What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Wed, 31 Mar 2010, 11:00am

PMC Fact 8

Tested at £4700
100100
5

An experiment from PMC, but a successful one: these are highly desirable in every way

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For

  • Speed, clarity and dynamic ability
  • clean, unfussy presentation
  • build and finish

Against

  • Very little, save that hefty price tag

PMC has consistently delivered speakers that offer an articulate, engaging sound, accurately reflecting the beliefs of its owner, Peter Thomas, that ‘the same loudspeaker can be used throughout the audio chain, from composer to studio to consumer'.

For all that, PMC's professional heritage has often produced speakers that are more purposeful than pleasurable to behold.

Hence the Fact.8, the first model in what will become a new range aimed at delivering all the company's established acoustic virtues plus a healthy dose of style.

A heady mix of bass extension and speed  
Not that PMC has entirely abandoned its old philosophy. Yes, the Fact.8s are slim, at just 15cm across, and they're more luxuriously finished than other PMCs.

But they remain big and largely conventional floorstanders, and they still sport PMC's trademark transmission-line design.

Running the full length of each cabinet, this 3m long (when unfolded) vented tunnel within the cabinet is aimed at delivering the optimum combination of bass extension and speed – it's a key factor in ensuring the Fact.8s provide a bigger, cleaner sound than you might expect.

On the rear, simple switches allow adjustment to the high and low-frequency response. Some audiophiles might sneer at such an accommodating approach to integration, but PMC is confident it has delivered adjustability without harming quality.

Clean, accurate and fast
These unfussy speakers are clean, accurate and fast. Playing Radiohead's 15 Step, they capture the rhythms with precision: there's no sense of overhang to bass, while midrange detail is exemplary.

Hans Zimmer's The Dark Knight is just extraordinary, from the spread and scale of the soundstage to the powerfully resolved drive of the sound.

Vocals are rendered with clarity and realism: while the sound is never less than honest, it's not brittle or unduly hard either, despite a leanness to the presentation. These PMCs are exceptional.

Their combination of sonic and aesthetic prowess is hard to resist: if you want better sound, be prepared to spend a lot more, or put up with significantly less style.

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