From Studio to Home, PMC’S Fact Fenestria are True to Source
When some of the world's most successful recording artists such as Muse, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, and Powderfinger, to name a few, choose Sydney's Studios 301 to record and master their albums it's a pretty big testament to the studio's reputation and its ability.
With 90 years at the forefront of the Australian music industry, the recently re-opened Studios 301 was a collaboration between owner Dr. Tom Misner and world-renowned acoustician, Jochen Veith.
According to General Manager, Ron Haryanto, the rebuild was designed to be “head and shoulders acoustically” above others nationally, but to also launch Studios 301 into the Top 10 tier of studios globally.
With a little experience myself having started my early working years separated from bands by thick glass and sitting comfortably behind the mixing console, I can only agree that they've certainly delivered a world-class facility.
A tour held exclusively for StereoNET readers last Friday 9th November 2018 was well attended across two evening sessions, offering a rare insight into the process between the music performance, and the final playback and commercial release.
The process itself is far too detailed to delve deeper in these pages, but the passion displayed by 301's engineers proved to this writer that musicians are in good hands when utilising its services.
As you walk the corridors and studios at 301, legacy recording equipment and musical instruments abound, but the real magic is within each of the control rooms.
Brittish brand, PMC Speakers have a long and successful history in the broadcast and professional audio sectors. They're one of the very few to have received an Emmy award for their contribution to recording excellence.
PMC talks about its Professional range:
From the bedroom studios of the 'next big things' to the acoustically treated hush of the world's finest outside broadcast vehicles, movie soundstages, recording and mastering studios, and to the boardrooms and listening stations at major record companies, our products are woven into the fabric of the audio business.
PMC's Active and Passive Monitors, along with PMC amplification were specified during Studios 301's redesign and now feature in many of 301's studios.
In conjunction with Australia's PMC distributor, Interdyn, it made perfect sense to use this venue as the official launch and Australian debut of PMC's flagship 'Fact Fenestria' loudspeakers.
Attendees arriving into Studio 301's reception were treated to the soulful and authentic tones of Jess Stillone, an emerging singer-songwriter from Sydney who in just a few short years has amassed hundreds of thousands of views on her YouTube channel.
Guests were treated to a Studios 301 grand tour, including demonstrations of PMC's professional monitors (and a rather impressive surround sound mastering suite featuring a PMC 5.0 system) before settling into the magnificent Studio 1 for the Fact Fenestria main event.
On hand conducting the demo was one of the leading specialist retailers in the country, Vinod Christie-David and John Kranitis, of Life Style Store in Parramatta. Completing the system was an array of Audio Research's most excellent electronics.
We first heard the Fact Fenestria in all its glory at its Munich High-End Show debut in Germany back in May 2018. Dubbed, “the loudspeaker you will never hear”, PMC's engineers have combined elegant design with advanced engineering that focuses on state-of-the-art vibration cancelling design, similar to concepts used in skyscraper buildings today.
Fenestria uses all new purpose designed and built drivers, including four 6.5” low-frequency transverse-weave, carbon-fibre, multicellular-core piston driver, one 75mm midrange rear-chambered, soft-dome driver housed in a 'nest' in the middle of the cabinet, rounding out with a 19.5mm soft-dome tweeter featuring ferrofluid-cooled driver with 36mm wide surround, neodymium magnet, micro custom chassis, and a silicone Aureole isolation mount.
The unique 'nest' which houses the midrange and tweeter is the result of four years of research and development, which is decoupled from the speaker cabinet. Milled from a billet of aluminium, the benefit of this design is said to prevent unwanted energy from the bass drivers and transmission line into the nest.
The transmission line cabinet design for which PMC has become famous has been employed with Fenestria, explained in detail by PMC's International Business Development Manager, Chris Allen, in attendance for the launch.
By creating a long folded chamber for the rear of the midbass drivers, the Advanced Transmission Line (ATL) according to PMC, “uses energy in a much more intelligent and efficient way than speaker designs based on ported or sealed boxes”. The bass frequencies exit the cabinet via PMC's patented Laminair aerodynamic vent which builds on aerodynamic principles found in Le Mans and F1 motor racing research, for “a more natural and rich sound at any volume level.”
This design also contributes to the Fenestria's extended low-frequency response of 23Hz.
Speaker of skyscrapers, the Fenestria stands 1.7m tall and weighs 80kgs each. Available in four stunning finishes including Tiger Ebony, RIch Walnut, While Silk and Graphite, the finish comes by way of Fenestria's interchangeable planar wings. They've been precisely engineers to resonate in opposition to the rest of the loudspeaker assembly, theoretically eliminating unwanted vibrations before they leave the cabinet. Chris Allen summarises this, “simply put, the side panels cancel out all the unwanted energy produced by the drivers, leaving nothing but the music”.
In an acoustically near-perfect room that would be just as capable of accommodating a stadium-sized PA system or an entire orchestra, PMC's Fact Fenestria delivered room-filling sound with controlled and accurate bass the likes of which you've probably not heard before.
From my listening in Munich and then once again at Studios 301, the Fact Fenestria are true to the source, and like the very best accurate loudspeakers, they won't be forgiving of poor recordings.
And as loudspeaker technology continues to evolve today thanks to advanced computer-aided design, modelling and finite element analysis, we've come such a long way since Alexander Graham Bell's first patented electric loudspeakers that found their way into telephones in 1876, and the first moving coil loudspeaker invented by Oliver Lodge later in 1898.
120 years later, PMC is clearly at the forefront of loudspeaker technology and is pushing boundaries that were not thought possible only a few short years ago.
Listening to PMC's Fact Fenestria may even require a slight recalibration of what you consider great sound when you take cabinet colouration out of the equation, along with further refinement that sees distortion and vibration reduced to ridiculously low levels.
The PMC Fact Fenestria are available now for $89,999 RRP and are available for auditioning in a dedicated, acoustically treated and state-of-the-art room at Life Style Store in North Parramatta, NSW.
For more information visit PMC Speakers.
StereoNET’s Founder and Publisher was born in England and raised on British Hi-Fi before moving to Australia. He developed an early love of music and playing bass guitar before discovering the studio and the other side of the mixing desk. After a few years writing for audio magazines, Marc saw the future in digital publishing and founded the first version of StereoNET, known at the time as Planet Audio, in 1999.
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