PMC launching ‘the definitive main monitor’ at AES

PMC is bringing what it’s calling ‘the ultimate in main monitoring’ to the 139th AES Convention in New York (29 October – 1 November), in the shape of a brand new addition to the QB1-A Active Reference Monitor range.

Larger than anything the company has ever manufactured before, the company has described the new QB1-XBD-A as ‘a statement monitor that has no equal in terms of sheer power and resolution.’

With the impetus for the design coming from high-profile PMC clients, the model on show at AES can be seen and heard in PMC’s Masters of Audio space at the show (Room 15) and will go into full production in 2016.

To create the QB1-XBD-A, PMC has re-engineered its flagship QB1-A Active main studio monitor launched last year. For this new version, PMC has added a further cabinet (the XBD) per channel. This contains four identical piston drivers, each driven by four 1,000W independent class D power amplifiers, resulting in 8,825W of ‘ultra-clean’ power per channel.

The latest iteration of the company’s Advanced Transmission Line (ATL) bass-loading technology ensures a low-frequency response down to 20Hz, while onboard DSP provides driver unit optimisation, EQ and sophisticated crossover networks. With its twin-stacked cabinet design and 3dB more headroom that the single-cabinet QB1-A, the QB1-XBD-A promises ultra-low distortion, a forensic sense of detail and incomparable dynamics and transience throughout the entire bandwidth.

In keeping with the QB1-A, the QB1-XBD-A features wired RJ45 desktop control, designed to provide user-friendly access to EQ settings via its backlit display and jog wheel, and the ability to store up to four user setup presets. The speakers can be used soffit-mounted or free-standing.

"We saw that there was a gap at the very high end of the market," said Oliver Thomas, R&D project manager at PMC. "In the main, the current products on the market don’t offer the flexibility of analogue and digital inputs, and suffer from giving listeners an insufficient sense of resolution, compared to what can now be attained with good Class-D amp design and DSP-aided crossover management."

The QB1-A range also employs recent advances in PMC’s transmission line design concept, as used in the company’s IB2 midfields and twotwo nearfields, to achieve more efficient, high-performance designs. Extra bracing and damping inside the speaker cabinet prevents noise and reduces resonance to insignificant levels beyond the limits of human audibility, while the newly introduced vertical strakes in the transmission line add further bracing and simultaneously reduce turbulence in the throughput airflow, making it laminar and contributing to a faster, more dynamic sound, according to the firm.

At AES New York, the new QB1-XBD-A monitors will be shown as part of a 9.1 immersive sound surround system for high resolution audio surround presentations. Among the events already scheduled for the Masters of Audio room is an AES presentation on 9.1 surround sound, a presentation by legendary mastering engineer Vlado Meller, featured in AMI‘s June 2015 issue, a Blu-ray Album launch presentation from Sono Luminus (Dan Shores/Morten Lindberg/Stephan Bock) and a presentation from Ozark Henry (mixed by Ronald Prent/mastered by Darcy Proper for Auro 3D).