We thought it would be fun to take a closer look at some speaker models that have been very popular at Audio Advice and around the world, beginning with PSB Speakers. We became a dealer for PSB in the winter of 2010. Since then they have, without question, become our favorite value oriented speaker line. With the release of their first headphone in April of 2012, the PSB M4U2, they also became our top choice in a value headphone.
Since the inception of PSB 40 years ago by Paul Barton (the “S” stands for his wife Sue), they have devoted themselves to making speakers that offer natural reproduction of music while being affordable. Paul is a trained classical violinist and has a great ear for sound, plus he has an uncanny knack for figuring out how to pack a huge amount of value into a speaker. He does almost all of his research at the NRC, Canada’s National Research Center. There they have the best acoustic lab in the world, and a bevy of top scientists to help Canadian companies produce better products.
PSB has the distinction of having more speaker models by a mile than any other brand in the recommended component listings of several magazines. Three of these models really stand out for us, so let’s start with the amazing value packed Alpha B1 bookshelf speaker.
The Alpha B1 at $299 a pair is probably the most award winning speaker on the planet! This has become our best-selling speaker at Audio Advice, and once you hear it, you will understand why. It’s a small bookshelf design using a 5.25” woofer with a .75” ferro cooled tweeter, but there is nothing small about the sound. Typically when we demonstrate these, people think they are worth double or triple their price. They have amazing bass response for a small bookshelf and will do a great job filling up a pretty good sized room. They have also been the subject of almost 20 industry write ups (PSB Alpha reviews) and numerous awards. If you are just starting out and want to get your first pair of “real” speakers, we can think of no better choice than the PSB Alpha B1. And, as with all the PSB models, there is a full complement of matching speakers to help you put together a great surround system.
The Imagine T is a small floor standing speaker whose elegant looks fit well in just about any living space. The Imagine has compound curves on all surfaces so it does not look like your typical tower speaker. It uses a dual woofer system coupled to a 1” titanium tweeter. Paul spent a great deal of time developing both the bass drivers and the cabinet for the Imagine series. The bass drivers are clay ceramic filled polypropylene cones. The end result is very extended deep bass in a very compact cabinet. As with all of the PSB speakers, you can sit and listen to these for hours on end without getting tired of listening (you actually get into the music so much, it’s hard to stop listening). Even in the short time they have been out, they have received lots of recognition (PSB Imagine reviews). Starting at $2200/pair, these need to be on your short list of speakers when you are looking for something better.
PSB’s top of the line speaker series is Synchrony, and the top of Synchrony is the Synch 1. Our founder, Leon Shaw, actually likes these so much he now has a complete Synchrony home theater system. The Synch 1 has the best bass response you will find under $15-$20K and they are far less at $5500 per pair. They are a three way system using 3 bass drivers. Paul did a great amount of research on how drivers react to floor boundaries and developed a design that has incredibly flat bass just about anywhere in your room. Once again, he has a unique cabinet design where the front and rear is actually a solid sheet of aluminum. The curved sides of the speaker are compressed to fit into it, which then makes the cabinet totally rigid. Each of the five drivers has its own internal cabinet that is then further isolated from the front and back of the speaker. When you consult magazine reviews, you will see this PSB speaker in the same category as speakers costing three to twenty times its price! (PSB Synchrony reviews). You’ll also notice there are over 20 reviews on this great product.
We hope this gives you a taste of why we like PSB at Audio Advice. Take the time to check out and read the many reviews, and you will see the world agrees with us! Please feel free to visit either our Raleigh or Charlotte locations, as we have just about every PSB model on display for you to try out. You can also see and hear them featured in our $9995 fully installed value theater in both stores.