The smallest entry in PMC’s eight model i Series, the two-way DB1i is also affectionately known as the “dinky box”. I’ve heard a great many petite speakers over the years from the original Proac Tablettes, and Rogers LS3/5A right on out but this lil’ Brit is quite a sensation in my view. It’s got a combination of big speaker virtues, like dynamics and believe it or not, slam along with more traditional small speaker attributes like imaging and dimensionality. The sonics are never smothered nor does the speaker turn screamer at higher outputs. It also takes a very shrewd approach in terms of the way it applies its compromises. The roll-offs are gentle, the sonic subtractions almost incidental.
At only 11.4 inches tall dinky it is. It sports a 5.5 inch doped paper woofer and a slightly oversize 27mm SONOLEX soft dome tweeter. Sensitivity is 87dBThe crossover point is 2kHz. Easily the key feature of the i Series are its ATL enclosures. That’s ATL for Advanced Transmission Line meaning that the bass driver is placed at one end of what is essentially a heavily-damped tunnel labyrinth. The damping absorbs frequencies from the upper bass on up while the lowest frequencies emerge in phase from the rear port. It’s a complex, expensive construction compared to the more typical bass reflex enclosure and is usually restricted to larger enclosures. But with the early returns in, PMC has made it work with the DB1i–the reason why over 9 inches of cabinet depth are required. Not only is the DB1i the smallest speaker in this series but it may also surpass the Guiness World Record for smallest ever transmission line applied to a cabinet.
But just like little dogs don’t really know they’re little so it goes with the dinky box. Certainly I’ve still got a ways to go in the critical listening department but if my early impressions hold this little beasty deserves to really shake up the small speaker segment. Review to come.
Price: $1929/pr. pmc-speakers.com
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