Harbeth Speakers- Doing Something Right....

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by avanti1960, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Crazysteve

    Crazysteve Gonzo Party Member

    :agree::agree::agree:
    I LOVE my 30.1’s. Even with the Struts. Gorgeous sound.
    The golf blades are perfect diffusers.
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    timind, Tony C., jphabc54 and 2 others like this.
  2. Kristofferabild

    Kristofferabild Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denmark
    I see again and again that the Ps3s are described as good for near field listening, but what about in a normal sized living room? I find this focus in the reviews puzzling.
     
    Roland Bart likes this.
  3. Roland Bart

    Roland Bart French doctor

    Location:
    France
    Mine are used in a 8x4 meters room and are perfect for this (with a little help from a subwoofer but I could live without). They were in a 3x4 bedroom and were also perfect. The larger the room the more electrical juice you need. For info I'm more in Jazz and Classical than Death metal or Drum & Bass.
     
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  4. terzinator

    terzinator boots lost in transit

    I had a pair of P3ESR's in my living room for a while. They worked fine for the most part, and i loved the sound signature. Just wanted more, I guess, so I upgraded to 30.2 XD's, and moved the P3ESR's into my office. Smaller room, nearer-field, happy happy all around.

    [​IMG]

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  5. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
  6. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Will You Be My Neighbor?

    Location:
    USA
    I also find the term confusing. I always thought it meant sitting near the speakers, which I took to mean, in a small room, But someone here posted that technically it's not about room size, but where you sit in the the listening triangle, regardless of room size, ie, you could be near field even if you sit far away from the speakers, as long as they are spread farther apart than your distance from the center line between them...I think.
     
  7. LPhound15

    LPhound15 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Omaha Nebraska
    Wonderful! Who made the stands?
     
  8. Scrumptious_Pilate

    Scrumptious_Pilate Vir Fidelis

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think you have it right, at least…that’s the way I prefer it in my environment. I have my P3’s in a 12 ft x 18 ft room, so there is some space to move further back if I want too, but I much prefer to sit up closer in the near field. It’s really wonderful, sometimes I listen for hours and hours, and it’s never fatiguing.
     
  9. terzinator

    terzinator boots lost in transit

    I did.

    The P3 stands I made from oak; kinda craftsman-ish looking. The 30.2 stands I made from maple; a little more modern.

    Tried a castle joint with the 30.2 stands, and it turned out pretty good for a first effort.

    :righton:
     
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  10. Salectric

    Salectric Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    As an occasional woodworker, I have to say the stands are gorgeous especially the maple stands for the 30.2s. Excellent work!
     
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  11. Jaxjax67

    Jaxjax67 Samantha Fish @ small venue

    Location:
    Toledo Wa
    Best ?
     
  12. Jaxjax67

    Jaxjax67 Samantha Fish @ small venue

    Location:
    Toledo Wa
    How is the sweet spot @ lets say 9' with Harbeth ? super narrow as in move your head & it's all over ...or forgiving enough to move you head without worry.
     
  13. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Not exactly...

    Nearfield listening surrounds and encapsulates you within the listening field. This creates an immersive listening experience that you just do not have with a conventional triangle arrangement where the sound field is distributed across the front from left to right.

    A nearfield listening experience involves hearing only primarily music that comes directly from the speakers and is not influenced by the room boundaries and reflections.

    Nearfield listening does not need to be in small rooms nor does it have to have regular speakers. I have a Zu sub that has dual front firing 15" Eminence woofers. I can sit on the floor with it a few feet in front of me and experience a wonderful enveloping sub-bass experience.

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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2022
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  14. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    Many reviewers won't say anything negative, so will only concentrate on what they think the product does well, and studiously avoid mentioning what it can't do.
     
  15. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Personally I fail to see the value of simply writing an ad for the product under review. I do get that it may not be that palatable to the manufacturer to have a review that is less than stellar for a product that they hope to expand into the market via the periodical or review in question. I also think that there is some validity in the reviewer not slamming a product, and simply not reviewing it at all if he thinks the product does not meet his criteria. OTOH, how many folks are looking to just read ad after ad (usually filled with hyperbole) for all audio products? IMHO, there should be a better way!
     
    avanti1960 and Richard Austen like this.
  16. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Small speakers are typically designed for small rooms. Small speakers in a big room when auditioned in the mid and far-field (further back) tend to get lost. The listener typically has to turn the volume UP to get a solid sounding bass - but small speakers typically don't have much bass so they sound thin ad compressed especially when pushed. In other words, they usually sound crappy in big rooms. To compensate for that the triangle nearfield approach is used where the speakers say 7 feet apart and you listen to them 7 feet back - you get the direct on-axis speaker presentation and you are trying to listen without the room boundaries affecting your listening too much. The speakers are often 2-way standmounts which allow better cohesiveness because they can blend the tweeter and woofer at a shorter distance to your ear to make a more seamless sound.

    This also works for people who just have poor rooms with a lot of room-related issues like slap echo in the room corners. I think you just have to choose the right speakers for your room and have an ear out for room-friendly speakers if you are the sort of person who moves a lot but want a speaker to be adaptable. So if you lived in an apartment with a smaller room and the smaller speakers were near the walls - and then move to a big room - you may need to place the speakers nearer you in the near-field - how will the speaker do in both kinds of set-ups? Typically large rooms cause more problems. I remember auditioning PMC TB2 standmounts in a smaller room and enjoying them but moved to a big room they sounded thin and screechy.

    So sticking to Harbeth - Big room mid and far-field Harbeth 40.2 listening - tiny room listening 6 feet away P3.
     
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  17. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    There are several problems with the negative review in that many of the reviewer's rooms are not perfect - even Stereophile - I see their rooms and they're pretty atrocious - compared to many audiophiles Michael Fremer's listening room is abysmal. So if he brings in an amp or speaker that doesn't sound good - well so what? It might very well sound good in a room that would score higher than a 3/10 for room quality. There are some hotel rooms that appear vastly better and hotels suck. It's great if a system can sound good at a hotel - it's a minor miracle - but I would never judge a system based entirely on how they perform at a show. I have scored YG Acoustics and MBL worst sound of the audio show and scored them 1-2 best sound at the very next show. And at the show, my AN speakers would have been bottom 5! My own speakers! WTF.

    Our editor basically lets me say anything I want but not choose stuff we don't like or sounds bad simply because it may not be the product but our rooms or system synergy issues.

    The OTO PHONO SE is arguably the best EL84 based amp sold. They typically run 4-12 watts in a Single-Ended operation - this amp as wonderful sounding as it is simply doesn't have enough power to drive a lot of speakers (maybe the majority of speakers). So if you run it with a 2-ohm speaker of 81dB - say something like an Apogee Scintilla - it's going to "probably" sound terrible. It's not really fair to this amp if the reviewer insists on pairing that combo.

    And one reviewer nearly did driving Thiel floorstander that is built for high power SS. The reviewer commented on the bass not being full and lacking dynamics - no kidding! I was amazed that he said he loved it and if he stopped reviewing it he would buy it - in spite of IMO a terrible mismatch.

    I remember reading a review of a speaker I liked and the reviewer made maybe two negative comments in the entire review - he even bought the speakers as his reference. I would go on forums and it was all "gotcha" statements where people would say - yeah it sucks so and so reviewer said " X and Y" so don't buy them. People latch on to the negative - the tree - and ignore the forest.

    On the big Audio Note thread, there is a recently posted video of a reviewer going over a lower version of my speakers (the entry model) and he points out a weakness - the problem is that the weakness he points out is in relation to more common speaker designs. It's the midbass - the speaker doesn't possess the long-throw woofer sound - the "gush gush" kind of bass that Peter Qvortrup notes with a lot of other speakers. Peter describes the Hemp woofers as operating more as a pressure generator than a high excursion kind of woofer. Depending on the listener's tastes, in my case certainly, I find that "pressure generator" to be far more correct than the "gush gush" high excursion long-throw sound - though I can appreciate it in home theatre explosions not so much on Beethoven. It's perhaps one of the reasons that Steve Hoffman owns AN E speakers even though he worked for decades with ATC and other professional studio speakers. They may be deemed more accurate in a technical sense but when relaxing and enjoying music it requires a presentation that allows you to enjoy rather the concentrate. I refer to it as a sit back in your seat and enjoy music all day vs a sit forward in your seat and constantly listening for soundstage cues and image depth cues on the recording. I think I try to talk about that in reviews to some degree.

    The readership is a large one with readers who like the analytical sound - I like a lot of different speakers and amplifiers depending on what the music is and at what volume - if I had big money I would own a variety of speakers and systems that really do their strengths well and I could just go to room A the room that is built for AC/DC and maybe room B that is built for Eva Cassidy - but since I can't I have to compromise and choose the system that will get 8 to 9 out of 10 for everything but never reaches the absolute heights for specific areas - a balance. If I had $100 million - screw the balance.

    Final example - I love the holographic clarity and lack of box resonance on Quads and Soundlabs (and lateral soundstaging) but to me, it's really only their strengths - in most other ways I prefer a dynamic speaker - a Soundlab speaker is $26,000+ and requires big amps - it's a lot to pay for what I view as a two-trick pony. IMO a good dynamic speaker will get 8-9/10 of the Soundlab Strength but in other areas, the dynamic will get 8-9/10 while the ESLs will score 3-4/10. And here in Hong Kong, they don't sell because the humidity destroys the panels.
     
    Tony C. likes this.
  18. terzinator

    terzinator boots lost in transit

    Thanks. Here's a closer-up look at the joint. Was super fun to make.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    Great points about the room of the reviewer and his ability to correctly match up gear so that it has synergy with the balance of the system. This reminded me of Mr Jason Victor Serinus' extremely poor reviewer of the new Jadis JA200Mk2 mono blocks. The review was 'luke warm' at best, and yet JVS had no clue that he was expecting these large tube mono blocks to drive his horrific Wilson Alexia's with aplomb, when the darn speakers almost present a complete short at a number of frequencies!!! What a total joke of a review...and dare i say it --reviewer!
     
    Richard Austen likes this.
  20. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I have not read the review because if reviewers think Wilson is good they're probably not for me. Put another way I would much MUCH rather own a Jadis product than any Wilson Audio product.
     
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  21. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    I cannot imagine a pair of P3ESRs being sufficient to load an average sized living room at anything more than moderate SPLs. A near-field arrangement will offset the overall demand on the speaker to play loud but won’t do anything to address the loss of bass output in such a scenario. What you end up with is an unbalanced sound with distorted bass.

    However, one truth I’ve realized during my time in this hobby is that one person’s “loud” can be another’s “moderate” and vice versa. I think this is often a matter of one’s experience and frequent exposures. Those who are accustomed to loud live performances are not likely to hear P3s in a large space and near-field and conclude their scale sufficient, at least, not in terms of bass. Additionally, those shifting from a life with large floorstanders are also likely to demand more than P3s can give. Conversely, a person accustomed to portable Bluetooth speakers will probably think P3s are bombastic in comparison.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2022
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  22. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    I think near-field generally refers to a position in which the listener is closer to the speakers than the speakers are to any of the walls, thereby negating first-reflection problems.
     
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  23. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Are you asking about a specific model?
    Of the ones I have owned (C7ES3 and SHL5+) neither required your head to be in a vise for a good listening experience. They are both coherent with excellent dispersion and have very large sweet zones- once the positioning is settled.
    The bigger the box (SHL5+/ M 40.2) the more demanding the positioning is for the best and largest sweet zone.
     
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  24. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    You kind of have to understand that there are limits with speaker sizes vs. room sizes, this tends to be understood in the reviews IMHO.
    However ALL Harbeth models sound best in a nearfield arrangement, they are modelled after nearfield monitors and need proper positioning between room walls and listening spot.
    The size of the nearfield triangle can be larger as you go bigger in box size but the shape still needs to be a triangle.
    The P3ESR will be fine in most medium rooms if you have robust amplification and listen in a triangle- e.g. 12 feet x 12 x 12 or even slightly larger. A subwoofer or two would get you a larger triangle still.
    Smaller speakers like the KEF LS50 for example can have room filling sound, just not deep room pressurizing bass.
     
  25. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Unfortunately I heard these Jadis amps with much less demanding speakers than the Wilsons and I did not care for their sound either. In general I have yet to hear tube amps (even mono blocs)
    sound excellent when they are trying to drive speakers in large rooms as if they were solid state amplifiers.
     

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