage, I quote "XXX wire does not sound any better but it may help to sell speakers to those who are concerned about wire and are not convinced that ordinary wire is just as good.". This is similar to Harbeth's position on bi-wiring and cables I don't think it is misleading. The least we can do is to salute Harbeth's honesty.
    ST

  17. #197
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    Default Depriving the buyer ....

    So, according to your line of argument, should we should remove the OFC cable that is standard in the M40.1 from the special edition P3ESR? Would that be a satisfactory answer? Of course not: that would deprive the P3ESR customer of some technological 'off-spin' from our flagship model. That's not how business works.

    I think all of this discussion about what you think I should do, think and say is tiresome. I am making decisions on a day by day basis which a) give our customers choice which they are free to ignore if they wish b) strengthen our brand. Nobody else can make those decisions because nobody else outside Harbeth has the full facts.

    If you want to believe in cables or power conditioners, then please do so if you have the money to pay for them. There is nothing we here can (or perhaps even should) say to convince you otherwise. We have never made claims about the sonic benefit of this or that cable, but if cable is important to you, doubtless each brand and type will connote some benefit or otherwise to your lifestyle.

    It's a consumers democracy as I've said many times before. And please do remember, that we will continue to offer special editions when asked by customers to do so, at the correct commercial price. Harbeth is, and has to be to survive, a commercial business run on conventional commercial lines. I have to make business choices every day but my overarching responsibility is to nurture what we have developed together these past thirty three years for the next thirty three. If that means applying a little magic dust to any of our products, whilst still offering the standard-cost product to those not interested or willing to pay, then that is exactly what I will do.

    If you order a new car, you start with the basic specification, and add features that you think are important and are willing to pay for. Whether or not they objectively improve the performance, acceleration, fuel economy or ride is unimportant - they are the choices you value and will pay for.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  18. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Champion View Post
    I don't think we are discussing whether cable makes a difference or not, and I think we are all very clear of Alan's position. What I would like to know is - does the potential customer get informed with Harbeth's standpoint? Remember that not every customer, especially the 'potential' buyers, take part in this forum. If Harbeth's standpoint is not conveyed to these potential buyer, and they think that these special edition are made because the design has made improvement on the sound quality, only to find out that the designer actually does not believe in cable or that thin sheet of wood veneer can change the sound, what do they feel? This gets worse if they are actually told by the dealer or by Harbeth that they are better sounding. Of course, the argument is always that they should listen first before they decide, but this is not always possible. They may listen to the standard version, and rely on dealer's recommendation on whether to get the special edition etc. This is why I am interested in what Harbeth's response would be when a potential buyer enquire about it.

    Many years ago, I read a HK audio magazine and someone wrote a letter to the chief editor asking why his special edition LS3/5A made by Harbeth does not sound special at all. And the chief editor replies saying that the special edition is a way that Alan tries to suck money out from the customers, and the parts used in there is nothing special at all. This is the kind of mis-understanding that needs to be avoid or it can do damage to Harbeth's image. I believe I still have the magazine so if anyone interested please let me know.

    Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate Alan and the team sharing their standpoints here. But if we really want to help the industry to get rid of the BS, then not only us need to be informed, we should try our best to inform the potential buyer.
    What I would like to know is - does the potential customer get informed with Harbeth's standpoint? Remember that not every customer, especially the 'potential' buyers, take part in this forum
    Do you see any deception in Harbeth webpage about their special edition? I remember someone asking about the special edition and Alan said something like" no difference, maybe I give each of them a hug".

    ..they think that these special edition are made because the design has made improvement on the sound quality..
    Can we blame Harbeth for customers perception? When I asked Sam(our local distributors) about special edition he told me the are more expensive. The next question I asked was any improvement in the sound quality to which he answered none whatsoever. Isn't it reasonable for all customers to behave like what I did? Should we blame any manufacturer of deceit?

    This is why I am interested in what Harbeth's response would be when a potential buyer enquire about it.
    Harbeth been very consistent in their response. Very recently, when I asked some question about their super tweeter, Alan stated his position very clearly and left it to the customers to decide. You can see it in the forum.

    The forum can be a better place to learn and exchange ideas, if we can accept Alan's role as a businessman, a person believes in sound engineering practice, an environmentalist and his role as a teacher in this forum. In fact, I am seeing less of his posting lately which is worrying as I have benefited more than just a pair of excellent loudspeakers since I joined this forum.
    ST
    p.s. Alan, don't you sleep? While I am struggling to type this you post a reply. ).

  19. #199
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    Default The voice of reason ....

    Quote Originally Posted by STHLS5 View Post
    Do you see any deception in Harbeth webpage about their special edition? I remember someone asking about the special edition and Alan said something like" no difference, maybe I give each of them a hug" ... Harbeth been very consistent in their response. Very recently, when I asked some question about their super tweeter, Alan stated his position very clearly and left it to the customers to decide. The forum can be a better place to learn and exchange ideas, if we can accept Alan's role as a businessman, a person believes in sound engineering practice, an environmentalist and his role as a teacher in this forum. In fact, I am seeing less of his posting lately which is worrying
    I took my daughter to the airport - she's off to Greece for two weeks (doing her bit for the Greek economy as all good Europeans should!).

    I really appreciate your posting SHL5. It strikes me as the perfect voice of reason - balanced, realistic about how consumerism and business works and worldly wise. With apt quotes. Thank you for taking the trouble to set the record straight.

    There is not much I want to add. You are correct that I have, and will continue to reduce my contributions here when I'm required to justify publicly to unknown persons, perhaps even competitors (?) business decisions that I have to and must make every day. I do wonder if those asking were to post corporate strategy questions to any other audio brand's open forum how far they'd get. Or, to Honda, Sony or Apple's directors. Not far. But I do feel a deep responsibility to share openly - or as openly as I can without weakening my commercial position - the ins and outs of Harbeth. But I cannot be expected to justify every twist and turn. And I won't be. I do not have investors behind me for that very reason - I'm taking total responsibility for my decisions. Few can say that today.

    Talking to the wider membership here, please can I ask you to respect that this is our manufacturers forum and leave me to run the business and make the strategic and tactical decisions please. You settle back and enjoy the music.

    As I have said countless times before - I am at heart a democrat. If you don't like what you hear, see or read you are free and welcome to seek out any one of innumerable other products from other companies. Please don't spoil this special relationship between Harbeth's management and it's customers. We are not here to be whipped.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  20. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by STHLS5 View Post
    Do you see any deception in Harbeth webpage about their special edition? I remember someone asking about the special edition and Alan said something like" no difference, maybe I give each of them a hug".

    Can we blame Harbeth for customers perception? When I asked Sam(our local distributors) about special edition he told me the are more expensive. The next question I asked was any improvement in the sound quality to which he answered none whatsoever. Isn't it reasonable for all customers to behave like what I did? Should we blame any manufacturer of deceit?
    Thanks STHLS5, this is the answer I am looking for. I never meant to say Harbeth should stop making special edition. I have absolutely no problem with that at all. If you re-read my post, I never question whether Alan's business decision is right or wrong. I never doubt Alan's integrity or honesty. I never said Harbeth has intentionally mislead customer. I did not ask why Harbeth is making special edition. All I wanted to know is - do people get consistent information from Harbeth outside this forum? And you have answered my question with a YES. This is all I wanted to know. So thanks.

    Sorry if my posts have offended others, especially Alan.

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