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And, the PMC’s bass won’t ever sound monotonous or poorly differentiated. At first the speakers may appear totally unattractive in fact because we get such a very even presentation without any sonic fireworks. With a bit of imagination we can imagine the letter M for ‘monitor in bold in the company’s logo since it is indeed a monitoring-type sound. Nothing steps out of line and definitely not the bass.

The latter can sound very attractive and fleshy but only when so recorded like Maria Peszek’s album Jezus Maria Peszek or on Lontano by the Tomasz Stańko Quartet. There’s nothing pumped up about this alignment. It requires a well-engineered recording whose sound is natural with proper bass, breath and volume to surprise you. It’s not simply about bass as a single low frequency generated by a keyboard or the lowest string played on a bass guitar. Such thinking would be simplistic and ignorant. I’m talking of the type of presentation that has natural depth and fullness.

The Lontano album best showed how the GB1i coped without any problems. The title track opener develops slowly and calmly but from the very beginning casts a large holographic space with sizable images at various distances all well separated and natural in their individual presences. These PMC sticks can’t do it as capably as my reference Harbeth or even the company’s far larger OB1i which I remember well but for their size and  price they compare very very favorably.

It is difficult to point at a particular band which would be more or less ‘important’. As I have probably demonstrated by now it’s not the bass which rules here despite that type of connotation being associated with transmission lines. Yet the treble is not accented either. The speaker sports a quality tweeter that’s very well joined with the midrange. You simply need to be aware of its limitations. It will not play with full density but rather complements the whole. While dynamic and quite selective, this tweeter is not really resolved so it’s no use to deceive ourselves that it’s the 'best of the best' among tweeters for it is not.

Its strength lies in a proper level setting, exemplary fusing with the rest of the s range and evidently good phase coherence. The sound reproduced by these speakers shows a trait I value very highly – calmness. There’s no flicker in the images which translates into very good spatial resolution. The speakers correctly show the sounds on either side of the listener and behind us provided they are in the recording. Soundstage depth is pretty good although I had much better results with strong toed-in, axes crossed about 50cm before me. That almost always works with smaller monitors and speakers of good phase coherence (not so much with the Harbeth M40.1 whose baffles are too wide). The GB1i are made for such experiments! With that more directional positioning I had a narrower but far better sorted soundstage with close-up foreground action and ample depth. So try that at home where sound focusing becomes a few degrees more accurate.

Conclusion. If you think that transmission lines in general and PMC speakers in particular are for rockers, think again when facing the GB1i preferably with a nice drink in hand. Try to free yourself from stereotypes and prejudices for especially in this case they are foolish and turn us into fools. Play anything classical— first some solo violin, then a large symphony orchestra—and see how both sound equally vigilant. Play some Jazz from the 50s and 60s like Monk, Coltrane, Armstrong, Ellington, Richie and find your jaw drop (be careful with that drink). And that's not because it's a perfect speaker. It’s not. It’s simply very well put together where all the design choices like the transmission line serve a purpose rather than prove any point.