Many moons ago, when I was a much younger music lover, I remember sitting in front of a very high-end system that was powering a pair of now-legendary IMF Super Monitor speakers. I remember being astonished that day by the immense soundstage and the powerful, deep and tuneful bass these relatively small speakers were producing in a large acoustic space. These speakers were the creation of one of the great thinkers in the history of speaker design, Irving M. Fried. Fried did not invent what we now call the transmission line loading of a driver, but he refined this strategy and used it in his speaker designs. However, with a few exceptions, transmission line loading of multiple driver systems is rarely found in today's marketplace for high-end speakers for two reasons. First, to design a transmission line's shape, length and loading that will optimally load a bass driver to deliver extreme low frequencies, in-room measurement has to be done by ear and with extensive experimentation. Secondly, because of this complexity and the type of materials and time it takes to get a transmission line to work its magic, it can be very expensive to build, compared to a more straightforward ported design.
� The PSM Super Monitor is a very attractive, tall, thin monitor, which offers a very high level of build quality.
� The PSM Super Monitor can be used in both large and small rooms, because its transmission line loading allows it to produce effortless dB levels and bass extension, but it will not overload a smaller acoustic space.
� The PSM Super Monitor offers very natural, relaxed tonality and a reference-level soundstage; at the same time, it can produce powerful and accurate macro-dynamics that are amazing for such a relatively small stand-mounted speaker.�
� The PSM Super Monitor would be right at home in a two-channel music lover's system and easily fill the requirements of a home theater system, because of its ability to play at high dB levels and render deep bass effortlessly. No subwoofer is needed with this monitor.
� The PSM Super Monitor can be driven with any good amplifier or receiver, because of its benign impedance and high sensitivity. However, the quality of the upstream gear has to be at a high level, because the PSM Super Monitor will expose any sonic warts that your system might have.
� To get the transparent quality to render all the nuances of the music and allow the PSM Super Monitor to deliver its reference-level bass performance, very high-quality stands that are short enough to accommodate these tall monitors are a necessity, not an option.
Competition and Comparison
Two speakers that I have listened to on many occasions that would be competitors for the PSM Super Monitor in the $5,000.00 price range are the PSB Synchrony One, valued at $5,500 per pair, and the Acoustic Zen Technologies Adagio, valued at $4,500. Both of these are floor-standing speakers, yet when it comes to bass extension, ultimate dB levels and macro-dynamics, the PSM Super Monitor offers a higher level of performance than either of the other speakers. All three speakers offer wonderful lifelike timbres and excellent soundstage abilities. Based on my experience, the PSM Super Monitor is ahead in macro-dynamics. It also offers more micro-details and clarity in the music, because of a lower noise floor than the other aforementioned speakers. For more on bookshelf loudspeakers like the ones described above, please visit Home Theater Review's Bookshelf Speaker page.
The PSM Super Monitor will fit right in the highest-level two-channel system. It will perform superlatively in a home theater setup. It offers wonderful, effortless dynamics, natural/accurate timbres and throws a great, layered soundstage. At the same time, its bass extension and weight are world-class, which means that a subwoofer would not be necessary for home theater applications. If you have the right high-quality gear to drive it, the PSM Super Monitor might be your speaker of choice for a very long time. I enjoyed them enormously, but unfortunately, I had to pack them up and send them back after the review. I highly recommend that you put the PSM Super Monitor on your review list.