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Thread: New Harbeth P3ESR

  1. #21
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    Default Re: P3ES2 - still selling well

    The design of the P3ESR seems to have taken forever. In fact, my first entry in the Design Logbook for this model is 1995. The reason is that the P3 series, and the current P3ES2, were a very tough act to follow. They had a really nice balance of features: size, sensitivity, power handling, bass extension, image and price.

    The obvious step was to bring the design of the woofer in-house, then we could make it from our RADIAL material just like its big brothers (C7ES3, SHL5, M30, M40.1).

    Professional users are still ordering the P3ES2/Monitor 20 as are many of our overseas distributors and end users. Their experience and enjoyment of the P3ES2 is just like yours. We will continue to offer the current P3ES2 as the Monitor 20 even after the P3ESR commences production next month for those customers and markets that need more marketing time to introduce the new model. We have good stocks of the SEAS-made woofer for the P3ES2 for this year and for future spares needs.

    I've been questioned as to why six months have passed since the exposure of the P3ESR at the Vegas CES and production starting. Actually, the CES was a little early for me, but I'd given an undertaking that I'd be there with the new prototype. I knew that there were several important design steps remaining (all to do with details) so the Vegas prototypes were stripped down. All the details are concluded now; the Vegas prototypes have been rebuilt and improved upon - although you may find that hard to believe.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  2. #22
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    Default New Harbeth P3ESR - more enjoyment?

    Mr. Shaw;
    The question of interest to those following this thread who own and love the P3 ES2 is; will the P3R provide a musically significant upgrade from its predecessor, much as the Compact 7ES3 exceeded expectations?

    We've followed your account of the reasons for developing your own Radial driver for the P3 and your design brief. Assuming we already have a suitable set-up with sufficient amplification for enjoyment of music through the P3 ES2, do you, as designer, feel the P3R offers substantially more musical enjoyment? We (we being P3 ES2 owners) will hopefully hear for ourselves, but as designer, do you see the P3R as a worthwhile trade-up?

    regards,
    -Paul-

  3. #23
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    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR - more enjoyment?

    I've been thinking about your very pertinent question, and seeking a simple, truthful answer. Sorry if this is too long.

    In my life, loudspeaker design is a sort of alchemy - a never ending pursuit of knowledge. I see it as a disciplined, logical, incremental process that is captivating enough to make a lifetimes career, and financially stable enough to bring up ones children, provide long term employment to colleagues and put something back into society as tax and so on. Now, this 'alchemy' and the desire to use ones abilities to the full and not to be a needless burden on society (I feel very strongly about that subject) sets in motion certain constraints for me. It means that as a designer I have to be cautious in what we bring to market bearing the Harbeth badge. Wearing my financial controllers hat, I must minimise financial risk to Harbeth and hence to myself and my family. What I create must be sellable in quantity over many years because the gestation period is so long.

    You will understand than that when I introduce a new Harbeth I'm 100% confident that it ...

    a) is a worthy development of the Harbeth heritage and will build the total brand image
    b) is wearing the Harbeth badge with pride
    c) represents the peak, current accumulation of my alchemy knowledge gained over many years
    d) if given another one, two or five years of my development effort the product couldn't be bettered with the knowledge and technology available now
    e) is the culmination of a design process which is transparent - i.e. I'm willing to explain to you why I took design decisions
    e) is excellent long-term value for money
    f) is marketable: people will like it and buy it and take pleasure in ownership
    g) will not leave owners of previous generations of that model feeling disappointed or compelled to upgrade

    It doesn't actually matter what I as the designer think about this or that product. You consumers are judge and jury: all I can confirm is that I've done my very best to distill everything I've learned over the past twenty three years into the new generation P3ESR. It's design process has been the longest, most complicated and most carefully researched (and of course, documented day by day) of any Harbeth loudspeaker.

    I'm confident that you'll really enjoy the P3ESR.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  4. #24
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    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

    In the June/July issue of The Absolute Sound, Paul Seydor reviews the HLP-3ES2 speaker. That review - and the interview with Alan Shaw which follows it - are models of a thoughtful, rational review process and of a design process that is that and more - exceedingly thorough.
    Thank you, Alan. (By the way, Paul Seydor bought the review pair of HLP-3ES2s).

  5. #25
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    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR - more enjoyment?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    I've been thinking about your very pertinent question, and seeking a simple, truthful answer. Sorry if this is too long.

    In my life, loudspeaker design is a sort of alchemy - a never ending pursuit of knowledge. I see it as a disciplined, logical, incremental process that is captivating enough to make a lifetimes career, and financially stable enough to bring up ones children, provide long term employment to colleagues and put something back into society as tax and so on. Now, this 'alchemy' and the desire to use ones abilities to the full and not to be a needless burden on society (I feel very strongly about that subject) sets in motion certain constraints for me. It means that as a designer I have to be cautious in what we bring to market bearing the Harbeth badge. Wearing my financial controllers hat, I must minimise financial risk to Harbeth and hence to myself and my family. What I create must be sellable in quantity over many years because the gestation period is so long.

    You will understand than that when I introduce a new Harbeth I'm 100% confident that it ...

    a) is a worthy development of the Harbeth heritage and will build the total brand image
    b) is wearing the Harbeth badge with pride
    c) represents the peak, current accumulation of my alchemy knowledge gained over many years
    d) if given another one, two or five years of my development effort the product couldn't be bettered with the knowledge and technology available now
    e) is the culmination of a design process which is transparent - i.e. I'm willing to explain to you why I took design decisions
    e) is excellent long-term value for money
    f) is marketable: people will like it and buy it and take pleasure in ownership
    g) will not leave owners of previous generations of that model feeling disappointed or compelled to upgrade

    It doesn't actually matter what I as the designer think about this or that product. You consumers are judge and jury: all I can confirm is that I've done my very best to distill everything I've learned over the past twenty three years into the new generation P3ESR. It's design process has been the longest, most complicated and most carefully researched (and of course, documented day by day) of any Harbeth loudspeaker.

    I'm confident that you'll really enjoy the P3ESR.
    Mr. Shaw,

    Fair enough, we'll have to hear for ourselves. Aside from simply enjoying the P3 ES2 for the music, I've taken a sort of pride-of-ownership in the coherent way it manifests your design philosophy. As for the P3ESR, I won't be disappointed if it surpasses my ES2. But if it does, I may very well feel compelled to upgrade.

    regards,
    -Paul-

  6. #26
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    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR - production when?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    Actually, the prototype which I showed at the CES I brought out with me from the UK having worked over the Christmas break on voicing it. We are some way from mass production and the P3ES2 still has a strong following and is still being reviewed so we're not rushing into this new variant after 19 years of P3 > P3ES2 production. The current SEAS based M20 version of the P3ES2 continues in production for the foreseeable future as the BBC are in the middle of a re-equipping programme replacing other monitors with M20 and are happy with it. We've lots of parts for the P3ES2/Monitor 20 in stock so these products are very much alive and selling and they are great mini monitors.

    Furthermore, we just don't have the capacity to slot these new P3ESRs into our full order book without carefully managing the transition or it will inevitably slow down other production. There are some custom made parts (such as the injection moulded RADIAL cone, new cabinet, new tweeter, crossover etc.) which are on order from suppliers but we're at the back of their production queues. There are no plans to make any other demonstration pairs as we just don't have the parts to do so and certainly no formal reviews are planned until we are ready for production. A marketing launch will be scheduled for March/April.

    So you are welcome to order through your dealer but the delivery date will be after May 09 and we expect the first batches to be snapped-up.

    If anything changes we'll let you all know through the Harbeth User Group. Thanks for your patience.
    I see may 09 mentioned here. Can I order my pair at my dealer now?
    What finishes will be available?

    I have these P3ES-2 at home and I love them:


  7. #27
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    Default Harbeth P3ESR - availability

    Thanks for the wonderful picture.

    My biggest concern with the P3ESR is keeping up with likely demand. I've been explaining here since January 09 and the unveiling of the prototype at Las Vegas that production was planned for June. We're on track. In fact, the first two pairs were shipped this week.

    As you know, we build to order - we do not build speculatively in the anticipation that we will find customers. We don't have the physical space to store speculative stock-builds and with several veneer choices and several models, we could never have the right stock balance. Our order book is completely full until and into September, and that's before we officially launch the P3ESR.

    You are encouraged and most welcome to place an order with your local dealer. The price list was published in January. Frankly, what I cannot give you is a delivery date: that entirely depends upon where a distributor/dealer's orders are in the pipeline, if at all. Many - but not all distributors - are able to sense the local market and plan well ahead. Our ISO9001 sales in - order out pipeline forces us into treating all customer orders strictly in sequence. If you are interested in the P3ESR, may I strongly suggest that you have a quiet word with your local outlet about availability.

    We are pre-building the 5" RADIAL woofer for the P3ESR in house now, so that we have several hundred available in advance of full production start next month.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Harbeth P3ESR - availability

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    Thanks for the wonderful picture.

    My biggest concern with the P3ESR is keeping up with likely demand. I've been explaining here since January 09 and the unveiling of the prototype at Las Vegas that production was planned for June. We're on track. In fact, the first two pairs were shipped this week.

    As you know, we build to order - we do not build speculatively in the anticipation that we will find customers. We don't have the physical space to store speculative stock-builds and with several veneer choices and several models, we could never have the right stock balance. Our order book is completely full until and into September, and that's before we officially launch the P3ESR.

    You are encouraged and most welcome to place an order with your local dealer. The price list was published in January. Frankly, what I cannot give you is a delivery date: that entirely depends upon where a distributor/dealer's orders are in the pipeline, if at all. Many - but not all distributors - are able to sense the local market and plan well ahead. Our ISO9001 sales in - order out pipeline forces us into treating all customer orders strictly in sequence. If you are interested in the P3ESR, may I strongly suggest that you have a quiet word with your local outlet about availability.

    We are pre-building the 5" RADIAL woofer for the P3ESR in house now, so that we have several hundred available in advance of full production start next month.

    Thank you very much for your answer.
    It did make sense, and I will have a word with my dealer soon.

  9. #29
    wkatzir Guest

    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

    Dear Alan-

    I probably use my P3es2's anywhere from 7 - 10 hours a day and with each day they continue to surprise me. They are a simply superb product and once again must thank you and your team for your hard work. When I first was introduced to Harbeth, it was with your Compact 7es3's. I found them extremely revealing, soulful, and wish that my room and placement restrictions were better suited for speaker of that size. In effort to get closer to the performance of the compact 7es3's, would there be a noticeable step forward with the P3esR's over the P3es2's? The cost of the upgrade is minimal, I am just wondering if you feel that the new versions are bridging the gap between the P3es2's and the Compact 7es3's or are they beginning a new "sonic path", if you will, for Harbeth.

    Sincerely-

    Wes

    PS...I currently have them in the Eucalyptus veneer, which I like, but I was wondering, do you a similar available but slightly whiter that isn't maple?

  10. #30
    wkatzir Guest

    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

    To All-

    Writing that, just made me remember that I wanted to mention something to fellow P3 listeners. My speakers are placed on my desk and I was having a bit of an issue with my desk creating noise caused by the P3's vibrating it, even when I used Auralex Mopads. A friend at a recording studio suggested these "recoil stabilizers " that would help tame the added and I would like to pass this advice to all of you. The product is called the Primacoustic RX5 Recoil Stabilizer, it fits the P3's like a glove, and worked wonders improving the sound quality of my system. They retail for $85 each, but I got both for $120. They are a sandwich of foam, tempered metal, and neoprene, they look snazzy, and are worth every nickel. If you use these speakers on a desk or suffer from added noise due to your speakers vibrating whatever they are sitting on, these will help. They make a few models including different placement angles (down or up firing) and larger sizes (up to 20" x 22"). Just thought I would mention them as they truly made a difference, one that even my girlfriend could appreciate.

    -Wes

  11. #31
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    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

    Hi wkatzir,

    Thanks for sharing..

  12. #32
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    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

    I'm enjoying my new P3s (ES2) tremendously, and good as the 3Rs undoubtedly are, I've decided to wait awhile before upgrading. Partly it's deferred pleasure -- nothing more fun than waiting on a new arrival -- but partly it's that I'm finding the ES2s very satisfying with the modest kit I'm using them with, and I'm not sure how much more I'll enjoy a more detailed/refined speaker at this point, with two toddlers rampaging about.

    Looking forward to hearing more impressions, however, and delighted in the meantime to be owning an audio classic. I figure it'll be a few years before the 3R gets that title...

    best,

    o

  13. #33
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    Default Change only when ready ....

    Quote Originally Posted by orkney View Post
    I'm enjoying my new P3s (ES2) tremendously... I'm finding the ES2s very satisfying with the modest kit I'm using them with ...and delighted in the meantime to be owning an audio classic.
    Very good attitude to hi-fi and music and life! You've invested in the P3ES2 so why shouldn't you enjoy that investment to the full? The P3ES2 is still selling, and will continue to be available for some time as the Monitor 20.

    For about five months now we have been open and honest about the eventual introduction of the P3ESR. This has given customers the choice to buy the P3ES2 or wait for the P3ESR. In fact, the P3ES2 is selling steadily: it has it's fans and its built to last.

    I have been extremely cautious about the entire design process of the P3ESR because of the P3ES2's reputation in the market over these past nineteen years. But to move it up to RADIAL has been a very long term ambition - now achieved.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  14. #34
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    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

    Alan, would you mind commenting the main difference between ES2 and ESR apart from the use of RADIAL drive unit for ESR?

    Are there any issues in ES2 that you intend to address with ESR? Or was ESR born soley from the ambition of moving it up to RADIAL?

  15. #35
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    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

    I think it would be far easier to comment on what actually is the same between P3ES-2 and P3ESR. The only components part that is identical between these generations is the grille. Everything else is new or modified.

    As you note, the P3ES-2 uses a SEAS woofer, the P3ESR has one designed and built at Harbeth (just like all our other woofers, with our unique RADIAL cone). The tweeter is a derivative of the type used in the ES-2 but with a different protection grille (similar now to M40.1's hex tweeter grille protection).

    The cabinet is very different: the P3ESR's back panel is held-in by screws (like the bigger Harbeths) and the internal damping (bitumen equivalent) is increased in size compared with the P3ESR. I've mentioned that the P3ESR has a pair of connectors, and the P3ES-2 is bi-wireable with four.

    The crossover - the most critical sub-system in any quality loudspeaker (far, far more than you could ever imagine) is a total, comprehensive, ground-up redesign to match the 5" RADIAL driver. The new woofer has completely different electrical characteristics to the SEAS unit (new has higher impedance) and every component on the crossover has been changed. In fact, I've been able to beef-up the crossover components by using 'little brother' versions of those first successfully introduced on the M40.1's crossover. This means that the fibreglass crossover board itself has been increased in size by about 25% compared with the P3ES-2.

    You can see the design process of the PCB and how I adopted components from the M40.1 crossover here.

    As to your very reasonable question "Are there any issues in ES2 that you intend to address with ESR?" Well, the design is totally finalised and necessary parts are arriving from our suppliers right now. I can assure you that I wouldn't have invested man-years in the P3ESR just for the fun of the chase. I have applied a rather novel approach to the crossover design (novel for me that is) and it's allowed me to achieve a great frequency response, higher impedance and flat room response with incredible imaging. P3ESR sounds just like the bigger Harbeths but is a fraction of the size.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  16. #36
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    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

    Dear Mr. Shaw,

    As I write this note I am enjoying my SHL5. I have the 30th Anniversary Edition speakers. While I have owned many loudspeakers in my life, I have never been so utterly and completely impressed. So impressed in fact that very shortly after i received them I ordered a pair of the new P3ESR.

    Is there any chance that you may offer these speakers as a 30th Anniversary product ? Is there perhaps a chance that it may be offered as an upgrade option ? I can tell you without hesitation, that for me, it was money very well spent.

    I will spare everyone from all the superlatives, adjectives, and amusing descriptives. You sir should receive a humanitarian award for outstanding achievement in modern musical design.

    I want to thank you again from the bottom of my heart for bringing music to life, making it real, and surpassing every expectation.

    Peace and Love
    Lorpuris

  17. #37
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    Default Re: New Harbeth P3ESR

    Thanks for your response.
    I am very keen to hear it myself and find out how it compares with P3ES which I have used for a decade

  18. #38
    myview Guest

    Default P3ESR for rear channel surround sound?

    Dear Alan,

    Are these new P3ESRs suitable as rear speakers for a home theatre/surround sound set-up? In my case, they will have to be wall-mounted by way of brackets on the back wall quite high up - perhaps 1/2 foot to 1 foot between the top of the speakers and my ceiling (in any case, they will be much higher than my ear level when I am in a sitting position). And if this is workable, would it be advisable to position them tilting in and firing at an angle towards my sitting position or to just mount them parallel to the floor and perpendicular to the back wall?

    On a not unrelated matter, are you working on a centre speaker?

    Thank you

    myview

  19. #39
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    Default Re: P3ESR for rear channel surround sound?

    Yes, the P3ESR would make an excellent choice for a natural-sounding high quality rear speaker system. I can imagine for multi-channel DVD-audio they would sound wonderful.

    Centre speaker: that's an interesting idea. I've started a new sub-thread here and I'd really like some guidance from you (all) as to features and most important, cabinet size. In the days of CRT TV, the sets were so big that evan a large centre channel box sitting under the set was dwarfed by the TV. But now, with these skimpy thin TVs I'm not sure how big the centre channel can be, or where it is placed. Under the TV? Standing on what?
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  20. #40
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    Default P3ESR as centre channel?

    With the dominance of the flat panel tv screens, I'd be inclined to wall-mount a centre speaker, just above the screen, or perhaps below for people who like the screen up high. Ideally, the wall bracket should have some range of tilt capability; i.e. so you can point down at the listener if it is well above ear height. Such brackets for smaller monitor speakers are certainly available already. Next the size of the cabinet has to be considered, and whether you will have the cabinet on its side as is typical for centre speakers, in which case a dedicated wall mount might be needed. Personally, I'd be happy with the P3 size, but the market may want something bigger.

    Just a few thoughts...

    cheers,
    -paul-

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