PSB Speakers Stratus Mini Floorstanding Speakers

PSB Speakers Stratus Mini Floorstanding Speakers 

DESCRIPTION

Definitely meant for stand-mounting (we offer matching stands that can be filled with sand if you like for maximal non-resonance), it is probably the best rendition ever of a truly full-range speaker with an almost-disappearing cabinet. What its enclosure size provides is a combination of solidity for minimum resonance and a small surface to avoid unwanted diffraction effects. The latter is a major reason why critics keep citing its excellent soundstaging and imaging. The Mini is a two-way system with a 6-1/2-inch woofer and 3/4-inch aluminum-dome tweeter. The woofer's hefty (28-oz) magnet plays a great part in the bass definition. The ferrofluid-cooled tweeter has excellent dispersion and power-handling.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 31  
[Mar 23, 2010]
Eduardo Hdez
AudioPhile

Great speaker very natural sound, detail musicality in songs i never knew where there great speaker.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 14, 2004]
Pat D
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Smooth, neutral sound. Wide and deep soundstage. One has the impression of listening to the recording rather than the speakers. Good bass response to below 40 Hz, sufficient for most music. Easy to integrate with a subwoofer.

Weakness:

Relatively low voltage sensitivity and minimum impedance. Needs an amplifier good with 4 ohm loads. Will not play super loud (for those who need that). Bass falls off below 40 Hz, but that's what subwoofers are for.

The rooms in our house are small enough to make it difficult to get the best out of dipolar or bipolar speakers. So when the power supply on one of my Quad ESL-63 speakers blew, I figured the best thing would be to look at forward radiating speakers. The Quads should have a lot of pace, and in that room, I was never able to get the best out of them, particularly on piano recordings. Since I have a big subwoofer and listen at moderate levels (usually well under 90 dBa), I decided that small monitor speakers would be sufficient and cost effective. The Stratus Minis have not disappointed me. I made up a short list of speakers to audition, based on expectations, local availability, and reviews, but of course, I was open to listen to other speakers. We had to do some traveling due to a family emergency, but this did provide an opportunity to listen to a number of different speakers. The list of contenders below in other similar products used does not include all those I auditioned by any means. It shows ones I did like a lot, and excludes a couple I tried at home which did not work so well there. They by no means had the same balance but all had a smooth neutral sound and a wide soundstage. Since I liked them all, I simply cut the more expensive ones from the list. This left the B & W 705 and the PSB Stratus Mini. The Stratus Mini seems somewhat more laid back (this is a good thing to my mind) and I judged them to be more forgiving of some poor recordings. They were also cheaper and available from a local dealer, making it any easy decision. I found the Stratus Minis played all types of music very well, whether male and female vocals, chorus, piano, small ensemble or full orchestra. Male vocalists such as Roger Whittaker, the Clancy Brothers, and Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) come across as natural and neutral. Diana Krall (Love Scenes) and Patricia Barber (Modern Cool) are very well reproduced. My brass recordings on the Nimbus, Vox, Telarc, Columbia and other labelssound great, very natural as do many others. The Stratus Minis throw a wide and deep soundstage with big orchestral and choral works such as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Leibowitz on Chesky) and Berlioz’s Requiem (Shaw on Telarc) , not emphasizing one part of the frequency range more than another. Choral reproduction is superb, and my Mozart’s Requiems with Colin Davis and Peter Schreier sound about as good as I have ever heard them. Piano reproduction is very good, whether with superb modern recordings such as Earl Wild’s Chopin Ballades and Scherzos or older recordings with Horowitz and Rubinstein. Transient response is superb on guitar. Sharon Isbin’s renditions Bach Lute Suites and Michael Hedges dynamic Aerial Boundaries are quick and clean with no overhang. To show the quick and clean transients from the midbass to the high frequency, I have found nothing better than David Chesky’s Club de Sol with all sorts of drums, cymbals and things making tinkly sounds. The Stratus Minis handle the difficult transients in medieval or renaissance instrumentals on my Nimbus, Naxos and Vox recordings using metal stringed harps, anvils, bells, and so on, in a very natural fashion. Some recordings which sounded problematic over the Quad ESL-63s such as famous recording of Brahms Hungarian Dances on Naxos, sound fine with the Stratus Minis. An old favorite, Bach’s Magnificat in D with Felix Prohaska on Vanguard, sounded rather harsh with the Quads but is quite acceptable with the PSB’s, which are smoother in the upper mids and treble. Indeed, I am finding that most recordings sound better in our room with the Stratus Minis than they did with the Quads. It really is a first class speaker. No speaker, of course, sounds best on every recording, but with accurate ones, a little adjustment of the balance with tone controls can help many recordings sound fine. The Stratus Minis are more accurate than the Quad ESL-63's. Indeed, most recordings sound even better with them than they ever did with the Quads. Some few do not, but that is to be expected with a change in speakers. They play beautifully and do not add any obvious coloration to the sound. The Stratus Minis provide a wide and deep soundstage with many recordings and seldom call attention to themselves. They are a very neutral speaker with a wide and even horizontal dispersion and with vertical dispersion as good as most. They need to be placed about 25 inches off the floor. They can actually bolted to the PSB M2-Si stands which I bought, which is very convenient for moving the speakers around. I found the best location was about a foot and a half from the back wall, which gives the smoothest reproduction of male voices and the smoothest transition to the subwoofer.

Similar Products Used:

OWNED: Kef 104aB Quad ESL-63 RECENT AUDITIONS (serious contenders only): Totem Mani-2 Signature Paradigm Signature S2 (and the big S8, which I just had to hear) B & W 705 Dali Helicon 400 Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano PSB Stratus Mini

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 11, 2004]
Heue Jung Park
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Wide sound staging with depth Massive and hard bass property A comfortable tone color best cost-effectiveness Good Musicality

Weakness:

Less Detail and Dynamics

For 1month, I have listened with this Stratus mini monitor speaker with great satisfaction due to highly cost effectiveness to its musical potency. I had heard with Dynaudio Contour 1.1,Audience42, Audience52, KEF Q1, Boston CR7, Jordan M2, etc. for the porpose of musical interest. Later,I met this monitor speaker incidently. It has well balanced tunning, proper voluminous hardness like Dynaudio, neutral & natural sound, extensive sound-staging & depth, colorlessness and musical comfort. I am waiting impatiently for the day being aged muture sound of my mini.

Similar Products Used:

Dynaudio Audience 42, 52; Coutour 1.1, 1.3se

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 19, 2004]
Scott Carr
AudioPhile

Strength:

-Floorstander frequency response in a bookshelf monitor. -Excellent bass response -Can listen for hours and hours without fatigue. -Some recordings sound as though the musicians are in the room with you -Sturdy speaker construction -Speakers can be bi-wired or bi-amped

Weakness:

-Requires a good amplifier with high power and current to make it sound best. -Takes time to break-in(may sound dull at first but you realize that this is what it really sounds like without the recording being emphasized). -It took me about 9 months to a year to really appreciate these accurate mini monitors.(it was worth the wait!)

I have listened to these speakers for over 1 year now after upgrading from the PSB Image 2B's. Both of these speakers are bookshelf models which I prefer over floorstanders. The differences are quite noticeable though and let me outline what I mean. The 2B's are rated at 89db@1watt/metre, nominal 6 ohm, and handle 140 peak watts. While the Mini's are rated at 86db@1watt/metre, nominal 4 ohm, can handle 300 watt peaks, and are biwireable. In the process of upgrading the speakers I also added another amplifier to bi-amplify the Stratus Mini's. The added power and current really makes these speakers shine. I must admit after hearing the 2B's with there brighter tweeter and weaker bass response, relatively speaking, the Mini's sounded relatively flat at first. My ears were not used to hearing nearly flat response acrsoss the frequency range with little colouration. The Mini's are truly a speaker that takes some time to adjust to but once you do you'll be overjoyed that you decided to keep them. These speakers continue to amaze me with the music they reproduce. I listen to all kinds of music from jazz, classical, pop, rock, blues, and techno. Sometimes if I have an excellent recording I feel as though the musicians are right in the room with me. If you do decide to purchase a pair of Mini's I highly recommend bi-amplifing them as they do require more power and current because of the relatively low sensitivity and impedance. If you enjoy listening to music for extended periods and like to hear an accurate reproduction of the original recording then this is the mini monitor for you. After reading a few professional speaker reviews of this speaker I now know what they mean when they say that this is a true mini monitor which gives you a reproduction of the original recording and allows you to listen for hours without fatigue. In closing I would just say that I am very glad that I decided to upgrade. Keep in mind that the PSB Stratus Mini's will require most people a lenght of time to adjust to such a high quality reproduction. Give yourself and the speakers time to break-in and get to know one another. If you have any more questions about these speakers or my review you can contact me by email.

Similar Products Used:

Kef C20, Paradigm 7SE&9SE&Atom, Energy Pro22, PSB Image 2B. I currently have my PSB Stratus Mini's set up with a NAD C350 integrated amp, NAD C270 amp, NAD C420 tuner, NAD T531 DVD/CD player, Sony TCWE635 tape deck, Sony CDPCE370 CD player and JVC hi-fi VCR.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 12, 2004]
pablox
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Build quality

Weakness:

Lack of all bass

Audio enthusiats should do them selves a favor and listen to thses speakers before purchasing. Everythg about them is good except the almost complete LACK of bass response. I listen to an eclectic mix of oldies, seventies, eighties and ninties (no rap it all sucks) music. A lot of it is soul music with heavy bass. These speakers have absoulutly almost zero bass response. They cannot be used by themselves for any 2 channel music listening or home theater with bass.

Similar Products Used:

polk, wharfedale, jbl, acoustic research

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
[May 12, 2004]
DMolisher
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Incredible bass response for the size! Relatively detailed, yet NEVER harsh or bright. Still totally competitive many years after its introduction.

Weakness:

Not the last word in detail. Ho-hum cosmetics.

Got a good price on a pair of dealer demos, and happily upgraded from my recently purchased JM-Lab Chorus 706. The improvement in bass response in my bedroom was truly astounding, while the Minis offered even better high-frequency detail. Much better than my attempt to add a JM-Lab Cub sub to the Chorus 706's. Higher-end JM-Lab (Cobalt & Electra), and lower end PSB Image, could be a little harsh, by comparison. Similarly, Magnepan MCMC1's offer more detail but also a touch of sibilance, and without a trace of bass (fast, musical $450-750+ sub required). I prefer PSB to Paradigm at every price point I've heard. Thiels are better (and used in my main system), but at a substantial cost. Next, I plan to upgrade to PSB's new Platinum M2; it's better in every way (at double the cost), and even bests Thiel CS1.6 in some areas (at a similar price).

Similar Products Used:

PSB Stratus Bronze, Platinum M2, and Image 2B; Thiel CS1.6 & CS2.4; JM-Lab Chorus 706, Cobalt 806S, & Electra 906; Magnepan MCMC1; Paradigm Reference Studio 20/40/60/80/100.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Sep 10, 2002]
Duyz
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

musicality,good presentation of all kinds of music rich, warm, incredible depth and imaging. Not to revealing=foregiving.everything sounds great, bad or good recording.Can't say enough about the musicality of these great speakers. can listen to very long periods without fatigue. foregiving on placement. front ports so sound good even when placing close to the rear wall

Weakness:

big n bulky for book shelf model. makes me not want to turn off my system. Loss of time due to extended periods of listening

this highend bookshelf from psb puts out incredible sound for a bookshelf model.If your like a nuetral sounding speaker, You should go out and audition this speaker with some good compenets of course. My first impression of the entire psb line was they make very neutral sounding speakers. Of course there is no such thing as a totally flat response speaker. Some maybe close but still nothing is perfect. My second impression is that sound is slighty laid back. Most laid back speaker that I listened to had a thin sound but not psb's. They have a musically rich sound. I highly recomend them a little pricey but you really pay for what you get. The stratus line sounds alot better than the lower and mid line. The pricer stratus line is justify by the better quality cabinents and drivers wich= better sound quality(by a large margin, IMO)

Similar Products Used:

I teamed these puppies up with a nad c370 and a nad c521i cd player. Very impressive combo. I listen to jm labs both the chorus and cobalt line great speaker with incredible hi frequency extention and

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 25, 2002]
chris
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Price point, musicality, soundstage.

Weakness:

Very little to complain about.

I''ve had these speakers for almost 5 years now and driven them with various electronics both good (Marantz monoblocks)and bad (30w Onkyo reciever) and they have never failed to sing. The higher the current, the better they sound. They have amazing depth, razer sharp imaging and a very nuetral sound across the entire spectrum. Don''t be put off by the fact that they are mini monitors. These''s little guys provide some serious bottom end! It took a about 3-4 months of placement experimentation but it was well worth the effort. Highly recommended! Just bought a pair of Golds but the detail isn''t quite the same. The Mini''s a little more musical. Perhaps with some more placement experimentation...

Similar Products Used:

Paradign, B&W, ProAc''s.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 18, 2000]
Will
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Tonal balance, ease-of-placement, power handling

Weakness:

None

These are the best mini-monitors I own. I've compared them with Celestion 100s and Paradigm Reference 40s. I own all the speakers and I've listened to all of them for extended periods.

In all cases the set-up is the same, the speakers occupying the same stands. I've also operated all of them in conjunction with two Velodyne sub-woofers--for stereo bass.

The PSBs throw a natural and enveloping ambient envelope within which all sonic detail is naturally rendered. Their frequency response and tonal balance are geared for a slightly warm upper bass. Many mini-monitors are purposefully voiced this way so thay they don't sound harsh. The Velodyne subwoofers have a high-pass filter set at 85 Hertz which eliminates the slight bass warmth.

I think the comarison with the Celestions is very interesting. The Celestions are acoustic suspension speakers in cabinets built like bank vaults. They are voiced without a mid-bass boost. In comparison with the PSB Stratus, the Celestions give a more analytic and cooler presentation. Since both speakers are dead-smooth, the differences are more recording-dependent than anything else. Some recordings are bloated and sound better on cooler more analytical speakers. Other recordings are so bone-dry sounding that a little warmth from the speaker is welcome.

The Paradigms are really a two-and-on-half system, with a midrange and woofer. They can play louder than the Celestions or the PSBs. They also have a slight mid-bass boost even though they go lower than the Celestions or PSBs They are more exciting sounding than the other speakers. But that is becuase the the presence-range is more prominent. On most recordings that adds a sparkle and immediacy to the sound. The problem is with older recordings or those with a 'hot' high-end. In those cases the Pardigms can sound un-forgiving and over-bright and make you reach for the volume control.

If I could only keep one pair of speakers, it would be the PSBs. That's because they do everything well and so easy to live with.

I'd miss the Celestions, though.

Similar Products Used:

Paradigm Reference 40, Celestion 100

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 12, 2000]
JOHN LOVELESS
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

TRANSPARENCY, SPEED AND NEUTRALITY

Weakness:

CLUMSY STYLING AND POOR STANDS

USED WITH SLATE AUDIO STANDS AND A GOOD PRE/POWER AMP THE MINIS REALLY SING. THEY ARE HONEST ACCURATE SPEAKERS WHICH STRIP BARE THE NUANCES OF RECORDING. THEY LACK A LITTLE WEIGHT AT THE BOTTTOM END BUT USED WITH A GOOD SUBWOOFER FROM REL THEY GIVE A CONVINCING PERFORMANCE. THEY ARE NOT EASILY AVAILABLE IN THE UK, I WAS FORTUNATE TO OBTAIN MINE FROM AUDIOSOURCE IN GLASGOW WHO AT ONE STAGE WERE CONTEMPLATING IMPORTING THESE UNITS. THE MANUFACTURERS REALLY OUGHT TO LOOK AT THE POSSIBILITY OF MAKING PSB SPEAKERS AVAILABLE TO THE BRITISH HI FI COMMUNITY.

Similar Products Used:

MERIDIAN ARGENTS, EPOS ES11, HARBETH HL3

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 31  

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