Stay with me on this. After a long time enjoying mid range systems over the years I saved up enough and bought some Grado 325Si headphones, result, I finally found out what the reviews over the years were on about, such an improvement that I realised what I'd been missing over the years. Next came a Benchmark DAC1 USB, again a huge leap in performance. By now I realised what benefits spending more can achieve and my £400 KEF 105's must be lacking as my headphones had so much detail. Money in the bank I selected a short list of £2000 to £2500 speakers. Monitor Audio GX200, B&W PM1.
Setting my heart on big speakers I settled down firstly to listen to the PM1's just to get them out of the way, again such a revelation, they blew away my Grados for detail,. Even my partner said she was amazed at the detail and soundstage, after 20 mins of being impressed I then switched to the much bigger floorstanders the GX200 and...........my girlfriend looked at me an I knew, could not hold a candle to the tiny PM1's.
The PM1's will never be able to perform at very high levels but at low and realistic levels these tiny speakers dig so deep into detail. Set up is critical as is the dedicated stands. They are mini monitors and well worth the money. I'd have spent £ 3000. Pure pleasure.
I love B&W and was really excited about listening to these pint sized wonders connected to a Superuniti. They sounded great... But then I heard the same albums form the same Superuniti though a pair of Neat Momentum 3i and everything went wrong.
How ever much I really, really WANTED to like the PM1s they were just blown out of the water by the Neats. a REAL shame.
A lovely pair of speakers, but I'm very, very sorry to say they don't cut the mustard in the £2k price range.
Halve the price and they would be real competitors. At £2k there are hugely better alternatives.
I think that when you favour a brand, your review, in some ways, papers over the cracks and is less than honest, which is a shame.The fact that they won best speaker of the year in the £1500 plus category is embarressing and does not say much for the competition.
Hey don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of B&W too, but lets get serious for a moment. In anything but a matchbox, when you crank the volume, a small driver such as this is really going to struggle and does, so why do you play down the limitations? Hey it might be a nice speaker but as you said, one can't change the laws of physics and neither can the engineers at B&W.
My own limited experience of brand, whether its their speakers or headphones, is that the sound just gets better the more you turn up the volume, but my ears at least are not always comfortable at those volume levels, never mind what the neighbours would say!
I auditioned these back in the summer of 2011 and was impressed by their ability to handle the thumping beats of the Anjunabeats CD I'd just bought. They were piped into high end Naim sources and were on the bespoke stands.
The store owner cranked up the volume to max and everything went wrong!! Just one massive sound and I felt my senses were assaulted.
I really don't believe that these are £2k speakers but will positively say that the cabinets are well braced, the front port cuts out chuffing and at moderate volumes they did very well indeed.
I would conclude that every B&W entry to mid speaker I've heard can reproduce acoustic and vocals perfectly well at moderate volumes but if you use a high end / powerful system, look elsewhere.
Please, how do they compare to B&W 805s?
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