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PSB SubSeries 500 Flagship Subwoofer

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Smaller, Less Costly, Better-Performing 12-Inch Model

PSB Speakers enjoys a global reputation for excellence in loudspeakers, with a particular emphasis on what might be termed affordable high-performance or “value high-end.” And that reputation should only be enhanced by the Canadian maker’s latest “flagship” powered subwoofer, the PSB SubSeries 500, exhibited at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show.

Following in the footsteps of the launch of PSB Synchrony, the SubSeries 500 has been designed to blend both acoustically and aesthetically. Conceived for the most demanding music and home-theater systems and installations, the newest PSB is a 12-inch design that while both more compact and more affordable than its PSB predecessors (and other-brand competitors), delivers gains in both low-bass extension and dynamic clarity.

PSB’s SubSeries 500 with Dark Cherry Finish

The front-firing, dual-ported down-firing SubSeries 500 is cabinetry-friendly and ready for flexible placement in a wide range of the highest-performing systems. Its extensively computer-modeled magnet structure and massive 12-inch driver structure, which includes a uniquely over-sized surround, achieve truly extreme excursions with no sacrifice in sensitivity, thanks to a massive (5-pound) magnet, and advances in suspension and adhesive materials. Additional driver highlights include a superbly strong and remarkably self-damping woven-fiberglass cone, enormous (50mm) high-current/low-mass voice-coil, and rigid cast-aluminum basket. The result: impressive output potential to the very deepest frequencies (an earth-shattering 113 dB SPL at 32 Hz!), leading the SubSeries 500 to invite comparison to much larger, less room-friendly (and more costly) subwoofers, including many dual-12-inch designs.

Since the mechanical integrity of a subwoofer cabinet is, if anything, more important than that of full-range designs, the SubSeries 500’s enclosure happily borrows construction methodology from the universally praised PSB Synchrony industrial design. Double-weight, heavily laminated MDF panels are joined by extruded-aluminum corners that mechanically lock the cabinet into a single, extremely strong structural whole that is nearly indestructible and all but perfectly impervious to extraneous vibration. (In fact, the SubSeries 500 cabinet is so “non-lossy” that PSB was moved to develop visco-elastic feet that prevent the sub from “walking” over smooth, hard-surfaced floors under high-volume, very low frequency playback.)

To motivate the new woofer PSB has refined its famously proven, superbly efficient yet singularly dynamic 500-watt hybrid-Class H dedicated sub amplifier in a new version for the SubSeries 500. This amplifier’s “smart” circuitry is extensively calibrated to the SubSeries 500’s electro-acoustic characteristics, permitting full, powerful output–ultimate peak levels of 1.5 kilowatts are possible–to the very lowest frequencies, while ensuring that audible overdrive cannot occur. The amplifier incorporates continuously variable 0° to 360° phase compensation, as well as continuous level and crossover controls. Both filtered and crossover-bypass (LFE) line-level inputs and pass-thru outputs are on board, as are speaker-level inputs via heavy, audiophile-grade multiway binding posts. The addition of a 12-volt trigger input permits the newest PSB sub to integrate with system controllers, from the simplest universal remotes to the most elaborate touchscreen offerings.

The SubSeries 500 is crafted to PSB’s rigorous standards in hand-selected and matched furniture-grade wood veneers, offering the choice of black-ash or dark-cherry finishes. An understated, perforated-metal grille with “invisible-edge” attachment offsets its elegant look.

The PSB SubSeries 500 is available now at a manufacturer’s suggested U.S. price of $2,149. It can be seen with other outstanding PSB products in Suite 31-110 at the Venetian Hotel, during CES.

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