Naims and PMCs adventures

Good day gents,

Thought I would share my musical adventures and reveal my findings after purchasing my current PMC Twenty5.23 speakers blind, driven by the mighty 272 partnered with the usual 250DR.

The PMCs are super revealing, extremely clean sounding, on the cooler side of neutral. A bit bright but things should improve once they play 24/7 for a while.

Not easy to drive, 8ohm / 86.5dB - I would say my 250DR would be the minimum these should be paired with.

They go deep (28Hz advertised) but due to limited volume, 28Hz sounds polite (but tuneful and fast) as expected. Plenty of base though, especially in a small room.

The finish quality is exquisite! They would feel at home in a Naim 500 series system.

They do excel in 2 areas: the stereo imaging is first class, they absolutely disappear to the point you don’t hear anything but the orchestra playing; secondly, they are ultra fast, stopping and restarting on a dime.

My first thoughts: very impressive but not exactly my kind of sound signature, perhaps too hi-fi for me. I love mellower speakers (Dynaudio springs to mind) even if they lack the stereo imaging or the insane level of transparency these PMC speakers exhibit.

Compared to my late Dynaudio Special 40, the PMC are way more transparent, significantly faster and image so much better. Compared to the PMCs, the Dyns are mellower and have more bass (albeit slower and a bit more bloated) however they come across as more balanced and are more forgiving in the way they present music. As a side note, the sound pressure on 50/100 volume (PMC connected) is about the same as 35/100 (with Dyns S40 connected).

My impression is PMC speakers would gel a bit better with a powerful valve amplifier however things could change significantly once the system has a chance to settle in (everything is burned in but today was a cold start after months in storage).

I should mention this is just a test run, making sure the speakers work. The final position would be in my very small carpeted home office (11 - 12 sqm), with better power cables and a Quadraspire.

Hope this helps.

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A rug or carpet might reduce the brightness by absorbing a few HF reflections? I listened to these speakers a few months ago alongside price comparable Spendor and Sonus Fabers…

The PMCs were certainly very explicit but not bright in what was obviously a well damped room (Supernait 3 and Bluesound Node were amp and source).

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I’ve got the same speakers driven from my Star and it sounds sublime.

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I have PMC Twenty 24s driven by a Nova, I find them really easy to drive when I want to play loud the Novas’ volume is on 45. When I had Allaes the volume was on 55 to achieve the same sound level.
They are my best purchase, never had PMCs before but I’m blown away by them.

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I’ve had a few pairs of PMCs and the Twenty/5 ranges are definitely voiced to give a balanced presentation in a more typical living environment. I.e. carpet, curtains etc.

Also their presentation when brand new is very different. For the first 3 months, I found they aren’t really listenable with the grilles on. After that they work better when off but if your room is as sparse as it looks in the pic, I expect the grilles would need to stay on. Positioning also being key. They image a bit better when toed, albeit a more confined presentation.

I totally accept not every speaker is for everyone though.

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I have the pmc 20.23 now in storage, they are replaced with ATC scm40, which gives a more complete and fuller sound than the pmc.

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agree entirely!

Dan thanks for sharing. IMO PMC 23 need some air /room and run-in time to reveal their qualities. Considering the ATL effective length of 2.4m, minimum room would be 5m x 4.5 m = 22.5 sqm. (0.5m from back wall + 2.5m the listening position + 2m behind = 5m)
I have Twenty 24 (ATL 3m) powered by 250DR in a room 35 sqm ceiling height 3.3m. In my experience, run-in time +/- 250 hours reveals more bass control. I found that whatever speaker positioning you try, ATL effective length is always what is advertised. Possible improvements are corner bass traps for bass and overall control (I was very sceptical but it works), floor carpet and interconnect like Chord Shawline (yet to try for me). Oh and source material quality: I found that CD SHM, Tidal Master, 24bit make some difference.

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Had exactly that system, albeit with the original Twenty.23’s, and had to make a significant speaker upgrade to deliver a noticeable improvement. Added an XPS DR prior to that step and felt suitably rewarded, but the PMC’s are truly exceptional with that combo.

KR, J

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ATL length has nothing whatsoever to do with room positioning! It is purely telling you a detail about the internal construction of the speakers themselves. In conjunction with the specific bass driver used it relates to bass control and extension, where as a generalisation, other factors being equal, longer may result in mire extended bass. (PMC clearly feel it is a positive thing to advertise, though other transmission line manufacturers don’t, or at least I haven’t seen.)

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I meant speaker positioning with respect to listener, i.e distance of listener from the speaker.
In my cas e with Twenty 24 Effective ATL™ Length:3.0m 9.8ft where 3.0m is the distance when the effect of the ATL starts kicking in (and I have listened and measured with a meter on the floor). :slight_smile:

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Hi, I have twenty5 26 and find them very involving. I changed naim interconnect with Chord indigo din and speaker cables with WH phantom, they both added refinement and detail. I found PMC fact really holografic, while twenty are very pleaseant.
last small suggestion is to try them without grills.

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Hi @Dan.S, your detailed and considered post prompted two thoughts from me.

The first is that taste in speakers is so personal as reflected in your comment that the PMCs are “not exactly my kind of sound signature”. For several years I ran PMCs with 272/XPSDR/250DR. They were stand-mounted Fact 3s rather than 25.23s but I recognise the sound picture you describe. That presentation suited my taste, but I can well imagine other listeners preferring a warmer sound.

Second thought is that one often adjusts to how speakers sound over time. Who knows, but perhaps in a few weeks you’ll be so attached to the sound of the PMCs that your Dynaudios will sound plodding and unengaging in comparison? But if not, you might need to change again. Choosing speakers is often the most frustrating part of putting an enjoyable system together and I’ve had to swap out speakers I just couldn’t get on with in the past.

Roger

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The effect of the line is not a discrete thing tgat comes in at a certain distance from the speaker - I’m not sure what you are measuring with a meter what the relevance is of it being at floor level nor how you relate that to the transmission line length inside the speaker?

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As F-Z responded, the photo of your room shows only hard surfaces which will in my experience makes treble harsh and can cause muddying of the sound, though I don’t know what is at the first reflection points each side in particular, non the rear wall behind you. A thick rug between speakers and listening position to me is an absolute must with a hard floor, plus other soft furnishings around the room, as a minimum - your carpeted office may sound quite different, of course also depending on rest of the room.

As for the bass end, those of course are the second smallest speakers in PMC’s entry level range, so one would hardly expect the same output as the large models. Again may be quite different in your office - but regarding which, what is “(11 - 12mp)” or should that read m2?

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I had the PMC twenty 23i with my Nait xs3 / ND 5xs2 for a year. It’s been a long year… It’s been a long break-in. The music on the 23i and 23 models are different, I listened to both.
I had a lot of trouble with the top end of these speakers
I tried cables other than naca5 to reduce the aggressiveness of high frequencies, acoustic treatment, change of location in my room, change of electrical outlet and powerbar, etc.
They are not bad speakers but they require several experiments before getting the best out of them. For my naim duo is not a good match.
I gave up and bought Spendor A7s which are much more natural…question of taste after all.
I was for several years the owner of Spendor a6r which I loved.

good luck!

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Hi @Dan.S
Congratulations on your new PMCs!!
I’d suggest you move your right speaker into the room 6-8 inches. Definitely play with positioning as others have said.
Cannot stress enough that these speakers will sound very different with 200-300 hours on them. Promise me you will come back on here in a few weeks time to report how you are getting on with them?
ATB

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@Innocent_Bystander 11 - 12 sqm (m2) sorry.

@1GiantLeap It will take a couple of months before I can properly install them in my office but I’ll definitely come back with an update. Thank you for you kind reply.

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Please look at PMC specifications. I am speaking from my observation and experience.

The transmission line length and the length of the listener from the speaker and/or room dimensions are unrelated. The transmission line is “done” once it exits the speaker.

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