With an open-grained walnut veneer enclosure, magnetically attached woven cloth grille, and dedicated stand, PSB’s anniversary edition, Passif 50 Standmount Loudspeaker evokes the storied history of one of the world’s great audio brands. Created to commemorate 50 Years of PSB Speakers, the Passif 50 harkens back to the legendary Passif I and Passif II models that established the brand’s reputation for performance and value, while being an all-new design employing technology tricked down from PSB’s flagship Synchrony speakers. It’s the latest application of PSB’s True to Nature design philosophy.
Grounded in Science
The Passif 50 leverages five decades of acoustics research and design experience. Since the early 1970s, PSB has been an active participant in the world-famous acoustics program at Canada’s National Research Council. An engineering team led by PSB founder and chief designer Paul Barton measures prototypes in the NRC’s anechoic chamber, then correlates these measurements with extensive subjective listening tests. This process has led to an unbroken series of products acclaimed by listeners and reviewers for their tonal fidelity, spatial realism, and effortless dynamics – even at high listening levels. The Passif 50 Standmount Loudspeaker is the latest product of PSB’s time-tested design process.
While the Passif 50 has a similar driver complement to the Passif I and Passif II, it’s a ground-up design, with an all-new driver platform and enclosure. The result is a speaker that accurately reproduces music exactly as the creators intended – without colouration of any kind.
The titanium dome tweeter employs a powerful neodymium magnet and ferrofluid damping, for higher output, improved power handling, and reduced distortion. A phase plug in front of the tweeter’s dome directs the tweeter’s output to ensure a wide and consistent dispersion well beyond the traditional listening window. This creates a wide and deep soundstage with very acute imaging which isn’t reliant on a precise listening position. A felt pad surrounding the tweeter minimizes edge diffraction for improved transparency and more stable imaging.
The woofer and passive radiator have cast aluminum baskets that resist flexing, and filleted rubber surrounds that dampen cone resonances, resulting in smoother response and reduced distortion. Considerable engineering effort was invested in refining the interaction between the woofer and the passive radiator. The result is a state of perfect balance of their opposing forces.
While the Passif 50’s enclosure profile is similar to its classic forebears, there are several important differences. The Passif 50 is sold in mirror-imaged pairs. Having both tweeters on the inside of the soundstage results in improved imaging. All joints in the heavily braced enclosure are mitred for improved fit and finish and reduced cabinet vibration. Featuring dual five-way binding posts, the Passif 50 can be bi-wired or bi-amped.
In addition to their warm walnut veneer enclosures, woven cloth grilles, and dedicated stands, the Passif 50 has numerous anniversary edition aesthetic elements. These include a pull tab on the front grille, which sports PSB’s original logo, and a rear-panel plaque adorned by a maple leaf and an inscription that reads, “Passif 50 – 1972-2022.” With its cutting-edge technology and gorgeous retro design, the Passif 50 honours the past, embraces the future, and delivers sound that is True to Nature.
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