My Harbeth system
I finally got around to set-up my bedroom system, using stuff set aside and accumulated across many years.
The center is a Harbeth P3ESR, w/c I got last year from an Indonesian store who carried a huge stock of this, hence I got some discount :). Unfortunately the poor pic does not show the quality of cabinetry w/c is faultless. Supporting cast: source is a tubed CDP from Thailand - Norh CD1, model long discontinued. Bought in 2000 before this CDP made a noise in the internet, I was accidentally pointed to it by an audiophile in Singapore. Though emails the guy narrated the CD1 was creating a buzz with his audio buddies, then he bought it himself and concurred his friends’ findings. He generously answered my questions over a heap of emails, and was a good taste for me of the solidarity of the audiophile community. Forums were still in its infancy then. Since I bought this CDP has seen mods and tube rolling. If there is one audio gear I will not let go, it is probably this.
Integrated amp is a Plinius 9200. I cannot forget the time I bought this in September 2003. This was a month after the Marriott hotel bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia, where I was having lunch with an associate in a restaurant at its mezzanine floor when the bomb exploded. My friend and I were lucky to come out unscratched, not to mention alive :). The following month on-the-way home to Philippines I passed by Singapore’s Adelphi (popular audio mall) to enjoy my good luck and bought this amp. The 9200 was so new at the time that according to the shop, the unit I got was the first and only one in the country.
Cabling S/C I/C are from Ridge Street Audio, a specialist outfit in the US. RSA is kind of an underground brand, google it and it will show up. Sometime a decade or so ago moving from one speaker cable to another I came across this brand, tried it, and suffice to say after a transformative improvement over other cables I stopped auditioning cable brands since. I now use RSA all the way, my main rig uses the signature version of these. The proprietor, Robert, is a breeze to deal with.
Power distribution is Hydra 4 and all Lessloss PCs. Lessloss is another underground brand from Russia, they are quite controversial as they make these scientific claims. To me their $550 PC is a good value, in my tests in my system this went toe to toe against a Shunyata Anaconda Helix PC; w/c was hard for me to accept initially as I already bought the Anaconda. The Hydra 4 to me is special as this purchase introduced me to a class act Philippine audio shop. It was in 2005 when I first dealt with AVDI Philippines. Without knowing me, over emails and phone, after promptly answering all my questions, they got me a Hydra 4 for a home demo with no fuzz. After I purchased the unit I received had a minor cosmetic flaw, this was quickly replaced with likewise no fuzz. Future transactions with the shop were similarly pleasurable.
How does the system sound? From what I read the P3ESR is sonically a descendant of the BBC LS3/5a monitor. I can now appreciate why many LS3/5a owners stay contented and connected to music. Whatever CD I played, despite the acoustically challenged room, this thing just sings. It may not be the last word on anything, but when listening this does not seem to matter as music just flows organically.