Back in 1990 I listened to a prototype PMC loudspeaker at BBC Broadcasting House where I was a Studio Manager and I recall that I actually wasn’t that enamored by it, I guess we were too used to LS3/5a’s and 5/8s. However, I have followed the company from when it started as a cottage industry to the behemoth it is now. Peter Thomas was at the time also at the BBC, working as Manager of Music Studios, and with co-founder Adrian Loader (an engineer at FWO Bauch) (both unsatisfied with loudspeakers in both studios and home) began their speaker revolution. The BBC was largely still using aged and tired LS5/8 speakers and so PMCs were a breath of fresh air, opening up detail in the sound that gave us a chance to fully hear the music and spoken words. Their professional speakers were soon to find themselves in major studios around the world as well as in many BBC studios and of course many homes.
The history of the company reads like a book, and their website is well worth a look. After four prototype models, the first BB5 (which stands for Big Box v5; although BBC Studio Managers thought it meant something ruder!) was sold to the BBC in 1990 prior to setting up the company the following year. 1991 saw the launch of the LB1 (Little Box..), their first domestic model, which incidentally also became quickly seen in BBC studios and other production facilities in the UK and abroad. In 1991 the first pair of BB5 XBD Actives, including PMC designed-and-built active electronics, were installed in BBC Maida Vale Studios, and later Athens Concert Hall, with the Metropolis studio also taking them in 1993. They started producing their own drivers from 1994, a 75mm midrange and 37mm tweeter. Their 1999 FB1 was designed as a home-audio floorstander, and set the company closer to being known by audiophiles. It wasn’t until 2011 that the Twenty series was created, aptly titled to celebrate 20 years of the company, and then in 2016 the Twenty5 series was created to celebrate…yes, you can work that one out. Both series had distinctive “raked back” laminated HDF enclosures to time align the tweeter.
It is the Twenty5.23i coming in at £4295 that I was sent for review, their smallest floorstander and one of six models in the series, which includes two standmount and two floorstanding two-way speakers, one flagship 3-way floorstander, and a centre speaker. There is also the Twenty5 sub to give greater bass to the standmount speakers or for a surround set-up......
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