"…the CS 88 is a
well-designed subwoofer that delivers a surprising amount of volume."
"…I was again surprised by the output of the small subwoofer"
"…it would be wise to check out these…loud, interior-friendly subs."
Screening Room: Pinnacle Speakers' CS 66, CS
By Robert Archer, CE Pro Magazine, November 2006
One of the most significant trends in the industry
recently is the advent of floorstanding loudspeakers that are designed
to complement a room through an unobtrusive appearance that blends into
a home's decor.
This trend is important for several reasons. Arguably, the most
important reason may be that as new-home sales continue to slump,
installers will have to look at other opportunities such as retrofit
installations to grow their sales, and these new products will be easier
to sell than the traditional box designs of yesteryear.
A good example can be found within the Pinnacle Speakers' product line
and the newly released CS 66 and
CS 88 powered subwoofers. These
subwoofers use wedge-shaped
enclosures that facilitate their ability to reside in a room's corner
and out of the way of everyday foot traffic.
Technologies & Design
The wedge-shaped cabinet design not only allows for corner placement,
but also minimizes standing waves that, in turn, improve low-frequency
An additional benefit is that corner placement permits the subs to take
advantage of the boundary-reinforcement properties that are inherent
with this type of room placement.
Internally, the CS 88 is an acoustical-suspension design that
incorporates two 8-inch woofers with 2-inch voice coils, 40-ounce
magnets and rubber surrounds.
A 700-Watt amplifier that's protected with an anti-clipping circuit
drives the woofers. The 66 has a smaller, but similar design with dual 6
1/2-inch woofers and a 350-Watt amplifier.
Because of the subs' design, customers, or installers, will not have to
worry about going through the process of finding the best location for
them. This statement was true for me as well. With the crossover set on
my Bryston pre/pro I connected a Transparent subwoofer cable to the rear
panel line-level input of the CS 88 that Pinnacle had sent me.
With that simple connection completed I turned on the auto-signal
sensing circuit, set the volume to 12 o'clock and placed the unit on an
Auralex decoupling platform that was previously placed in the corner.
I started off by listening to some HDTV content and the first thing I
noticed with the sub was its tremendous output. I also noticed that I
might have been overdriving it.
I wrongly assumed that because of the sub's small size it would need a
lot of gain to satisfy my low frequency requirements. After adjusting
the volume I popped in "Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,"
and I was again surprised by the output of the small subwoofer.
Moving on, I thought some music DVDs would be a better test of the sub's
true capabilities. The first thing I tried out was The "R30" DVD from
With this disc I checked out the texture and the depth of the chords
Geddy Lee plays on the synthesizer-heavy "Subdivisions" track, the kick
drum on "Tom Sawyer," the bass line on "Red Barchetta" and Neil Peart's
performance on the drum solo in "Der Trommier."
At no point while I was listening to the sub did I think the Rush
material overwhelmed it. The sub kept pace with the music without
sounding tubby and it played cleanly without crushing any low-frequency
Moreover, during a television broadcast of Heart with special guests
Gretchen Wilson, Carrie Underwood and Alice in Chains (AIC) the sub was
able to reveal the heaviness of Mike Inez's playing during his
double-duty stint of playing bass with Heart and AIC.
Using test tones from the Rives Audio test disc, I found the sub to be
most effective in my room playing down to a peak low of 35 Hz. Its
strongest combination of depth and SPLs I found was at 40 Hz where it
reached a level of 88 dB. Beyond that it rolled off smoothly in
increments of 3 dB.
Overall I think the CS 88 is a well-designed subwoofer that delivers a
surprising amount of volume. There are subs out there that will
certainly play louder and deeper, but I can promise that they are also
When you also consider that those larger subs will never disappear into
a home environment like in the Pinnacle products I think that it would
be wise to check out these deceptively loud, interior-friendly subs.