Date Placeholder Pre-1972 Read More Musical Roots 1972 Read More Founding of PSB Speakers 1973 Read More Beta II 1974 Read More Avanté II / Passif II 1980 Read More Project B2 1985 Read More R-Series 1986 Read More Atom 1988 Read More Athena Project 1989 Read More Global Expansion 1990 Read More Stratus Gold 1991 Read More Alpha Series 1997 Read More Home Theatre & Custom Installation 2000 Read More Next Generation 2007 Read More Synchrony Series 2011 Read More M4U 2 2014 Read More Imagine T3 Present Read More Continued Innovations Pre-1972 Musical Roots As a young boy, Paul Barton was surrounded by musical influences. At the age of 11, Paul looked on as his dad built him his first full-sized violin. He grew fond appreciation for the patience, craftsmanship and artistry that went into creating the instrument. This level of detail would later transfer into the way Paul approached speaker making – fueled by the same passion and technical precision of his father. In his adolescent years, Paul played violin in the youth orchestra, winning competitions against youth older than him. He a member of the A/V Club and often was in charge the sound systems for school shows and local bars. During this time, Paul also became interested in electronics and started making stops at a local electronics shop in his home town of Kitchener, Ontario. 1972 Founding of PSB Speakers Throughout high school Paul Barton worked part-time at a local hi-fi shop where the owner let him sell speaker kits he built to local university students and developed a love of the hi-fi business. Upon finishing high school, in the summer of 1972, Paul and two friends pooled their savings and started PSB Speakers, naming the company after Paul Barton (the P & B) as he was the only one of the trio to understand acoustic design, while the “S” was added at Paul’s request to include his high school sweetheart and future wife Sue, in the venture. The first factory was located in St. Jacobs, Ontario, where PSB Speakers would reside for the first eight years. Paul split his time between attending the University of Waterloo and managing his growing speaker business. 1973 Beta II The PSB Speakers Beta II caught the attention of prominent National Research Council acoustics researcher, Dr Floyd E. Toole, and jumpstarted the decades long friendship and professional collaboration with Paul Barton. Introduction to formal acoustics methods Paul Barton befriended top researchers in the field such as Dr. Floyd E. Toole which led to his regular travels to the state-of-the-art acoustics facilities at the National Research Council in Ottawa. Here Paul was able to test and design his speakers in anechoic chambers and perform “double-blind listening tests”, where he used the most sophisticated equipment available in both objective experimentation and subjective listening tests to determine what was truly important to the human ear. He took this research and “translated” it into speaker design, eventually establishing a consistent sound signature for PSB products. 1974 Avanté II First speaker launched by PSB incorporating early findings of Barton’s experiments at the NRC. Passif II The Passif II is the culmination of years of Barton’s research at the NRC and represents the first speaker to carry the sound signature that PSB is now known for: true-to-nature, transparent, and non-fatiguing. 1975 Passif II The Passif II is the culmination of years of Barton’s research at the NRC and represents the first speaker to carry the sound signature that PSB is now known for: true-to-nature, transparent, and non-fatiguing. 1980 Project B2 The Project B2 was unique for its shape and its placement of the woofer above the tweeter, a design element that would become standard tofuture PSB products. 1985 R Series Designed before PSB Speakers was acquired by The Lenbrook Group, the R Series was the first line of PSB speakers built and released post-acquisition. Lenbrook Purchases PSB Speakers In the late 1970s to early 1980s, the economic forecast of a weak Canadian dollar drove the domestic production of goods in Canada. At the time, The Lenbrook Group of Companies, one of the leading Canadian distributors of electronics and speakers, was keen on acquiring a domestic Canadian speaker company. PSB Speakers was the top candidate to fill this position and not long after, a clean and easy deal was made. To Lenbrook’s advantage, PSB had existing inventory and so it was a simple matter of acquiring that inventory at the onset of the merging. 1986 Atom PSB Speakers’ first budget speaker, highlighting Barton’s deft skill in resourceful product design, was built to target and open up access to the large US market and other international markets. US Expansion In 1985, Lenbrook bought out a Boston-based distribution company, giving PSB access to a network of 200 of the country’s best hi-fi dealers. The Atom set itself apart by offering dealers an entry-level, hi-fi quality speaker to attract younger and step-up audiences, since many hi-fi dealers at the time carried only higher-priced models which intimidated customers who were not yet immersed in the hobby. 1988 Athena Project The Athena project was spearheaded by eleven companies, amongst them Canadian speaker manufacturers like PSB Speakers, Axiom, Paradigm and Class A, who were already associated with the NRC. Led primarily by Dr.Floyd E. Toole himself, the aim of the research project was to develop the basic technology for a “smart” speaker that could adjust itself automatically to a wide variety of acoustic environments. Recognizing the fact that there was still possibility for competition even while sharing the same research findings, the companies agreed to pool their resources to develop a whole new way to design speakers that allowed Canada to have a leg up in the world of hi-fidelity audio research and development. 1989 Global Expansion Through Lenbrook’s acquisition of NAD Electronics, PSB gains access to an international distributor base and signs on its first distributors in Asia (Thailand and Singapore) and Europe (Norway). 1990 Stratus Gold Hailed by Audio Magazine as “The 10,000 Watt Speaker” the Stratus Gold sets the standard in affordable high-end speaker design for PSB’s acclaimed Stratus Series to follow. 1991 Alpha Series The first generation of PSB’s remarkable Alpha line was released in 1991 to worldwide acclaim for its value and sound quality, creating a cult following amongst audiophiles around the world. 1997 Home Theatre and Custom Installation A market shift in the 90s saw the rise of surround sound technologies driving a new demand for bigger systems with more than just two stereo speakers. With the introduction of 5.2.1 up to 11.4.2 systems, people started to need speakers placed in-ceilings and behind viewing positions to complete their in-home, 360-degree sound experience. To satisfy the demand, PSB expanded their popular Alpha series to include center channels, different sizes of bookshelf and wall-mount speakers, and added a Custom Sound line of products for personal, customized in-home installation speakers. 2000 Looking Ahead to the Next Generation PSB’s team expanded to include proteges with new ideas and approaches to help fuel Paul Barton’s design process. This not only gave Paul sounding boards on product design and research and development internal to Lenbrook, but elevated his own thinking and offered mentorship to a new generation of acoustics designers with a view that they would one day follow in Paul’s footsteps. 2007 Synchrony Series The original Synchrony Series is introduced after a three-year acoustic design process and featured stunning industrial design using a teardrop-shaped cabinet and invisible fasteners. 2011 M4U-2 The first pair of audiophile PSB headphones is introduced, implementing RoomFeel™ technology, making PSB the first brand to commercialize the results of the Athena Project findings. 2014 Imagine T3 The iconic Imagine T3 floor standing speaker becomes the premium model of PSB’s longstanding Imagine Series, featuring the first floor-coupled design to reduce resonance from standing waves created by the floor the speakers sit on. Present Continued innovations For over 50 years, PSB has remained loyal to their fundamental principles of value, true-to-nature acoustics and quality materials, positioning themselves as one of the most authentic high-fidelity speaker brands in the market. An incredible body of media coverage, acclamations and reviews continue to be received from audiophiles of all ages and on all platforms. Looking ahead, an expansion into mobile industries and connected speaker products adapt PSB products to the habits of newer and younger consumers. Today, PSB continues to partner with traditional hi-fi dealers, at the same time embracing the modern ways of e-commerce.