I do hope my review doesn't paint the PMC's in a bad light though because they really are rather good.
Absolutely -- not painted in a bad light, but I thought it worth pointing out the reasons why you arrived at your conclusions for anyone who might not be aware of all the circumstances.
Yes direct selling keeps the price down but it does mean that it can be difficult to find anywhere to audition them before buying. I almost didn't buy them because I felt it was a big gamble buying speakers without hearing them first.
Absolutely. It's a tough decision for all manufacturers. AVI have an excellent reputation and seem essentially to survive entirely on word-of-mouth referals, and I guess that attracts enough business to make the whole think cost-effective for them. But they are a relatively small player in the grand scheme of hifi speaker makers.
Most other companies have stayed with the conventional route of providing a retailer with a profit margin to demo and sell their speakers... but that margin obviously pushes the price up. So as a consumer we have the choice of taking advantage of a retailer with demo stock, but paying for it, or taking a gamble on unherad product but at a lower price. Swings and roundabouts.
Glad you like the AVIs though, it is a very nice system.
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound