PSB has been one of Canada's more respected loudspeaker companies for the past thirty-some years, which puts them in pretty lofty company, along with Mirage, Paradigm, Energy and others. PSB's lead engineer and virtual namesake, Paul Barton, is out with a new line of speakers called the Imagine Series. Of note is one of the more incredible pair of $1,000 bookshelf loudspeakers (stands extra) we've seen or heard in awhile. They are called the PSB Imagine B loudspeakers.
• Read more reviews of bookshelf loudspeakers.
To the untrained eye, these speakers look pretty slick, but upon closer study, the astute speaker buyer will notice the incredible number of complex cuts and curved cabinet moves. While nearly every loudspeaker is made in China these days, with PSB's products no exception, these speakers have some of the sexiest furniture-grade cabinets you will see at any price. Neatly sloped tops, curved sides and a thick front baffle only start to describe the way these speakers look. Hand-matched veneers put furniture pieces costing ten times the price to shame. Look to the "cathedral" effect on the wood grain, as each veneer is matched for each side of the speakers. The wife will not object if you show her this level of craftsmanship and sell these speakers more as art than audio because that is really their draw, but worry not - they also sound really good.
Powered by NAD Master Series electronics (the electronics partner of PSB from the parent company Lenbrook), the PSB Imagine B loudspeakers actually beam with musical energy. Expect to hear side imaging as good as you might expect from a $28,000 pair of Wilson WATT Puppy version 8 loudspeakers. They are that good. The highs are analytical, but not notably harsh. They don't have the smoothness of a comparable Paradigm speaker, but are ever so slightly able to resolve a bit more detail. The bass from these tiny tots is notably good and, for small rooms, you could skip a subwoofer. For bigger rooms, you will want to wait until September, when PSB will announce a matching subwoofer designed to take you to the depths of musical energy.High Points
• The cabinet design is second to none in its price category. It is not over-hyping the issue to suggest these speakers are furniture grade.