The PMC Twenty series have been very well received the world over and we in India most definitely have experienced them quite well over the recent years, most notably the twenty.23 & twenty26 models but very few of the twenty.21 or twenty.22’s which we frankly have never heard to date! The argument from the distributor has always been that the pricing never justified the stand mount twenty.21 & twenty.22’s to be viable for the client in context with the twenty.23 model. Hence when we saw a pair of the twenty.25’s in the Mumbai dealers demo room, we were pleasantly surprised not only because we were genuinely excited to hear them but the fact that we could also write about our experience of them. Having the luxury of listening to them with 2 very special amplifiers also made it even more special of an occasion! The amplifiers being the Octave V70 SE Integrated & the Naim Superuniti, both very well regarded in their own segments of valve & solid state amplification domains. Since we were never going to get this opportunity again(hope it’s not true!) to listen to them with the amps in question, we decided to extend our presence in the dealers demo room(thanks Pawan Sahjwani/The Den – Worli) who obliged us and decided to pen our thoughts on the twenty5.22’s. So how is it that our good friend, the PMC distributor in India, brought these to our market? Had he a change of heart or were the pricing of the twenty5.22 more manageable than the earlier twenty series???? We were full of questions with expectations of them being answered in a positive manner but sadly neither of the above questions got the answers that we were hoping for! Nope, no change of heart nor were the twenty5.22’s cheaper. A client specifically demanded them and they certainly aren’t cheap! More on the price later on…. Since the twenty5.22’s were already unboxed & placed on stands, we did not have a chance to look at their packing but judging by the packing we have seen & experienced on the twenty series, we are sure that much of the same no nonsense and just the right amount of packing protection in the form of sturdy cardboard boxes & foam surrounds + inserts must have been used to pack the speakers.
The first thing that strikes you about the twenty5.22 speakers are the way the front & rear baffles are sloped, lending it a very contemporary aesthetic to the speaker. The same is being done with an aim to stiffen the cab to reduce the panel resonances. The newly designed plinths are with built-in isolation to further enhance the stability of the enclosures. Custom-made single piece stainless steel spikes thread through the plinths to facilitate level adjustment. The depth of the speakers implies that they are big and that one can only deduce once one sees them in a side profile, whilst the baffle width is just about slim as it can get, keeping the 170mm mid bass woofer size at hand. A shiny steel ring rim around the mid bass frame adds sparkle to the ‘G Weave’ mid bass drive unit which is made of woven glass fibre. The stiffer glass fibre material can deliver greater driver excursion. In combination with smoother airflow from the transmission line vent also means less resistance to movement from the cone which translates into finer detail and affects the direct output of the driver along with the bass(*source PMC) The tweeter used is 27mm in size with a prominent black coloured plate surrounding & securing it to the cabinet. The main difference from the tweeters of the twenty series being a change to the grille in order to improve dispersion. At the bottom of the front baffle lies the transmission line terminus or vent, which is having arched fins in a smooth(slippery?) and shiny finish. The aim of the same is to reduce turbulence and drag, which in turn reduces resistance and increases efficiency(*source-PMC). The result is to create a smooth laminar airflow as it exits the transmission line. The audible effects are obvious with a faster, well defined bass with accurate timing and dynamics whilst avoiding unwanted air noise. The design of the vent and fins clearly shows a lot of F1 inspired touches and the connection is rather obvious since Mr. Oliver Thomas, who has designed the same has past experience with aerodynamics when he was working in an F1 Team. At the back, we have a stain less steel terminal panel, which looks nice and shiny and house a pair of speaker binding posts which are far better than the ones on the twenty series. The twenty5 series are available in a choice of three hand selected and book-matched real wood veneers; Oak, Walnut and Amarone + a high gloss Diamond Black finish. Every model comes with magnet-fixing grille, finished in an exclusive matt black textured cloth. We had the pleasure of listening to the speakers in Walnut finish, which looked rather magnificent as the grain showed really well as the lights fell on it. Overall, we found the fit & finish of the twenty5 series to be higher than what we found on the twenty series.
Build Quality: 5 Stars
With the abovementioned amplifiers, we used a Yamaha CDS1000 CD Player and Nordost White Lightning speaker cables. As luck would have it, we also had the PMC twenty.23 speakers alongside to do a quick A/B with. We played the Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits SACD in its entirety as that is what we are very familiar with and just feel is one that can bring the best out of a well synergised set-up. Across the tracks we felt just how well the bass is articulated and defined in tracks such as so far away or money for nothing, the saxophone airiness and breathing heard in your latest trick or the melancholy in the vocals in brothers in arms. The flow of the music from soft to loud passages in ride across the river and the man’s too strong. The guitar plucking of the steel guitar is so sweet, clean and distinct. The comparison between the twenty5.22 and twenty.23 revealed the twenty5.22 to have more bass weight, better timing and immense finer detail in the context of a smoother and livelier presentation. It made us forget the beloved twenty.23 speakers and fall in love with the twenty5.22 almost immediately! That is where our experience with the Twenty5.22’s ended or so we thought but having not got enough of a fill to satisfy our ears, we once again popped in at Pawan’s premises and requested for another listen to the Twenty5.22’s, to which he most graciously agreed and are ever so grateful to him. Pawan also had a nice surprise in store for us in the form of having a brand spanking new Project Debut Record Master Turntable hooked up to the Naim amp. We were overjoyed at this possibility as we could play Pink Floyd’s DSOTM end to end – Hooray! The analogue sound just was a few notches higher than the digital format that we heard before, which just reiterated at how much of a well sorted set up the whole Naim / PMC / Project / Nordost chain really was.
The calibre of a good speaker atleast in our book says that they should be very accurate but at the same time, they should possess an open, revealing and detailed sound whilst remaining engagingly musical, which leads to one getting lost in the music. The twenty5.22 sound more immediate, exciting and will appeal to persons who love speed and dynamics. The twenty5.22 are definitely a new force to be reckoned with as the sound is dynamic, revealing but remaining musical at the same time. They are akin to getting punched by a steel fist wearing a velvet glove. Sadly all at a cost, a big one at that. At Rs.3.7Lacs, we are talking some serious money to not only acquire them but also spend equal if not more amounts in the form of partnering electronics and an appreciable amount in cables. Rather tellingly, that means that they are only for music enthusiasts having deep pockets. Chapeau Time!