PMC Frequently Asked Questions
This page lists the most frequently asked questions about our support and service. Please browse the list before contacting our support department, you may find an immediate answer to your enquiry.
The new I series has been considerably re-engineered from our plus series and although the physical styling is similar the construction and internal parts are quite different. This means that it is not possible to offer an “upgrade” path from existing +Plus Series to the new “I Series”. The new “I Series” consists of a new higher density medite™ carcass which has been remodelled internally to accept the new HF and LF drivers. The fixing positions for the drivers and internal rebate cut outs are different from the older “+Plus Series” and these older carcasses cannot be modified.The above coupled to the cosmetic changes to the new “I Series” such as Hand polished enamel badges and revised high gloss plinths on certain models mean that we would not offer “partial” upgrades to older “+Plus Series”. This would lead to confusion amongst our client base as to what actual specification a model might be . It may be possible for you to achieve a satisfactory part exchange deal through your local PMC agent/dealer, especially if your purchase of the “+Plus” series is recent ( less than 2 months).
We are confident your loudspeakers will afford many years of trouble-free listening of the highest order. But in the unlikely event that one or more requires repair, our unique manufacturing procedure, wherein the precise value of each component together with the response of the system as a whole is recorded, will ensure that any replaced parts will exactly match the performance of those originally included within each individual loudspeaker. For any issues that might arise or for advice and service requirements, the primary point of contact should be your knowledgeable and authorised PMC dealer/distributor. If you do not have a local representative please see the Where to Buy section of this website.
In an ideal world the speaker would be decoupled from the room using a slab of dense material such as concrete or marble, which is in turn decoupled from the slab using spikes or bluetack. However, in the real world this is hard to achieve, and will have limited effect on the sound quality unless a considerable amount of money has been spent on the system and the room acoustics are good.
If you own a DB1, TB2 or an FB1, they can be upgraded to a DB1+, TB2+ and FB1+ standard respectively. This modification can be performed by a dealer or by PMC.
Customer DIY upgrades to PMC speakers are strongly discouraged as not only will this invalidate the warranty, it may very likely make your speakers sound worse. Designing PMC speakers takes skilled R&D engineers a great deal of time with the best equipment at their disposal taking all factors into account. Judiciously replacing components can upset the balance of a carefully designed speaker.
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DB1+ have mounting points on the back for use with a PMC bracket that can be bought separately. The bracket allows multidirectional rotation for easy set-up.
The Wafer series speakers come with a wall bracket and are intended for wall mounting.
Because out unique ATL advanced transmission line enclosures, wide dispersion pattern, low harmonic distoring and smooth roll-off, PMC loudspeakers are more forgiving of difficult room conditions and placement constraints than conventional designs. However we encourage you to spend some time experimenting in your own room in order to obtain the best results within any applicable architectural influence upon system performance, especially in the low frequency region.
The following guidelines are suggestions for the initial location of you monitors.
Fine tuning of the positioning can start from here.
Place the speakers so that the front face is forward of any object that protrudes into the room – a fire place, bookcase or television for example.
Ensure that stereo pairs of loudspeakers are equidistant from the listening position, although some arrival time differences can be accommodated within modern home theatre receivers and processors.
It is always best to position front left/right pair and centre channel loudspeakers, at the same height, usually that of ones ear level when seated at the primary listening position.
When calculating the distance between your left/right speakers, create an imaginary equilateral triangle between them and your listening position.
For example, if you are seated 3meters from the plane of your left/right loudspeakers, they should be positioned roughly 2metres apart. As a general rule, the soundstage width will diminish if the loudspeakers are any closer together and become disjointed if they are further apart, but we encourage experimentation within your own room.
Loudspeakers can be ‘toed-in” to improve stereo left/right imaging, so that the axis of each loudspeaker crossed approximately 50cm behind the primary listening position.
Any of the PMC range can be used as surround (side or rear) loudspeakers in a multichannel music or movie playback system, placed just behind and elevated approximately 1meter above ear-height when seated in the primary listening position.
PMC recommend using a high quality thick multi-strand Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) cable between the amplifier and speakers. The use of ‘exotic” cables has limited improvement on sound quality, so we would not advocate spending great quantities of money. However, if you are prepared to spend a great deal of money in this area, we would strongly advice you listen first to determine whether the outlay is worth the improvement.
They are expensive to build due to the labyrinth design within the cabinet and only a few speaker designers have a sufficient understanding in order to produce competent designs. Unfortunately there is no magic formula’s, as with sealed and ported designs.
Transmission line, ported and vented designs are three different concepts on how to load the bass driver in a speaker enclosure. Transmission lines and sealed boxes have a 6dB per octave roll off after the resonant frequency, while a vented box has a 24dB per octave roll off. Ported speaker are the most common as they are cheap to build and easy to design, though the quality of the bass reproduction is questionable in many designs and such a steep roll off can have knock on problems further up the frequency range.
Sealed boxes have a similar roll off to transmission lines, yet can suffer from an ‘oil can” effect due to high pressures behind the bass cone, interrupting its movement. Both sealed and vented designs can suffer from rear radiating sound bouncing off the cabinet walls, and passing through the bass driver causing what can be described as a boxy sound.
Transmission line by contrast sound very natural because there is no build up of pressure behind the bass cone, with the rear radiating air being forced through an internal labyrinth to reinforce the bottom end of the frequency band. This also means no rear sound is re-radiated through the bass driver. The other advantage is that the air in the transmission line loads the bass driver and lowers its resonant frequency. This allows for the extended low end response and keeps the bass driver well damped, requiring less excursion than sealed or ported speakers to produce the same output.
PMC has painstakingly developed their own advanced transmission Line (ATL™) and has taken loudspeaker design to new levels, by using a cabinet construction and highly specified drive unit and crossover components. The PMC ATL design has enormous benefits including Improved resolution & reduced distortion, Even frequency response and Deeper, faster and better defined bass.
What is the difference between the Studio ‘S” version of PMC speakers and the domestic veneered versions?
The studio version’s are exclusively for professional customers as the matt black paint finish is very hard wearing and robust, which is ideal for vigorous use in a studio like environment.
Passive speakers have a non-powered crossover between the power amp and the drive units, whereas an active speaker has a powered crossover between the preamp and power-amp. This means that a single stereo amplifier can control a two or three way speaker pair, while an active design requires one channel of amplification per drive unit. So a two way active design would require 2 stereo amplifiers and a three way active design would require 3 stereo amplifiers to power the speaker pair. PMC active designs are given the ‘A” suffix in the name e.g. BB5-A.
Activated speakers use passive crossovers, but have a separate amplifier for each speaker. This eliminates cross-talk between the channels giving a clearer sound. The DB1S-A and TB2S-A are both activated designs.
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All passive PMC speakers can be either bi-wired or tri-wired. Bi-wiring is the use of two runs of speaker cable per channel between the amplifier and speaker. Tri-wiring is similarly the use of three runs of speaker cable per channel, but you will require a three way loudspeaker and three rear pairs of terminals per speaker to achieve this. Some people advocate that separating the signal paths aids the retrieval of fine detail. However, the evidence is far from conclusive. If you intend to bi-wire your two way speakers, or tri-wire your three way speakers ensure the metal links on the back-panel have been removed. If you wish to bi-wire our three way speakers, so the tweeters and mids are served by one set of cables and the woofers by a separate set of cables, remove the bottom link, but retain the top one.
Passive speakers have a non-powered crossover between the power amp and the drive units, whereas an active speaker has a powered crossover between the preamp and power-amp. This means that a single stereo amplifier can control a two or three way speaker pair, while an active design requires one channel of amplification per drive unit. So a two way active design would require 2 stereo amplifiers and a three way active design would require 3 stereo amplifiers to power the speaker pair. PMC active designs are given the ‘A” suffix in the name e.g. BB5-A.Activated speakers use passive crossovers, but have a separate amplifier for each speaker. This eliminates cross-talk between the channels giving a clearer sound. The DB1S-A and TB2S-A are both activated designs.
At PMC we use Bryston amplifiers for who we are the UK supplier. As our speakers have been developed using their amplifiers and visa-versa, the combinations offers good synergy and excellent results, and we would recommend you audition Bryston amplifiers with our speakers if possible.
The ideal amplifier should have enough power in reserve to reproduce powerful transients present in many forms of music. It is easier to damage a loudspeaker with a low powered amplifier driven too hard and producing a distorted signal than with a high power amplifier with plenty of power in reserve. Please consult your dealer if in doubt.
To choose a speaker, you should consider the following:
• How big is my listening area?
• How loud do you listen to your music?
The choice of speaker will always be down to your own personal preferences, whether you listen to your music loud or quiet, or have a room large or small, PMC accommodates for all needs though its extensive consumer range of bookshelf, stand mount and floor standing monitors.
One important factor to consider is that generally small speakers sound better in smaller rooms, and larger speakers sound better in larger rooms. A small room will have higher resonant frequencies, and the bigger the speaker, the more energy will be produced around the room’s resonant frequencies, which can produce an unpleasant overblown bass. Whereas a smaller speaker such as a GB1 or TB2 will not produce the same low end energy, and will sound far more controlled in a smaller room.
If you have a larger room available smaller speakers will still work well, but a larger speaker will have a more extended frequency response and because a larger room has lower resonant frequencies, it is unlikely to be upset by a larger speaker.
These are only guidelines. The best way to select a speaker is to listen to it, preferably in your own listening room if possible and decide for yourself. If you think a speaker sound good, it sounds good, whether it abides by the above guidelines or not.