PMC speakers vs B&W... has anyone compared?

I'm coming to realize the next step up the sonic food chain might be more capable speakers then my CDM 9NT's. The Natilus range (804/802) might be the ticket... I've always used B&W's, but have an itch for something different too. Looking at the numbers of the PMC FB1+, seems to tell me their range is amazing - much broader then the 9nt's. I know specs don't tell the whole story so I thought I'd see if anyone with any first hand comparision of these brands might shed some light. What would be considered a better speaker in PMC's line the the smaller Natilus floorstanders?
Jazz and rock on vinyl is what I listen to mostly.
I own PMB IB2's and LB1's and drive them with Bryston amps. Before I bought the PMC, I did listen to many different B&W's. IMHO, the PMC is a far better speaker. In particular the PMC's excel at low end extention, imaging (they dissappear) and dynamic range. I found the B&W more veiled and constrained.

PMC speakers partner really well with Bryston amps.
I've listened to both.
Dicided the clerar choice for me was Proac One SC's
Great sound stage and the best most accurate dynamic range.
Don't buy what people say about a lack of bass.I tried mine with a Rel strata III.The was NO need for the sub....
Scottr gives good suggestions. PMC speakers do sound great with Bryston electronics. It's a matter of preference which is better but I would prefer the clean and uncoloured presentation of the PMC's over the B&W's.
I compared MB2 with N800. MB2 won hands down all around though some may prefer the euphony and soft warm presentation of the N800. Some people like valves some people like the truth ;-)
Nautilus euphonic HUH???? More like analytical and if anything mechanical sounding. Nautilus have precision soundstaging and disappear almost as well as small monitor speakers. Nautilus produces a wall of sound and pressurize small room quit well. This is based on my personal 1st hand experience.
Nautilus have warm and woolly bass and have very clear colourations on female voice. They go loud but sound lumpy and uneven. Ok for classical but awful for rock. Dealers always dem with piano music on all the occasions I have listened with them (and others I know found likewise). There is a good reason for this!
As an owner of N802s, and formerly N803, I find the Nautilus to be precise, not colored. Awful for rock? Not in my experience. It is absurd to claim that dealers always "dem" them with a certain kind of music.
I have heard 3 dems of the N800 and each time they picked piano. A friend went to listen to them on the other side of the UK and got piano as well. They sound great on piano so B&W tell them to emphasise that skill! However on rock they sound slow and messy. if you like classical then fine but for more all round music tastes there are much better choices. I found the MB2 sounds better than the N800 on all types of music. In comparison the N800 sounds extremely coloured, lacking in dynamics and speed. This is revealed quite clearly by comparing female voice live and unamplified versus the same on both speakers using a live recording of the same artist. The MB2 tells it like it is and the B&W colours the performance significantly. Which is why abbey road have just bought pmc to use instead of N801.
I agree with Brizonbiovizier. Most B&W speakers are slow, ponderous, and dry (an owner's way of saying precise I guess). It amazes me they have the following given the number of other choices. To each her own I suppose.
How can a speaker be slow and dry? They are opposites. Slow = big bloated bass with little damping. Dry = fast bass which is lean so sounds light. For amps, Naim gear is dry, Unison gear is slow.
Dry to me means not having a "musical" or "organic" character. Dry, lean, analytical, call it what you want but they do not convey music in a manner I find pleasing.
I experience listener fatigue very quickly with B&W speakers. There are much better choices, IMO, as I posted earlier.
Hey but if you like them, it's your money.
Slow = big bloat bass. Dry = recessed midband. No contradiction at all. They are that way by design. Mid band recessed as optimsied for high volume level monitoring and bloated bass from the low frequency arrangement.
Musicality is in the midband - dry = no musicality = B&W
Typical B&W bashing. Three demos makes an expert?
Three demos make a pattern - also observed by others ;-)

I have no vested interest in "bashing" - just relating what I heard and why I didn't buy it. I have ehard all of the nautilus range - the smaller ones are better.
I had B&W speakers and got rid of them. I couldn't listen to the trreble, metalic coloration, very tiring. And that midrange... totally unmusical.
Agreed and most models require gobs of power. Generally speaking those amps, Krell, Bryston, AR, etc. have sonic signatures similiar to the B&W speakers making for a painful listening experience. All of course IMHO.
Just remember Sailfishben most of these people have never been to or hardly ever go to live music being it amplified or acoustic. I work in hi fi and find most peoples reference is another audio system which is a very poor refrence. I would never listen to anyone on any forum, when I want a good laugh
I go onto audio forums. Most everyone on here has not a clue what music really sounds like.

PS: B&W speakers are used in most high end recording studios
like Abbyroad,Lucas film,Sony music studios the list goes on.
If that dont't tell you somthing what will?
Most everyone on here has not a clue what music really sounds like.

Ya' think? The reality is that most members here have an excellent idea of what music really sounds like.

I know what music sounds like and B&W is not musical. However, it's a great company to deal with. I know someone who cooked a driver from a pair of old B&W speakers. He had no difficulty obtaining a new one; not an aftermarket unit, an original factory driver. There are very few companies that can replace the exact driver manufactured 20 years ago.
Regarding their use in high end studios, one would have to be naive not to believe there is a significant amount of money involved in these matters.
Do you think Tiger Woods really drives a Buick Rendezvous?
Abbey road and lucas films are buying into pmc instead now ;-)

I find the bryston sst and krell a bit harsh but the older bryston st is much more palatable.

I spend a lot of time at rock and acoustic gigs as well as classical performances. Getting kit that is equally at home with all genres is very difficult and expensive. None of it sounds like B&W.
Krellm7, it's a different story to use speakers as monitors in "high end recording studios" (what the heck is this? recording studios and... high end?) and listen to them at home for many hours. In studios, they must be revealig first of all, shaw te work of a sound engineer. They really don't care about speakers' musicality, listenability. It's not their priotity. Oh, you must see the difference.
Exactly - they are voiced for pulling forward the treble for mix analysis at high volume, not for domestic use. PMC are mastering suite speakers for assessing the finsihed product therefore they have an acceptable domestic balance by definition.
I own both the PMC LB1 and B&W Matrix 805.

Comparing M805 and LB1's back to back and hours on end, the Matrix 805 is very musically satisfying. The LB1 on the otherhand is much more detailed/revealing speaker that provides gobs of bass.

Different strokes for different folks but I change speakers depending on the day of the week.

The LB1's also require much more quality power due to the little Dynaudio driver (at least 4B power).

Bi-amping the M805 did not make as noticable difference as compared to bi-amping the LB1.

However, the M805 is much more tolerable of bad 80's recorded cds.

Your mileage may vary.
The PMC are more revealing and accurate and therefore if a cd is "bad" then the PMC plays it "bad" while the B&W sweeps some of the problems under the carpet
Just a few thoughts having heard both speakers over the years:

1) The PMC is a very accurate and revealing speaker. I had a set of Celestions that were the same way and found that I couldn't stand them after a while. Most recording aren't that good and revealing speakes make them sound like crap. I found that I didn't like having 80% of my music collection rendered unusable.

2) B&W has a unique sonic signature. It is prevelant through their line. Either you like it or hate it.

Instead of looking at speakers based on their specs, why don't you figure out your price range and go look at some of the more popular designs. Vandersteen, Magnepan, Theil, Revel, Ariel, and many others make great speakers in the price range you are looking. All have their own unique attributes in the price range. Listen to them and you will probably find one that you love.

A final comment on accuracy vs. musicality. I think accuracy is far overplayed. No speaker is truly accurate and all have deficiencies. Rather than try to pick the one that is "most accurate", find one that has compromises that fit your listening needs best and buy that. In my case, I use Magnepans, they have many innacuracies, but I have not found any better compromise for my listening.
A perfectly accurate (as opposed to bright or clinical which is not the same thing) whould also by definition be perfectly musical.
Can anyone tell me the difference between PMC's MB1 and MB2?
PMC make great speakers - I read somewhere that Brian May uses them. However, your comparison may not be fair.....the FB1+ is a two way design and this is not nearly as good as a three way design such as the B&W 800 series.

Frequency range specifications are NOT a good way to judge a speaker...low distortion, good dispersion, high dynamic range and accuracy & timbre under various operating levels is much more important.

Having said this, if you were to compare B&W 800 range to the PMC IB2S or MB2S then I think you would find PMC are comparable...indeed many would say significantly better...especially the dome mid range which was designed by PMC to compete with ATC in the professional studio markets where ATC dominate and have become widely accepted as having the best mid range driver in the world (PMC used the ATC mid range driver until they developed their own).
Just to shine some light on the obvious ignorance being perpetrated in this thread, or to simply point out the purposeful bashing of B&W. Here are a few links concerning Abbey Road Studios and their new purchases...

one link

another link

You can do a simple search yourselves to find more. Seems Abbey Road is using B&W (800D) and Classe for its "Reference" systems. This is very recent news as well. Perhaps those choosing to intentionally bash B&W (a quick look at some thread histories in at least one of their profiles will show it is intentional as well as maliciously oriented) sell another brand, or produce their own brands and are displaying speaker envy.
Holy cow, old thread, my bad... Well only goes to show you how wrong the bashers were... ;P
Oops Jkalman this was indeed an old thread, which I did not realize either.

BTW I agree with you, B&W 800 series are simply awesome speakers...nobody can fairly say that they are not up there along with the very best in the world. I don't have the 800's at home but I own many satellite and in wall B&W speakers and they are oustanding value/quality.

I think you will find that Alan Parsons (of Pink Floyd DSOTM fame) uses a pair of 800's for mastering ....perhaps the Nautilus ( I can't quite remember)...enough said!
Shadorne, I saw pictures of your system. The cables is a total mess, jungle. Speakers well...
I see you are an expert in audio. And your opinion on B&W speakers is of an exeptional value.

The mb1 lacks the rounded corners on the cabinet and has a different crossover - and thats about it. very old mb2s might have the old atc midrange.

I choose the mb2 over the 800 - the former is more more accurate and more even handed accross musical genres.

It sounds like you have a strong personal dislike of B&W speakers....a bad experience perhaps? I may have messy cables and less than optimum speaker positioning, however, at least I do not bash top quality B&W speakers that are highly regarded by so many in the industry (including some top notch sound engineers). Have you considered what "bashing" B&W does to one's credibilty as an audio expert?
I havent heard either speaker so I have no input. However, after reading the above statements, Ive found myself no closer in reaching a opinion on what the advantages of each speaker are, then before I started reading.
If anything, B&W have so many many designs that, in the end, it is impossible to compare them as a brand to a small company like PMC with a limited offering.

PMC pro series gear is fairly distinctive and recognizable; neutral sound, good dispersion in the mid, very dynamic and with good quality extended bass response - they play all genres well but being quite neutral may lack the "sizzle" or "flavor" that you can find by choosing between the extensive vareiety of B&W designs.

....this is a very old thread which got quickly diverted from a meaningful discussion BTW; if you are seeking guidance then start a new thread with a more specific question (a particular speaker versus another for example rather than a brand war...)
PMC speakers are neutral and do not have a house sound of their own, have extended bass response and can go very loud. My only complain of them is they look a tad ugly.

B&W's have a unique house sound that is easily recognizable. You would either love it or hate it.

I own both the mini-monitors in their higher range line-up, and can easily live with both. I liked the PMC's better though.
This thread is ancient. If you trip over it, just wanted to mention a few names you might recognize, they all use PMC.

Tori Amos
Ray Charles
Robert Fripp
Earth Wind & Fire
Peter Gabriel
James Newton Howard
Robbie Robertson
Steve Winwood
Stevie Wonder

Not to mention literally hundreds of studios throughout the world, including names like Capital Records, Chesky Records, Dolby Europe, Lucas Film, Polygram, Paramount...

A few tin eared musicians and fly-by-night outfits.
Not too bad, I guess, when up against companies that have been entrenched in the industry for decades longer?
my sound engineer can beat up your sound engineer.
I neither like PMC or B&W. I don't like PMC because I think that transmissionline speakers have an odd sound to them in the lower regions, and I do like the B&W house sound.