PSB Speakers recently revealed an all-new range of Alpha speakers that, like their predecessors, were designed to deliver remarkable value and performance. Four models in all, the new Alpha Series is comprised of compact monitors P3 ($199 per pair) and P5 ($349 per pair), a center channel C10 ($299 each) and a tower model T20 ($599 per pair). Additionally, all four models are available now in a choice of Walnut or Black Ash finishes.
In PSB’s new Alpha range, the P3 and P5 are classic two-way bookshelf designs that are both compact and versatile. They can be placed on a stand, a shelf, a desk or a table and are equally well-suited for home theater or stereo listening. The T20 tower adds an additional woofer in a larger Floorstanding cabinet yet occupies a small footprint. The C10 center channel speaker can be used as the center or dialog speaker in a home theater or could also be used for music.
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For the new Alphas, PSB developed two new woofers – a 4 ½-inch and 5 ¼-inch, employing dual layer voice coils with powerful magnet structures to provide low distortion and high output levels. The cones are made from a special textured polypropylene compound that prevents cone breakup and extends frequency response for a smooth integration with our tweeter.
A new ¾-inch (19mm) tweeter was designed and is used in all four models. The tweeter is ferrofluid cooled and features a Neodymium magnet for high sensitivity and power handling. A wave guide on the front of the tweeter helps match the response of the tweeter near the crossover point with the woofer for a seamless transition. Of note, the tweeter is placed below the woofer on some models which, in concert with the precisely engineered crossover network, provides a uniform sound field whether the listener is seated or standing.
For the crossover, an unusually complex fourth-order Acoustic Linkwitz-Riley filter design is used to get a perfect blend between drivers and keep distortion very low even at high sound pressure levels. A crossover this sophisticated is unusual for speakers in these affordable price points.
Cabinets are often overlooked in their importance and for the new Alphas, each model has a unique combination of wall thickness and bracing to control resonances and provide a perfect platform for the drive units. Notably, the internal damping material is specialized for the purpose having been developed over many years on much more expensive PSB models and positioned precisely for optimum effectiveness. High quality precision machined cabinets in simulated Black Ash and Walnut finishes combine with magnetically attached grilles to provide a rich and timeless design. Even the grille is unique in that is does not change the sound of the speaker whether attached or removed.
The Story Behind PSB Alpha
PSB introduced its first Alpha speaker range in 1991 with a clear purpose: create an affordable speaker that is focused on performance first. By leveraging the research conducted at the Canadian National Research Council (NRC) over many years by PSB’s founder Paul Barton, these early Alphas went on to win every competitive speaker shootout and garner many 5 star reviews. By popular request, PSB has now revisited its Alpha offerings with four models that are “clean sheet” designs, while maintaining Paul Barton’s original intent. Today’s Alphas benefit greatly from improved materials and production techniques, not to mention an additional 30 years of experience, to create a natural sounding speaker of minimalist elegance, while costing less than the original Alphas when adjusted for currency inflation.
PSB’s new Alpha tweeter features a Neodymium magnet and wave guide and Alpha woofer features a textured polypropylene cone.