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Thread: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

  1. #21
    Vangelis Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    Hi, I am new to this group. I was wondering why the HL-P3ES2 does not incorporate the RADIAL driver?

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    Well that's an easy one to answer! The P3 was designd in 1990, some five or so years before we invented the RADIAL driver. To achive that amount of bass and the generally 'out of the box sound' that belies its size, the electro/mechanical/acoustic parameters of the bass unit have been carefully optimised and considerable time and effort would be required to go around that loop again.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S.
    Well that's an easy one to answer! The P3 was designd in 1990, some five or so years before we invented the RADIAL driver. To achive that amount of bass and the generally 'out of the box sound' that belies its size, the electro/mechanical/acoustic parameters of the bass unit have been carefully optimised and considerable time and effort would be required to go around that loop again.
    I don't mean to be difficult, Alan, but that means that the P3 driver is now over 15 years old! What is the lifespan of a loudspeaker, especially when you know you have better materials available?

    David

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schalkwyk
    ... but that means that the P3 driver is now over 15 years old! What is the lifespan of a loudspeaker...
    In business - indeed in life - there are always priorities: choices have to be made bearing in mind resources, time available and customer requirements.

    Actually, the P3 driver and the P3ES/ES2 driver are not quite the same and they are not really interchangeable. The P3ES driver started production about 8 years ago if I recall correctly.

    The LS3/5a driver ran for some 25+ years, so the length of a production run is not really an issue if the driver does the finely honed job it was conceived for.

    2007 is Harbeth's 30th Anniversary and I am working inhuman hours - I simply can not do everything but of course, one can dream. The problems is that in ones dream state, one can not physically work it seems.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    I understand the conflict between dreams and what is humanly possible. I've just returned from an extended trip abroad and was marvelling at what the P3ES2 driver can do, listening to them again last night after a long break. I think that P3 owners feel a little jealous of those who have C7s or HL5s or Monitor 30s and 40s, intrigued by how much better our little monitors might sound with Radial drivers. But this is the occupational disease of this peculiarly male obsession.

    Incidentally, I stayed in a house in New Zealand that had a pair of Rogers LS3/5s that were at least 20 years old. They're still wonderful 'speakers...

    David

  6. #26
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    Default Re: hlp3 sounding weird

    The answer to this question, after some detailed investigation, is that the woofer in the problem pair is not in fact an original P3 woofer, but a substitute has been fitted at some stage.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  7. #27
    Casaross Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    Hello Alan,

    I am sorry to say that I do not understand your answer to the question regarding the differences between the HLP3 ES2 and the Monitor 20. To say that it is a "professionalised version" states a conclusion. Not to nag you, but what does it mean to "professionalise" the HLP3 ES2 to create a Monitor 20? For instance, are the drivers, crossover, connectors and cabinets all the same? Is a "professionalised" speaker only different in the finish applied to the cabinets or are the differences more numerous and incorporated into the speaker in ways that an ordinary user cannot see? As Harbeth has a home version of the Monitor 20, I am not sure how the "professionalised" speaker compares to the HLP3 ES2.

    This is a matter largely of curiosity rather than of needing to know for reasons of changing out my mini monitors: I have a pair of 15 ohm Spendor LS3/5a's that I use and intend to accompany me into the grave. If, however, you can persuade me that I should have a pair of HLP3's or Monitor 20's to take that trip, too, please feel free to make your case!

    Scott

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    There is nothing that I would wish to say to persuade you. That is not my role here. Listen carefully. Trust your own ears. Make up your own mind.

    We've discussed the non-flat response of the LS3/5a 15 ohms before and noted how they degenerate with age.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  9. #29
    Casaross Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for your response. I remain curious, however, regarding the differences between the HLP3 ES2 and the Monitor 20. Would you explain those differences?

    Thanks very much.

  10. #30
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    Default Subwoofers...!!!?

    Well, it was bound to happen--given the psychology of this hobby. Having been perfectly happy with my P3s for a number of months, I am suddenly beset by an evil spirit that keeps tugging at my left earlobe, saying, "What you really need is a bit more bass..." This is a result of having gone to a live performance (are any performances dead?) of Saint-Saens's Symphony in C (with the big organ) and then coming home and listening to the Barenboim recording and saying to myself, "Where's the organ gone?"

    This is mad. But still. I HATE subwoofers, but am beginning to be pulled in that direction. Does anyone have any personal experience or advice on this illness?

    Thanks

    David

  11. #31
    Frihed89 Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    Subwoofers are a pain in the ass. They are called "sub" because they cover the lower bass. About 2% of all music occurs in these registers. You need more cables. Invariably, they connect to "something else". Yes, they allow you to hear the lowest octave on an organ. Is it worth it? Quad sells a moderately priced one that has gotten some decent reviews, but i have never seen an HLP3 paired with a subwoofer.

    You may need a loudspeaker that has better bass than the HLP3. If you do not have a monster room, i would recommend the Compact 7.

  12. #32
    metroMonkey Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 and subwoofers...!!!?

    Re. subwoofers: I'm in a similar position. The living room in my small, 1955 house won't accommodate speakers larger than bookshelves and I'm starting to miss the lower octaves that my P3's just weren't designed to provide. Plus, with live music you actually feel the music in addition to hearing it. This aspect requires larger floorstanders or a subwoofer.

    I'm currently searching for a compatible sub too. So far I've only tried the Velodyne SPL-800r. Pretty impressive, but seamless integration with the Harbeth's is proving to be a bit tricky. I may be able to give the B&W PV1 an audition this weekend as well.

    I'd be curious to hear others' thoughts on this conundrum. David, have you found anything encouraging yet?

    Cheers,
    _Todd

  13. #33
    Martyn Guest

    Default Amp for HL-P3 speakers

    I'm new to this User Group, but hoping to purchase a pair of HL-P3s for use in my new conservatory. I'm a great lover of 'BBC type' speakers , having been the proud owner of a pair of Spendor BC1s ( for 30 years ! ). I wish to drive the Harbeths with an Audiolab 8000A, using a Linn / Mission 774 / Entre M C cartridge and an Alpha Arcam ( original ) CD with Dac-in-the-Box outboard D/A converter. OK, I've thought about LS3/5as ( Harbeth and others ), but would like something new. I appreciate there is a ' new '( Stirling ) LS3/5a, but speaker technology has moved on. Any comments / ideas would be appreciated. M G Miles martyngmiles@hotmail.com

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Amp for HL-P3 speakers

    Dear Martin

    I have HP-3s which I've driven with a variety of amps: my current amp is an old Sugden Class-A P-51 which puts out about 17 watts. My room is large, and the amp has no difficulty filling the room (although I don't listen at very loud levels). I've also used a home-made bi-polar that produced about 90 watts and a NAD 820 BX2 (I think about 30 watts). They were all fine, although the Sugden is the most satisfying. So your Audiolab should do the job well. The 'speakers are not very sensitive, but they appear to be an easy load. And they're wonderful. You won't be disappointed.

    David

  15. #35
    p_deste Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    I've recently bought HL-P3ES2 speakers. I'm very satisfied.

    I use an Exposure 2010s amp (75W into 8 ohm) and NVA LS1 speaker cables providing a great sound for my room (that is about 30-35 m2).

    I read some posts about power and Harbeth and I would like to avoid this situation:
    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/sales/servi...ifier-DC-F.jpg

    I mean: 75w are too much power for P3? How much can I turn up the volume without burning the woofers? I must say that I usually need a rather low level of volume to achieve a good sound.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    Regards.

  16. #36
    Frihed89 Guest

    Default Re: Harbeth HL-P3ES2 specific

    There are at least two issue here: 1) gain in your amp and 2) how your amp will treat the load presented by the HLP-3s. Not being able to turn up the volume very high relates to 1), not necessarily to 2) for your amp. Your amp will work fine. Where the load is a little reactive, your amp can't dump too much current into your speaker and where the impedance drops wthout a sharp change in phase angle, you will have enough current reserve to drive through the lows.

    The HLP3 is not a really easy load, but it's not really hard to drive either. Your amp must be very sensitive if you have to keep the volume knob below 0900.

    But in general, you are Not goin to have problems. Your ears will burst, first! I think.

  17. #37
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    Default Overdriving small-diameter woofers ...

    There is another issue here too. Whilst it is absolutely correct to talk about technical things like 'phase', 'current', 'reactive' and so on, the answer may be more intuitive that that! I'm thinking about the quantity of air, its volume (measured in litres or cu. ft) that a drive unit moves when it is stroking backwards and forwards.

    The key point is that the woofer in motion is performing just like a car engine's cylinder and the displacement (or air volume) of a cylinder (or woofer) is the multiplication of (diameter of radiating surface area x height). Remember that from school maths? Pi x r2 x h.

    So, how does that relate to our drive unit? Well, for a small diameter driver (like the P3, LS3/5a etc.) to displace the same quantity (volume) of air as a bigger diameter unit it has to vigorously move backwards and forwards: it has to increase the h (height) term because it can't magically increase its diameter. In other words, it has to (attempt to) make up for its small diameter by moving more air in a 'cylinder' in the forwards and backwards direction. Conversely, a 300mm (12") Monitor 40 driver with a big r2 (radius squared) hardly has to move forwards and backwards at all to move a lot of air volume.

    But - a big but - the suspension a small driver is tight and it simply doesn't have the available stroke that a big driver can have. The consequence: the user may keep on turning up the amp, the drive unit reaches flat-out drive and then, over a period of minutes, the voice coil fries through overload - all without any increase in loudness since the air volume (diameter x stroke) has not actually increased despite pouring more Watts into the voice coil.

    BUT: this process carries with it plenty of warnings for the careless user! The poor speaker cries out "Turn me down - can't you hear that you are flogging me to death? Can't you hear that the quality in the bass frequencies has deteriorated? Can't you see that my little cone is working really hard in and out? Help! Turn me down!".

    The danger time is when the speakers are left unattended, perhaps in another room when the user just isn't able to read the signs of overload. Or smell the burning! Luckily, overdrive is extremely rare: a reflection of our user's self control and musical tastes.

    Ths challenge and trick when designing with small drivers is to manipulate the physical and acoustic parameters so that there is just enough percieved bass, just enough stroke, just enough sensitivity and just enough maximum output that listening to even a small speaker can be very enjoyable. That take a lot of time.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Overdriving small-diameter woofers ...

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S.
    Ths challenge and trick when designing with small drivers is to manipulate the physical and acoustic parameters so that there is just enough percieved bass, just enough stroke, just enough sensitivity and just enough maximum output that listening to even a small speaker can be very enjoyable. That take a lot of time.
    Thanks, Alan, for this illuminating explanation. Ever since I bought my P3s I've been amazed not only by their speed and transparency, but also by their weight. Your explanation helps me to understand why they perform as they do.

    A while ago I submitted a post about using subwoofers with the P3. I felt I needed a bit of extra bass, especially with full orchestra. This was perhaps underlined by the specs of the 'speakers, which indicate 75Hz as the lowest range. Since that posting, however, I've been changing things a bit. I worked on the supension of my Thorens 125 and took greater care with the placement of the P3s. Now I wonder why I ever thought I needed subwoofers. Which raises a question: the P3s now seem to go much lower than 75 Hz. They seem to be much better than my previous Martin-Logans, which were specified as going as low as 32Hz. Clearly figures don't tell the whole story. Bass appears to be a very subjective matter. What is going on here? What IS it that we hear, or think we hear, or expect to hear?

    Regards

    David

  19. #39
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    Default Cheating with bass specs ...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schalkwyk
    Which raises a question: the P3s now seem to go much lower than 75 Hz. They seem to be much better than my previous Martin-Logans, which were specified as going as low as 32Hz. Clearly figures don't tell the whole story.
    I've moved this reply to the section 'Ask the designer' since it applies generally to loudspeakers regardless of size or brand.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  20. #40
    Frihed89 Guest

    Default Overdriving small-diameter woofers ...

    Thanks Alan,

    You covered the "demand/load" side. Could you extend this analogy to the "supply" side? Specifically, can you compare a power amp that delivers constant voltage and variable current vs. a power amp that delivers constant current and variable voltage?

    Thank you,

    John Callaway

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