New loudspeaker with 12 firsts from PMC. And that’s a fact.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

PMC launch the fact.12

New from PMC comes the fact.12 loudspeaker, the latest edition to the acclaimed fact series of high performance speakers, packed full of firsts and designed to bring the scale, musicality and drama of PMC’s large format studio monitors to domestic consumers, in a slim-line, elegant, fully optimised package.

The floor-standing fact.12 is the first three-way speaker to be introduced into the established fact family, which already includes the two-way stand mount fact.3 and two-way floor-standing fact.8. Like its stable mates, it features a tall cabinet with a very slender front profile, which houses the most up to date version of the company’s Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass loading technology.

Much of the acoustic design of the fact.12 has been aided by PMC’s ground-breaking work with the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, a world leading centre of excellence in the field of accurate measurement, science and technology. As the first loudspeaker manufacturer to work with the acoustics team at NPL, the PMC designers were able to use sophisticated laser measurement techniques to see the sound emanating from the loudspeakers. This helped with the design of the drive units, cabinets, crossovers and important detailing such as the size, shape and profile of the midrange dome dispersion flange to provide optimal sound distribution and integration.

With the exception of the proven fact tweeter, also used on the other fact models, the fact.12 was designed from the ground up as a wholly new product. Company founder and chief designer, Peter Thomas, tasked the design team, including R&D project manager, Oliver Thomas, and design technician, Phil Millross, with producing the transparency, scale and dynamics of the large studio monitor speakers in a svelte cabinet, while retaining the perfectly natural balance that makes the fact series so revered.

They did this by further exploring all options for every element in the speaker, while maintaining the essential coherence between the individual components to ensure the whole was much greater than just the sum of its parts. Starting with the drive units, the decision to produce a three-way speaker allowed the designers to specify dedicated drivers for midrange and low frequencies, creating a new140mm coated alloy cone bass unit with a much longer linear excursion. The result is the most effective ATL speaker to date, delivering the maximum energy back from the transmission line. The combined output of the twin bass drivers and that of the twin ATL vents delivers a low frequency performance very close to the large scale IB2 studio monitors.

The clarity of PMC’s midrange has become synonymous with the brand thanks largely to the world famous PMC75 midrange dome. Using this as a basis for the design, the new 50mm soft dome midrange created for fact.12 continues in this tradition to reproduce the critical midrange with an absolute purity, just like its larger counterpart. Ferrofluid cooling around the voice coil enables fact.12 to output high sound pressure levels without fear of thermal damage to the unit. The R&D team spent many hours fine-tuning the design of the midrange flange, using the results obtained from the original NPL dispersion tests to hone the thickness and profile of the plate, and the position and size of the chamfer surrounding the dome.

Inside, the careful attention to detail continues with the design of the 24dB per octave three-way crossover. The steep filter slopes provide excellent integration of the high, mid and low frequency drive units, and user adjustable controls permit subtle tailoring of the high and low frequency responses to suit the listener’s room acoustics, size, shape and construction and sound signatures of the partnering equipment. In another first, the fact.12 is the only passive loudspeaker to incorporate a true LF boost setting (i.e. increased from flat), a detail also borrowed from PMC’s professional background and experience with active crossover design.

The foundation of the crossover is manufactured from military-grade fibre-glass boards, with hand selected and matched components, chosen after extensive listening tests and used throughout. A double-sided crossover has been employed for the first time to enable signal paths to be kept as short as possible and eradicate interaction between components without compromising the quality and quantity of components used.

Key detailing from the company’s professional background continues with the construction of the cabinets. Cabinet rigidity is enhanced by the use of a 35mm thick high-density front baffle and a 50mm base. In addition to the natural bracing effect of the ATL baffles, the fact.12 also features extra bracing elements at critical points such as the top panel where the air pressure inside the transmission line has been found to be enormous.  This creates an extremely inert structure and ideal platform for the combination of bespoke drive units and ATL to function.

To complement contemporary interior design, a new white silk finish is being introduced across the fact range, in addition to the stunning Rich walnut, Graphite poplar and Tiger ebony veneers currently available.

Miles Roberts, PMC’s managing director, praises the fact.12 design team, saying, “Oliver and his team have done a superb job of producing a loudspeaker that is worthy of its position at the top of the fact range. Its performance is such that it can justifiably be compared to our world famous studio monitors.” He continues, “The new 50mm midrange unit is a masterpiece of engineering which has a remarkable performance, very close to that of the PMC75 and is sure to make the fact.12 a loudspeaker that will be in demand for many years to come. We look forward to sharing it with music aficionados from across the world when we unveil it in Munich in May.”

Peter Thomas, PMC’s founder and chief designer, says, “We are lucky to be involved at every stage of the recording process in major studios around the world. This gives us first-hand knowledge of the creative process and the detail and passion of the actual performance.  

The objective for the design of the new fact.12 was to increase resolution and detail to a higher standard while maintaining our commitment to dynamics and accuracy. Our goal is, as always, to deliver that performance in the home as it was originally captured in the studio.”

Twelve fact.12 firsts

  • The first three way fact model
  • The first time a speaker company has worked with the National Physical Laboratory
  • The first use of the new 50mm midrange dome drive unit
  • The first use by PMC of a hollow pole piece in a mid-range dome drive unit
  • The first use of the new 140mm bass drive units
  • The first time PMC has engineered a bass unit with a ‘power bulge’ for extended excursion
  • The first use by PMC of coated alloy cones for low frequency reproduction
  • The first use of a double sided crossover in a PMC speaker
  • The first passive speaker to have a genuine bass lift user option
  • The first twin vent Advanced Transmission Line
  • The first design process led by Oliver Thomas
  • The first speaker from PMC to feature the new white silk finish