PSB Debuts New Flagship Speaker: Imagine T3 Tower

Complementary C3 Center Channel Will Join T3 as Brand's New Reference Models

Pickering, Ontario Oct 10, 2014 -- PSB Speakers, long renowned for affordable excellence in loudspeaker design, announced two all-new Imagine speakers that will soon represent the company's top-end models. T3 ($3749 ea.) is a five-way floor-standing speaker featuring three woofers in a transitional array. C3 ($1999 ea.) is a true three-way designed center channel especially engineered to complement the T3 to create a perfectly matched surround sound system. PSB's T3 and C3 will be available in late November in choice of premium High Gloss Black or High Gloss Cherry finishes.

For more than forty years, PSB has been best known for producing superbly engineered, critically-acclaimed products over a wide range of price points and applications. At the same time, the company has also established a reputation for delivering remarkable value even in its high-performance models. Now in their most significant introduction in seven years, the Imagine T3 shows off PSB's latest thinking in advanced loudspeaker design with a bold new statement.

Always aware that the room has a large effect on the sound of any loudspeaker, PSB made sure that the T3 interfaces smoothly and predictably with the listening room, giving clean well integrated bass response and pinpoint imaging. The perfect proportion of sound power, combined with extremely even frequency response and uniform off-axis response, creates a massive, dynamic and precisely detailed sound field.

Advanced Driver Technology

All new drivers combine proven engineering with advanced technology to reduce distortion and respond more faithfully to musical transients. This is accomplished in two ways. Firstly, a copper cap over the pole piece of the motor structure affects a dramatic reduction of 3rd harmonic distortion, and secondly a symmetrical drive design creates a more uniform magnetic field in the motor (driver) coil which makes the cone motion more linear by reducing 2nd harmonic distortion, especially at high volume levels where the cone motion is greatest. The woofers and midrange utilize polymer coated felted fiberglass cones mated to a high temperature fiberglass voice coil. Rubber surrounds and a highly rigid non-resonant die cast aluminum alloy chassis provide precision alignment of all speaker components for high performance and excellent reliability. Combined with amplitude-perfect acoustic Linkwitz-Riley 4th order crossovers, these advanced drivers provide the lowest distortion and highest power handling of any PSB speaker ever.

The Bottom Line- Three woofers are better than one.

Three 7" woofers are arranged in PSB's five-way transitional array, where all three woofers combine to produce the longest wavelengths of sound in the lowest frequencies. At higher musical frequencies woofers are strategically attenuated until only the woofer adjacent to the midrange is active, creating a perfect transition with uniform off-axis response. The position of each woofer, and the exact crossover slope, has been carefully optimized to reduce first acoustic reflections, also known as 'floor bounce'. These early reflections are responsible for response irregularities and exist for all speakers unless compensated for as in the Imagine T3. Other advantages to using multiple woofers include a more efficient transfer of energy into the air compared to a single larger woofer, and the varying positions also tend to excite a broader spectrum of room resonances preventing the 'one note bass boom' that often occurs with powerful full range speakers. Smaller cones with large motors also result in higher sensitivity and more accurate piston motion of the cone for faster transient response and lower distortion.

Individual Bass Chambers Suppress Unwanted Resonances

Tall slender enclosures like the Imagine T3 look great and place the more directional tweeter right at ear level for best imaging. However tall narrow enclosures when used as bass chambers tend to have a serious 'pipe resonance' that can ruin bass transients and performance. PSB addresses this issue by using individually tuned chambers for each woofer. The dividers for these chambers also add significant structural rigidity to the cabinet, suppressing resonances still further. Since each chamber has its own rear firing tuning port, the user can further fine-tune the in-room response with the supplied port plugs. These work by reducing overall acoustic output in the lowest frequencies which can be beneficial in smaller rooms or when the speaker must be placed close to the wall behind. Additionally, the bottom woofer can be disconnected from the amp and shorted using the provided shorting link, thus creating a 'bass trap' or damper to further suppress room resonances.

Finishing Touches

The PSB Imagine T3 includes a one-piece aluminum plinth with adjustable spikes, ideal for use on carpeted floors to gain stability and give a clean mechanical interface with the floor structure; even with uneven floors. Isolation pucks with carefully engineered rubber dampers are also included for hardwood floors to prevent damage and create a perfect interface. Five-way, gold binding posts provide multiple input terminals that allow for bi-amping and tri-amping if desired, along with the unique ability to use one woofer as a bass trap to tame room resonances and adjust the bass to perform perfectly in a wider range of room sizes and shapes.

The Critical Midrange

The majority of musical information is reproduced in the midrange between 200Hz and 2000Hz and contains most of the musical information related to pitch and timbre of instruments and voice, and just happens to be our ears most sensitive range. The Imagine T3 uses a specially developed 5 ¼" midrange driver and tunes and isolates it in its own sealed chamber. The result is a lifelike presence that is palpable. The 5 ¼" size has a nearly perfect combination of low distortion, high output capability and ideal dispersion over the desired frequency range, allowing it to integrate smoothly with the woofers and tweeter.

The Top Line- High Resolution Tweeter

The Imagine T3 is using a hand-selected version of PSB's famous titanium dome tweeter. This 1" dome features a neodymium magnet, high temperature voice coil and Ferrofluid cooling, allowing it to keep pace with the high power handling of the rest of the speaker. Several years spent perfecting the manufacturing process has resulted in a tweeter with extremely smooth response and amazingly low distortion compared with other well-known tweeter designs. An integrated 'phase plug' is ingeniously designed to extend high frequency response while also creating an 'air spring' that effectively damps the metal dome's 'oil can' resonance. Although this resonance is beyond the audible range, if not well suppressed it can have knock on effects in the audible range. Excellent power handling allows PSB to ideally place the crossover point at 1,800Hz that enhances the dispersion and integration with the midrange driver.

Home theater enthusiasts can create a perfectly matched surround sound system by combining Imagine T3 for left and right speaker positions, and the Imagine C3 as the center channel speaker. The identical voicing of these speakers creates a seamless and expansive sound field. Other Imagine models, including specialized surround speakers in stand mount, wall mount, in-wall and in-ceiling options complete the surround experience. The Imagine C3 is true 3-way transitional design - unusually sophisticated for a center channel - that uses the same driver technology as the Imagine T3. The C3 includes two of the 7" woofers, both active at lower frequencies and with different low pass filter frequencies to maintain proper power response, and the same tweeter as the Imagine T3. The specially developed midrange driver is unique to the Imagine C3 and is responsible for the excellent voice articulation of this speaker. The enclosure is rear ported and includes a tuning plug to adjust bass output for different placement options.

Like all PSB Speakers, final voicing is performed by Founder and Chief Designer, Paul Barton, at Canada's famed National Research Council. PSB's research has discovered how listener preferences can be integrated into a wide range of speaker designs for many different applications, yet all featuring consistent sound quality that is natural and lifelike.

"For some speaker designers, when they design a flagship model, they do it with little to no regard to cost. In the end, they may produce a good speaker but it can wind up being unaffordable for most and perhaps even a questionable value." explained Paul Barton who founded PSB more than forty years ago. "To achieve ultra-high performance and value together, there are no fancy gimmicks or short cuts. These are speakers that eschew any fads in favor of timeless design. The PSB way is to build upon our decades of painstaking research and continually refine our designs until they represent the culmination of our design expertise and traditional virtues. The Imagine T3 and C3 are speakers designed to give the listener complete enjoyment and satisfaction for years to come."

The PSB Imagine T3 and C3 will be on demonstration in Room 8016 at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, October 10-12, at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. Paul Barton will be on hand along with other PSB personnel to give live presentations and answer any questions.

Key Features of PSB Imagine T3 and C3:

Advanced driver technology reduces distortion
All new drivers and crossover designed specifically for T3 and C3.
Tweeters are Titanium dome with Ferrofluid and Neodymium magnet structure
Three 7" Woofers, in individual bass chambers, configured in a transitional array
Newly-designed midrange drivers in their own sealed chambers
Gold-plated, five-way, binding posts that are also bi/tri-wireable and bi/tri-ampable
Final voicing performed by Paul Barton at Canada's famed NRC
High Gloss premium finishes in choice of furniture grade Black or Cherry

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