我一直以為Chord Company(下簡稱Chord)走的是平價路線，不過前一陣子試聽的Epic RCA非平衡訊號線，卻和印象中的Chord很不一樣，光從Epic的線身尼龍網外觀和精緻的做工，馬上可以看出等級不同，一般平價入門線材不可能用這麼複雜的設計。果然，Epic是Chord更上一層樓的作品，幾乎結合了該廠目前所了解的高階線材技術鎔於一爐，價錢自然也略為提高。...
The latest spectacular review to hit the news-stands is HiFi Plus Magazine’s in depth look at the new twenty5.22.
The seasoned and difficult to impress critic, Jason Kennedy certainly put them through their paces and came to the following conclusions:
“I am hearing, less distortion and more information presented in a remarkably coherent and timely fashion.”
“…worked well with the Rega, delivering charm alongside the dynamics.”
“…this is a stonking loudspeaker.”
“Build quality is superb…”
“…this is a significantly better loudspeaker than the twenty.22, which itself is pretty respectable, and I for one can’t wait to hear what Laminair can do for the bigger models in PMC’s extensive range.”
If you want to pick up a copy head down to your newsagent as it should be hitting the shelves about now.
For more about the superb twenty5.22 see:
初期， Acoustic Signature黑膠唱盤每次交由雜誌社測試時，唱臂及唱頭都要配搭其它廠牌，但發展到今時今日，Acoustic Signature 除了設計生產唱盤之外，更在幾年前開始自己設計製造唱臂，前年更一齊推出了六款唱頭，分別為 MM1、MM2、MM3 三款動磁唱頭和 MC1、MC2、MC3 三款動圈唱頭。現在 Acoustic Signature的黑膠產品線可謂一應俱全，盤、臂、頭都可以一手包辦，我們再也不需要思量配搭問題，完全放心都用上Acoustic Signature的產品。
今次「視聽前線」阿畢可以一口氣在廣州「巴洛音響」店，試齊Acoustic Signature的 Manfred MK2轉盤、TA-1000 唱臂、MC1 唱頭整套黑膠系統，配搭電子器材為德國品牌 AVM P1.2 MM/MC唱放、PA5.2前級和一對 M3 單聲道後級，揚聲器則是 Vandersteen，如下是輯錄自他對該系統的評語：
「首先放上了剛剛橫掃格林美各項大獎的Adele《25》專輯的《Hello》，Adele的音域非常廣闊 ...... 而這套黑膠系統把她那種高亢通透高音，演繹歌曲的起伏跌宕，聲帶顫動的氣息，更感人的是這套系統播放出這首悲傷情歌的神采。」
「換上另一首《Hello》，來自Lionel Richie 在1983年推出的專輯《Can't Slow Down》當中的經典曲目。……Lionel Richie富有磁性的聲音在這套系統當中重放出來別有一番韻味，他的歌聲溫潤有加，磁性十足的嗓音更富有感染力，細聽之餘還能感受到細緻的餘音，甚是好聽，聲音柔滑無顆粒感，這套系統將黑膠唱片獨有的韻味表現得淋漓盡致。」
「試聽了Alice Sara Ott & Olafur Arnalds的《The Chopin Project》，……這張專輯在這套系統重放出來的聲音非常細膩順滑，小提琴、鋼琴的質感得到應有的詮釋，細節部分也毫無遺漏，可見Acoustic Signature MC1唱頭對微弱信號的拾取相當了得，當然這也有賴於Manfred MK2轉盤和TA-1000唱臂提供了一個穩定的工作環境。」
「最後換上水星公司最新複刻的《Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture》黑膠唱片，這套唱片是2LP，其中一張是1954年單聲道的錄音，另外一張是1958年身歷聲的錄音，是大家最熟知的版本。想當年，不少的黑膠發燒友視這張水星的1812為調校唱盤的終極測驗專輯，這是因為老版本上的唱片坑紋振動幅度比較大，假若唱盤調校不好，輕則無法達至理想的音效，重則無法正常播放，出現跳針等現象。當然，這是難不倒這套系統的，各種樂器有條不紊、層次分明地演奏著，隨後十幾聲的禮炮和鐘聲也毫不含糊地展現了出來。」
「Acoustic Signature的Manfred MK2轉盤、TA-1000唱臂與MC1唱頭的這套搭配，是一套設計精美、用料精良、製作上乘的中檔黑膠唱盤系統，適合那些首次購買黑膠系統、對聲音要求較高但是不想花費太大的朋友入手，既能買到品質優秀的唱盤，也能省下不必要的升級費用來買喜歡的唱片，何樂而不為呢？盡情體驗黑膠之美吧！」
PRODUCT Acoustic Signature Manfred MK2
What's the connection between F1 racing cars and transmission line loudspeakers? Yes, you’ve got it, airflow. In an F1 car you want low wind resistance and equally low turbulence in the car’s wake because that causes drag. In a transmission line (TL) you want the air to be able to flow out of the end of the line with the minimum of turbulence because that creates a barrier to airflow. This is why many reflex designs have radiused port openings but no one has identified the issue in transmission lines before, and come up with a solution. But PMC designer Oliver Thomas worked in F1 design before he joined the family firm, and that gave him the notion to look at what happens to the air as it escapes from the vent on the end of a TL. This vent delivers the lowest bass notes from the loudspeaker so its performance is critical to the overall sound, this became obvious when Thomas designed PMC’s largest model to date, the QB1, a studio monitor with four 10inch bass drivers that’s designed to operate at high SPLs (sound pressure levels) without distortion. By putting strakes or fins of the sort you see low down on the back of an F1 in the vent Thomas discovered that bass output and quality improved quite markedly. With a speaker of the QB1’s prodigious capabilities that is perhaps not surprising, but PMC was so impressed that the so-called Laminair vent that it has been used across the company’s latest twenty5 range.
Despite the similarity in appearance to the twenty series the new models differ in many respects and represent the next range up in PMC’s catalogue. For a start they have a totally different type of cone in the main driver, up until now PMC have used doped paper cones across the board. The twenty5 series has woven glass fibre in its place, this was chosen because the stiffer material can deliver greater driver excursion and was originally the reason why Laminair was developed for the QB1. The greater excursion of the driver means faster airflow through the vent which creates turbulence that colours the sound. The easier airflow also means less resistance to movement from the cone which translates into finer detail, it effects the direct output of the driver as much as the bass.
This new cone, dubbed g-weave, is stiffer and stronger than paper and can deliver slightly higher SPLs than is possible with an equivalent twenty series loudspeaker. The soft dome tweeter is very similar to that of the other range however, the main difference being a change to the grille in order to improve dispersion, a byword at PMC that means spread of sound. The cabinets look similar but have also been improved, primarily by measuring their behaviour under load and using stiffer stabilising bars within the box to iron out any resonant peaks. The cabinet retains the backward lean that proved popular with the twenty series but in the case of the floorstanding models is fitted with stainless steel stabilising bars that extend the spike footprint and incorporate cork isolators between bar and box in an attempt to absorb unwanted vibration. Transmission line cabinets are inherently very stiff as a result of the inverted horn that forms the line but there is always room for improvement.
Comparing specs between the twenty.23 and twenty5.23 reveals that the newer model has marginally more bass extension but this does not tell you that the bass roll-off is much more gentle in the twenty.23 which means that the twenty5.23 sounds rather more powerful at low frequencies. In other respects the more expensive model is marginally shorter, heavier and half a decibel less sensitive. Being the smallest floorstander that PMC makes the twenty5.23 also the most domestically friendly and in my room at least it didn’t need to be far from the wall (35cm) to deliver an even tonal balance.
Other changes to this range include a stainless steel terminal panel, which looks nice and shiny but was chosen to give the crossover that sits behind it a magnetically inert mounting. This reduces the possibility of interaction between components. The crossover itself is a fourth order type built on a glass fibre board with “the thickest possible” tracks. The best bit about the back however is the terminals, a single pair to keep signal paths short, and made from matte rhodium plated copper. The spikes are quite tasty too; machined from one piece of stainless steel they have a large cap for ease of adjustment and look great in the chunky support bars.
In a system with a Melco N1A digital server and Primare DAC30 source, Townshend Allegri pre and ATC P1 power amp the twenty5.23 sounds relaxed and revealing, easily able to articulate the gravelly voice of Paolo Conti and the speed of a tabla player’s fingers. There is an ease to the presentation that makes you wonder if fine detail is being masked but it’s all there in the context of a stereo image that totally escapes the slim cabinets and fills the end of the room. With a powerful amp like the 150 Watt ATC the bass is notably quick yet appealingly weighty, overall extension is limited by the size of the box but that doesn’t mean it can’t growl if you put something meaty in the signal, and it’ll do so at high levels too without any tendency to sound grainy or forward. I mentioned this smooth presentation to Oliver Thomas who said that the midrange had been tuned this way, it makes for a forgiving yet revealing balance that means the shortcomings of less refined amps and sources aren’t mercilessly revealed. At the other end of the scale I tried the new Rega Brio integrated, a 50W amp costing £598, which managed to extract plenty of bass and deliver excellent image depth. The bass isn’t as tight with this amp but neither is it wayward or boomy and for less than balls-out volume levels it makes a highly enjoyable partner for this PMC.
Back with the ATC power amp the fabulous subtlety of Javier Perianes piano playing (Manuel Blasco de Nebra Piano Sonatas 1-6 Op.1, Harmonia Mundi) was very easy to enjoy indeed, the speed with which the bass notes stop and start giving it pace and gravitas that adds to its charm. With the blues rock of James Blood Ulmer’s ‘Crying’ (Live at the Bayerischer Hof, In+Out Records) the twenty5.23 delivers lots of space around the cymbals, a solid kick drum and the groove of the tight but loose rhythm section with ease, leaving centre stage to Ulmer’s etched guitar sound.
The overall balance is warmer/smoother than I am used to with the PMC Fact8 floorstander, but this doesn’t inhibit its ability to produce a full scale image and place a musician within it with uncanny presence. It’s very revealing of source changes too, switching from the onboard DAC of the Auralic Aries Mini to the Primare DAC30 brings about a clear increase in detail and the ability to understand lyrics such as those of Thom Yorke on Radiohead’s ‘Deck’s Dark’ (A Moon Shaped Pool). A track that proved distractingly enjoyable.
The 23 was not the only twenty5 series model in my listening room at the time, I also had the standmount twenty5.22, which has a larger main driver and a dedicated stand. It sounds more immediate and exciting than the twenty5.23 and will appeal to the speed freaks in the audience. I was able to compare the twenty5.22 with its counterpart in the twenty series the twenty.22, this revealed the new model to have more bass weight, considerably better timing and oodles more fine detail in the context of a calmer presentation. It made the music so much more engaging that I was forced to whip out the air guitar, it looks like the therapy will have to continue!
Both speakers share an effortlessness of delivery and remarkably low perceived distortion but the floorstander will suit those with more mellow tastes or less refined amplifiers. I tried both models with a Rega Elex-R integrated amp (72W) and found that the 23 had a fuller upper bass which makes it sound richer through the midrange, a balance that works rather well with Talking Heads’ ‘Crosseyed and Painless’. It also has a little more bass weight which suits this particular amp nicely, balancing out it’s slightly enthusiastic top end. Gregory Porter sounds as smooth as he should, and for once the sax break on ‘No Love Dying’ doesn’t grate when played at suitable level. Live tracks deliver all of their scale, Ryan Adams’ ‘Hallelujah’ being palpably present with real cinemascope imaging.
This is a speaker that does everything well, it may not be quite as edge of seat as its small brother but in the long term that is usually a good thing. What really impressed is the transparency to source; the twenty5.23 reflects the nature of the recording with precision and uncannily low distortion. Even at this price it’s quite hard to make a speaker that has wide bandwidth, even balance and great timing without something getting out of line. Usually it’s the bass but clearly the combination of the new driver and Laminair vent have produced a bass response that is class leading. As a long term Fact.8 user I am hearing things with the twenty5.23 that I would like more of in the bigger speaker, yes the Fact.8 is more precise and revealing but I for one am petitioning Oliver Thomas to turn his attention to the Fact range and give it the Laminair treatment. It really is that big a step, quite possibly so big that the twenty5.26 surpasses the Fact.8 already…
Available Finishes: Walnut, Amarone, Diamond Black, Oak
Crossover Frequency: 1.8kHz
LF - PMC twenty5 series 5.5”/140mm long-throw g-weave cone with cast alloy chassis
HF - PMC/SEAS, 27mm twenty5 series, SONOLEX fabric soft dome, Ferrofluid cooled
Effective ATL™ Length: 2.4m 7.8ft
Frequency Response: 28Hz – 25kHz
Impedance: 8 Ohms Input
Connectors: One pair 4mm binding posts
Sensitivity: 86.5dB 1W 1m
Dimensions: H 907mm (+20mm spikes) x W 162mm (238mm incl. plinth bars) x D 330mm (+9mm grille)
A representative slice of Bryston's brand philosophy – Bryston Model T Signature floorstanding speaker
「這次Bryston旗艦型號Model T Signature 座地式揚聲器，連同該廠BP26前級和一對7B3單聲道後級組合成一套西裝來到「HiFi音響」試音室，由昌哥開箱，透過他的聽感和見解，與大家一齊領略何是廠方想用家聽到的完整聲音。......
The London Cello Sound
Top Music TM-SACD9021.2
此再版SACD值得推介，是因為碟中的大提琴及其餘每件伴奏樂器定位一流，就如小冊子內頁相片所見，24位大提琴手以小許內彎的排位方式來演出，如果你的揚聲器夠班，擺位正確，一群大提琴的前後左右發聲位置，就清晰兼穩如泰山地還原，如果你發現弦聲含含混混，請繼續努力擺位，我們用Octave V40 SE膽合併擴推PMC twenty5系列最細小型號25.21書架揚聲器播放這張SACD，除了定位精確之外，此錄音另一令人難忘的特點，不諱言亦是Octave + PMC匹配下產生出的強烈化學作用，大提琴音色靚絕，廿幾支大提琴一起摩弦時松香味之攻鼻，令人拍案叫絕。
PMC is using Sound & Vision, The Bristol Show, to launch the AVM high-end electronics brand, which it is adding to its distribution portfolio, making this significant high-end brand available to UK audiophiles through carefully selected retailers befitting of the marque.
AVM, designed and meticulously handcrafted in Malsch, Germany, is owned by managing director Udo Besser. The company, which has been developing and manufacturing electronic equipment for over 30 years, believes electronics must relay the purest emotions of recorded music, regardless of genre, directly to the listener.
This objective drives the company’s product design process, which is centred on keeping the “fingerprint” of the design inaudible and as musical as possible. Simplicity of design is key, as Udo Besser says, “Trial and error does not produce good sounding equipment. Therefore we do not develop unnecessarily complicated circuits that need a lot of compensating components in order to function correctly. We prefer a simple, straight circuit design where every component has its own clearly defined task. This circuit concept provides the best result, by far.”
The AVM product line-up is extensive, spanning three ranges, namely: Inspiration, Evolution and Ovation. It consists of pre, power and integrated amplifiers, plus CD players, streamers, CD-receivers and all-in-one CD/streamer/amplifiers. PMC will be stocking a comprehensive selection covering all the categories; from the Inspiration CS 2.2 Compact Streaming CD-Receiver with 2 x 165 watt amplification and culminating in the Ovation range’s SA 8.2 stereo power amplifier. All the products feature a minimalist aesthetic design, reminiscent of the classic German design philosophy of the Bauhaus, uniting form and function. AVM products are designed to be seen, felt, heard and admired.
Peter Thomas, PMC’s founder and owner, has long admired AVM’s products and says, “The opportunity to bring them into the UK, to present the exceptional audio quality and exquisite design to our home market is ideal.” He continues, “AVM’s philosophy is so similar to our own - the reproduction of recorded music as it is meant to sound - that there is a real synergy between our products. They just work superbly well together, something we’ll be clearly demonstrating at the Bristol Show.”
Udo Besser adds, “AVM is delighted to announce that PMC will join the global distribution network for Germany’s top high end brand as exclusive distributor for the UK. The companies combine nearly six decades of experience in creating great sound reproduction to enrich customers lives in their homes and in the world’s best recording studios. And, with an identical approach to the voicing of the products, we have an additional and essential asset for this new team.”
.....25.21的結像特別好，這讓我在聽「Adele 25」專輯時簡直驚為天人。以track 2 “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”為例，運用了不少鼓，25.21呈現了清晰、勁猛的擊鼓力道與清楚的輪廓，聲音具備應有的重量感，一聲一聲衝撞而來，格外顯得有力量。至於人聲，Adele的歌聲帶有一種她特有的陽剛味與滄桑感，但這樣的滄桑並非來自沙啞，而是內蘊的深沉自省，25.21帶點硬調的中性走向最能凸顯這樣的特質，感染力更為深刻.....