PSB's New Imagine Speakers Readied For Fall 2008

Paul Barton, founder and chief designer of PSB Speakers International, plans to manufacture a new series of loudspeakers he is calling "Imagine." This line will feature new finishes and styling. The enclosures will be curved, both front to back and top to bottom. To create this shape, PSB is laminating multiple layers of MDF, w2hich is then braced to a mold. Radio frequency waves are directed at the enclosure shell for 15 seconds that quickly sets the glue. Once the enclosure is stable, holes are machined as the exact places required, which eliminates the tedious job of making ultra-precise adjustments when an enclosure is built around the drivers. PSB also uses a method of adding color after the first coat of clear sealant is applied to the veneer, so the resulting finish shows the wood grain but also has a rich, red color.

PSB showed prototypes of four different "Imagine" loudspeakers at their suite at the Hard Rock: a two-way $800/pair bookshelf using a 1" tweeter and a 5.25" way design woofer; a larger, floorstanding, "2.5-way" "Imagine" priced at $1500/pair that utilizes the same tweeter but two 5.25" woofers; a $300 center-channel speaker; and a not-priced-as-yet surround speaker.

Paul played the floorstanding "Imagine" loudspeakers for me using my own CDs. The speakers performed extremely well. I heard bits of the music—such as the bass line that backs up JA's recording of the Jerome Harris Quintet playing The Mooche (CD, Rendezvous, Stereophile STPH013-2) that I had not heard from much more expensive loudspeakers at other exhibits.