With the all new PMC Twenty5 series of speakers now in store it was good to compare with a set of the older Twenty series that we had. At first glance the Twenty5 is very similar to the Twenty and with only a few millimetres of difference in the cabinet size you would say they are the same size. With the grills off there are a few adjustments to the look that to my eyes improve on the old design. There was nothing wrong with the build or appearance of the old Twenty product but with the new tweeter cover, different cone material, silver trim and new port I think they combine to tighten up the look and raise the quality of the product. The extra feel and look of quality continues on the back with an all new plate, binging posts and most notably the removal of the bi-wire function.
The adjustments to the appearance are really just the side show though as the performance of the speaker takes a tremendous jump up. All of the qualities in the PMC Twenty:22 are there in the Twenty5:22 but with a level of accomplishment that surprises. The bass is now faster and larger – particularly so in the speakers with the larger drive unit, the Twenty5:22 and the Twenty5:24. The clean and fresh mid-range opens up further and is helped along by the greater accuracy in the lower frequencies but crucially to my ears the component parts of the music are simply a better fit with each other. The sound motors along like the speakers are enjoying what they are playing rather than trudging through yet another piece of music This completeness is a quality I would expect at a far higher performance point and although the Twenty5 range shows an increase in price over the outgoing Twenty they deliver a great deal of quality for the money.
When the Twenty series was launched the step up from the older i-series was noticeable but given the price differential it wasn’t always a big enough step to merit the upgrade. This time the step is so marked that not only is it an easy step from an FB1i or OB1i to Twenty5:24 it is an easy step from Twenty:22 to the new Twenty5:22. As soon as I trade in some Twenty:23’s or 24’s I will compare them but with the speakers I have here it is clear cut to me.
For this test I listened to the PMC’s on their dedicated stands and used a Primare NP30 Network player and a Primare i32 integrated amplifier. Cables were Black Rhodium Foxtrot and Samba. Music from Submotion Orchestra , Gregory Porter, Young Fathers, and Fabric87 with Alan Fitzpatrick.