Loudspeakers

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 |  Jan 26, 2015  |  0 comments
Every once in a while someone does something remarkable that seems bizarre and contradictory to the received wisdom, yet sometimes they stick to their guns, resist ridicule and peer pressure and eventually turn out to be right. When Dick Fosbury jumped backwards over a high jump bar at the 1968 Olympics, many in the crowd thought he was mad. But this madness won him a gold medal as well as setting a new Olympic record. Origin Live may be better known for its highly engineered tonearms and turntables, but with the launch of its Astute speakers it’s bending over backwards to declare that there may be alternative ways to reproduce high fidelity music.
 |  Jan 28, 2015  |  0 comments
Can you imagine the seventies without Compact Cassette, or the eighties without Compact Disc? Philips was one of the great innovating consumer electronics companies of the last century, easily surpassing most of its Japanese and American rivals. It may not have had the marketing nous of Apple, but it has originated far more technology than anyone in Cupertino ever did. But what of this century? Many would say its performance has been something of a mixed bag, but more recently there have been encouraging signs. A few years ago, it came up with its new audio brand ‘Fidelio’.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
PMC DB1i - £985 Probably the smallest transmission line speaker in the world. Someone should inform the Guinness Book of Records In PMC parlance, DB is shorthand for Dinky Box. While somewhat deeper than sealed-box miniatures, like the classic BBC LS3/5a, the front view is barely larger than that needed to accommodate two drive units, so this DB1i is certainly a tiny loudspeaker. Especially when you consider that the four-section transmission line squeezed inside this little enclosure to load the back of the small main driver has an amazing effective length of 1.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 27, 2011  |  0 comments
PMC GB1i Transmission line bass loading distinguishes this compact floorstander from most of the competition Since its beginnings in the late 1980s, PMC has grown into a major player on the UK speaker scene, focusing on ProAudio customers and the more upmarket hi-fi sector with its ATL (advanced transmission line) speaker systems. Although it’s no larger in width and depth, the £1,525 per pair GB1i is a little taller than the other two-way models that use small bass/mid drivers. The reason has all to do with the transmission line bass loading technique, which squeezes a carefully damped 2. 4m line into the enclosure volume behind the main driver, by folding it twice and terminating it with a large port at the front near the floor.
Ed Selley  |  Oct 14, 2010  |  0 comments
PMC GB1i - £1,525 Opinion might be divided on this PMC, but there’s no doubting its ability to take on the competition The key factor that distinguishes PMC speakers from the herd is an ATL. This stands for ‘advanced transmission line’ and refers to a bass loading technique that is uncommon, though by no means unique. Much more complex than the almost ubiquitous port loading, the efficacy of TL loading might still be a topic of fierce debate in some quarters, but a folded line does create a very stiff and solid structure. Because it uses a relatively small (140mm) bass/mid driver, the £1,525 GB1i still manages to accommodate a 2.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 24, 2017  |  0 comments
When is a replacement not a replacement? This slightly abstract question comes about as a result of the loudspeaker you now see before you. When PMC started work on the twenty5 range, the intention was to replace the well-regarded twenty series models. But it very quickly came to the realisation that the speaker it was developing had the potential to be considerably better if the range was repositioned to sit between the twenty series andthe equally lower-case fact range. The result is that the twenty series continues as before with simplified finishes and a reduced price, while the twenty5 series arrives as a range in its own right.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 09, 2012  |  0 comments
Twenty’s vision PMC’s new twenty series applies some of the lessons learned while developing the upmarket fact models, says Paul Messenger PMC achieved its 20th anniversary last autumn, celebrating the fact by launching a brand new four-strong ‘twenty’ series of models that are intended to fill the gap between its regular ‘i’ series of domestic hi-fi speakers and much more costly ‘fact’ models. In truth, the twentys are priced much closer to the ‘is’ than the ‘facts’, this compact floorstander starting at £2,095 for the real wood veneered version. (There’s a choice of three here, including oak, walnut and amarone, though the highgloss Diamond Black finish costs an extra £210. ) That compares with a current price of £1,525 for the GB1i, its nearest equivalent in the standard range.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 05, 2015  |  0 comments
What’s the best kind of hi-fi product? The only problem with a dreamy vision of ‘the-one-that-gets-you-closest-to-hi-fi-heaven’ is the painfullyhigh price tag or, worse still, a speech bubble that reads: “if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it”. Life’s cruel. Fortunately for most of us, there are more hi-fi designers and engineers tasked with wringing the last drop of performance from every pound you spend than those chasing sonic Shangri-La at any cost. As Ross Walker, son of Quad founder Peter Walker, once told me: “Any fool can design a great-sounding amplifier for £30,000, the trick is to do it for £300.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 03, 2019  |  0 comments
This US standmount has been specially tweaked for European ears
Ed Selley  |  Jul 27, 2011  |  0 comments
ProAc Studio 140 Mk2 Substantial floorstander’s twin 165mm bass/mid drivers ensure a very muscular performance with superb headroom array A long-established British speaker brand with roots back in the 1970s, ProAc has only made the occasional appearance on the Hi-Fi Choice review roster. That’s mainly because the company has long been primarily export-oriented, with representation in more than 50 countries worldwide. The three Studio models – two standmounts and this floorstander – are among ProAc’s less costly models and although this Studio 140 Mk2 pricetag of £1,690 per pair is at the top end of our test group, the speakers themselves are as large as any of the others, as well as the heaviest in the group. The dimensions are partly dictated by the twin 165mm drive units that operate in tandem right through the bass and midrange here.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Boxing clever Dominic Todd looks at the latest offering from Q Acoustics, the relative newcomer that's defining the high-value loudspeaker concept Acoustics loudspeakers have a great reputation for their accuracy of timing, imaging and, given their size, dynamic prowess. An attribute we recognised here in the pages of Hi-Fi Choice with a Best Buy badge (HFC 318) and an Awards Finalist citation (HFC 326) for its previous model, the 1020i. Cue the 2050. With its twin woofers and cabinets that stand over one metre high, the 2050s appear to have what it takes to add even more muscle to the Q Acoustic family.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 03, 2018  |  0 comments
It’s all very well reading about loudspeakers that employ exotic materials and techniques in their construction, with special driver designs and radical ribbon tweeters, but most of us own models that are basically two or three moving-coil drive units in a fibreboard box with some acoustical damping and a shiny external finish. I’m quite fascinated by affordable loudspeakers.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 12, 2019  |  0 comments
The latest high-end design to join the Concept series is a super-stylish standmount
 |  Jan 21, 2015  |  0 comments
The concept is clear – to make a good speaker great. There are several ways of doing this, the obvious one being to spend large amounts of money on the drive units. A fancy ribbon tweeter here or some expensive carbon fibre mid/bass drivers there, perchance? The other way is to work on the cabinet, and if you think about it, this is even more critical than the drivers, which can’t do their best if they’re spoiled by boomy boxes. In a way, cabinets can do no right, as all they can do is lower the performance potential of drive units by accentuating standing waves – smudging and blurring the sound from inside.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 15, 2017  |  0 comments
It is hard to believe that it is now over a decade since Q Acoustics first began selling speakers. As a brand developed under the banner of Armour Home Electronics in 2006, it has successfully managed to swiftly migrate from newcomer to become the new benchmark for entry-level speakers (see our Group Test starting on p24). Even when it pushed its designs slightly upmarket with the arrival of its first Concept models in 2014, it delivered speakers that remain some of the best at their price points today. With barely any speaker markets left to conquer under £1,000, it was inevitable that eventually the brand would move more upmarket.

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