PMC Fact 12

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Joe
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PMC Fact 12

Postby Joe » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:39 pm

To cut a long story short, me and the Dalis weren’t quite getting along, and in looking for solutions I made the costly mistake of listening to the PMC Fact 12! I’ve had a pair for about 7 weeks now and am in love.

As a previous Twenty.26 owner, there was something immediately and reassuringly familiar about the sound. All the PMC traits are there; insight, energy, and bass tighter than cats arse. What wasn’t familiar was the sheer physics-defying scale of these things. They sound like speakers twice their size. I believe the brief was for PMC to create something akin to their big standmounts but in a home friendly cabinet. They certainly succeeded!

The other thing I find most impressive about the Fact 12 is how seamless they are across the frequency range. I’m no technician but the crossover design must be really good. I felt the Epicon 6 were overly reliant on the domed tweeter, and you could almost pick out the point at which it crossed over. With the Fact 12, it sounds like everything’s coming from one driver, in the complimentary sense.

The Twenty.26 always sounded like they had a bit of a lull in the mid-bass. Not so the Fact 12. The whole spectrum of bass is here. No longer do I reach for the bass control on my amp to compensate. I’m not the type to pay much attention to measurements but I would hazard a guess that these are PMC’s best measuring speakers by far, with the possible exception of the new Fenestria of course!

The R&D that lead to this is presumably what you’re paying for here, because they don’t look anything spectacular, compared to offerings from the likes of B&W at this price point for example. No high gloss curves or diamond tweeters here. We’re certainly way past the point of diminishing returns as well. Are they twice as good as a 7 grand speaker? Of course not, but you do get what you pay for, and in this case that’s never again feeling like the reproduction of the recording is missing anything.

As one would expect with any speaker upgrade, I’m hearing new detail and texture, even in a dynamically compressed album like David Bowie’s "Blackstar". The speakers seem to readdress the balance of music, giving you what you’ve only ever had from headphones. Instruments strike you as more natural, I can pick out individual drums thanks the improved bass, and the oddest things suddenly become more impressive, clapping for example. Who knew there was an extra level of fidelity to be found with clapping? Or the wind sounds on the second part of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"? All my favourite albums sound better than I’ve heard them. Led Zeppelin vinyl rocks like never before, the intricacies of Talking Heads’ "Remain In Light" can be fully heard and Aphex Twin’s latest EP is fizzing with pace and energy. Even the contemporary pop my sister was playing over Christmas impressed (to a degree)!

I’m driving them with my Luxman L-590AXII which puts out about 95W (despite Luxman’s claims of 30W “pure” class A). The Facts have a (low) sensitivity of 84dB so I was very much expecting to be hankering for more powerful amp like the new L-509X. To my delight, I am not. The Luxman rises to the challenge. The VU meters are certainly bouncing higher than before but never into the red. If I had a bigger room or liked to listen at concert levels then I’m sure I’d have a problem, but as it stands, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything and there’s plenty of bass even at low volumes. I can only imagine the scale these speakers are capable of with a pair of Bryston monoblocks, but personally I prefer the synergy PMC speakers have with the smoother Luxman sound.

I read in one review that the Fact 12 can be more unforgiving and ruthless with a poor recording than the Twenty.26, as you would probably expect with such a high-end speaker. This is probably true, but it’s easily avoided thanks to one of the speakers biggest selling points in my opinion, the bass and treble switches on the back. The switches offer +/- 1.5dB of treble lift/roll-off and 3dB for the bass. The manual suggests this is a feature to compensate for the listening room, which seems a bit archaic compared to solutions offered by other products on the market, but I like its simplicity and in my opinion it’s better described as a subtle but effective tool for tailoring to the listener’s taste and partnering equipment. If you want ultimate transparency, you can have it, but I like my treble rolled off a bit, particularly as my room is a tad lively and my taste in music often far from audiophile quality, so I generally have the treble switches down. The bass sounds just right in neutral. If I get a more powerful amp and the bass overwhelms the room, the bass switches can go down. If I get a smoother DAC, the treble switches can go up a notch. You get my drift.

My system now "wows" me with a great recording, without making a rough one hard to listen to and I’m always itching to put a record on, which is as it should be. A final upgrade.
Michell Gyro Dec, SME IV, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Project Phono Box RS + Power Box.
Aurender N100H, Chord Hugo TT.
Luxman L-590AX II, PMC Fact 12.

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby callen24 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:22 pm

have fanthorpes got a s/h pair for sale?
cyrus stream X2, Oppo HA-1SE, IMFs, NORD OneUP, VA Beethoven Baby Grand
ML binarystar digital, DenchXLR, RFCneptune RCA, VanDamme OFC spk cable. AG 500 ac regenerator and Townsend Seismic sink stand, sonority roller platform
rega P3-24, psu, AT95e/paratrace, Clearaudio nano
Former owner of 20 Cyrus boxes

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby Joe » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:59 pm

Looks like it. I had to have white ::)
Michell Gyro Dec, SME IV, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Project Phono Box RS + Power Box.
Aurender N100H, Chord Hugo TT.
Luxman L-590AX II, PMC Fact 12.

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby RichardLowe » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:47 pm

I auditioned a set of these 2 years ago and was mightily impressed. If I'd had the money at that time I would have bought them. Have you managed to tear yourself away from listening to music through them yet? 8)

Of course, now you have speakers of this reference calibre, thoughts will no doubt, turn to the electronics driving them...
(NAS > LAN network) + (oppo 203 > ml binary star i/c) > primare pre60 > tellurium q black xlr > primare a60 > tellurium q black 2.0 > boenicke w11

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby callen24 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:47 pm

RichardLowe wrote:I auditioned a set of these 2 years ago and was mightily impressed. If I'd had the money at that time I would have bought them. Have you managed to tear yourself away from listening to music through them yet? 8)

Of course, now you have speakers of this reference calibre, thoughts will no doubt, turn to the electronics driving them...


https://www.fanthorpes.co.uk/second-han ... -speakers/
cyrus stream X2, Oppo HA-1SE, IMFs, NORD OneUP, VA Beethoven Baby Grand
ML binarystar digital, DenchXLR, RFCneptune RCA, VanDamme OFC spk cable. AG 500 ac regenerator and Townsend Seismic sink stand, sonority roller platform
rega P3-24, psu, AT95e/paratrace, Clearaudio nano
Former owner of 20 Cyrus boxes

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby Joe » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:51 pm

RichardLowe wrote:Of course, now you have speakers of this reference calibre, thoughts will no doubt, turn to the electronics driving them...


They quite possibly have more to give but there's such a nice tonal balance currently that trying other amplifiers is bottom of my list.
Michell Gyro Dec, SME IV, Ortofon Cadenza Black, Project Phono Box RS + Power Box.
Aurender N100H, Chord Hugo TT.
Luxman L-590AX II, PMC Fact 12.

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby angelface » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:06 am

When I bought my WB Arcs from Billyray he had some of these and he gave me a quick demo. The level of bass was incredible - nearest to concert levels I have heard in a hi-fi system. In fact it made me worry that the Arcs had enough bass but when I got them into my system they had much more bass than the Square Ones I had before so I was happy.

They are BIG speakers though!
CDXTSE2/PSX-R(Nordost Silver Line)BC DAC3.7/VBL(Atlas Navigator)MF Baby Mk2(Atlas Navigator)2xMonoX(Coherent 4D)WB Arc
HUMAX Freesat+/Sony BDPS280>AVMaster8 and SP+>Spendor C5e>> Monitor Audio RXW12 sub>>4xSpendor SR5

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby hifinutt » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:24 pm

thanks for write up joe, they sound like they are worth hearing
1]bc pre 3 vbs
msb s200 power amp
/vbs1 FM1 tuner
onkyo sacd , tannoy eaton legacy 2] schiit freya , firebottle hybrid monos , bc 3.5vbs, marantz sa8005 , reference fidelity impulse ta`us horns3] rotel , harbeth p3esr

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby RichardLowe » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:52 pm

angelface wrote: They are BIG speakers though!


They're quite tall but very slim and elegant. Considering how much bass they unearth they are actually small!
(NAS > LAN network) + (oppo 203 > ml binary star i/c) > primare pre60 > tellurium q black xlr > primare a60 > tellurium q black 2.0 > boenicke w11

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby billyray » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:22 pm

I realise that I'm a very infrequent visitor these days, quite funny to see that I'm still coming up in conversation.

Actually mine are FACT 8s which are smaller. Always been very impressed with them.

I hope everyone is well. Happy New year.

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby border » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:57 pm

Good to know that you are still around,hope all is well with you and yours.

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby mickbald » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:57 pm

Andrew, glad you are still around. Were do you post now?

You'll be pleased to know the DAC XP Sig I bought off you in 2015 is still going strong :)

All the best, Mick

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby jules » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:06 am

Great review Joe, sounds like a enjoyable upgrade 8)
Cyrus CD8x/PreVs2/Xpower -> Cyrus i/cs, 4TC, Oddy -> Leema Xone

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby billyray » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:42 pm

mickbald wrote:Andrew, glad you are still around. Were do you post now?

You'll be pleased to know the DAC XP Sig I bought off you in 2015 is still going strong :)

All the best, Mick

Great news - if I'm honest I don't get all that much time to listen to my system now. I took up cycling and that developed into cycling and running.

I'm running my third Half Marathon in a few weeks. My most significant audio purchase recently has been bone conduction wire less headphones. So that I can hear the traffic trying to kill me...

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Re: PMC Fact 12

Postby callen24 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:59 pm

billyray wrote:
mickbald wrote:Andrew, glad you are still around. Were do you post now?

You'll be pleased to know the DAC XP Sig I bought off you in 2015 is still going strong :)

All the best, Mick

Great news - if I'm honest I don't get all that much time to listen to my system now. I took up cycling and that developed into cycling and running.

I'm running my third Half Marathon in a few weeks. My most significant audio purchase recently has been bone conduction wire less headphones. So that I can hear the traffic trying to kill me...

we need a review of these headphones 8) :) O0
cyrus stream X2, Oppo HA-1SE, IMFs, NORD OneUP, VA Beethoven Baby Grand
ML binarystar digital, DenchXLR, RFCneptune RCA, VanDamme OFC spk cable. AG 500 ac regenerator and Townsend Seismic sink stand, sonority roller platform
rega P3-24, psu, AT95e/paratrace, Clearaudio nano
Former owner of 20 Cyrus boxes