A long-established British speaker brand with roots back in the 1970s, ProAc has only made the occasional appearance on the Hi-Fi Choice review roster. That's mainly because the company has long been primarily export-oriented, with representation in more than 50 countries worldwide.
The three Studio models – two standmounts and the ProAc Studio 140 Mk2 floorstander – are among ProAc's less costly models and although this Studio 140 Mk2 pricetag of £1,690 per pair is quite pricey, the speakers themselves are large, as well as being fairly heavy.
The dimensions are partly dictated by the twin 165mm drive units that operate in tandem right through the bass and midrange here. The Studio 140 Mk2, therefore, has to be significantly wider than the speakers based on smaller units, while the substantial driver area also requires a correspondingly generous enclosure volume.
While its size ensures a quite imposing presence, the Studio 140 Mk2 comes very nicely dressed, with a choice of black ash, mahogany, cherry or maple real wood veneer covering all faces.
The sharp-edged enclosure sits on a similarly veneered plinth that usefully enhances the overall stability and spike fixing. The spikes are essential here, to avoid blocking the port that's fitted into the base and operates through the plinth.
Both bass/mid drivers have cast frames and carbon-loaded polypropylene cones 120mm in diameter, while the tweeter uses a 28mm fabric dome. Interestingly, the tweeters are offset from the centre line in order to 'spread' the baffle edge effect and the speakers themselves are 'mirror-imaged', so the speakers may be used with the tweeters offset 'inward' or 'outward' to preference.
Two pairs of terminals are mounted about halfway up the back panel and an optional grille covers two-thirds of the front; unfortunately its removal leaves six very visible mounting lugs.
The Studio 140 Mk2 received a mixed response from the listening panel, perhaps reflecting the fact that it's rather different from the others assembled.
The constraints of a panel test include attempting to equalise the perceived volume for each successive presentation. That, in turn, means that the Studio 140 Mk2's advantages of high-sensitivity and loudness potential, and very superior headroom, are effectively negated.
This speaker might not have the smoothest or the sweetest midband around, but it is rather well-balanced overall, achieving a decent standard of general neutrality with fine warmth through the lower midband, though it did sound a little too bright for some of our listeners.
Although it wasn't obvious at the sort of levels adopted for the blind tests, the extra headroom available with this model was clearly audible during subsequent hands-on listening as a superior freedom from strain.
This good-sized and good-looking speaker has plenty going for it, especially for those who like their music loud and/or heavy. The mid and top end might not be to everyone's taste, but the overall tonal balance is well judged.
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