2009 Editors Choice Awards - Speakers

September 3, 2009

Under $500

PSB Alpha B1

Yet another “how does he do it?” loudspeaker from the prolific mind of Paul Barton. The new, more curvaceous Alpha combines mind-bending dynamics and rich mids in a speaker barely a foot tall. Even the midbass has a power and pitch definition rarely experienced in this modest price range. Only the nebulous soundstaging is less than excellent.

Reviewed by Neil Gader, Issue 170

$500-$1000

PSB T45/55

As successors to the popular Image Series, the T45 and T55 had big shoes to fill. These small and mid-sized floorstanders do not disappoint. Both are well balanced tonally, with superior driver integration, excellent output capability, and a fair amount of extension. Soundstaging is merely adequate, and the treble is coolish, but macrodynamics are gutsy and fine details delicately reproduced.

T45 reviewed by Jim Hannon, AVgM, Issue 11; T55 reviewed by Neil Gader, Issue 152

$1000-$1500

PSB Imagine B

Think Imagine T minus a midbass driver and a floorstanding enclosure. There’s the same voice in the expressive midrange and treble and, with only minor exceptions, the same superb balance. The B can’t quite chew on bass lines and kick drums and organ riffs as if there were rice cakes like the T can, but as if to compensate the B seems a bit lighter and fleeter of foot in the upper mids and lower treble.

Reviewed by Neil Gader, Issue 189

$1500-$2000

PSB Synchrony Two B

Another brilliant two-way compact from the wand of Paul Barton and crew. The “Mini-Me” to the larger Synchrony Two, the Two B is more of a classic “voice” speaker and a windfall for choral-music listeners and singer/songwriter aficionados. Capable of solid 60Hz extension, the Two B only shows a bit of port push and wobbly pitch as it approaches its bottom-end bump-stops. A decathlete with a well-honed balance that few competitors will be able to match.

Reviewed by Neil Gader, Issue 177

$3000-$5000

PSB Synchrony Two

A sonic extrovert, with a dark voluptuous tonality that reaches deep into the lower midrange and bottom octaves, the Synchrony Two offers bone-rattling, dynabic excitement in a sleek, five-driver, two-way, bass reflex design. Two of its woofers high-pass to the tweeter at differing frequencies, giving this PSB marvelous coherence and extension from bottom to top. A slight dip in the presence range and som residual lag in the bass suggest that careful attention to setup is required.

Reviewed by Neil Gader, Issue 177

NA
The Absolute Sound

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