Thanks for sharing, Kittykat. I have ordered the issue.
By the way, please move to the SHL5 as required.
Ben from UK. Harbeth P3ESR owner.
There is also an interview with Alan
I would like to replace my speakers, a pair of Linn Sara that I purchased in late 80's. A complete newbie in the Hi-Fi world then, I picked a very good amplifier but which revealed itself as a bad match for the demanding Saras: a Naim Audio NAP110 + NAC42 preamplifier. A month ago my NAP110 has been serviced and tweaked and the NAC42 pre-amp has been upgraded to 42.5. More power but still not enough for the Linn Sara.
What my present system succeeds to represent the best is small scale music (chamber music, one singer + one to three instruments, small Jazz bands, acoustic instruments); apart a the very shy bass the music sounds very realistic, with a very good reproduction of the mid-range and treble and it sounds very much three dimensional, almost as if a small band is playing and singing a few meters from me. Not so with large scale symphonic orchestra music: it sounds flat, very confused, compressed without any feeling of space or the feeling of sitting in front of a large stage. What is also missing is a more precise and punchy bass (specially low frequency)
The budget I dedicated to the speakers is around $2000 and I would like to audition several speakers. To get the most accurate picture of how my audio system will sound I decided to do the auditions in the "audio corner" of my living room with my own system. Most of the dealers selling speakers that I may be interested to audition do not want to hear about letting me audition the speakers at my place and the others are not enthusiastic at all about the idea but they may consider the possibility but only for two pair of speakers for a day or two, so I must narrow my choice of speakers and carefully pick the two or three speakers I will audition at my place.
From the intensive research that I have made on the Internet to pick the speakers available in Israel where I live, and that may work fine with my amps, the potential speakers (considering my amplifier, my room and my budget) seem to be the ProAc Studio 110, Audio Note AZ-Two or Devore Fidelity Gibbon 3. In two of the forums where I posted people recommended the Harbeth P3ESR but I have never seen any Harbeth speakers in an audio shop in Israel. After a short research in the Harbeth web site I found that there is a Israeli importer; I made contact with him this morning and I will go to audition the P3ESR next week at his place. From our little discussion on the phone he suggested that the Compact 7ES-3 maybe a better choice considering the size of the room where I listen to music. The 7ES-3 is about twice the budget I dedicated to the speakers; it will be difficult but if the 7ES-3 blow my mind and surprise me in such a way that I think of them as the speakers I want to keep for life, I may consider to increase (double) my budget.
The room where I listen to music is 7 meters long and 3 meters wide but the area or the "audio corner" where I actually sit to listen to music is situated in one of the extremities of the room and is 2.50 meters long (the distance between the external sides of my speakers), 3 meters wide (the distance between the wall behind my speakers and the wall behind my sofa) and the distance between me and the back wall is 30 cm.The distance between the front of my speakers and my ears is 2.50 m. The music I listen to is about 40% classical (chamber and symphonic), 40% small Jazz ensembles (vocal and instrumental) and the rest rock/pop/ mainly from the 60's and ethnic music.
During our conversation on the phone, the importer of Harbeth was very attentive and very friendly and also agreed if I like the speakers, to let me listen to them a second time at my place before I decide if to purchase them. In spite all that he still is a dealer who wants to sell, that's why I posted here to ask you if you think that according my room, the music I listen to and my amplifier) the Compact 7ES-3 is a better choice for me than the P3ESR ?
Really, you need to hear both the P3ESR and the C7 in your own room to make a firm judgement.
Both of these speakers should do what you want and especially as the listening area is a little restricted. However, I believe that the C7 will supply you with more of the scale and bass you require for your music.
Sure and next Monday, if he does not fly to New York, I will meet the importer of Harbeth and listen to the C7. He does not have any P3ESR left right now and I will have to wait until March to listen to both of them. I am so curious and intrigued to finally listen to a Harbeth that can't wait until March , so I hope that I will get my first impression next week.
Thank you very much for helping.
Yesterday I went to the importer of Harbeth and auditioned the C7ES3 from two o'clock in the afternoon until half past six and these were four very enjoyable hours: apart from importing audio material the guy is an enthusiastic music lover and we add a good time.
The first piece we played was the second movement of Mahler's Symphony No 6. At first it sounded very good but not exceptional; minute after minute I found myself noticing things (musical elements) that I never noticed with my present system or with the pair of speakers (not Harbeth) that I auditioned the week before at my place.
With my present system I can easily hear that some of the music come from the right and some from the left or the center of an imaginary stage but for the first time I was able to hear very clearly that some of the music (bass drum, trumpet) came from the back of the stage and some more forward and other from the first row (violins). This feeling of depth was quite a stunning surprise and repeated itself in all the other genres of music we listened to: jazz, ethnic music, classical opera, rock. We listen to Maria Callas singing an aria from La Wally: the piece itself is very moving and emotional but never before human voice sounded so moving and La Callas so present.
Small scale music (Jazz, chamber music, acoustic instrumental music) is the one that my present system render the best and I always thought that if I was listening only this kind of music I would not change my speakers, but after a few notes from P.Wispelwey's cello playing one of Bach Cello suites and later from Keith Jarrett's piano came out of the C7ES3, I understood what I have missed. Very surprising also was to listen clearly for the first time to the sound made when Keith Jarrett pushes or releases his foot from the pedals of the piano.
For the audition the importer purposely used a good but simple all in one integrated amplifier (with a CD player inside) to demonstrate that even with a not expensive, not fancy amplifier and CD player the Harbeth C7 was able to deliver fantastic music. I so much enjoyed what I heard that we did not change the amplifier. Note after note it was clear to me that next pair of speaker will be a Harbeth and today I have canceled the audition of the ProAc and Audio Note that was supposed to have take place next week.
When I took interest in Harbeth speakers ,my intention was to audition the P3 but there are no P3 in his stock right now, maybe sometime in March. The truth is that I am very tempted to buy the C7 in spite the higher budget. The audition of the C7 at my home will take place two weeks from now and I am a bit concerned by the size of my room. As shown in the attached picture my living-room is 19 feet long x 10 feet wide but the corner where I listen to music is only 7 feet long and 10 feet wide. Today the Saras stand close to the wall but correct me if I am wrong, the C7 should stand away from the wall and this will bring them closer to my ears (around 7.5 feet ). Is it not too close for the C7? By the way I do not listen to music at high volume (the maximum I set the dial of the volume is around ten o'clock)
We wonder if this TechTalk article goes anywhere along the road to explaining what you heard? Read here. Alan has mentioned and illustrated with pictures the tiny back bedroom that the C7ES3 was actually designed in which should reassure you. The C7ES3 is also highly successful in Japan (more award info to follow) where it is revered and as you know accommodation space in Japan is very small compared with the west. Enjoy.
Thank you. I believe that I will enjoy my own C7 sooner than I thought since the audition of the C7 at my place has been forwarded to next week.Enjoy
My C7ES3 are 7.5 away in my 12x12 listening room. It works very well for me. I also do not listen at loud levels.
IMO, more and more speakers are being produced which are uncomfortably bright and aggressive. I'm not sure quite why other than to stand out in a demonstration where the apparent increase in detail and information is deemed a good thing. Unfortunately, this aggression does get very wearing after a short time.
Harbeth stand out in a demonstration by sounding natural and easy on the ear, even after many hours of use.
My new P3ESR, upside down to align tweeters to my ear level, before I get proper stands.. Any thoughts? This shouldn't create any problems, would it?
Hi vitor, it call tiger ebony
"Bath in Music"
Harbeth owner since 2004
That would be Tiger Ebony.
I have sold my SHL5 due to a tax bill (with interest) from Cameron and co. Gutted! But, got an incredibly good price for them and have managed to find a used pair of P3es2, my room is 4 x 4 metres with books, pics, carpet etc......someone tell me I will still be a happy Harbeth.........
No need to worry! My room is a bit smaller than that and I use the P3ESR which I proudly bought recently. I'm delighted with the Harbeth's performance in my room. Where I demoed them at Radlett Audio the demo room was a little larger than your room I think, and the P3ESR was astounding in that room too.
I expect you will have lost a fraction in the bass, but my P3ESR is totally satisfying in the bass region for my needs. Double bass is wonderful, for example.
I think you will love your smaller Harbeths and may even count it as a blessing as you've now experiencd more of the range!
You will indeed still be happy with Harbeth.
Very sorry to hear about your misfortune. Do understand that you are still in good company and that Harbeth speakers do indeed make things alright.
I recently had to downgrade source and amp to NAD with my Harbeth P3's, and let me tell you, the joy of the music is still there.
You chose a backup speaker very well.
Thanks for this, well basically I can get either the C7ES2 or P3ES2....my room is 4 x 4metres, the speakers will be approx 3 metres apart and I will be 3 metres away, any views which may work best?