PSB Imagine T Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review

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admin

Audioholics Robot
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#1
The PSB Imagine Ts floorstanding loudspeaker system is an outstanding product that gives excellent value & performance for the dollar. The Ts are a 3-driver, dual ported, 2.5-way system featuring a pair of 51/4" woofers and a single, 1" ferrofluid-damped titanium dome tweeter. They have refreshingly attractive aesthetics and a small footprint for those tight on space. Sonically, they offer neutral, clean, low-distortion sound, thriving on dynamic source material. All of this adds up to top-notch performance commensurate at this price class. Toss in the fact that the PSB Imagine Ts come from a company that sports a well-earned reputation for top value for dollar and you have a winner on your hands! Highly recommended.



Discuss "PSB Imagine T Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review" here. Read the article.
 
zieglj01

zieglj01

Audioholic Spartan
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2,489 5
#2
If I looked at this correctly - it looks like no poly caps in
the crossover. One of a few companies that don't do it.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
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4,892 25 9
#3
If I looked at this correctly - it looks like no poly caps in
the crossover. One of a few companies that don't do it.
I am a bit surprised to see that too, especially since they paid proper attention to orientation of the chokes. I asked Mark to comment since he did the review. Perhaps there are some poly bypass caps we can't see in the photo.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
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5,248 12 6
#5
Thanks for the nice review. It a good example of a review where the comments and measurements clearly tell the reader that this speaker is worth hearing. I'm reminded of a recent thread about Zu Audio speakers, where their poor-looking frequency response curves was a subject of debate. It suggested to me (and others) that those speakers had significant flaws and might not be worth an audition. In contrast, the PSB graphs look very good.

I especially liked seeing the frequency response graph comparing the sound with and without the grills. It does show small differences only in the higher frequencies, a 2.5 dB dip around 4 to 4.5 kHz and a broader 2-3 dB elevation from about 8 to 15 kHz. In my opinion, these variations at the higher frequencies, might be less audible or objectionable sounding than the roughly 5 dB dip in the main FR curve located in the more audible range from about 500 to 1500 Hz.

I'm not concerned about the use of what appears to be electrolytic capacitors in the crossover. The FR curves look good. In my limited experience as a DIY speaker builder, the worst problem about electrolytic caps is that many of them are out of spec when they're new. To find one that actually has the capacitance printed on its label, you might have to buy 10. Poly caps almost always deliver what they promise. But if PSB can get the job done with less expensive caps, good for them. I disagree with claims about audible differences, between electrolytic caps and poly caps in crossovers. And, yes, I've been part of a blind listening test of some 40 or 50 listeners, where this was examined.

At 2k$ a pair these PSB speakers look like competition for the Salk SongTower. I wonder how they sound in comparison. Has Tom Andry heard them?
 
GranteedEV

GranteedEV

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,356
#6
I'm not concerned about the use of what appears to be electrolytic capacitors in the crossover. The FR curves look good. In my limited experience as a DIY speaker builder, the worst problem about electrolytic caps is that many of them are out of spec when they're new. To find one that actually has the capacitance printed on its label, you might have to buy 10. Poly caps almost always deliver what they promise. But if PSB can get the job done with less expensive caps, good for them. I disagree with claims about audible differences, between electrolytic caps and poly caps in crossovers. And, yes, I've been part of a blind listening test of some 40 or 50 listeners, where this was examined.
I believe the issue with electrolytic caps is that they distort at higher power levels and degrade over time to a point where they change, not that they innately "sound worse".
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
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4,892 25 9
#7
To find one that actually has the capacitance printed on its label, you might have to buy 10. Poly caps almost always deliver what they promise. But if PSB can get the job done with less expensive caps, good for them. I disagree with claims about audible differences, between electrolytic caps and poly caps in crossovers. And, yes, I've been part of a blind listening test of some 40 or 50 listeners, where this was examined.
Nothing terrible about electrolytics if the designer factors in the added ESR inherent with these type of caps in their crossover design. They aren't as linear as polys, especially at high power levels as another poster mentioned. Personally, I prefer to see poly caps in series with the tweeter element where any audible differences will show up there.

We have a few articles on this topic:

http://www.audioholics.com/education/loudspeaker-basics/crossover

and the results:

http://www.audioholics.com/education/loudspeaker-basics/the-loudspeaker-crossover
 
zieglj01

zieglj01

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,489 5
#8
Nothing terrible about electrolytics if the designer factors in the added ESR inherent with these type of caps in their crossover design. They aren't as linear as polys, especially at high power levels as another poster mentioned. Personally, I prefer to see poly caps in series with the tweeter element where any audible differences will show up there.
The new small Pioneer bookshelf at Best Buy, has a poly cap
on the tweeter - this was interesting.
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
Ratings
1,994 3 1
#9
PSB is the speaker that I tell people to audition when they are convinced that Paradigm is the schnizit.

For one the PSB's are dirt ugly like the Paradigm's.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
5,248 12 6
#13
I don't think we're really disagreeing about the caps. In my own builds, I always choose a poly cap. They're not expensive, and I can buy two and be certain they deliver what the design calls for. For a small buyer, it doesn't make sense to buy large quantities of electrolytic caps just to be able to save a few pennies. I also don't buy any cap more expensive than Dayton, Bennic, or Solen.

But let's not get distracted from the main subject, how the PSB Image T speakers sound. I am curious to hear from someone, such as Tom Andry, who has heard both the PSB and the SongTowers. How do they compare? Both seem to be designed and built well and are similar in price. Unlike capacitors, I have sometimes (but not always) heard distinct differences between speakers where the woofer cone materials were different. The PSB has polypropylene woofer cones, and the SongTower has treated paper cones. I can guess there might be audible differences, but are there really?
 
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Kitsum

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
6
#14
I'm sure if more review sites - publications would get to the insides of a speaker and expose the crossover and drivers, most makers would choose to go with poly caps in a $2K speaker. I don't remember seeing c/o - driver pics in reviews outside AH. Maybe the readers here are not their primary target market.
 
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J

jostenmeat

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,052 1
#16
I have a few simple questions about (replacing) caps, and I'm sure it's been discussed many times (sorry).

How much would one typically pay to have caps replaced with poly units in a 2.5 way speaker like the T55? $100 per?

How long should one wait to even bother doing this, a decade?

This is about speakers, but might as well ask about amps: The caps there should be replaced every, um, 15 years or so? For a unit like the NAD T973, are we looking at something like a couple of hundred bucks for the service?

Just curious is all, thanks.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,892 25 9
#17
I'm sure if more review sites - publications would get to the insides of a speaker and expose the crossover and drivers, most makers would choose to go with poly caps in a $2K speaker. I don't remember seeing c/o - driver pics in reviews outside AH. Maybe the readers here are not their primary target market.
There have been several very large loudspeaker companies that have improved driver and component parts as a result of our reviews dissecting their products and discussing them. Some are appreciative of our feedback, some are NOT :eek:
 
GranteedEV

GranteedEV

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
2,356
#18
I have a few simple questions about (replacing) caps, and I'm sure it's been discussed many times (sorry).

How much would one typically pay to have caps replaced with poly units in a 2.5 way speaker like the T55? $100 per?

How long should one wait to even bother doing this, a decade?

This is about speakers, but might as well ask about amps: The caps there should be replaced every, um, 15 years or so? For a unit like the NAD T973, are we looking at something like a couple of hundred bucks for the service?

Just curious is all, thanks.
I'd be more interested in replacing inductors before caps personally.
 
MinusTheBear

MinusTheBear

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
950
#19
There have been several very large loudspeaker companies that have improved driver and component parts as a result of our reviews dissecting their products and discussing them. Some are appreciative of our feedback, some are NOT :eek:

That's not surprising. I'm sure the ones that are insecure about any type of feedback don't want consumers to know where they are cutting corners and costs in their products.

BTW this was an excellent review.
 
J

jostenmeat

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,052 1
#20
I'd be more interested in replacing inductors before caps personally.
Can you explain the reasoning? Thanks.

Ok, what would be a ballpark figure to replace the inductors in a 2.5 way mid-level speaker? I know it must vary from speaker to speaker. Or a ballpark for both the inductors and caps together? Thanks.
 

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