TAS - Synchrony preview

October 1, 2007

PSB in “Synch” with L.A.

PSB Speakers have long been known as the preeminent high-value performers of the high end. But when PSB chief engineer and founder Paul Barton announces a new line of statement products, he gets everyone’s attention. Unveiled for invited guests at the Universal City Hilton in Los Angeles, the seven-model range is known as Synchrony. In development for three years and designed from the ground up, the Synchrony speakers feature a small footprint and sleek sculptural finish. The Synchrony Series includes the Synchrony One and Synchrony Two towers, the Synchrony One B and Synchrony Two B compacts, the Synchrony One C and Synchrony Two C center channels, plus the Synchrony S “tri-mode” surround, engineered for side and rear locations in multichannel systems.

The Synchrony enclosures are a departure for PSB, incorporating extruded-aluminum corners and tapered rear panels that lock into veneered, seven-laminate wood-composite, curved sidepanels – the goal to ensure enclosures that are as non-resonant and coloration-free as any the company has yet produced. A new generation of extended-response titanium done tweeters ahs been developed, with lighter, stiffer voice-coil components and enhanced mechanical systems for improved high-output linearity. Similar advancements in linearity and dynamic headroom have also been extended to the line’s 6.5” and 5.25” cone woofers and the Synchrony One’s 4” midrange. All Synchrony cone drivers use a newly developed sandwich laminate diaphragm of woven fiberglass and compressed, felted natural materials, as well as ultra-rigid, cast aluminum baskets. Crossovers are fourth-order Linkwitz-Riley type.

The Synchrony One is a five-driver “five-way transitional” array, in which three identical 6.5” woofers sum their outputs across the lowest octaves but roll off at different frequencies throughout the midrange – a technique found to smooth response both on-axis and off. Each driver operates in a slightly different, fully isolated enclosure, and each is independently ported. The Synchrony Two is similar in its overall design, employing smaller 5.25” woofers. Its narrower footprint is ideal for more intimate settings, yet its performance is said to nearly match the S1. The One B is a 6.5” two-way capable of 40Hz low-frequency extension, and the Synchrony Two B, a 5.25” two-way model for more intimate settings. The Synchrony One C center channel is a large three-way design using the same drivers as the Synchrony One in a dual-woofer, horizontal layout. With 40Hz low-frequency extension, it’s ideal for the “large” center-channel setting preferred in high-performance multichannel systems. The Synchrony Two C is a more compact version of the Synchrony One C employing dual 5.25” woofers. Intended for side/rear-channel placement in multichannel installations, the Synchrony S is a dedicated “tri-mode” speaker with twin two-way arrays sourced from the Synchrony One B. It can be operated as a dipole-surround, as a monopole, or in bipole for maximum coverage, dispersion, and output.

I was able to gather some preliminary impressions of the Synchrony One and Synchrony Two B, and was struck by the tonal balance these two speakers share – even though they reside at opposite extremes of the Synchrony range. Naturally the Synchrony One tower held the advantage in dynamic headroom and low-frequency extension, but the midrange “voice” of these speakers was nearly indistinguishable. Driver coherence was excellent; port and cabinet colorations were vanishingly low. Especially noteworthy were the rich midrange and lack of any material colorations from the new tweeter. TAS has already arranged for review samples of the Synchrony One and Synchrony Two B, so stay tuned for full reviews. Neil Gader

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