Having enthusiastically reviewed PAB’s support platform (see issue 90) I couldn’t wait to try one of their equipment stands. There are two versions. The standard one has a pair of suspended shelves, plus space on top for a PAB support platform. But there’s also a version with three suspended shelves.
Mine was the standard version, and when it arrived I had quite a shock! It’s Big… 73cm wide, 51cm deep, and 71cm tall. Without giving it much thought, I kind of expected something in kit form – what Alexei Sayle humorously referred to as “Flat Pack and Throw Up”. But it actually comes fully assembled and more or less ready to use. Fortunately, it’s not massively heavy, so I eventually heaved it down my stairs and into the living room. Installation took quite a while. I had to take my entire system apart, remove the original stand, and then put everything back on the PAB. It was a lengthy process, but eventually the deed was done and I started to listen.
The sonic difference is hard to describe, but as a broad generalisation, the music seemed to sound more flowing and liquid. If you imagine complex music as a machine with lots of gears and cogs, it suddenly felt as though everything was running more easily and effortlessly. The various parts were better synchronised.
Tone colours and dynamics seemed more separate, with less sense of things bunching up during complex passages. Rather than the loudest thing dominating, background details were suddenly easier to follow. There seemed to be a degree of space around individual voices and instruments that hadn’t been apparent before.