PMC announces two additions to its next-generation Main Monitor range of active Advanced Transmission Line (ATL) loudspeakers to be introduced at NAMM 2017.
The new MB3 and BB6 active monitors with digital and analog inputs are designed for freestanding or soffit-mounted use in recording, mixing, mastering and outside broadcast applications, and available as single- or twin-cabinet (XBD) versions.
Both marry the extended low-frequency response and dynamic range of PMC’s ATL designs with proprietary Class-D amplification first unveiled on the QB1-A main studio monitor, and subsequently installed in international facilities including Hollywood’s Capitol Studios.
The MB3 and BB6 build on the design of PMC’s MB2 and BB5 monitors. Both new models feature PMC’s hand-built, precision-matched 34mm soft-dome tweeter and 75mm fabric mid-range driver coupled with the latest generation of the Radial low-frequency driver, built specifically for use with PMC’s ATL designs.
The MB3 features a 12-inch and the BB6 a 15-inch Radial driver; teamed with the ATL, these exhibit a flat response down to 20Hz and 17Hz respectively. The LF drivers have been engineered with an exposed exoskeleton to dissipate unwanted heat, thereby eliminating the detrimental effects of power compression — so they can be driven for extended periods at high output levels while preserving definition, and without exhibiting tonal changes or distortion.
Both the MB3 and BB6 are available as single-cabinet (MB3-A and BB6-A) and twin-cabinet (MB3 XBD-A and BB6 XBD-A) active versions. The latter provide a smooth in-room response and offer 3dB more headroom (the MB3 XBD-A has a maximum SPL of 129dB, while the BB6 XBD-A will produce 131dB). Dedicated center-channel versions of the MB3 and BB6 are available for multi-channel systems, but subwoofers are not required, as the 20-60Hz sub-bass frequency range is already covered. Instead, all the new systems incorporate dedicated ‘Point One’ inputs to accommodate the LFE channel from surround mixes, such as the effects channel in film soundtracks.
PMC’s Control 1200 and Power 2400 Class-D amplifiers ensure that there will always be ample headroom, no matter what demands are placed on them. Each channel of the new MB3-A, MB3 XBD-A and BB6-A is powered by a single Control 1200 (supplying 275 watts of power to the high-frequency driver and 550 watts to the mid-range unit) and a Power 2400 unit, which, as its name suggests, supplies 2400 watts to the bass driver (and to the XBD unit on the MB3 XBD-A). The exception is the BB6 XBD-A, which has an additional Power 2400 dedicated exclusively to the 15-inch bass driver in the XBD cabinet for control, headroom and bass definition — a total of 5625 watts of power per channel.
As with the QB1-A Main Monitor, both the MB3 and BB6 incorporate advanced DSP which optimizes the response of the drivers, maximizing their dispersion, offers a 24dB-per-octave crossover, and provides non-invasive protection using modeled excursion limiting. The DSP also provides shelving EQ for in-room integration, along with four presets, which are ideal for personal settings when multiple users have access to the system or if a particular custom balance is required. These can be accessed via a wired RJ45 desktop remote control with a backlit display and jog wheel, which is supplied as standard with all the new models. The remote also allows input switching and shelving EQ adjustments to be made from the listening position without the need to constantly refer to the rear panel of the monitors.
The cabinets used play integral roles in the high performance of the MB3 and BB6; aside from incorporating the Advanced Transmission Line itself, the construction of the enclosure must be of a high standard to eradicate coloration and audible cabinet talk. Highly braced, resonance-damped Medite is used with offset HF and MF drivers, radiused edges and acoustically absorbent StealthBaffles at the boundaries, as employed in the QB1-A design, to minimize edge diffraction effects. These details were formulated with the aid of pioneering acoustic research and measurements undertaken by PMC in anechoic environments at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, using opto-acoustic laser interferometry to map the soundfield and acoustic dispersion.
“All of our reference monitors have to satisfy these important criteria,” explains Oliver Thomas, head of design at PMC. “They’re precision tools which are relied on in all analytical audio applications, and we truly believe that they allow everyone to work faster, better, and with complete confidence. But these technical aspects, their high resolution and complete neutrality also ensure that all the emotion of a performance is translated to the listener. So these are loudspeakers for the heart and mind. They offer supreme tonal accuracy, detail and translatability, but also musicality and the power to move you — physically and emotionally.”
For more information on the new additions to the PMC Main Monitor range, come to stand 6598 during NAMM and experience them first-hand.