|PSB Redesigns the Alpha Series Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater News Speaker Systems News|
|Written by AVRev.com|
|Thursday, 11 May 2006|
PSB Speakers, the Canadian manufacturer, is introducing a newly redesigned Alpha Series. There are five new models plus two matching subwoofers, each reflecting the Alpha heritage.
The new Alpha Series is comprised of the Alpha T1 Tower, Alpha B1 Bookshelf/Surround, Alpha C1 Center Channel, Alpha CLR1 Center/Bookshelf/Surround and Alpha LR1 Bookshelf/Surround. The SubZero i Powered Subwoofer and the larger SubSeries 5i are ideal for any Alpha configuration. Each model in the series is timbrally and cosmetically matched so any number of combinations can be created, to suite any listening and home theater environment.
The new Alpha's represent far more than a minor upgrade. They were completely redesigned from the ground-up utilizing new cabinetry, tweeters, woofers, crossovers and port technology. From the new aesthetics to performance in this price range, the new Alphas far exceed the original series.
According to PSB founder and chief designer Paul Barton, "The whole idea of the Alpha Series is to provide performance far beyond what you expect at this price."
The new contoured cabinets provide Alpha with a broader appeal and a softer visual statement. But it's not just about aesthetics. The new shape contributes to the overall improved performance. The shaped profile enhances dispersion and diminishes unwanted sonic defractions, contributing to an overall flatter response.
All models are built with high quality MDF (45 lbs. per sq. foot). The tower and center channel enclosures are fitted with stiff "window bracing". The increased structural support provides rigidity essential to minimizing colorations.
The entire Alpha Series is outfitted with a new 3/4-inch aluminum dome tweeter with improved frequency response.
The completely redesigned woofers improve bass performance delivering low-end extension. This is due to the deeper basket structure and a rigid composite chassis that improves magnet efficiency, resulting in deeper bass response. A newly formulated "high loss" composite rubber surround has been fitted to the mid and low frequency drivers. This new surround contributes to the improved midrange articulation and vocal legibility.
Metalized injection woofer cones, rather than the vacuum formed cones used in the previous Alpha series, ensures a higher consistency during the manufacturing process, resulting in each driver achieving reference quality performance. Additionally, there is an increase in overall sensitivity and efficiency.
Erroneous resonance within the cabinet is the main source of port distortion. PSB has applied proprietary research specific to tube direction and angling within the enclosure. This technology minimizes distortion from permeating the port tube and contributes to a smoother response throughout the midrange.
Implementation of the many new components and technologies in the entire series required an upgraded crossover topology. Using cohesive quality parts a simpler crossover was designed, reducing the signal path and preserving fidelity.
A Closer Look
The Alpha T1 Tower is a space-efficient floor standing loudspeaker, combining superb definition, extended bass and enhanced dynamics in a two-way design.. Dual 5.25-inch woofers paired with the new Alpha tweeter form a D'Appolito array for increased on- and off-axis response while yielding wide dispersion.
The Alpha B1 Bookshelf/Surround uses the same driver compliment as the T1 Tower; however, it is housed in a more compact enclosure suitable for mounting on a stand or atop a cabinet shelf.
The ultra compact Alpha CLR1 Center/Bookshelf/Surround may be diminutive but they demonstrate the dynamics and response necessary to ensure the smooth, naturally extended sound that is synonymous with the Alpha name. The smaller size and contoured enclosures also promote spatial imaging. The CLR1 is well suited for center, left and right (front) as its model number suggests. It uses a D'Appolito array like the T1 Tower with smaller 3.25-inch mid-woofers.
It may be the smallest speaker in the series, but the Alpha LR1 Bookshelf/Surround still manages to deliver unwavering performance and surprising imagery. When configured in a sub/ sat system, the LR1 is the perfect choice for space-efficient applications in small rooms such as dens, offices and space-saving multimedia/ home theater systems.
Both the CLR1 and LR1 were designed to be wall-mounted, placed on stands or fit into an entertainment/media center for maximum flexibility and performance while still remaining aesthetically pleasing.
The magnetically shielded Alpha C1 Center is optimized for real-world horizontal placement atop or under a TV.
Realizing a dynamic and accurate bass reproduction is far from simple, especially when you need to maintain value at the same time, which is the hallmark of all PSB speakers. The compact SubZero i and the larger SubSeries 5i meet the challenge with specialized long-throw drivers that use efficient bass-extending enclosures and dynamic, low- frequency amplifiers. For instance, the SubSeries 5i produces as much as 450 watts dynamic peak power, for unconstricted deep-bass peaks.
The T1, B1 and C1 Alpha models [plus the SubZero i and SubSeries 5i] are available in three different woodgrain finishes - Maple with light gray grilles and Black Ash or Sienna (cherry) with black grilles. The Alpha CLR1 and LR1 monitors are available in a Black Ash woodgrain or a white textured finish. All Alpha Series speakers are provided with dual, 5-way gold-plated, solid metal binding posts. Each model is magnetically shielded for use in proximity to video monitors.
To accommodate varies size home theaters, the Alpha Series offers a wide variety of possible combinations to fit any location or budget. The finishes and cabinet construction are consistent throughout the line for easy mixing and matching of various models. For instance, the T1 Tower, CLR1 and B1 models can all be used as Left, Right main channels depending on the size of the room and speaker location. Either the CLR1 or C1 can be used as a center channel and either the B1, CLR1 or LR1 speakers can be used as surrounds. Due to the new styling and finishes, it is also possible to mix and match Alpha and Image Series models for the perfect combination in any situation.
The new Alpha Series is now shipping with the following MSRPs:
Alpha T1 Tower - 2 x 5 1/4-inch woofers; 3/4-inch tweeter $599/pr.
Alpha B1 Bookshelf - 5 1/4-inch woofer; 3/4-inch tweeter $279/pr.
Alpha CLR1 Center - 2 x 3 1/2-inch woofers; 3/4-inch tweeter $169/ea.
Alpha LR1 Bookshelf - 3 1/2-inch woofer; 3/4-inch tweeter $199/pr
Alpha C1 Center - 2 x 5 1/4-inch woofers; 3/4-inch tweeter $229/ea.
SubZero i Powered Sub - 8-inch woofer $329/ea.
SubSeries 5i Powered Sub - 10-inch woofer $499/ea.