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[img]http://www.hometheaterreview.com/images/psb_imagine_speakers.jpg[/img]
PSB Imagine T Loudspeaker Review

Introduction
When it comes to value for dollar loudspeakers, seemingly no one does it better than the Canadians. One manufacturer that proves this is PSB loudspeakers. PSB has a storied history of producing high-value, high-performance loudspeakers for consumers on a budget and even those who aren't but appreciate the fine craftsmanship and quality of PSB's entire line. The Imagine Series represents PSB's newest entry-level line of products. The Imagine T, reviewed here, is the largest in the line. It includes a bookshelf speaker, center channel and surround sound speaker. As far as entry-level lines go, the Imagine series is as basic as they come, offering a single SKU in each of the core categories, which is kind of nice and keeps it a bit simple for first-time buyers.

The Imagine T is a floor-standing design that measures in eight-and-a-quarter inches wide by 37 inches tall and 14 inches deep. It's a solid enough piece, weighing 40 pounds. The Imagine T's cabinet comes in either a black ash or cherry wood veneer, which is extremely stylish and very well put together for an overall visual presentation that defies its asking price of $2,000. The Imagine T is a two-way design featuring a single one-inch titanium dome tweeter mated to dual five-and-a-quarter-inch woofers. The speaker itself is dual-ported to help with overall bass output and to help the rather compact floor-standing speaker sound a bit more full range, though its reported frequency response is 38-23,000Hz. The Imagine T can be powered with as little as 20 watts, though it can handle much more and brings with it a fairly evenhanded four-ohm load.

High Points
• Compact footprint and quality construction make the Imagine T one of the more enticing and desirable budget speakers in the market today.
• The drivers, down to the binding posts, are all of the finest quality and far beyond what you're going to find on the competition.
• Very even sound is far from brittle or harsh at high volumes, with a low end that is surprisingly deep for a two-way design and composed when powered with today's average receiver.
• This is a great way to get true home theater performance without paying theater prices.

Low Points
• The stacked binding post configuration makes routing larger-gauge cables a bit more tricky, especially if you're using spade connectors.
• For larger listening environments or for truly energetic listening, the Imagine T's will require a sub (or two). There isn't one in the Imagine line of products yet, although PSB makes several subs that are affordable and would mate very well with the Imagine T.

Conclusion
For $2,000 a pair retail, PSB's new Imagine T tower loudspeakers are a terrific buy and a wonderful entry-level loudspeaker. Within their class, which is quite crowded with competitors these days, they are far from a "me too" entry and lead their class in many respects. While other speaker manufacturers may promise and show you more, the PSB Imagine Ts get on with the business at hand of producing rich, full, pleasing and natural sound for music and movies. If you're looking to finally get into the home theater game and are on a budget, I recommend you check out the Imagine Ts. You'll be happy you did.
 

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For what it is worth, I auditioned the Imagine "B" Bookshelves and found them to be extremely bright. Everything else seemed quite good, especially for a 5.25".

Interestingly enough the lesser priced image series bookshelf sounded the exact opposite, as if it didn't even have a tweeter.
 

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I just bought a pair of Imagine B speakers . Will be setting them up later this week (need stands). Obviously speaker preferences are personal, so I considered them "detailed" rather than "bright", though a lot of that is also room dependent. They are more forgiving of less than pristine recordings than one of my other two finalists (Focal Chorus V706) while a touch more detailed than the other finalist on my list, Monitor Audio BX5 (the BX5, as a floorstander, does have more bass extension, but, subjectively, not in a major fashion when compared to the Imagine B speakers). I also got an excellent deal on "factory seconds" (the blemish is nearly microscopic and took me 20 mins. to find). Looking forward to the serious upgrade in sound this represents for my living room.
 

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I wonder how the PSB sound has changed since the Stratus Goldi days. I have a pair of Goldi's and have considered selling them because I don't need that large a speaker for the room they'll be in. They're just too good a speaker to give up without a fight, though...
 

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If you get a chance, I would be really interested to hear what you think when you get them set up.
About 10 hours spread over 2 and half days listening so far, so early impressions.

The clarity of detail I noted at the store is still there and did not suffer from my living room's less than acoustically ideal layout and materials. Shows its versatility on that score. Tweeter is a strong element of the speaker--cymbals, bells and triangles from different genres of music (pop/rock, classical, jazz) are clear and well-defined without brittle sounding high frequencies. Very happy on that score.

My placement options are extremely limited and even nearly 2 feet out from the wall (the right one in a corner and about 18 inches away from the side wall), with a rear port, bass extension is quite strong--too strong, in fact (though I could likely cure that with better placement--in theory. No way they are coming out further into the room in real life). Fortunately, they come with port plugs. I tried zero plugs, one plug left, one plug right and two plugs. Two plugs cures the boominess entirely (which makes me think it is located between 55hz and 70hz, though I have not yet measured it with REW) but makes them a bit lean in the bass. Would be the way to go if I add a sub, though, given my placement limitations. One plug in the left speaker (surprisingly not the one in the corner) yields the most subjectively pleasing bass response and given my placement limitations, I don't think measuring will be worth the effort at this time, so I'll just leave that port plug in and kick back and enjoy the tunes (as I am right now with Relaxin With the Miles Davis Quintet).

Centre image is solid, soundstage is not "boxed in" (not as spacious as the Focal Chorus V706s I also had on my short list, but far more forgiving of less than pristine recordings than the Focals).

All in all, very pleased so far. Especially for the price I paid (a great deal in a "factory seconds sale"). The blemish is impossible to see from less than six inches from the speaker and completely impossible on its stand). Ideal size for my room. Very good looking speaker too in the walnut finish.
 

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About 10 hours spread over 2 and half days listening so far, so early impressions.

The clarity of detail I noted at the store is still there and did not suffer from my living room's less than acoustically ideal layout and materials. Shows its versatility on that score. Tweeter is a strong element of the speaker--cymbals, bells and triangles from different genres of music (pop/rock, classical, jazz) are clear and well-defined without brittle sounding high frequencies. Very happy on that score.

My placement options are extremely limited and even nearly 2 feet out from the wall (the right one in a corner and about 18 inches away from the side wall), with a rear port, bass extension is quite strong--too strong, in fact (though I could likely cure that with better placement--in theory. No way they are coming out further into the room in real life). Fortunately, they come with port plugs. I tried zero plugs, one plug left, one plug right and two plugs. Two plugs cures the boominess entirely (which makes me think it is located between 55hz and 70hz, though I have not yet measured it with REW) but makes them a bit lean in the bass. Would be the way to go if I add a sub, though, given my placement limitations. One plug in the left speaker (surprisingly not the one in the corner) yields the most subjectively pleasing bass response and given my placement limitations, I don't think measuring will be worth the effort at this time, so I'll just leave that port plug in and kick back and enjoy the tunes (as I am right now with Relaxin With the Miles Davis Quintet).

Centre image is solid, soundstage is not "boxed in" (not as spacious as the Focal Chorus V706s I also had on my short list, but far more forgiving of less than pristine recordings than the Focals).

All in all, very pleased so far. Especially for the price I paid (a great deal in a "factory seconds sale"). The blemish is impossible to see from less than six inches from the speaker and completely impossible on its stand). Ideal size for my room. Very good looking speaker too in the walnut finish.
Thanks for the early feedback! As I am also going to have to locate mine closer to the walls (roughly 12" away), the feedback on that especially helps. I did find a PSB dealer locally, so I am going to add them to my listening list - Thanks!! :T
 

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Have listened to a few solo and duo classical discs (solo piano and violin/piano duo). These speakers are especially nice with such music, so far. Also worth noting, they perform well at lower volumes--details are not buried in the mix at a lower volume (provided the room is otherwise reasonably quiet).

No buyer's remorse here at this point.
 

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I watched Cars 2 with my son yesterday and Midnight in Paris today. Each sounded fine and doing so reminded me of my earliest "home cinema" setups--a solid 2 channel rig with a HiFi VCR (later DVD player) and a decent SD CRT (we still have one in the living room and I have to say that it still looks great with top-flight discs--it's just small for 2012). The PSBs are in my living room in a 2 channel rig, so movie watching is a secondary concern for me (I usually watch movies in the HT but I've not installed the new AVR yet). I feel confident that 5 Imagine B speakers with a decent sub would make a great HT package, though. Any speaker that shines with music should do well with movies.
 
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