Sunday, 12 October 2014

PMC twenty™ 23: The End of My Front Quest


                                                      



   

I took my time with this pair as it will be quite a hefty investment if I do like them. But it was indeed a very worthwhile investment. Especially for my home theatre experience, this speakers have elevated my enjoyment by a huge leap.

There are a few 'first time' experience here:

1. This will be my first purchase of a black coloured speakers. All my previous speakers have always been either mahagony, veneer or rosewood ie Mission, TDL, Heybrook

2. This will also be my first PMC speakers putting aside the centre speaker that I have purchased earlier.

3. It will also be my first slim sized speaker

4. Not to mention, it will be my first time having a matching front and centre speaker.

As usual, James Tan of AV Designs being his accommodating self.... Agree to send a brand new pair to my house after working hours. He arrived at about 9 PM and the unboxing started.


 

Such beauty...so shiny... That I dont even dare to help James in installing it.... I was afraid that I will put a scratch on the unit.











Now.... does PMC need an introduction? I dont think so. As mentioned, this year is about upgrading the home theatre experience. After an eargasm with the centre channel and 21s, can I go wrong with the 23s?

FIRST IMPRESSION 

With its slim design, one would wonder how will it fill a big room especially an open hall like mine? One of the reason I think why I dont get a lot of excitement from my previous Mission is because the speakers just cant cope with the open listening area.

Now, as the main objective is more for home theatre, running the speakers with the movie Star Wars 1, the Darth Maul vs Obi at the end of the movie, creates quite a realistic fight scene from the soundtrack also the swooshing sound of the light sabers. While with the 21s, the sound upgrade from Mission was already very noticeable, these 23s just made me realise that the 21s can be sound a bit box-ish.

Playing a straight 2 channel stereo music, the 23s did a fantastic job coping with the fast and complex drumming of Lars Ulrich on Enter Sandman. The bass coming from these 23s are astonishing and full. However, given that it was driven by a Yamaha AVR, I cant help but to feel that the dynamics can be better.

Mind you, these 23s, are brand new. Hence, most definitely they will be needing some break in time.

SPECIFICATION

Available Finishes                       : Walnut, Amarone, Diamond Black, Oak
Crossover Frequency                   : 1.8kHz
Dimensions                                  : H 918mm 36.14” (+25mm spikes) x W 152mm 6.0”  x D 330mm                                                          13.0” (+6mm grille)
Drive Units                                  : LF PMC twenty series, lightweight doped 5.5”/140mm cone with                                                           cast alloy chassis , HF PMC/SEAS®, 27mm twenty series,                                                                     SONOLEX™ soft dome, Ferrofluid cooled
Effective ATL™ Length             : 2.4m 7.8ft
Frequency Response                    : 29Hz – 25kHz
Impedance                                    : 8 Ohm
Input Connectors                          : 2 pairs 4mm sockets (Bi-amp or Bi-wire)
Sensitivity                                     : 87dB 1w 1m
Weight                                           : 13.2kg 29 lbs

The grills are magnetic type.

THE SET UP
  • Oppo BDP 95 EU
  • Yamaha RXV 2067 AVR
  • QED XT Silver Signature Anniversary, HDMI and Coax cable
THE TRACK/MOVIE LIST

Movies:
  • Star Wars 1
  • Rise of the Guardian
Tracks
  • Candle in the Wind on DTS HD MA 5.1 channel and 2.0 channel (HFPA)
  • Berita Kepada Kaman
  • And I Love Her
On Star Wars 1, the pod racing scene, even with the rumbling sound of the engine, the 23s did not over shadow the centre channel. It blended nicely into the crystal clear Twenty C. The stereo imaging gave such a realistic experience where the swerving of the pod from right to left, a really spacious and big sound was produced by the 23s. Something that I seldom experience with my previous Mission M34i.

On Rise of The Guardian is where I knew that this was for me. A truly enjoyable experience watching this movie with the 23s in the fore front. Especially during the scene where Jack Frost was about to receive his past memory from the bad guy himself. In this lair, the 23s re-produced the 'floating' vocals of the nemesis as he floats around the lair. EXCELLENT!

I must say that I am not really an Elton John fan except a couple of his songs. But nevertheless, this track made me really teary eyed as the 23s deliver such emotional musicality on both 5.1 channel and 2.0 channel on Pure Direct mode on the AVR.The bass from the tom2 of the drums was really sharp and punchy... just like the drums in those time. Elton's vocals on this track was so natural but at the same time was really strong and melodious. The presentation was really a lively musicality with a warm low end, natural mids and crisp high ends. Sounds like a perfect speaker isn't it? Well, it might as well be at this price.



On Berita Kepada Kawan (Indonesian very famous song by Ebiet G. Ade), it was even a very emotional listening session. The 23s are also good in uplifting the vocals presentation to sound coherent with the rest of the music while also centring the image smack in the middle between the pair. Again the classic retro hollow drums of those time was accurately presented where every single beat and also hi hat sharpness can be experienced. The overall sound was really energetic with a good focus on raising up the presentation to sound big and bold. It really made me realise how much I have been missing with my previous Mission M34i speakers.

And I Love Her is one of my favourite love song  from the Beatles. The version I have is the Mono box set. This was highlight of my review actually. While the tracks before have really given me the picture that PMC is all about sounding big, not on this track though. The song sounded flat and it has taken it down by a notch. However, it is not in a bad way. I believe this is how The Fab Four wanted the listeners to listen to their masterpiece. It was tonally balanced between the vocals, guitar, percussion, bass....aaaannnddd the 60s aura. It was such a relaxing session listening to this tune.

And it was only an AVR amp that drove this speaker to deliver such a musical experience. Imagine if it was driven by top notch stereo amp....

Conclusions

Yes and Yes again. Yes to home theatre duties and Yes to 2 channel music duties. I do not know why I have been contemplating all these while to test out PMC speakers. It was not far off from ProAc when it comes to price. Thanks again to James Tan from AV Designs. The 23s is perfect for someone who is looking for:


  • Excellent bass reproduction. Not boomy but really an extensive low frequency
  • Slim size but still look sexy
  • Big sound that fills up the room
  • Hard hitting bang for movies and musicality for music
  • Natural and neutral overall sound, just like what the artist wants you to hear
Do yourself justice and go for a demo if you are in the market to find a good pair of floorstanders for your movie and music duties. The speaker is sold by AV Designs at an RRP of RM14,200.

 Now.... to listen to the newly arrived 26s!!!


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