New PS Audio speakers?

Sure, no problem. I didn’t even aim for the midbass coupler topic…I just thought that even for a normal 3 way design, 400 Hz is very high…but Im just someone with no real clue and who just reads here and there.

Well, this frequency relates to the baffle step frequency of the speaker (so we can give some user adjustment here, based on proximity to room boundaries) and is also the a range where our planar midrange isn’t dynamically constrained. The latter is important because the woofer section of this speaker is so capable.


Really seems like things are coming together nicely…

Looking forward hearing of some of the first listening impressions when the first models are unveiled…

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Ah yes, I forgot that the ribbon midrange has its own demands compared to anyone midrange. Do you mean you provide a passive user adjustable crossover?

So, a casual and naive observation I’ve made is that speaker designs over the decades (as a whole) seem to have followed “fashion” with respect to cabinet and driver topology. A few examples the pop to mind are the slanted baffle (Thiele) for “time alignment,” the D’Appolito M-T-M configuration, and most recently, the tweeter/mid ribbon/multiple woofer stack (think Magico, Rockport, and many others). There also seems to be more line source type of designs out there, too.

I’m guessing that the progression has been related to advances in material technology and resulting progress in driver capabilities, but also better enclosure design.

I’ve been using planar speakers since the early 80’s because in spite of the flaws, there was an ease and realism that enclosed speakers couldn’t deliver for something approaching real-world money. But in recent years, a number of tweet/mid ribbon/multiple woofer designs have struck me as being able to duplicate the soundstage and “je ne sais quoi” of planars.

I’m guessing this has a lot to do with dispersion characteristics and driver blending, but I know almost squat about speaker design, so would love to hear your thoughts.

This may be a better topic for an “ask Paul” video featuring you, but that’s up to you PS Audio folks.


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If you’re talking about slimmer (looking at the front) cabinets, it’s both for “fashion” and function. Fashion because they look smaller, function because a smaller baffle has less diffraction, helping the speaker “disappear”, have better imaging, better staging, etc.


Agreed Jedi (the Force is with you)! :wink:

IMHO, a “well integrated” Satellite+Sub set up not only offers less front baffle real estate (easier room placement and reduced diffraction issues), but also contributes to sustaining the “Suspension of Disbelief”. The “What you See vs what you Hear” psycho-acoustical impact becomes greater, creating a more prolonged, or even a constant holographic impression of the live vs recorded sound experience. Since hearing is a neurological interpretation in our head, the longer we live in the “SD” moment, the more one can relax and just enjoy the music!

Energizing Your listening environment for realistic dynamic levels may require a full range, higher efficiency speaker system. However, even 1cf stand mount monitors (+ sub) can do the job admirably, especially considering the lower investment cost!

Chris B., will the PSA speaker lower end lineup include some of these ideas and implementations?


Agreed on both counts, but more than a few of the “top” designs of yesteryear featured rather large woofers in rather large enclosures, and the physics of cabinet diffraction were known at that time. Some large baffle designs persist (Magneplanars, Kipsch, for example)

I’m hoping Chris can give us a master class on wave propagation characteristics vs the performance as perceived from the listening chair (e.g.: imaging, realistic image size, image “palpability,” soundstaging, depth, “disappearing,” etc.)

This not technically correct because there’s no baffle. The entire surface is the diaphragm.

Well, yes and no. True for full-range electrostats. However, the bigger Maggies (20.7’s for example ) are a three-way system with a line source ribbon driver, a “quasi-ribbon” mid driver and a bass planar-magnetic driver mounted side-by side on an MDF (?) support panel.

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Yeah I guess the bass panel is indeed a baffle acting on the mid and high drivers.

I experience the psychological effect you refer to every day I listen to my Yamaha MSP 5 monitors in my home office, they are ported, but front firing. They are positioned on a side board, not on stands.

It is amazing what sound they produce and how they benefit from high quality pre amplifier.

In Europe there is hardly any real estate to place speakers where they perform best.
Most speakers need to be close to the wall to avoid unacceptable invasive placements…

From a space perspective, bookshelf speakers only make sense when you put them on a sideboard or shelf, like their name says. Such that they fit in the living space.

Putting bookshelf speakers on custom pedestals and then add a separate subwoofer consumes more space than a pair floor standing / full size speakers without subwoofer.

As such I am looking for our living room for floor standing speakers that can be placed close to the wall without sacrificing too much of the sound quality.

Making speakers sound great in PS Audis dedicated listening rooms is one thing, making them sound great in a living room without much space is another thing.

In his early speaker videos @Paul has addressed this challenge quite well, acoustic suspension (closed) design, a DSP or cross over design with potentiometer or dial to adjust to wall distance.

I am wondering which of these original ideas PS Audio was able to realize.

I went to listen to a pair of high end T+A speakers, they sounded really good in the showroom, when I asked the dealer to position them at the same distance to the wall as my living room allows, the magic was gone.

Speakers I heard perform well close to the wall are the acoustic suspension (closed) design Swiss Rowen speakers, Alaudo on wall speakers and sinfully expensive Avantgarde Acoustic Uno XD horn speakers, which are very big by them self.

So practically the Rowen and Alaudo (not cheap either) are the most feasible options for passive speakers.

Active speakers like the Buchardt Audio, Grimm Audio, Dutch & Dutch 8c and Kii with their smart active design come closest to Paul’s ideas of close to the wall placements. But you will not need your Stellar S300, M700’s, M1200’s or BHK 250 or 300’s for these speakers.

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Back in the early seventies I wanted a pair of speakers called Leak 2075. By commercial standards they were big 4-way transmission lines with a 15" bass driver (front ported transmission line exit).

I went to a very well known large shop in London. The salesman amazed me - he tried to sell me some other speakers claiming that the Leaks sounded like ‘tweeters in big boxes’).

I ignored him and bought two pairs (quadraphonic had just come in).

When I got them home I knew I’d made the right decision. You could place them right against a wall and they’d sound fine (no horrible reflex port exaggeration). I still use them today (as the rears for my 7.1.4 system). I have another pair in my bedroom for the tv sound.

I love transmission lines.


I have been out of this discussion for some time. Any news?

  • photos?
  • release date?
  • price?
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No Photos Top Secret
Paul had mentioned June others at PsAudio said later this year
Last price discussed for FR30 was $15K maybe less but that was months ago

So not much solid info :slight_smile:



All good points, Rudolf! Though IMO, bookshelf speakers on a desk, shelf, sideboard or even a floor standing full range speaker system (20hz-20KHz+) still suffer from unwanted surface or baffle reflections. Stand mount monitors are easier to place in the room for ideal “stereo effect” positions and open up the soundstage more efficiently and effectively with minimal baffle surfaces to contend with! For me, my sub cabinet top host all of my electronics and sources, thus substitutes as an equipment rack. Not ideal, but works well (no vibration issues) in my small 90sf music room! :+1:

PS Audio speaker designs are well thought out and should assist in obtaining better soundstage integrations into more listening environments! With talks of PSA building subs, it will be interesting to see how implementation and integration of “satellite monitors” (smaller end of speaker line-up) will be developed! :wink:

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Well, the cardioid speakers (dutch&dutch and Kii) are very unique in a home audio/studio context, though I suppose folks like gradient had tried some of these concepts before (somewhat less successfully). I think that they are a great “brookyln apartment” speaker and certainly solve some problems in small rooms.

We never intended to try to duplicate this work and I think that there is still very much a place for passive speakers in the world and those with more conventional directivity. Even a stand mounted monitor like these models will always have a suckout in the 150 hz range from the floor bounce (boundary interaction from the direct sound and reflection off of the floor), whereas a tower speaker (with woofers near the floor) will not.

Also, with as cool as the Dutch&Dutch is, I wonder how much better it would sound with something other than the pascal amplifiers (there are certainly higher performance amplifiers available). I’m sure the Kii is a little bit better in this regard with the hypex amps.

Looking at the distortion of the dutch&dutch, distiortion is very high in the lower midrange and bass, presumably because of the cancellation used to control directivity significantly reducing sensitivity/output. It’s still an engineering triumph but nothing is without compromise.

These complex active designs (using some extra amplifier channels and drivers for directivity control) also don’t “scale” to lower price points that well, though obviously the part count is fairly low on the UcD models and they have the best fighting chance at it. Still, the cost of entry is what it is.


it has always been my assumption that to many (most?) folks, increased harmonic distortion at very low frequencies is perceived positively as it gives the impression of greater bass extension (brain synthesising the low fundamental based on the second harmonic).
not saying it’s a good thing but may explain why subjectively they sound better than the above graph seems to indicate they would :slight_smile:

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We are working on some stand mounted monitor speakers and subwoofers, yes.

However, there are still some benefits from a 3-way tower (with the same footprint as a stand mounted monitor). As I mentioned in the last post, if you mount a woofer near the floor, the dip in the response from the boundary interference can be made to be above the passband of the woofer) with the midrange being mounted up close to the tweeter and ear height. This gives much flatter in-room response in the 150-200 hz range than a satellite subwoofer system, though the latter can still sound great.