PSB Imagine X2T Tower Speakers Official AVS Forum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 37Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 83 Old 07-29-2015, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
Mark Henninger
 
imagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,094
Mentioned: 442 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9171 Post(s)
Liked: 16173
PSB Imagine X2T Tower Speakers Official AVS Forum Review



Mark Henninger checks out a pair of comparatively affordable high-performance loudspeakers from legendary speaker designer Paul Barton.

-------

I'm a sucker for a great tower speaker. If a design hits the right balance between power and precision, the result is a gratifying musical experience.

A lot of the groundbreaking work that led to understanding what makes a speaker sound good has been conducted at the National Research Council, Canada's research facilities in Ottawa, Ontario, over the last four decades. Crucially, Paul Barton—PSB's founder—was there from the start.

I talked with Paul for over an hour about the thinking that went into these speakers. It turns out there's nothing arbitrary about them—right down to the small logo in front of the dome tweeter that serves as a phase plug. The entire Imagine X line is about bringing high-end performance home at an affordable price point. Paul went into granular detail about what it takes to make a great yet affordable speaker.

This review is about the performance of the Imagine X2T when used in a music-centric 2-channel system. It sits at the top of the Imagine X line, so let's see how these towers sound.

Features

The Imagine X2T ($1300/pair) is a 3-way tower speaker featuring a 1" titanium-dome tweeter, a 5.25" polypropylene midrange—mounted above the tweeter—and dual 6.5" polypropylene woofers.

Here's an interesting tidbit: During driver fabrication, the polypropylene is turned into long strings—like spaghetti—and covered in ceramic-clay slurry before it's injected into the cone mold. The result is a driver with a high Young's modulus, which is a measure of stiffness versus mass. Paul noted that you have to work with polypropylene to get the properties you want out of it. As a point of reference, a rubber band has a very low Young's modulus, while carbon fiber is very high on the scale.

A large, rectangular, ported, internally braced MDF cabinet holds all four drivers. Each speaker weighs 52 pounds and measures 9" (W) by 40.1" (H) and 17.6" (D). The cabinets are available only in a Black Ash finish.

Small legs that slightly protrude from the cabinet offer a stable platform. The speakers come with screw-in rubber feet as well as spikes. The rear of the speaker contains nothing but the connection terminals; the ports are located on the front of the cabinet. The X2T supports bi-amping and bi-wiring.


In this image you can see one woofer, one of the tuned ports, and the legs that keep the speaker stable—which accept either spikes or rubber feet.

PSB specifies a frequency response from 30 Hz to 23 kHz (+/-3 dB) for the Imagine X2T. The company goes further than most by also including on-axis and off-axis response specs to within +/-1.5 dB—it's 40 Hz to 20 kHz on axis and 45 Hz to 10 kHz off axis (30°). The -10 dB point for bass response is 28 Hz.

Rated sensitivity is 90 dB/W/m in a listening room, and 88 dB/W/m in an anechoic chamber, and each speaker can handle up to 200 watts of continuous power with 8 ohms nominal impedance and 4 ohms minimum impedance. The crossover frequencies are 500 Hz for the woofers-to-midrange transition and 2200 Hz from the midrange to the tweeter. Each 6.5" woofer gets a discrete chamber within the cabinet as well as its own front-firing tuned port.

Another innovation is how sound-damping material is applied within the speaker: It's in the center of the cabinet. According to Paul, this arrangement is better at reducing standing waves when compared to putting padding on the cabinet's walls.

The 1" titanium-dome tweeter is the same one used in PSB's high-end speakers. Paul noted that by engineering a tweeter for a flagship speaker but producing it in mainstream quantities, you can bring the cost per unit way down while still enjoying superior performance.

The tweeter sits within a molded waveguide. It looks like a design touch, but it is entirely functional. As I mentioned earlier, the tweeter has a phase plug that doubles as a PSB logo. It sits just in front of the tweeter to improve phase response. Furthermore, a small pocket of air between the plug and the center of the dome acts to diminish breakup modes. In other words, the logo makes the speaker sound better—that's awesome!


Here you can see the midrange driver and the tweeter including the phase plug with the PSB logo on it.

Of course, the midrange is also special. It is a 5.25" polypropylene driver with a surround that incorporates damping to counter the edge-hole effect, which occurs when energy from the surround reflects back into the driver and causes cancellation. Paul noted that the design is evolutionary; it's the result of generational improvement. The midrange sits right above the tweeter, an alignment that—when combined with a 4th-order Linkwitz crossover—avoids lobing artifacts. The placement of the midrange above the tweeter is an approach Paul pioneered in 1978.

Setup

The Imagine X2T towers arrived in flawless condition, and unpacking them was simple and easy. There was no assembly required aside from screwing in spikes or rubber feet—I went with rubber feet. As usual, I chose not to use the speaker grills—I like the looks of the X2Ts.

This review took place in my new 2-channel listening room. A Pioneer Elite SC-55 receiver served as the pre/pro and DAC—I used it in Pure Direct mode—while a Rotel RB-1590 stereo amplifier provided more than enough power—350 watts per channel into 8 ohms—to drive the X2Ts to their limit.


Here's the Rotel RB-1590 and Pioneer Elite SC-55 combo that brought the PSB Imagine X2T towers to life.

I connected the towers using a pair of 12-gauge Monoprice speaker cables. My source was a Sony Vaio Windows 8 laptop running iTunes and Tidal, connected to the SC-55 via HDMI. I used no EQ or processing of any kind with the Imagine X2Ts—I'll save that for the 5.2 surround-system review.

For all my 2-channel listening, I placed the speakers 20 inches from the front wall, which meant the front baffle was three feet from that wall. The speakers were spaced six feet apart, so each one was three feet from a side wall. I sat between six and seven feet away from the speakers in the center sweet spot.

I appreciate the simplicity of setting up a two-speaker, zero-subwoofer system.

Performance

My first thought upon hearing the Imagine X2Ts was that they sounded slightly subdued. However, it quickly dawned on me that it's the sound of an accurate, well-designed speaker. Nothing was missing detail-wise, they just sounded smoother than a lot of other speakers.

Interestingly, the X2Ts are the second least-expensive tower speakers I've reviewed this year. However, in terms of refinement, they punch above their price class. While they lack the high sensitivity of the Klipsch RP-280Fs I recently reviewed, if you sacrifice a few decibels of peak output, the X2T provides similar dynamic thrills while offering imaging that is more precise—with a deeper 3D soundfield—than the Klipsch could manage.

When I measured the frequency response at the listening position, I was surprised by how close the graphs came to an ideal room-response curve. The 8-10 dB spread between peak bass output and the lowest treble measurement is textbook perfection. Furthermore, in the midrange and treble regions, the speakers' measurements were impressively linear. Indeed, the tighter +/-1.5 dB on- and off-axis frequency-response specs for the X2Ts appear to bear fruit in real-life measurements, as you can see in the following graph.


While a bit of EQ could have eliminated the dip in the bass response, it was so minor I decided to skip DSP processing altogether.

The in-room measurements of the X2Ts were so encouraging, I decided to completely eschew EQ and room correction for this review. It could be that I just got lucky, and the speakers happened to work with my room, but I suspect good design has a lot to do with the impressive performance of the PSBs. The X2Ts work with my room, not against it—it'll be interesting to see if I get similar results when I measure the X2Ts in my home-theater studio for the 5.2-channel review.

In terms of bass, I was especially impressed with the depths it plumbed; its dual 6.5" ported woofers play down to 30 Hz at respectable output levels. Unless you listen to electronic music or pipe-organ recordings, these speakers probably don't need a subwoofer's help to provide completely satisfying bass.

With a rated sensitivity of 90 dB/W/m (in-room), the Imagine X2T requires a fair amount of amplifier power to get it going full steam. The SC-55 handled amp duties without complaining, but I found that the extra watts provided by the Rotel RB-1590 allowed the X2Ts to shine when I turned the volume up. If you've got power to spare, these speakers will turn those extra electrons into bracing, impactful music.

Thanks to the Rotel's 380 watts/channel output, I had no problem rocking the house. The X2Ts did not reach the same output levels as the Klipsch RP-280Fs, which have 8 dB greater sensitivity. Nevertheless, while listening to music at moderate to high volume levels, I experienced a great deal of aural satisfaction with the PSBs. There is something smooth, silky, and almost liquid about the X2T's sound that made music eminently listenable.

Listening

For all my critical listening, I sat precisely centered in the MLP to get the best imaging. These speakers merit—indeed, they encourage—an attentive approach to listening. When you find the exact spot where the sound arrives at your ears with true symmetry in timing, a full-on holographic 3D soundfield emerges, one that can place sounds anywhere around you as adeptly as a multichannel system. There's a certain thrill to hearing immersive sound when you know there are only two speakers in the room.

Some producers manipulate phase and timing to take the 2-channel surround effect to the extreme. DJ Shadow's "Monosylabik, Pts 1 & 2" is one of my favorite such songs; near the end of the track, it's almost like being in an Atmos theater. Within the swirling mass of sound, there's still a very distinct and detailed front stage. While the effect only works for one listener at a time, it achieves what is essentially the audiophile holy grail: total transparency and immersion with dynamic impact and a sense of ease, even when pushed hard. I clocked 100 dB (and higher) with a C-weighted measurement taken while I was listening to the track. Even with the deep, gripping bass found in the track, the X2Ts didn't falter; instead they stunned, surprised, and excited me.


A screen grab of the SPL meter during a listening session. Behind it are frequency response measurements from various locations in the listening area.

A highlight among recent album releases is Bill Laswell's In Dub. It features the prolific and talented bassist doing his thing on a tremendously well-recorded album. Laswell is also a producer; his predilection for using reverb and echo effects results in a spacious ambiance that is his signature sound.

From beginning to end, In Dub showed how well the X2Ts handle dynamic, well-recorded music. I certainly was not thinking about how I wish I had a subwoofer, or how sometimes tower speakers sacrifice a bit of imaging for the sake of a wider frequency response and higher output.

I'm still digging Snoop Dogg's new album Bush, which was produced by Pharrell Williams. The sublime production and chill groove has become the soundtrack to my summer. The first track, "California Roll," has entered my reference rotation, meaning I plan to use it in every review. The song features Stevie Wonder and Pharrell in a laid-back groove that I find supremely funky. The X2Ts rendered the track sublimely, with the exact amount of bass the groove needs without being overwhelming. Unless I were participating in a thread about how flat you can get your room response using EQ, I wouldn’t change a thing about the total balance—it was spot-on.

When it comes to recordings with acoustic instruments, the X2Ts revealed the subtle nuances appreciated by fans of jazz, classical, folk, blues, opera, and other genres where the voices and instruments are the focus. If you crave a speaker that can offer a clear view into a recording, these PSBs will do it without breaking the bank.

To test the Imagine X2T's prowess at reproducing delicate, complicated orchestral and choral music, I selected a 1991 recording of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana featuring the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus. It's my favorite version of the seminal work, which features the well-known "O Fortuna." The album is one of the first CDs I ever bought, back in 1992. I've listened to it on every stereo I've owned and gained a deep familiarity with the album. That's why I can unequivocally say that the Imagine X2Ts are the real deal for classical music lovers.

Jazz fans will rejoice at how the PSBs manage to have a dynamic impact yet remain smooth and composed. With the excellent imaging and a good recording, you can genuinely imagine a band on a stage. Duke Ellington sounded great when I played Duke's Big 4. AVS member JWhip can take credit for introducing me to that masterful jazz recording. If a pair of speakers gets the drums right—which the PSBs did—those speakers get a thumbs up from me. Make that two thumbs up for the Imagine X2Ts!

Conclusion

The Imagine X2T towers strike me as music-first speakers. Yes, they arrived as part of a surround system. However, all signs point to Paul Barton's long career designing speakers for music listening as the primary influence in how they are voiced. We're talking about virtuoso 2-channel performance in a $1300/pair tower. The only concession is that it lags behind some pricier speakers in terms of peak output and low-frequency extension.

These tower speakers are a superb choice for a 2-channel system. They offer a balance of qualities that ought to appeal to the audio aficionado who wants to hear precise, holographic stereo sound that never fatigues.

Unlike some other speakers I've tested, the Imagine X2Ts worked perfectly in my listening room without the need for EQ or room correction. That's just incredible. Furthermore, I didn't miss having a subwoofer—that alone is quite an accomplishment. What it lacked at the very bottom—which only becomes apparent on some tracks—it made up for with bass that stayed tight and behaved well in my room.

Of course, there's more to discuss regarding the Imagine X2T—namely, what happens when you put a pair in a surround system with twin PSB SubSeries 300 subwoofers, an Imagine XC center, and a pair of Imagine XB bookshelf speakers. I'll post a full review of that system in a few weeks.

For now, I'm going to leave the Imagine X2Ts hooked up to the 2-channel rig. They'll be in the same configuration featured in this review for at least another week, and I'm taking requests! Suggest tracks that are available on either Tidal Hi-Fi (preferred) or Apple Music and I'll give some of them a listen. Plus, I'll comment on some of them before I move these excellent speakers into the surround system.

Anyhow, I've almost run out of ways to say these are great speakers. The specs and Paul Barton's decades of experience offered a strong hint that the Imagine X2Ts would outperform their price point, and they did. If you love music, you should definitely give them a listen.

REVIEW SYSTEM

Sources

DIY PC (Windows 8) running Tidal and iTunes

Amplification and Processing

Pioneer Elite SC-85 AVR
Rotel RB-1590 stereo amplifier

Cables

Monoprice 12-gauge OFC speaker cables
Mediabridge Ultra Series HDMI cable
Mediabridge Ultra Series RCA cables


Like AVS Forum on Facebook
Follow AVS Forum on Twitter
+1 AVS Forum on Google+

Mark Henninger
Editor, AVS Forum

Last edited by imagic; 12-21-2015 at 08:18 AM.
imagic is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 83 Old 07-29-2015, 09:07 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
citizen arcane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: At the gates of delirium
Posts: 7,914
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 529 Post(s)
Liked: 20465
Thanks for the review. While not in the market it's nice to see someone posting some real world experience in two channel.
imagic and darthray like this.

¿lɐɯɹou ǝq ʎɥʍ

citizen arcane is offline  
post #3 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 07:14 AM
Blu-ray Reviewer
Moderator
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 14,080
Mentioned: 89 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1697 Post(s)
Liked: 6212
Greetings,

Thanks for the review Mark. I enjoyed it and can absolutely identify with the pleasure of listening to a sweet sounding two channel system.


Regards,
imagic likes this.

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
Follow me on Twitter @RalphAVSreviews
Ralph Potts is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
Mark Henninger
 
imagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,094
Mentioned: 442 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9171 Post(s)
Liked: 16173
Quote:
Originally Posted by citizen arcane View Post
Thanks for the review. While not in the market it's nice to see someone posting some real world experience in two channel.
Whenever I get a surround system, I plan to write a separate 2-channel review of the towers that come with it. In some cases, I'll also review the bookshelf model that comes as a surround. The PSB Imagine XB probably deserves its own review. Based on feedback from prior reviews, I am keeping the 2-channel systems as minimal as possible. But it definitely helps if a speaker behaves well from the get-go like the X2T did.

Mark Henninger
Editor, AVS Forum
imagic is offline  
post #5 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 08:10 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
darthray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Cold lake Alberta Canada
Posts: 6,724
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2299 Post(s)
Liked: 3368

Thank You for a very detail and honest perspective review.


For
"I'm a sucker for a great tower speaker. If a design hits the right balance between power and precision, the result is a gratifying musical experience."


I also fall in that camp, I like towers over Bookshelf.


Also for
"I chose not to use the speaker grills—I like the looks of the X2Ts"


I always prefer to have all my speakers without the grill on, there is something about a nice speaker with nice drivers that make them look Sexy
And I use to have 3 cats, now down to 2 since I lost one not to long ago (when it came time for movies, he was always there to watch-it with us, where the other 2 were no where to be seen).
None of them ever bother my speakers or my fancy looking wires




Quote:
Originally Posted by citizen arcane View Post
Thanks for the review. While not in the market it's nice to see someone posting some real world experience in two channel.

Also not in the market, but it is nice to see reviews of good speakers.


Nice picture on your avatar, is this your cat?


Ray

Last edited by darthray; 07-30-2015 at 08:15 AM.
darthray is offline  
post #6 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 08:59 AM
 
Mfusick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Western MA
Posts: 29,681
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 608 Post(s)
Liked: 2729
Nice review Mark- Happy to see you bring to light some of the design stuff we chatted about in the Berry thread, and exemplify that in a brand we never talked about (PSB). The lack of EQ or room correction was nice comment and observation too. A well designed speaker will interact with the room more favorably than a poorly design speaker. That was a nice touch in the article I thought.
Mfusick is offline  
post #7 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 09:05 AM
Senior Member
 
Pitbull0669's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
Liked: 122
I wanted a pair since I saw them to replace My Def Techs. Ill wait and see how they do in a theatre.
imagic likes this.
Pitbull0669 is offline  
post #8 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 09:27 AM
Member
 
PiggyChops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 95
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Mine are arriving tomorrow with the center . Plan on getting the XB soon.
imagic likes this.
PiggyChops is offline  
post #9 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 10:15 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
bkeeler10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Woods Cross, Utah
Posts: 1,034
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 461 Post(s)
Liked: 310
Fantastic review Mark. It seems like, more and more, if you look around you can get really excellent performance in the $1k - $2k range. This is very encouraging that one can potentially sacrifice very little when spending $1300 as opposed to, say $3k - $5k. And it's encouraging to me since that's the price range I will shortly be shopping in ($1000 - $2000).

Would you potentially be able to get your hands on a pair of Chane A5rx-c? That thing is supposed to be very good compared to speakers in the $1k - $2k range. I'd be interested in your take on them.

Thanks.

System
Transducers: Revel Concerta2 F36 (3), M16 (4); Tannoy AMS 6DC (4); Rythmik F18 (2)
Front end: NAD T758 v3; Outlaw Model 7125
Sources: Panasonic UB820; Oppo BDP-103; Toshiba HD-A2
Projection: JVC DLA-RS440; Seymour CenterStage UF retractable 110" 2.35:1

bkeeler10 is offline  
post #10 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 11:03 AM
Member
 
JL-F1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Model info on your tv/amp/recv stand please.

thank you
JL-F1 is offline  
post #11 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 11:03 AM
Member
 
DrJayDub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Central IL
Posts: 149
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Liked: 62
Great review as usual, thanks!

I am a PSB fan, have a pair of Synchrony two towers for my main speakers. I was interested to hear how the Imagine X line performed. Sound like they are a great bargain.

Yup, I got stuff...
LG OLED65C7P, LG 55EG9100
Marantz SR6012, Outlaw Model 5000, Oppo BDP-203
PSB Synchrony Two mains, center, and surrounds, 2x SVS SB12-NSD
XBox One X
DrJayDub is offline  
post #12 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 11:21 AM
Member
 
RochRx7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 94
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked: 43
Great review.. these towers really look fantastic.. I figured they were going to run more than $1500/pair. Thanks for writing this!

Also, SC-55:

Denon X4100W | Chane A5rx-C | Klipsch RW12d
RochRx7 is offline  
post #13 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 11:21 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Djoel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,417
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 551 Post(s)
Liked: 428
WOE on that Rotel RB-1590 amp!

Can't wait to sit down and read the review.
Djoel is offline  
post #14 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 11:52 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
wxman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 9,441
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5494 Post(s)
Liked: 3897
That looks like the new Panasonic tv that was at the shootout.
wxman is online now  
post #15 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 12:55 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,994
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1263 Post(s)
Liked: 720
First, I don’t know how you got any sound out of those speakers at all with that sad runt of an amp.

Second, and not a weak attempt at humor like my opener, can you explain your measurements a little? Where? Are they single points or averages? Smoothing?

Relatedly, you mention a new room. Any details on construction you can offer? CLD double walls, for instance?

I’ve measured at least 10 or 12 different rooms since 2005, and none of them with two full-range mains have looked that good from 50-200Hz except after painstaking calibration of multiple subwoofers (at 1/12-octave resolution; I don’t consider more highly smoothed measurements in that region useful). Even after use of ARC, Dirac, or Audyssey. And even in rooms with multiple subwoofers, rarely does one find such low variance between listening positions. It’s only happened to me once, in a “soft loft” with a gigantic main living chamber.

--
"In many cases there aren’t two sides unless one side is 'reality' and the other is 'nonsense.'" - Phil Plait
Serious Audio Blog 
DS-21 is offline  
post #16 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
Mark Henninger
 
imagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,094
Mentioned: 442 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9171 Post(s)
Liked: 16173
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post
First, I don’t know how you got any sound out of those speakers at all with that sad runt of an amp.

Second, and not a weak attempt at humor like my opener, can you explain your measurements a little? Where? Are they single points or averages? Smoothing?

Relatedly, you mention a new room. Any details on construction you can offer? CLD double walls, for instance?

I’ve measured at least 10 or 12 different rooms since 2005, and none of them with two full-range mains have looked that good from 50-200Hz except after painstaking calibration of multiple subwoofers (at 1/12-octave resolution; I don’t consider more highly smoothed measurements in that region useful). Even after use of ARC, Dirac, or Audyssey. And even in rooms with multiple subwoofers, rarely does one find such low variance between listening positions. It’s only happened to me once, in a “soft loft” with a gigantic main living chamber.
New room only in the sense that I did not have a system in there before. Old room in the sense it is a Philly row house.

Both graphs use 1/3 octave smoothing. The first graph is a measurement of the MLP, the measurements in the second graphic (the one with the SPL reading) were measured in a 3 x 3 foot area where I sit. I'll render a 1/12 smoothing chart... hang on.

Fwiw, even though I did not use Dirac for this part of the review, here's the graph it generated. Lines up very closely with what I got from REW and it would be very easy for Dirac to make that response "perfect."




Mark Henninger
Editor, AVS Forum

Last edited by imagic; 07-30-2015 at 01:18 PM.
imagic is offline  
post #17 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
Mark Henninger
 
imagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,094
Mentioned: 442 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9171 Post(s)
Liked: 16173
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

I’ve measured at least 10 or 12 different rooms since 2005, and none of them with two full-range mains have looked that good from 50-200Hz except after painstaking calibration of multiple subwoofers (at 1/12-octave resolution; I don’t consider more highly smoothed measurements in that region useful). Even after use of ARC, Dirac, or Audyssey.
Here's the gnarly, full-sized (with plenty of vertical scale), 1/12-octave smoothing chart. Three measurements from the same place (the main listening position).


Mark Henninger
Editor, AVS Forum

Last edited by imagic; 07-30-2015 at 02:18 PM.
imagic is offline  
post #18 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 03:03 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Chise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,692
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 340 Post(s)
Liked: 134
Now these are nice speakers.

Last edited by Mike Lang; 07-30-2015 at 05:00 PM.
Chise is offline  
post #19 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 03:47 PM
 
NorthSky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Star of the Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 16,643
Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7012 Post(s)
Liked: 3562
They are not only nice; they are serious "audiophile" loudspeakers, from a great speaker designer who did a lot of research in the best sound production. ...NRC.

And they are made in Canada.

Awesome review Mark; I would recommend these to all serious music lovers with a taste of audio hi-end. ...Look @ those measurements...simply suberb...on and off-axis.
I bet some speakers costing ten times as much don't sound as good.

They look hefty too, and tall and deep. I bet they are over 40 pounds each*, and 40" tall and 15" deep. ...I love that type of tower styling, and their price (with some discount) is out of this world. Thank you Paul Barton...you are an example to everyone building hi-end loudspeakers...down to earth with pricing, and calculated superb performance.
And nothing made in China here, but in Canada, where people are second best, after people from Iceland.

- I might buy a pair, for a newer hi-end stereo hi-fi system.

* EDIT: They weight 52 pounds each, and are 17.65" deep.

Last edited by NorthSky; 07-30-2015 at 03:56 PM.
NorthSky is offline  
post #20 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 04:01 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,994
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1263 Post(s)
Liked: 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Here's the gnarly, full-sized (with plenty of vertical scale), 1/12-octave smoothing chart. Three measurements from the same place (the main listening position).
Thanks. Still a pretty good room, but more realistic. It's much less objectionable to have a peak in the 50-60Hz area than in the 80-100Hz area IMO.
imagic likes this.

--
"In many cases there aren’t two sides unless one side is 'reality' and the other is 'nonsense.'" - Phil Plait
Serious Audio Blog 
DS-21 is offline  
post #21 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 04:06 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
GIEGAR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,377
Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1003 Post(s)
Liked: 1697
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chise View Post
Now these are nice speakers.
Edited: Please don't quote the WHOLE ARTICLE. It's a very good one, but it only has to appear once in the thread.

Added: Thanks Mike.
CruelInventions likes this.

Last edited by GIEGAR; 07-30-2015 at 08:12 PM.
GIEGAR is online now  
post #22 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 04:25 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
ThePrisoner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 2,692
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 345 Post(s)
Liked: 250
Great review. Not a bad price at all for those towers. I see in the photo it looks like your laptop has the lid closed. How are you controlling the laptop may I ask. I currently just finished my 2 channel stereo setup and been using my laptop for my hi-res files with JRiver Media Center and the JRemote app for my iPad. I'm always looking for new ideas. Thanks!
ThePrisoner is offline  
post #23 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 04:51 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
beaveav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,581
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked: 674
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
...
And they are made in Canada.
...
And nothing made in China here, but in Canada, where people are second best, after people from Iceland.
...
What makes you think they're made in Canada? I'm pretty sure that's not correct and that they are actually made in China.

Semi-retired Technology Insider.
Insist on Quality Posting.
beaveav is offline  
post #24 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 04:52 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
beaveav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,581
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked: 674
Nice review Mark. Here is a link to the NRC measurements from Soundstage!:

http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/ind...nts&Itemid=153

Semi-retired Technology Insider.
Insist on Quality Posting.
beaveav is offline  
post #25 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
Mark Henninger
 
imagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,094
Mentioned: 442 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9171 Post(s)
Liked: 16173
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post
Nice review Mark. Here is a link to the NRC measurements from Soundstage!:

http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/ind...nts&Itemid=153
Cool. Interesting to see the hump in the treble way up high is not related to some specular reflection in my room, it's part of the speaker's response. Thank you.

Mark Henninger
Editor, AVS Forum
imagic is offline  
post #26 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 05:07 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
citizen arcane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: At the gates of delirium
Posts: 7,914
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 529 Post(s)
Liked: 20465
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthray View Post
Nice picture on your avatar, is this your cat?
Ray
There is something Zen-like about a big ol' Tom curled up napping; yes he was a friend for many years.

Back on topic - sent a link to a friend looking in this price range. As I don't get out much (even on this site) I'm glad I was able to pass this on. Once again thanks for a review using real world equipment.

¿lɐɯɹou ǝq ʎɥʍ


Last edited by citizen arcane; 07-30-2015 at 05:14 PM.
citizen arcane is offline  
post #27 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 05:22 PM
 
NorthSky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Star of the Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 16,643
Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7012 Post(s)
Liked: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePrisoner View Post
Great review. Not a bad price at all for those towers. I see in the photo it looks like your laptop has the lid closed. How are you controlling the laptop may I ask. I currently just finished my 2 channel stereo setup and been using my laptop for my hi-res files with JRiver Media Center and the JRemote app for my iPad. I'm always looking for new ideas. Thanks!
There is a setting that even with the laptop's lid closed it is still operative.
It's on the battery logo...just click on it...and it will show "More power options". Click again there for that setting when the lid is closed.
On Mark's laptop and mine that's where it is. ...Simply select Do nothing ...when the lid is closed.

Last edited by NorthSky; 07-30-2015 at 05:33 PM.
NorthSky is offline  
post #28 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 05:30 PM
 
NorthSky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Star of the Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 16,643
Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7012 Post(s)
Liked: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post
What makes you think they're made in Canada? I'm pretty sure that's not correct and that they are actually made in China.
I was waiting for a similar reply. If they are made in China (the enclosures only), and that they don't have a label on the speaker's enclosure that they are made in Canada...then on that aspect it's very good...honest.

Now the question: Are those enclosures made in China or not? ...To Paul's specs. ...And the drivers; where are they made, and assembled?
...The crossover? ...The internal wiring? ...The speaker's binding posts? ...The speaker's feet? ...The overall finish?

How many people here do really care, and how many do not?

Me, I'm always curious...and love to know everything.
NorthSky is offline  
post #29 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 05:33 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
beaveav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,581
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked: 674
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Cool. Interesting to see the hump in the treble way up high is not related to some specular reflection in my room, it's part of the speaker's response. Thank you.
That hump - or one similar - has shown up in every measurement of a PSB speaker I've seen the last few years (Synchrony Ones, Imagine Ts, Imagine Bs, etc). It looks pretty bad, but I can't hear that high these days, so I don't worry too much about it. I wonder if the 'phase plug' protective cover over the tweeter is causing it?

Semi-retired Technology Insider.
Insist on Quality Posting.
beaveav is offline  
post #30 of 83 Old 07-30-2015, 05:35 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
beaveav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,581
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
Liked: 674
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
I was waiting for a similar reply. If they are made in China (the enclosures only), and that they don't have a label on the speaker's enclosure that they are made in Canada...then on that aspect it's very good...honest.

Now the question: Are those enclosures made in China or not? ...To Paul's specs. ...And the drivers; where are they made, and assembled?
...The crossover? ...The internal wiring? ...The speaker's binding posts? ...The speaker's feet? ...The overall finish?

How many people here do really care, and how many do not?

Me, I'm always curious...and love to know everything.
If you don't know where they are made, why did you state so definitively that they are made in Canada?

To the best of my knowledge, the cabinets and drivers and all other parts are made in China and the package is also assembled in China.

Semi-retired Technology Insider.
Insist on Quality Posting.
beaveav is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Speakers

Tags
frontpage , imagine x2t , Psb , speakers

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off