The PSB Passif 50 Loudspeakers Are Begging for Shag
PSB Speakers today announced the Passif 50 Anniversary Edition Loudspeaker in celebration of the company’s 50-year milestone. The design and technologies of the PSB Passif 50 model leverage five decades of dedicated research and pay homage to the early Passif II model first released in 1974.
Competitively priced at $2,499/pair (USD), the Passif 50 joins the new wave of vintage looking loudspeakers that have been updated with the latest technology.
Capturing a Legacy
In 1974, PSB Founder and Chief Designer Paul Barton developed the Passif II at a time when his initial acoustic research had led to the establishment of PSB’s design philosophy. The Passif II was the first model to incorporate those principals and demonstrate what is now praised as the brand’s signature “True to Nature” sound. Paying tribute to the Passif II, the Passif 50 represents the PSB legacy that has remained strong over 50 years of speaker innovation – a series of products marked by tonal accuracy, spatial realism and freedom from distortion.
The Passif 50 features 1970s inspired elements like an open-grained walnut veneer cabinet, magnetically attached woven cloth grilles and dedicated stands. The loudspeaker evokes a sense of nostalgia with its retro details while being constructed with modern materials that align to current tastes.
A Landmark Design
The design of the Passif 50 mirrors its famous 1970’s forefather but incorporates the most current flagship level components and benefits from 50 years of acoustic research. The result is a loudspeaker with classic 70’s looks but achieves a level of performance well beyond the capabilities of its ancestors.
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. The result, according to the company, is a speaker which 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.
PSB says considerable engineering effort was invested in refining the interaction between the woofer and the passive radiator. Each have cast aluminum baskets that resist flexing and filleted rubber surrounds that dampen cone resonances. All joints in the heavily braced enclosure are mitred for improved fit and finish and reduced cabinet vibration. The company claims such features deliver smoother response and reduced distortion.
The rear of the Passif 50 features dual five-way binding posts, which can be bi-wired or bi-amped. Both the front grille and rear panel sport the retro PSB logo – originally hand drawn by PSB Founder, Paul Barton in his high school geography class. A rear-panel plaque is adorned by a maple leaf with an inscription that reads, “Passif 50 Anniversary Edition – 1972-2022.”
- 1″ titanium dome tweeter with ferrofluid damping and neodymium magnet
- 6.5″ woofer and 8″ passive radiator with cast aluminum baskets, paper cones, and filleted rubber surrounds
- Retro-styled open-grained walnut veneer enclosure and dedicated speaker stands
- Magnetically attached woven cloth grilles
- 50th anniversary design touches, including original PSB logo and pull tab on the grille, and rear-panel plaque that reads “Passif 50 – 1972-2022,” adorned by a maple leaf
- Felt surrounding the tweeter minimizes edge diffraction
- Bi-wirable/bi-ampable five-way gold-plated binding posts
- Speaker alone dimensions: 660mm H x 280mm W x 2540mm D (26” x 11” x 10”)
- Speaker with stand dimensions: 870mm H × 280mm W × 254mm D (34” x 11” x 10”)
Price & Availability
The PSB Passif 50 will be available for USD $2,499 (CAD $3,299). Online pre-ordering begins August 1, 2022 with shipping expected the following month.
As a show of gratitude for the brand’s devoted fanbase, the first 500 units sold of the Passif 50 will contain a handwritten letter from Paul Barton and includes a QR code with an offer to receive a gift pack that includes a cotton canvas backpack, double-walled water bottle, and commemorative keychain.
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