Having never listened to a set of PSB speakers before, I wasn't sure what to expect. After all the speaker sets had arrived, I unpacked them. I must say the the PSB got my attention right off the bat.
The fit and finish of the Alpha series is by far the best in the round-up. The finish is a light wood (maple) that looks top notch. As nice as some Dynaudios. The curved grille, subtle logo, and wood make this my top picks for looks. The wood is a perfect match to my existing hardwood interior, a definite plus. The curved lines separate it from some of the plainer boxes in this round-up.
WOW! The first time I fired up the Alphas, I was awe-struck. These are the largest speakers of this group, and man did they sound good . . . really good.
Out of all the speakers in this round-up, the PSB have the flattest response - within a few dB from 200 Hz to 20 kHz - and the lowest extension. Now I know the size has something to do with that, but I was impressed.
The transitions from mid to
highs were very fluid and seamless. The mids in the Alpha's have definite punch, not to mention clarity. I can't stress how well these sound. I am a fan of dipoles, and the surrounds provided were monopoles, but I was impressed to say the least (PSB
does offer dipoles). In my opinion, these were the best sounding speakers in the round-up, hands down. Keep in mind that you are paying for the sound with size, almost three times the average size of its competitors.
If I had one complaint it would be the sub. It just couldn't keep pace with these wonderful speakers. I placed a larger sub with this set, and oh what a difference. If you buy these I suggest getting a larger sub such as one of the PSB Subsonics. The Sub provided did OK, but to truly stretch the limits of the Alphas, you are going to want some more power. The Subzero got outpaced by the time I really started to enjoy the material. It would probably be sufficient for a smaller room, but to really rock and roll I upgraded to a larger sub. Imaging was spot on, no complaints. I felt that the speakers should be towed in a little, giving them a little more extension into the high frequencies.
Even though they had a slightly higher THD than some of the other speakers here, it wasn't noticeable
audibly. The linear sound and aesthetics were top notch. They are among the largest in this round-up,
so keep this in mind when comparing. If I had to plop down some cash, this would be the set I would take home from the store. Definitely a