The New B&W PM1 is a compact loudspeaker that offers an extremely high-quality performance. It features a new tweeter design, and a cabinet unlike anything previously constructed by Bowers & Wilkins.
The B&W PM1 loudspeaker features several technological advances as well as advanced application of core Bowers & Wilkins technologies. There's a new tweeter design, a fresh implementation of a Kevlar® cone, and Matrix™ bracing. There is also the continued implementation of the principles of purity and simplicity plus approaches learned from the development of the 800 Series Diamond.
The parts of a speaker doing the hard, mechanical work, the drivers, act on the signals distributed to them by the electrical processing part: the crossover. The thing to look for is its simplicity. Some speakers demand complex crossovers to compensate for the shortcomings in their drive units.
The better the mechanical design, the simpler the electronic design can be. We are still working to understand fully why and how certain components influence the sound of a speaker. Different manufacturers' versions of nominally the same component significantly alter the character of the sound; the only solution is to put our trust in our ears and to choose what sounds best. We carry out exhaustive listening tests rigorously assessing the performance of each component until we find the optimum component for each position in the circuit. Fine-tuning by ear is only possible if the crossover is simple and the section of the crossover that perhaps benefits most from our policy of listen-and-learn is the part handling the signal for the tweeter. In most Bowers & Wilkins speakers, it is carried by a single, ear-chosen component that preserves the very finest detail.
You might imagine that any changes made in the frequency range above the limits of human hearing shouldn't affect the sound we hear. And yet our experiments with diamond tweeters proved otherwise. By raising the break-up frequency far beyond the audible threshold of 20 kHz, we created a tweeter that sounded far truer and more natural. With a break-up frequency of 30 kHz, our aluminium dome tweeters already operate above the audible range. But inspired by diamond, we wanted to see if we could do even better for the PM1.
The result is an entirely new type of tweeter dome. By bracing the dome with a ring of filament-wound carbon fibre, we've raised the break-up frequency of aluminium to 40 kHz. As a result, the PM1 features the sweetest-sounding aluminium dome tweeter we've yet produced
high-quality performance. It features a new tweeter design
For many years, audiophiles have held quality small speakers in high regard for their superb imaging and detail. With its striking design and a host of premium Bowers & Wilkins technologies brought to bear, the Prestige Monitor1 is set to become the mini-monitor of choice.
Foremost among the new technology is the PM1s Carbon Braced Tweeter. This new design takes the already high performance of Bowers & Wilkins aluminium domes to a whole new level. The tweeter mechanism is mounted on top of the PM1 in the same way as the 800 Series Diamond and uses a Nautilus™ tapering tube. However, its high-quality aluminium dome, is strategically stiffened with a ring of filament-wound ultra-high modulus pitch-based carbon fibre.
Sitting below the Carbon Braced Tweeter is what at first appears to be a regular Bowers & Wilkins Kevlar® cone bass/midrange driver, as found on the likes of the well-regarded CM1, and which is renowned for its ability to deliver clarity and detail at mid frequencies. However, the PM1s drive unit features a new Anti-Resonance Plug: a mushroom-shaped device that is a tight fit inside the voice coil former, helping to damp the motion of the former. This reduces cone break-up, for a smoother, more refined sound, again raising the performance of a key Bowers & Wilkins technology to a new level of performance.
The construction of the cabinet is critical in any loudspeaker, but especially so in a mini monitor. Internally, the PM1 uses the Bowers & Wilkins Matrix™ bracing system, for improved rigidity. This is a vital element in producing a large sound from a compact loudspeaker. The striking front baffle and top panel is also a key element in the PM1s refined performance. The shape echoes the profile of the head unit used on the 800 Diamond and 802 Diamond, and improves image localization. A layer of mineral-filled resin is poured in liquid form to the back of the outer thermoset profile, where it sets to create a dual-layer composite that combines high mass with damping for an impressively inert construction.
Elsewhere, lessons learned in the development of the 800 Series Diamond have also influenced the design of the PM1. This is particularly the case with the use of Oxygen Free Copper terminals and Mundorf M-Cap Supreme capacitors, which combine to maintain the full clarity of the signal, and therefore the resulting performance. These elements all combine to create the PM1. Quite possibly the most refined small loudspeaker Bowers & Wilkins has yet produced.
PM1 is set to become the mini-monitor of choice.
Brought a new level of performance with resonance at 70kHz,
Nautilus™ tube loaded tweeter with carbon fibre reinforced
Reinforced aluminium dome high-frequency
Woven Kevlar® cone bass / midrange
Dimensions (HxWxD) in mm
8ohms nominal (5.1 minimum)
Amplifier Power Range
30-100 watts per channel
5 " woven Kevlar cone
1 " reinforced aluminium dome
What Hi Fi Winner 2011 - PM1 - Best standmounter £1500+
What Hi Fi 5 Star Review - PM1 - Fast, cohesive and surprisingly full sound, exceptional stereo image; superb integration and timing; top class build and finish. Arguably the most engaging and entertaining speakers B & W has made in years. - 5 Stars
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