Floor-standing Speakers

PSB Synchrony One Floor-Standing Speakers

ARTICLE INDEX

Design

The front baffle, back panel and base of the Synchrony Ones are made of extruded aluminum. Actually, the front baffle is constructed of two aluminum layers, which allows for the drivers to be mounted to the back layer with a rubber molding surrounding the drivers and extending to the front layer. This gives the drivers a very solid footing with minimal energy transferred to the front-most portion of the baffle to keep resonances down. Cosmetically, the rubber molding also covers up the drivers' unsightly screws. The result is a surface that blends seamlessly from wood to metal. The curved side panels are made from seven-ply MDF that's finished with a real-wood veneer. The very top is also MDF and veneer, but it's flat. The wood layers are glued and "microwaved' to create a very solid and resonant free panel that is then locked in together with the slotted aluminum front panel. The result is a very solid and stiff cabinet that allows the sound to come from the drivers and not the cabinet. Rapping my knuckles along the outside of the cabinets revealed no echo or hollow sounds. The grilles are magnetically attached and a pull tab allows you to pull the grilles off. No worries about a child pulling them off by accident. It took me a while to get them off. The speakers look very good with them on or off as there are no holes for screws or pins on the front baffle. The bulk of my reviewing was done with them off. I heard no obvious sonic degredation with them on, but I liked the look of them with the drives au natural. The cabinets come in black ash (as reviewed) or dark cherry.

PSB Synchrony Ones speakers

The drivers and cross over network are special as well. The tweeter is a 1 inch titanium dome with ferrofluid cooling. The 4 inch midrange is made from a sandwich laminate fine weave fiberglass/natural fiber combination. There are 3 woofers that are equally spaced from top to bottom made of the same material as the midrange. The spacing is intentionally designed to help eliminate standing waves in the room and "floor bounce". Each woofer is tuned a little differently from each other, but their combined effect gives the Ones a smooth bass response. A port plug is provided for fine tuning the bass in your particular room (more can be ordered as needed). Since each woofer is in its own enclosure, it gives you the ability to plug one, two or all three ports…or none at all. It is well known that a room can dominate the bass performance below 200Hz and the added flexibility of port covers can improve the performance in a problem room. This is a great "plus" if you are a tweakophile!

In anycase, each woofer is housed in its own section, with the tweeter and midrange sharing the space with the middle woofer. 5 way binding posts are in the back with the ports. The Ones can be bi-wired/bi-amped. The Ones have decent sensitivity, but its impedance is on the low side and likely to cause some amplifiers grief if they can't handle a tough load.

The posts are canted slightly to the right on both speakers. I would have preferred that they were mirrored and facing toward the middle, but that is a small gripe on my part. The "wing-nut" design made loosening the posts a breeze. Spikes/rubber feet are supplied for the bottom. All in all, these speakers have a seamless finish and solid construction feel to them and visually look quite nice.

The cross-over design is a forth order Linkwitz-Riley type with attention paid to direction of the "in phase lobe". The lobe, an inevitable transition from one driver to the other, is optimally aimed so whether you are sitting or standing, the frequency response of the system does not vary. Film capacitors are used for the mids and trebles. The woofers utilize a progressive (gradually tightening) suspension that reduces distortion and clipping when pushed beyond their limits. Suffice it to say, I could never find their limit with my auditioning. The woofer magnets are 20mm thick, so they are not likely to bottom out. I have no doubt the woofers can get down to their claimed 30Hz, which is impressive for almost any speaker. The mids and woofers also have a phase plug (bullet) to help reduce distortion and assist in cooling the voice coils. The bullets also contribute to the overall fine look of these speakers with the grilles taken off.