While I don't have any experience with the PM1s, I do have all B&W, Rotel, NAD and Marantz components in my system. Rotel amps, AVRs, etc are well matched with all B&W loudspeakers but I would speculate that any of the higher end integrates and receivers would sound great with these speakers. I believe (not 100% sure) that most B&W speakers are now produced at their China plant. Some assembly may be performed back at their original facilities in Britian.
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I think that the 800 series are made in Britain and everything else is made in china.
The PM1's I've heard are incredible for small speakers. They have very small woofers, but you'd never know it by their sound. Still, I wouldn't make these my first pick for a system that you want to play very loud. Great for an office or den though. Very natural sound with great imaging and the midrange is very nice for their price category. One of the most "grown-up" sounding small speakers I've heard.
These are looking good. Certainly oozes quality for an upmarket mini. At the level of the PM1s I seriously doubt they are assembled in China. I've been a long timer B&W user (11 years) and as far as I know only the low range models(600 series) are made in China. Even the mid-range CDM and 700 series are made in Britain. The new PM1 is just below the 800 series, shares a lot of similarities with the 800 series(minus the diamond tweeter) and is likely to be made in the UK. Just look at the fit and finish and the technology incorporated into the design. The Mocha Gloss wood panels of the cabinet and classy matching stands already suggest that they are not rolling out from a China factory.
Just found out that the PM1 is made in China.
Link below. To zoom in for a clearer view, save the picture onto the desktop and open it with a picture viewer application.
The text shows "Designed in the UK. Made in China"
I have a set of PM1, and unless I move to a much larger home and require something bigger, this might be the last set of speakers I buy for a long while. I went through upgrade-itis for a few years, going from B&W 704 to 805 to 805 Signatures to Sonus Faber, all of which were very nice but never reached that point where I stopped shopping. After selling everything off and going with a cheap set of Mirage Omni-poles just to have some music (at a much lower investment), I decided to take one more shot at music happiness and bought a set of PM1 with matching stands. I absolutely love them - the bass is superb for such a small box, the highs are smooth, and the best compliment I can pay to any set of speakers is that these don't color the music. With all my previous speakers I got the impression that I wasn't listening to the music as it was recorded, or as it sounded live in the studio, rather I was listening to that particular speaker's interpretation of it and that interpretation altered the music somehow...like hearing an anecdote from a friend of a friend, and the story changes a little more as it goes from person to person, you know? I guess the best way to say it is that if the artist were in my room, playing the song, it wouldn't sound any different than what I was hearing on the speakers.
The real reason I wanted to post a review was to commend B&W on their service...yesterday my cat knocked a camera off a coffee table next to the speakers, and it was heavy enough to put a large gouge in the base. I emailed B&W customer service, and with one email reply and one phone call (for my credit card number) a new base is on the way. What makes this surprising is that the base is not on their parts list - they don't normally sell them separately, but I got lucky and the rep was able to find one for me and it's on the way. This is the 2nd time I've been helped quickly - the first time I needed a new set of foam plugs and that also took one quick email and they were in my mailbox. Great speakers, great service, kudos to B&W.
In order to get that nice glossy finish, a few companies have their cabinets made in china because of local laws regarding hazardous chemicals and waste used for the finishing process.
Basically we pass the buck on the environmental issue and turn the other way, but in the end, we all live on the same planet. I am going to go hug a tree now :)
The PM1 according to my dealer, is all made in china. There are some USA companies that sub out the cabinetry to china for reasons stated above.
I first heard the PM1s at a high end shop annual open house in Feb. 2012. They were mated to B&W's PV1D subwoofer and powered by Classe, which is part of the B&W group now. Previously that night I had heard Wilson's magnificent Alexandria XLFs followed by a $99K 2.1 system of Wisdom Audio wall-mounted panels and sub. The XLFs were best of show, the Wisdoms were a disappointment (too artificial-sounding in that demo), but the PM1/PV1D combo grabbed my attention. This $5.6K combo had far more in common with the Wilsons regarding transparency, dynamics, realistic tonal balance, and most of all, musical satisfaction than the Wisdoms did.
They're gorgeous, and with the sub I estimate they can fill up to about a 400 sq. ft. space.
I've never been all that impressed with B&Ws. They have excellent tonal balance, clarity, dynamics, and all that, and perhaps it's a setup problem, but I never lose myself in the music with them. These PM1s are a big departure from that. They completely disappear into the imaging and soundstage. I heard no suckouts or peaks that took me out of the music. Combined with the PV1D sub I consider them the near-invisible gem of the B&W lineup.
If you want *excellent* sound reproduction from gorgeous yet non-intrusive speakers, these are the poster girls.
The bigger the woofer, the lower the frequency at which the driver stops dispersing and "beams" instead. A 6.5" piston starts beaming at about 2100 Hz. Yet the CM5's crossover frequency is listed as 4 Khz, which has a wavelength of 3.39".
The PM1's 5" mid/woof (with a piston diameter more like 4.25") beams at a much narrower frequency range, and blends seamlessly with the tweeter, making for a very uniform in-room power response.
A larger woofer also requires a wider baffle (possibly less precise imaging) and a larger cabinet (higher price). If there's a speaker in B&W's lineup that hits several sweet spots at once--dispersion, power response, imaging, soundstage, tonal balance, compactness, gorgeous design and finish, price point--it's definitely the PM1.
When the OMD-15 came out in 2006/7 at a list price of $2500, it had a lot going for it--realistic tonality, ability to fill fairly large spaces, reasonable sensitivity, excellent dynamics, etc. Seven years later there is a lot of competition at $2500. Much of my enthusiastic posting for the OMD-15 was in the context of being able to buy them at Vanns.com for $800-1000/pair. At that price they were a no-brainer. However, it looks like that party's over. When Vann's lists OMD-15s and OMD-28s, it is at full list price ($2500 and $7500/pair respectively), and they seldom have them in stock.
Also, I heard the PM1s with the $600 factory stands and well-integrated with the $1700 PV1D subwoofer, so that's a $5100 setup.
Both speakers share a musical and realistic tonal balance. The Mirage is 89 dB sensitive and can handle about 250 watts. The B&W has about 84 dB sensitivity and 100-150 watts power handling. So it operates within a smaller dynamic envelope.
But paired with the sub, the PM1's ability to fill a room goes up as does the perceived sense of weight and dynamics.
Where the PM1 really shines is how clean, quiet, linear, and coherent the speaker is. There is a very strong sense of the musical performance without artifice or reminders that you're listening to reproduced music. It's a significant notch up in clarity and detail, which one should expect from a well-made mini over a same-price tower. Both speakers are excellent at disappearing and throwing a realistically sized soundstage that scales up and down according to the recording. The PM1 has more specific, palpable imaging and is simply a higher resolution transducer overall.
I feel that high resolution is a two-edged sword, because it can tip into hyper-detail, losing the body of the music in favor of the details. The PM1 avoids this pitfall completely--you get a high level of detail, but always in proper musical perspective. The higher resolution adds to the musical involvement and enjoyment rather than distracting from it.
That PV1D sub is a real sleeper as well, musical, fast, and deep; and comes with six built-in EQ/crossover profiles to integrate with various models of B&W speakers.
...sometimes I wonder just how well the PM1s can handle a good old-fashioned rock song. ;)There's really only one way to find that out: a live audition; no description can do it for you. Even with rock, different people are looking for different levels of volume, and that volume is contained by the size of your listening venue.
There is also the issue of whether you include a good sub (PV1D recommended, especially to rock out or for large-scale orchestral music) or not. In an 11x13 room the PM1 would probably rock out fine, but would be helped by a sub. For most people the PM1 + PV1D in an 18 x 22 room would be just fine, too, though some might want it to play louder without compression.
Although I consider the PM1 a more advanced and refined transducer than the OMD-15, I have to say, I am still amazed at how good my OMD-15s are. In the last couple of days I've played some well recorded LPs of Frank Sinatra, Boz Scaggs, and Kenny Rankin singing standards from the "Great American Songbook", backed by an orchestra, and the results through the OMD-15s are captivating. I've had these speakers for five years; two years ago I added a pair of Mirage MM8 subwoofers and that will probably satisfy any upgrade fever for some time to come.
Don't get me wrong the 805D is a great speaker but the PM1s kicks its butt in being musical and just sounding right. The 805d can play very loud with less bass than the PM1s but will never draw you into the music for 5000 plus 600 for stands. The 805d do not even sound good when turned down low. The PM1s have that it unlike the 805d. They feed your soul . The PM1s are like watching a little man dunk vs a tall man. They are exciting and will take your breath away I promise. These speakers can be your last speakers. They are that good! This is the first speaker I have ever listen to in my life and bought them on the spot.
I came across this thread looking for info on the PV1D subwoofer. Just have to throw in my 2 cents on the PM1's. I was auditioning an Arcam AVR400 receiver with B&W M1's satellites and just for fun, listened to the PM1's to see how good the Arcam could be paired with better speakers. Well, I bought the Arcam based on that demo, ditched the idea of going with the M1's, and have put the PM1's on my short list for high quality small stand mount speakers if and when I should ever decide to go in that direction. The PM1'some of the best sounding small speakers I have ever heard, and the accolades in the thread above are all true in my opinion. I was especially struck by the freakishly integrated and realistic sound field projected between and around the speakers. There was no bad place in the room to listen to them that I could find. The PM1's are a homerun product.
That's what uniform power response does for you--it energizes the room evenly without suckouts and hot spots, and throws an engaging and realistic soundstage. You forget about the electronics, and the soundfield plays free of the speakers.