Kevin Grainger and Cass Irvine, co-founders of south London's Wired Masters, have installed a pair of PMC MB2 XBD-Active monitors in their second mixing/mastering suite, complementing the PMC BB5 XBD-As in their other main room. Both have been PMC users on and off for years, Grainger since using BB5s at Masterpiece, and Irvine since working at Heathmans Mastering in the late 90s, where he and Grainger met before setting up Wired.
"Neither of us had PMCs at Heathmans," explains Grainger, "but we were jealous of the rooms that did. We were inspired by Dick Beetham, who we worked with there. Dick's room had MB2s. We set up on our own in 2004, and had nice rooms with PMC IB2s… but then we saw and heard what Dick had achieved with his new room in London and his BB5s… and we knew we had to have something bigger and better!"
"We got the BB5s in Kevin's room from the Townhouse when that shut down," explains Irvine, "and then we have been through lots of different speakers in our other room, which is my one – frankly, trying to avoid paying what we had to get PMCs in here as well. But there's a reason they cost that much: nothing else came close to the PMCs!"
"Our clients love them," admits Grainger. "And you don't need to blast them, either; they sound great quiet. You can still feel the air moving, even at low listening levels, and still have a good idea of how it will sound in a club – but without destroying your hearing."
The crunch eventually came in 2013. Irvine was mixing a lot and was dissatisfied with his main monitors at the time, so he kept coming in early to use the BB5s in the other room. When Grainger went on holiday for three weeks, he spent all of his time working on the BB5s. "But then when Kevin returned, I just couldn't stand being deprived of the BB5s," explains Irvine. "Nothing else we tried seemed as good."
Cass Irvine of Wired Masters in his room with his PMC MB2 XBD-As
"Eventually, we had to put our hands in our pockets!" agrees Grainger. "And once the MB2s were in the room, there was no way they were ever going to leave."
"Within a month, I had really fallen in love with them," continues Irvine. "For a while, I was taking mixes I had done in my room back to the BB5s to check them, but that didn't last long, because everything was fine." "Stuff mixed on the MB2s has always had that… transferability," concludes Grainger.
Looking to the future, Wired Masters is set to expand over the course of the next year with a third mastering room – and this time, it will have PMC MB2 XBD-As from the outset. While the plans for the new room were being finalised, an opportunity arose to buy Trevor Horn's MB2 XBD-As. The monitors are now in storage pending completion of the new room, which is planned for early 2015.