PSA MTM-210Ts or What else is Next Level

K

Kleinst

Full Audioholic
How a complex electrical and Acoustic system perform as a standalone item is different than how it will sound in your room.
Both sides have to be met to make a happy marriage.
There are instances of perfect measurements that don't sound great, and there can be opposite situations, too.

How many people think Bowers & Wilkins are the best Speakers ever designed? Yet, I would never choose to buy them for any reason.

@Hetfield , I respect that you liked what you heard. I'm not commenting on that, and you know this. But the same people that go out and hear B&W say the same thing, yet the measurements I've seen, and my own personal experience with the 600 and 700 series doesn't match up with their experience.

Similarly, my interest in Tekton was because of the noise I heard on the street. I also talked to Eric several times and enjoyed our conversations. But a little more digging and educating myself started throwing up red flags. And then there was a decent, but less than stellar stereophile review of one of his products that raised other concerns still.
It was an easy decision to make, not buying from him.
Especially after I heard the Phil 3s in somebody's home near me. That, coupled with the abundant evidence of many measurements of product Dennis designed, including measurements performed at the NRC in Canada left me much more certain that I could trust in what I was getting.

The kicker is, if you are going to spend over $2500 on Speakers for your mains (easily 5-7K on a 7.1 system), there are a lot of very good products in that price range. So do PSA's Towers make sense when I would need to reach out to Tom for information that should be readily available in a crowded and competitive marketplace? Especially when I have no way of knowing whether his measurements are legit? (And please, remember we are supposed to be able to trust these things, but Klipsch and Def Tech... *shrugs)

I will remain a skeptic until I see some worthwhile information that is not subjective hearsay. And please keep in mind that many people insist Klipsch is one of the best Speaker manufacturers out there, yet there is precious little evidence they have put out anything truly worthy of being called a "good design." That, friend Hetfield, is backed up by many measurements by reputable third parties. ;)
Ryan you bring up an interesting ones for us that are a bit less educated from a technical perspective like myself. What I wonder, can you tell from the measurements of my Infinity R263s and RC263 center and predict whether something costing much more will produce a better sound given the proper amplification (which I have?) I think these 263s measure fairly well especially for mid to lower end designs. Shady indicates it will take a much bigger step from these to notice improvement and I appreciate that because it's deflating to make a lateral move spending a couple grand and realize you aren't any better off :) So this is an really interesting thread I think because it's hard to know what next level is going to be. Some have provided some good recommendations here. .... and I'm home theater here. 9 Channels plus subs 5.2.4.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Ryan you bring up an interesting ones for us that are a bit less educated from a technical perspective like myself. What I wonder, can you tell from the measurements of my Infinity R263s and RC263 center and predict whether something costing much more will produce a better sound given the proper amplification (which I have?) I think these 263s measure fairly well especially for mid to lower end designs. Shady indicates it will take a much bigger step from these to notice improvement and I appreciate that because it's deflating to make a lateral move spending a couple grand and realize you aren't any better off :) So this is an really interesting thread I think because it's hard to know what next level is going to be. Some have provided some good recommendations here. .... and I'm home theater here. 9 Channels plus subs 5.2.4.
I only saw a review of the 263s on HTR (by BB) with a mediocre set of FR, Imp and Phase graphs (though Brent knows his stuff and I'm guessing this was just a snack review for him). Looks like Amir reviewed the 253s on ASR. His review is more telling, especially if they are from the same line, same designer. In general they look like they may well be a pretty decent design, especially at a budget price, perhaps punching high enough above their class as to make an upgrade difficult, though not impossible.
It seems bass may be an issue, which is strange based on the graph having such an elevated knee, but they roll off pretty high around 50Hz it seems, and thus any 'oomph' is depressed. The Tweeter and Mid seem reasonable but a little sloppy. If Amir's graphs can be applied to the 263, there will likely be some poor off axis behavior, but that is only speculation.
Amir did review the 263 Center here:
Again, bass seems to be his main complaint.
But he left the head on the Panther in both reviews.

Stepping up from there is challenging in that a worthwhile upgrade puts you very likely in the $2-3K range (or more) for Towers alone, depending on what you want to get out of your system performance-wise.

This is where reading reviews can help you compare and contrast what you have against other product, but on the subjective side only... However, I found learning the vocabulary to be quite informative when it came to listening to some stuff on my own. It made putting some point of reference between the subjective review and my first hand experience more meaningful. I spent about 6 mos reading A LOT of reviews before I went out listening. And that's the next part is you have to find a way to hear some of this stuff, too.

Much like any of the times we help others... information about your room, seating distance, SPL habits, equipment, etc... all weigh together. The ultimate question is always, "what are your goals with the system?"
If this is meant to be for your "forever Speakers," or at least something to last you 10-15yrs then you want to adjust your budget accordingly.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
If I were in the market I would give them a try. Tom extremely honest, I can't tell you how emails I have gotten from him to suggest other speakers from other brands because he knows I'm not looking to spend what PSA speakers cost.
What is their trial period? They pay shipping back?

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ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Another thought, @Kleinst , is that coming from a 3-way design, shifting to a 2-way may be challenging. I will say, a very well done 2-way can absolutely be as good or even better than a poor 3-way design.
My personal feeling is that a competent 3-way will win the day pretty much all the time, though.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
Another thought, @Kleinst , is that coming from a 3-way design, shifting to a 2-way may be challenging. I will say, a very well done 2-way can absolutely be as good or even better than a poor 3-way design.
My personal feeling is that a competent 3-way will win the day pretty much all the time, though.
I've become a bit fascinated with 3-way speakers especially for center channels. There aren't a ton of 3-way center channel speakers either which surprises me. I'd like to hear the SVS Ultra center as it's 3-way and gets great reviews. Too big for under my TV unfortunately.
My next HT experience or project is the same exact speaker, bookshelf for all 5 channels in my HT. I always wanted to try that.

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D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
If I were in the market I would give them a try. Tom extremely honest, I can't tell you how emails I have gotten from him to suggest other speakers from other brands because he knows I'm not looking to spend what PSA speakers cost.
What is their trial period? They pay shipping back?

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I believe PSA has a 60 day trial period but you pay the return shipping if you send them back
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
I like Tom have spoken to him when I was in the market. Like him a lot. But Ryan's point is why Tom sometimes gets hesitancy from some buyers and some people on forums. The problem with not giving you the buyer detailed measurements or specs is what sounds great in one room may not sound good in another.

So measurements and reviews that are measurement based not just subjective helps you make that final decision on what you might be dealing with when you take those speakers you like and put them into your room

Don't get me wrong your feedback is important bro you've made me even more curious about PSA but even though your experience is important I'm still calling him and asking him for graphs and actual specs and any other data I need before I commit to that kind off money

But in Tom's defense he seems to be doing just fine he relies less on official advertising and more on customer satisfaction and word of mouth to build his business and it works just fine he is not hurting for business.

But this is why I went with RBH. They provide info that has been third party reviewed. So I know it's legit. Even if Tom provides info like Ryan has said how do I know it's legit if it's not 3rd party tested. RBH's info helped me decide if they would be a good risk in my room

I don't think Tom is like that I think he's an honest guy but still it's a lottof money once you step into that level. I can't blame people if that makes them a little bit hesitant to try the product.

Still someday I'm trying me some PSA speakers I like Tom's interactions with me and one day I will go for it I love good horns and I do feel his products blow right past Klipsch and only fall short of JTR in this design. I say feel tho because there is no good 3rd party measurements to back up my claims.
If an audio manufacturer is doing so well that they feel no need to offer transparency about their products, I would encourage shoppers to give business to those companies that do offer transparency. Also, I wouldn't be so hard on Klipsch versus PSA. Klipsch's hybrid tractrix horn is significantly more advanced than the ancient waveguide that PSA is using. PSA uses a constant directivity horn design that is literally older than I am. It was conceived in the mid '70s. It's absurd to see it on a speaker priced at what PSA is selling them for.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Tekton Double Impact have third party measurements and they really aren't bad at all. Having heard these speakers myself, I thought they sounded pretty balanced for the couple tracks that I auditioned.
Yup. I found and read that back when I was considering them. The sensitivity is way off Eric's claim by 7dB IIRC, but other than that...

The DI Towers on the other hand are another story. ;) I really wish I had seen what New Record Day measured when that whole mess happened. He posted some stuff and Eric flipped. I've heard so much other stuff about some of what happened, it is hard to tell what is story and what is real. Eric claims to have fixed something in the XO, though, based on what dude measured...
*shrugs
Still doesn't change the fact that my spidey senses were tingling.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
correct, they do not cover the cost of return shipping.
The MT110 is 35 pounds alone. That will not be cheap to send back, you get 5 of them and that's fine be costly. I notice a few ID companies are moving away from total free trials. Aperion has a restocking fee now.

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ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
If an audio manufacturer is doing so well that they feel no need to offer transparency about their products, I would encourage shoppers to give business to those companies that do offer transparency. Also, I wouldn't be so hard on Klipsch versus PSA. Klipsch's hybrid tractrix horn is significantly more advanced than the ancient waveguide that PSA is using. PSA uses a constant directivity horn design that is literally older than I am. It was conceived in the mid '70s. It's absurd to see it on a speaker priced at what PSA is selling them for.
;)
I pick on the Big K just because it's fun. :)
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Yup. I found and read that back when I was considering them. The sensitivity is way off Eric's claim by 7dB IIRC, but other than that...

The DI Towers on the other hand are another story. ;) I really wish I had seen what New Record Day measured when that whole mess happened. He posted some stuff and Eric flipped. I've heard so much other stuff about some of what happened, it is hard to tell what is story and what is real. Eric claims to have fixed something in the XO, though, based on what dude measured...
*shrugs
Still doesn't change the fact that my spidey senses were tingling.
Some of Eric's ideas about speaker design are absolutely absurd. Take this inane patent, for example. Just bonkers. While I liked the Double Impact speakers, it would be difficult for me to give business to a manufacturer who makes speakers on such a ridiculous premise.
;)
I pick on the Big K just because it's fun. :)
Agreed, it is pretty fun!
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Yup. I found and read that back when I was considering them. The sensitivity is way off Eric's claim by 7dB IIRC, but other than that...

The DI Towers on the other hand are another story. ;) I really wish I had seen what New Record Day measured when that whole mess happened. He posted some stuff and Eric flipped. I've heard so much other stuff about some of what happened, it is hard to tell what is story and what is real. Eric claims to have fixed something in the XO, though, based on what dude measured...
*shrugs
Still doesn't change the fact that my spidey senses were tingling.
And just to be clear, in my conversations with Eric, I found him to be very forthcoming, a bit quirky (but aren't we all) and I really did get the sense that he has an innovators spirit to him.
It just wasn't enough to make me overlook my growing unease.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
There isn't a lot of love here for PSA for some reason, I have not quite figured it out but that seems to be the case.
The clarity that I heard from PSA is the best I have ever heard. When he played the awesome race scene in the movie "Ready player one" I was blown away and honestly could not believe what I was hearing. I didn't really listen at lower level though but I can't imagine that clarity going away at lower volumes especially with how efficient/sensitive these speakers are. Like I said I wish I was willing to spend this much on speakers. I would have them in a heartbeat. I can afford them but I'd probably have my hands cut off of I did.

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I heard some MT110s at an audio get together some years ago- I found them to be underwhelming back then, and so did most others in that group. Their sensitivity didn't seem to be quite what PSA claimed either. They were level matched with speakers that had verified sensitivity that was similar to the PSA's specs, but the gain still had to be turned up considerably on the PSA speakers to get a level match. They were being demoed next to some really heavy hitters, including a Danley Synergy horn and a bunch of SEOS designs. I still remember the Tempest 15s, those were great fun.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
Some of Eric's ideas about speaker design are absolutely absurd. Take this inane patent, for example. Just bonkers. While I liked the Double Impact speakers, it would be difficult for me to give business to a manufacturer who makes speakers on such a ridiculous premise.

Agreed, it is pretty fun!
I read that back then, too. Of course that was before I started really digging into Speaker Design. I think the best description I had read is that his concept resembled a Bessel Array (which of course is akin to line array designs).

But different! :)
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Samurai
Well like I said PSA doesn't get much love here, I guess there is a reason. I really liked them but I'm easily impressed I will admit.
Tekton is interesting, they look like really good speakers, again not so beautiful. They are assembled in the US aren't they? The prices are not outrageous either. Does anyone know what the 200 dollar upgrade package really is and if it's worth it?

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K

Kleinst

Full Audioholic
Another thought, @Kleinst , is that coming from a 3-way design, shifting to a 2-way may be challenging. I will say, a very well done 2-way can absolutely be as good or even better than a poor 3-way design.
My personal feeling is that a competent 3-way will win the day pretty much all the time, though.
Ryan, thanks for taking the time to look at the reviews. Yes the 263 are the same as 253 with 6.5's instead of 5.5 and yes you wouldn't want these without subs but I have a few of those.

Yes, all I have 3 ways currently in the room. The room is 20x15 and open to the kitchen and entry way to the house so very open concept and some space to fill. Only 9 ft ceilings though at least in the room although the entry way has a very high ceiling.

This room is our main room and used to watch TV/Streaming/Movies exclusively. Has to look nice here so no open faced JTR's will work here AND I am limited in width for my towers to about 11 inches so RBH's wouldn't work over there (even if I was willing to pay that :) )

So, focus is on having the absolute best WOW dynamics for home theater/tv as possible and it is the goal to only pay once if possible for a long time because frankly what I have can work. So while it's fun to look, it's not an urgency to flip out of what i have because those are good. I'll post a few pics. You will see the limitation of how I can spread my towers which I'm sure isn't ideal.
 
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