PSB Imagine T3 loudspeaker Specifications

Thu, 07/21/2016

COMMENTS
audiodoctornj's picture

We here at Audio Doctor, www.audiodoctor.com, would like to thank John Atkinson for such a nice review of a product we love!

Audio Doctor, has one of the largest collections of high end audio on the East Coast, and we sell many different brands of High End loudspeakers, including Dali, Paradigm, KEF,KEF Reference, KEF Blades, Polymer Audio, Jantzen,Tannoy, Cabasse,and others.

We ordered our demo pair of the T3's, without ever hearing them, based on some positive rumors that the speakers were extremely good, and were comparable to much, much, more expensive loudspeakers.

We also had positive experiences with the previous PSB Syn Ones which were excellent, however on comparison, the PSB T3 were in a totally different league!

The PSB T3's tweeter although it looks to be identical, is actually far cleaner with more extension and sweetness over the earlier incarnation of this tweeter.

The PSB's midrange is also cleaner, and the entire speaker's sound stage is considerably larger.

The bass of the PSB T3 is awesome, deep, tight, and prodigious!

If you look at how much speaker you get with the T3, it is clear that you have to spend $5,000.00-$7,000.00 over the cost of the T3's, to really move into a higher class of speaker one that will be actually better and better by degree.

To say that the T3 is revelation, and a bargain for the price, is an under statement.

Many people would never think that a PSB product could be listed as a true reference and compete with the world's best loudspeakers man you would be so wrong!

Paul Barton has done it again, he has raised the bar for affordable reference speakers, we have found that a pair of the PSB T3's, with good electronics, and a good source, will give you one hell of sound!

low2midhifi's picture

Our friends from the north seem to have some solid offerings with their Paradigm and PSB speaker products.

What happened to the Synchrony line of PSB speakers? I recall that they had a couple of stand-mount models, both of which disappeared from the company's website. If I recall one of these Synchrony stand-mounts had 5.75" or so woofer; the other a 6.5" or 7" woofer.

These products, again by my recollection, had interesting looking drivers (some sort of woven fiberglass), a nice fit and finish, and had a very solid billed weight. Will this Imagine line come with some successor products of sorts to those two discontinued Synchrony stand-mounts?

Pages

PSB Imagine T3 loudspeaker

I am a big believer in supporting events promoted by specialty audio retailers. They reinforce the idea that audiophiles and manufacturers—even reviewers—are parts of a vibrant community that believes that listening to music with the highest possible quality is one of the more important things in life. The "Music Matters" evenings arranged by Audio Advice in North Carolina, Definitive Audio in Seattle, and Listen Up in Colorado exemplify that idea, and it was in April 2015, at Listen Up's Denver store, that I used a pair of PSB's new Imagine T3 tower speakers to play the audience some of my own recordings. The T3 superficially resembles PSB's Synchrony One, a speaker I very favorably reviewed in April 2008, and I was equally impressed by the new flagship—impressed enough to request a pair for review.
Thu, 07/21/2016

Moon by Simaudio Evolution 780D D/A processor Measurements

Thu, 07/21/2016

COMMENTS
georgehifi's picture

By Michael Fremer
"However, not even the finest DAC can make me appreciate the sound of 16-bit/44.1kHz CDs. Through the 780D they sounded about as good as they can"

Sorry Michael, but I've heard this blanket statement made all too many times now, and I very much believe that to get the best from CD PCM, it should NOT be converted/compared (played back) through a DSD/Delta Sigma dac.
It should only be converted (played back) through a true well sorted Multibit dac from today designers to get the best sound from it.
And therefore the two cannot be directly compared, because you need two different dacs with differing topologies to do it with.

Cheers George.

rompolompo's picture

Why review a digital product by a person who hates digital technologies?

georgehifi's picture

Is that right?? Michael Fremer is anti digital.???

yuckysamson's picture

I don't think Mr. Fremer "hates" digital. He's saying he prefers the performance, in every regard, of either hi rez or vinyl to redbook. Before getting on a high-horse about this notion, it might be worthwhile to consider the idea that this isn't akin to saying "I like automatic instead of stick" or vice versa or two things that are "different" experiences. THis is like saying "Oddly I don't like playing with the files from my 2002 Nikon D1 when I can now use an 810". It's long been recognized that the 44.1 Format is a heavily impaired one which, for obvious reasons the industry couldn't upgrade on year after year (like has done with digital photography) and even further what's come to light is that there were significant errors made in the way these limited resolution files were created.

Insulting the guy for saying something legitimate is silly.

georgehifi's picture

I didn't say he's anti digital, just queried it from another poster?

What I am questioning though is Michael Fremmer's statement, that you can get "the best from 16/44 PCM" by using a DSD delta sigma dac.
You can't, to get the best from PCM it is has to be converted using multibit conversion to get it "bit perfect" from it.
From what I've read/learnt about it.
As a dsd (delta sigma) dac has to convert pcm back into dsd in real time before it can play it back in dsd, an it's a facsimilie of it. A multibit dac does not, it converts in real time.

Cheers George

Pages

Moon by Simaudio Evolution 780D D/A processor Associated Equipment

Thu, 07/21/2016

COMMENTS
georgehifi's picture

By Michael Fremer
"However, not even the finest DAC can make me appreciate the sound of 16-bit/44.1kHz CDs. Through the 780D they sounded about as good as they can"

Sorry Michael, but I've heard this blanket statement made all too many times now, and I very much believe that to get the best from CD PCM, it should NOT be converted/compared (played back) through a DSD/Delta Sigma dac.
It should only be converted (played back) through a true well sorted Multibit dac from today designers to get the best sound from it.
And therefore the two cannot be directly compared, because you need two different dacs with differing topologies to do it with.

Cheers George.

rompolompo's picture

Why review a digital product by a person who hates digital technologies?

georgehifi's picture

Is that right?? Michael Fremer is anti digital.???

yuckysamson's picture

I don't think Mr. Fremer "hates" digital. He's saying he prefers the performance, in every regard, of either hi rez or vinyl to redbook. Before getting on a high-horse about this notion, it might be worthwhile to consider the idea that this isn't akin to saying "I like automatic instead of stick" or vice versa or two things that are "different" experiences. THis is like saying "Oddly I don't like playing with the files from my 2002 Nikon D1 when I can now use an 810". It's long been recognized that the 44.1 Format is a heavily impaired one which, for obvious reasons the industry couldn't upgrade on year after year (like has done with digital photography) and even further what's come to light is that there were significant errors made in the way these limited resolution files were created.

Insulting the guy for saying something legitimate is silly.

georgehifi's picture

I didn't say he's anti digital, just queried it from another poster?

What I am questioning though is Michael Fremmer's statement, that you can get "the best from 16/44 PCM" by using a DSD delta sigma dac.
You can't, to get the best from PCM it is has to be converted using multibit conversion to get it "bit perfect" from it.
From what I've read/learnt about it.
As a dsd (delta sigma) dac has to convert pcm back into dsd in real time before it can play it back in dsd, an it's a facsimilie of it. A multibit dac does not, it converts in real time.

Cheers George

Pages

Moon by Simaudio Evolution 780D D/A processor Specifications

Thu, 07/21/2016

COMMENTS
georgehifi's picture

By Michael Fremer
"However, not even the finest DAC can make me appreciate the sound of 16-bit/44.1kHz CDs. Through the 780D they sounded about as good as they can"

Sorry Michael, but I've heard this blanket statement made all too many times now, and I very much believe that to get the best from CD PCM, it should NOT be converted/compared (played back) through a DSD/Delta Sigma dac.
It should only be converted (played back) through a true well sorted Multibit dac from today designers to get the best sound from it.
And therefore the two cannot be directly compared, because you need two different dacs with differing topologies to do it with.

Cheers George.

rompolompo's picture

Why review a digital product by a person who hates digital technologies?

georgehifi's picture

Is that right?? Michael Fremer is anti digital.???

yuckysamson's picture

I don't think Mr. Fremer "hates" digital. He's saying he prefers the performance, in every regard, of either hi rez or vinyl to redbook. Before getting on a high-horse about this notion, it might be worthwhile to consider the idea that this isn't akin to saying "I like automatic instead of stick" or vice versa or two things that are "different" experiences. THis is like saying "Oddly I don't like playing with the files from my 2002 Nikon D1 when I can now use an 810". It's long been recognized that the 44.1 Format is a heavily impaired one which, for obvious reasons the industry couldn't upgrade on year after year (like has done with digital photography) and even further what's come to light is that there were significant errors made in the way these limited resolution files were created.

Insulting the guy for saying something legitimate is silly.

georgehifi's picture

I didn't say he's anti digital, just queried it from another poster?

What I am questioning though is Michael Fremmer's statement, that you can get "the best from 16/44 PCM" by using a DSD delta sigma dac.
You can't, to get the best from PCM it is has to be converted using multibit conversion to get it "bit perfect" from it.
From what I've read/learnt about it.
As a dsd (delta sigma) dac has to convert pcm back into dsd in real time before it can play it back in dsd, an it's a facsimilie of it. A multibit dac does not, it converts in real time.

Cheers George

Pages

Moon by Simaudio Evolution 780D D/A processor Page 2

Thu, 07/21/2016

COMMENTS
georgehifi's picture

By Michael Fremer
"However, not even the finest DAC can make me appreciate the sound of 16-bit/44.1kHz CDs. Through the 780D they sounded about as good as they can"

Sorry Michael, but I've heard this blanket statement made all too many times now, and I very much believe that to get the best from CD PCM, it should NOT be converted/compared (played back) through a DSD/Delta Sigma dac.
It should only be converted (played back) through a true well sorted Multibit dac from today designers to get the best sound from it.
And therefore the two cannot be directly compared, because you need two different dacs with differing topologies to do it with.

Cheers George.

rompolompo's picture

Why review a digital product by a person who hates digital technologies?

georgehifi's picture

Is that right?? Michael Fremer is anti digital.???

yuckysamson's picture

I don't think Mr. Fremer "hates" digital. He's saying he prefers the performance, in every regard, of either hi rez or vinyl to redbook. Before getting on a high-horse about this notion, it might be worthwhile to consider the idea that this isn't akin to saying "I like automatic instead of stick" or vice versa or two things that are "different" experiences. THis is like saying "Oddly I don't like playing with the files from my 2002 Nikon D1 when I can now use an 810". It's long been recognized that the 44.1 Format is a heavily impaired one which, for obvious reasons the industry couldn't upgrade on year after year (like has done with digital photography) and even further what's come to light is that there were significant errors made in the way these limited resolution files were created.

Insulting the guy for saying something legitimate is silly.

georgehifi's picture

I didn't say he's anti digital, just queried it from another poster?

What I am questioning though is Michael Fremmer's statement, that you can get "the best from 16/44 PCM" by using a DSD delta sigma dac.
You can't, to get the best from PCM it is has to be converted using multibit conversion to get it "bit perfect" from it.
From what I've read/learnt about it.
As a dsd (delta sigma) dac has to convert pcm back into dsd in real time before it can play it back in dsd, an it's a facsimilie of it. A multibit dac does not, it converts in real time.

Cheers George

Pages

Moon by Simaudio Evolution 780D D/A processor

Simaudio saw disc-based digital audio in its rear-view mirror at least as far back as 2011, when it introduced the Moon Evolution 650D and 750D—two iterations of what it called a "digital-to-analog converter CD transport." These were actually multiple-input CD players, but Simaudio was evidently so eager to distance itself from the spinning disc that it went with a product category that, in spite of its cumbersome, run-on name, drew a clean line between the disc-reading and signal-processing functions—while bestowing upon the former second-class citizenship.
Thu, 07/21/2016

Great Piano Trios: Fred Hersch and Brad Mehldau

Two of the great jazz pianists on the scene have just released two of their greatest trio albums: Fred Hersch, Sunday Night at the Vanguard (Palmetto); and Brad Mehldau, Blues and Ballads (Nonesuch).
Wed, 07/20/2016

Sony SS-NA5ES loudspeaker Measurements

Tue, 07/19/2016

COMMENTS
BradleyP's picture

The dealer network for these primo Sonys seems a bit, um, unconventional. $6k standmounts are the purview of high end brick-and-mortar shops, but these are not available in such shops. Perhaps the distributors are custom installers, but I can't quite tell from the Sony ES website. That's quite a hindrance.

low2midhifi's picture

I am sure that these speakers sound fine. But we are to pay $6,000 for some Scanspeak drivers in a laminated wood enclosure?

I hope we can see a test of these--reportedly outstanding--speakers for $2,500 less:

http://aerialacoustics.com/portfolio/aerial-5t/

Or for roughly the same price, we can afford ourselves of a tried and true design, with some elements of advanced materials science:

http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speakers/Home_Audio/800_Series_Diamond/805...

And for less than 1/2 the price, it might be time for a very long overdue test of these speakers that boast plausible technology, perhaps better than this product under review, and the same billed weight:

http://www.amphion.fi/en/products/argon3s/

If I were so endowed financially, I might save my pennies for another year or so and get these highly decorated stalwarts:

http://www.dynaudio.com/home-audio/confidence/c1-platinum/

And, based on my actual experience of listening at a show, we might, again, save a few more dollars and get this speaker which has some proprietary technology to bring to the table:

http://kef.com/html/en/showroom/hi-fi_series/THE_REFERENCE/fact_sheet/Bo...

It might be time for Stereophile to emulate our friends from the UK and do some head-to-head group testing of products. $3,500 for this product? Maybe. $4,000 is a stretch. But $6,000? I don't know.

Allen Fant's picture

Nice job! AD
it is good to see Sony ES back in the speaker facet of our wonderful hobby. Most will snub Sony for making speakers, this is just one reason why there is not better representation in the B&M world. Sony knows their customer base and has corresponding dealer/retailers strategically placed across the USA.
Further, back in the early 1990's Sony has a set of "ES" marqued speakers that were for home Audio and car Audio too.
A very fine return to form, IMO. Happy Listening!

Anton's picture

First, great post, low2midfi! I am with you!

Regarding these new Sony speakers.

I hope they are great and wish Sony the best. The main problem I would say "I have" with makers like Sony or Technics is that they disappear from the hobby for X number of years, then 'mount an assault on the state of the art' with products like this, then disappear again shortly thereafter.

I have not seen a tradition of models evolving or being improved over time, no evolution of a model (think Vandersteen, Thiel,) etc... These models are hit and run, which I think diminishes their value.

If you look at the history of many (most?) of the most esteemed speakers in this category, they have a history of incremental improvement and of ongoing product support, even trade ups!

So, I don't give this new Sony as much credibility as its price wants me to, because this speaker will be out of production in a cycle or two. I know this because I know Sony's history in this regard.

So, enjoy the speaker now, but it's a bit of a 'one night stand mount' product when compared to models that have traditionally 'stand mounted by their man' over time.

;-D

funambulistic's picture

I bought a pair of Sony ES SS-M5 speakers in '97 from my local brick-and-mortar store at a VERY large discount. The discount was primarily because of the Sony badge (though they were hardly a Sony speaker). I was shopping around with the various brands this retailer carried in my price range (Definitive, Paradigm, B&W, etc.) and, for the price, the Sony's were a clear winner; in fact, they were some of the best speakers I have ever owned (how I parted with them is rather tragic). They were shortly discontinued and only the SS-M9 (with the new "super tweeter") continued on for a year or two. I am glad Sony, Technics and Pioneer (or TAD) have new "SOTA" speakers, but, for what they do, their prices are too dear. I would rather stick with a manufacturer that constantly improves their product (as you mentioned, Vandersteen, for example) than what most certainly will be product on a limited run.

avanti1960's picture

I have heard these speakers on a few occasions and immediately noticed that they have a distinctive, somewhat unique character when compared against other stand mounts of similar size. A few listens with familiar program material and you know what they are all about. It is very obvious.
Yet a terse (or any) description of their sound was nowhere to be found in the text. A few words about it would have been most helpful because these speakers are not neutral and their sound flavor might be construed as polarizing.
Being familiar with their sound and then reading the review has given a unique perspective- one that makes me wholly disappointed in what I have read because it failed to communicate their essence.

Anton's picture

Would you be willing to elaborate on your impressions?

This is interesting!

Pages

Sony SS-NA5ES loudspeaker Associated Equipment

Tue, 07/19/2016

COMMENTS
BradleyP's picture

The dealer network for these primo Sonys seems a bit, um, unconventional. $6k standmounts are the purview of high end brick-and-mortar shops, but these are not available in such shops. Perhaps the distributors are custom installers, but I can't quite tell from the Sony ES website. That's quite a hindrance.

low2midhifi's picture

I am sure that these speakers sound fine. But we are to pay $6,000 for some Scanspeak drivers in a laminated wood enclosure?

I hope we can see a test of these--reportedly outstanding--speakers for $2,500 less:

http://aerialacoustics.com/portfolio/aerial-5t/

Or for roughly the same price, we can afford ourselves of a tried and true design, with some elements of advanced materials science:

http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speakers/Home_Audio/800_Series_Diamond/805...

And for less than 1/2 the price, it might be time for a very long overdue test of these speakers that boast plausible technology, perhaps better than this product under review, and the same billed weight:

http://www.amphion.fi/en/products/argon3s/

If I were so endowed financially, I might save my pennies for another year or so and get these highly decorated stalwarts:

http://www.dynaudio.com/home-audio/confidence/c1-platinum/

And, based on my actual experience of listening at a show, we might, again, save a few more dollars and get this speaker which has some proprietary technology to bring to the table:

http://kef.com/html/en/showroom/hi-fi_series/THE_REFERENCE/fact_sheet/Bo...

It might be time for Stereophile to emulate our friends from the UK and do some head-to-head group testing of products. $3,500 for this product? Maybe. $4,000 is a stretch. But $6,000? I don't know.

Allen Fant's picture

Nice job! AD
it is good to see Sony ES back in the speaker facet of our wonderful hobby. Most will snub Sony for making speakers, this is just one reason why there is not better representation in the B&M world. Sony knows their customer base and has corresponding dealer/retailers strategically placed across the USA.
Further, back in the early 1990's Sony has a set of "ES" marqued speakers that were for home Audio and car Audio too.
A very fine return to form, IMO. Happy Listening!

Anton's picture

First, great post, low2midfi! I am with you!

Regarding these new Sony speakers.

I hope they are great and wish Sony the best. The main problem I would say "I have" with makers like Sony or Technics is that they disappear from the hobby for X number of years, then 'mount an assault on the state of the art' with products like this, then disappear again shortly thereafter.

I have not seen a tradition of models evolving or being improved over time, no evolution of a model (think Vandersteen, Thiel,) etc... These models are hit and run, which I think diminishes their value.

If you look at the history of many (most?) of the most esteemed speakers in this category, they have a history of incremental improvement and of ongoing product support, even trade ups!

So, I don't give this new Sony as much credibility as its price wants me to, because this speaker will be out of production in a cycle or two. I know this because I know Sony's history in this regard.

So, enjoy the speaker now, but it's a bit of a 'one night stand mount' product when compared to models that have traditionally 'stand mounted by their man' over time.

;-D

funambulistic's picture

I bought a pair of Sony ES SS-M5 speakers in '97 from my local brick-and-mortar store at a VERY large discount. The discount was primarily because of the Sony badge (though they were hardly a Sony speaker). I was shopping around with the various brands this retailer carried in my price range (Definitive, Paradigm, B&W, etc.) and, for the price, the Sony's were a clear winner; in fact, they were some of the best speakers I have ever owned (how I parted with them is rather tragic). They were shortly discontinued and only the SS-M9 (with the new "super tweeter") continued on for a year or two. I am glad Sony, Technics and Pioneer (or TAD) have new "SOTA" speakers, but, for what they do, their prices are too dear. I would rather stick with a manufacturer that constantly improves their product (as you mentioned, Vandersteen, for example) than what most certainly will be product on a limited run.

avanti1960's picture

I have heard these speakers on a few occasions and immediately noticed that they have a distinctive, somewhat unique character when compared against other stand mounts of similar size. A few listens with familiar program material and you know what they are all about. It is very obvious.
Yet a terse (or any) description of their sound was nowhere to be found in the text. A few words about it would have been most helpful because these speakers are not neutral and their sound flavor might be construed as polarizing.
Being familiar with their sound and then reading the review has given a unique perspective- one that makes me wholly disappointed in what I have read because it failed to communicate their essence.

Anton's picture

Would you be willing to elaborate on your impressions?

This is interesting!

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