PMC Fact 8

jaxwired

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Any thoughts on the PMC Fact 8? Over here in the USA PMCs are much less well known. Because of that when they show up on the used market they have to be dirt cheap to sell. I could pick up some Fact 8s for half what they cost new. Probably not going to do it, but I'm kicking it around. I'd love to hear from anyone that's heard a pair. Anybody think they'd out perform my Dyn Contour S1.4s?
 

shooter

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The Fact 8 are very nice slim speaker that i was contemplating some time back and their pretty unique in the PMC range and from other brands also.

The 3 driver config is a 2 way design not a 2 and a half way and the crossover is pretty clever as is has to take the PMC designed SEAS tweeter down to 1.7khz, about 1 khz below the norm.The speaker has switches on the back to adjust the HF (increment of 2db) and LF (increment of 3 and 6db). Excellent for tuning to the room and something i think should be on every speaker. The usual ATL design cabinet but with HDF used instead of MDF (costs are considerably more) with laminates inside and out for added stiffness and damping, same as my Mani's. There is something about the driver design which is pretty special too it's not the usual PMC spider design but EBS, may be worth looking that up.

The only thing they don't do is go loud and for me that was the stumbling block because of my room size, if thats not an issue then these are a very well made speakers that have had a lot of work put into them.

How they stake up against your Dyn's i don't know, but worth an audition at the prices your taking about and if you went for them i would be very envious!
 

jaxwired

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Thanks Shooter! Great response and very thoughtful. You've got me even more interested.
smiley-smile.gif
 

oldric_naubhoff

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I'd add to Shooter's comprehensive reply that Facts use 24db slope (4th order) crossover which is less than optimal for a passive speaker. your Dynaudio uses 6db slope (1st order) crossover. if you want to know why I bring this difference up read about "speaker crossovers" on wikipedia for some basic info. note especially the differences between 1st and 4th order crossovers. (Shooter noted that FACTs can't go loud. it might be partially due to using 4th order crossovers.)

another thing is that Dyns tweeters are considered as some of the best soft dome tweeters around and they cut off preety low as well (1.9 kHz according to Dyns specs for Contour S1.4). that's not to say Seas drivers are bad. contrary.

another thing is specified low freq response for FACT 8. down to 28 Hz from twin 5.5" woofers? I'd like to see at which point it's achieved. I'd doubt it's at typical -3 bB value...

to sum it all up; I think FACT 8 will be no upgrade over your present Contour S1.4.

BTW, I want to upgrade to Contour S1.4 myself from Focus 110. as soon as I get a chance to buy a nice s/h pair :)
 

CnoEvil

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I think that you would get a good improvement with the move - Shooter gave a great assessment of the speaker, mentioning its main weakness (doesn't do really loud).

Also listen to the bass - not everybody gets on with TL.
 

shooter

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oldric_naubhoff said:
I'd add to Shooter's comprehensive reply that Facts use 24db slope (4th order) crossover which is less than optimal for a passive speaker. your Dynaudio uses 6db slope (1st order) crossover. if you want to know why I bring this difference up read about "speaker crossovers" on wikipedia for some basic info. note especially the differences between 1st and 4th order crossovers. (Shooter noted that FACTs can't go loud. it might be partially due to using 4th order crossovers.)

another thing is that Dyns tweeters are considered as some of the best soft dome tweeters around and they cut off preety low as well (1.9 kHz according to Dyns specs for Contour S1.4). that's not to say Seas drivers are bad. contrary.

another thing is specified low freq response for FACT 8. down to 28 Hz from twin 5.5" woofers? I'd like to see at which point it's achieved. I'd doubt it's at typical -3 bB value..

I've read that wiki info before and i know that AVI use a active 4th order on their 9T package but it looks as though PMC have spent considerable time and money on the crossover for the FACT 8. Yes your right is has a 24db low pass roll off for the bass units but it also has a 32db one on to bring the tweeter in above them.

All pretty interesting stuff from PMC.

Hmm, 28hz from two 5 and a half inch drivers is interesting and i haven't found much info on it. I do know though those small Mani's of mine with 6 and a half inch drivers get down to 29hz at a typical +- 3db, but with that ATL and the extra inch it could make all the difference, who knows!
 

oldric_naubhoff

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shooter69 said:
I've read that wiki info before and i know that AVI use a active 4th order on their 9T package but it looks as though PMC have spent considerable time and money on the crossover for the FACT 8. Yes your right is has a 24db low pass roll off for the bass units but it also has a 32db one on to bring the tweeter in above them.

All pretty interesting stuff from PMC.

I guess hearing is believing. all I know it's impossible to construct a high order passive crossover which would maintain electrical phase angle for both drivers (very important issue around crossover frequency if accurate imaging and transparency has any value).

shooter69 said:
Hmm, 28hz from two 5 and a half inch drivers is interesting and i haven't found much info on it. I do know though those small Mani's of mine with 6 and a half inch drivers get down to 29hz at a typical +- 3db, but with that ATL and the extra inch it could make all the difference, who knows!

I am sceptical about low freq extension figure as specified by manufacturer because I saw independent measured performance graphs for DB1i. PMC says DB1i go as low as 50 Hz. but from the graph (of course anechoic freq response is what you should look for) it's clearly seen that 50Hz is reached at -12 dB! at 0 dB it's only about 90 Hz. if you want you can check it out on Stereophile web page.

ATL is no better than port for improving low freq response. this ATL is supposed to limit port interference into mid range freq.
 

Potts

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I've heard a pair running on a Naim system... not too sure which one it was. But it sounded absolutely awesome.
 

AlmaataKZ

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I have heard Fact 8 (and Fact 3).

My observations were: Generally nice sound with strong mid-bass. A bit too boomy for my taste. Overpriced (see the open shot - tiny drivers/magnets and not much else). Look very good!

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hukkfinn

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I own these now, they are just breaking in. So far, I love their sound. Tight, fast, very musical and dynamic. They are instantly lovable and don't do anything wrong (I mean in a big-picture sense... of course, every speaker has some faults). If I had anything to mention in the negatives, keeping in mind these are not run in yet, I would say that I have heard more treble purity from tweeters in some other speakers, say, a very good ribbon. However this SEAS tweeter integrates very well with the mids, which is something not all ribbons can do. And there may be a bit of politeness in the Fact 8's midrange. Not a full-on BBC dip, and not a "suck-out", but just slightly laid back and forgiving rather than "in your face" mids. I would be intersted to see a properly done frequency response curve. Finally the jury is still out on bass detail. In some recordings I have found it to be incredibly good, in others, I am wondering if I am missing a little bass detail. Still deciding there.

I'll also note that the Fact 8 requires toe-in to achieve good imaging. The Fact 3 doesn't, in my experience -- they imaged for me at the store no matter how they were positioned. Both models were, in my opinion, just stunningly good, especially for how sleek their cabinets are (very high WAF).

Cheers,

Hukk
 

CnoEvil

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hukkfinn said:
I own these now, they are just breaking in. So far, I love their sound. Tight, fast, very musical and dynamic. They are instantly lovable and don't do anything wrong (I mean in a big-picture sense... of course, every speaker has some faults). If I had anything to mention in the negatives, keeping in mind these are not run in yet, I would say that I have heard more treble purity from tweeters in some other speakers, say, a very good ribbon. However this SEAS tweeter integrates very well with the mids, which is something not all ribbons can do. And there may be a bit of politeness in the Fact 8's midrange. Not a full-on BBC dip, and not a "suck-out", but just slightly laid back and forgiving rather than "in your face" mids. I would be intersted to see a properly done frequency response curve. Finally the jury is still out on bass detail. In some recordings I have found it to be incredibly good, in others, I am wondering if I am missing a little bass detail. Still deciding there.

I'll also note that the Fact 8 requires toe-in to achieve good imaging. The Fact 3 doesn't, in my experience -- they imaged for me at the store no matter how they were positioned. Both models were, in my opinion, just stunningly good, especially for how sleek their cabinets are (very high WAF).

Cheers,

Hukk

Glad you are happy........What is the rest of your system?
 

matt49

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hukkfinn said:
I own these now, they are just breaking in. So far, I love their sound. Tight, fast, very musical and dynamic. They are instantly lovable and don't do anything wrong (I mean in a big-picture sense... of course, every speaker has some faults). If I had anything to mention in the negatives, keeping in mind these are not run in yet, I would say that I have heard more treble purity from tweeters in some other speakers, say, a very good ribbon. However this SEAS tweeter integrates very well with the mids, which is something not all ribbons can do. And there may be a bit of politeness in the Fact 8's midrange. Not a full-on BBC dip, and not a "suck-out", but just slightly laid back and forgiving rather than "in your face" mids. I would be intersted to see a properly done frequency response curve. Finally the jury is still out on bass detail. In some recordings I have found it to be incredibly good, in others, I am wondering if I am missing a little bass detail. Still deciding there.

I'll also note that the Fact 8 requires toe-in to achieve good imaging. The Fact 3 doesn't, in my experience -- they imaged for me at the store no matter how they were positioned. Both models were, in my opinion, just stunningly good, especially for how sleek their cabinets are (very high WAF).

Cheers,

Hukk

I've heard the Fact 8s twice, both times driven by the (legendary) Musical Fidelity AMS35i. I was very impressed. I didn't find anything to criticise in the treble. I've heard speakers in this price band that do an airy midrange slightly better. The only significant criticism I'd have is with the bass timing. This may be the same issue that you've identified.

:cheers:

Matt
 

iceman16

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jaxwired said:
Congrats HukkFinn. I never pulled the trigger on the facts but maybe I will try fact 12s someday. Have to be used though, the new price is crazy!

Jaxwired

have you tried the Dali epicon? I would like to try them but my local dealer don't stock them..
 

RobM

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Hi hukkfinn,

Nice to hear your enjoying your new Fact 8's. I've had mine for just over one month now and they've had about 300 hrs use. The first 120 hrs was done at quite low levels and out of the box they sounded quite dry and light in the bass department. After the first 120 hrs they started to open up and then at around 160 hrs use I had a couple of six hour sessions at pretty high volume levels. After that they really came into their own and the bass became a lot more defined/prominent, but still nice and tight, with no boominess or timing issues. I find them to be incredibly detailed and no matter what genre of music I play they seem to do it all very well.

With good quality music that's been well recorded/ produced/mastered they sound fantastic, conveying incredible realism, especially with vocals and acoustic instruments, but with lesser quality music it can be a little disappointing, but that's the case on any system, and the higher the quality the kit is, the more that becomes apparent.

I'm not sure where the 'they don't go loud' view comes from that I read about on here, but I suspect it has something to do with the Techradar review, not sure.

As a hi-fi speaker, the Fact 8's go plenty loud, and hold it all together very nicely whilst doing so in a very refined way. Fast and very revealing,with a large soundstage and clean deep bass, which for me, makes them highly addictive and enjoyable. Thats how it is for me, though I appreciate how everyone has a different take on things. Of course though, the kit you use will have quite some influence on the end result, plus as I mentioned earlier, the quality of music you play. Incidentally, what kit are you using? I went for Leema kit, as for me it just sounds right with PMC's and I wanted British built, plus Peter Thomas, Mallory Nicholls and Lee Taylor all come from the from the same stable, the BBC. Great minds think alike!

Hope over the next few weeks your Fact 8's slowly open themselves up and give your ears the biggest smile they've had!

Regards

RobM
 

hukkfinn

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CnoEvil said:
Glad you are happy........What is the rest of your system?

CD/SACD - Marantz SA-11S1 with output coupling caps changed to REL Audiocap PPT Thetas 1uF. The stock electrolytics are insanely high capacitance for no good reason (unless you are sending it into a headphone amplifier, which often has low input impedance)

Vinyl - Roksan Xerxes X with tabriz tonearm, Dynavector 20xL cartridge, and Vinyl One phono preamp from Art Audio.

Preamp - the new Backert Sound Labs' "Rhythm 1.1" (tubed). Not officially on the market yet. I am partnered with the designer.

Power amp - Odyssey Stratos Extreme monoblocks (solid state).
 

CnoEvil

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hukkfinn said:
CnoEvil said:
Glad you are happy........What is the rest of your system?

CD/SACD - Marantz SA-11S1 with output coupling caps changed to REL Audiocap PPT Thetas 1uF. The stock electrolytics are insanely high capacitance for no good reason (unless you are sending it into a headphone amplifier, which often has low input impedance)

Vinyl - Roksan Xerxes X with tabriz tonearm, Dynavector 20xL cartridge, and Vinyl One phono preamp from Art Audio.

Preamp - the new Backert Sound Labs' "Rhythm 1.1" (tubed). Not officially on the market yet. I am partnered with the designer.

Power amp - Odyssey Stratos Extreme monoblocks (solid state).

Thx. That's a very nicely thought out (and unusual) system.

:cheers:

Cno
 

hukkfinn

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My Fact 8's have now broken in fully.

Pluses: (1) Rhythm and timing are excellent. This is key for me, as a drummer and piano player of 35+ years. (2) Smile-inducing dynamics, not exaggerated, but impressively accurate. (3) Super clean, very highly resolving and accurate sound. (4) Depth, depth, depth. Both "bass depth" in terms of very low frequencies, and "physical image front-to-back depth". Very nice 3D imaging. (5) The speakers COMPLETELY disappear - the 1st thing I noticed when I first heard them. (6) Drop-dead gorgeous, sky-high WAF good looks.

Minuses: (1) Price is high. Over $10,000 here in the U.S. (2) For that price, let's upgrade the Solen Fast caps in the crossovers, shall we, PMC? (3) The treble continues to be less than 100% "ribbon pure," adding a tiny bit of sheen on top of otherwise beautiful music. Obviously not a huge problem because I still love my Fact 8's, and I am one Extremely Picky Motherf*****. (4) Bass clarity is perhaps less than other great speakers which do not rely on transmission line technology to create low bass. Of course, by having transmission line in the Fact 8, we get amazingly thin, compact size. Which is really nice. Just saying, a fat 8-inch woofer in your face would convey more bass detail.

That's the end of the minuses. One last observation in general, the midrange is lean and extremely clean. These speakers are the Anti-KEF's. They make my KEF LS50's sound like distorted, broken walkie-talkies. And I actually love those LS50s! (As long as I don't compare them to the Fact 8's... the KEFs have wonderful ooey-gooey midrange)

Overall a gorgeous, clean and deep-sounding speaker with excellent resolving power, but a tweeter (or tweeter capacitor) that might need upgrading if PMC wants to play in the lofty $10K price range.

-Hukk
 

hukkfinn

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Let's hear from more Fact 8 owners! In particular, anyone who would like to disagree with / attack / ridicule / etc. my observations above.
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

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Hello, I'm a fresh Fact8 user, but, followed this speaker since his start (I was only able to buy it now that my chain was upgraded).

I'm using the Fact8 connected to a PAS 2002PCA studio amp, connected to an Accuphase C-2110 pre. Two sources are filling it, one is a Sota Sapphire Turntable (with modded Jelco 750d tonearm and Clearaudio Shell -> Tom Evans The groove anniversary phono pre) and a Accuphase DP-400 CD player is on the waiting list (but was already listened on this chain). For the moment, I putted my cd listening on "pause".

I decided myself after hearing a lot of speaker and audio gear in general. Wanted to be sure to invest my money wisely :

1) because I'm too poor for buying the wrong stuff
2) because it's funny to try out hifi gear and build a practical experience

I choosed the PMC fact8 because she had a lot of strong points and nearly no flaws. She has a very precise reproduction, and when I say precise, it's not B&W 804D precise, nor did I mean ProAc D30 precise... no... I mean ATC SCM50ASLT precision at nearly the same perfection level. It's a very uncommon degree in Hifi. Even great speaker like Triangle Magellan Quatuor will not go as far in this fanatism. It will not say that the restitution is sterile and stressed, it will just say that the speaker will ABSOLUTELY distribute what he's given to eat. This kind of result is something you only find on very good Midfield mastering monitors like the (already mentionned) ATC or some PSI Audio floorstanding mastering loudspeaker.

Every musician is exactly on place in the reproduction, without beeing cutted in their edges. You can really appreciate the work of the different artists that performs on a track and you can perfectly follow when they are moving. The width of the scene is excellent and the deepness is very good too. It's as good as some very good specialists in this discipline (Xavian speakers).

Bass is well controlled, you can clearly note that when you have a "double bass" playing. Lots of speaker are confronted to a problem in front on those instruments. They will show you something, but on very revealing speakers, you will hear the wood of the instrument cracking, you will hear the pinch on the string and the string that vibrate precisely with the reaction it gives to all the resonance chamber of the instrument. This kind of thing, you can hear it with the Fact8, but not with a lot of other speakers. And it's the same for the Kick of a drum. On a lot of gear, you will hear a washed away something that you will recognize for beeing a drumkick. But on this, you can hear the mass hitting the membrane. The wood will start to crack and the "WHOOM" is coming directly after that. Yes, it's THAT precise.

And I could continue through the whole frequency range. Medium is of the same kind, with beautiful voices where you can hear the moist lips and the work of breath of the singer.

Everything plays together, and you can enjoy every aspect of the restitution.

I don't know if I could say that the result is dry or cold. I clearly not believe that, some Eric Clapton stuff, that usually tend to be somewhat of sterile, was really hot and beautiful to listen to.

A good overal description is : generally you can close your eyes and believe that some dudes are playing in your listening room.

But yes, it's not a perfect speaker :

1 ) Because, on certain chains and with some music material, the really straight highs could be fatiguing for your ears, this is why I needed the Accu, he has a simple knob you can turn, and the problem is under control (but I must agree that the pmc has very efficient toggle switches on the back that allow to tame the same kind of problems).
2) In wide rooms, I had the impression he suffered more than other very great loudspeakers.
3) The fact8 semmed stressed when I played her in too high volumes. It's damn loud when she start to loose her composure, but she's quicker to do as my best references in this discipline.

4) I don't believe that the frequency goes really to 28hz. But I strongly believe it must be around 35hz for sure. And this will lead to well known problem of low frequencies capables loudspeakers. It will activate every modal wave in unprepared listening room. So the results are really depending on your room and could easily be altered or killed by it.

5) Very few wood finishes are available. If you look to some builder like "Gauder" (ex Isophon), you was able to choose the wood you want if you pay the price for one of their speakers. Here, I really believed that somebody was afraid to spend too much money in wood stocks.

My general opinion on this speaker is that he's difficult to beat if you are researching a precise loudspeaker. Very involving listening.
 

Happy_Listner

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You say you are a "fresh Fact8 user" but how fresh are you? We have not only been watching your toilet but we saw you forgot to put on your deoderant this morning. :)

Thanks for the mini review.
 

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