While on the topic of system configuration, PSB notes that adding a second sub will likely yield improvements in bass smoothness. I would note that the Image B4s are good enough that the two-sub approach represents an attractive upgrade path.
On Jack Johnson’s “Dreams Be Dreams” [On and On, UMVD], the opening bass line as heard through the B4/SubSeries 1 combo, was very clear, with good depth and some of the sense of moving air that it has when heard on top line gear. Later in the album, on the track “Wasting Time”, the dynamic clout of the rim shots and electric guitar were quite impressive. Upper bass wasn’t muddy at all, but lacked some string detail.
On The Unthanks “Because He Was a Bonny Lad” [Here’s The Tender Coming, Rough Trade], the PSB's presented a broad soundstage, with images well “off the box,” and a good sense of depth. Unlike some small speakers, the B4s don’t seem to be terribly restricted in image height (though note that they are very small and may require taller than normal stands to achieve optimally realistic image height).
On The Decembrists “The Rake’s Song” [The Hazards of Love, Kill Rock] the B4/SubSeries 1 combo revealed a complex mix that shows excellent instrumental detail. Through the PSB’s, the track sounded dynamically alive, but somewhat lacking in weight when the band really cranked things up. Bass was nicely balanced, but didn’t have quite the drive needed for power pop (note that the sense of having, or not having, adequate drive can be very room dependent).
PSB’s Image B4/SubSeries 1 can do what many have tried and few have accomplished: provide the beguiling midrange and treble refinement sought by music lovers while adding enough bass to avoid the low frequency distractions and disappointments that usually come with the mini-monitor genre. That this has been done at a total price of just $698 is doubly impressive.
PSB Image B4 two-way stand-mount mini-monitor
Driver Complement: one 1” Titanium dome tweeter, one 4”clay/ceramicwoofer Frequency Response: 70-20 kHz +-1.5 db
Sensitivity: 87 dB (1 w input)
Impedance: 6 ohms
Dimensions (HxWxD): 9.25” x 5.25” x 6.6”
Weight: 5.8 lb.
PSB SubSeries 1 Subwoofer
Driver Complement: 8” woofer
Frequency Response: 36-150 Hz +-3 db
Amplifier Power: 110 Watts
Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.6” x 9.6” x 14.1”
Weight: 23.8 lb.
Price: $399 each
PSB SPEAKERS INTERNATIONAL