What happened to PS Audio’s speakers?

April 17, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

30 comments on “What happened to PS Audio’s speakers?”

    1. I think if they can make a good entry level pair of floor standers at 2000 to 3000 a pair thats a good start. I’m not sure if Paul is going to enter the mini monitor market.

  1. So, you are saying $2k-$-3k and you spent more time talking about design. You never discussed what are the sound characteristics that you are using as a goal. Frequency response? Will you need a subwoofer? Distortion? Dispersion, ease of amplification? Nothing about the characteristics of a speaker.
    You can get really good speakers for that amount now. And some are even amplified!

    1. CtA,
      Why would you care?
      You don’t listen to home audio equipment.
      You’re all about getting your rocks-off on how it all measures up statistically, in the lab.
      Dumb, dumb, dumb way of assessing home audio equipment.

  2. Great, there will be a new styling of the cabinet! The older approaches never pleased me at all. However there is no chance to please everybody. Take for example modern (!) active wireless speakers. There are friends of classic aesthetics as represented by KEF LS50. On the other hand you find more sophisticated cabinets egg-shaped offered by Devialet of Fujitsu-Ten. Is the sphere-shaped the compromise solution? Horn loudspeaker aficionados would say: no! There is only one solution concerning the controversial cabinet styling: in-wall speakers! :-‘

  3. Hi Paul,

    I don’t need furniture and want the cost optimized. Do an email survey or post a survey here to get an idea on buyer preferences. I think your removable panel concept is a great and could fit both buyers. Make a basic black, gloss veneer on particle board, and offer wood/metal options. What I want is a basic, black gloss veneer in a non-removable panel form with awesome sound true to the recording. I truly appreciate you giving back to the audiophile community the way you do.


  4. I’d absolutely love to see them. And let us all be honest with our thoughts here cause does anyone actually think the speakers could actually suck? Not a chance. The speakers could look like a wood chipper and still sound awesome with the PS engineering team. 🙂

  5. The problem is there are some great speakers emerging to compete with and a flood of used speaker’s at excellent value on the market. Paul is going to have to hit a home run as the rookie and new kid on the block in terms of sound and value. You cannot make a mistake entering the speaker market for the first time thus PS Audio is taking their time to make sure all of their goals are achieved before taking the big splash. Chris took the bull by the horn and if you’re going to hire someone to design speakers you have to put trust in them and that’s what Paul has done.

  6. Many successful speaker companies are known for some innovation that defines their sound. Others just keep it basic and are successful. I think the bottom line is to get great reviews at a certain price point.

  7. It seems like most designers today think that a 5″ or 6″ mid bass driver is fine, but it is more cost effective for them. They all need a sub to reach the depths of 30 to 40 hz.

    My first pair of speakers were Dynaco A-25’s and even my wife loved them. Could you not look at a pair of bookshelf speakers with a 10″ woofer and a tweeter that you have been working on as a staring point for your own PSAudio “Sprout” speaker that could sell for $1K a pair? What a nice system that would make for under $2K that do could vinyl and computer audio at high resolution and you can already add a sub to that Sprout any time one would want.

    It is not so much the cabinetry as the sound people will be looking for. A pair of 24″ optional stands for the speakers would make that a true $2k package. If anyone could do that, Paul, it is you.

    Jim T.

    1. Exactly, different types of wood veneer or black piano finish could be an option to the basic veneer used. Sound comes first. The basic cabinet finish should look nice with optional upgrades.

  8. This message is to the guy that said something about using particle wood for apart of the speaker cabinets.
    From a performance point of view, here are two reasons why Paul probley wouldn’t do that.
    #1. lets say he built a subwoofer and a very strong power amp in to each speaker, the pressure of just the bass would blow the cabinets apart.
    #2. Particle boards don’t hold up that well.
    And if I knew another reason, it would be this one.
    #3. I truly believe that, Paul is trying to inter in to the high end speaker market.
    And with this possibility in mind, you don’t dare put particle boards in to any high end speaker.
    The reason for this is, the real serious audiophiles won’t go for that.
    They’ll think that it’s too cheep and cheesy.

    1. It’s not so much what you use in your cabinetry. Solid wood actually doesnt sound as good as veneered particle board. Sure you can use concrete in your baffle or make the cabinets out of aluminum or magnesium but the most cost affective is how the cabinet is braced internally to strengthen the enclosure so it doesn’t resonate or box shape techniques that reduce internal standing waves and allow the drivers to send out waves of music without exterior defraction problems. In my opinion its the design rather than using thee most expensive parts and materials that make for an overachiever and giant killer. I’m not saying materials and driver quality is not important, just that if you’re trying to be the best speaker at a certain price point than you have to compromise where you think it will have the least affect on sound quality and pay attention to quality of workmanship and design. There are many cost no object speaker’s out there that sound great and many low priced speaker’s that also sound great and that most people can afford. Which market do you think PS Audio should compete with? I think Paul is right to try and make affordable speaker’s that compete well against the big boys. When a reviewer says a 1500 speaker gives speakers that cost 5 or even 10 times as much a run for its money you have a winner. Most audiophiles cannot afford a cost no object speaker so your big sellers and most satisfying achievement comes from your affordable giant killers. From there you can go onto making that cost no object speaker once you gain a great reputaion.

  9. Whilst appearance is obviously important in another sense it doesn’t matter what they look like. Traditional or modern, not everyone is going to like them. Love them or hate them, people tend to buy what they love.
    Unless of course they’re plug ugly but sound the greatest, then that’s a real dilemma.

  10. Someone once told me “Never try to defend an indefensible position”. The last iteration
    of your product sounded decent. Way better than the duct taped ones you brought the previous year. I have suggested you buy an existing company rather than build your own.
    Get over to that idiot at Tekton and buy him out. People like his line. (Not me but the monitor
    was okay) Or copy his model.

  11. Miles is good way to describe how far you are from getting a toehold in the speaker business that will not help you grow. Focus on how to get your streamers and DACs cheaper and better. Stick with the knitting my friend!

  12. I think there must be a good reason why, except for the pro market, the really successful audiophile-oriented speakers are made by companies dedicated to that product line.

  13. Sounds like a lot of high-priced talent to amortize over a few high-priced products. Value ? Paul spoke of the sound quality of earlier models and now, somehow, sound quality is improved but at what price ?

    1. We don’t work that way. We’ve never amortized costs or looked at ROI. Often, those numbers can be depressing and keeping score like that isn’t the way we make decisions about our business.

      PS Audio has always been more about affording all the engineering resources we can and then building products that have enough profit in them to sustain the ongoing business. This is simply a different business model than most – but a business model that’s based on not running a business as a profit center, but building and running a business that makes enough profit to sustain itself.

      Very different philosophies. Proft-focused companies make decisions that impact profit because that’s their primary goal. How to maximize profit. We make decisions based on our primary goal, building great products and community such that we can grow and keep doing it.

      Very different aims and goals.

      Sounds like the basis of a Paul’s Post. Thanks for the idea.

  14. In October 2019, I visited PSA and auditioned your AN speakers with your latest components. I brought several of my own SACD’s and I thought that the sonics was magnificent. The mid-range was astounding. There was no doubt in my mind that those speakers would do well. If your new speakers sound anything like what I heard, you will have instant winners.

    I have to tell you that I was not impressed with the sound in music room 2. I played the same discs there and there was no comparison with what I heard on your AN’s. Maybe that’s just me but I couldn’t relate to them.

  15. I am sure that your new speakers will be in the ball-park of some of the best we’ve ever heard. Name anything.
    So next to the WAF Question: Google for classic Or modern speaker images and your results will show 93% with their grills off.
    Then I remembered your Hi-fi Family page and that seemed about 50-50.
    And because this is the enthusiasts page; I didn’t see one butt ugly speaker. Not one. I saw amazing rooms that spoke of serious coin. (one of the notable ones seemed to have Wilson’s in a six-foot listening triangle: something I can relate to ).
    So get the sound semi-right and find a suitable mfg guy and whip out something in your ‘Families’ ball-park. I am sure of great results by merely closing your eyes and pointing.
    You won’t get it right the first time but This very fact means you can always have a new and improved version in the chute. Think how your business would suffer without The New One always eagerly anticipated. ps: When one is channeling Frank Zappa who cares if the seance medium is short and fat ?

  16. So I saw what I believe was a newer design 6 months ago on one of the company post , that was a two piece design. Great idea as shipping of course will factor in. Can you at least tell us if they will be a two piece design? I am on board with the value crew, as well as the sonics first crew (of course particle board is out). A new designer for esthetics of course adds to the cost already. Sure we all want a pair that look like they cost 5x as much as they do to produce , but then IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SOUND!!! Yes it is a juggling act but the company’s leading design statement is VALUE. I have always found that PS Audio’s value was vary good. Please stay with that as you strive to compete in the high end market. I am not looking for the peak of the mountain , but just a good glimpse of what is possible at a moderate cost. Who cares if some think it looks this way or that! I think there are plenty of options in components that look way better than PS Audios but PS beats them out at a more moderate price. That is why they are in my system. When you start producing a $10,000.00 piece of gear you have left many patrons behind. Keep up the good work but keep us informed as the speakers develop so you can use the impute we provide! Thanks

    1. Thanks. Yes, indeed, it remains a two piece design. Our goal is to make sure it can ship via FedEx and their weight limit is about 100 pounds so whatever we do has to be modular so customers can assemble it at home. It’s super easy to slid the top onto the bottom, connect the jumpers, and off you go!

  17. Hi Paul,
    I was blessed meeting Arnie introducing Bascom. I also was blessed with an Avon Liquor delivery of wine and got to listen to these speakers in Arnie’s home in Wildridge.

  18. Hi, Paul, my greatest thrill is still anticipating PSA new speakers. It was when you were still with Arnie, sadly he couldn’t finish the project with you, but then new force in the genius of Chris B. came aboard, and my hopes revived.
    As I recall, the initial talk was to develop “IRS5 killers”, and it casually mentioned you’d try to keep the price in the range of 15 to 20 K, which was on the one hand very exciting, because to beat IRS5 costing 50+ K used, would be supercool. On the other hand, it would’ve shifted audiophiles like myself – at the lower end of the financial scale – into the oblivion of dreamers, without ever even approaching the lucky owners family. Now, you’re describing the price margins as 2 – 3 K. This on the one hand gives me a hope of joining the lucky owners family, whilst on the other hand makes me really worried and fearfully wondering – is there no more desire to make them an “IRS5 killers” ?
    Or it’s just going to be the first batch, like a “training wheels” in the series of steps approaching the final original goal of beating the IRS5s ?
    Please, clear it up, when you have time, and in the right mood
    Kindest regards!

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