Harbeth P3ESR vs Fritz Rev 5 vs DeVore Gibbon 3XL

Ok, here's the deal.....

I'd like to assemble a secondary two channel music system in my small den. It is only 11.5 ft by 11.5 ft .....so not only is it very small, but also square! Also, because the room is so small, the speakers will have to be placed quite close to the wall that resides behind the back of the speaker. Yikes!

The music I'd like to listen to in this room would be vocals, violin/cello sonatas, piano, and anything acoustical in nature.

Tone and timbre are of paramount importance to me. I do not want to use a subwoofer.....hoping one would not be needed for the above listed music types.

There are no Fritz dealers, but he does allow an in home trial....very nice!
The closest DeVore dealer is several states away from me.
The closest Harbeth dealer is a 12 hour round trip car ride for me.

So, if anyone here has had any experience with the above mentioned speakers and could share any insight of how they may perform in my small and non-optimum room.....it would be greatly appreciated.
Hello Mightyburner,

Thank you for your post. Yes, Fritz does seem like a really great guy. We have been emailing back and forth a few times.

When you mentioned that the bass seemed a little overwhelming.....that is a big concern of mine. With this room being so small and being square, it will be difficult to find a speaker to work well, I'm afraid.

I tried stuffing the ports of my vintage Tannoys when I had them in this room. I felt that it changed the sound too much in a negative way. It simply didn't sound "right". Did you notice anything when you stuffed the ports on your REV 5's?

I suppose I could look into digital room correction. I have never done so before and so this would be completely new to me.

I appreciate your response !
Hello R_burke,

For this room, I am planning on using a custom tube amp that utilizes a pair of German EL84's per channel, with a very robust power supply that will give me a very fast, dynamic, yet full bodied 15 watts in push/pull.

Both Fritz and a dealer for the DeVore 3XL thought that this amp would work well with there speakers. I know that the sensitivity of the Harbeths are on the low side, but it's been said that they are a pretty easy load.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this though.
So on paper your best bet spec wise is the DeVore, but I haven't heard it, so can't speak to voicing of the speaker, but speaker choice is more than just specs. I have a similar amp, Manley Mahi and in triode it is ~18W. I prefer the voicing of the Fritz over the Harbeth because I think it is more lively, I personally find the Harbeth somewhat sterile, others would applaud this as neutral.
In a 13 by 11 x 8 over the course of a few months
I brought home many pairs of mini and mediem box speakers hooked up to small EL 34 Tube amps.
Some were sealed, some ported, front, back etc
After many hours of trying to no avail
to make Johnny Cash sound like himself & enjoy all types of music I popped in a pair of Vandersteen 1 Cs
tilted back leveled on weighted bases it hit me like a brick.
Why didnt I just try these in the first place.
Some folks worry so much of what they read they never try...
Bass is the foundation of the music. without it there is no music.
JohnnyR Vandersteen dealer 20 years
No regrets,
I don't have any direct experience with any of the three you listed either but all three (including tracking down an older pair of Proac 1sc which I have owned before) were ones I was looking at as well as den speaker for a den 13' by 13'. I had pretty much settled on the p3esr it having been the only Harbeth model I have yet to own at one point minus the 30.1 in the current lineup, having 40.1 in my main rig for the past 4 years.
Last minute I became intrigued by all the accolades the Kef ls50 was getting overseas and had someone I trusted tell me I just had to give them a listen. I bought them without hearing them and have been extremely pleased, so much so I posted my first thread in several years a few weeks back on them.

Like the Devore they are rear ported. Kef provides a foam plug with an inner plug that can be removed for a partial tune of the port as well. I have mine mounted high in a built in bookshelf (big no no) that I treated acoustically a little and they sound stellar. I have the port half plugged. They are drop dead on vocals, acoustic woods and strings, and maybe the best piano I have yet heard, they are that solid. I drive them with 20 Accuphase watts and Prism and vinyl front end.
They should be on your list. inexpensive too. Easy to try and resell if they did not do it for you but I have a feeling I know the sound you are after and these have it in spades.