British manufacturer PMC has renewed its iconic PMC twenty5 speaker range originally released in 2016. For the occasion, the manufacturer has named its 2020 series PMC twenty5i (the letter “i” stands for improved). The main changes are in the crossover, which benefits from an optimized structure to provide an even wider and more expressive sound. This new range designed for both hi-fi and home theater listening features two compact models, the PMC twenty5.21i and PMC twenty5.22i, the PMC twenty5.Ci center speaker, and the PMC twenty5.23i, PMC twenty5.24i and PMC twenty5.26i floorstanding speakers.
PMC twenty5i: studio quality sound
PMC is a British brand founded in 1990 by Peter Thomas of the BBC and Adrian Loader of FWO Bauch. The association of a specific expertise and passion for music led to the creation of the first PMC device, the BB5-A, a studio monitoring speaker. It is primarily in this field of professional recording that the brand rapidly gained a strong reputation. PMC also became one of the few brands to receive an Emmy Award for its contribution to the development of audio recording technology. Its speakers were used to record albums by famous artists such as Stevie Wonder, Deep Purple, Prince, Brian May and Robbie Williams. The soundtracks for Titanic, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight and Skyfall, to name just a few, were also mixed using PMC speakers. The manufacturer reigns supreme in mastering and radio studios, and in the world of professional sound in general. With the twenty5.23i range, PMC wants to provide the same level of quality and faithful reproduction that led to its success for homes.
PMC twenty5i: ATL technology
To fully understand what differentiates PMC twenty5i speakers from the competition, it’s important to look at the speakers’ internal design and their enclosure. While most manufacturers opt for bass-reflex technology, PMC has used ATL (Advanced Transmission Line) technology from the outset. This technology uses energy generated by the low frequency driver in a much more efficient way than speaker designs based on ported or sealed enclosures. ATL speakers are equipped with braces and benefit from carefully selected acoustic materials that absorb vibrations while allowing low frequencies to flow through. These exit from a front-panel vent, extending the low-frequency response and creating the impression of a far larger speaker with an extra, ultra high-quality woofer. As a result, the PMC twenty5.24i floorstanding speaker, for example, can function down to 27Hz thanks to its 3-meter transmission line.
PMC twenty5i: low frequency driver
To provide deep, controlled and natural sounding lows, the low frequency driver used in the PMC twenty5i speakers must meet strict specifications. It is imperative that the cone be rigid enough to achieve this reproduction quality, even at high volume, with a minimum of coloration. For this purpose, PMC developed the G-weave cone, which is composed of resin-bound woven fiberglass and cellulose. Found on all speakers in the PMC twenty5i series, this G-weave cone is much stronger than a traditional paper model but doesn’t affect the speaker’s sound signature and, therefore, doesn’t colour the sound.
PMC twenty5i: magnetic fluid tweeter
The reproduction of high frequencies is entrusted to a tweeter developed in partnership with the Norwegian craftsmen at SEAS, one of the most renowned driver designers in the hi-fi world. This 0.74” diameter soft dome model is made of Sonomex, a highly sophisticated material used for its natural and smooth frequency response, guaranteeing perfect uniformity. The engineers have placed a computer designed grille in front of this dome to provide optimal wave dispersion and an extremely accurate acoustic image. The result is a three-dimensional sound covering a wider listening area.
PMC twenty5i: audiophile crossover
To provide a natural and balanced sound, a speaker must be able to accurately separate high and low frequencies. The crossover is therefore an essential element to precisely separate the signal according to the ideal frequency ranges for each driver. PMC’s engineers paid particular attention to this crossover system when developing the new line of speakers. They carried out computer simulations and set up an extensive test program to adjust the speaker crossover and separate the signal extremely precisely. Consequently, each component is selected after a series of tests and the circuit is specially designed to avoid any interference. In addition, these components are soldered by hand.
PMC twenty5i: the models
The new PMC twenty5i range features the PMC twenty5.21i and PMC twenty5.22i compact speakers, the PMC twenty5.Ci center speaker, and the PMC twenty5.23i, PMC twenty5.24i and PMC twenty5.26i floorstanding speakers.
The PMC twenty5.21i is the smallest model in this new range. This two-way speaker is equipped with a 5½” G-weave cone midbass driver. The latter is combined with a 1.7m transmission line to efficiently reproduce frequencies down to 46Hz. It works in tandem with a 0.74” soft dome tweeter with SEAS SONOFLEX technology, cooled using a ferrofluid.
The PMC twenty5.22i is the most powerful compact speaker in the twenty5i range. It differs from the PMC twenty5.21i by its 0.66” G-weave driver paired with a 2m transmission line. This difference allows it to reach 39Hz for deeper lows. The tweeter remains the same.
The compact and floorstanding speakers of the twenty5i series are designed for both hi-fi and home cinema use. To accompany them, the manufacturer has created the PMC twenty5.Ci center speaker. This speaker benefits from the same technologies as the other models in the range, namely a 0.74” tweeter coupled with two 5½” G-weave midbass drivers with a 1.8m transmission line.
The PMC twenty5.23i is the first floorstanding model in the twenty5i range. This two-way speaker with ATP technology is equipped with the same drivers as the PMC twenty5.21i compact speaker. However, it benefits from a 2.4m transmission line that allows it to accurately reproduce frequencies as low as 28Hz.
The PMC twenty5.24i floorstanding speaker features an 8” G-weave driver, also coupled to the same tweeter as the other speakers in the range. Here, the transmission line is increased to three meters, allowing the speaker to reach 27Hz!
The flagship of this new range is the PMC twenty5.26i, a three-way floorstanding speaker with impressive specs: a 0.74” soft dome tweeter with SEAS SONOFLEX technology and cooled using ferrofluid, 0.66” G-weave cone midbass drivers and a 3.3 meter transmission line. This structure allows the twenty5.26i to demonstrate high linearity from 27Hz to 25kHz.