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P3ESR, 30.1 or C7 to 20m2 room??

Philsons

New member
Hi!

I've been Reading about Harbeths for a couple of years now but haven't had any oppertunity to buy until recently. I have no listening experience with them, and no direct chance to demo if I'm not travel a long way from my town. But everything I've read about them feels they are the right speakers for me. I listen mostly on jazz, soul, pop, Singer-songwriter, and also some classical music.

Question is which model should I go for my room?! It is 5.5 x 3.5 metres (around 20sqm) and I will put them on the long side, maybe 30-50 cm out from the wall.

I don't know what to expect in the bass from the P3ESR? Not that I'm a bassjunkie but would like to have some little {bass} support there if I listen to something more punchier. I also listen to soft to moderate levels, no hardrock concert volume.
 

Kumar Kane

New member
C7ES3 my vote

C7ES3 my vote

would like to have some little {bass} support there if I listen to something more punchier. I also listen to soft to moderate levels, no hardrock concert volume.
Based on this, and if you can give the speakers 50 cm from both walls, C7 would get my vote. It is also the best all round performer from the ones you have mentioned. P3 won't be bad, but the C7 would give you more of natural sounding bass support.
 

coredump

New member
C7es3

C7es3

personally i will go for C7ES3; even to the extent of SHL5

P3 will struggle if you sit far away
 

Milosz

Active member
M30.1?

M30.1?

Any of the mentioned models will work in 20m2 but I'd probably buy the M30.1 for myself if I had that room. Really nice, universal speakers with fine, tuneful bass.

I personally own the SHL5+ and P3ESR. The former should work fine as well but might be too large in dimensions.
 

hifi_dave

Well-known member
C7es3/m30.1?

C7es3/m30.1?

Welcome to the HUG.

Any of those Harbeth speakers will do the job for you. Personally, I would go for the larger models, either the C7ES3 or M30.1, as your room will allow them to perform optimally. You should appreciate the larger scale and bass extension, though all share the magic, natural realism of the Harbeth mid band.
 

Dragan

New member
Prefer M30.1

Prefer M30.1

My room is smaller then yours (18m2) but with high ceilings, so the volume is cca 60m3. At the begining I had excluded the P3ESR, tried both the 7s and 30.1s and bought the M30.1. Later I added one subwoofer which cuts very low (45hz).Differences(7 vs 30.1)?

Well,apart the bass everything else were (to my ears,off course)better with m30.1! In some thread relating to the tweeters I wrote :
' Before the purchase of the M30.1 I've tried the Compact 7 at my place as well. To my ears the 30.1 does have better high frequencies. Better means more thruthful, more accurate. The 30.1's tweeter makes more differences, shows more nuances then the 7's tweeter.'
 

Milosz

Active member
My tastes

My tastes

I always wondered why the bigger model (C7ES3) is actually cheaper than the smaller one (M30.1). I guess the C7 is a best buy in the Harbeth range. Having said that, to my ears the difference between the two is easy to describe and in my opinion both are very smartly positioned.

To my ears, the C7 are all about the midrange, bass and high frequencies are less important. M30.1 does midrange well but the bass and HF play important role as well. The choice is really a matter of personal preference.

I'd say C7 are better with acoustic music, M30.1 with modern and popular music.

C7 are fantastic even in smallest rooms (like P3ESR), the M30.1 need a little more space because the bass is stronger. C7 are less fussy about the gear connected to them.

Just my 2 cents. It's how I hear and understand them, not necessarily how they have been designed.
 

Philsons

New member
Start with the smallest model?

Start with the smallest model?

Thanks all for your helpful comments! It's difficult to decide when I've no reference at all from the different models. One alternative is to start with the P3esr and get to know them a bit first, perhaps travel to a Harbeth retailer next year and listen to the other models.

I live in an apartment with concrete walls around so I'm afraid it can be problem with boomy bass if I get the larger models, what do you think? I have a pretty big sofa, big thick rug and some other furnitures that dampens the sound in the room though. It's perhaps 2.4 m to the ceiling so the room is 46m3.
 

acroyear

Active member
Best budgetary value?

Best budgetary value?

I always wondered why the bigger model (C7ES3) is actually cheaper than the smaller one (M30.1). I guess the C7 is a best buy in the Harbeth range. Having said that, to my ears the difference between the two is easy to describe and in my opinion both are very smartly positioned.

To my ears, the C7 are all about the midrange, bass and high frequencies are less important. M30.1 does midrange well but the bass and HF play important role as well. The choice is really a matter of personal preference.

I'd say C7 are better with acoustic music, M30.1 with modern and popular music.

C7 are fantastic even in smallest rooms (like P3ESR), the M30.1 need a little more space because the bass is stronger. C7 are less fussy about the gear connected to them.

Just my 2 cents. It's how I hear and understand them, not necessarily how they have been designed.
In the US the 30 is significantly priced over the C7, had the price differential been like in the UK (smaller) I would have listened to the 30's at demo, I simply was not willing to spend the extra on the 30's so did not even audition them, have to stick to my guns, the C7 cost was the absolute maximum I was willing to spend on audio equipment.
 

Kumar Kane

New member
Alternative strategy.....

Alternative strategy.....

There is another option if you are knowledgeable about selecting and using a subwoofer and that is the P3+Sub combination. You ought to get better results than a C7 pair for the same budget via this route, but be advised that it is easy to get this wrong. C7 on the other hand is a safe bet.

Also, don't make the mistake of thinking that a sub isn't of any value at low to moderate sound levels. It perhaps may be more value at those times because bass performance is the first thing to be missed at low sound levels.
 

willem

Well-known member
Small sub?

Small sub?

In my inevitably limited experience a subwoofer can work very well, but only if used with dsp room equalization. I use the DSPeaker Antimode 8033 to that effect, and it cleans up the boomy bass enormously, and for not much money.

Room resonances are the biggest obstacle to clean bass, and the more so the smaller the room. In a small room, the combination of small speakers like the P3esr and a smallish high quality sub has many advantages.

The small speakers can be placed closer to the walls, and take up less space. Used with the Antimode, the sub can be pushed right into a corner.
 

Philsons

New member
How to 'sub'

How to 'sub'

That sounds like a nice alternative, P3 with sub, what sub can you recommend for that setup? Dsp is it something that is integrated in the sub or is it a program, is it expensive?
 

willem

Well-known member
Antimode room correction

Antimode room correction

A few big and expensive subs like the Big B&W or the bigger Velodynes have dsp room equalization built in, but never as sophisticated as a standalone dsp equalizer like the Antimode. As just subs the smaller REL T series subs would fit the bill, just like the QUAD LF66. I am very happy with my B&W PV1d, but that is rather more powerful and more expensive that may be approriate here.

The standalone DSpeaker Antimode 8033 cinema (not just for cinema use) unit costs some 300 euro. If you do not yet have an amplifier and DAC, you may want to consider the Antimode 2.0 Dual Core, as it also serves as a preamplifier and a DAC (but try before you buy).
 

hifi_dave

Well-known member
Forget the sub

Forget the sub

Personally, I would get the right speaker with adequate bass and forget the sub. Go for the M30.1, C7ES3 or SHL5+ and you won't need a sub.To my ears, you get a better sound, less clutter and less expensive.
 

willem

Well-known member
A sub later?

A sub later?

The price difference between the P3esr and the M 30.1 is 1100 pounds, which would buy a pretty decent sub plus Antimode 8033. Therefore, the two options work out at roughly the same cost. The sub plus sats has the challenge of integration between sub and main speaker, but the advantage of room equalization.

Personally I do not like overwhelming a room with low frequencies (and their upper harmonics). Therefore, if relatively low frequencies are demanded, I would prefer the sub plus eq solution. If you fear that the M30.1 would pump too much bass into the room, there is also the Antimode Dual Core for full range speakers as a remedy.

In a room like yours I think the M30.1 should be fine if you do not find it too visually overbearing. If in years to come you move to more spacious accommodation, you can always add a sub at that stage.
 

ssfas

Well-known member
Nice bass integration for SHL5plus

Nice bass integration for SHL5plus

My room is a little bigger than yours, not by much, and I get plenty of tight bass with SHL5+, even with the handicap of a 40w valve amplifier.

Strangely, a component change recently improved the bass, to my ears at least, but to suggest a speaker cable makes any difference invites ridicule. So much so that I was thinking of trying M40.2 in due course, but the bass is now so good I've gone off the idea. My dealer may convince me otherwise.

It does strike me that Harbeth is the only brand I've come across where the speaker choice is usually recommended/determined by the size of your room rather than the size of your wallet.
 

willem

Well-known member
How small/large?

How small/large?

Well I guess part of the explanation is that Harbeth have three modern designs and one older in the price range 1600-3400 pounds (the M40.2 is a bit of an outlier in many ways). All of them are expensive by most people's standards, and therefore invite careful decision making: the smallest is really not up to a large room and the biggest would overpower a small room.

Discussion here on HUG is mostly informed and avoids unrealistic expectations. The questions therefore mostly come back to 'how small is small' and 'how large is large'?
 
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