The PMC Twenty:26 fills the gap at the top of the Twenty Series that used to be filled by the now discontinued OB1i and PB1i. With our Twenty:26 speakers all warmed up and raring to go it is nice to have a pair of OB1i speakers from a customer trade in to compare them to.
Size wise there is very little to separate the speakers – I am sure on paper there are a few millimetres here and there between them and perhaps a slight difference in weight but to the casual eye they are the same size. If you have OB1i’s and are looking to upgrade you wont need to find any more space. Build quality is as you would expect at this price with great attention to detail on both speakers.
When it comes to sound the differences are more pronounced. The key components of the OB1i sound is present in the Twenty:26 but it is more accomplished. The higher and middle frequencies are fresher and more open – as we have seen throughout the Twenty Series – and the bass notes are faster and tighter with a touch of extra depth. With low level listening the top end on the Twenty:26’s allows a more revealing sound but the differences are less pronounced. At middle volumes the newer speaker breaks away with a larger sound and stronger bass. When the volume is going some then the 26 shows real composure and keeps pace with the music without dropping a breath. The OB1’s were no slouch when pushed really hard but compared to the 26 the bass is not resolved in the same way and that leads to a messier sound. It would be an interesting comparison with the PB1i as the 26’s sound very much how I remember them.
I listened to the speakers with a Lumin Network Audio player and a Yamaha A-S3000. Working through the F selection in our music collection I played a variety of music including 24 Bit files from Fleetwood Mac, The Foo Fighters, Finlay Quaye, FourTet and Frank Zappa ( which could of course be under Z if my OCD was up to scratch)