Harbeth P3es-2 + Rel strata or Harbeth P7es-s?

Harbeth lovers,
Which choice is better, if the price is the same?
P3es-2 + Rel Strata or Harbeth P7es-2
It's called the "HL Compact 7ES-2" or "C7"

They are totally different speakers. The P3 is tiny, shoebox sized. The C7 is fairly large, with an 8 inch mid-woofer and big cabinet, about 20 inches high by 11-12 inches wide and a little deeper than wide. The C7 uses Harbeth's proprietary RADIAL material in the woofer cone, whereas the P3's woofer is made of polypropylene.

I replaced my first original P3's with C7's a few years ago, and moved the sub into another room with another pair of P3's. The C7 is much more dynamic, playing as loud as you'd ever want and filing the room with life sized performers, plus has this microdynamic finesse (little tiny variations in amplitude) and clearer and more natural in the midrange. I don't use a sub with the 7's, and don't miss one at all.

As good as the P3 is, and it's a steal at the price they sell it for, the C7 is markedly better.

I most recently hooked up my Compact 7ES-2's to a PS Audio HCA2, and I have heard them with a Plinius 102. I think the solid state amp really controls the bass on these speakers, and I don't feel a pressing need for a sub, although I don't think it would hurt. The vocals are still really beautiful with the HCA2, though a bit nicer with my Bruce Moore tube amp. The HCA2 sounds just slightly tipped up, and compared to the Bruce Moore maybe a little hollow in the lower-middle midrange - but still good enough to enjoy tremendously. The Bruce Moore is pretty good on the bass, but the SS amps are better.
I have heard ls3/5s with a sub (Actually the harbeth sub, not REL) and while it was good I'd probably get the compact 7. My reasoning is that the C7 is an all-round better speaker, and that at a later date you could add a sub if you get the desire and the funds. If you wanted to upgrade the P3/sub setup you'd have to sell one or other (probably the P3s) and each time you sell you lose money. Best to get the best you can and add.
I recently had a REL Strata III in my system which includes Harbeth Compact 7's and Naim electronics. My new listening room is large and I find the Harbeths, which I adore, to sound somewhat thin in this environment--thus the consideration of a sub. It worked fabulously. Though rather cynical about the claims of audiophiles and that which they read, I found the sub to enhance not only the bass but increasing soundstage presentation and internal detail. Highly recommended.
Dodgealum, just out of curiosity, how big is your room, how high are the speaker stands, and do you have anything like a coffee table between you and the speakers?
You should listen to Paul, he is the "cat daddy" of the comparison. I use a sub with C7s because I listen to better music than he does. [:)]

The C7s go low, but if you listen to big orchestral or organ music, you will add a sub down the road, (and be a happy man.)

Good luck,