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Pmc 20.21 vs 25.21

Jez l

Well-known member
May 1, 2020
35
24
45
I done a back to back comparison of these two speakers in my room on my own system.

I've had the 20.21 at home for a few years but decided to test the 25.21 to see how good they are. I honestly thought I'd love the 25.21 but I actually prefer the 20.21.

To.me the midrange is quite a bit better on the 20.21. It sounds more present, cleaner and seems to have better clarity and speed. The bass on the 25.21 is more powerful than in the 20.21 but for me this isnt enough of a benefit to sway me.

Keen to hear anyone else's thoughts on the pmc 20 vs 25 range. All the reviews I've read on the 25 range suggests they are a big improvement so I was quite suprised at my findings!

Appreciate any feedback/comments
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
830
143
570
I done a back to back comparison of these two speakers in my room on my own system.

I've had the 20.21 at home for a few years but decided to test the 25.21 to see how good they are. I honestly thought I'd love the 25.21 but I actually prefer the 20.21.

To.me the midrange is quite a bit better on the 20.21. It sounds more present, cleaner and seems to have better clarity and speed. The bass on the 25.21 is more powerful than in the 20.21 but for me this isnt enough of a benefit to sway me.

Keen to hear anyone else's thoughts on the pmc 20 vs 25 range. All the reviews I've read on the 25 range suggests they are a big improvement so I was quite suprised at my findings!

Appreciate any feedback/comments
the man to of asked was simon 13th note - hopefully to return soon ! here is some of his video work regarding pmc speakers. not the model you have requested but you may find it interesting :-
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwpLVN8MMss
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
1,000
624
6,070
I done a back to back comparison of these two speakers in my room on my own system.

I've had the 20.21 at home for a few years but decided to test the 25.21 to see how good they are. I honestly thought I'd love the 25.21 but I actually prefer the 20.21.

To.me the midrange is quite a bit better on the 20.21. It sounds more present, cleaner and seems to have better clarity and speed. The bass on the 25.21 is more powerful than in the 20.21 but for me this isnt enough of a benefit to sway me.

Keen to hear anyone else's thoughts on the pmc 20 vs 25 range. All the reviews I've read on the 25 range suggests they are a big improvement so I was quite suprised at my findings!

Appreciate any feedback/comments
Can't say I'm sorry to hear that Jez.
I've had the 20.21 for a few years too.
I don't want any less clarity and speed than they give me.
What source and amp were you testing both with?

Presume you mean just the 25.21 and not its i version:
 
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Paul Clarke

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2007
83
17
18,545
Not exactly the same comparison, but I'd been using PMC OB1s for years and loved them. After a long time lovingly stroking the 25/26s on my regular visits to my dealer, an ex dem pair came up at a price I could just about get to. They are a treat to listen to. I have no desire to trade in for the new i series, even though the reviews are great. The gains just don't justify the expense.
As mentioned, you have to let your ears rule. I wonder if there is a possibility the demo speakers aren't run in yet? I know some question the relevance of this, but to my ears it does. It might be worth persevering with the 25/21s for a little longer if the dealer is ok.
Good luck though!
 
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Jez l

Well-known member
May 1, 2020
35
24
45
Hi. I was playing them through my phone into a chord hugo (usb input), then passive pre amp into my marantz sm17 mono power amps.

Cheers
 
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Jez l

Well-known member
May 1, 2020
35
24
45
Not exactly the same comparison, but I'd been using PMC OB1s for years and loved them. After a long time lovingly stroking the 25/26s on my regular visits to my dealer, an ex dem pair came up at a price I could just about get to. They are a treat to listen to. I have no desire to trade in for the new i series, even though the reviews are great. The gains just don't justify the expense.
As mentioned, you have to let your ears rule. I wonder if there is a possibility the demo speakers aren't run in yet? I know some question the relevance of this, but to my ears it does. It might be worth persevering with the 25/21s for a little longer if the dealer is ok.
Good luck though!

Hi to be fair I think the 25 21s have been run in for a while. I bought them " blind "second hand. When I first plugged them in I was blown away by the improvements to the bass. It was only after listening to them over time (over 3 months) I realised I preferred the 20.21s.

Cheers
 

Jez l

Well-known member
May 1, 2020
35
24
45
Cheers. Yes I've read the review of the new 21is, I would like to take a listen to them sometime too.

Cheers
 

TheJoker

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2019
32
15
45
looked at the price, remembered what the DB1i's cost, turned around laughed and walked out.... PMC are way overpriced compared to there competitors
 

Paul Clarke

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2007
83
17
18,545
Hi to be fair I think the 25 21s have been run in for a while. I bought them " blind "second hand. When I first plugged them in I was blown away by the improvements to the bass. It was only after listening to them over time (over 3 months) I realised I preferred the 20.21s.

Cheers
Just out of interest, what was your budget? You mention you bought second hand, so I'm guessing you paid a fair bit less than the new price of £1800ish.
Had you considered the KEF R3? My nephew bought a pair of these and I thought they sounded very good. They are approx £1300.
I can see why you'd gone for a PMC upgrade though. I loved my OB1s and always liked the look of the 25/26s. Not everyone's taste, but they are the speaker brand for me. It's a shame they're not giving you what you want.
You could consider a different amp. Maybe they need a little extra driving, but then you're into serious money.
Sorry I can't help more!!!
 

Paul Clarke

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2007
83
17
18,545
looked at the price, remembered what the DB1i's cost, turned around laughed and walked out.... PMC are way overpriced compared to there competitors
Just out of interest, what comparisons are you making?
PMC aren't necessarily cheap, but I've found they generally stood up well in various side by side tests or on various forums.
 

Simon 13th note

Well-known member
BANNED
Jul 27, 2020
183
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170
pmc twenty v twenty5 is a difference of smooth and a little bit more incisive. Ive owned 20-23 and 25-23. I still think the treble is as balanced in the twenty5 range and not overtly in your face. If you are a 'smoothist' go for twenty series if you can still find them used. But the issue is you loose a lot of detail and treble and as such detail is needed, it is to be sought out, not ignored, in my view.
Another big advantage of the twenty5 over twenty is the dynamics. I think most people would consider them the better speaker.
On the twenty5i range when I tested the 23 model (see vid above) I thought they are good, and a good improvement on the twenty5 range in dispersion, but I somewhat agree with comments on here about price and value. If you have the existing 25 range then why no upgrade kit. Id buy the new twenty5 23i in a heartbeat with a kit. I still regard the 25-23 series one, if not one of the best, smallfloor speakers you can get. I tried atc scm40a and prefer the 25 23i to the atc's. With my hegel h390 any day of the week.
Im waiting for price to come down a bit to consider the twenty5 23i as what I lost in going for them I have gained in this Hegel. Always about the total package!
 
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TotalVictim

Active member
Sep 11, 2020
11
8
25
Sorry people. It should not be forbidden to be minimally truthful and get real for a brief moment. Historically, PMC have always had very poor price to quality ratio as compared to the their competition. At best, some models have performed satisfactorily and at worst the "PMC lie" is obviously apparent. This is especially true with their newest series.

The PMC lie is primarily about their infamous transmission line implementation. It is flawed, skewered, inaccurate and in perfect contradiction with the theory and calculation of A.R. Bailey, known as the father of transmission line speaker technology from the mid 1960s. For example, PMC's stand mounters (21 and 22) simply do not have enough cabinet volume to properly build a transmission line chamber with the required linear measurements for the selected drivers. The floor standing models indeed have more volume but do not include an internal taper which is part of the recommended and generally accepted design principle. Lastly, the inclusion of the famous "F1 technology" Laminair vent is an absolutely useless gimmick and has literally no audible effect at the tuned frequencies. It is all purely marketing spiel...to fool the prospective customer.

Now, coming to the subject of their latest version of the Twenty5 series known as "i" for improved. PMC have failed miserably with this series. Here's why. The previous generation was typically known as "too hot" and bass shy, even if the restitution of lower frequencies found fans among some listeners. In order to remedy this and improve on weaknesses "they knew all along" (see YouTube video where Oliver Thomas spills the beans)...PMC decided to make 3 changes to the series. Isolation improvements for floorstanders, crossover tuning to 100hz lower, and a new tweeter.

What they have done is to create speakers that suffer from the exact inverse of the weaknesses of the previous version! Now, you have a series that is so "polite and laid back" (PMC's own words) that you're found wanting for more presence, definition, clarity and plain and simple energy in the upper registers. Oh yes, it's very "polite" now!
Worse yet is the bass response. PMC have taken a speaker that did have the ability to be somewhat room-friendly in terms of placement, the front-mounted port (and it is indeed a form of reflex port) allowed for this to some degree, and have tuned the crossover to where the bass response is now overwhelming. All you can hear is bass, bass and more bass. The entire musical message is adversely affected by a booming, ever-present bass response that masks the upper-bass and midrange registers. It is an absolute failure to go from one extreme to another and dare call it "improved". It is shameful and unbecoming of any serious manufacturing company to mock their customers in such a manner.

Lastly, PMC and Naim have typically and historically been known to marry well together and provide synergy where the strengths of one brand complimented weaknesses of the other. THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE. Naim IS NOT the amplification you want with the 25i series. Naim's energy and drive in the lower frequencies is unfortunately COMPOUNDED by the PMC's new "feature" of grossly exaggerated bass response. PMC has effectively shat on innumerable Naim/PMC owners who may have wanted to upgrade. That being said, I have personally tried Jadis, MF and YBA on a pair of 25.22i speakers and the result is the same; restrained upper frequencies, exploding bass register and zero room friendliness.

You may also note that the only favorable reviews of this series is from retailers and professional reviewers, all of whom have a commercial interest in portraying them in a favorable light. My challenge to you is to listen to them for yourself...and thank me later.
 
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Simon 13th note

Well-known member
BANNED
Jul 27, 2020
183
72
170
Sorry people. It should not be forbidden to be minimally truthful and get real for a brief moment. Historically, PMC have always had very poor price to quality ratio as compared to the their competition. At best, some models have performed satisfactorily and at worst the "PMC lie" is obviously apparent. This is especially true with their newest series.

The PMC lie is primarily about their infamous transmission line implementation. It is flawed, skewered, inaccurate and in perfect contradiction with the theory and calculation of A.R. Bailey, known as the father of transmission line speaker technology from the mid 1960s. For example, PMC's stand mounters (21 and 22) simply do not have enough cabinet volume to properly build a transmission line chamber with the required linear measurements for the selected drivers. The floor standing models indeed have more volume but do not include an internal taper which is part of the recommended and generally accepted design principle. Lastly, the inclusion of the famous "F1 technology" Laminair vent is an absolutely useless gimmick and has literally no audible effect at the tuned frequencies. It is all purely marketing spiel...to fool the prospective customer.

Now, coming to the subject of their latest version of the Twenty5 series known as "i" for improved. PMC have failed miserably with this series. Here's why. The previous generation was typically known as "too hot" and bass shy, even if the restitution of lower frequencies found fans among some listeners. In order to remedy this and improve on weaknesses "they knew all along" (see YouTube video where Oliver Thomas spills the beans)...PMC decided to make 3 changes to the series. Isolation improvements for floorstanders, crossover tuning to 100hz lower, and a new tweeter.

What they have done is to create speakers that suffer from the exact inverse of the weaknesses of the previous version! Now, you have a series that is so "polite and laid back" (PMC's own words) that you're found wanting for more presence, definition, clarity and plain and simple energy in the upper registers. Oh yes, it's very "polite" now!
Worse yet is the bass response. PMC have taken a speaker that did have the ability to be somewhat room-friendly in terms of placement, the front-mounted port (and it is indeed a form of reflex port) allowed for this to some degree, and have tuned the crossover to where the bass response is now overwhelming. All you can hear is bass, bass and more bass. The entire musical message is adversely affected by a booming, ever-present bass response that masks the upper-bass and midrange registers. It is an absolute failure to go from one extreme to another and dare call it "improved". It is shameful and unbecoming of any serious manufacturing company to mock their customers in such a manner.

Lastly, PMC and Naim have typically and historically been known to marry well together and provide synergy where the strengths of one brand complimented weaknesses of the other. THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE. Naim IS NOT the amplification you want with the 25i series. Naim's energy and drive in the lower frequencies is unfortunately COMPOUNDED by the PMC's new "feature" of grossly exaggerated bass response. PMC has effectively shat on innumerable Naim/PMC owners who may have wanted to upgrade. That being said, I have personally tried Jadis, MF and YBA on a pair of 25.22i speakers and the result is the same; restrained upper frequencies, exploding bass register and zero room friendliness.

You may also note that the only favorable reviews of this series is from retailers and professional reviewers, all of whom have a commercial interest in portraying them in a favorable light. My challenge to you is to listen to them for yourself...and thank me later.
I don't recognise any of this but I think you did post this to my video. For purposes of background (moderators)and coming to the defence of PMC, and what hifi who regard PMC as a great brand (as do I) and to add some fat around the edges, I add this comment to add some balance in my ever wish to do so.....

From my chats on YouTube, I think the issue is over buying speakers 'blind' (not testing at home) and then being stuck with them due to a room / taste / partnering gear mismatch. showing the importance of home testing, not just listening at a dealer. The room plays such a large part, I dont wish the poster any harm, nor is this a slur at all. I just hope you get what you like and can speak to the dealer and/or PMC to sort that out.

It's tough for hifi firms at the moment too.
 

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