Budget Loudspeakers for Stereo or Home Theater Systems
PSB Speakers introduced an all-new range of Alpha loudspeakers that, like their predecessors, deliver remarkable value and performance. The 2019 Alpha Series include the P3 and P5 classic two-way bookshelf speakers which 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.
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.
Improved Drivers and Materials
For the new Alpha Series, PSB developed two new woofers; a 4 1/2” and 5 1/4” both 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 3/4” (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.
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 PSB Alpha speakers were among the most popular speakers we have ever made so we have had constant requests from the market to design an updated and improved range. The original Alphas were quite good for the time, so this was a tall order” commented Paul Barton, founder and Chief Designer of PSB. “However, by leveraging new materials and design techniques as well as advanced manufacturing capability, these Alpha models are a substantial improvement over the original ones with respect to looks, performance and value.”
Key New Features:
- 3/4″ (19mm) Aluminum Dome tweeter with Neodymium magnet
- Woofers with Textured Polypropylene Cones and Rubber Surrounds
- Choice of simulated Walnut and Black Ash finishes
- 5-Way, Gold-Plated Bing Posts
- Design and final voicing engineered by Paul Barton
Price and Availability
All four new PSB Alpha Series models are available now in a choice of Walnut or Black Ash finishes.
- T20 (tower) – $599/pr
- P5 (bookshelf) – $349/pair
- C10 (center channel) – $299 each
- P3 (bookshelf) – $199/pr