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Thread: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

  1. #1
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    Default Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    This thread concerns the HL-P3ES2 and the pro version, the Monitor 20 speaker.
    Last edited by A.S.; 08-08-2006 at 06:43 PM.

  2. #2
    adinoto Guest

    Default

    Hi,
    I own HPL3ES2 and like them very much, specially for vocal. But I fee that they little lack of "bite" in treble. Drums and cymbals have less shimer and sparkle.
    My pre and amp is Anthem tube unit, 40 W push pull. I also try them with inexpensive NAD C350 integrated and got just little bit more treble, but with price of more grain and vocal/midrange not as beatiful as tube unit.
    My room is an extension of living room with size 3M x 3.2M with no wall in one side. The speaker is in Apollo stand 25cm from the wall because of practical consideration (I have 5yr old boy). The midbass little bit too much, but I know that because of the proximity to wall.

    Any suggestion to improve the treble?

    Regards

  3. #3
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    Default HPL3 treble

    This is strange. I have just bought some HPL3s and my immediate impression was that there is a touch too much treble, especially on LP. Friends have suggested changing from my SS amp to tubes! What a funny roundabout this game is. After a few months the treble has calmed down considerably, so it was perhaps a matter of breaking in. There's certainly a lot more treble than there was on my previous 'speakers, Martin Logan Aerius is. (The bass is much better too.) It would be interesting to hear from others what their experience has been.

    I'm delighted that Alan has started an HPL3 thread. I was beginning to think that only the BBC bought them.

    Ciao

    David




    Quote Originally Posted by adinoto
    Hi,
    I own HPL3ES2 and like them very much, specially for vocal. But I fee that they little lack of "bite" in treble. Drums and cymbals have less shimer and sparkle.
    My pre and amp is Anthem tube unit, 40 W push pull. I also try them with inexpensive NAD C350 integrated and got just little bit more treble, but with price of more grain and vocal/midrange not as beatiful as tube unit.
    My room is an extension of living room with size 3M x 3.2M with no wall in one side. The speaker is in Apollo stand 25cm from the wall because of practical consideration (I have 5yr old boy). The midbass little bit too much, but I know that because of the proximity to wall.

    Any suggestion to improve the treble?

    Regards

  4. #4
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    Default P3 treble must be perfect then

    Taking the above two messages together confirms what the BBC have always said: ... the P3ESs treble response is absolutely 'spot on'!
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  5. #5
    Rich Arthur Guest

    Default Harbeth HL-P3ES2

    Having previously owned Von Schweikert VR-1 speakers, I thought the highs on the HL-P3ES2 speakers were very balanced. Nothing in the highs stood out and demanded attention. My only complaint with the P3's is that they seemed to sound a tad thin in the lower vocal region. In a large room setting, they tend to get lost. Although further placement experimentation might have eliminated the lower midrange / upper bass response problems, I decided to go with the C7's which I enjoy better than any previously owned speakers. However, my choice for small bookshelf monitors would definitely be for the P3's.

  6. #6
    adinoto Guest

    Default

    David,

    What is your amp and source?
    Mine is Anthem tube amp 40w with EL34 PP, Rega P3 - Garrot P77 - Hagerman Bugle, and CD/SACD trough cheap Sony DVD player, currently looking for inexpensive nice dac.
    Speakers are Blutack to Apollo stand witch also blutack to wooden parquete floor.

    Regards
    adinoto

  7. #7
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    Default amp and source

    Quote Originally Posted by adinoto
    David,

    What is your amp and source?
    Mine is Anthem tube amp 40w with EL34 PP, Rega P3 - Garrot P77 - Hagerman Bugle, and CD/SACD trough cheap Sony DVD player, currently looking for inexpensive nice dac.
    Speakers are Blutack to Apollo stand witch also blutack to wooden parquete floor.

    Regards
    adinoto
    I currently have a custom 90 watt solid-state amp that I've been happy with for over a decade. But having heard a 25-watt vintage class-A amp I'm now not so sure. Sources vary: Thorens 124 tt, with either an SME 3012 or Audioquest PT-9, with either a Dynavector DV20H or Denon 103; or a Linn LP 12 with Akito or Audioquest arm. Cd player is a Rega Planet.

    David

  8. #8
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    Default P3ES2 / Monitor 20 at BBC News 24 (picture)

    Here is a picture of a hybrid pair. Actually it is the standard Monitor 20 grey paint cabinet with the 4 gold binding posts of the P3ES2 - sure to look much better on-screen than the Speakon plug!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  9. #9
    Hu Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    What is the difference between P3ES2 and monitor 20? Probably later I will buy shoebox speakers for vocal. Thinking about Spendor 3/5.

    Hu

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    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    The Monitor 20 is the professionalised version of the HL-P3ES2.

    Now why, dear Lao Hu, having made an investment in Harbeth Monitor 30's, spent hundreds of hours optimising them, would you be even vaguely motivated to consider 3/5? I cannot follow your logic!
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  11. #11
    Hu Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S.
    The Monitor 20 is the professionalised version of the HL-P3ES2.

    Now why, dear Lao Hu, having made an investment in Harbeth Monitor 30's, spent hundreds of hours optimising them, would you be even vaguely motivated to consider 3/5? I cannot follow your logic!
    I have two reasons:
    1. We tried a lot of times with P3ES2 and M 30, I still think no matter how I invest in M30, they cannot broadcast human vocal as P3ES2 and 3/5 do. As I could recall, 3/5 do have their very special charming sound for vocal, and cheaper price.

    2. When I sold my Quad 909 power amplifier, I got such inappreciable money back. If I replace my Quad 99 pre amp, I could get less money back, so why not use that for another combo?

    Now, dear Lao Alan, do I have enough reasons?

    Hu

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    Quote Originally Posted by Hu
    ... I still think no matter how I invest in M30, they cannot broadcast human vocal as P3ES2 and 3/5 do.
    Again, not really a comment that I can follow. The P3ES is a great little speaker. The M30 (etc.) naturally have a greater scale of presentation as they are larger and they feature the RADIAL cones. It seems a little curious that you consider the entry-level Harbeth as superior to the Monitor model.

    My input here is simply that I know from extensive off-group correspondence that there are, by your own admission, significant unresolved issues with your room and your equipment which need to be resolved first before you should consider any changes to your speakers. The M30s have been an anchor through all the trials and tribulations you have experienced.

    I repeat again for a wider audience: First fix (or at least ameliorate) the room; then reconfirm that equipment is up to a decent standard and only then invest in the best Harbeth speakers you have the space and budget for. That's the logical, reasoned route that leads to satisfaction with the music - and the smallest long-term expenditure and least emotional trauma.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  13. #13
    johnli08540 Guest

    Default Big room?

    I am looking for Harbeth HL-P3ES2 now. But I could sure my receiver can drive them. I just bougt Outlaw RR2150. I will apprecaite if anybody could response.

    By the way, I concern about room size also. I plan to put in the room with 15 FT X20 FTX9 FT and one side open. The most of people and dealer said these speakers are better put in small room and only a few people said that you could get good results even in the large room. One of dealer said I should but Compact 7. But my wife don't like larger speaker in room (We had one large pair already).

    Is this true Harbeth speaker need spaces around? My family room has TV, sofa an d other. Will they affect speaker?

    Thank you in advance.

    John from Princeton USA

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    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    John, I have had P3s for about six months in a fairly large room: 26 x 16 x 10 ft. I'm driving them with a Sugden A 51 class A amp that produces about 17 watts. They sound absolutely wonderful. They fill the room completely with their distincively musical sound, even with something like the Mahler 8 or the Verdi Requiem. They are especially lovely with chamber music and small ensemble jazz. I have them about 18" from the back wall and about 9ft from the side walls.

    They're very nice speakers. Much better than the Martin Logans I had before. And my wife likes them too.

    Good luck.

    David

  15. #15
    johnli08540 Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    David,

    Thank you for your helps. I still couldn't sure my Outlaw RR2150 can drive P3 well. The most of suggetion of amplifer for Harbeth speakers are tube amplifer from website.

    John

  16. #16
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    Default Re: tube amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnli08540
    The most of suggetion of amplifer for Harbeth speakers are tube amplifer from website.
    Well that may be how it appears from reading here but I can tell you that as the designer I do not use tube amps, nor do I tailor the speakers in any way to be especially friendly to tube or solid state amps.

    As I think we have said here before, I am extremely concerned at the design stage to ensure that Harbeth speakers have a 'universal' electrical load so that they are all equally suited to tube or solid state amps, analogue or digital. The impedance curves are all available on the main web site from which you can see that Harbeths present a really benign electrical load.

    Having recently spent a very enjoyable weekend at the home of tube amp guru David Manley I am well aware that the proper design of a tube amp requires a lifetime of design knowledge. The design and construction of the output transformer defines the basic quality of a tube amp: solid state amps do not have an output transformer and hence are, theoretically, likely to offer better performance at the lower end of the price scale. Really fine output transformers are exceedingly expensive.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  17. #17
    Halrich Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    The P3es_2's are without question the best small room
    speakers i have ever heard. I was using a Manley Stingray
    with 40-50 watts of power and could not have been more
    pleased -- in fact soo pleased I'm replacing them with M 30's.
    Am I crazy or just looking for more of that wonderful Harbeth
    sound. Will let you know how it compares-----
    Best Regards,
    Hal

  18. #18
    edwinj Guest

    Default hlp3 sounding weird

    Dear All,

    I have a HLP3 which I purchased brand new in 1992. It was driven by a Naim Nait 2, primarily using CD and Vinyl for source.

    Lately, I noticed that the bass on the left speaker started to go "pop" when playing musicwith heavy bass, driven at quite high levels. Swapped the speaker between right and left, and indeed, the problem was with that speaker. In order to trouble shoot, the speakers were switched over to a Quad 306, and to my dismay, the amplifier blew!!!

    I now am wondering what is it that caused the amp to blow, and more importantly, what is causing the speaker to go "pop" under certain bass intensive music.

    When played under conservative volume levels, the speakers sound fantastic, with no issues at all..!!

    Anybody got any ideas? I'm thinking its a faulty crossover network. (the bass driver doesnt bottom out when gently depressed)

    Edwin

  19. #19
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    Default Re: hlp3 sounding weird

    Hello and sorry to hear of your problem. Crossover faults are exceedingly rare - I have experienced just a handful over the years, all due to severe and prolonged overload. It is almost certainly a bass unit problem, but I agree, it does sound odd. I suggest that there may be a partial winding short circuit withing the bass unit's coil which makes it look like a much lower resistance than normal. I am surprised that the 306 struggled, since I have abused mine over the years with dead shorts and have not have any problems.

    Unfortunately, as you will see from http://www.harbeth.co.uk/sales/servi...ares/index.php
    there are no longer any bass units for this model.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  20. #20
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    Default BBC uses Monitor 20 at World Cup 2006

    A pair of Monitor 20 was used by BBC as the master control speakers for 2006 FIFA World Cup in their Berlin studios. The sound from the field, the interview studio and all other sources was mixed to the picture using only the M20s and then sent on to London for transmission throughout the BBC in the UK, over the internet and through the BBC World Service.

    Clearly, this is a vote of confidence in such a small speaker. "Although small, good enough to trust with live-to-air sound". That is exactly what this instrument is supposed to be used for.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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