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Calling all Harbeth users

Discussion in 'audio' started by Lordhenley, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Lordhenley

    Lordhenley pfm Member

    Well as the title says, would love hear what people gave to say about them, I am demoing a pair of PS3ER next week and am quite excited but on the other hand could be disapointed in my quest for new speakers.

    Kindest regards
  2. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Can you hear Talvin Singh?

    I'll be watching this one with interest too. Am pondering a pair for upstairs.
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I'm an ex-Harbeth user (C7ES), they are proper grown-up's speakers IMO. Give them a good long chance though as they don't play by the quick A-B dem boom and tizz / hyped detail / stunt bass game. What they will do is play any music you throw at them naturally and without favour or bias. I enjoyed owning mine a lot.

  4. JonR

    JonR Brainwashed Bloke

    Briefly got a chance to listen to some P3ESR's a few months ago and loved them. When I have some money saved up I plan to book a proper dem possibly comparing them to Compact 7ES3's. In the meantime I bought a pair of HL-P3ES's second-hand as a stop-gap until I can afford a new pair. A couple of generations older they may be but I adore them - wonderfully balanced loudspeakers.

    In short, I love the Harbeth sound. Best of luck with your dem - I hope you enjoy what the P3ESR's do.
  5. joff

    joff Member

    I am listening to your old C7ES's right now :)
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Excellent, what have you got upstream of them?

  7. jimb0

    jimb0 Jelly Roll Soul

    I have decided to take a punt on some P3ESRs unheard. I haven't read a bad thing about them. Fingers crossed...
  8. Lordhenley

    Lordhenley pfm Member


    I nearly did that myself but I'm down London next week on business and managed to get a demo, everyone speaks highly of them, I just hope I'm not disapointed
  9. joff

    joff Member

    Right now I have my own TT design, sometimes a Garrard 401 into an ANT phonostage and a Unison Research integrated (Croft pre power coming soon):)
  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Sounds good - are you enjoying the Harbeths?

  11. Lordhenley

    Lordhenley pfm Member

    Just for the record to my OP I have tried

    Spendor A5 & A6 - to me nothing special, never really grabbed me
    Dynaudio Excite X16 - preffeted them to the above, but nothing mega

    I use a Nait XS and CD3.5 with a sonic bliss P/S through Jamo classic 6 floorstanders, the latter being the reason to change
  12. Scott_01

    Scott_01 pfm Member


    This isn't an objective view and it's a bit long too.... Oh well.

    I have had a pair of SHL5 for the last 14 months. As I have stated elsewhere they are by some distance the best speakers I have owned. Forgive my inept descriptions.

    I previously owned a pair of Revel M22 Performa but following an Amp upgrade (E-212 > E-450) I felt that the speakers were perhaps the limiting factor in my system. Although the Revels had really improved with the extra power. They were decent speakers, powerful and clear sounding, I felt there was still a slight edge to the treble and a 'glassy' quality to the mid range.

    I listened to the Kudos C10 (I think) at a dealers, but didn't demo any other speakers at home, maybe I should have but I don't regret it.

    The Harbeths won me over within about 5 minutes and they keep doing so. They offer exceptional clarity but manage to do so in a non-fatiguing manner. I'm now confident if there is an edge to treble, it's because it's meant to be there (Primal Scream XTRMINATOR) rather than as an artefact (Aretha Franklin - with the Revels, mostly). The mid range is awesome and the bass goes deep enough for my room.

    What don't they do? They aren't 'snappy' or 'tight', although the bass is deep, it needs some controlling IMO (partly the room too obviously). It could also be said that they don't do 'leading edge' or timing, that they are relaxed and / or boring. In my opinion that is because they offer a very transparent view on the system and add a minimum of their own character to the sound you hear. If you want tight snappy rhythms then strap on a pair of nap 140'S and an LP12. Other aspects of the music float my boat so I don't follow that route.

    Finally, I have a pair of Grado RS1s and although they used to get a fair bit of use before the Harbs I rarely use them now. The SHL5 are excellent at low levels and I feel give just as much insight with better dynamics.
  13. joff

    joff Member

    Absolutely. I never think about the speakers now except about having a good listen to some SHL5's

    What did you replace them with Tony?
  14. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    An absurdly cheap pair of Monitor Golds, which I like very much indeed.

    The Harbeth I'd most like to hear is the Monitor 30, same wonderful bass unit as the C7, but a nice high-quality soft dome tweeter in place of the metal one. I'd love to hear the P3ER too, I bet that's a cracker.

  15. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    What you really, really want to hear is the M40.1....:D
  16. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    I'd really like to spend some time with the Monitor 40s. I suspect I'd soon start a series of absurd get-rich-quick schemes in order to do the necessary.
  17. Scott_01

    Scott_01 pfm Member

    Do you have a pair on demo?
  18. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    Yes I do. I have them all.
  19. Scott_01

    Scott_01 pfm Member

    Well in a 'take up a dealer's time without the means to buy' kind of way that is interesting. :D

    I know you have access to lots of nice kit but If you've a quiet slot free some time then I don't suppose you'd fancy hearing what they sound like on the end of an Accuphase E-450?

    What partnering equipment have you typically demmed them with so far?
  20. honmanm

    honmanm pfm Member

    Harbeths in use - original HL-P3, circa 1992. Wonderful midrange and low colouration. After years of being a panel nut, I still can't believe I've fallen in love with these piddly little boxes.

    Mini monitors lend themselves to listening close up (that's what they're designed for) but on the flip side may sound lost in a big room.

    P.S. Dave-who-has-them-all, how about an open day or something for PFMers to kick the tyres? It's just curiosity... but given what the P3s can do the big boys must really be something else and the curiosity, she burneth.

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