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P3ESR XD opinions?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Goat, Jul 31, 2022.

  1. mikebh50

    mikebh50 pfm Member

    I have the 40th edition the one before the XD I believe and have just paired them with a SVS 2000pro sealed sub. Sounds pretty good to me plus you have so many options to tune the sub in via the app and you can do it while your listening.

    Also you can have presets so I can use for music and movies even though I have two seperate systems.
  2. Goat

    Goat pfm Member

    Sounds great. What room size are you using them in?
  3. MikeH1

    MikeH1 New Member

    The room is 2.3 x 3.4m but with everything else in there, I listen in approx. 1.2m triangle. So the mini monitors are ideal for this near field.
    Goat likes this.
  4. Ianp

    Ianp pfm Member

    And please forgive me, I've been unreliable. My comparison post related to the regular P3ESR and 40th Anniversary, not XD.

    I've owned too many small boxes !!

    Apologies. Having said that, not sure there's much difference between the 40th and XD ?
    Anyone ?
  5. yunie_

    yunie_ pfm Member

    The 40th and XD don't seem to have much difference but I didn't own the 40th long enough to know that for sure.

    What I can say is the harbeth xd were terrible at first and I almost sold them because of its sharp treble. That is until one day it suddenly just snap back in place and the treble became great.

    I guess that's what they call burn in.

    I also own Falcon silver and gold.
    They are all more or less the same with silver being more traditional ls3/5a with its warmer signature.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
  6. Goat

    Goat pfm Member

    Decided the only way to satisfy curiosity, is with a home demo.

    Will be picking up a pair tomorrow, so should be able to report back more over the weekend. I won't be able to comment on how they compare to some of the various LS3/5A varients, but I can certainly compare them to two other sealed boxes; the Spendor Classic 4/5 and ATC SCM11, both of which I've listened to extensively.

    I will also be re-demoing some LS50 meta alongside, which I listened to some months ago, albeit not in this room positioning. I liked them very much at the time, but wasn't completely sure. So will be interesting to see how I feel now, in direct comparison to the others, and new positioning.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
    kristoffer, Tarzan, ampedup and 2 others like this.
  7. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand pfm Member

    Get a Graham Chartwell LS3/5A, seriously, the made me switch from Harbeth and I have owned 9 Harbeth speakers in the past. The Graham sounds phenomenal.
    Goat likes this.
  8. Goat

    Goat pfm Member

    For sure, they look great too (along with the Graham ls3/5). But nowhere to demo near me, so other that on a buy or return basis, not sure I'll have a chance to.

    Have you listened to the Graham ls3/5 too, alongside your ls3/5a?
  9. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand pfm Member

    No, I haven't.
    Where do you live?
  10. Goat

    Goat pfm Member

  11. Old Shatterhand

    Old Shatterhand pfm Member

    Goat likes this.
  12. kristoffer

    kristoffer Danish Hi Fi NERD

    I keep hearing that the selv speakers are best for near field listening, but what about a normal living room sitting 3-4 metres from the speakers?
  13. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    I find the P3ESR SEs I have work very well around that distance away, perhaps a little further even. Though IME most speakers sound better in the near-field as it reduced the influence of room reflections. But not always practical.
    kristoffer likes this.
  14. Strictly Stereo, who was pretty active in here for a while, offers home demos and is a Graham dealer.

    Cheers BB
    Goat likes this.
  15. Goat

    Goat pfm Member

    Some early listening impressions of the P3esr XD (well broken in demo pair, run with an Arcam SA30)…

    Firstly and most obviously, the bass took me by surprise. Perhaps my room just has dodgy acoustics, but pulled a couple of feet away from walls, and toed in slightly, sat about 6ft away and the bass is pretty satisfying. Deeper, more tuneful and more punchy than expected, and fun to follow. As noted above, it’s on those electronica or ambient music (think Four Tet, Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin etc), I actually far prefer this sort of presentation to a ported design. It’s faster, more playful and poses no issues with room interaction or worrying about neighbours. It all hangs together perfectly.

    Compared to the Spendor Classic 4/5 I used to own, the Harbeths – at least give the impression of – more impactful bass. Having recently had some ATC SCM11 on demo again (which I really like), I would say the same is true against them too. The ATCs are a little more dynamic, but lack the fullness and density of the Harbeths, leading them to sound a little dry and anaemic at low volumes.

    High frequencies are interesting. I was fearing an overly bright presentation, based on a couple of remarks I’ve read. But they’re nicely balanced and detailed – I wouldn’t call them bright at all, and I’m averse to brightness. Switching between my Spendor Classic 3/1 and the Harbeths, and the Spendor’s are perhaps slightly smoother and more open, but the Harbeths counter with being a little more incisive and quicker on leading edges; they sound more realistic with guitars and cymbals and sound a little better at low volumes. Detail retrievals are similar, but the Harbeths present information in a touch more upfront, dissected way; less ethereal than the Spendors. Again though, it’s by a small degree. The Harbeths still sound very lush, open and engrossing, in that enveloping soundscape sort of way. I’d imagine the Arcam has something to do with this, as it has quite a smooth and open presentation. They certainly seem like a brilliant match, and certainly the Harbeths crave the decent power on tap.

    Of course the Harbeths sound ‘smaller’ than my resident 3/1s – but at a third of the size and no port, this is obvious. The point wasn’t really to compare the two against eachother. But it’s surprising how little I’m finding myself missing the extra scale (as the greater speed, positioning flexibility and cohesiveness make up for it). It’s only on those thinner old recordings, or rock / indie where the additional scale is always a boon.

    The midrange, as expected, is glorious. Strands tied together beautifully, great tone, superb imaging. I’m not sure (yet) if it’s any better than the Spendor 4/5. They are at least as good, but present slightly differently. More listening time will tell…

    Build quality superb.

    Early impressions are entirely favorable, and will report back in a couple of days (will be interesting to pit against the Ls50 Meta that is arriving later).
    Mercky, JTC and kristoffer like this.
  16. kristoffer

    kristoffer Danish Hi Fi NERD

    Thanks for your thoughts. Intriguing to hear that they work well with music like Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada since John Darko noted in his review long ago that they were too slow for that kind of music. I am happy to hear otherwise. :)
  17. Goat

    Goat pfm Member

    Hmm, yeah I remember reading that a while back. It's not what I perceive, but perhaps previous models weren't quite as taut and fast. Or I've not spent long enough to properly judge yet.

    I know my old Spendor 4/5 were lightening quick and detailed in the bass, and I can't say yet that these P3esr's are any slower.

    Any other P3 owners detect sluggishness in the bass?
    kristoffer likes this.
  18. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    They’re absolutely not slow when driven properly; in a way they remind me of ESL57s in their approach to bass: limited extension and dynamic ceiling but perfect within those constraints.
    Goat and kristoffer like this.
  19. Goat

    Goat pfm Member

    The Kef Ls50 Metas didn't last long! Not as impressive as I remember.

    They image brilliantly, they're reasonably detailed and go respectively low in the bass for their size.

    But there's no comparison on tonality, emotional engagement, speed / integration of the bass (it's far inferior in bass detail, tonality and integration compared to my Spendors, which also go lower). In comparison the Kefs sound lumpy and disjointed. To be fair to them, they're a third of the price! They are great for the money.

    As for the P3esrs, still love them, but they certainly sound 'small', a bit more constrained and less room filling compared to what I'm used to, and that takes some adjustment. As mentioned, it's a double edged sword depending on music taste, positioning in room, time of day, mood etc. One things for sure- they sound appreciably bigger and fuller than they look. It's also nice being able to crank them up and in the knowledge that the bass will never overwhelm.

    Going back to the high frequencies, now I've spent more time with them, they are definitely a little brighter and incisive than the Spendors. Oddly though, despite being averse to brightness, I've found I generally I prefer their presentation of high frequencies. Marginally less silky, but the sharper leading edges being a bit more realistic.

    But the price . Unless I can pick up a deal, it's simply too much.
    Mercky and kristoffer like this.
  20. Mercky

    Mercky Member

    As a 3/1 owner it’s interesting to hear your views, I’m also a bit intrigued by the P3 and 4/5 but have heard neither, the Falcon Q7 also piques my interest! I do like my 3/1’s though.
    Goat likes this.

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