iLocal News Archives

Paul’s Post : For the price of a component

By Paul McGowan From PS Audio

I have recently had one of the most extraordinary unexpected experiences of my life. 

When our loudspeaker designer, Chris Brunhaver, invited me to finally hear the production ready version of our newest aspen series, the stand-mount FR5 2-way, I had my fingers crossed he could inch forward this overcrowded category.

And doing that would be no easy task. There are probably more small 2-way “bookshelf” speaker pairs than anything else on the market. From as far back as groundbreaking models like the Rogers LS3, the original Wilson WATT, the cute little pair of modern KEF LS50s in our living room, to even floorstanding 2-ways from Thiel to Magneplanar,  this is one vast category of speaker.

So, when I took a moment out of my hectic day, grabbed the iPad and went to our playlist on Qobuz, selected a Norah Jones classic, imagine my surprise when it sounded like the larger FR20s were actually attached.

Have a look at this picture I shot from my listening position.

Chris just smiled.

This was wicked sorcery on a level that should be illegal. The entire room came alive with a soundstage as big, wide, and deep as anything I have ever heard in that room including the Infinity IRSV.

I kept shaking my head in disbelief. I know the FR5s reach down into the 30’ish Hz region. I know it has the same tweeter as the 20s and 30s. But dammit! Take a look at the thing! 

There’s nothing there! It’s a tiny stand mounted white box with two drivers.

The only way I could make sense of what I was hearing was to close my eyes—remove the image that couldn’t make sense.

Track after track—all my favorites, from Octave to the classics, this pair of little boxes simply stunned me. Set me back on my heels. Had my head shaking in disbelief.

In fact, they have the same—but opposite—problem as did the massive Infinity IRSV that once made their home in this big room. Sitting in front of those huge beasts you were often forced to close your eyes because the incongruity of a perfectly detached image of a single musician refused to line up with the enormity of what was producing it. With the FR5s, nothing makes sense. Your brain cannot piece together how something so small can make sound fill the room.

What is almost as extraordinary as what I have just described is what this all means. Once these speakers launch, anyone in just about any reasonable (or small) room, will be able to elevate their system to a stunning new level for essentially the price of a component stereo piece.

You’re not going to be able to share this experience until May or June of this year, but when we get closer I’ll tell you more.

For now, this has to rank among the biggest shocks in my entire HiFi life of fifty years.


Grab a copy of my new book! The Aurora Project
Get my memoirs, 99% True
Watch Today’s video

More articles

Lifestyle stereo
Starting point
You cannot outrun progress
Better than real?
Amplifying the silence


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *