PMC prodigy1 Loudspeaker

hfnoutstandingIt wouldn't be a PMC loudspeaker without transmission line bass loading, and the diminutive prodigy1 is no exception

One of my secret loves has long been transmission line speakers. I miss IMF (named after the designer, Irving M. Fried), the doyen of the genre, although the technology has been used by other brands – most notably PMC. You can therefore imagine my delight when the prodigy1 arrived at a mere £1250. I'd been hearing about it for months, as the prodigy1 (with lowercase 'p') was a talked-about launch at the 2023 Munich High-End Show.

While the same PMC-made drivers – the 133mm natural fibre long-throw woofer and 27mm soft dome tweeter – feature in the prodigy5 floorstander, I was especially keen to experience the prodigy1 as I have been on the prowl for a small speaker which fits in price-wise between the 'ribbon' tweeter-equipped Quad S1 (£499) and LS3/5As from around £1800 upward. With the prodigy1 being arguably the smallest transmission line speaker ever produced, and an easy swap for both those models in terms of size, how could I resist?

Critical Thinking
Not having the means to research every transmission line speaker produced, PMC's boast about it being the smallest seems plausible. The prodigy1 measures only 320x162x237mm (HWD), plus another 10mm if you fit the optional grille. The speaker is incredibly light, too, at 4.5kg, which makes it easy to handle whether you're muscle-bound or a weakling such as I.

Although user-friendly in many ways, setup of the prodigy1 is achingly critical, as optimal performance is down to positioning. Aside from ample power, amp choice isn't an issue. But, oy vey! The toe-in! As one used to Wilson Audio's to-the-millimetre siting, expected of extreme high-end products, it's a shock to hear how this affordable, small two-way responds so dramatically to the slightest change in listening angle.


PMC's 133mm long-throw 'natural fibre' bass/mid driver is loaded via a folded transmission line and front vent. The partnering 27mm soft dome tweeter nestles within a short waveguide with protective grille

As you can see from the pictures on these pages, this is otherwise a classic two-way bookshelf design but also suitable for supports if you prefer your speakers free-standing for better imaging. I opted for my venerable Foundation stands, after trying the four-pillar Music Tools One, the latter being a shade too tall by placing the tweeter above ear height.

At 24in tall, the Foundations were absolutely perfect once rotated through 90°. (The top plate is the same footprint as an LS3/5A, wider than it is deep, whereas the prodigy1 is deeper and narrower.) I added some Blu-tack between the loudspeakers and the stands on PMC's advice.

Free-Stand And Deliver
Thanks to the port exiting at the front, PMC asks users who want more bass to place the speakers closer to the back wall. I found the bass in free-standing mode more than ample, so returned to the real issue of focusing the tweeter. PMC provides detailed instructions on how to position these, most notably advising a degree of toe-in which has the tweeters crossing behind the listener. Off-axis listening substantially affects the forwardness and/or brightness of the prodigy1. In other words, it's an essential means of tuning the overall balance of the speaker.

To my surprise, the prodigy1 gave of its best in my room when firing straight ahead. What was immediately apparent is that the listener has to position them perfectly in order to find the ideal angles for both the treble balance and soundstage width and depth. These are not speakers to share with audiophile pals across a long sofa...

In my situation, with the prodigy1s crossing behind my head, the soundstage depth was vast but slightly narrowed while the treble was a bit dull. Having them cross in front of me à la Sonus fabers of yore was not a dissimilar result. Firing straight ahead proved ideal in every parameter for my tastes.

The Professional Monitor Company Ltd
Supplied by: PMC Ltd
01767 686300