Bowers & Wilkins' 805s were the favorite "go to" product for a very long time for audiophiles considering a compact two-way speaker in the $2,500 - $3,500 price range, states Doug Henderson - Vice President Sales & Marketing. "When B&W upgraded the entire 800 series to Diamond status last year, we made Diamond more affordable than ever in the form of the 805D, but also vacated an important price point. Many dealers were quick to tell us that we needed to fill the gap."
B&W developed a new $3,000 model to meet these demands: the Prestige Monitor 1, PM-1 for short.
The PM-1 features several new technological innovations. At the top of the list is a new Carbon Braced Tweeter high frequency driver, which features an aluminum dome that has been stiffened with a ring made of filament-wound Ultra High Modulus Pitch based carbon fiber. This construction technique reportedly pushes the breakup frequency of an aluminum dome up to 40kHz. As with the 800 series models, this tweeter is completely outboard the bass/mid enclosure in its own tapered tube housing.
Like the 800 Series Diamond tweeter, the drive unit also uses the same new surround material that allegedly gives wider dispersion at higher frequencies. This wider dispersion preserves the harmonic structure of instruments and voices.
Another component that has undergone substantial redesign is with the bass/midrange driver. New is the Foam Damping Cap (FDC) in the center of the Kevlar Cone. This mushroom-shaped device is a tight fit inside the voice coil former. The stiffness and resistance properties of the foam are adjusted to damp down the tendency of the coil former to go out of round under the influence of cone break-up modes. This accounts for the desired "slam" without the unwanted bloom of lesser bass drivers, according to B&W.
The PM-1 uses the latest generation of B&W's Matrix interlocking panels, curved cabinetry, and a mineral loaded resin baffle.
The PM-1 is available in a Mocha Gloss finish with an optional matching stand. Suggested retail is $2,800 per pair. Stands are $550 per pair. Available late June 2011.