PMC FB1i Floorstanding Speakers

PMC FB1i Floorstanding Speakers 


  • PMC Extended ATL
  • Phenomenal bass response down to 28Hz
  • Dedicated magnetically screened centre channel
  • 27mm SONOLEX soft dome tweeter, ferro fluid cooled
  • Magnetic shielding


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[Feb 18, 2013]
Nick Burger
Audio Enthusiast

These are fantastic speakers and I would buy them again given the same options. They perform extremely well in an excellent, well treated, room. They don't shine as brightly if the room and placement aren't ideal. The easiest thing to lose is their low end impact. I don't have an ideal and well treated room, so I supplement them with a little Martin Logan Dynamo 700. It blends in very well, unlike other inexpensive subs I've tried, and provides plenty of fullness, punch, and rumble. My electronics are a Bryston SP2 Pre/Pro and a Bryston 2BLP amplifier.

Over the years I've demoed the best speakers my local dealers have carried. I certainly don't have the breadth of experience to make an overall judgement, but I have heard speakers from Martin Logan, B&W, Vandersteen, Revel, and Paradigm ranging from $500 - $15000 a pair. Some of the speakers make different trade offs than my PMCs but I wouldn't call any of them a clear upgrade.

That changed last week when I heard the new McIntosh XR50 bookshelf speakers. The FB1s, as a floor standing transmission line speaker, did manage to produce noticeably lower bass frequencies. On the other hand, the XR50s went fairly low and produced such clear, detailed, and dynamic sound that no-sane person would pick the FB1s in a fair fight. However, it's not a fair fight: The XR50s book shelves cost almost twice as much as the FB1 towers. It's also worth nothing that the XR50s didn't make the FB1s sound bad, they were just *better*.

Additionally, there is music that just doesn't sound good on a high quality system. I noticed it when I got my FB1s. There are songs that prefer to hear in my car because my home system is too revealing. There are also times where I hear abrupt changes in the fidelity of the dialog in TV and movies (indicating that they spliced a lower quality recording into a higher quality track). I've recently noticed this in the intro sequence for season 1 of "Once Upon A Time".

The McIntosh system has the same problem, but at a higher level. For example, "Me & My Bass Guitar" from Victor Wooten's "A Show Of Hands" always sounded cohesive and well recorded to me. However, the McIntosh system made it obvious that the vocals were not recorded as cleanly as the bass guitar was. I found the effect very distracting: the song seemed disjointed, like I was playing the bass on a high quality system, but the voices from my TV speakers. I can still enjoy it at home on my FB1s.

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