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This review first appeared in the November 2013 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of B.M.C. Audio & Genelec
in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or B.M.C. Audio or Genelec- Ed.

Reviewer: Jochen Reinecke
Sources: 160GB iPod Classic 5 with Pure i-20 dock, Pro-Ject Xpression III with Ortofon OM 30 Super ,
Audiolab 8200CDQ, Musical Fidelity M6 DAC
Amplification: Audiolab 8200CDQ preamp stage, Dynavox TPR-2 preamp, Trends Audio TA-10.2 SE, Yarland FV-34C III, Abacus Ampollo power amp
Loudspeakers: Neat Momentum 4i, Nubert nuBox 101 with AW 441 subwoofer, DIY TL with F120A widebander
Cables: Goldkabel Profi NF, Ortofon SPK 500 and Real Cable OFC 400 speaker cables
Review component retails: PureDAC €1.399, M040 €1.200/pr

When my publisher offered me a gander at B.M.C. Audio's brand-new DAC plus Genelec's M040 active boxes, I signed up. Tooth sweet too.

That's because I associate a personal rite of passage with the Finnish speaker house. My first full-time job after passing my audio engineering studies at the School of Audio Engineering was as producer for a German radio syndicate. And already then—we're in 1993—all their cutting, mixing and mastering chairs were duly fitted with Genelec's 1030A active speakers.

As a freelancer I'd previously encountered (or was forced to meet) various other/lesser studio kit. The famous/infamous Yamaha NS-10 comes to mind. The Genelecs were the first monitors I could work on for straight 10-hour shifts without fatigue. They were dynamically responsive, tonally squeaky clean and even in the nearfield produced a properly sorted soundstage. And, they didn't hum at idle which even today many of their breed sadly do.

But today is about more than just Finnish transducers. There's a new DAC with preamp and headfi functionality, the PureDAC from the house of B.M.C. They have a seat in Germany but due to founder Carlos Candeias are a truly multi-national concern. Born in Berlin, Candeias' mother is Spanish, his father Portuguese. In 1986 and still during his electro-technical studies at the TU Berlin he founded his first business Candeias which focused on the conception, development and manufacture of OEM kit. By 2009 he launched gear under his own banner B.M.C. Audio. Expanding on his polyglot nature, China became the new R&D and production seat to control production costs. Those who wish—record player excepted—can already drive a complete B.M.C. rig. In the present portfolio there are two DACs, an integrated amp, monaural power amps, a CD player, a phono stage, a speaker system and cables.
For today though we'll pursue a different route, a short-cut if you will. Since the PureDAC includes preamp functionality, it can drive active speakers directly. Álora, Genelec's M040 whose €1.200/pr sticker closely matches the PureDAC. If this handshake also happened in the higher heavens and not just on paper in a Las Vegas chapel, it should be a good combo.

Let's begin with the boxes. Like the smaller M030, the M040 is new for Genelec and a down-firing active 2-way bass reflex. The 25mm metal-dome tweeter in its ovoid waveguide runs off a 50-watt class D mono, the 165mm mid/woofer with aluminum former gets 80 watts. There are no master or slave here so either box is the same. Claimed response is 48Hz to 20kHz inside a 3dB corridor. The tweeter and its amp cover >2.500Hz.

Depending on placement and source, input sensitivity comes in three stages: 0, -10 and -20dB. At '0' this box will put out a studly 106dB. And there's more to twiddle with around back. There's bass roll-off at -2dB (perhaps close to a wall) and -4dB (corner placement). As desktop monitor there are more bass adjustments with different slopes at 80 and 210Hz respectively.