Nova plus P3ESR plus Tellerium Silver 11?

This is my system, I have gone through various exercises and I think made an error of judgement . I had a five box system 200/202 system which needed a service and would have been very, very difficult to put back.

I have two wonky knees, one cataract and have had extensive surgery many years ago - which makes me want to avoid heavy objects thanks to two incisional hernias and a large amount of mesh

To cut a long story short - I ended up with a Nova and Harbeth P3ESR , which are great when being streamed, bass light but that is a by -product of such small speakers , great with voices. My tastes are Cassidy, Baez, Cohen, Black

My other equipment is a CDX2 (around 2002 - no digital output) and a Clearaudio Emotion ,
since switching from previous amplifier (for non audio reasons) and going to the Nova, material from CD and TT have dropped off in quality. I listen to Radio 3 a lot and the streaming is superb. I would put the drop -off in sound quality from existing sources at around 15% , it sounds thinner and less rich. There is also a NAT03 as I live in a rural location with “iffy” broadband

My feeling is that I should stay with the Nova and the speakers and perhaps look at
1 A full Powerline
2 Upgrading the speaker cable from Chord Shawline to something like Tellerium Silver 11
3 Consider “retiring” the CDX2 and perhaps a CD transport

Given the almost total revamp of the system in the last few years , I am favouring 1&2 and concentrating on getting the best out of the Nova rather than changing equipment .

My idea for the Tellerium comes from both it’s price point of £600 fo 3.5 metres but it’s sounds qualities .

IMG_0125 (2)

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Ian, I’d gently question exactly what you are unhappy with. Your oft-voiced feeling that the Nova isn’t ideal with your speakers appears to me to be the underlying issue. Looking at different speaker leads and powerlines won’t change that. You’d merely be moving the deckchairs.

Should you change your speakers? Is the Nova really good enough to give you the enjoyment you crave? Do you need a CD player at all, given that you have embraced streaming? These are the questions I feel you should be asking yourself.

I don’t know whether you are able to drive, given your health challenges, but if you are, and fancy a trip to the sunny south coast, you’d be very welcome and you might find hearing different speakers with a better source helpful in your decision making.


Thanks Nigel , your comments are appreciated no problem driving - it’s lifting , kneeling and changing leads

I don’t want to go to floor standers , but my dealer is suggesting Spendor A4 and I think he may have a point

Truth is I am a bit conflicted , the Nova sounds great when streaming and I listen to Radio 3 all day sometimes , but with existing sources less so . I am wondering about the A/D converter .

I have reservations about streaming services and the way they pay artists , so want to stay with CD

Best wishes


I’m asking the same question, what are you wanting to change ???
I’m guessing the ‘thin’ (bass light) sound from the P3ESR’s …
… You cannot change much to make them sound less bass light, these are mini monitors & have no real bass, they have a bass hump at 150Hz & they roll off below that, aprx -10dB in the 50Hz bass region.
I would think about a speaker change or (I hate to suggest - a sub)

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Ian, I wasn’t suggesting on line streaming, which I don’t do either, rather ripping CDs to a nas or just buying downloads. If you do want to pop down, let me know and Richard can put us in touch.

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A small sub might be an option . I don’t want extra clutter but it is a route I may go down

Mike, that said my ProAcs don’t have a thin sound. They won’t flap your trousers but you’d never think ‘no bass’. The P3ESR seems to have a reputation for being a bit of a challenge to drive.

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I believe you have a fine set. All it requires is that the speakers have a wall behind and between them. But there is obviously a reason why the Harbeths are placed as they are in your pic.

I apologise for the bluntness of my reply, especially in the light of the physical health problems that you are facing.

Hoping it works out for you, Ian.


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Thanks, what I’ve tried to do is explain the physical aspects of this , just wondering if better cables and a Powerline would nudge it up a few points .

I must confess I hadn’t thought of a NAS

That would enable high def downloads fed directly into the Nova

A powerline will give your nova more authority (had one so speaking from experience) and the tellurium q silver is a detailed cable that can be a bit bass shy… I would look at witch hat phantom or naca5. If you want a bit more bass then I’m using Dynaudio evoke 10 and they are a full analogue sound

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You connect the nas to your network and then stream over ethernet. The nas can live in another room, thereby avoiding clutter. Rip the CD on the computer or just buy downloads. It’s all very easy once you get the hang of it.

I don’t think a Powerline will solve everything but I certainly think it will help. If you can get one 2nd hand, you can always sell it on at minimal cost if it doesn’t work for you. I found a Powerline made a significant difference for me with my Nova.

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I agree re ProAc Tab 10’s Nigel, I know someone with a pair & they are very nice.
But that said, he & his wife are both choral singers & most all their music is of that or similar genre - i.e. no significant low bass content
Then a second think, he has his Tablette’s wall brkt mounted, yours are close to wall on stands, but I notice @Ian2001 picture shows his Harbeths are stand mounted with some space behind to curtains & a door opening. Both will not enhance any bass & maybe the opening is attenuating bass. Not sure much can be done outside a room change


As I understand it the Harbeths are designed for open space whereas the Tab 10 is optimised for close to wall placement. Ian’s setup has always looked a bit questionable, with the speakers incredibly close to the hifi boxes and the TV, and I wonder if slotting small floorstanders in the gaps would work better. Maybe a sub is the answer. Or an answer at least. I wonder whether the speakers could be located on a different wall.

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As beautiful looking as those stands are (I’ve got 2 legged one’s with a pair of Dali ikon 1 mk2 with ‘Qute’ in a second room) - I think they might be better with stands like HH’s :+1:t2:

Certainly Harbeths are supposed to be well matched to open framed stands. I’ve never been convinced by Hifi racks stuff - the stands and the way they resonate has a huge effect on stand mount speakers. ProAc’s standard recommendation is for super heavy filled stands, but mine are actually quite light, which I think suits the thin walled heavily damped cabinets. I’m sure they’d work well with the Spendors. The only problem is that I have the last ever pair made.

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Thanks, I was concerned they may be cables that looked good on paper but might exacerbate the problem .

The Evoke 10 are a brand stocked by my dealer

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Many possibilities and suggestions here. Good point on the stands from Hifi Racks. If I’m guessing it correctly, they are solid oak and cost £528 a pair from Audiologica. The stands do aesthetically match the P3ESR as they look very nice together but I’m not so sure about the sound quality. As HH had pointed out, the Harbeth usually sounds more open and transparent with lightweight open frame stands. There are people who used Skylan stands with Harbeth only to realise that they had made a big mistake later on. If a stand change is not desired, isolation between stands and speaker can be an option (Isoacoustics Orea etc) but I’m not sure if it’s worth the hassle.

Presuming the Nova and P3ESR match is not the problem to the slightly thin and pale sound you are getting from the system, the other tweaks such as speaker cable and power cord upgrades may be worth exploring. Personally my gut feeling tells me the P3ESR are not optimised although they are limited in their bass response as highlighted by Mike B. Since an amp change is not an option, can’t do much here.

I think the best option is to try another speaker with the Nova that will eventually give you a more dramatic change and get you to your ideal sound. The open space (door) behind the speaker is not exactly a problem as my setup is also in a similar situation.

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It sounds like you are not too far away from being happy just something niggling. Have you got some NACA5 you can try for a while? This has recently given my system a very welcome and unexpected lift in synergy and cohesion.

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