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Thread: P3ESR vs SHL5

  1. #21
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    Default Re: My current speakers and set-up

    Quote Originally Posted by valve View Post
    Hi Gan CK,
    since you are asking about my musical preferences, I listen to almost everything but classical. Examples:
    Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, ...but also
    Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, ... but also
    Dream Syndicate, Green on Red, Violent Femmes, Giant Sand, Jeff Buckley, ... but also
    Jefferson Airplane, It's a beautiful day, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Love, ... but also
    Rolling Stones, Animals, Byrds, Doors, Janis Joplin, Van Morrison, Tim Buckley, ...but also
    Sam Cooke, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, ... but also
    Tom Waits,
    many more in R&B, Jazz, Reggae, etc.

    In general, lately I prefer music that has vocals at the centre.
    (Sorry for making things difficult...)
    Hi Valve, thks for sharing your musical preference with us here. Harbeths sound great on everything except for heavy rock/metal music played at very high SPLs. Have a listen to a pair of SHL-5 & see if they are what you are looking for.

  2. #22
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    Default P3ESR after 6 hours wonderful listening - amazing resolution

    That is a loaded question (SHL5 or P3ESR - which to buy)! You really are comparing apples and oranges! I have only had 6 hours to listen to my P3ESRs but have had 4 months to enjoy the SHL5's. It would would be nearly impossible to comment on the P3ESRs as I do not believe they are close to being broken in yet.

    I can say this: So far they are wonderful in many ways that few other speakers any price, or size can match. The quality of midrange resolution is simply amazing. I know it will only get better.

    I can also say that the 5s have an effortless upper register with an overall balance that says music, not speaker. My advice is to get both. Life is short, love them both for different reasons.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    Thanks for your thoughts on P3ESR vs SHL5...

    I am also a very happy SHL5 owner, thinking of adding the P3ESR for use in a second system. On a smaller scale piece of music which spotlights the midrange, eg simple acoustic (say solo voice and guitar) how would you compare the midrange of the two speakers?

    How much of the gorgeous midrange weight and texture that the SHL5s excel in does the P3ESR reproduce?

    Looking forward to your further thoughts....

  4. #24
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    Wondering if anybody here has compared the P3R to the legendary LS-3/5A?

  5. #25
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    I have and have bought a pair of P3ESR.

    I must own up to not being a fan of the LS3/5A. As a dealer from back when the LS3/5A was a current speaker, we used to always keep a pair on demo to make comparisons with other small speakers we had in stock and the LS3/5A very rarely sold.

    To me, the LS3/5A is sloooooow, small, lacks bass and doesn't go loud enough to satisfy me. They are not easy to get going and just when you think things are looking up, they go 'donk, donk'. The mid band is OK for vocals but doesn't do much else and the top is thick and lacks air. The new P3ESR, does all these things just right. From the moment I put them on, I was knocked out by the amount of real bass they produce and they go plenty loud enough for me with my taste for 'Rock' music. They are easy to drive, are pacey, communicative and sparkle, they also do vocals superbly.

    The P3ESR is one of the very few small speakers I can live with. They are superb.

    David

  6. #26
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    I have and have bought a pair of P3ESR.

    I must own up to not being a fan of the LS3/5A. As a dealer from back when the LS3/5A was a current speaker, we used to always keep a pair on demo to make comparisons with other small speakers we had in stock and the LS3/5A very rarely sold.

    To me, the LS3/5A is sloooooow, small, lacks bass and doesn't go loud enough to satisfy me. They are not easy to get going and just when you think things are looking up, they go 'donk, donk'. The mid band is OK for vocals but doesn't do much else and the top is thick and lacks air. The new P3ESR, does all these things just right. From the moment I put them on, I was knocked out by the amount of real bass they produce and they go plenty loud enough for me with my taste for 'Rock' music. They are easy to drive, are pacey, communicative and sparkle, they also do vocals superbly.

    The P3ESR is one of the very few small speakers I can live with. They are superb.

    David
    Hi David, thks for the detailed comparison on the LS-3/5A & P3ESR. Looks like the P3ESR is going to set new standards as far as miniature spks are concerned. The new 5 inch Radial driver looks sooooo cute.

  7. #27
    DrewTurner Guest

    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    I have owned the P3ESR speakers for a week now.I think A.S. has really outdone himself with this latest design. I have heard all of the larger Harbeth speakers, but the new P3ESR, in many respects gives all of them a run for the money. The clarity, texture and emotion these little/BIG speakers convey is really quite amazing. Don't be fooled by their diminutive size. They fill my medium sized room with beautiful sound.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    They are amzing little boxes and the possible volume levels are more than enough for most owners, even head-bangers like me and they do it with very modest amps. I used a pair of vintage Quad II's the other day - a mighty 12 watts per side and we had no trouble filling the room with high quality music.

    Everyone I have demo'd them to has done what I now call the ' P3ESR double-take '. When you first put them on, the listener thinks he knows what is coming but as soon as he is hit with the bass, the scale, the power and the sheer believability of these incredible little monitors, the listener always sits up in surprise and then the smile kicks in.....

  9. #29
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    I can confirm that I was able to do just this comparison a few days ago, with the 40.1 as a reference..

    My own opinion is that the SHL5 is a great speaker if listened to in isolation. Big, rich toned and very sweet, I did find that in the room used, the mid-bass warmth (clean and NOT bloated) dominated the rather fine midband a little in comparison with the other two. In a different room this may have been different. Upper mid and top were excellent as you expect from this maker

    The little P3ESR is a masterpiece, the ONLY tradeoff being the inevitable reduction in sensitivity and ultimate bass handling in-extremis. It really does disappear and fool you into thinking it's a bigger speaker. The finish is exquisite and you really feel as if you're buying a high quality product worthy of the purchase price. The sound is so natural, unforced and sweet in the treble. For acoustic instruments and older contemporary music, I'd see no problems whatsoever in the bass, as it's articulate and "tuneful" in flat-earth speak and only an old "Massive Attack" CD (Protection) got the bass unit "doubling" at moderate volume - Let's be honest, I suspect very few of you all would ever play such music on small Harbeths anyway ;).

    As for the 40.1..................... - I wish I could afford and accommodate a pair........

  10. #30
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    Quote Originally Posted by DSRANCE View Post
    ...As for the 40.1..................... - I wish I could afford and accommodate a pair........
    What do you mean by "accomodate" a pair of M40.1? May I ask how big your room is?

    I am considering a pair for my roughly 13' X 17' dedicated listening room. Drywall over frame consruction (ie. lossy). I would place them on the long wall and listen nearfield. Do you think this would be hopeless? Would I be better off with C7-ES3?
    Last edited by Will; 30-10-2009 at 02:02 AM. Reason: typo

  11. #31
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    Default M40.1 - clean as a whistle

    My demo room is approx 14 x 16 ft with a section approx 7 x7 ft tacked on at the end to form an 'L' shape. The room has a concrete floor and all walls are timber-frame with plasterboard over.

    I ordered my M40.1's without listening first - I took them on trust because the other models in the range are so good. I did have a few concerns when I read a thread on here about poor bass from the M40.1 but I needn't have worried.

    The M40.1 is as clean as a whistle, with tight, deep, punchy bass that only appears when it's needed. Unlike a lot of large speakers it doesn't constantly drone and boom, just gives you a kick when called for. Naturally, the mid and top are as good as it gets.

    IMO, these are one of the very best speakers available and should be on every enthusiast's short-list.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    My demo room is approx 14 x 16 ft with a section approx 7 x7 ft tacked on at the end to form an 'L' shape. The room has a concrete floor and all walls are timber-frame with plasterboard over.

    I ordered my M40.1's without listening first - I took them on trust because the other models in the range are so good. I did have a few concerns when I read a thread on here about poor bass from the M40.1 but I needn't have worried.

    The M40.1 is as clean as a whistle, with tight, deep, punchy bass that only appears when it's needed. Unlike a lot of large speakers it doesn't constantly drone and boom, just gives you a kick when called for. Naturally, the mid and top are as good as it gets.

    IMO, these are one of the very best speakers available and should be on every enthusiast's short-list.

    Great to hear that you are enjoying the 40.1. I'm excitedly looking foward for my 40.1 to arrive. As the day of the arrival is getting nearer, my heart beat faster.... :-)

  13. #33
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    Your heart will beat faster if you need to carry them upstairs !!!!!!

  14. #34
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    What do you mean by "accomodate" a pair of M40.1? May I ask how big your room is?

    I am considering a pair for my roughly 13' X 17' dedicated listening room. Drywall over frame consruction (ie. lossy). I would place them on the long wall and listen nearfield. Do you think this would be hopeless? Would I be better off with C7-ES3?
    Our little sitting room is around 13' by 15' at most and is not a dedicated audio room. I'm allowed the old Spendors because of their sentimental value to me (my wife doesn't know how much I paid for re-calibrated replacement bass units from one of the main men at Spendor...).

    What you invisage should be marvelous I think. Big speakers apparently work well firing across a room (you'll have to try it out for yourself) and if you get the stand height correct (I suggest an axis at tweeter or between mid and tweeter at lowest, but Alan may have better ideas), you shouldn't go wrong.

    The great thing for me, was being able to play my system the following day and not feel short-changed by what I heard. In my current situation, this is a good thing lol! I love what Alan has achieved with the current range though and hope he continues to do well worldwide.....

    One final comment if I may.. Some three way speakers have all sorts of crossover problems in the midrange, due to the bass and mid drivers overlapping and giving phase problems and a certain "fuzzy vagueness" to the sound. With some expensive active three-ways, this can be dealt with in the active crossover so the drivers match exactly. The Monitor 40.1 exhibits none of this as far as I can see, the benefits of a large bass unit feeding properly into a good quality mid driver coming forth instead, as the two units were designed at the outset to work properly together I think. The comments elsewhere regarding bass issues seem to be interactions in the room as far as I can see, the possible problem being that if the bass was damped any more, it would seem to disappear completely............................ The 40.1's I heard were fairly close to corners too.................

  15. #35
    Teuton Guest

    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    I think it really comes down to budget.

    Power requirements for both speakers are probably very close -- I have personally decided to put off my SHL5 purchase.

    Instead, I will pick up a pair of P3ESR because they are more fitting with my budget right now. Maybe in 3-4 years there will be an updated SHL5, and that is when I will pull the trigger.

    The P3's can then be placed somewhere else -- maybe my darkroom? In the meantime, I will be enjoying the music --

  16. #36
    DrewTurner Guest

    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    Don't be surprised if you never feel the need the replace your P3ESR's with any other speaker.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    Quote Originally Posted by Teuton View Post
    I think it really comes down to budget.

    Power requirements for both speakers are probably very close -- I have personally decided to put off my SHL5 purchase.

    Instead, I will pick up a pair of P3ESR because they are more fitting with my budget right now. Maybe in 3-4 years there will be an updated SHL5, and that is when I will pull the trigger.

    The P3's can then be placed somewhere else -- maybe my darkroom? In the meantime, I will be enjoying the music --
    There is always the excellent 7ES-3, not as large as the HL5 and less expensive. If not, the P3ESR is an outstanding small speaker which does most things really well. It's the only small monitor speaker which makes me smile.

  18. #38
    Teuton Guest

    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    There is always the excellent 7ES-3, not as large as the SHL5 and less expensive. If not, the P3ESR is an outstanding small speaker which does most things really well. It's the only small monitor speaker which makes me smile.
    C7's are great, but I eventually want to get the SHL5's 2-3 years from now, and the P3ESR's are perfect for my room size and budget now. Furthermore, they will be perfect for a smaller room in the future--I don't intend on selling them.

    If I couldn't have the HL5 then I would for sure pick up the C7's. Be that as it may, the SHL5's will be my last pair of speakers.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    There is always the excellent 7ES-3, not as large as the HL5 and less expensive.
    Not just less expensive, but to my ears, it sounds more neutral / better. I really hope AS plans to "refresh" the SHL5 next... to bring it more in line with the other Harbeths.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: P3ESR vs SHL5

    During the shoot-out between SHL5 and C7ES3 I remembered that I preferred the latter more due to its quicker pace and livelier dynamics. Nevertheless I chose the SHL5 in the end as I wanted a bigger box that can give me the scale, just like what the M40.1 does in the bass department that the other speakers fail to follow. Although I have not listened to the P3ESR, I was informed that this diminutive speaker sounded quite different from the the SHL5. One of my friend mentioned this speaker is something really special with a wonderful, warm and organic sound that is beguiling. If the little P3ESR sounded incredibly good, I can just imagine how a *bigger* P3ESR in the form of the SHL5 will sound like. In this sense I am intrigued if a revised SHL5 based on the new P3ESR(and C7ES-3) will be due soon.

    Any leaks? It would be amazing if the SHL5 that is already quite superb on its own can be improved further to sound like a bigger P3ESR(that was said to be a class act).

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