By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis
If you are somewhat attracted to the “monitor” sound, preferably the one that comes from a consumer line of products created by companies with close relationships to the pro world, then this was one of the best rooms in the Munich show.
Chord Electronics Ltd provides amplifiers to studios like the BBC, Abbey Road and Skywalker, while PMC remains one of the world leaders in professional monitors, with clients such as Deutsche Grammophon and Decca. Both companies brought their biggest models, namely the Chord DSX1000 Reference network music player, Red Reference Mk III CD Player, CPA 8000 Reference preamplifier and SPM 14000MkII Reference mono power amplifier while PMC brought the amazing BB5 SE.
This was certainly not a cheap system but when compared to the mega buck ones (with certain rigs hitting almost $1M) it performed fantastically. The 15” woofer speaker, loaded with PMC’s advanced transmission line pattern, driven by Chord’s enormous power amps (700Watts/8Ohm) performed flawlessly in all sorts of music — pretty much just as one would expect from the consumer version of a professional monitor. If something was missing that would be some “character” or warmth, characteristics that some audiophiles seek. As for me, this system was definitely one of my favorites.