Let’s face it: most speakers look like boxes, or as somebody once put it, “monkey coffins.” But some are prettier than others, and if you ask me, PSB’s G-Design GT1 is a real looker. The cabinet’s sexy curves and hand rubbed piano black finish are flawless. It’s also a little smaller than your average tower, and that will surely help things on the domestic front.
Being a PSB design, the GT1’s beauty is more than skin deep. PSB’s Paul Barton not only designs the complete speaker—drivers, crossover, and cabinet— he also fine tunes his speakers’ sound at Canada’s National Research Council laboratories in Ottawa, Ontario. There he dotes on his prototype designs in the acoustically neutral environment of an anechoic chamber, measuring and evaluating every aspect of the speaker’s performance. Barton can devote two to three years to designing a new line of speakers.
The G-Design GT1’s one-inch aluminum dome tweeter and dual 6.5-inch woven fiberglass mid/ woofers were designed specifically for the G-Design models, and each speaker is tested to compare its sound against the original G-Design reference standard.
First impression: the G-Design GT1’s sound has the heft of a larger speaker. Well, that isn’t exactly true; the speaker doesn’t plumb the depth of bass or deliver the grunt of the big boys, but unless I directly compared the G-Design GT1 to something larger, it was satisfying. The treble is delicate and clean as a whistle; though the speaker’s overall balance is on the warm side of neutral. I imagine the G-Design GT1 will be a nice match with bright sounding amplifiers or fairly inexpensive receivers.
Angelo Badalmenti’s score for the Twin Peaks TV show [Warner Bros] was loaded with atmosphere. The synths sounded wonderfully lush and the tunes conveyed the show’s ominous tone. The G-Design GT1s virtually disappeared as they projected a large and deep soundstage.
With the G-Design GT1 in play, I could feel every beat from Charlie Watts’s mighty bass drum on “You Gotta Move,” from the Rolling Stones’ Love You Live CD [Virgin]. Still, the cymbals’ shimmer and sparkle was slightly subdued, and overall sound, even with the volume turned way up, lacked dynamic verve. Not that I detected any added distortion as the dBs rose; it’s just that the music’s energy level didn’t keep up.
Loved the curves and the fulsome sound, but the G-Design GT1 seems a little expensive to me. The sound is beautifully rendered, if just a tad laid back in the treble and reticent in the lowest octaves of bass. I’d be happier if the dynamics had more clout.