PSB's Legendary Project B2

To Doug Schneider,

I'm looking for some info on a unique speaker design by Paul Barton from around 1982, called the Project B2. I was wondering if you might have something helpful from your interviews with him.

No success with any online reviews or even opinions of the product, or from Lenbrook, so the number built must have been very low.

John Strupat

It’s funny you bring that speaker up. The Project B2 came out at roughly the same time that I was getting into hi-fi, so I was lucky enough not only to see a pair, but hear them as well. They were discontinued not long after that. I’ve talked to Paul Barton about the speaker often, since I was quite taken by its appearance -- a tall, elegant-looking enclosure with a wing-like front baffle. It was ahead of its time. In fact, I consider it almost legendary in his long list of successful speaker designs. But I don’t know much about it technically, so when your question came in, I called Paul and asked him about the B2 so I could answer more fully. Here is what he said:

“It was designed before Lenbrook took over PSB, so they wouldn’t know anything about it. The Project B2 was the first design I ever did using a Linkwitz-Riley acoustic fourth-order crossover, meaning it’s down 6dB at the crossover point and in phase. I realized at that point that because of the lobe, the tweeter needed to be below the woofer so that when you’re sitting down or standing up the speaker sounds the same. I continued to use the woofer-over-tweeter configuration in the subsequent Stratus and Synchrony designs.

“The drivers in the B2 were from SEAS of Norway. The tweeter was a 1” dome -- a model H 253. The 8" woofer had a compressed-felt-fiber cone and a foam surround. I believe it was a 21F-WBX. It was in a cast basket. An interesting thing about the B2 is that because the speaker was so slim and tall, there was quite an elaborate structure inside to eliminate internal standing waves. Another thing I did with the B2 was that I decoupled the woofer from the cabinet using a rawlnut mounting system. So if you felt the basket of the woofer, you could feel the vibration, but it did not transfer to the cabinet. The speaker was a real turning point for me and a keepsake if you have a pair.”

I hope that helps! . . . Doug Schneider