PS Audio Debuts AN3 Loudspeaker

The late Arnie Nudell, co-founder of Infinity, was very much a mentor to PS Audio's Paul McGowan, and Paul and his team have been working a loudspeaker design that would honor Nudell. AXPONA saw the first public demo of the new speaker, the AN3, which is expected to be available toward the end of the year at a price somewhere in the region of $11,500–$14,500/pair. The AN3 features a servo-corrected 12" aluminum-cone woofer, driven by a 700W amplifier mounted on one of the sides, with a folded ribbon tweeter, a rectangular planar midrange unit sourced from Bohlender-Graebener, and an 8" cone "mid-bass coupler," the last a consistent feature of Nudell's designs for Infinity and Genesis. The AN3 will be the smallest and least-expensive model in the AN series—the AN1 will be a massive line-source loudspeaker intended to be the ultimate expression of Arnie's work, and a replacement for and successor to the Infinity IRS Vs that have been Paul's reference for many years. (See my video interview with Paul here and my audition of the IRS Vs in PS Audio's listening room here.)

According to PS Audio's Bill Leebens: "Proprietary to the AN3 (and patent-pending) is a Perspective Control, which will allow the speakers to produce a convincing soundstage, no matter how closely they're positioned to a wall." I couldn't stay for long but listening to a James Taylor track in a system comprising PS Audio's DirectStream DAC ($5999), BHK Signature preamp ($5999), BHK Signature 300 monoblocks ($14,998/pair), and with AC provided by two P20 PowerPlants ($9999 each) and one P15 Powerplant ($7499), the sound of the NA3 prototypes was full-range, clean, with superbly stable imaging.

mtrot's picture

Now, the AN-3 is what I'm talking about! PS Audio demoed with the late Arnie Nudell's personal speakers at RMAF last October and mentioned that they were working on a derivative speaker design. Hopefully, I'll get to hear these this year at RMAF.

avanti1960's picture

and with sincere respect you are being very polite about how they sounded.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

So, how did they sound? ....... Good or not so good? :-) ........

Lincolnmat's picture

Where did you sit Avanti1960? I got to hear these on Friday - luckily getting the sweet spot - and thought they were great. After reading your comment I made sure to return on Sunday. I sat at various positions to much different reactions. Sitting wide right - almost in line with the right speaker - it was a bit bright and not impressive. I was then able to shift to the center and they again sounded fantastic - one of the better sounds I heard all weekend.


blang11's picture

Thanks for the coverage! I think I've heard and read from PS Audio that the side-firing, servo-controlled woofer is 12", not 8". I believe the mid-bass coupler is somewhere in that 8" range. The woofer and midbass drivers are driven by 700 watts each. Also DSP correction for the bass frequencies. I hope Stereophile will review these after they're in production. I know that might be quite a while before such a review would be published!

Bill Leebens's picture

Show set-up is a challenging thing, even when you've got the designers on hand (as we thankfully did with Paul McGowan and Darren Myers). There were some tweaks and adjustments made during the course of the show to dial the speakers in to better match that massive room, so the sound did lock in and get better as the show progressed.

The range of adjustability of the AN-series speakers will ensure that they'll be able to sound their best in almost any room. The protos shown didn't yet have all the features that the production speakers will have to improve room-matching.

It's only going to get better from here---and that's pretty damned exciting.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

How about PS audio making an AN model speaker(s) which are fully active, self-powered, with multiple Class-D amps directly connected to the transducers, placed after the crossover(s)? ........ They can be provided with multiple adjustments, which could enable them to compensate for any room (environment) :-) ........

Bill Leebens's picture

That is close to what we're doing now, although we prefer to let the user choose his or her own amps for the mid and top. Class D amps are particularly well-suited for the low end and low mids in powered speakers, thanks to their very low output impedance. In our experience, electronic crossovers have a hard time matching passive xovers for naturalness in the highs, unless you're spending five figures building them---and that would obviously be prohibitive for production, especially for inclusion in a realistically-priced speaker.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

May be you could give a listen to fully active speakers like Elac Navis, KEF LS-50 wireless, Nocturnes and LSX, active ATC, active Manger etc ........ Many of those are relatively inexpensive ....... Some of those were shown at AXPONA :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Also, most of the studio monitors these days are fully active speakers, most of them powered by Class-D amps ...... Genelec is one such example ........ One of their models, Genelec 8020-D is less than $1,200/pair :-) .......

Josh Hill's picture

I'm glad to hear that because frankly what I heard (mostly on the first day) was a disappointment! Midbass was out of control and the drivers weren't blending, they sounded like they were on different planets from one another. The Neo 10 sounded a bit strained, too. But I assume a lot of that was their location in the corner of a large room.

What I really want to hear are the AN-1's . . . I've never forgotten my time with the IRS V at Lyric.

Josh Hill's picture

Just noticed the bit about the perspective control -- would that be a delay on the rear drivers so you can delay the first reflections of the backwave?

utubecomment21's picture

Never ceases to amaze me that there's always someone at these shows telling us how difficult it is to set up a system becasue of the room. It's a system ... in a room ... get over it! It's not the room that's the problem, its the over abundance of fawning to & boasting about overpriced and poorly designed products.