Announcement

Collapse

INTRODUCTION - PLEASE READ FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THIS FORUM!

"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

Identifying system components for their sonic neutrality should logically proceed from the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance. Deviations from a flat frequency response at any point along the signal chain from microphone to ear is likely to give an audible sonic personality to the system at your ear; this includes the significant contribution of the listening room itself. To accurately reproduce the recorded sound as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would be best advised to select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and will alter the sound balance of what you hear. This may or may not be what you wish to achieve, but any deviation from a flat response is a step away from a truly neutral system. HUG has extensively discussed amplifiers and the methods for seeking the most objectively neutral among a plethora of product choices.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, getting at the repeatable facts in a post-truth environment where objectivity is increasingly ridiculed. With our heritage of natural sound and pragmatic design, HUG is not the best place to discuss non-Harbeth audio components selected, knowingly or not, to introduce a significantly personalised system sound. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various offerings there. There is really no on-line substitute for time invested in a dealer's showroom because 'tuning' your system to taste is such a highly personal matter. Our overall objective here is to empower readers to make the factually best procurement decisions in the interests of lifelike music at home.

Please consider carefully how much you should rely upon and be influenced by the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, loudness and room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you. Always keep in mind that without basic test equipment, subjective opinions will reign unchallenged. With test equipment, universal facts and truths are exposed.

If some of the science behind faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over Harbeth speakers is your thing, this forum has been helping with that since 2006. If you just want to share your opinions and photos with others then the unrelated Harbeth Speakers Facebook page http://bit.ly/2FEgoAy may be for you. Either way, welcome to the world of Harbeth!"


Feb. 2018
See more
See less

New owner: some issues with the amp?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • New owner: some issues with the amp?

    Hi all-

    I just bought a pair of the Harbeth P3ESR special edition. In general, I think they are terrific and I am thrilled to have joined this club. I am having a few issues, though, and wanted to solicit some advice.

    My Harbeths are in a small room, maybe 9 by 12. I am running the electronics out of a really small cabinet. In fact, I have only ten inches of depth in there for an amplifier. Because of that I have paired them with a Parasound zamp, which is a budget $300 amp (45 wpc).

    Okay so here is the issue: On some recordings, they sound absolutely great. Eva Cassiday, Lorena McKennitt, Kenny Burrell, Midnight Blue. On many other things, there can be a fair amount of noise/grain. These are not rock recordings, but things like Feist. I didn't notice this with the pair I demoed, although I can't remember if I played my full range of music with the demo pair. (The demos were like mine but not the special edition.)

    So, first, I am hoping nothing is wrong with my speakers. I am thinking maybe I have pushed the "any amp will do" a little too far with my $300 amp? And it's not like they don't sound amazing on some stuff, I just can't make them sound amazing on a lot. Do I need a better amplifier? And here, again, my options are limited because of size constraints with my tiny house. But I did find the wyred4sound mint amplifier as an alternative that fits the space. That amplifier is 100 wpc into 8 ohms, 170 into 4. Is that too much for the p3s?

    Any thoughts?

    Margot

  • #2
    Cause is probably the source you're listening to????

    Hello, I see no problems in the amp combined with the speakers.
    We all know the reputation of the P3ESR's and here's an infolink of the Zamp WITH MEASUREMENTS!!

    http://theaudiocritic.com/plog/index...Id=26&blogId=1

    So I suggest you check your (digital??) source(s) or try the radio of some sort, goodluck ;-)

    Comment


    • #3
      Different recordings ....

      Originally posted by mcanaday View Post
      Hi all-

      ...
      Okay so here is the issue: On some recordings, they sound absolutely great. On many other things, there can be a fair amount of noise/grain. ...
      Hi Margot:

      If your speakers sound "amazing" on some material and not that great on other material, I would say it's very unlikely to be an issue with either your speakers or your amplifier. I would look to your source material. You don't say what you're using: are you playing files? CDs? Vinyl LPs?

      If you're playing computer files, do you know if they all have the same resolution? Are they lossless? High bit-rate mp3 or AAC? Or a lower bit-rate, which can sound tinny and unnatural.

      And, as you may be discovering, some recordings are simply better than others even if you're playing the same resolution file. If a recording is subpar, nothing in your system can fix it. Very likely the resolution of the P3ESRs is allowing you to hear things you simply couldn't hear before.

      As for the amplifier, if you look around on the HUG, you will find the explanation is that the amp's power rating is just a reserve, which you control (with the volume control). Provided you don't play the speakers louder than they can handle, you can't have too much power - you may not use it all, but there's no harm in it being available (and some would say it allows for a more natural reproduction of dynamic peaks). However, your current amp is probably fine if you're not overdriving it. You might try borrowing a more powerful amplifier to see if it makes any difference before parting with your cash.

      Hope that helps a bit.

      Eric

      Comment


      • #4
        How much power?

        Thank you. This makes sense. I have done some experimentation today testing out other amps and speakers and I now think it is just that I am hearing some noise on the CD that I am just not used to hearing. (I am new to nice speakers!). Maybe this what natural means?

        Meanwhile, another question. If I did at some point want to try a more powerful amp that fit my size limitations, is the Wyred4Sound Mint a plausible candidate? I am particularly wondering if it is too powerful for the p3esr. It is 100 wpc into 8 ohm and 170 into 4 ohm. Is that too much?

        With thanks!
        Margot

        {Moderator's comment: please read the thread about Amplifiers. The essential point is that amplifiers DO NOT PUSH POWER into the speakers. The speakers DRAW power according to how loud you are playing. It is cause and effect. First you command the volume, then the power is needed. You could have a million watt amp which would be just fine as long as you keep your hand carefully on the volume control.}

        Comment


        • #5
          Protect on?

          Also I just noticed that the protect indicator light has come on the amplifier. Would this be a sign that the speakers are overtaxing the amplifier? Thanks again!

          {Moderators comment: more like the amp is overdriving the speakers? Whichever; you are working the amp and/or speakers too hard. That can only mean more distortion.}}

          Comment


          • #6
            More powerful amp

            Thanks to the moderator and all. This is very helpful, and I think I may try the more powerful Wyred4sound. I read the thread and found it illuminating; also a little worrying. I haven't played music especially loud; but is it likely I have done damage to the speaker?

            Thanks again...

            Comment


            • #7
              Hot CD player

              Forgot to mention CD player is quite warm to the touch. Would that indicate anything? Thanks again.

              Comment


              • #8
                More power?

                Originally posted by mcanaday View Post
                Also I just noticed that the protect indicator light has come on the amplifier. Would this be a sign that the speakers are overtaxing the amplifier? Thanks again!

                {Moderators comment: more like the amp is overdriving the speakers? Whichever; you are working the amp and/or speakers too hard. That can only mean more distortion.}}
                My understanding is that you're more likely to harm your speakers driving a less powerful amp past its limits than operating a more powerful amp within its limits.

                I have no personal experience with the Wyred4Sound unit but it's well-reviewed and has over double the power of what you have now, so there's no reason it shouldn't work well. Basically it sounds like you need a more powerful amp. I'd back off on the volume until you get one. The P3ESR is a fantastic speaker but like most high quality small speakers it's not very efficient - that's the price you pay for its small size. A little more power is definitely useful.

                Someone more knowledgeable than I might like to comment but I see your present amplifier's 8 Ohm power rating barely increases into 4 Ohms. I believe that indicates a not terribly robust power supply (understandable in such a compact unit).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Amp upgrade

                  Okay, thanks very much. I will just leave it off until I have the more powerful amplifier. Once I am up and running is there anyway to tell if I have hurt the speakers? Thanks again...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Running out of volts in a physically small amp?

                    Originally posted by EricW View Post
                    Someone more knowledgeable than I might like to comment but I see your present amplifier's 8 Ohm power rating barely increases into 4 Ohms. I believe that indicates a not terribly robust power supply (understandable in such a compact unit).
                    Correct in this case.

                    Additionally, it appears to have fairly conservative current limiting, if the "power cube" diagram on the review is any indication. Again, completely understandable given the size of the unit, where there isn't space for conventional finned heat sinks, so the case itself has to dissipate the heat.

                    But I'm not sure if that's the problem. Rather, given that Harbeth loudspeakers are deliberately designed to be an "easy" load for power amplifiers, I suspect that the amplifier is running out of volts, not amps. In other words, it might be clipping with certain programme material.

                    I note that the unit can be bridged, which would give you 90 watts per channel. I've no idea how much these amps cost compared to the alternative you are considering, and I realise that space might be a concern, but I wonder if buying a second Zamp might be an economical solution to the problem? This will increase the voltage swing available to the loudspeakers, and this might improve the problems you're hearing.

                    The flashing "protect" indicator is a little worrying. The user manual is a little vague, and I can't find a schematic, but I wonder if it is indicating clipping? This would fit with my theory about a lack of voltage headroom.

                    Anyway, on the assumption that you don't have access to an oscilloscope to check for the presence or otherwise of clipping, I would try to borrow a more powerful amplifier - and another Zamp if possible to experiment with bridging. It might turn out that the amplifier is not the problem, of course, as the earlier suggestion that it might be the programme material is highly likely, especially if your previous loudspeakers were not "monitor class" - which is why it's best to not spend any money on the problem until it's been correctly identified.

                    Good luck,

                    Mark

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Speaker damage?

                      Thanks again very much. I have a more powerful amp I can experiment with. And the idea of bridging the zamp is interesting. But my real worry at this point is the speakers. I assume if any harm has been done it will be readily apparent when I play them? I put them on quietly just now with the zamp and they sounded fine. Am I out of the worry zone? (A bit of a rocky start in the world of hi fi!)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Should be all OK

                        Hi,
                        I am sure that if you had damaged them that they would sound wrong and you would notice. If the tweeter was damaged then you would have a lack of treble and if the woofer was damaged they would sound bright and sharp. If they sound ok then all should be well.

                        I stand corrected if need be by the more knowledgeable members if I am incorrect.

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X