PSB Speakers, innovator of high-fidelity speakers since 1972, releases the Passif 50 Anniversary Edition Standmount Loudspeaker in celebration of its 50-year milestone. The design and technologies of the Passif 50 model leverage five decades of dedicated research and pay homage to the early Passif II model first released in 1974. The Passif 50 will be available to pre-order online the first of August with shipping this September, and it retails at USD $2499/GBP £2499/EUR €2999/CAD $3299. 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.
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. Other unique embellishments include a pull tab on the front grille, which sports the retro PSB logo – originally hand drawn by Paul in his high school geography class – and a rear-panel plaque adorned by a maple leaf with an inscription that reads, “Passif 50 – 1972-2022.”
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 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.
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.
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.
Image: PSB Passif 50 Front-3-4 Pair on Stands - Right Grill on, Left Grille off