UK-based PMC is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, marking three decades of loudspeaker design and manufacture for both the international professional music production and audiophile markets.
Peter Thomas, PMC founder and owner, says, “When I started the company with my friend and colleague, Adrian Loader, I had no idea that our audio knowledge and passion for music would one day end up with our small company designing and building universally respected loudspeakers for audiophiles and for some of the biggest artists, producers and audio facilities in the world.”
PMC was established in 1991 by Thomas, then a BBC engineer, and FWO Bauch engineer Loader, in response to requirements from the BBC for a monitor speaker that could handle the high sound levels required for pop and rock monitoring, but with high resolution. The pair created their first loudspeaker, the “Big Box,” in Thomas’ garage and accompanying electronics in Loader’s garage. Once refined and renamed the BB5, it was installed at BBC Maida Vale Studios.
Shortly after the introduction of the BB5 and formation of PMC, Thomas and Loader launched its first domestic loudspeaker, the LB1. The company now has a reputation in the home audio and custom installation sectors, as well as in professional studios. “In terms of music reproduction, there shouldn’t be a distinction between a loudspeaker designed for studio use and one for domestic use — the speaker is either reproducing the music correctly or it isn’t,” Thomas states.
“The guiding principle for our R&D team is that the same ultra-high-resolution loudspeaker can be used throughout the entire recording and playback process — from studio to home,” he continues. “The work we do developing new studio speakers directly benefits our hi-fi product development and conversely, some of the discoveries we make when creating a new range of hi-fi loudspeakers find their way into our pro models. This means that domestic users can experience their music sounding the same as it did in the studio and exactly as the artist intended.”
PMC’s core technologies, shared between pro and domestic, include the Advanced Transmission Line (ATL), bass loading, the aerodynamically designed Laminair vent, dome midrange drivers and tweeter dispersion grilles.
These developments are to be found in products that bear the PMC name, including QB1 monitors utilized in studios such Capitol in LA and 301 in Sydney, the recently launched fact fenestria and twenty5i series hi-fi speakers, and the Ci Series for studios and home theatres.
In recent years, PMC has been partnering with Dolby in the immersive audio market. This has resulted in its loudspeakers being installed in Dolby Atmos music mixing rooms around the world and becoming a reference for Atmos music mixing. In addition, PMC has also engineered Atmos mixes for artists such as Miles Davis and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band and built its own Atmos-enabled mix facilities in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles. Its speakers were also chosen by the Rolling Stones for the Atmos presentation at the band’s “Unzipped” exhibition.
In the 30 years since the company was founded, its workforce has gone from just two to 60 around the world. With its head office in Biggleswade, UK and satellite offices in Los Angeles, Nashville and New York and two manufacturing plants in the UK, PMC can service its global customer base with efficiency.
“Celebrating a 30th anniversary is a major milestone for any company, and we know that we couldn’t have done any of this without the help of our staff and customers,” Thomas concludes. “Their support and dedication have enabled us to build a highly respected global brand. For that we are extremely grateful and would like to say a massive and heartfelt thank you as we look forward to the next chapter in the PMC story.”