I haven't heard any of the Polk although did get a chance to go through few KEF models and PSB. Unfortunately not the PSB Synchrony One. The dealer had the PSB Imagine T2 towers as well as Image and Alpha. I listened to the T2 towers for about 3 hours going back and forth with it and my LCD-3 driven off the same amp. There was a whole NAD stack. So the NAD M51, NAD M50, and some type of NAD power conditioner thing (I think? - it was at the bottom of the rack so didn't read the name). The amp used was the Luxman L-505ux ($4500 retail price here). Sweet amp. Best treble I've heard so far on the LCD-3 by a huge margin.
Although with the PSB towers, it was lacking in extension to me and didn't have the impact in the right place for most of my music. There certainly was bass, but it didn't have the rhythm that I quite wanted. Most of all, it's presentation of vocals and overall soundstage didn't quite do it for. Especially not for that price. The Q900 on the other hand immediately impressed me with the soundstage they threw. Even the Q500 couldn't do it. The PSB Imagine also don't have the 8" drivers that the Q900 has. Usually you hear about 8" drivers messing with the midrange, but I didn't hear that with the Q900. Now granted, the audition was a few minutes long, it was really fun to listen to. Also, the Q900 were run off of some Pioneer/Yamaha amp yet still sounded excellent.
I didn't bother with other PSB lower series towers that were there, but really wanted to audition the PSB bookshelfs which were present in the showroom but not attached to anything. Unfortunately, the dealer caught on that I wasn't going to buy something on that very day so he just kind of played me off saying he had some work to do (typical douchey salesman)
Disclaimer: I may not have fully enjoyed the PSB Imagine T2 because the sales guy kept going on and on about how virtually none of my 2 TB+ lossless music was mastered well and instead wanted to play his own recorded song and constantly talk about cables making a difference, comparing high end amplifiers to driving like a ferrari and about reviews online. This man was on Stereophile's **** nonstop. I really wanted to say something back but wanted to get in some more auditioning. Needless to say, not going back there ever again. He lost my business.
I'd seriously audition all of these myself before pulling the trigger. One thing I will say about the Q900 is that they will sound good with pretty much any music and also movies. The Q900 doesn't play favourites. The T2 is good for instrumental acoustic stuff and jazz. Although, vocals just didn't do it for me. They tried to sound revealing and musical but the keyword being "tried" - to my ears and my preference it sounded like it was winging it.
Also, where can you get discounted prices for those brands you mentioned here in Canada? I might be interested in perhaps some PSB bookshelves if I can get them cheap for my desktop rig.
Oh this is great !, awesome information.
I usually buy stuff from Direct Buy, they carry PSB and Polk Audio, Kilpsch etc, Not sure if they carry KEF.
If you didn't hear about Direct Buy, be aware that the membership is $3600 CAD over 10 years, and starting on your 5th year you need to pay about $160 for yearly membership.
It works out great if you are buying appliances, furniture, or expensive flatware, etc, usually it's 40% to 50% from the retail price.
Unfortunately I cannot find any store in Toronto where I can audition headphones, speakers, amps etc.
I really wanted to buy LCD3 and LCD-X/XC but no where to audition so I had to give up on those. :)