PMC Fact 3
The Fact 3s are hugely capable standmounters, but their controlled character doesn’t quite stir the soul as well as it mightWrite your own review
- Breathtaking agility
- excellent detail and integration
- bags of authority
- terrific build
- Could be a tad more exuberant
PMC stands for Professional Monitoring Company: a name that says everything about what the company was born to do.
Over the years the company’s domestic range has changed from being veneered versions of its pro designs to purpose-engineered products.
The Fact range is the major step in that transformation. We reviewed and liked the Fact 8 floorstanders in April 2010; the Fact 3 standmounters use the same driver complement in a smaller cabinet and saves £1150 in the process.
Is it money well saved? Our first impressions are positive. This is a neat, refreshingly understated looking speaker in a market where glitz is king.
Our review unit has an immaculately made cabinet with a smart tiger ebony veneer, but you can also have light oak, walnut and the distinctive grey Graphite Poplar.
Our positivity extends to the stands. The Fact 3’s unusual proportions make it look a little odd on most aftermarket supports, so PMC did the sensible thing by engineering and supplying a pair of dedicated stands with the package.
The support’s cylindrical column screws directly, and neatly, into the Fact’s base. At the other end there’s a tidy plinth finished to match the speaker.
It all works well bar the narrow plinth footprint, which means these speakers are relatively easy to topple.
Fits most rooms
Those with offspring, big pets (or prone to drunken nights in) should take care. The Fact 3’s compact dimensions, well-judged tonal balance and adjustability means that it’s an easy speaker to fit into most rooms.
The ideal position in ours turned out to be well away from all walls with quite a large degree of toe-in.
All the rear panel adjustments were left on zero. Any speaker at this level will demand top class electronics.
For most of the test we used our usual reference system, which consists of Naim’s CDS3/555PS CD player backed up by our trusty Bryston BP26/4B SST2 amplifier. Bryston’s BDP-1/BDA-1 media player was also called into service thanks to its ability to play high resolution – up to 24bit/192kHz recordings.
Regardless of source the Fact 3 sings in this system.
It’s exceptionally fast, tracking sounds with breathtaking agility. Sometimes manufacturers achieve this by dialling up the treble, but not here.
PMC has engineered a well-balanced presentation, one that sounds as natural with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 as it does thinner, harsher and infinitely more processed recordings such as Rihanna’s Loud.
Despite the use of three drivers, this standmounter is a two-way design: the twin polymer coated pulp mid/bass drivers just combine their outputs.
Integration is seamless, too. This is just about as close as we’ve heard multiple drivers sounding like just a single unit.
PMC’s engineers deserve a lot of credit for this. They also deserve praise for the Fact 3’s dynamics. For compact speakers they can deliver a deeply impressive combination of attack and authority with demanding material such as James Blake’s Limit to your Love.
The transmission line loading in the bass really helps these speakers dig deep with confidence.
Other highlights include excellent detail resolution, tangible stereo imaging and solid rhythm tracking.
A matter of Fact presentation
But we’re not sure everyone will warm to the sound. The Facts are impressively controlled, but this comes at the expense of exuberance with upbeat music: they fail to fully communicate a real sense of fun.
We could also do with a little more natural warmth and a greater sense of ease, too.
Make no mistake, though – these are fine speakers. PMC has managed to deliver a hugely impressive and authoritative sound from a pair of slim standmounters. And that doesn’t happen very often.