New PS Audio speakers?


I also started first with a Voigtländer with a broken light meter. That’s why I still roughly know the correct aperture numbers for sunny/cloudy/evening etc :wink:


Mine was a split image rangefinder and I had a light meter that actually worked. Loved that camera, but wanted more a Rolliflex but had to settle on a Yashica copy.


I was excited when in older videos the price for the top of the line IRS killer was hinted at $20K, but the $70K mentioned in a recent video floored me. I’m on fixed retirement income now, so, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” LOL


I think what happened is that the IRS Killer prototype ended up becoming the AN2 rather than the AN1. At least, the AN2 is closer in size to Arnie’s prototype than the AN1. And so the thought was, “Why not build an ultimate version of these more affordable speakers? We won’t sell many, but it’ll be cool”.

So the one that is similar to what Arnie designed is still $20k. They just decided to make a Ludicrous Mode Version of it. I guess it gets confusing if one got the impression that what is now the AN2 was supposed to Kill the IRS-V, specifically. That system is orders of magnitude larger and has separate sub columns.

My two cents.


If the end result is that the technology and research going into the $70K version can trickle down to $20K and under versions and still kill the IRS V, then that would be wonderful. That would be the greatest achievement.


Beef’s got it exactly right. Thanks, mark.


anything new to offer on AMT tweeter? I am in suspense; tried to find some background information on the web; but came up with nothing to satisfy my intrigue. Could you offer some comments on its benefits.


On an AMT vs. a ribbon? An Air Motion Transformer is what we used to call a Heil driver. It’s a folded ribbon invented by Dr. Oscar Heil many years ago. It’s somewhat like an accordion squeezing the air. It’s advantage is the speed of a ribbon with the surface area of a cone,


No disadvantages vs…?


I had a pair of those 35 years ago, replaced by my Acoustats. Have they gotten better?



Given there’s no perfect driver ever made I’d be remiss to say there isn’t any disadvantages but they are certainly fewer than any I know of.


Not arguing but, I think technology would have advanced in 35 years, especially during the 1983 to 2018 period and the high end stereo industry is an example. In fact that is why I bought PSA and my prior purchase was a Carver in 1985.


Oh it has but not in advances that are leaps. The same drivers are still around just with newer materials and application refinements. B and W’s diamond tweeter or Focal’s beryllium are excellent examples of the same types of classic tweeters using newer materials and refined motors.

But there’s been no fundamental breakthroughs.


Breakthroughs? Schmakethroughs…

All this stuff was invented a long long time ago.

Bell Labs really had to make it all happen with the phonograph and then big-time when they developed the standards for the national telephone system. They took it down to the laws of physics and started there with the examination of drive principles for speakers: electromagnetic, electrostatic, and plasma… heck, they had to invent the amplifier. they left no stone unturned. You can buy a speaker with each of these technologies today.

Bruce in Philly

Simple loudspeaker history:

Plasma Speakers


Thanks for the point on breakthroughs. In the back of my mind, I was thinking of the incremental sonic improvements in many areas of high end that have brought me back to music.


Thanks for the articles, enjoyed them immensely.


Saying that speakers haven’t evolved is like saying cars are basically the same as they’ve been for 70 years because they still have four wheels and (often) use a combustion engine.

My TAD’s speakers use vapor deposited beryllium coincident drivers.

Now I would say that microphones haven’t evolved much. I would like to remedy that but need some partners with deep pockets.


I’m not really sure what qualifies as advancement and/or innovation. As we all know, this industry is plagued with whimsical claims that are difficult to decipher and often amount to nothing more than marketing hype meant to set a particular manufacturer’s product apart from others. So, in other words there is a forced effort to be “different” that has nothing to do with contributory advancements to the greater good of the industry.

For example, I wouldn’t consider alternate manufacturing materials, on otherwise traditional drivers, an advancement any more than I would recognize the use of kevlar in brake pads as an advancement in automobile design. It is an improvement but not an advancement. Electric motors, self-driving capability, etc. new categories of technology within that industry.

It is a very interesting topic of discussion. I don’t know that there is a definitive answer as it is a rather subjective matter. When it comes to speaker design, I have to disagree that there has been much advancement over the last several decades.


The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

But anywho… small differences over time, add up big. Jeff, good points… maybe the lens is different… What small advances became standard building blocks for all? I would classify them as “advancement”.

For example, my Focal speakers have a berylium dome tweeter. This is just an improvement. The pursuit of an infinitely rigid and 0 mass diaphram was envisioned a long long time ago… I don’t know by who but I bet by the first geeks who played with speaker design back at bell labs. So I would not call anything that advances this desire for low mass and rigidity an advancement, they are just improvements (albeit expensive ones).

Advancements may include:

  • Time alignment of drivers (or signal)
  • Porting
  • Dipole radiating (although the original Bell Labs electrostatics were this)
  • Passive radiators
  • Mutli-driver with crossover (invented a long long long time ago)
  • Magnepan’s flat electromagnetic panels
  • Line source drivers (ribbon etc.)
  • MBL Radialstrahler driver

Combustion engine designers envisioned variable timing right from the start… took years to get right and be economical.

Bruce in Philly


I’m new to PS, but I’ve learned an immense amount of knowledge from reading about all of the technology. I’m currently on a stellar path. I love the sound of my Def Tech and wanted to move up to Tritons refs in a year or two, but the AN3s are technologically seductive. Would it be too much of an assumption that the AN3 is a triton killer? I’m a bass head.