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Need new monitors, and, anyone else find PMC monitors unreliable? Studio Monitors
Old 5th February 2017
  #1
Gear Head
 

Need new monitors, and, anyone else find PMC monitors unreliable?

This may just be my bad luck, but I am now on my third set of PMC monitors, and 8th amp replacement.

I started out with the AML2, which the amps never worked properly with, and then moved to the twotwo 8s, which have also had amp issues.

I do use them for listening, not recording mostly, and run them at low to mid volume. Looking to get advice on what might be comparable to the old AML2s (Kii 3 comes to mind) and if anyone else has had amps fail this many times.

Last edited by prestigetone; 5th February 2017 at 09:42 PM..
Old 5th February 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Arksun's Avatar
8 amp replacements?!? By that stage I'd be wondering if there are issues with your buildings power supply.
Old 5th February 2017
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arksun View Post
8 amp replacements?!? By that stage I'd be wondering if there are issues with your buildings power supply.
To be fair, the first AML set had a known issue with wifi signals causing interference, and the first twotwo8 set had some teething problems.

There were 4 or so other amps that failed or needed replacement. I've had tons of gear in this space and never had power be testy.
Old 6th February 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Yes. Replaced a lot of drivers on a set of BB5-XBD (mostly tweeters.) The AML (both v1 and 2) have been fragile.
However the IB2 ans MB2 have been trouble-free. I'd say their big problem is consistency. Many of their smaller speakers have been all over the place on reliability (some of that must have to do with mass production on these volume sellers.) The BB5 (powered by the Brystons), though, was a bit of the last straw for one place and they were mothballed and replaced with a different brand of speakers.
Old 6th February 2017
  #5
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Wow.. Surprised to hear this.. I've heard the bb5 in a mastering studio in LA few years ago.. Great speakers! Didn't know were unreliable..

There are plenty of other brands to choose a good reliable loudspeaker though.

probably something with the glorious midrange dome will suit your taste well.



Cheu
Old 6th February 2017
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Yes. Replaced a lot of drivers on a set of BB5-XBD (mostly tweeters.) The AML (both v1 and 2) have been fragile.
However the IB2 ans MB2 have been trouble-free. I'd say their big problem is consistency. Many of their smaller speakers have been all over the place on reliability (some of that must have to do with mass production on these volume sellers.) The BB5 (powered by the Brystons), though, was a bit of the last straw for one place and they were mothballed and replaced with a different brand of speakers.
Thanks for this. I had a feeling something with QC is going on, and mirrors my experience. Sadly, I am going to be getting into a different brand despite trying to make it work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Wow.. Surprised to hear this.. I've heard the bb5 in a mastering studio in LA few years ago.. Great speakers! Didn't know were unreliable..

There are plenty of other brands to choose a good reliable loudspeaker though.

probably something with the glorious midrange dome will suit your taste well.



Cheu
Which ones? ATC comes to mind, but would love to know your opinion! Thank you.
Old 7th February 2017
  #7
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by prestigetone View Post
Which ones? ATC comes to mind, but would love to know your opinion! Thank you.
Yep.. ATC for sure.. depending on the size of your room and the budget..
scm25 are fantastic loudspeakers that will fit basically most, if not any, room.
I believe there's still a used pair in the GS classifieds. Can't go wrong. (I'm not related to that sale or seller in any way).

If you have space and budget scm45 or scm100 could be even better, I do like the 100 a lot (and the 200 soffit mount I've heard have been stellar).

If you want to stay with a 2way loudspeaker, the scm20asl mk2 are really good, within their limits in the lowend output. Translate great as every other atc ime.

If budget is an issue the neumann kh310 are a good contender (also 3way), imho not at the scm25 level, but a close second. Good speakers.

I never a/b'd neumann with pmc.. From memory I recall pmc being a little bit more detailed (fatiguing?) and with a different "type" of bass delivery.. Not more or less, simply different.. Probably due to their transmission line approach.
I have good memories about the pmc, it's surprising (and a lil bit sad) to hear they have some problems.



Cheu
Old 7th February 2017
  #8
Gear Addict
 
Toni-P's Avatar
I can side with Cheu on a lot of what he says.

ATC's are phenomenal.
We have the SCM25's and have had them for over 10 years without any issues.

The 45's would be a bit tighter in the low end and snappier all in all, and if the budget permits it, I would probably opt for those if you could.

Where are you located? Surely you can organize a demo.
Old 7th February 2017
  #9
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

The ME-Geithain RL944K are worth considering - about the same size and price as the PMC AML2 and give them a good run for the money.

But, as always, try them out first.
Old 7th February 2017
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Yep.. ATC for sure.. depending on the size of your room and the budget..
scm25 are fantastic loudspeakers that will fit basically most, if not any, room.
I believe there's still a used pair in the GS classifieds. Can't go wrong. (I'm not related to that sale or seller in any way).

If you have space and budget scm45 or scm100 could be even better, I do like the 100 a lot (and the 200 soffit mount I've heard have been stellar).

If you want to stay with a 2way loudspeaker, the scm20asl mk2 are really good, within their limits in the lowend output. Translate great as every other atc ime.

If budget is an issue the neumann kh310 are a good contender (also 3way), imho not at the scm25 level, but a close second. Good speakers.

I never a/b'd neumann with pmc.. From memory I recall pmc being a little bit more detailed (fatiguing?) and with a different "type" of bass delivery.. Not more or less, simply different.. Probably due to their transmission line approach.
I have good memories about the pmc, it's surprising (and a lil bit sad) to hear they have some problems.



Cheu
Thanks! Good places to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toni-P View Post
I can side with Cheu on a lot of what he says.

ATC's are phenomenal.
We have the SCM25's and have had them for over 10 years without any issues.

The 45's would be a bit tighter in the low end and snappier all in all, and if the budget permits it, I would probably opt for those if you could.

Where are you located? Surely you can organize a demo.
Thanks for the added endorsement. I don't really hear bad things about ATC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The ME-Geithain RL944K are worth considering - about the same size and price as the PMC AML2 and give them a good run for the money.

But, as always, try them out first.
Geithain was always on the list, but hard to hear them in the US.
Old 8th February 2017
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
PMC are super reliable and fantastic. Something else is wrong.
Old 21st February 2017
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
PMC are super reliable and fantastic. Something else is wrong.
Maybe for you, but that hasn't been my experience. I've asked and asked for answers as to why all of these problems, and not really any answers. So I'm selling and looking elsewhere.
Old 21st February 2017
  #13
PMC

Quote:
Originally Posted by prestigetone View Post
Maybe for you, but that hasn't been my experience. I've asked and asked for answers as to why all of these problems, and not really any answers. So I'm selling and looking elsewhere.
I don't like being negative about brands. We've all dealt with occasional problems. However, PMC was the worst company I've ever experienced. They were great sounding speakers that had constant issues and even worse support. I had amp issues, inexcusable repair times, sloppy service, and their British office was completely out of sync with their American office.

I've purchased plenty of gear from multiple vendors, and never dealt with poorer service than PMC.

They're fully aware of why I ditched their products (in my case the TWOTWO series), and I explicitly told them I'd be warning others.

Here were my issues:
- Faulty power amp
- Purchased a remote and was send improper firmware.
- They sent another remote. My setup still didn't work
- I eventually figured out the RJ45 socket was faulty (had to swap another amp).
- This took over 6 months, and also plenty of driving around to PMC's preferred technicians.
- I also had numerous trips of firmware testing and updating (with techs) at PMC's request.
- Also, numerous customs bills and import charges because I was receiving stuff from both their USA and UK offices. The import duties was what set me off. Speaking of which.., I need to forward them back this info, which they didn't keep track of in the first place.

Great sounding speakers, but buyer beware! Never have I ever dealt with a gong show like this. I'd strongly recommend buying from a vendor in close proximity that can swap out your pair in case of trouble.

-Phil
Old 21st February 2017
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Solid Mastering's Avatar
 

I've been using PMC MB2S for quite a while and never had issues neither with the direct support in UK nor with the monitors.
And BTW I love these speakers
Old 22nd February 2017
  #15
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid Mastering View Post
I've been using PMC MB2S for quite a while and never had issues neither with the direct support in UK nor with the monitors.
And BTW I love these speakers
Great to hear but again not my experience!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
I don't like being negative about brands. We've all dealt with occasional problems. However, PMC was the worst company I've ever experienced. They were great sounding speakers that had constant issues and even worse support. I had amp issues, inexcusable repair times, sloppy service, and their British office was completely out of sync with their American office.

I've purchased plenty of gear from multiple vendors, and never dealt with poorer service than PMC.

They're fully aware of why I ditched their products (in my case the TWOTWO series), and I explicitly told them I'd be warning others.

Here were my issues:
- Faulty power amp
- Purchased a remote and was send improper firmware.
- They sent another remote. My setup still didn't work
- I eventually figured out the RJ45 socket was faulty (had to swap another amp).
- This took over 6 months, and also plenty of driving around to PMC's preferred technicians.
- I also had numerous trips of firmware testing and updating (with techs) at PMC's request.
- Also, numerous customs bills and import charges because I was receiving stuff from both their USA and UK offices. The import duties was what set me off. Speaking of which.., I need to forward them back this info, which they didn't keep track of in the first place.

Great sounding speakers, but buyer beware! Never have I ever dealt with a gong show like this. I'd strongly recommend buying from a vendor in close proximity that can swap out your pair in case of trouble.

-Phil
So I'm not being delusional. Thanks for sharing this. I gave them every opportunity to instill confidence that the problem was being investigated and the product would be a working piece of high end gear. They still haven't responded to my last message asking for an explaination. The UK directs me to the US and they supply totally different info. I'm afraid to even turn on my twotwos and can't believe how long this has been going on. Should've sold them earlier but I wanted to give them a chance. Something is wrong with their actives but maybe their passives are better. Agreed their speakers sound great when working.
Old 24th February 2017
  #16
Gear Nut
I have two sets of PMC monitoring. I have never had a problem out of my TB2SA's. The IB1s have had 3 sets of woofers and one mid frequency driver replaced. Servicing for me has gotten a lot better since I found this gentleman Jordan Shirks... I will be replacing my IB1s with ATC monitoring.....Getting replacement parts are costly and time consuming..
Old 24th February 2017
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MR WOO View Post
I have two sets of PMC monitoring. I have never had a problem out of my TB2SA's. The IB1s have had 3 sets of woofers and one mid frequency driver replaced. Servicing for me has gotten a lot better since I found this gentleman Jordan Shirks... I will be replacing my IB1s with ATC monitoring.....Getting replacement parts are costly and time consuming..
Thanks for your take
Old 24th February 2017
  #18
PMC Reliability

You're not delusional.

A local hi-fi dealer also mentioned that they were stuggling with some of PMC's growing pains. BTW, I'm located in Calgary, AB.

I'd certainly recommend them if you're close to a service center, but I ran into multiple problems, and I'm a little disappointed that they sold me an expensive remote that was half baked.

I also got annoyed with seeing their emails of wine shows and listener events. Before releasing products in new markets, they should focus on proper customer care and support, especially when trying to break into new markets. Don't send me an email of wining and dining, while I'm waiting months for a repair. It sends the wrong message.

Yes, it's a first world problem, but reliability and support speaks volumes to me.

Cheers,

Phil

Quote:
Originally Posted by prestigetone View Post
Great to hear but again not my experience!



So I'm not being delusional. Thanks for sharing this. I gave them every opportunity to instill confidence that the problem was being investigated and the product would be a working piece of high end gear. They still haven't responded to my last message asking for an explaination. The UK directs me to the US and they supply totally different info. I'm afraid to even turn on my twotwos and can't believe how long this has been going on. Should've sold them earlier but I wanted to give them a chance. Something is wrong with their actives but maybe their passives are better. Agreed their speakers sound great when working.
Old 24th February 2017
  #19
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
You're not delusional.

A local hi-fi dealer also mentioned that they were stuggling with some of PMC's growing pains. BTW, I'm located in Calgary, AB.

I'd certainly recommend them if you're close to a service center, but I ran into multiple problems, and I'm a little disappointed that they sold me an expensive remote that was half baked.

I also got annoyed with seeing their emails of wine shows and listener events. Before releasing products in new markets, they should focus on proper customer care and support, especially when trying to break into new markets. Don't send me an email of wining and dining, while I'm waiting months for a repair. It sends the wrong message.

Yes, it's a first world problem, but reliability and support speaks volumes to me.

Cheers,

Phil
I won't ever purchase from them again and I'll be telling audio guys to steer clear. What brands are reliable?
Old 24th February 2017
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by prestigetone View Post
I won't ever purchase from them again and I'll be telling audio guys to steer clear. What brands are reliable?
My vendor highly recommends Genelec in terms of reliability, although they aren't his personal first choice (in terms of sound). I tried them and happened to really like them.

I've used Focal monitors for years. I had one little issue with a switch on the back, and Focal were excellent in sorting me out.

I've heard and tried others but cannot comment on their reliability.

-Phil
Old 24th February 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
 

I'd say, in general, the top end studio brands are reliable. They are geared for long-term daily use and you don't hear of constant driver swapping or amp rebuilds. Genelec, Dynaudio, ATC, Meyer Sound (except the HD1 which is fragile and needs servicing frequently but the minute you buy them they pretty much tell you in the paperwork) have all been good.

No real long-term experience with ADAM. Don't get Geithan in the US but they are a German broadcast speaker choice and for most broadcast speakers, reliability is a big concern.

B&W 802/800 have been rock steady other than from misuse (Dirac spike) but as passive speakers there's less to worry about (Bryston and Classe amps)

I've seen/been-in/worked-in studios which have done a lot of Quested tweeter replacements. To the point of keeping 5 sets on hand at any time. Only one amp failure on a sub though.

Focals have been a mixed bag. Some reliable monitor models and some not. The current "auto-off" "feature" that you can't defeat is not something I could live with on professional monitors.

Last edited by pentagon; 24th February 2017 at 10:38 PM.. Reason: Focal added.
Old 25th February 2017
  #22
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
I'd say, in general, the top end studio brands are reliable. They are geared for long-term daily use and you don't hear of constant driver swapping or amp rebuilds. Genelec, Dynaudio, ATC, Meyer Sound (except the HD1 which is fragile and needs servicing frequently but the minute you buy them they pretty much tell you in the paperwork) have all been good.

No real long-term experience with ADAM. Don't get Geithan in the US but they are a German broadcast speaker choice and for most broadcast speakers, reliability is a big concern.

B&W 802/800 have been rock steady other than from misuse (Dirac spike) but as passive speakers there's less to worry about (Bryston and Classe amps)

I've seen/been-in/worked-in studios which have done a lot of Quested tweeter replacements. To the point of keeping 5 sets on hand at any time. Only one amp failure on a sub though.

Focals have been a mixed bag. Some reliable monitor models and some not. The current "auto-off" "feature" that you can't defeat is not something I could live with on professional monitors.
Thank you! I was always interested in Geithain, but being in the US will preclude me from buying them. I'm really in leaning towards Genelec or ATCs. ATCs seem to be the real deal. Have a good one.
Old 30th March 2017
  #23
Gear Head
 

Finally sold my PMCs! Does anyone have experience with the Amphions or PSI Audio line of speakers? It's hard to directly compare them, and they will be for playback, not mixing. Thanks!
Old 30th March 2017
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Don't know PSI Audio (though they seem to have good reviews) but since you just came off of trials/tribulations of hardware failure, read through the Amphion reviews (online magazines, etc.) and the Amphion threads here and see how many times the idea of "customer service" and "driver replacement" come up. Literally review samples for magazines start with things like "I had to replace the driver" once it arrived followed by excuses and then how great customer service is. I would be ticked if that many speakers went out and weren't working 100% when they showed up.

This only confirmed what I saw at an Amphion dealer in Los Angeles who provided me demos but also showed me the speakers that were in for repair. There were a lot. And there were a lot of excuses for why. Once the bloom is off the rose, this won't bode well. (personally, I think this is an engineering fault with the too low crossover for that tweeter seeing as most of these replacements were tweeter replacements)
Old 30th March 2017
  #25
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Don't know PSI Audio (though they seem to have good reviews) but since you just came off of trials/tribulations of hardware failure, read through the Amphion reviews (online magazines, etc.) and the Amphion threads here and see how many times the idea of "customer service" and "driver replacement" come up. Literally review samples for magazines start with things like "I had to replace the driver" once it arrived followed by excuses and then how great customer service is. I would be ticked if that many speakers went out and weren't working 100% when they showed up.

This only confirmed what I saw at an Amphion dealer in Los Angeles who provided me demos but also showed me the speakers that were in for repair. There were a lot. And there were a lot of excuses for why. Once the bloom is off the rose, this won't bode well. (personally, I think this is an engineering fault with the too low crossover for that tweeter seeing as most of these replacements were tweeter replacements)
Well ****. Thanks for this! Seriously appreciate it. Can you point me to some examples? I have only seen glowing reviews.
Old 30th March 2017
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prestigetone View Post
Well ****. Thanks for this! Seriously appreciate it. Can you point me to some examples? I have only seen glowing reviews.
I'm not talking about sound (that is highly subjective.) I'm speaking of reliability which can be objective.
Here's one I found fast:
Amphion Loudspeakers: Two18 studio monitors | Tape Op Magazine | Longform candid interviews with music producers and audio engineers covering mixing, mastering, recording and music production.
Old 30th March 2017
  #27
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
I'm not talking about sound (that is highly subjective.) I'm speaking of reliability which can be objective.
Here's one I found fast:
Amphion Loudspeakers: Two18 studio monitors | Tape Op Magazine | Longform candid interviews with music producers and audio engineers covering mixing, mastering, recording and music production.
Interesting. I haven't seen much of that in the Amphion thread, but still I will look into it. Thank you!
Old 30th March 2017
  #28
Lives for gear
 

The reason Amphions sometimes get damaged is because they don't have a limiter built in like most active monitors. This means better sound quality but you do have to be careful not to accidentally feed them very loud signals. They are also quite low distortion which means you can be unaware of quite how loud you are working.
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