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Tricky Harbeth P3ESR vs Kef LS50 question


DomT
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The one thing I wouldn't do, even if I sold speakers, is slag off someone else's choices.

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13 minutes ago, PuritéAudio said:

You are correct those terms are completely meaningless, it is now possible to have a completely full-range loudspeaker, placed wherever you like whose bass is adjustable so there is no ‘boom’, just deep tight controlled bass response.

Keith

I've heard the Double Dutch & K9 speakers you sell. I initially thought they were impressive but I soon found them to be lacking something. Each to their own, though. I would never rubbish anyone else's choices.

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3 minutes ago, PuritéAudio said:

You are correct those terms are completely meaningless, it is now possible to have a completely full-range loudspeaker, placed wherever you like whose bass is adjustable so there is no ‘boom’, just deep tight controlled bass response.

Keith

That sounds like marketing fluff to me ;).

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48 minutes ago, Nopiano said:

That’s a great reminder of fundamental instrumental ranges, but it fails to show overtones, which is one of the ways we know a piano from a piccolo!  

Overtones and harmonics are at frequencies above the fundamental frequency of the note the instrument is playing. Hence on the graph if the lowest a bass guitar can get get down to 31Hz which is a B (I though it would be an open E , 41Hz, on the bottom string but I guess the bottom string can be tuned to the B below that E) then all overtones and Harmonic will be at frequencies above that 31Hz. 

At the top end, if the highest a human can hear is about 20kHz (more like 14kHz for a bloke of my age I believe if I''m lucky) then the graph displays quite well what we can expect a speaker to reproduce given its specs.

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34 minutes ago, Camverton said:

Quite so, with the best hifi you find yourself listening to music not audio equipment. Of course, it’s best if speakers reproduce the full range but hifi that sounds like music is, in the long term, much better than something that is merely impressive.

The problem I have is that with the best hi-fi (presumably v expensive kit), I would find myself listening to the equipment not the music, wondering whether the outlay had been justified. With good budget kit I find it much easier to forget the kit and just listen to the music.

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15 minutes ago, PeteVid said:

Overtones and harmonics are at frequencies above the fundamental frequency of the note the instrument is playing. Hence on the graph if the lowest a bass guitar can get get down to 31Hz which is a B (I though it would be an open E , 41Hz, on the bottom string but I guess the bottom string can be tuned to the B below that E) then all overtones and Harmonic will be at frequencies above that 31Hz. 

At the top end, if the highest a human can hear is about 20kHz (more like 14kHz for a bloke of my age I believe if I''m lucky) then the graph displays quite well what we can expect a speaker to reproduce given its specs.

Hi Pete, what I was saying is the graphic only showed the fundamental.  The overtones go far higher than that portrayed - as you acknowledge by mentioning the top end of human hearing. (Like you, 14kHz would be a luxury!). 
Here’s something I found from Mr Google which shows both fundamental and harmonics, and illustrates why speakers need to go higher that the 4kHz portrayed on the earlier graphic. That was the distinction I was trying, but failed, to make.  I think we are actually agreeing!
7A394707-2646-4F3C-AE5C-7D800D722D22.thumb.jpeg.bfe02f71cc8957c212bc2a049357ebda.jpeg
 

Apologies to @DomT for almost straying into music!  Heaven forbid. ;-) 

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Ah yes that's a more interesting chart. So a speaker that can go down to 50Hz say,  you would be missing the fundamental frequency of notes played on instruments that go below 50Hz but the speaker should re-produce the harmonics and overtones above 50Hz hence one can still hear their presence.

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44 minutes ago, PeteVid said:

The problem I have is that with the best hi-fi (presumably v expensive kit), I would find myself listening to the equipment not the music, wondering whether the outlay had been justified. With good budget kit I find it much easier to forget the kit and just listen to the music.

That’s a good point. I think one of the most valuable characteristics of a loudspeaker, regardless of price, is when you find yourself swept away by the music rather than being impressed by the sound - not that there’s anything wrong with that for those whose boats are floated that way.

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On 25/08/2020 at 08:48, DomT said:

Dear friends I really need your help on this one. 

We are now in Portugal and as suspected I have a speaker problem. Current system Luxman PD171/AudioNote/Trilogy 907; Auralic Altair G1; Marantz PM11S2; Harbeth SHL5. (TV has no built in speakers) Lounge/diner 5.7m x 3.1 (into alcove). High ceilings. It’s a very lively room.

The only space for HiFi is this alcove. There is no way to rearrange our living space; believe me we have tried. We sit directly in front of the alcove. It’s a huge compromise.

As you can see from the photos the SHL5 would be ridiculously large for that specific space and are too heavy and awkward to move around for when 10 people come to lunch at the weekend etc etc So it has to be small easy to move speakers.

I took the P3ESR from the studio and tried them out. Good on most music apart from anything with deep synth bass like Goldfrapp and not so great on action films.

The internet consensus opinion seems to be that the LS50 is better than P3ESR for film and electronic and rock music. And the P3ESR better for jazz and lighter pop.

How close do they sound to each other given that the P3ESR is double the price? If close then maybe I would buy the LS50. 

Many thanks

Dom

0167C0F6-2D5C-4449-87F4-AA78087B5088.jpeg

BDEC8214-86EE-4EB2-90C3-683F7AC9CD9B.jpeg

Hi Dom, it looks like your in a very unfortunate non symmetrical situation. Probably unlikely to ever get what you had or what your looking for. 
based on what I know about what ‘sound’ you like, the Kefs would be a downwards move in every way. The room and speaker size is never going to reproduce what you had in the UK. 
I know you said a sub is not on the menu but remember, bass is totally non directional and placement in the room for a sub is less critical than the monitors themselves. 
this layout you have is always going to be an issue. Don’t sell the Harbeths in favour for similar sized speakers, you won’t get better, just different.

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On 25/08/2020 at 20:44, PuritéAudio said:

Both start rolling off around 80Hz the Harbeth has a peak before rolling off, you are not going to have deep bass with traditional  passive designs, what is the issue with the current speaker where they are now ?

Keith

Keith this is what you said.  As you know I don't know how to read graphs or technical info.  My question still stands.  If both start rolling off at 80Hz does that mean that the bass is the same on both - and which is the other speaker that you are referring to - LS50 or SCM100?  

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34 minutes ago, PeteVid said:

Ah yes that's a more interesting chart. So a speaker that can go down to 50Hz say,  you would be missing the fundamental frequency of notes played on instruments that go below 50Hz but the speaker should re-produce the harmonics and overtones above 50Hz hence one can still hear their presence.

Indeed, though funnily enough I was actually thinking more about the higher frequencies.  But yes, if the fundamental is say a low organ pedal at 35Hz, at which frequency the speaker is about 20dB down, yet like the ones we’re debating here, it has a strong 70Hz output, it might easily fool you into thinking you heard the 35Hz, as there will in any case be lots of higher harmonics.   That’s why small speakers can work so well, because they don’t excite troublesome room modes and our brains fill in the missing bits!  

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9 minutes ago, radiant red said:

Hi Dom, it looks like your in a very unfortunate non symmetrical situation. Probably unlikely to ever get what you had or what your looking for. 
based on what I know about what ‘sound’ you like, the Kefs would be a downwards move in every way. The room and speaker size is never going to reproduce what you had in the UK. 
I know you said a sub is not on the menu but remember, bass is totally non directional and placement in the room for a sub is less critical than the monitors themselves. 
this layout you have is always going to be an issue. Don’t sell the Harbeths in favour for similar sized speakers, you won’t get better, just different.

Thanks Jon really appreciate your advice and you are probably spot-on.  I initially bought the Marantz N7000 for this space as I knew that it would be a problem but never imagined that it would be as bad as it is.  Polished stone floors and bad acoustics and a double door opening at the other end of the room are not a good combo for any speaker let alone tiny ones!

On complex music the echo causes a real problem and the bass on most music just is in the background. I was listening to some Mozart piano and from an octave below middle C the notes were very quiet when they shouldn't be.

Am loathed to take a punt on something and the sound in this room is so bad that I might just get a pair of £200 QAcoustics speakers.  Regarding a sub this could be an answer but have never ever heard one that has integrated well; I always hear the main speaker and separately the sub and it sounds rubbish as a result.

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24 minutes ago, DomT said:

Keith this is what you said.  As you know I don't know how to read graphs or technical info.  My question still stands.  If both start rolling off at 80Hz does that mean that the bass is the same on both - and which is the other speaker that you are referring to - LS50 or SCM100?  

It also depends upon the output of the bass at 80hz, the graph has the frequency on the X-axis, look along here for the frequency where the bass begins to roll off, ( each bar is 10Hz) 

the Y-axis is output, measured in  dB look here to see the level of the bass, you can also look at the steepness of the roll-off, essentially you are not going to get deep bas from small traditional designs.

Keith

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1 minute ago, PuritéAudio said:

It also depends upon the output of the bass at 80hz, the graph has the frequency on the X-axis, look along here for the frequency where the bass begins to roll off, ( each bar is 10Hz) 

the Y-axis is output, measured in  dB look here to see the level of the bass, you can also look at the steepness of the roll-off, essentially you are not going to get deep bas from small traditional designs.

Keith

I give up.  I keep telling you that I have no idea how to read graphs.  I don't see the point about you ramming measurements down people's throats if you then will not help people when they ask questions.  If I knew how to read the graphs I would not need to ask you questions.  But you always seem to not want to actually make any comments and just refer people to technical info.  

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1 hour ago, DomT said:

Thanks Jon really appreciate your advice and you are probably spot-on.  I initially bought the Marantz N7000 for this space as I knew that it would be a problem but never imagined that it would be as bad as it is.  Polished stone floors and bad acoustics and a double door opening at the other end of the room are not a good combo for any speaker let alone tiny ones!

On complex music the echo causes a real problem and the bass on most music just is in the background. I was listening to some Mozart piano and from an octave below middle C the notes were very quiet when they shouldn't be.

Am loathed to take a punt on something and the sound in this room is so bad that I might just get a pair of £200 QAcoustics speakers.  Regarding a sub this could be an answer but have never ever heard one that has integrated well; I always hear the main speaker and separately the sub and it sounds rubbish as a result.

I’d ignore Purite, certainly never brought anything positive into any thread other than other people’s information. Anyway, a speaker size and bass driver will always dictate the overall ability of the speaker, we all know that but you have been so use to the HL5s and that will be a hard act to follow. Is this going to be your permanent place of residence moving forward? 

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