For review purposes, most big speakers are just too bulky to lug around, but we really did try, with the help of some dealers. Odioslueth was in the mood for some speaker up grades and some of the candidates here were shortlisted. Did he buy any of these?
|PMC IB2i with stand.|
You can say that I am somewhat biased on my choice here which is the PMC IB2i. For me, this is an aspirational choice, should one day my ship comes to dock! The IB2i has won numerous awards in other publications and I can see(no, hear) why. It has an effortless sense of sheer musicality, lead by a tight, deep diving bass with propulsive qualities. The mid range is as full bodied and "kau-kau"(Malaysian speak for describing creamy, aromatic, thick coffee or tea) as only a special 3 inch mid range dome driver equipped pair of speakers can provide. The highs are refined and smooth, but is not outstanding either. Top to bottom coherence is the order here. This PMC images stably within a wide, open sound stage, some thing that only well designed stand mounts do with ease. It's surprisingly easy on the amps too, as Odioslueth's 60W Pass XA mono block never seemed to run out of steam(except during the most demanding of orchestral crescendos!) when partnered with the IB2i speakers. Some have commented that it looks a little dull, but my advise to them when listening to these babies is "Cover the face, fire the bass!" Ha! Ha!
I've always loved the Dynaudio Confidence range, especially the C1. We had to listen to this pair of C4s in CMY's listening room, due to it's long, heavy packing crate which would've being too difficult to move up to Odiosleuth's 2nd floor man cave! The Dynaudio is supremely transparent, and has some of the most refined, yet pristine high frequency reproduction. Mids are true to source without any sugar coating. Bass goes low and articulate enough, but seems just a little shy from diving in to the deepest octaves. Some may complain that the C4 can sound somewhat hifi-sh, but I think that's the speaker's transparency at play here, it's simply reflecting the characteristics of the equipment chain up front, or perhaps the recording it self. John of CMY Audio & Visual tells me that Dynaudio C4 MKII is on it's way to Malaysian shores soon.
Marten Getz holds joint honours with the C4, Odiosleuth is very fond of these speakers as he always mentions about them during our hifi tea sessions. I can understand why. This speakers has open and highly extended highs, sweet mids, and well controlled bass. It really does nothing wrong except if telling the absolute truth is a crime! That's how highly transparent it is. I still can't forget how seductive Stacy Kent sounds thru the Getz. The Marten Getz offers an open window to your music collection. Did Odiosleuth made them his permanent reference? Stay tuned to find out.
The latest PMC Twenty.21 are my current favorite small/budget speakers. They are highly transparent, and come with the famous BBC LS3/5A kinda sonic cues, if only in broad brush. Again, female vocals are their forte' providing some of the sweetest voices for the below RM$10k budget range. They are easy to position in the room and offers wider than expect bandwidth, dynamic range and volume loudness from such a small foot print. At one point during the world wide press demo, this diminutive pair of 21 silenced a crowd of 30 or so mingling seasoned audiophiles, and captivated them to listen thru a few songs until the demo stopped. It was as if time stood still for the crowd and only the music mattered, even if only for just a while. The music wasn't loud at all, but just enough to fill and immerse that rather large demo area with pure music. If that's not phenomenal, then I don't know what is?
There are other speakers out there for sure, some of which are better, if not more suitable in your own room and preferences than others. I hereby list them here, in no particular rank or order, that I've heard else where, but not formally reviewed or previewed.
1) Triangle Magellan
2) Wilson Audio Maxx 3
3) Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor
4) PMC Fact 3
5) Magnaplanar Mini
6) XTZ 99.36
7) YG Carmel
8) Franck Tchang's Super Tango
9) Linn Majik Isobarik
10) TAD CR-1
We rate the Best Power Line Gear 2011 next!