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liav.teichner's picture
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Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

Hi everyone,

I am considering an upgrade to the PMC Twenty 22 and would really aapreciate any input.

My current setup is: V-DAC II -> Tellurium Q Black RCA -> Rega Brio-R ->Tellurium Q Black -> MA RX2 On Nexus 6 Stands.

I think I can get some almost brand new PMC Twenty 22 instead of the MA RX2. I am going to listen to them this week, but am already wondering. Can I remain for the time being with the Rega Brio-R (I know it's not the best amp for these speakers, but I wonder if it's adequate).

 

Thank!

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

I've had an idea. Why not take your amp with you and work it out for yourself by listening. 

Or is that too easy.  Smile

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

Have you heard the PMC 22s?

 

Thats the first thing to do preferably with your amp but also the amp you may upgrade to. How long before you can change the amp?

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

The Twenty.22's are fairly easy to drive, and I doubt the Brio-R will have any issues unless you're listening at excessive levels. They will be quite different to what you're used to though - they will initially seem lighter in the bass compared to the RX2's, but on extended listening you'll realise it is all there, it's just not being pushed to the fore in the same way that some other manufacturers do. This really brings out the midrange and treble detail. Plenty of insight, and they really reveal the layers in music, including usually messy sounding indie type music. You'll certainly hear quite a difference, but it will rest on how much you like your current speakers - if you enjoy their bass, you may feel the Twentys a little light.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

liav.teichner's picture
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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

Thanks for the answers. I'm indeed going to test them with the Brio-R and report back.

 

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

Hi Liav, 

I've owned the 22's for the last four months but recently upgraded to the fact 8's. The 22 is a great speaker but to get the best out of them they do excel when driven by more powerful amps. 

The first time I heard the 22's was alongside the Kef LS50's. they were both being driven by Musical Fidelity M1 HPAP pre and the M1 PWR power amp which puts out 60 watts per channel, so quite close to what your Rega Brio R puts out. The Kefs sounded great but a little too boomy for my liking (incidentally, I only use my sub at home when watching films and not for listening to music). The 22's sounded good too but with this set up they didn't sound like they were more than twice the price of the Kefs. Now taking in the big price difference between these speakers I knew something wasn't quite right so I asked the dealer to connect up their best integrated amp which turned out to be a Leema Acoustics Tucana 2. Wow, the difference between the Kefs and the 22's was like night and day using the Tucana which puts out 148 watts per channel. The 22's were so detailed and sounded incredible with a nice tight bass. The soundstage they created for their size was I thought, quite amazing. Now I could hear why the 22's  were more than twice the price of the Kefs. Incidentally, I was using my own MacBook Pro as the source playing Wav files. 

After listening to the Kefs and 22's I asked the dealer to swap the Tucana 2 over and to connect up a Roksan Caspian M2 integrated amp which puts out 85 watts into 8 ohms. The difference in sound quality compared to the Tucana 2 was very noticeable and had nowhere near the refined sound that the Tucana 2 produced. The sound with the Roksan just didn't have the same clarity and detail as the Tucana. But again, the Tucana 2 is more than twice the price of the Roksan so you'd expect the difference to be clearly audible, which in my case it was.  It was interesting to listen to the Kefs and the 22's with three very different amps that went up the scale in power and price. I read quite a few posts from people who say that amps don't make much difference to the sound quality but personally I disagree with that. 

My advice would be to take your Rega amp with you to audition the 22's to really see how they sound using your kit. And if you decide to do what I did by listening to more expensive and powerful amps with the 22's then do so at your peril, as when I did, there was no turning back and it caused a bigger dent in my wallet than I had initially anticipated. But the end result for me was worth it. Unfortunately for me, four months into owning the 22's, I ended up auditioning the fact 8's and the impression that they made was too much to resist. 

So yes, going back to your original question, your Rega Brio R will drive the 22's but I don't really feel that you will be getting anywhere near what the 22's are capable of sounding like. I'm not familiar with your amp, I know, so I may be wrong, but based on my auditioning experience I'd suspect that if you improved your amplification then you'd get a lot more out of the 22's. This is of course, my opinion only and what counts more is what you hear and feel.

The 22's really are a great speaker and produce incredible detail and amazing sound, but the better your amplification, the more you will get out of them. As with all things, it comes down to your own personal view and what you like and how much you want to spend. 

Good luck and I hope you enjoy hearing the 22's as much as I did when I first heard them.

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

Hey, I did go to the dealer on thrusday, and compared the RX-2 and the PMC Twenty 22.

First I used my own amp. the Rega Brio-R. I compared a few tracks and came to two conclusions:

1. Detail imporved immensly using the 22's. I especially noticed this when listening to Linda Ronstadt rendition of "You're No Good".

2. The 22's lacked some power in the bass.

I told the dealer my impressions, and he told me that the Brio-R wasn't powerful enough to drive the 22's, I tested them with a more powerful Roksan Caspian (don't remember which), and indeed the bass returned and the 22's perfoemed marvelously in the bass department, but I felt that the Brio-R gave a much better resolution and clarity. I think I'll test them with the Elicit-R the moment it becomes available here.

Thank you,

        Liav

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

I agree with RobM, the 22s are absolutely fantastic speakers but they will definitely reveal weaknesses in the rest of your system. They benefit from amps with gobs of current and preferably a lot of watts too, hear them with something from Electrocompanient gear and you will fall in love....I am a tube man but the electrocompanient and the 22s convinced me that there are plently of great transistor amps too. They are very critical of source too, changing from my iphone playing wav to an electro cdp was a MASSIVE step up. I have personally not heard ur amp, but I know it is highly acclaimed and can drive difficult loads too so for the time being you can do with them but I think you should get the 22s with the intention to upgrading your amp in the future too.

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

I had a demo of the 22’s, loved some things about them but wasn’t convinced by others. I heard them on the end of an expensive Leema integrated and CDP. The top end was wonderful and they were very open and relaxed but possibly a tad fatiguing over a longer listen. I wasn’t totally convinced by the tonal balance but it was a brief demo and some acclimatisation might be in order, the one thing that did concern me though was there was an area in the lower midrange which felt almost disjointed from the rest of the presentation. Now I wasn't sure if this was the speakers or then room, part of me thought the transmission line may be at fault, perhaps it is just too short to worked effetely. The other was a large window at the back of the room behind the listening position, this may be picking up some unwanted reflections.

 

I didn't hear enough to be convinced but I certainly heard enough positives to be curious to have a better listen, perhaps with my tube pre-amp to tame them slightly and in a better room. As it was I left a little underwhelmed but I wouldn't be surprised at all if I were blown away by them in different circumstances.

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

shafesk wrote:

I agree with RobM, the 22s are absolutely fantastic speakers but they will definitely reveal weaknesses in the rest of your system. They benefit from amps with gobs of current and preferably a lot of watts too, hear them with something from Electrocompanient gear and you will fall in love....I am a tube man but the electrocompanient and the 22s convinced me that there are plently of great transistor amps too. They are very critical of source too, changing from my iphone playing wav to an electro cdp was a MASSIVE step up. I have personally not heard ur amp, but I know it is highly acclaimed and can drive difficult loads too so for the time being you can do with them but I think you should get the 22s with the intention to upgrading your amp in the future too.

I agree that the combination of an Electrocompaniet amp and PMC speakers is an incredibly good synergistic match that is very hard to describe until you hear it .

  If  you do get a chance to hear this combination  it might just change your whole outlook on what is possible from a HiFi system . Smile

 

 Electrocompaniet EMC 1 UP , Monarchy Audio DIP, Electrocompaniet ECD 1 dac , EC4.8 preamp , 2x AW180 monoblock power amps , PMC PB1i speakers . Thousands of Cd's .

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

RobM wrote:

Hi Liav, 

I've owned the 22's for the last four months but recently upgraded to the fact 8's. The 22 is a great speaker but to get the best out of them they do excel when driven by more powerful amps. 

The first time I heard the 22's was alongside the Kef LS50's. they were both being driven by Musical Fidelity M1 HPAP pre and the M1 PWR power amp which puts out 60 watts per channel, so quite close to what your Rega Brio R puts out. The Kefs sounded great but a little too boomy for my liking (incidentally, I only use my sub at home when watching films and not for listening to music). The 22's sounded good too but with this set up they didn't sound like they were more than twice the price of the Kefs. Now taking in the big price difference between these speakers I knew something wasn't quite right so I asked the dealer to connect up their best integrated amp which turned out to be a Leema Acoustics Tucana 2. Wow, the difference between the Kefs and the 22's was like night and day using the Tucana which puts out 148 watts per channel. The 22's were so detailed and sounded incredible with a nice tight bass. The soundstage they created for their size was I thought, quite amazing. Now I could hear why the 22's  were more than twice the price of the Kefs. Incidentally, I was using my own MacBook Pro as the source playing Wav files. 

After listening to the Kefs and 22's I asked the dealer to swap the Tucana 2 over and to connect up a Roksan Caspian M2 integrated amp which puts out 85 watts into 8 ohms. The difference in sound quality compared to the Tucana 2 was very noticeable and had nowhere near the refined sound that the Tucana 2 produced. The sound with the Roksan just didn't have the same clarity and detail as the Tucana. But again, the Tucana 2 is more than twice the price of the Roksan so you'd expect the difference to be clearly audible, which in my case it was.  It was interesting to listen to the Kefs and the 22's with three very different amps that went up the scale in power and price. I read quite a few posts from people who say that amps don't make much difference to the sound quality but personally I disagree with that. 

My advice would be to take your Rega amp with you to audition the 22's to really see how they sound using your kit. And if you decide to do what I did by listening to more expensive and powerful amps with the 22's then do so at your peril, as when I did, there was no turning back and it caused a bigger dent in my wallet than I had initially anticipated. But the end result for me was worth it. Unfortunately for me, four months into owning the 22's, I ended up auditioning the fact 8's and the impression that they made was too much to resist. 

So yes, going back to your original question, your Rega Brio R will drive the 22's but I don't really feel that you will be getting anywhere near what the 22's are capable of sounding like. I'm not familiar with your amp, I know, so I may be wrong, but based on my auditioning experience I'd suspect that if you improved your amplification then you'd get a lot more out of the 22's. This is of course, my opinion only and what counts more is what you hear and feel.

The 22's really are a great speaker and produce incredible detail and amazing sound, but the better your amplification, the more you will get out of them. As with all things, it comes down to your own personal view and what you like and how much you want to spend. 

Good luck and I hope you enjoy hearing the 22's as much as I did when I first heard them.

 

What an excellent post - if only more posting on hifi forums were like this! :clap:

I have owned PMC Twenty 22s since November last year, and this is spot on, along with what others have said on the thread who have heard the speakers. I already owned a bel canto PRe3 and Belles 150A v2 power amp (125W into 8 Ohms but a dual mono design with a single 650VA transformer, so doubles into 4 Ohm), so I tested with the Tucana  - the comments match what I heard.

I have recently been worrying over how much I spent on hifi in the last three years (!) (owing to recent reduction in earnings more than anything), and was considering selling my pre and power and getting something like a secondhand or ex-demo Exposure or Roksan. This was partly based on the "all amps sound the same as long as they can drive the speakers and are not clipping" mantra one often reads - I was thinking I had an unbalanced system, amps of higher quality than speakers. I would have ended up with some money in my pocket, but with an integrated amp of actual original RRP much less than what I'd spent net (I started out with a Cyrus 6XP in August 2010)....this post has convinced me that I should keep my superb bel canto / Belles pre power set up and stop worrying about what I've spent and enjoy what this amplification does with the Twenty 22s - I just have to accept I can't spend any more for a long while, which we all know is tough to do :roll:

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

datay wrote:

This was partly based on the "all amps sound the same as long as they can drive the speakers and are not clipping" mantra one often reads - I was thinking I had an unbalanced system, amps of higher quality than speakers. I would have ended up with some money in my pocket, but with an integrated amp of actual original RRP much less than what I'd spent net (I started out with a Cyrus 6XP in August 2010)....this post has convinced me that I should keep my superb bel canto / Belles pre power set up and stop worrying about what I've spent and enjoy what this amplification does with the Twenty 22s - I just have to accept I can't spend any more for a long while, which we all know is tough to do :roll:

I suppose it depends on whose Mantra you choose to follow. IMO. The amp is the heart of the system, and in your case, BC/Belles should make a great foundation...so I think you are wise to hold fast and enjoy your musical system.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

Wise, maybe, but now can't help dreaming of a Heed dac which I can't have... :cry:

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RE: Considering upgrading to PMC Twenty 22

So after "just" 5 months I have pulled my resources together and bought the speakers. So what happened?

At first I've done a listening session with the PMC Twenty 22 with my Rega Brio-R. Immediately an improvement in details was apparant in the mid-high frequencies. I heard nuances and instruments I have never heard before, in songs I heard many times. But, I noticed that something was missing - the bass. It was almost non existant - the bass guitar in "Drive My Car" was almost non auidiable.

After consulting with my dealer, I understood the problem was probably due to my amplifier being just a little to weak to drive the 22s to my liking. I didn't have the money to spend on an amplifier - I was there in the first place only because somebody was trying to resell his brand new 22s at about two thirds of the price (which, when adding our taxes comes to about the normal UK price Smile ). Still I tried the roksan caspian m2 with the 22s, and to my surprise I didn't like it. The bass returned all right, but the overall sound was less enjoyable then the Brio-R (it was to long ago for me to remember the details).

 

About a month ago I noticed the 22s were still waiting for someone to pick them up, and I decided I could stretch a bit and trade-in the Brio-R as well. Listening with the Brio-R replicated my previous experience with the speakers. Then I listened to the NAIM NAIT 5si and after a couple of songs decded thiswas the amp for me.

Impressions of my current setup: V-DACII (with V-PSUII) -> Tellurium Black RCA -> NAIM Nait 5si -> Tellurium Black -> PMC Twenty 22

At first I thought the music sounded a bit lean compared to the RX2, especially concerning how dominant the singer used to be with the RX2. As I listened more and more I got it - I'm listening to what was recorded, as naturally as possible. I now feel like I can hear everything that was recorded in the studio with percision I never knew before. I am feeling like I'm in the studio watching the the instruments being played - every instrument that is audible, clear and precise. Such a revelation. 

I'm very pleased with my current setup, and can honestly recommend every component listed.

The near future is quiet for me, but I think in a year or so I will check if a pricier DAC can improve anything.

Happy Hanukah!

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