PBN Montana Sammy: Any Experience?

Anyone own or demo the Sammy from PBN?


I enjoy my EPS2s, and am very curious about the Sammy. Peter has a generous return policy, but the Sammy is lot of speaker to move around.


Hi John. I used to own the WAS's and downsized when we moved homes. The Sammys take a long time to break in but are absolutely lovely looking and sounding speakers. Very clear and crisp midrange and very nice soundstage.

I'm not yet set up acoustically. My last home was built around the music so the acoustics were really nice and that has a huge effect on the sound. The midrange is actually better than that of the WASs (and the WASs are far better than Thiels and other speakers I've owned or heard previously). Silky, smooth and clear without being too much in your face or too laid back. You will never experience listening fatigue that can occur from other speakers but the sound is still exciting and palpable.

The highs are very nice indeed but the cymbols are just a touch softer than I was used to. However, I believe that is due to the acoustics. Ditto for the bass. You can't compare it directly to the WASs which had a fantastic low end but, to me, it's a tad soft at the lowest frequencies. That said, the dynamics are smooth all the way through the spectrum and it's as if there is no cross-over. At least I can't hear where the cross-over frequencies might be. Peter builds speakers that are transparent and consistent top to bottom.

The Sammys are great speakers. My wife (who has some great ears) likes the Sammys better than the WASs and I will say they are extremely clear all through the spectrum. I can't judge the very top end because my acoustics aren't right. Quite frankly though, I'm happy enough with the sound to be unmotivated to work at fixing the acoustics. To me the midrange is a hundred out of a hundred and the top end might be a ninty seven (due, I believe to poor acoustics -- too many windows, etc.). The upper bottom end is, in my view, also a hundred. The very bottom end is closer to an eighty five. It is definately there -- you can feel it in the floor and hear it very nicely in other parts of the house. However, my acoustics just can't get it to a hundred. If the room was fixed, I'd bet it would get closer to a ninty five. However, I'm spoiled by the WASs and it's hard to replicate that in a much smaller speaker.

All in, as with everything in life, there are trade-offs. The speaker is a manageable size (once it's set up) but the bass may not be quite as deep as the WASs with their super size and super large speakers. Apart from that, I believe the Sammys are as good or better overall as the WASs were. That's saying a lot. It's saying even more considering that I moved from a pristine acoustic environment to a very sub-optimal one.

I feel very good about moving to the Sammys and I will not make a change. I may work on the lower end room acoustics to see if I can pull a bit more out of the very lower end. But I'm spoiled with that.

Hope that helped. I think you will love the Sammys. Give them some time to break in. Have a few friends help you uncrate them and move them to the right position. Then sit back and enjoy the seamless musical experience.
Thanks for the very detailed and helpful description, Ozfly!!!

I'm especially encouraged by your observation that they are completely non-fatiguing. That's one of the things I like most about the EPS2 -- many well-liked speakers give me ear bleed -- and I was wondering how the new tweeter affected that.

I'm less concerned about the low end, since I listen to primarily small scale music with lots of acoustic instruments and female vocal, but I'd definitely like to dig a bit deeper than the EPS2.

What amplification do you use? I'm running the Pass INT-30A, which is not a powerhouse, and can present issues with some speakers.

Finally, I've got a 14x22x9h open floor plan room; do you think I've enough space?

Thanks again!


It is good to see you posting again. I would love to catch up and see what occurred after Charlotte and Wachovia. I am still in NY and not going anywhere soon - one daughter in college and one in high school.

Drop me a line privately and I will call you.

John, yes you have enough room, especially with an open floor plan. I am using a pair of the mega powerful Olympia amps (Sierra Audio from PBN) combined with the Olympia LX preamp. Same setup as used to drive the WAS's in a really big room. Let's just say I don't need to turn the volume up too much. The Sammy's seem to drive pretty easily, but I believe all (or many) of the Montana speakers are actually pretty efficient.

Bob, look forward to talking.
Hi John, Sorry for being so late! I just stumbled upon this thread, By the way did you happen to buy the Montanas? Just curious as i own Pass XA 30.5 and plan to buy speakers for the same. Montanas were on my short list. What speakers are you using and how is your experience.?