It's happening: PMC Twenty.23 upgrade to Twenty5.23

Okay no pics. The other one was in 10x worse state than the first one I unboxed and again, none of the dings line up with the box punctures. This all happened at PMC I am sad to say. I've had to contend with:

  • Machine threads left from the lathe inside a couple of the holes on the stabilsers that would have buggered the screws had I not diticed first and gently teasesd them back and forth with tweezers until they snapped out to leave a clean threaded hole.
  • Dings from the loose spikes on the tops of both speakers
  • Large ding on front right corner of one speaker.
  • Various dings on all corners of the other speaker and one being 2 inches long.
  • The PMC logo having falling off both grilles (easily fixed but c'mon).
  • Either the magnets on the speaker or the ones in the grilles are misaligned and both grilles rest 3mm lower than flush with the top of the speaker.
  • To add injury to insult, the number of dings all the way around the other speaker made it very diffult to find a safe place to hold it and I cut my finger on one of the sharp splinters of the vaneer.

Will find out more next week. Best I can guess is they entered into the cheese rolling competition and failed to finish due to injury. But being pragmatic, these things happen. One bad experience doesn't constitute a statistical QA problem. Though I am shocked that not one but both speakers had had the mother foxtrot sierra kicked out of them.

Blimey. Assuming you are right and all this occurred at the factory (and by the nature of the faults it sounds like it did), there is something seriously wrong at PMC for all these faults to get through. I realise some of them would have occurred in transit due to the loose spikes, but that too is a packing boo boo.

Once you or your dealer have this out with them, I am sure PMC will be all over it like a rash. A great opportunity for PMC to sort some issues out, it is just a shame it takes a poor customer experience to bring them to light.

I have never owned PMCs but I have seen and heard many of them and the quality has always been exemplary. So I am a little baffled as to how much has gone wrong in this instance. You can forgive the odd boo boo but this is very poor QC indeed. The real problems of course lie in manufacturing and packing and should never have found their way to (the non-existent) QC.

I hope you get it sorted soon.

So speakers set up and running and putting all the damage aside (I will be getting replacements eventually). I Had them connected up and powered on the 250dr and let it warm up for a couple hours. I don't see any point talking about the damage any more. The following is for original Twenty.23 owners so we can understand how things have changed.

Setup

The stabilisers on the 25.23s might not look as nice as the black plinths but they are solid and easier to work with when it comes to leveling them out thanks to the spike nuts. No seperate washers and bolts anymore and no reversable spikes with a rounded hardwood friendly end either. Instead, PMC provide a set of small penny sized spike shoes. Nice touch. Word of warning, the stabilisers are fresh from the machine cutter and as such are fairly sharp. Unlikley you'll hurt yourlsef but I wouldn't want one slipping through the palm of my hand with those edges. I didn't use the supplied shoes since I favor using the dense Krypton shoes with the silicone ring (it is flush to stop lateral movement but provides no cushioning). I actually start of with Linn Skeet (I have a set from way back when I had Keilidhs) since these are coated with something that makes them slide effortless on wood floors without damage and it is easy to guide the spike in without being able to see what your are doing. Once all the listening to find the best position is done, I swap these out for the Kryptons whch don't budge a micron once mass is applied. Here you can see the PMC suplied chips, next to good ol' Skeet and the Kryptons.

left to right: PMC chips, Linn Skeet, Krypton spike shoes

Visual

We've all seen the pictures but the reality is a bit differnt. Battered and damaged speakers aside, the dimensions only differ by a couple centimeters. A couple shorter and one wider than the 20.23s. It seems to give them a very different visual character. They are still elegant but visually sturdier so they don't have that immediate impact the tall and very thin 20.23s do, being a bit more conventionally proportioned as the 25.23s are. Still thin and elegant but 1cm wider makes them look a bit more substantial. I cannot confirm until I get my replacement pair but the quality of the vaneer was incredible. I don't know whether it was luck of the draw or PMC are choosing better samples for the Twenty5 range but I got a beautiful pair in Amarone with a rich pattern that had a light bairly grained section merging to rich red section that centered on an almost black knot in the tree. Just incredibly beautiful and tragic that they are damaged. Absolutely gorgeous. I hope the replacements are as nice.

First listen

With a completely non run-in pair of 25.23s my expectations were not that high yet. The older 20.23s took a fair bit of time and the first weeks weeks needed grilles on to tame them a bit and certainly don't deliver the sound you expect on day one. I can't say what the 25.23s will sound like run in yet but even fresh out of the box, wow!

Starting with The Meters, Cabbage Alley to keep it mellow and easy and these old, but well mastered, recordings came alive with a groove to the baselines that was tangible. It was like the difference from adding the SCDR all over again. Every bass note played with such clarity that they seemed to live in the room more than before and the soundstage was instantly noticeably larger than the 20.23 (which are known for their huge for their huge soundstage already). Like someone told the bass guitarist to take 3 steps forward and jam. Next onto The Smiths, the Very Best of (limited edition Japanese double set) and the focus more onto that lucious and precise holographic soundstage making me feel uncomfortable to be so close to Morrissey. Everywhere I went in the room, I could not escape the fact he was just there. I needed to get back to the groove with The Meters again on Rejuvination. Clearly it wasn't a fluke. The low end was hitting hard but clean and grooving. The 25.23s sound like a larger speaker than the 20.23s but a good margin. No longer does there feel like a tradeoff in bass response for the size of the speaker. Finally I turned to something mastered in the modern era and put on Prince, N.E.W.S. One of his more obsure experimental efforts that is uncharitably derided by critics. But if there is a better instrumental jazz funk fusion jamscape I've yet to hear it. This really let the 25.23s work out with a fantastic dynamic range and diverse set of instruments. It was nothing short of amazing. So far I had mainly heard what they have over the 20.23s in terms of low end response and clarity, and soundstaging. Here they had a stunning realism with upper mids where the same thing happened. Performer grew a foot taller and took another step into the room over the predecessor. This album really made the 25.23s seem not so much big for their size so much as sounding simply like large speaker that is much taller and wider. The 20.23s project things a foot or so beyond their location. The 25.23s seem to stretch this out to about 3 feet beyond their edges.

They present a similar signature to the 20.23s but by no means the same signature. I now think it would not be correct to assume that if 20.23s work in your room than 25.23s automatically would. The low end roll off seems much steeper that the older 23s and this has the effect of going much lower with a serious punch. Something I have mentioned on other posts that I lost when I DRed the 250. It is back and more aggressive than before and much cleaner and detailed too. It turns out the 250.2 might have a bit of a low frequency bump by virtue of the fact it is not as wide range as the 250DR which can be more linear. A side effect of this is that is speakers start to roll off sooner, that added low frequency definition the 250DR delivers can be lost and a perceived bass punch with it. But anyone who feels the 20.23s already provide the limit of how much bass they are comfortable with might want to be careful. The 25.23s can really kick ass in the low end - just remember it is very clear bass and can reveal a lot more of what is in the mix.

I've gone through a few system transitions in my time and heard countless others. The 25.23s, non run-in as they were, still managed to deliver a wow factor that I have not felt since I first heard Klout triamped active Linn Kabers back in the 90s. At the time, I thought that was a revelation in clarity and musical joy. The 25.23s have that kind of magic. When I took a 13 year break from hi fi and suddenly fitted 5 new Naim boxes in a rack with 20.23s, you'd think that would have been a wow moment, and it was, but not like when I heard active Kabers the first time. Whether the 25.23s are just a particular good match in my system or memory has fogged how good things really were 20 years ago I cannot say.

Couple other points:

  • The 25.23s do not make the 20.23s sound broken. I could go back to them if I had to and I am sure I would get used to the sound again. In fact, I can imagine scenarios where 20.23s may be preferable if the room is very small (mine isn't) and the 25.23s could be too much speaker where a 20.23 would do nicely. Of course, there are 25.22 and 25.21 available too but unless standmounds are of similar size and dimensions to Briks, I find standmounts don't give the solidity and scale. On the other hand, the 25 range seems to have a fair leap forward in mid range clarity a 20.23 cannot match.
  • While the 25.23s do not have any of the obvious deficiencies a brand new pair of 20.23s do, the grilles are still required to tame the top end a bit for now. I fully expect them to improve over the next couple months. WIth the 20.23s, it was enough to want to put of serious listening for a while. With the 25.23s, they have enough charms to groove on day one.
  • If they sound this good fresh out of a box compaired to well run in 20.23s, imagine what they will be like in several weeks.

 

nigelb posted:

Blimey. Assuming you are right and all this occurred at the factory (and by the nature of the faults it sounds like it did), there is something seriously wrong at PMC for all these faults to get through. I realise some of them would have occurred in transit due to the loose spikes, but that too is a packing boo boo.

Once you or your dealer have this out with them, I am sure PMC will be all over it like a rash. A great opportunity for PMC to sort some issues out, it is just a shame it takes a poor customer experience to bring them to light.

I have never owned PMCs but I have seen and heard many of them and the quality has always been exemplary. So I am a little baffled as to how much has gone wrong in this instance. You can forgive the odd boo boo but this is very poor QC indeed. The real problems of course lie in manufacturing and packing and should never have found their way to (the non-existent) QC.

I hope you get it sorted soon.

I take it with a grain of salt. When I worked at SWIFT we used to send these encryption devices (think the same cost as a new 552) to banks all over the world. An internal logistics trial went south when we were testing the local processing and handling in Belgium and the Airway Bill we'd agreed with FedEx to be stopped at the depot (since it was all a test with our own people at every stage watching how shipments were handled) somehow got through and a major Japanese bank consequently received a box with a mossy brik in it (we needed something to approximate the weight of the unit and it was out in the company garden). Working locally in Japan I know nothing of these trials in HQ until said bank called me and said "Err, why have we received a mossy brick?"

Well from your write up you at least know you are onto a winner and you can keep the sub standard pair until the pukka pair arrive. I assume PMC/insurance will cover your costs of the exchange.

The Twenty5 range appear to have moved things on significantly. I am interested in the Twenty5.26 and will certainly be checking them out. I have heard the Twenty.26 a few times and have been impressed. So I am thinking the Twenty5.26 could be pretty special.

Glad to hear you are impressed with your choice and I hope the exchange of speakers runs smoothly. 

Nice write up Feeling Zen, a very good read.

Interesting to hear about your take on the differences old to new.

I don't have the benefit of having heard the previous model, but I'm very happy with my TwentyFive.23s. Hope you get your replacements sorted as soon as possible. 

Super write-up FZ! As an owner of 3 pairs of PMCs I shall be keeping an eye on further musings. Obviously I have nothing to add about your unfortunate experience, other than lightning cannot strike twice! Would I be right in saying the black HDF speaker terminal board is now superceded by a metal one? No PMC dealers round these parts of France...

nigelb posted:

Well from your write up you at least know you are onto a winner and you can keep the sub standard pair until the pukka pair arrive. I assume PMC/insurance will cover your costs of the exchange.

The Twenty5 range appear to have moved things on significantly. I am interested in the Twenty5.26 and will certainly be checking them out. I have heard the Twenty.26 a few times and have been impressed. So I am thinking the Twenty5.26 could be pretty special.

Glad to hear you are impressed with your choice and I hope the exchange of speakers runs smoothly. 

Make sure you listen in a similar size room or a home demo. I actually budgeted for the Twenty5.26 but my dealer talked me down after understanding my room and placement better. Apparently the 26s really only sound right in a very large room and need plenty of air behind them and at least 10 feet of space between them for starters. The 6/7 feet commonly used in most listening areas makes them sound awful apparently. This is all anecdotal info. Given that I have a large room but a small listening area and a sprung floor we agreed the 23s would probably sound the best out of the Twenty5 floorstanders in that scenario.

I have a lot of trust for my dealer because they put in a lot of thought to getting the right stuff for each customer even if that costs them a bit of revenue in the short term.

If my room was not an open plan dining living kitchen, and dedicated for music, I would have accomodated the 26s for sure.

feeling_zen posted:
nigelb posted:

Well from your write up you at least know you are onto a winner and you can keep the sub standard pair until the pukka pair arrive. I assume PMC/insurance will cover your costs of the exchange.

The Twenty5 range appear to have moved things on significantly. I am interested in the Twenty5.26 and will certainly be checking them out. I have heard the Twenty.26 a few times and have been impressed. So I am thinking the Twenty5.26 could be pretty special.

Glad to hear you are impressed with your choice and I hope the exchange of speakers runs smoothly. 

Make sure you listen in a similar size room or a home demo. I actually budgeted for the Twenty5.26 but my dealer talked me down after understanding my room and placement better. Apparently the 26s really only sound right in a very large room and need plenty of air behind them and at least 10 feet of space between them for starters. The 6/7 feet commonly used in most listening areas makes them sound awful apparently. This is all anecdotal info. Given that I have a large room but a small listening area and a sprung floor we agreed the 23s would probably sound the best out of the Twenty5 floorstanders in that scenario.

I have a lot of trust for my dealer because they put in a lot of thought to getting the right stuff for each customer even if that costs them a bit of revenue in the short term.

If my room was not an open plan dining living kitchen, and dedicated for music, I would have accomodated the 26s for sure.

Yes, I have always had a concern in the back of my mind regarding the amount of bass energy the 26s put out. Although UK living rooms are not usually as small as Japenese rooms, my living room cannot be described as capacious.

I just loved what I heard from the 26s I listened to at demos. But I would never buy a PMC speaker without a home demo first. At least we have the luxury of that in the UK.

I have had TL speakers before and know to be wary of overloaded bass. I do thank you for the warning and will heed it.

Please keep us up to date with your journey into Twenty5 territory.

IanG posted:

My PMC 20.26's are about 7ft apart and 6 in from a rear wall and sound fantastic FWIW

I think that's fantastic.

I don't have the luxury of a home demo so kind of need to stick more closely to both the guidelines from my dealer and PMC. If I'd lived in the UK for sure I would have said "let's give the 26s a try anyway".

As it turns out, the 25.23s offer a significant kick over the 20.23s where I can confirm that even going to the 24s would have pushed it over the edge in my room. I'm glad I took the advice.

Re: speaker replacements, it looks like a lot of work. Both the dealer and PMC indicate that since the courier delivered creased and pinctured boxes, the issue should be handled by UPS and the insurance company - and since this needs to be handled in my timezone I need to act as the go between with the local insurance agents (plus they don't speak Japanese). I had a concern that this might not be strictly legit since the evidence of the placement of dings and the box completely rule out the carriage abuse as the root cause. But after discussing with my wife who works in supply chain legal compliance for a medical supply company, the stance taken by PMC seems correct. It's not a court of law and the evidence doesn't matter. Once an outer carton has been delivered in a seriously damaged state then the courier is on the hook for the full amount. End of story. No negotiation.

Which is fine but I have to deal with all the paperwork.

Something has been niggling me since your write-up of the damage. It seems very un-PMC-like.

You mention Customs. They wouldnt take a peek by having a kick, but possibly using a Stanley knopife to slit the knole thing lengthwise, or, much more likely, open the box where it naturally opens at one end, and take the contents out. They might take the grille off, and even remove the drivers if they were suspicious. And they'd check the ancillary contents. It would then be very plausible that they might not put all the bits in properly, even put the speakers back in, find they missed something and just drop loose inside the box. Is there any sign that one end might have been opened? (Admittedly academic given the claim process now starting.)

as for the box damage, that does seem very carrier-like.

I hope you indicated the box damage at the time of receipt, or that might make tricky - though if my hypothesis of Customs is correct and subsequent evidence that the boxes may have been opened could then be useful.

Innocent Bystander posted:

Something has been niggling me since your write-up of the damage. It seems very un-PMC-like.

You mention Customs. They wouldnt take a peek by having a kick, but possibly using a Stanley knopife to slit the knole thing lengthwise, or, much more likely, open the box where it naturally opens at one end, and take the contents out. They might take the grille off, and even remove the drivers if they were suspicious. And they'd check the ancillary contents. It would then be very plausible that they might not put all the bits in properly, even put the speakers back in, find they missed something and just drop loose inside the box. Is there any sign that one end might have been opened? (Admittedly academic given the claim process now starting.)

as for the box damage, that does seem very carrier-like.

I hope you indicated the box damage at the time of receipt, or that might make tricky - though if my hypothesis of Customs is correct and subsequent evidence that the boxes may have been opened could then be useful.

yup my first reaction was "Customs. You idiots" because I have had dire problems with them before. But in fact none of the origianl clear tape placed by PMC had been disturbed or slit and the packing labels attached in the UK covered the box openings and were also undisturbed. If they were inspected then they must have xrayed them because every edge and corner seal was intact. It is all academic though.

Unfortunately, the receipt form I got from UPs had not fields for recording the box condition. The only interaction you can do is to sign or not sign. Plus the boxes were put against a wall and the dmaged sides were hidden so I did not known until the next day.

PMC have admitted to at least packing them incorrectly causing the dents in the top from the spikes but they won't own up to the other stuff.

GraemeH posted:

I thought you were not supposed to accept goods from the courier if they arrived in such condition?

G

You're not wrong.

Though the damaged sides were hidden from view against a wall when presented by UPS. Plus the harsh reality is that if damaged boxes were rejected then hardly anyone would get anything bulky intact.

I think the following story is elsewhere on the forum but at one place I worked, they shipped hardware to banks all over the world. We stuck these 10x10cm shock labels on everything that turned from pink to blue if the box was unduly mistreated and knocked about with instructions that no bank receiving units with a blue shock label should accept the shipment. Problem was that (wait for it) over 99% of all cartons delivered to all 202 of the countries we supplied arrived with blue labels.  So we went through different courriers over a few years, DHL > TNT > UPS > FedEx > Nitsu and few lesser known ones. Absolutely no difference. We even did trial runs with our own staff at varous stages invited on site at courriers sorting and warehouses (the mossy brick story is above in the thread) and basically found that that care labels mean nothing. Boxes are thrown dropped and abused like you can't imagine - they did not even hide the fact from prospective large corporate contract customers. The solution: just use the cheapest courier and stop using shock labels and deal with the 20% of units that arrived DOA on a case by case basis.

I've contacted both UPS and the insurance company and neither told me to go away. But the pile of paperwork with a deadline on it has landed.

I should add that PMC have sort of acknowledged that the packing of the units when sent in lone pairs rather out on pallets to international distributors might not be up to it and when my new pair is shipped they will reinforce the boxes to make them more substantial.

feeling_zen posted:

I should add that PMC have sort of acknowledged that the packing of the units when sent in lone pairs rather out on pallets to international distributors might not be up to it and when my new pair is shipped they will reinforce the boxes to make them more substantial.

A solid wooden flight case might be in order!!

Shame about all the paperwork, but it seems it is getting sorted. And after a stressful day you can at least listen to your new speakers and relax in the knowlwedge you will be getting a perfect pair - eventually.

As your wife says, this it is not a court of law, you have been told how the situation will be handled, so best not to raise further questions and queries, which I am sure you are not.

Several days in and the differences between these and the origial 20.23s is striking. I'm not sure I agree with what I have heard in the press that gives the impression of "the same but better".

It's funny how the perception of how a component sounds changes when something else is presented for comparison. Up until I DRed the 250.2 I never agreed it had a low frequency bump until I went to the 250DR and the bump was instantly and very noticably gone. Likewise with the 20.23s, I never once heard them sounding thin and fragile but would have chosen precise and airy instead as my adjectives. But not on reflection with the 25.23s which sound so much more "grown up" I realise the 20.23s were a little on the thin side. Certainly, the 20.23s are exceptionally clear and the soundstage, if positioned right, can be holographically precise. But maybe the instruments in that soundstage could be described as somewhat ephemeral or translucent compared to the 25.23s where they are solid and opaque.

Suddenly, you have a sense that the sounds are eminating from not just points in space between the speakers but from instruments with mass behind them. The novelty of the added bass depth wares off a bit after several days and you can start really enjoying the music. I say the sound is more "grown up" because that thin airyness of the 20.23s can have more instant wow appeal for those upgrading from something that never got close to that type of great soundstage. While the 25.23s provide an even wider and more realistic soundstage, the added weightiness and solidity to the instruments makes everything more natural and therefore you're less likely to single out a single aspect of hifi. If the standout attention grabber for the 20.23s was the air soundstage, for the 25.23s its vocal clarity. It is very clear and real and needs to be heard to be understood. No point trying to even explain it. If you're used to vocals on the 20.23s, then there is goign to be a fair shock at what comes forth on the 25.23s. A clarity and linearity that isn't usual on a passive 2-way speaker.

UPS claims inspector came today. He was utterly dismayed by the boxes and found more points of abuse than even I did and took pics off all of them. He confirmed they had no record of customs doing any inspection. And as I was told by others, did not correlate specific box damage to speaker damage.

nigelb posted:

Very interesting write up FZ. I can't wait to hear the new 25.26s. If these have moved on as much as the 23s have in Twenty5 guise, then they are going to be very special. Just need to be wary of potentially even bigger bass.

I have just traded up from ob1is to the 25.26s and straight out of the box they sound awesome and my room is 4mtrs x 4.5mtrs... I had the 20.26 on home demo and thought that the soundscape was a lot deeper than the ob1is..having been listening to the 25.26s for over a week now the sound is wider and punchier in the bass. Can't wait until they are properly run in...

freelander posted:
nigelb posted:

Very interesting write up FZ. I can't wait to hear the new 25.26s. If these have moved on as much as the 23s have in Twenty5 guise, then they are going to be very special. Just need to be wary of potentially even bigger bass.

I have just traded up from ob1is to the 25.26s and straight out of the box they sound awesome and my room is 4mtrs x 4.5mtrs... I had the 20.26 on home demo and thought that the soundscape was a lot deeper than the ob1is..having been listening to the 25.26s for over a week now the sound is wider and punchier in the bass. Can't wait until they are properly run in...

Wow this is very lucky. My room as 8m x 5m and it is clear that even the 24s would have been too much in my room. But then I have a sprung floor to contend with.

feeling_zen posted:
 Apparently the 26s really only sound right in a very large room and need plenty of air behind them and at least 10 feet of space between them for starters. The 6/7 feet commonly used in most listening areas makes them sound awful apparently. This is all anecdotal info.

More anecdotal info:  My Twenty.26s are 6.5ft apart (centre to centre) and sound stunning.  Medium sized room - 28ft by 11.5ft

Heard the Twenty5.26 at Indulgence last week and they sounded very good indeed from a musical perspective.  Unfortunately PMC had struggled with the room a bit and to get the sound balance at its best, they'd had to position the speakers approx. 11 or 12 ft apart and there was no central imaging at all.

sunbeamgls posted:
feeling_zen posted:
 Apparently the 26s really only sound right in a very large room and need plenty of air behind them and at least 10 feet of space between them for starters. The 6/7 feet commonly used in most listening areas makes them sound awful apparently. This is all anecdotal info.

More anecdotal info:  My Twenty.26s are 6.5ft apart (centre to centre) and sound stunning.  Medium sized room - 28ft by 11.5ft

Heard the Twenty5.26 at Indulgence last week and they sounded very good indeed from a musical perspective.  Unfortunately PMC had struggled with the room a bit and to get the sound balance at its best, they'd had to position the speakers approx. 11 or 12 ft apart and there was no central imaging at all.

Just goes to show there are rules of thumb but no absolutes that make up for experimenting in your own home.

And the fighting with the insurance company has begun. Everything from "they work so your claim is denied." to "We'll pay a carpenter to make new cabinets for them." and my favorite, "we'll only cover the loss in value between what you would get if you sold them second hand in good condition to second hand with damage." (which they made out was less than the excess anyway).

Unfortunately that is typical of insurance companies, always happy to take our money but not willing to cough up without a serious fight.

if not already, can I suggest involving PMC in this, assuming ther transit insurance was bought by them though paid for by you, meaning the insurance company contract is with them. Different if you bought the insurance direct, though even then PMC's support if they are willing might help. The last thing OMC will want is their name marred by unsatisfactory outcome - it is one thing to have a glitch with a product, but the result has to be fixed to the customer's satisfaction.

The 'difference in value' thing is easily solved. They provide you with a replacement brand new pair and, at their expense, collect the damaged pair. They can, at their own convenience, sell the damaged pair and retain the money they sell them for.

Of course, with their time taken to do all this, they'll probably end up out of pocket, which is even better

The insurance is under the dealer's name so it is their claim but the policy stipulates that claim must be made by the receiver of the goods in the country of destination and local language. They're also demanding documents from UPS that so far UPS do not have and unless UPS can locate those documents will not even file a claim number for me.

I've asked the dealer to "tell" PMC to issue a document indicating they are not worth repairing. Which is true. The cost in labor of dismantling a speaker for all the parts to assemble in a new cabinet is likely to be very high. I've spent 2 work days on this with the insurance company already since they keep moving the goalpost. A few more and the cost to my time would actually have made it cheaper had I just dumped them in a skip and ordered a new pair full cost.

Not that I would. If the insurance company does not take posession of them I may employ them as rears.

Not thrilled because, as I mentioned, yes the boxes went through the mill but the damage happened before being boxed up. PMC disagree strongly which pisses me off because I'm actually the one who has the boxes to see and touch and know what is possible and not. They've only admitted to incorrect packing causing the scratched tops.

The bright side is that this is by far the least offensive or expensive way I have been shafted this month. Something bad happened that cost me the equivelent of a full year's salary with no option for appeal or recourse. So the PMCs are a minor irritant compared to the other thing.

feeling_zen posted:
leni v posted:

How do they perform at low levels in comparison to the 20.23

I have yet to do the Sunday morning coffee and pancakes playlist. I'll let you know.

Better. The more substantial low end means that things with a bass line hang together better when the volume is low (say at just 7:30 on the dial). With the 20.23s, you had the intact soundstage even at low volumes but below certain volumes the bass lines could fade a bit. Still, other speakers in the price range of the 20.23s would normally lose the plot with regards to soundstange at those levels. It's a bit like comparing a low level star performer with an even better star performer. Sure, with the 25.23s, you turn down the volume and your bass player shrinks to a Kenny Baker sized munchkin but he's still in the room groovin' away.

Another revelation: even though the on-paper specs are not radically different from the 20.23, the 25.23s are a tad more sensitive under a real load. 1w/1m2 measurements aside (they are with 0.5db of each other), if you listened to the 20.23s at (for example) 10 O'Clock on the dial, expect that to migrate to 9:30 or less. I've not actually measured the output for a comparison but they seem VERY loud at the volume position I had become accustomed to (normally 9 O'Clock).

Pros:

  • Far superior bass in terms of both quantity and quality (amazingly clear)
  • Even wider soundstage than the 20.23s
  • Fuller sound makes everything more substantial with a sense of mass behind it. As with all proper upgrades it should life a veil and they do.
  • Vocal performance in the midband is nothing short of amazing. Just not what you expect from a 2-way design.
  • Can fill a large room. Forget those silly WHF reviews describing them as big sounding for the size. Utter nonsense. They just sound big. Full stop.
  • Great a very low levels too.

Cons (or just things to be ware of):

  • The sonic character is sufficiently different whereby swapping 20.23s out for 25.23s untested is definately not risk free.
  • Added bass response may require different positioning to the 20.23s.
  • Might be a tad too sensitive (I know how strange this sounds with a 86.5db speaker) if you currently use 20.23s and don't crank the dial past 8 O'Clock on a Naim amp then you only have 1 hour on the dial between min and comfortable max. Not an issue if you have more realistic listening levels.

 

 

Still opening up with amazing presence and incredible scale. But also still trying to find the best position to ensure the bass is as linear as possible. With the 20.23 you could more or less ignore the recommendations from PMC about how much space was needed between the rear wall. This is not so with the 25.23s so they come out into the room a little more than I am comfirtable with aesthetically.

On the replacement front no good news yet. UPS are extremely shifty dishonnest buggers. Any claim requires a copy of the AIrway Bill. As someone who has handled literally hundreds of claims for customers in past, I can confirm this is correct and normal as it is the only document of carriage of any legal standing. UPS neglected to give the dealer (the consignee) a copy and have actually gone as far as to say they have never heard of such a document. The last copy I should have had was removed from the document wallet by customs. Anyone who knows anything about air frieght knows this is not a misunderstanding but a gross outright lie. It would be like the DVLA claiming they had never heard of a driving license. It puts me in a tough position. I could take legal action but that would cost me far more than the cost of the speakers and by then the maximum period for the insurance claim would have expired.

I fear I have no choice but to give it another week or so of fighting with them before I simply have to just order a new pair out of my own pocket. The cost to my own time alone is approaching the cost of the speakers.

If carriage and insurance were arranged by PMC then the responsibility for delivering what you ordered in good condition lies with them, including responsibility for any documentation they should have had or should have retained etc. I suggest you politely inform them of this while advising them of where you got trying to deal with on their behalf, clarifying that in the end you are their customer, and look to them to resolve the matter - after all it is their reputation for quality and customer service that is affected as well as you personally.

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