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Thread: New Harbeth P3ESR

  1. #221
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    Default Also downsized to P3ES2s - best move I ever made

    Hi scottc1968.

    I was (kind of) in the same boat as yourself - I downsized from Proac floorstanders to second-hand P3ES2s. Best move I ever made. My room is roughly the same area as yours. Less bass of course but that was a good thing for me. Very sorry to hear your tax bill has pinched your SHL5s, but you'll continue to love your music, I'm sure.
    Ben from UK. Harbeth P3ESR owner.

  2. #222
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    Default

    Hi Ben
    What Proacs did you have? I currently have some D15s as a stop gap...but miss the Harbeth sound
    Cheers

  3. #223
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    Default Same as you

    Quote Originally Posted by scottc1968 View Post
    Hi Ben
    What Proacs did you have? I currently have some D15s as a stop gap...but miss the Harbeth sound
    Cheers
    Hi Scott,

    By coincidence, D15s, same as you. Beside the excessive bass, I always thought the sound had a 'hard sheen'. (Can't rule out artificial, psychological judgement of the sound though. It's easy to link the visual influence of the hard, fibreglass cone to a perceived effect on the sound.)
    Ben from UK. Harbeth P3ESR owner.

  4. #224
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    Default Hearing the character of different speakers over time

    Quote Originally Posted by BAS-H View Post
    Hi Scott,

    By coincidence, D15s, same as you. Beside the excessive bass, I always thought the sound had a 'hard sheen'. (Can't rule out artificial, psychological judgement of the sound though. It's easy to link the visual influence of the hard, fibreglass cone to a perceived effect on the sound.)
    I had the ProAc Tablette Reference 8 for over 6 years before moving to LS3/5A last year then recently to Harbeth P3ESR. I had the ProAcs so long that I always thought it was the recordings that were sometimes a bit metallic, hard etc.. I generally thought the ProAcs were great. Only when I changed to LS3/5A did I realise it was a characteristic of the speaker, which was underlined further upon changing to the even better still, Harbeth P3ESR.

  5. #225
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    Default C7ES3 close to rear wall

    From all I have read, the 7 ES3 sound perfect for my new large room, but I will not be able to place them more than a foot or so away from the two walls of the corners of the room. I also understand that for the P3ESR, that is not a problem, but I suspect the room might dwarf the speaker. Also, I am looking for a replacement for my current speaker pair, Spendor S3/5 se, that I love, but it loses out on bass even on acoustic jazz and I am not sure it will work in the larger room I have to move to.

    But for that fact, I love the little Spendors, and I am guessing that the P3 won't give me all that much more than what they do, while the 7ES3 will. But if I place the latter around 18 inches away from each of the walls in the corner, how will they fare?

    Or will the P3 itself do significantly better than the Spendors - my listening is acoustic music+vocals at normal listening levels.
    Any suggestions/help would be very welcome.

  6. #226
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    Default C7ES3 designed in a small bedroom....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kumar Kane View Post
    From all I have read, the 7 ES3 sound perfect for my new large room, but I will not be able to place them more than a foot or so away from the two walls of the corners of the room. ...
    I'm certain I've answered this before but stumbled across the images yesterday during a server tidy-up so here they are again.

    Attached are some pictures from 2006 of the back-bedroom in which the C7ES3 was 'voiced' i.e. the crossover optimised for the best bass/mid/top balance after the theoretical crossover work had been undertaken. They show what was to become the C7ES3 (I'd used some old tatty C7ES-2 cabinets as the prototypes for the C7ES3) and you can clearly see that the speakers are both backed up against the wall, and the left speaker near a chest of drawers. This is a real-world far from ideal purist situation, but it allowed me to complete the design of what has been a hugely successful model. And especially in Japan where the rooms are small and the C7 is beloved.

    You will see the white box with many red/black binding posts. This is the instantaneous switch-over box. On the floor (very unprofessional, but that's how it was) are not two crossovers but four. That's because I had designed two entirely different crossover topographies, both theoretically good. I couldn't decide which would sound best from the measurements alone. So I had to build two for each speaker and make an instantaneous change-over between them.

    Even then, the sonic differences were very subtle and needed careful concentration until one (pair) emerged as sonically superior.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  7. #227
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    This is a real-world far from ideal purist situation, but it allowed me to complete the design of what has been a hugely successful model. And especially in Japan where the rooms are small and the C7 is beloved.
    Thank you for the quick response. My question was, as I am sure you know, based on the spec that their response is optimised for away from wall placement, unlike what is stated for the P3ESRs. The unknown always remains - how much is the drift from the optimum if the spec isn't met, and I hear you say that this isn't much, and in my case, I am pretty sure I can do better placement than the one in the picture, even if it isn't by a whole lot.

    I run a Rega P5/ Quad 99/ Quad 909 set up and in a smaller room, this has given me a lot of pleasure with the 3/5se Spendors for a few years now. I also run an iPod with lossless files via a Marantz SACD player housed DAC, and that's a sweet source too. The search for a new speaker is to get this set up to sound just as sweet and musical in a much bigger room.
    I also have to figure out how to procure these in India - are there any near term plans to extend distribution to here?

  8. #228
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    Default Distance from wall : not a clearly defined concept

    Quote Originally Posted by Kumar Kane View Post
    Thank you for the quick response. My question was, as I am sure you know, based on the spec that their response is optimised for away from wall placement, unlike what is stated for the P3ESRs. The unknown always remains - how much is the drift from the optimum if the spec isn't met, and I hear you say that this isn't much, and in my case, I am pretty sure I can do better placement than the one in the picture, even if it isn't by a whole lot.

    I run a Rega P5/ Quad 99/ Quad 909 set up and in a smaller room, this has given me a lot of pleasure with the 3/5se Spendors for a few years now. I also run an iPod with lossless files via a Marantz SACD player housed DAC, and that's a sweet source too. The search for a new speaker is to get this set up to sound just as sweet and musical in a much bigger room.
    I also have to figure out how to procure these in India - are there any near term plans to extend distribution to here?
    Regarding the wall to speaker distance: all Harbeths without exception are optimised for use away from the wall incl. all versions of P3. Some speaker (Linn ???) may intentionally be bass-light when away from the wall and optimally balanced when the wall is there to boost the bottom end.

  9. #229
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    Default The C7ES3 will sound fine near the wall

    First let me say that IMO, the P3ESR is a much better speaker than the Spendor which I find is flat and uninvolving in comparison. If you have a smaller room, the P3ESR will be all the speaker you ever need.

    Having said that, I would recommend you consider the C7ES3 if you have a medium size or above room. The C7ES3 will sound just fine at a foot or more from the rear wall and has a greater sense of scale and power handling.

    {Moderator's comment: hifi_dave is a popular and long-standing authorised Harbeth dealer in the UK.}

  10. #230
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    Default Don't underestimate the P3ESR

    If you do go for the P3ESR, don't think it won't give you much over the Spendors. My new P3ESR has slaughtered every mini-monitor I know of. The LS3/5A is quite poor compared with the Harbeths and the Spendors do not have the RADIAL cone material.

    The P3ESR is certainly NOT to be regarded as an 'entry level' to Harbeth sound. They are fabulous at any price. But if you've got the space, maybe try the C7 as dave suggests.

  11. #231
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    First let me say that IMO, the P3ESR is a much better speaker than the Spendor which I find is flat and uninvolving in comparison.

    Having said that, I would recommend you consider the C7ES3 if you have a medium size or above room. The C7ES3 will sound just fine at a foot or more from the rear wall and has a greater sense of scale and power handling.
    I wonder why I can't multi quote - to the earlier reply, I thought the P3 has a somewhat different placement spec, hence the question. And I note the comment about the Spendor S3/5 being flat in comparison - because that raises the bar a long way for the P3!

    My room is 32 feet long and 13 feet wide though, hence the search. Good to know that the Compact 7 will do well a foot and half away from the corner walls.
    Any updates about India availability?

  12. #232
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    Default Asking about (named) non-Harbeth speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    I would recommend you consider the C7ES3 if you have a medium size or above room. The C7ES3 will sound just fine at a foot or more from the rear wall and has a greater sense of scale and power handling.
    And another question, if I may. The other speaker I am seriously considering for the large room is the zzz. In terms of musicality and scale for the larger room, for acoustic and close miked vocals, how would the C7ES3 be different from the floorstanding zzz? The one big advantage the zzz has today is simply that it is distributed in India!

    My concern about the zzz is that I don't want to lose the mid range musicality, immediacy and clarity that I get today, albeit in smaller room from my standmounted Spendors.

    I also intend for these to be the last pair of speakers I ever buy...God willing.

    I know I have hijacked this thread a bit, apologies to all.

    {Moderator's comment: it's OK to mention what speakers you have but this forum is run by Harbeth UK and it is not diplomatic to ask direct questions about other speakers you are considering. With an order book full to the day for one year ahead we have no capacity to enter your market at this time.}

  13. #233
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    Default Std. tower speakers v. Harbeth stand mounts - an opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kumar Kane View Post
    My concern about the zzz is that I don't want to lose the mid range musicality, immediacy and clarity that I get today, albeit in smaller room from my standmounted Spendors.

    {Moderator's comment: it's OK to mention what speakers you have but this forum is run by Harbeth UK and it is not diplomatic to ask direct questions about other speakers you are considering. With an order book full to the day for one year ahead we have no capacity to enter your market at this time.}
    Point taken - perhaps the question can be answered taking zzz to be floorstanding towers in general? As compared to the Harbeth Stand mounted speakers. Is there something inherent in a stand mounted design that yields benefits of the kind referred?

    Also, to the extent you can allow, is it possible to know if there is an impending ES4 version of the 7? As in, within say the end of 2011.
    And finally, for someone living in India, how would you suggest I get myself a pair? I guess I can live without warranty support, as long as they were delivered intact!

    {Moderator's comment: again, do you really think we would announce a hypothetical future product launch here and kill existing sales? There are zero plans to change the Compact. It has just won another award in Japan. As they said in Japan it is unprecedented that a 5+ year old speaker is still considered best of class.}

  14. #234
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    Default Harbeth and the vital midrange

    Not familiar with the ZZZ but I can tell you that one area where the Harbeth range scores over practically all other ranges irrespective of cost, is in the vital mid-band. Harbeth speakers have the uncanny ability to place the vocalist right there in the room, where most other speakers sound flat, thin and uninvolving.

    As for scale and bass performance, all Harbeth's are excellent in these regards. Even the tiny P3ESR projects a large sound stage and provides kicking, tactile bass which some much larger speakers would be proud of.

    When you come to the larger models, you have at least, an 8 inch driver in a relatively large box. Clean, dynamic bass aplenty from all and consider that many sub-woofers are built around 8 inch drivers.

  15. #235
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    Default How to get to India?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kumar Kane View Post
    {Moderator's comment: again, do you really think we would announce a hypothetical future product launch here and kill existing sales? There are zero plans to change the Compact. It has just won another award in Japan. As they said in Japan it is unprecedented that a 5+ year old speaker is still considered best of class.}
    Well, if you are backordered for a year, it could be managed appropriately:-). I only asked the question for the 5+ years fact, keeping in mind the recent update to the P3, but I have my answer, thanks.

    And hifi_dave, thanks for your latest input as well.

    I now have to find a way to get me a pair here...

  16. #236
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    Default Reading Reviews from Japan?

    There are zero plans to change the Compact. It has just won another award in Japan. As they said in Japan it is unprecedented that a 5+ year old speaker is still considered best of class.}
    Is there any chance that a translation of this review (or award citation) might be available at some point? There have been comments on the HUG concerning audio reviews in Japan and how professional and serious they can be and concerning how much the Harbeth line is beloved. But we never get to read the reviews.

    Bruce

  17. #237
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    Default Harbeth on a different time scale to other brands ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kumar Kane View Post
    I only asked the question for the 5+ years fact, keeping in mind the recent update to the P3, but I have my answer, thanks.
    Kumar: it may be appropriate to think of Harbeths as existing on a different time scale from most other speakers. Whereas 5 years might be a lifetime, or indeed 2 or 3 generations for another speaker brand, a 5-year-old Harbeth model is barely entering adolescence. It still has a long and productive life ahead of it.

    Certain things are so good that they can only be improved slowly and gradually, if at all.

    {Moderator's comment: yes, as capital equipment not mere consumer electronics, Harbeth's usability is measured in decades not months.}

  18. #238
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    Default

    I went down and measured, they are actually 2.2 metres apart so not much in it. Thanks for all of your comments, I pick up some C7ES2 on Sunday....now need to get some cheapish stands.........any ideas?


    Quote Originally Posted by scottc1968 View Post
    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?
    Thanks


    {Moderator's comment: we recommend that you consider placing the speakers closer together than you are away. So if you sit 3m away, the speakers 2m apart. Download the User Guide.}

  19. #239
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    Default Downsizing and considering P3ESR

    New to the forum, but not a Harbeth owner yet. Looking at the P3ESR, found answers to most of my questions in the forum but I have a few more (sorry I can't get the forum search to work on mac for some reason so I apologize if this has been covered already)

    Bit of background, I don’t have a man cave, my hi fi is in the living room and I'm downsizing to a more 'domestically friendly' setup (will use my McIntosh MA2275 — 75wpc tube integrated with a JA Michell Orbe and a modest universal player. Room is 5.5X6 M but I have a REL strata 3 that can get me down to 40hz flat.

    Looking at the P3ESR — love the looks and the the Harbeth natural sound. Looks and sound are just as important (sorry to be superficial but I'm coming from Sonus fabers)

    • Is my room too big for the P3ESR? I prefer their small size and looks to the next model up
    • How far apart can the P3ESR go? 2.5 m is what I'm looking at, sitting 3.M back. User guide has similar ratio but I want to make sure I can place the P3ERs that far apart given their small size
    • Stands — listing seat has my ear at about 37 in off the floor what's the right stand hight? 24 in?
    • Mass loaded or rigid stands? Will be making them myself. My current speakers need massive stands mechanically grounded to the floor for the speakers to sound their best, I understand Harbeths are a bit different in how the cabinets dissipate energy. I'd prefer to make lightweight, rigid wooden stands with small casters for the feet so I can easily move them around, will this concept complement the speakers sound or degrade the sound?
    • 4 or 8 Ohm tap? -- my guess is the h 8ohm tap — read a review that puts them down to 5.7Ohms in the upper mids. Can anyone confirm?
    • Construction – are the speakers entirely constructed of birch plywood or are they a hybrid MDF/plywood, if so which parts?
    • Only seen the cherry in the flesh, is the rosewood as stunning in the flesh as the photos

    Thanks!

  20. #240
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    Default Downsizing feedback

    Hello cello - welcome! Please find my suggestions to your questions below. Enjoy.

    Quote Originally Posted by cello View Post
    • Is my room too big for the P3ESR? I prefer their small size and looks to the next model up. No, I don't think so.
    • How far apart can the P3ESR go? 2.5 m is what I'm looking at, sitting 3.M back. User guide has similar ratio but I want to make sure I can place the P3ERs that far apart given their small size That's only slightly wider than mine, Sounds fine.
    • Stands — listing seat has my ear at about 37 in off the floor what's the right stand hight? 24 in? Too short, I'd say. The P3 tweeter is about 8 inches above the base. 37-8 = 29".
    • Mass loaded or rigid stands? Will be making them myself. My current speakers need massive stands mechanically grounded to the floor for the speakers to sound their best, I understand Harbeths are a bit different in how the cabinets dissipate energy. I'd prefer to make lightweight, rigid wooden stands with small casters for the feet so I can easily move them around, will this concept complement the speakers sound or degrade the sound? Harbeths tend not to be stand-fussy. Bravo to making them yourself - they will be fine, I'm sure.
    • 4 or 8 Ohm tap? -- my guess is the h 8ohm tap — read a review that puts them down to 5.7Ohms in the upper mids. Can anyone confirm?

      At 6 Ohms nominal, and an easy amplifier load, either tap will be fine, I would think, though check your amp manual first.
    • Construction – are the speakers entirely constructed of birch plywood or are they a hybrid MDF/plywood, if so which parts? Pass, sorry.
    • Only seen the cherry in the flesh, is the rosewood as stunning in the flesh as the photos Again, pass! Mine are black ash. Superb finish.

    Thanks!
    Ben from UK. Harbeth P3ESR owner.

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