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Integrated amp for P3 ESR

Discussion in 'audio' started by TonyScarlett, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    The P3-ESR speaker/amplifier relationship is an interesting one. I mentioned previously that I couldn’t tell much difference ( if any...) between a Quad 34/303 and an Arcam Alpha.
    I tried running the ‘ESRs from an Audiolab 8000A and found I preferred the Alpha or Quad to it.
    My Spendor BC1s sound excellent using the 8000A, but not quite so good using the 34/303. I haven’t tried the
    Spendors with the Alpha.
    No doubt other PFM members have similar experiences with various amplifiers and Harbeth speakers.
  2. tyrant

    tyrant pfm Member

    You can also noticeably alter the sound simply by moving the speakers a few inches one way or another.
  3. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    Go for it, the valve / mosfet combination with point to point hand wired simplicity is superb. No remote control though - but that can be retro fitted by Adrian of audiofiair if you really need one (www.audioflair.co.uk).

    And ask Adrian for advice on either the integrated with or without R, he has a deep knowledge regarding Croft amplification coupled with years of experience, and uses a pre/power in his reference system.

    Croft has been making amps for years; previously he had been designing amps with more bling appeal at a greater price, now however he is happy to remove the bling keeping a more utilitarian approach but still keeping (or even exceeding) the sound quality of previous generations.
    TimF likes this.
  4. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    Yes, l have briefly l have to say... had the PL Prologue Premium with the P3's on home demo.... l tried the PL with various loudspeakers and found the sound bland also l thought it struggled a tad to drive the P3's which really surprised me ( l was not the only person to think this) and disappointed as to look at the PL amps look amazing in the flesh... as l said before personally l think the P3 needs power and my ancient SONY TA-F770ES was the one amp that seemed to wake the P3's up, even then it did not go that loud...….hope this helps and good luck as in many ways the P3 is an amazing speaker.
    simon g likes this.
  5. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo

    Give Hegel a try. A couple of my customers run P3ESRs with relatively modest Hegel integrated amps.
  6. simon g

    simon g Grumpy Old Man

    This is also my experience with the P3ESR. Whilst most amps will work, of course, more powerful amps (in terms of watts and amps) definitely improve things. A Lyngdorf TDAi2200 worked well, as did a Primare i32 and an Audionet DNA 1. Having now had this speaker 3 times, on and off, I remain of the opinion that it is over rated and certainly over priced. Clearly, I'm in the minority. However, I do think many who buy this speaker are buying the myth more than the substance.
  7. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    But it managed to fool you 3 times ?
    TonyScarlett likes this.
  8. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    The previous "bling" amps were not usually produced by Croft but by his "distributor" and nowhere near as good as his 25 and 7 range, which are 100% Croft.
  9. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Is ‘buying the myth’ common in the audio world ? I would agree that many ( mainly Far East buyers ) buy LS3/5as
    in the way you describe, but not all by any means.
    As for the ‘ESR, it may well sell on its reputation, but I feel sure buyers don’t think they’re buying a myth.
  10. Tarzan

    Tarzan pfm Member

    The P3's if you like them are probably one of the best speakers on the planet- l was certainly amazed when l heard them- it is all about opinions they are certainly creeping up in price mind.

    interestingly enough the amp l went with in the end Vincent SV-237MK would have made a good partner with the P3s however went with ProAc Tablette 10 in the end, however at the end of the day it is all about synergy isn't it.:)
  11. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    The P3s are certainly expensive, but so are the Falcon Acoustics LS3/5as.
    A fair bit more expensive than the Harbeths...
  12. simon g

    simon g Grumpy Old Man

    Well, I really wanted to see how they react to different amps and I enjoy swapping stuff about, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford to. I do like them but I just don't understand why they have their reputation. They're good, but so are many others, often at a lower price. So, not fooled at all, just like trying things for myself.

    I can see that I've ruffled the feathers of the Harbeth collective, so I'll get my coat.
  13. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    No need. I happen to think the P3ESR is a fantastic speaker, but for that money?...forget it.
  14. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    One is not only paying for sound quality but the finish if buying a Harbeth speaker. The rosewood or cherry finish on the P3ESR is premium quality when compared to other cheaper alternatives.

    The idea (with any Harbeth) is to buy a £1500 speaker and then drive it with a £100 amplifier. So you save quite a bit on the amplification but I understand not everyone buys into that.
  15. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    My Harbeth P3ESR sound fine with a NAD C316BEE. But that was a bit pricey at £180 ex-dem ;)
  16. herb

    herb music live

    I just checked the recent prices out of interest. C7(3) are about £2600 and my amp - ATC integrated £3600. The ATC dominates the C7s and the warm/sugar nature is removed, the result is very dynamic and realistic even at very quiet levels, a great combination.
  17. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    As much as I think Alan Shaw rolls out the ‘all amps sound the same’ for his personal gain, my competitor Spendor’s (S3/5R2’s) sound very nice on the end of an ageing budget Sony amp.
  18. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    My Spendors ( BC1s ) sounded very good on the end of a low cost Sony amp.
    It was a TA88.
    PhilofCas likes this.
  19. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    Or you could apply Naims old fashioned 80s idea that the speaker doesn’t matter too much if you spend all your equity release on their amps and power supplies.

    I don’t buy into that one either.

    Harbeths are IMO beautiful and tasteful British speakers and worth the money should you desire them but not all of your money goes on sq. You can get top sound reproduction without spending quite as much.
    narabdela likes this.
  20. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    ...or Linn's idea that the neither the amp or speakers mattered too much as long as you spent big on an LP12 rig. There was a lot of hi-fi b*llocks spouted in the eighties. Alan Shaw's claims seem mild in comparison.
    TLS, Old Shatterhand and TheDecameron like this.

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