Sneak peek of PS Audio’s new speaker

October 4, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

51 comments on “Sneak peek of PS Audio’s new speaker”

  1. i paul.it looks better now we can see the whole thing.im very suprised you went with grey though.who wants a grey speaker or black? i dont understand the though process in that. im ready for a new set of speakers ,but with the colours you have chosen you closed the door on them for me. gloss black’s a common colour ,dont understand why you wouldnt do it in that finish?

      1. they look good in that light.much better.id say i like them. will be interesting to see how the reviews go chris as im looking for new speakers soon. may just have to have a set to go along with the bhk stuff i have already. do you have size measurements h,w,d to share yet? and will you be having in effect a small ,medium ,large set to fit all rooms? id be interested in knowing some figures if thats possible.just to see if they will fit in my room?
        thanks
        dean

        1. Yes, we will have some professional reviews coming out, after the official launch. They would be a great match for your PS Audio BHK components of course, but are also designed to work well with third part electronics.

          This model is 60.5” x 16” x 25.75” with base (10” width not including base), so it is on the deeper/taller side of things. We are indeed working on some smaller models. These would be a little visually dominating in a smaller room but could still sound really great.

            1. Well, we’re working on a version with a pair of 8″ woofers (instead of 4) and some versions with 6.5″ woofers (tower, midtower and bookshelf). We’re working on a full line, though as you guys have gathered, these things can take time.

          1. Hi Chris,
            Personally, I think that this ‘Charcoal’ colour (color)
            looks better than the white…but that’s just me.
            When we finally get them over here in Australia,
            I’ll be very keen to have a listen.
            You must be one proud Papa 😉

  2. Haven’t both the 2021 and all future RMAF’s been canceled? Do you have other locations in mind for a speaker preview? The speakers look very impressive.

    Regards,

    Brian

  3. These look fantastic! Personally, I love that you went with “non-standard” colors such as the grey and the white. I’m so tired of giant black boxes…

    I suspect you could also offer this in any automotive finish a customer might want, at an upcharge (or maybe not!).

    Anyway, well done!

  4. Paul can you explain the vertical dispersion of your speaker? Both the tweeter and mid range seem to be above a sitting listening position and the vertical dispersion of the tweeter and especially the mid range should, at least based on the vertical dimensions of the drivers, be narrow. I know you know what you’re doing. So how did you handle the dispersion?

    1. While this is an astute question, yes, you are correct to note that. In short, this has definitely been factored into the design. Any non-coincident multiway speaker has these kind of vertical response narrowing around the crossover regions to one degree or another. Yes, this is less of an issue using smaller midrange and closer center to center spacing but things have been carefully optimized here to get a neutral tonality.

      Why use a planar magnetic mid with somewhat more controlled vertical coverage? Well, it has big sound overall sound quality benefits because of the total lack of cone breakup and inductance and hysteresis based distortion traditional cone drivers. It also has a near instantaneous decay with no stored energy.

      Overall, the speaker has wide horizontal (nominally around 140 degrees) and more narrow vertical coverage. As humans with ears on the sides of our heads, evolutionarily we are most sensitive to lateral reflections and less sensitive vertically.

      The speaker was designed with a flat listening window/direct sound with the the in-room response having a 1dB per octave taper from 100 Hz to 20 kHz, including the vertical response.

      The center of the tweeter axis is about 5″ above the typical seated ear height of around 36-40″ because of the large woofer section and stand. However, it does give a sense of “height” and scale and some audiophiles find appealing.

      When you have a midrange on top of a tweeter, the response is better from seated to standing (the primary notch around the crossover is pointed towards the floor), so the response is better walking around the room than with a tweeter.mid design. As such, if you’re sitting on a low chair, I would recommend raking the speaker forward 2-3 degrees (assuming an 8-10 foot listening distance) using the included spikes.

      1. Excellent and very useful answer/comment. Really very good. It seems you are following Toole/Olive guidelines and research. Will you provide a speaker to Erin to test in his Klippel NFS?

        I’m really glad you stated what you did.

          1. Because despite all the mumbo jumbo and the distractions by others, Chris did design the speaker using SCIENCE. He states clearly that the frequency response follows Toole’s findings. I mentioned this before, that he made some comments suggesting this, but it is very good to have confirmation.

            This is why it is important to understand the science.

            I would still like him to explain the trade-off of using that tweeter and midrange alone or with a wave guide. He states that horizontal coverage is pretty good already, but I’d love to read his opinion regarding directivity near the crossover points.

            1. Nope, never heard of him. Thanks to you and Mr. Rat for seninging me the link.

              From what I can tell he appears to be mostly interested in car audio? In any case, definitely a cool setup. Jealous. Maybe some day. He’s dumped a cool $100K from what I can see.

              1. I think he started with car audio, and that seems his passion, but he does a lot of speaker measurements now. Some are quite interesting such as the KEFs and JBL M2. It is not easy to find proper measurements of the latter.

                By the way, I am asking this because Chris spent a lot of time discussing distortion in speakers. I assume the woofer set up of your speakers might include some of his musings. It would be nice to see that Chris did manage lower distortion at lower frequencies. As you know, below 80Hz, distortion is “yuuuge” in speakers and interestingly, not very detectable by ear. Does having so many speakers for low frequency affect impedance of the system? If impedance is low at low frequencies, would you then need a rather powerful amp to drive them?

                Also, what is the purpose of the rear driving tweeter? Won’t this affect room positioning of the speaker too much? Or limit it?

                1. CtA,
                  You assume a lot sir.
                  Chris used his experience & mathematics & his hearing to design the FR30’s…I guess that you can call it SCIENCE if you like.
                  I know that SCIENCE doesn’t have all the answers; as much as you’d like it to.

                  I’m surprised that you have all these questions about the FR30 floorstanders when:
                  a) you like to pretend that you know it all when it comes to home audio, &
                  b) you have stated time & time again that active loudspeakers are superior to passive ones.

                  No one really cares whether you approve or agree with how Chris has designed & brought into being the FR30’s, least of all Chris himself; I’m sure.
                  He did it all without any input from your Googled information.

                  1. This is such an empty comment. It makes no sense.
                    Chris used science as published and reviewed.
                    Whatever source you think he used, it was science based.
                    If I am wrong, let Chris clarify it. Even Paul stated they used a Klippel system.

                    1. Oh, absolutely. Klippel plus our own setup. Everything Chris does is science based—though voicing is still done by ear. The science gets us where we think we want to go and builds the crossover as flat and perfect in polar responses as we can manage within reason. Then, the listening starts and we make changes from there. The listening is the “unscientific” part but both are equally critical to a product’s success.

                    2. CtA,
                      “..an empty comment”?
                      “It makes no sense”?
                      That’s probably because you are so aurally challenged.

                      I don’t see Chris answering your questions.

  5. Hi Paul! Thanks for the preview of your speaker. It is lovely. Two questions: 1. How did you come up with its name? 2. Given its price, the pedestal the speaker is attached to looks a bit industrial. Do you plan to have an esthetic covering over the aluminum base?

  6. Paul, this is one ( actually two) gorgeous speaker. Love the design! The grey color is my favorite, it’s the most classic shade that will complement ANY style decor, it’s a wonderful choice of shape, form and color combination!
    Congratulations on such a terrific result of years of work to you and your amazing team!

  7. Hi Paul, I know you are proud of your newest product. Knowing the emphasis you place on speakers in a system encourages me to follow the announcement closely. They look really cool. They appear somewhat deep – what is the depth dimension? Will you suggest these are approximately 4 feet from the wall? Curious due to the rear tweeters you mentioned. I really appreciate all you do to support enjoying music.

  8. Very attractive PM. I own the Piega C-711s which are not as big as your new speaker but they utilize a concentric design ribbon tweeter and ribbon midrange plus two active and two passive radiator woofers. I purchased them after a private listening session at my local dealer after hearing them at the AXPONA ‘19 Show. Remember shows? Yeah we used to have them. Those ribbons if implemented well should float sound across the listening space as no other cone driven speaker will. The passive radiator woofers should produce incredible bass as my Piegas do. Congratulations and good luck.

    MB

  9. Honestly Paul. This is such an incredible accomplishment for you and your amazing team. My jaw really did smack against the floor when I watched the video here. I am truly amazed. You guys are geniuses. There is just so much craftsmanship here.

    I have what possibly may be a stupid question. The radiators that are in place, do they make for an Omni-directional listening experience?

    A big congratulations again. This is quite an achievement.

    Is anyone out there brave enough to guess what the price of the Fat Rat 30’s are? 😉

  10. Allow me two hats.
    1) photographers know that a wide angle lens exaggerates perspective.
    Does it ever — the merely five foot tall black beauty looks taller than Paul. The 2001 monolith?
    2) a husband of a domesticated purchase nay-sayer: “white is fine but not with those three black holes.
    But … with an optional nice fabric front cover— maybe.”

  11. The FR30s are gorgeous, I like the finish in dark grey better than I do in white. If I had an open room with lots of glass allowing me to see a beautiful view while I listened to the superb sound stage provided by these speakers, a white finish would be my choice. However, I don’t want to try to set up a soundstage in a room with glass walls – though it does make for a pretty photoshoot.

    I am baffled when I see loudspeakers featured in rooms with hardwood floors, barren walls – except for maybe one large painting – and minimalist Scandinavian-design furniture. I wonder how many people decide to emulate that design style when they take home their new expensive loudspeakers. They may look as good as they do in the ad, but they will not sound as good as the ad implies.

    With the vertical arrangement of the midrange and tweeter on the FR30, is there a comb-filter effect? My experience has been that the smoother the surface between the tweeter and midrange in a large baffle, the more of a comb-filter effect. The less slick the surface, the less the comb-filter effect with an overlay of a thin sheet of open-cell foam, or the emulation of such, effectively eliminating the effect.

    I finally have a large enough listening room to accommodate a set of speakers the size of the FR30, too bad that I’ve sunk the funds into a down payment on the house with that room. Maybe, as with Teslas, by the time my reservation percolates to the top of the list, I’ll have saved up enough to get a pair.

    1. Oh yeah. Sandy was instrumental. I had gone to him with the former design and said “half the people love it and half hate it”. He took one look and said, “I am surprised that many loved it.”

      He then said “you need to pony up the funds to hire the right person to design this. Call Myles. He’s brilliant.”

      And I did.

      And I owe Sandy.

      1. Paul,
        Someone, somewhere said that the top of the cabinet should be rounded, like the bottom.
        I know some women like to put pot plants or vases on the tops of floorstanders… 🙂

      2. To be honest, I was concerned for the future of your speaker line after you posted that earlier design. It just reminded me of two 1950’s gray suitcases standing on their sides, on top of a 1950’s footstool.

        The final design is exactly where this product needs to be. Just curious, is the back wave from the mid/tweeters absorbed through the depth of the cabinet, or is it delayed by some means and released through an opening in the back?

  12. Beautiful design, really. I look forward to the day when audio components such as this, and DSD will be commonplace
    in the world and thus affordable to most everyone. Thanks as always. I have this fantasy that people won’t need smart phones
    and will take that money and use it on great music gear and thus drastically reduce the price of audio components that inspire.

  13. I love that curve at the bottom. Probably for acoustic reasons it was not possible to mirror the curve at the top. But for symetrical reasons that would have been the icing on the cake – from my point of asthetic view.

    It still has an unsual refreshing HighEnd look.

  14. That’s a very interesting driver configuration you’ve chosen and I also like the finishes on the two demo models. But to me, aesthetically they don’t seem balanced with the rounded bottom of the speaker and the squared off tops. I think they would have looked much better if the top was rounded to mimick the bottoms ……

  15. If you go to this address https://www.psaudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Screen-Shot-2021-10-14-at-6.18.56-AM.png you can see the original concept piece shape with rounded top and bottom. Ignore the driver configuration, it was just to look at the shapes. The symmetry is nice but it doesn’t have the aesthetic appeal to me of what we wound up with. In fact, the two rounded wound up bugging us when looked at straight on. See what you think.

    I understand some folks might be more comfortable with the perfect symmetry but we chose to go with the asymmetrical top and bottom because to our eyes it was more exciting. To each their own.

    1. Truer words were never spoken and I want to wish you and yours all the best with your new speakers launch ……. .*

      * BTW: Will you be making an appearance at this year’s New York Audio show ?

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