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PM5D remains a sound investment

This year has seen a resurgence of rental companies investing in Yamaha’s PM5D console for a host of pro-audio applications including festivals and one-off shows, writes Paul Watson.

It’s been seven years since Yamaha introduced its PM5D console, and despite serious competition across the board, its reputation alone seems to have kept it in good stead. The manufacturer saw a surprising increase in the console’s demand in the run up to this year’s UK festival season. “I think it simply boils down to the console’s reliability and return on investment,” suggests Karl Christmas, senior manager at Yamaha Commercial Audio. “The PM5D is a dependable workhorse, it’s rider-friendly, and it holds its value considerably well.” Christmas certainly has a point: reliability and familiarity seem to be high on the agenda when it comes to using the PM5D. SSE Audio Group, for example, recently invested in five more PM5Ds, taking its inventory tally to 10; and deployed them on a number of UK festivals at monitor position including Download, Oxegen, and both V Festivals; and Kent-based production company, Subfrantic, recently purchased two more PM5Ds which were used for three-day festival, Music On The Hill, because, according to Subfrantic’s general manager, Steve Davies: “The PM5D is the most accepted desk on most riders.” The console was also deployed as part of a €22-million audio overhaul at Hungary’s new multi-venue, the Kodaly Centre; and is one of five Yamaha digital consoles being used in the five-star Cratos Premium Hotel in Cyprus, which hosts major one-off music concerts within its grounds. Closer to home, the PM5D is consistently used for monitoring on ITV’s X Factor, courtesy of London’s Delta Sound, which boasts a significant Yamaha inventory. Nick Cook, European marketing director at Yamaha Commercial Audio, agrees that the PM5D has proven its reliability over time, therefore has proven to be a safe investment as a rental asset, but points out that its popularity is also about ease-of-use and quality of sound. “The other factor which must play a part is that so many first-tier engineers know how to get a great mix – or multiple mixes – on a PM5D,” Cook says. “Sound engineers’ jobs depend on their ability to get a great sound every time, and they know that they guarantee to get the job done well with a PM5D. That then influences the rental company’s decision to keep investing in Yamaha.”