PSB Passif 50 Front on stands

Canadian audio brand PSB is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2022, and it has announced the Passif 50 to mark that milestone.

The design and technologies used within the Passif 50 leverage five decades of research, paying homage to the Passif II speaker that launched in 1974. As a show of gratitude, the first 500 units sold of the loudspeaker will come with a handwritten letter from PSB founder Paul Barton, and a QR code for a gift pack that includes a cotton canvas backpack, double-walled water bottle, and commemorative keychain.

The performance of the speaker is described as being beyond that of the older models, the titanium dome tweeter uses a powerful neodymium magnet and ferrofluid damping for higher output, improved power handling and reduced distortion. The phase plug in front of the tweeter’s dome directs the tweeter’s output for a wider and consistent dispersion of high frequencies that’s claimed to be bigger than the traditional sweet spot.

PSB says this leads to a wide and deep soundstage with very acute imaging that isn’t reliant on a precise listening position. The felt pad that surrounds the tweeter aims to minimise edge diffraction to improve transparency and produce more stable imaging.

The 6.5-inch woofer and 8-inch passive radiator feature cast aluminium baskets that resist flexing, along with filleted rubber surrounds that dampen resonances off the cone for a smoother response and less distortion. All joints have been mitred for an improved fit and finish in the heavily braced enclosure. With dual five-way binding posts the Passif 50 can be bi-wired or bi-amped.

The Passif 50 features what PSB describes as a retro-modern aesthetic, featuring 1970s inspired elements such as an open-grained walnut veneer cabinet, magnetically attached woven cloth grilles and dedicated stands. Other little design features include a pull tab on the front grille, which also sports the retro PSB logo that Barton drew by hand in his high school geography class, and a rear panel plaque adorned by a maple leaf with the inscription “Passif 50 – 1972-2022.

Priced at $2499 / £2499 / €2999 / CAD$3299, the Passif 50 will be available to pre-order online August 1st with shipping starting this September.

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