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Battle of the Brits? Harbeth P3ESR & Rogers LS3/5a


tIANcI

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I use an Arcam SA30 with my Spendors, which according to Hifi News' lab report, outputs around 145W into 8ohms, 220W into 4ohms. Generally I only put the volume to around 22-28 (out of 99 I'm guessing) for moderate listening. It feels like it has tons of power in reserve, loads of grip, so I'd imagine substantially less powerful amplifiers would be fine. 

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3 hours ago, HectorHughMunro said:

It may affect longevity.  Records die out there and storage is important. I wonder what it does to adhesives and Bextrene.

I like Malaysia. Penang is one of my favourite places. 

Gang Panang is one of my favourite dishes but it might not actually exist in Penang!! In Portugal they have English sauce that of course does not exist in England O.o

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7 minutes ago, DomT said:

Gang Panang is one of my favourite dishes but it might not actually exist in Penang!! In Portugal they have English sauce that of course does not exist in England O.o

Gang Panang? 🤔

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Just now, tIANcI said:

Gang Panang? 🤔

Exactly!!!!  Oh actually my mistake because I used to eat this Penang curry in a Thai restaurant :doh: Anyway its the thing I miss most about leaving the UK.  We had two amazing Tahi restaurants within walking distance.  One was voted on Gordon Ramsey's F Word as being the best in Britain and the other was even better run by a Thai family who would take turns to come to the UK for a few months to work in the restaurant.  They insisted that the dishes were the same as their restaurant in Bangkok.  aNyway this is way off topic but at least it's a good topic.

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@DomT ... see this:

Phanaeng, also spelled phanang, panang, and other variants is a type of red Thai curry that is thick, salty and sweet, with a zesty kaffir lime flavour. The earliest known mention of phanaeng appears in Mom Somchin Rachanupraphan's book Tamra Kap Khao, published in 1890. A popular phanaeng curry dish is pork phanaeng.
 

Hehehe ... 

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2 hours ago, tIANcI said:

I’m in touch with him but not yet meet up. Would love to listen to his collection of LS 3/5a.

Here’s a recording of mine.

Nice system.

Yep Ki's method was to use AB1.  They were passive B110 bass extenders that were built to have the LS3/5a sitting on top of them.  Instead of doing that, Ki placed the LS3/5a on stands with the AB1 sitting a few inches behind.  There are lots of reasons why that might work; because the AB1 wasn't a good 'speaker stand in it's own right and because the LS3/5a is built to have resonant casework.  Putting resonant things together generally doesn't work in hifi.
http://www.listeninn.com/product/407001-11167/Subwoofer/Rogers+AB1

I was never a fan of the AB1  My view was that if you were going to take it full range, why not just go for BC1 or LS5/9?  Both of those need less work to get them to work optimally.  In my opinion, the BC1 is a better 'speaker by any measure other than weight and convenience.

2 hours ago, Ashmash said:

I've never heard a Harbeth or Rogers, though would like to. I had a pair of modern Spendor SA1s a while ago (with a T3 sub). I really enjoyed them. I read that Harbeths need a lot of watts and are sometimes accused of being 'relaxed'. Is that fair? 

If you're running transistors, as long as you have a fair bit of power with that size of 'speaker you're good.  The original LS3/5a worked well with valves because the rolled off treble helped the T27.  Quad II were always popular with it - I understand that it's quite a benign load for a reasonable push-pull valve amp.  I used to use mine with a Leak Stereo 20 and that would handle both LS3/5a and some LS3/5a variants.  Modern Harbeths need a lot more power than LS3/5a - they're lower impedence.

Edited by HectorHughMunro
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2 hours ago, tIANcI said:

@DomT ... see this:

Phanaeng, also spelled phanang, panang, and other variants is a type of red Thai curry that is thick, salty and sweet, with a zesty kaffir lime flavour. The earliest known mention of phanaeng appears in Mom Somchin Rachanupraphan's book Tamra Kap Khao, published in 1890. A popular phanaeng curry dish is pork phanaeng.
 

Hehehe ... 

I've had Penang curry in Thailand. Most Thai restaurants in the UK, are very light on the chili compared to Thailand. The only similar ones in Thailand, are the ones full of tourists.

I have been to Malaysia but many years ago, not too keen on the  humidity.

Malaysian food is also pretty spicy I seem to remember.

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On 06/01/2021 at 10:56, tIANcI said:

Clarity
The new XD’s highs and mids are smoother and this makes the sound presented to be clearer. Without any measurements I would not be able to say if there is an extra extension to the highs or any bump of the mids but it is safe to say that the frequency in this range is smoother.

If the drivers haven't changed it is likely that it is a change in the response which is producing the increase in "perceived clarity" and that is usually associated will less smoothness.

On 06/01/2021 at 10:56, tIANcI said:

Amazing Vocal Reproduction
The new XD has taken this a notch or two up. Vocals are definitely clearer with slightly more weight. It does sound very slightly more forward but definitely non-fatiguing. There is density to it. It sure is a welcomed improvement. But I won’t use ‘amazing’. It was pretty good with the P3ESR and Harbeth has made it better.

Idem

On 06/01/2021 at 10:56, tIANcI said:

Realistic & Tuneful Bass
Now this is the most obvious improvement with the XD. The bass is definitely stronger and more tuneful. In the past the 100 Hz BBC bump did help the P3ESR sound larger. Yes, the P3ESR did have a tuneful bass but now it’s better.

Idem

Also there's hardly midbass hump in the P3ESR if at all, what the Stereophile plot shows is an artefact which results from the nearfield measurement of the mid-woofer:

The rise in the upper bass will be, as usual, due to the nearfield measurement assuming a 2pi environment; without that bump, the speaker's low frequencies will be down by 6dB at the woofer's tuning frequency of 70Hz. This is definitely a miniature speaker, but the upper bass isn't exaggerated to anywhere near the extent it was in the original BBC LS3/5A.

810Harfig3.jpg

Harbeth P3ESR, anechoic response on tweeter axis at 50" without grille, averaged across 30° horizontal window and corrected for microphone response, with nearfield woofer response plotted below 300Hz.

810Harfig7.jpg

Harbeth P3ESR, spatially averaged, 1/6-octave response in JA's listening room (red) and of HL-P3ES2 (blue).

https://www.stereophile.com/content/harbeth-p3esr-loudspeaker-measurements

So the real question for me is "were there any chances to the drivers"?

.

The problem with reviews or marketing statements is that they generate expectation bias on the listener.

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On 06/01/2021 at 11:20, tIANcI said:

Possibly ... if I were to just settle for a pair or two only. Highly possible. If limited to a single pair, M30.2 XD! 😬

I’ve owned the LS50 but not the Meta. I bought the LS50 due to all the hype. If it’s between P3ESR and LS50 at same price, I’ll take the P3ESR for sure. There’s more refinement with the P3ESR but loses out on bass and being a hard hitting speaker.

But as you rightly pointed out, choice of music will be a big determining factor.

Need to get the local distributor to let me review the new Meta.

The tonal balance of the Meta has much improved, the tweeter response is no longer exaggerated/shelved-up by 3dB as it was before and it looks as though the distortion level has been reduced in the upper mids.

I don't know what you mean by "refinement" but ultimately as always it's down to personal preference. Technically the LS50 Meta is a better, more accurate speaker.

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I have been trying out various configurations with the P3ESR.  Just connected up the P3s with my Benchmark DAC1 & Marantz PM11S2 and Deco Double Atlas speaker cables and the difference between this and the Benchmark DAC1 & Quad 909 was very noticeable as were the differences between my Benchmark DAC1 and Luxman DA 100.  These speakers are capable of easily revealing differences between components and analogue cables.  

My wife walked into the studio yesterday just to tell me how great the speakers sounded.  My wife has a great (very sensitive) ear.  She is not a musician nor trained in any way but she can hear differences in sound more easily than me; and this after KJ West One told me that I was one of their more fussy customers!

The P3ESR is a great little speaker and should be on anyones shortlist looking for something this size.

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