PSB Imagine T2's...impressions.

steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,211
edited October 2017 in Speakers
I have owned these now for several weeks and feel like I can communicate some impressions;
Build/asthetics: Beautiful finish. The "dark cherry" looks more like Rosewood to me. Very nicely done with high quality binding posts. At first, I didn't like the idea of the cloth over metal grills, but upon further inspection, the holes in the metal are very close together, and I don't think they impact on midrange/treble much, if at all. The cabinets are very slim, but widen in the rear. I did buy some 1.5" brass cones from OregonDV to replace the industrial looking included spikes, and to get a bit more height.

Sound: Initially the bass was a "holy smokes" moment, then I had to remind myself that I have been rolling with bookshelves for the last 8 years. Also, moving them more forward off the rear wall helped enormously. You need a good 20" at a minimum off the back wall if you're near corners. I settled in on 40" away from corners, 20" from rear wall.

Midrange and treble are extremely smooth and well integrated, some what laid-back, not quite as nice as the Harbeth's, but closer than anything else I've ever owned. I just don't think any manufacturer gets midrange/treble realism like Harbeth, at any price. These speakers are extremely easy to listen to for hours---zero listener fatique factor, but this can come off a bit as a "rounded off" sound lacking a bit of attack in the mid/highs. The lower mids and bass make up for it with a punchy, satisfying drive that I was looking for. Lots of energy and excitement that makes listening to rock/jazz/pop a ton of fun. This was something I was missing with the Harbeths. If you love power-chord rock, the T2's got your number.

As far as output capabilties, the T2's passed the "Enter Sandman" torture test with confidence. I "wailed" on them and they kept their composure. It amazes me how these goofy little 5.25" drivers can handle that sort of output without bottoming---but they do.

Overall: This was another roll of the dice purchase, as I have never heard PSB stuff, but I was relatively confident they would have that "Canadian" kind of sound balance you hear out of other brands I have enjoyed; Paradigm, Energy, Veritas, Athena, etc. Though much more sophisticated in overall balance and smoothness.

I'm pleased. They have the viceralness/slam/drive I was looking for, with 95% of the midrange/treble prowess of the Harbeth's. IMO, the slight trade-off in the mid/high's, to get at the impact in the mid/low's was a compromise that I'm completely satisfied with.

Associated Equipment: Parasound HCA-1500A amp; Benchmark DAC2 pre/DAC; Oppo BR as a transport for flac files, via USB hard drive. Kimber 8TCv.2 speaker cables; Kimber Hero IC's. DH Labs D-75 digtal coaxial cable from Oppo to Benchmark.
Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Signal Cable XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM

Comments

  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,211
    edited October 2017
    Addendum: Let me try to answer the question many have in regards to stepping up in tower speakers. What does a jump from the HOTLY contested $1000-$1500/pr towers to the $3500/pr get me?

    I've owned 3 sets of towers in the $1000-$1500/pr zone, and these are my observations: Better integrated treble/midrange, with voices balanced better and "occupying" the upper midrange more than the treble. What does that mean? Lesser speakers (IMO) tend to push vocals more into the treble, giving them a bit of an unnatural tone---beamy, electronic kind of character; where a step up will give you more natural, real sounding vocals.

    Bass cabinet resonance; the better build quality nets much better control of cabinet resonance, making bass much cleaner and tuneful.

    These are the 2 most prominent factors I personally have experienced---whether it's worth the jump in price is your call. I think it is.
    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Signal Cable XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,074
    Nice write up Steve, glad your diggin' them. I'd imagine, on top of your comments, the overall size and scope of the musical playing field increased a good amount....which is a welcome thing in my book.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,211
    I was a bit worried, as this was a sideways move from the Harbeth's. I'm glad I went for it.
    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Signal Cable XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 6,954
    Thanks for the write-up, I enjoyed it.
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,211
    I wish I had a dedicated audio room for these, as I think they would be magical out in the room farther.
    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Signal Cable XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,074
    steveinaz wrote: »
    I wish I had a dedicated audio room for these, as I think they would be magical out in the room farther.

    Ha....time to move....again. lol
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,211
    NOOOOOOOOOO.
    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Signal Cable XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 4,054
    When I had mine, I actually had a sub on them set to 35 HZ. Check out Rhythm of the heat from Peter Gabril and Stevie Ray Vaugh Tin pan alley on the T's. Also older Santana sounds wonderful on them.
    Lumin D1, KEF LS50 Wireless, Cayin scd-50T, LH Labs VI Dac, Technics 1200, Denon DL160, Jolida D9, HP I7 Laptop, Wireworld Eclipse 7, Wireworld Aurora, Wireworld Electra 7, Signal Magic Digital, Cardas Quadralink 5C, Velodyne SPL1200
    USB helpers: w4s Recovery

    HT: Elite SC27, Full Polk RTI setup.

  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,211
    5 months later, and the PSB's have settled in nicely. I did end up bringing them out a little more; about 22" off the back wall. Just purchased a Parasound A21 amp, so I'm looking forward to hearing it on the Imagine T2's. I also went back to the rubber footers, and will get some granite pieces made to lift the speakers up about a 1" more. Prefer the solidity I get with the rubber feet.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Signal Cable XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,212
    Just curious Steve, why granite instead of something like butcher block? I know @DSkip isn't a big fan of granite. I don't know enough either way, just wondering...
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Parasound HCA-1205A; Arcam rDac; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10 + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Def Tech Procenter 1000; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; Sony BDP-S390, FireTV gen 2

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Audiosource Amp Two, PSB Imagine Mini, Boston VR-10 center, NHT Super One CI surrounds, ACI Titan subwoofer, FireTV, Arcam rDac; Bryson BPD-1
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,211
    I suppose butcher block would work, but I thought it might look hokey?
    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Signal Cable XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,212
    I think that you might not like the resonance you get from granite. You could also just get solid hardwood and trim it out with one or two inch trim and stain it. I think that would look pretty sweet.
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Parasound HCA-1205A; Arcam rDac; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10 + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Def Tech Procenter 1000; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; Sony BDP-S390, FireTV gen 2

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Audiosource Amp Two, PSB Imagine Mini, Boston VR-10 center, NHT Super One CI surrounds, ACI Titan subwoofer, FireTV, Arcam rDac; Bryson BPD-1
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,508
    Bed Bath and Beyond is a great woods dealer... B)
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,212
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Parasound HCA-1205A; Arcam rDac; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10 + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Def Tech Procenter 1000; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; Sony BDP-S390, FireTV gen 2

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Audiosource Amp Two, PSB Imagine Mini, Boston VR-10 center, NHT Super One CI surrounds, ACI Titan subwoofer, FireTV, Arcam rDac; Bryson BPD-1
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,508
    Maple will have a harder sound though not as hard as granite.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,508
    It's all about resonance. Whatever the resonance is of the material, expect that to filter into your system.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,211
    Cool, thanks. I'm having a look....
    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Signal Cable XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; DH Labs D-75 | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!