View Full Version : PMC Cor Amplifier - Unboxing and First impressions

fanthorpes HiFi
28-09-2017, 14:26
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PMC Cor Amplifier (http://www.fanthorpes.co.uk/pmc-speakers/pmc-cor-integrated-amplifier-2218357-411411-837960.php) - Unboxing and First impressions review.

Great news everyone, the new PMC Cor stereo amplifier (http://www.fanthorpes.co.uk/pmc-speakers/pmc-cor-integrated-amplifier-2218357-411411-837960.php) arrived this morning. This is the first integrated amplifier from PMC designed for your domestic use. We’ve been dying to get our hands on our demo unit since it was released at the Munich high end show earlier this year (2017).

Delivered in a very robust box. Inside the outer carton the Cor is protected by an inner box sat snuggly between two foam side pieces, underneath is an accessory box.

Inside the accessory box you will find a comprehensive glossy manual which reads almost like a brochure (very nice) a completely aluminium remote control which is very robust, with separate batteries and Allen key to use when fitting them – no plastic clip on the back here. There is also a ‘Cor Integrated Performance Certificate’ this has been filled in and completed by hand, signed off with the build date and name of the builder at the bottom. This is a list of the many control, performance and safety checks the Cor has passed before being signed off. There is an IEC mains cable, and a pair of white gloves to stop you getting any smudgy finger prints on your brand-new amplifier.

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The overall fit and finish on the Cor is very solid. The thick plate extruded aluminium components are fitted securely together using counter sunk Allen screws, this gives a clean and minimal appearance to the top and sides. Pictures really don’t do this thing justice. It is only when you get to see one in the flesh that you get a true sense of the level of quality to the fit and finish.

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Across the front panel from left to right you will find the following functions – six push button input selectors, CD, Radio, AV, Aux, Balanced 1 and Direct. The Direct Input is used to bypass the Pre-Amp section and connect straight to the Power Amp section if you would want to use a separate Pre-Amp. Once selected a small LED lights up above the input so that you know where you are.

Next are three horizontal sliding faders labelled Balance, Treble and Bass. These are professional studio quality, as used on professional mixing desks. PMC have a well-documented background in the professional studio industry where the inspiration for this idea was born no doubt. Although these are motorized and can be adjusted via the remote control, they are a pure analogue design, not digitized as with many other tone controls found in amplifiers from other brands. Below this there is a ¼” headphone socket with a dedicated class A/B amplification.

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Three more push in selectors are sat vertically after the faders. These are Mute, Mono and Bypass. Mute will silence the Cor. When Mono is selected both Left and Right channels are summed to a single Mono output from both speakers. With Bypass selected the Bass and Treble faders are bypassed for absolute sonic purists.Lastly a large volume dial with a smooth and precise feel completes the front facia.

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On the back panel, a balanced stereo XLR input and four stereo RCA inputs can be found corresponding to the push button selectors on the front. A ‘Pre-out’ for connecting to a separate stereo power amp and a ‘Direct’ input which can be used if you wish to utilize a separate Pre-Amplifier. Next to these are a pair of high quality speaker connections you can unscrew these and connect bare wire or as recommended use 4mm banana plugs through the back.

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How does it sound? – We auditioned the Cor using a pair of PMC Twenty5 24 Speakers (http://www.fanthorpes.co.uk/pmc-speakers/pmc-twenty5-24-speakers-2217972-411411-837240.php) (RRP £4469), this seemed like the appropriate thing to do, The Cor sounds clear and detailed. There is a great sense openness with vocals having lots of room to be expressed accurately. Having said that, there is no feeling what so ever of hardness or sharpness. This is perhaps due to the completely analogue circuit design. There’s a fantastic balance between openness and delicacy although this is an amp which will not be too forward or aggressive for most listeners. If anything, this amplifier is on the softer side of the spectrum. It delivers an easy listen which can be enjoyed for long periods no problem. Having played with the faders to adjust the equalization I was surprised at how subtle these controls are. You can certainly effect the tone but not as much as you may expect. They are obviously designed for minor adjustments not for completely transforming the character completely.

Conclusion – Many people will not be familiar with the fact that PMC have been making amplifiers for many years now to power their active professional monitors. The venture here to produce a true analogue stereo Hi Fi amplifier aimed at driving most domestic loudspeakers is new ground, but PMC certainly have the know-how and pedigree to do this very well indeed. The Cor is proof of this. If you are already a happy PMC speaker owner and are ready to change your amplification, If the Cor is within budget, then it is certainly worth an audition. The hand built, true analogue design certainly offers a different approach to most other amplifiers at this price point. Whilst the Cor’s aesthetics may divide opinion, its performance and build can’t be denied.

PMC Cor Amplifier (http://www.fanthorpes.co.uk/pmc-speakers/pmc-cor-integrated-amplifier-2218357-411411-837960.php) – RRP £4995

Thanks for reading.

David Mathewson

Fanthorpes HiFi

01482 223096