Recording - September 2015 - 24

...where we bring you follow-up articles
with application hints and upgrade news
about gear already reviewed in Recording

&

PMC twotwo.6 Active Monitors
The twotwo lineup's midsized
speaker packs a serious wallop
by Paul Vnuk Jr.

In our April 2015 issue we introduced
our readers to the twotwo.5, an active
two-way studio monitor from British manufacturer PMC.
PMC monitors have a reputation as "the
big toys used by the big boys." For
instance, the company's BB5XBD model is
almost 7' tall, weighs almost 300 pounds,
and costs a staggering $134,000 per
pair. They are used in many of the world's
most elite facilities such as the UK's
Metropolis Mastering, which has them set
up in surround!
By comparison, the previously reviewed
twotwo.5 is just shy of one foot tall. It could
be described as "tinytiny" at least when it
comes to size, but not in sound. This month
we take a look at the twotwo.6, the next
model up in the twotwo line.
At 15.98" x 7.64" x 14.33" and 18.5
lbs., the twotwo.6 is significantly larger
than the demure twotwo.5. There is also
a twotwo.8 available as well, and when
it comes to build quality, the striking
"Blueblack" finish and feature set are similar for all three models.
What's in a name?
Each twotwo model is a 2-way monitor
that is designed to be used in two positions: either vertically or horizontally.
While most vertically designed monitors
could be placed on their sides, and often
are, this occasionally affects the imaging
and tone in a negative way. Not so with
the twotwo speakers! To aid in placement, each corner has a small rubber
bumper to help decouple the cabinet from
its resting place.
The dot-six in the twotwo.6 refers to its
6.5" woofer size. This exclusive PMCdesigned driver is, per the manual, made
of an "ultra light and ultra stiff dopedpaper cone." The 27 mm tweeter is the
same across all three models in the range.
It includes a perforated acoustic lens which
extends the frequency response and aids
in its dispersion.
Also note, the tweeters are offset on
opposite sides in each pair. Before the
previous review, PMC's Keith Tonge let
me know that contrary to most folks' inclination to set the speakers up with the
tweeters on the outsides of the cabinets,
he suggests setting them up with the
24

RECORDING September 2015

tweeters on the inside edges. This
improves imaging, since there is little to
no cabinet between the tweeters.
Power and DSP
The twotwo.6 is an active monitor with an
internal 150W RMS (LF) + 50W RMS (HF)
Class D amplifier. It has a usable frequency
response of 40 Hz to 25 kHz and a maximum delivered SPL of 113 dB @ 1 meter.
Like all twotwo models, the twotwo.6
offers extensive internal 24-bit/96 kHz
DSP, which is controlled on the rear of each
unit via four navigation buttons and a 2-line
alphanumeric LCD screen. A nice touch is
that tweaks on one speaker can be remotely transmitted to the other via an included
Cat 5 Ethernet cable. Additionally PMC
offers a remote control unit allowing you to
make adjustments without leaving the sweet
spot. Note that the speaker's crossover
point of 1.8 kHz is also controlled through
DSP, but it is not adjustable.
DSP adjustments include: low and high
shelving EQ, low frequency rolloff, input
sensitivity, and output levels. You can
also choose whether the unit will make
use of the rear mounted analog XLR or
RCA inputs, or the XLR AES digital input.
Note that in digital mode, the stereo
input goes into one speaker, and then is
sent to the other via the aforementioned
Cat 5 cable.
Lastly in the DSP realm is the built-in signal limiting/speaker protection. When
the threshold is crossed, the PMC logo
changes from white to red. This limiting is
both sensitive and very transparent.
Bigger on the inside
The most unique feature of all PMC
monitors is what the company calls the
Advanced Transmission Line or ATL.
Rather than a typical bass port, inside of
each meticulously-sealed absorptive cabinet lives an S-shaped multichambered
channel.
In the twotwo.6 this channel, were it to
be unfolded out into a straight line,
would measure 5.25' long! The audible
benefits of the ATL design are quite clear:
non-distorted mids, a smooth full low
end, and a punchy consistent presence
regardless of volume levels. For more
details, check out PMC's website.

In use
I have been using the twotwo.6 not only
for mixing, but for tracking as well. I have
a few friends with upper-end PMC models
in their rooms. There is definitely a similar
sonic stamp across the whole range, a
"PMC signature" if you will. But this wouldn't be a proper Reviewed & Revisited if I
didn't discuss how the twotwo.6 differs
from its smaller sibling.
When I took the twotwo.5 out for a
spin, what struck me most was how full
and punchy they were despite their size.
I also appreciated their overall sonic consistency across a full range of listening
levels, from moderate to cranked. To date
I have not heard or used a 5.5" monitor
that was this big-sounding. I also found
mixing on the twotwo.5 offered amazing
translation to other real-world systems.
So where does this put the twotwo.6 ? In
simple terms, not only is it almost double in
physical size, it easily has double the sonic
presence. There's more low end and the
mids sound just slightly more dimensional,
yet the overall sonic signature of both models is quite similar. This is especially true of
the highs, which are spot on between the
two... not surprising considering their identical tweeter structures.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - September 2015

Contents
Recording - September 2015 - Intro
Recording - September 2015 - Cover1
Recording - September 2015 - Cover2
Recording - September 2015 - 1
Recording - September 2015 - 2
Recording - September 2015 - 3
Recording - September 2015 - 4
Recording - September 2015 - 5
Recording - September 2015 - Contents
Recording - September 2015 - 7
Recording - September 2015 - 8
Recording - September 2015 - 9
Recording - September 2015 - 10
Recording - September 2015 - 11
Recording - September 2015 - 12
Recording - September 2015 - 13
Recording - September 2015 - 14
Recording - September 2015 - 15
Recording - September 2015 - 16
Recording - September 2015 - 17
Recording - September 2015 - 18
Recording - September 2015 - 19
Recording - September 2015 - 20
Recording - September 2015 - 21
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Recording - September 2015 - 24
Recording - September 2015 - 25
Recording - September 2015 - 26
Recording - September 2015 - 27
Recording - September 2015 - 28
Recording - September 2015 - 29
Recording - September 2015 - 30
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Recording - September 2015 - Cover3
Recording - September 2015 - Cover4
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