IT’S been quite a while coming, no doubt slowed by the pandemic, but it’s finally set for production – PS Audio’s first loudspeaker, the aspen FR30, a slim, three-way design that’s a fusion of planar-magnetic and dynamic drivers, will ship early next year.
“The aspen FR30 is the culmination of years of painstaking development and many, many hours of listening and evaluation. Our design goal was to create a loudspeaker that fits easily and works optimally into the widest range of rooms and listening environments, and delivers reference-quality clarity, detail, and tonal accuracy, along with effortless dynamics and most of all, emotionally compelling musical reproduction,” says PS Audio CEO and founder Paul McGowan.
According to the accompanying press literature, the FR30 has a “custom push-pull planar magnetic midrange transducer and dual high-frequency transducers, which feature an identical symmetrical motor structure on either side of their driver diaphragms. This inherently linear configuration provides lower distortion than conventional single-sided magnet structures, along with higher efficiency.”
Additionally, “the midrange and high-frequency drivers employ high-strength N52 neodymium magnets with diaphragms made from Teonex film, a thin, highly stable material that provides exceptional transient response and resolution, with a fast, clean decay. The drivers are housed in a sealed sub-enclosure module, and their performance is optimised by the use of Aramid fibre-damping material.”
The four, eight-inch woofers on each speaker are cast-frame, aluminium cones with 12-pound magnets.
“The woofer’s motor structure features a split-magnetic gap and double Faraday rings for improved linearity and wider bandwidth, and the woofers’ articulate, agile response complements the speed and transparency of the planar-magnetic midrange and high-frequency drivers.
“The woofers are augmented by four 10-inch side-firing passive radiators, for authoritative low-frequency extension. The FR30 presents an easy-to-drive load with an 87dB sensitivity, making it ideal for use with a wide range of amplifiers.”
The enclosure, made from extensively-braced MDF with a front baffle formed from a dense, rigid and well-damped fibreglass resin composite material, is a unique modular design. The midrange/tweeter section contains the acoustically isolated crossover network and the section is removable, enabling ease of shipping and setup. Integrated high-frequency acoustic waveguides are moulded into the baffle to enable optimum horizontal and vertical dispersion and a smooth frequency balance both on- and off-axis.
“The FR30 offers a visually distinctive ‘floating’ appearance, with a curved bottom and complementing anodised aluminium stand with milled brass acoustic isolation spikes.”
Hard plastic feet are supplied for use on hard surfaces and to aid in initial speaker placement, useful since a pair of these weigh a bit over 100kg.
The PS Audio aspen FR30 loudspeaker will be available early 2022, in a choice of Pearl White or Sable Black finishes.
The suggested retail price is US$28,499 per pair.
Nice ad. No doubt the FR-30 is a statement of industrial design. It joins the company of the many unique designs that are available today. But, will it become an audiophile standard? Time will tell. I hope it becomes one of the standards for the wealthy few who can afford it. In typical Paul McGowan hyperbole, he said it is now within the reach of many. More accurately, it is within the reach of the very few. Still, every market segment deserves outstanding choices. I hope the FR-30 proves to be worthy of the market segment for whom money is no object. Or I should say for those who aspire to money is no object status. After all, given its looks, it could have been priced at six figures. Other speakers who may be less capable are. I am looking forward to objective reviews.