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Wow. I would have expected more responses. PMC three way design with their Volt 3 inch dome is very similar to ATC three ways. The Volt dome is a clone of the ATC mid range but with a less powerful motor and less useable bandwidth than ATC. The Volt dome has an Fs of 400Hz and useable bandwidth from 500-4000 Hz compared to ATC with Fs of 250Hz with useable bandwidth of 400-4000Hz.
Emulation is the sincerest form of flattery. The PMC IB2S sounds great and is used in many studios and by many artists.
My path to the twenty.24's is largely documented here.
Currently being drive by Cronus Magnum II. They "come alive" a good deal more with the CMII than with the Ayre AX-7 that I previously had on them.
I’ve owned IB2i for nearly five years and think they’re excellent--but to get the most out of them, you really have to replace the binding posts. The stock posts have no place on a speaker of this quality and expense, IMO. Not only do they appear to be cheesy brass, which is bad enough, but the posts themselves are too thick, and set too close, for the use of almost any spades. So you have to use bananas, which isn’t so bad if you tri-wire, which I did for years. But if you want single-wire with jumpers, it gets complicated. The "jumper rods" that come with them do not sound very good at all. So you pretty much have to piggyback double sets of wire jumpers with bananas, which limits the kinds of bananas you can use to ones you can plug into. On top of that, the internal wiring is connected with screws, nuts, and cheap eyelets. Amazingly, they still sound pretty great in stock form, which is a tribute to the quality of the drivers and their integration, and to the design of the transmission-line cabs.
After several years, I replaced the stock triple posts with two pairs of top Furutech posts, combining the tweeters and mids on one and connecting the woofers to the other. I wanted them to be suitable for bi-wiring, or single-wiring with just a single set of jumpers. To accomplish this, I fashioned a new backplate for each speaker from aluminum, drilled it out and painted it black, then installed the posts. (I have to say it looks stock.) Then I connected the hookup wire using Furutech crimp sleeves. The difference in sound was profound, and well worth the effort. And it is all reversible.
It also helps them to use custom Sound Anchor stands built a couple inches taller than the PMC stands. The extra mass (85 lbs, I think) of Sound Anchors improves focus, and the added height cleans things up by reducing floor interactions and some muddiness on the bottom. The guy who owns Sound Anchor (forgot his name) strongly recommended the added height, having made many stands for the IB2 and IB2i for studio and home use.
All that said, I liked these speakers a lot before the mods and love them after. They sound natural and resolving, with terrific mids and bass, and layer exquisitely. Plus, they can energize a large room with ease.
I have had the PMC PB1i for a couple of years now. Very, very nice. I was a little concerned when I got them that they did not have the beefiest [75 mm voice coil] midrange dome (like the PMC/higher end models), but am now convinced that the decision to go with a higher sensitivity dome midrange made more sense in a home loudspeaker. The PB1i's have a high-ish sensitivity (I believe 91 db/meter, and do not need to be played really loud or require much power to exhibit the 'live' feel that an 87-88 db sensitive speaker may require to really come alive. Another thing about the PMCs is that they have a very linear power response - their output at all frequencies remains consistent at all volumes, and their dispersion is nearly perfectly flat on and off axis. The result? - great soundstaging and no uneasiness or fatigue that uneven output can cause. Finally, PMC has nailed the bass response; the transmission line designs reproduce very fast and detailed bass lines that would otherwise need twice the cabinet volume. If or when I move to another speaker, it will likely be up the PMC line or possibly to an active ATC.
Yes. Excellent quality drivers. Not your usual run of the mill. However I would be concerned with this model if you listen sometimes at live loud levels. The tweeter is crossed over at 1.8Khz and that means it will sound wonderful but it will work quite hard (big excursion).
Energy Pro 22 used a very similar design in 1982 and that was a great sounding speaker (reference for CBC) but often had blown tweeters.
PMC and Focal have very different presentations. As a PMC owner, you'll understand that I prefer its sound profile. I was able to audition twenty.23, Focal, and twenty.24 on same day/consecutive days. There's a strong family resemblance between 23 and 24, obviously w.r.t. a few extra db of bass. I agree that list price imported from Britain they don't represent great value for money. But things change radically when you look on the used market, where I think they become much more competitive. As always, basic advice is audition before you buy.
On that same auditioning binge, I also listened to some Facts (I forget which model, not the biggest floorstander). I liked it too, but thought it perhaps a little more strictly neutral in presentation, whereas the twenty's just had a hint of warmth that most CDs benefit from (at least to my ears). The fact (no pun) that the twenty's are less expensive than the Facts didn't hurt either.