au•di•o•phile (ôd--fl) n.

A person having an ardent interest in stereo or high-fidelity sound reproduction.

Mercifully, the dictionary.com definition of the term leaves out some of the less wholesome aspects of the all too common species: obsessive, paranoid and for the most part, completely nutty.

The time spent on system tweaks, not to mention serious dollars, has to be considered a little extreme by the non-audiophile community. Perhaps you're tired of sorting through infinite combinations of amplifiers, speakers and speaker cables? Sick of reading advertising driven reviews and salesmen telling you to buy the latest and greatest? Perhaps your significant other is beginning to seek stimulation from other less ethereal sources? If that is you, the audio gods have the answer to your prayers.

Enter the PMC AML1's. Even the name reeks of minimalist no-nonsense. And so it should, given these babies provide the last speaker/power amplification combo you may ever need.

Oooooh, yes PLEASE!

A complete in-house product, PMC, famous for its ridiculously expensive studio monitors, have combined a loudspeaker, active crossover, and mono amplifiers for each drive unit into one relatively small package.

The outcome? A speaker that provides a mid-field listening experience virtually unmatched at any price point. These babies play all the way down to 33Hz at -3db in a room of typical proportions. Like to play loud? Despite our best attempts, we are yet to witness the bass drivers compress. Yes, all this sounds ridiculous given its tiny dimensions (the baffle measures a mere 400mm x 200mm, with a reasonable 316mm depth).

However, the AML1's offer something completely unique: a speaker that is designed from scratch with purpose built amplification included, comprising a custom flat piston carbon fibre/nomex woofer, a patented advanced transmission line design and a tweeter found on a pair of $130,000 world-class mastering monitors.

Given their suitability for mid-field listening, the AML1's work supreme whether your listening room is small or large, and with onboard equalization thrown in they can easily be tailored to suit a variety of listening environments. All this for a measly $11,500.

Now for the cons. To own a pair you may have to exorcise yourself of any number of audiophile dogmas. For a start: active crossovers and equalization are not evil. Furthermore, reference quality sound can be achieved without the need of a three-way design or flat panel. The images the AML1's tweeters and woofers conjure up are simply mind boggling.

And most importantly, good sound is decidedly NOT about whatever tickles your fancy. Sound is all about reproducing the full audio spectrum (for all intents and purposes very little music includes much below 33hz), the dynamics of live music (requiring an amplifier / speaker combo possessing significant amounts of headroom), and revealing all that the artist/musicians/studio engineers intended. The terms warm or sweet do not apply. The AML1's only play the truth.

Add a CD/pre-amp combo with balanced outputs from the likes of Chord, Moon or Cyrus, a pair of speaker stands and balanced XLR cables and the AML1's will transport you to a higher state of musical pleasure.

The AML1's are avaliable at Carlton Audio Visual for audition or home demonstration for a limited time only.