Montreal Audio Show - anyone hear the FR30’s?

I heard they made a big splash and received applause but wondering if anyone here had the oppty this weekend to hear them ? 



Includes delivery and white glove initial set up. 230lbs each speaker. And a 30 day in home trial money back guarantee. All that adds to the cost not to mention inflation in general. So for $27,500 it could be a winner. 


point taken

now, if they would send guys with white gloves over to move em when i want to swap in my maggies or big spendors...  😁🤣

They won’t be at AXPONA.  PS Audio was going to show at the 2020 show but when it was cancelled the promoters did not refund any of the exhibitor fees. They lost about $10,000 so they will not be dealing with the promoter in the future. 

Hmm, their response to Amir‘s criticisms of their power reconditioner was not exactly convincing. Hard to tell at this point who is the joke.

They don’t "set up" the speakers, per se. They don’t even take them out of the shipping boxes. They wheel them into your listening room in the boxes. You have to assemble. So "white glove" perhaps but all it means is they bring the boxes from your step to your room - after that you’re on your own. It’s not like Wilson where Wilson assembles and does hours of listening tests to position the speakers optimally, for example. Not criticizing the service, just keeping it real - it is what it is.


Your Wilson comment is correct; however they absolutely do unbox the speakers in the room where the speakers are to be located. 

Ok, I stand corrected on that, thanks. Do they assemble them? I know that each speaker ships in two boxes, the base portion and the upper portion. I assumed that they do not assemble them because the PSA site provides assembly instructions, but I could be wrong about that also (don't think so tho, I think you have to assemble yourself).


Really too bad that they won’t be at Axpona, agree with previous comment.

weird, I was there, a bit tight on time sadly, but I didn't seem them at the show. 

I listened to them last month at PS Audio, in their listening room.

Phenomenal! They deliver more than as advertised. For $30K/pair, they are truly a bargain. Don’t know how long they’ll stay at $30K, though. They truly do set a new bar. Chris totally amazed me!!

For $30K/pair, they are truly a bargain. 

And there, in one sentence, is everything that's wrong with audio.

If you would have gone to the Tampa bay audio show last month, there were many  mid fi or even terrible sounding speakers that were way north of $30k. There was a tower speaker teamed up with creek gear and the speakers were ok sounding, and they were $110,000/$120,000. My $15k speakers would blow these away. 
I like PSA products so I would agree that they will sound very good and will be a bargain.

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Aj523-the $120k/pair Kroma Audio Elektra floor standers. The room sounded good, it had creek gear which I never heard creek gear sound this good. I was thinking the speakers should be in the $10k-$15k price range. 
IMO, there are many many speakers in the $20k range that sound much better like the revel salon/studio 2’s, the bigger ushers, and others. 
The room across from this room, had the fink speakers which sounded good too. Again, I was thinking they were in the $5k-$7k range and the were $33k, these were smallish 2 ways that would not hold a candle to any of the speakers that I listed above in the $20k range. Actually, I think my smaller Revel tower speakers are every bit as good and they were 1/16 the price. 

aj, thanks for the video. I think with any speaker there is a "best" location. For some reason many manufacturers don’t take advantage of that. Unless the design dictates something different, many speakers will sound best when well away from the walls. Give PSA credit for doing that.

One of the very best sounding demos I’ve heard was at a SoCal dealer decades ago. They set up the current version of Vandersteen 2 speakers (@ something like $12-14 hundred) along with top end Audio Research electronics. The speakers were maybe 5-6 feet out from the front wall and more than that from either side wall. Clean, well defined, extended, and with a huge soundstage. It was hard to imagine a speaker at that price could sound so realistic.

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@bruce19 Maybe both are?

Amir is a hypocrite. He claims to be very objective and does lots of measurements but then at the end he has this little subjective blurb where he makes subjective comments like 'Wow wow wow' 'I kept drooling at the sound' (This was his DCA Stealth review). Then he turns around and says Resolve (Andrew, headphone shows).. subjective comments are so 'cringy'.

Don't be a hypocrite Amir. If you want to be the leader of ASR then go all the way... post your measurements and then STFU and walk away. Then I would have some level of respect.

@smodtactical   Possibly.

I can say that I own a PS audio power plant 3 regenerator. It is one of the more expensive pieces I own. I bought it to protect my investment but my  assessment of whether it improved the sound was a close call. Admittedly I was affected by the sales pitch and the belief that such a well established company would carefully and effectively engineer its products. I am shocked that PS Audios response to Amir's data was to deflect and deny rather than role out their own data. I am at a loss of how a responsible company could develop a regenerator without a ton of it's own data showing how and why it works.  FWIW I also purchased a Stellar Strata at the same time I got the Power Plant 3. I found the streamer portion to be a buggy product that should have still been in beta test and it got returned. I also was not impressed by its sound. My Rogue Sphinx and a Topping D50 DAC sounded just as good at half the cost.

@smodtactical Yes, I can understand that some like it to be 100% objective and 0% subjective.


​​​​​​But there is also some that criticize him to be to much objective. And criticize him by "You didn't listen to the product!" As a way to say that his objective data is not valid and don't matter in the practice. 


I think it is little bit to objective to take a product and measure it, pack it up send it back.. Without hooking it up to a stereo system at all (without listening to it) but that is maybe only me. ☺️


So in the end to make those that criticize him for that, then he listens on the test object. To satisfy them.. 


The data is there and it is up to you if you want to listen to his objective conclusion that he can draw from the measurements and listening tests.


Either way he is acting there is always someone that is unhappy and not content.🤔


Personally PS audio has lost most of my trust when for example Paul call Amir names. And are unable to produce a valid response video with proper messurment hardware. (More or less ANY hobbyist can bring out a hand held volt meter as a cheap croudamentary device. As a big company they should have much better measurement devices to be able to measure if the HW they make have any benefits at all for cleaning up noise.)


I would be ashamed to act like Paul and make that response video and response postings. It just shows how far behind they're in technology understanding and maturity in my opinion.


To the subject at hand. FR30.. yes they are not expensive IF you consider PS audio has been "working" on something to get to the market for at least 3 years. They have employed speakers expert Chris and moved to newer and more expensive facilities during that time. They have Paul, CEO and all the other employees. All that piles up in huge expenses and it is expected by me that the price for the HW needs to be high. That is just the way things work with massive overhead costs.


It is not a couple of guys that work their as of in a garage 16h a day.. that is trying to start some business, those days are gone long time ago.


What is the technical advancement in FR30.

In my opinion none.. what do we have for technology:

  • Passive radiators
  • Backfiring tweeter
  • Unusual midrange driver

Nothing new here in high end audio.

I were expecting something technology advancement in high end audio like possible to calibrate adjust the speakers in the specific environment they end up in (it is possible others have done it).


Especially when they were at it for many years.. and not much came out of advancement in the other end.


Yeh passive radiators.. yes it is in a big box. And maybe one of the bigger ones out there. But nothing new.

Backfiring tweeter. With a adjustment for level output. I don't see anything new with that. It is a nice thing to have of course.

The midrange driver and how THAT sounds is what I see as selling point if it to the listeners/customers liking or not.


So my opinion in the end it is a speaker that is larger than average and nothing particular special about them from a technical standpoint. I am always on the hunt for new and better technology solutions that solve problems like bass boom/bloom and so on. At a affordable price. I hoped that PS audio maybe come out with something new that maybe could trickle down later at some point. But that is something that the FR30 are not, they are just another box with drivers in my opinion (same same but just different form factor as any speakers are).

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It's audio speakers, not rocket science.  There are almost never massive technology leaps.  It isn't a fast moving technology space, to say the least.  Pretty unrealistic expectation if that is what your bar is.

"It's audio speakers, not rocket science.  There are almost never massive technology leaps.  It isn't a fast moving technology space, to say the least.  Pretty unrealistic expectation if that is what your bar is."

Well said, @kren0006 

No that is right it is not rocket science and very slow technology.

But you could incorporate room calibration into the speakers and take the lead in DSP high end Path. But it is a missed opportunity.


Yeh and many do not like active and DSP in the high end market. But if they lead the way and bring the DSP into the fine room. And it is not so that they don’t know how to build amps and electronic.. they do.. maybe then they would sacrifice some amplifier sales.. but they could make a modular plate amp and made it possible to upgrade and so on.

Yes missed opertunities, anyway.

Well that same sentiment then applies to every other speaker company that released a speaker in last 10 years??? Complaint makes no sense.


Anyway, they are open to some potential criticism - e.g., price escalation when original projection was $8k, then $15k, landed at $28k; built in China when company had long prided itself on made-in-USA and perhaps most expensive speaker that is built in China, certainly most expensive speaker from US company, etc., but I wouldn’t criticize them for not including room correction - that’s kinda random.


Regardless, the most important thing is how it sounds, and does it sound better than the competition at $28k. I haven’t heard so can’t comment. Wish it would be at Axpona because since no US dealers can’t really hear it anywhere, unfortunately.  It's an ambitious effort for an amp/regenerator/dac company who had never made a speaker before, so I give them credit for trying

What is new technology in speakers these days?  I don't know of any major driver type that wasn't around since the 1970's or much earlier.  Even something "exotic" like a plasma tweeter was something invented in the 1930's.  The only more recent development is DSP applied to room analysis and speaker equalization/control, and the most innovative example of that is the B&O speaker that utilizes multiple drivers and wave cancellation based on DSP analysis of the room to control the dispersion pattern of its drivers.  It, by the way, costs way more than $30k.  

The bottom line is performance as compared to peers.  It has nothing to do with technology employed or the cost of components and manufacture.  If someone can use cheap parts and build something great sounding, more power to them (and profit) and one would be a fool to get something that sounds less satisfactory just because of an analysis of cost of manufacture.  

I have not heard the speaker so I cannot comment on its sound, much less its worth.  How many criticizing it here have actually heard it in a reasonable setup?  

on DSP analysis of the room to control the dispersion pattern of its drivers. It, by the way, costs way more than $30k.

The bottom line is performance as compared to peers

Exactly! Let’s be open minded here..

Some say that up to 50% of what you hear at sweet spot is the room.


If that is true.

Or if it is only 30%.. I guess it is dependent on if it is near field or more further away from the speakers to your sweet spot as a factor.

Let say if it is only 30% is from the room. Like reflections bass peak/nulls and so on..

When DSP correct most of the room interaction (talking from experience and doing it right now) . Not only can you correct the room You can adopt curves that compensate our hearing sensitivity that is different and varying over the whole frequency range (research since 1933 and incorporated in ISO 226:2003. But the cool thing you can tailor made it for your own personal preferences!)

(Of course you should fix the room in the physical domain first but that is far from the goal.)

Then you all understand that when it is the biggest component physical and has one of the biggest influence in your whole system.

Then naturaly with that big advantage that few speakers has we would get best in class performance and easily outperform it peers:

The bottom line is performance as compared to peers

Real question: Can someone explain why speaker manufacturers can’t be bothered to create true 8 ohm speakers at say, at least 90 db efficiency?  It’s just driver choice and engineering

That part of speaker design seems unforgivably lazy to me at the high end (let’s say $5,000+ speakers). Can’t these folks create something that lets users be more creative on their amplification?

Not everything needs to work with a 10 wpc SET - but why can’t makers build speakers that can run on amps weighing 40 pounds, instead of 100? - huge customer problem, hi-end is dying because of it (hi-end is still dying. TTs and headphones are healthy). No one wants to deal with that nonsense any more. It’s part of why the industry can’t attract younger enthusiasts (anyone who thinks the problem with hi end and young people is cost, are kidding themselves. 30 and under have crazy spending power.  Go to a watch auction sometime and see people spend real money. Go try and buy a 911 GT3 and find out lead times)

Sports car makers don’t try and sell 5,000 lb cars anymore 

Please, thoughts and explanations appreciated!

Perhaps it is not that easy to build a high efficiency speaker without incurring some other compromises or added cost.  A lot of the efficiency loss is in the complex networks that are used in some crossovers.  But, all those added elements are there for a purpose--smoothing out response, accounting for anomalies around the crossover point, accounting for baffle-step loss and diffraction, accounting for floor bounce interference, etc.  I once saw an advertisement for a YG Acoustic two-way that showed the crossover and it blew my mind--way more than a dozen capacitors, something like eight inductors, and I don't know how many resistors; their is a lot of power being burned off there (but, I sort of like the sound of that YG speaker).

From the speaker builder's perspective, it is easier to disregard efficiency when balancing other considerations because that is someone else's problem.  It is up to the amplifier manufacturers to supply the goods that can play these speakers.

I agree with you, by the way, but, I personally want WAY more than 90 db/w efficiency.  Something closer to 100 and 7-16 ohm nominal impedance would be nice for the kinds of amps I own.

And when one of the speaker manufacturer’s main businesses is higher power amplifiers, even less incentive, perhaps even negative incentive


Of course there is several reasons. 


One big reason is looks and with that WAF.

As a designer it starts here:

Hoffman’s Iron Laws of Speaker Building

1) Bass Extension

2) Efficiency

3) Small Enclosure

So you can choose two and the third is given to you.


If you want more extended Bass Extension and high efficiency (sensitivity) then you will have that but you will not get that in a small enclosure!

So you need a big ugly speaker enclosure and the market is not going for that. Sorry.


If you go for high efficiency (sensitivity) and a small enclosure then the bass extension is gone. That is not HiFi if you don't can hear full range.

But there is manufacturers that makes higher sensitivity and higher ohm speakers. So it is just to look elsewhere.




please check out the Canadians Tri-Art Audio while you’re there.

you’ll be glad you did. 👍


I wonder what Paul is doing with his IRS V's now?

He moved them into another listening room at PS Audio. He will never get rid of them. Mean too much to him.

Optimize-what are you talking about?  Raw speaker components have changed quite a bit in the last 40 some years: amt units (bought speakers with AMT driver in 1978 and since nobody wanted to pay Heil any royalties, nobody us d them until recently), Diamond tweeters, enclosure materials, crossover components, etc… If you want dsp, then get a $500 home theater amp with the mic and software. Keep it out of hi end audio.

People need to compare thes speakers to others for around the same price to see if this is what they like. Keep the measurement tools at home, just bring your ears which is the best tool an audiophile brings to the table. 

No that is not the way to do it:

"home theater amp with the mic and software."

The way to do it that will get more SQ that any speaker manufacturer can offer no matter how much money you throw at them.


When some manufacturers go to the customer and set up the speaker for them as good they can. That is good but there is only so much you can gain by moving (fine tune) it 5 cm here and there and I could not make a blind test and hear 5 cm.. if not in very specific situation)

If someone high end manufacturer instead sell a speaker without any wastfull passive crossover components.

And instead sell a speaker package with a DSP (and maybe amplifiers no problem for example PS audio that makes amplifiers) and when they come home to you they will make the placement make the sweet spot as wide/narrow as the customer wants or give him presets to be able to alter it.

Setting the time alignment between the drivers, fixing the crossovers, using dedicated amplifiers for each speaker driver/s when there is amplifies that is sounding best in the midrange then use the best sounding amp for bass, midrange and tweeter.

Also set and adjust presets for different types of music and what the specific customer like! Hard to beat the ability to tailor the sound after one specific costumer preferences.


Adjust with the DSP for the biggest physical component as the room is and it has also one of the biggest impact on the SQ <- just there.. there is no speaker manufacturer that can like a camelia adapt to each room and the placement in that specific room. 

Now we are talking about taking the SQ a step further that is nothing that is done by any manufacturer and only some hobbyist like me for example so I am talking from experience.

But please go on and move speakers in and out of your room that just have different woofer and box sizes and materials. That is trial and error and will not yield any different results. 

 This is a free idea that someone can adopt and incoperate in their offering. Like i wrote it is a missed opertunity from PS audio and a safer way to go.. to make it the way speaker manufacturers has always done it but what have we gained since IRS V then.. nothing when looking at a higher level perspective.


Regarding PS Audio not showing at Axpona, a $10k loss when the show was canceled is certainly a hit, but in the grand scheme of PS Audio's total revenue, especially when it is amortized over the two years without shows, that is not a big loss. These were also two years when their sales likely flourished due to audiophiles being stuck at home during Covid. I suspect their decision not to go to Axpona is based on principle or ego. The $10k will come back to them in the sale of a handful of power conditioners.

That said, it may be a fortuitous decision. I visited their room in Montreal several times, sitting in many positions as well as walking around the room and I think their speaker still needs work. That, or as Optimize suggested above, a lot of room treatment or DSP.

I was in the PS Audio room at the Montreal Audiofest several times over the course of Saturday, stood and sat in different spots in the big room, with varying amounts of people present.  They were tough to pin down on things like imaging and soundstage, and during one particularly crowded visit I honestly thought they had been wired out of phase.  But what bothered me is, in white, the smoothness and gloss of the finish actually made them look like plastic.  Like enormous versions of cheap desktop iSpeakers on either side of your monitor.


I wonder what Paul is doing with his IRS V’s now?

He moved them into another listening room at PS Audio. He will never get rid of them. Mean too much to him.



Nice to have speakers like that along with them being a barometer for his own efforts.


lol. I immediately thought of that when I first saw them. It’s undeniable in white.