Pinnacle Speakers, a unique family owned and operated business since 1976, designs and manufactures speakers famous for their sterling sound. Our products combine superior technologies with artistic expertise, supported by extended warranties, the longest of any major speaker brand. We are proud to provide a personal service philosophy that's unprecedented in these times, and in this highly automated world.

HIGHLIGHTS
* Great sound for movies and music
* Exceptional system matching works wonderfully for 5.1-channel music
* Deep, musical bass from Digital Sub350
"The Pinnacles' excellent system integration began with the Reference towers."
"Jeff recommends the Center for use with a rear projector."
"The Mini-Monitors performed admirably on 'Hotel California'."
"Even the toughest bass tests were no match for the Digital Sub350."

Pinnacle Classic Gold Speaker System
Home Theater Magazine December 1997
The answer to the age-old question: Do you get a Toyota 4Runner or a German sports car to solve your home theater needs?
By Jeff Cherun, CFG Labs

Earlier today, Randy Cordero, the ingenious photographer who visually sculpts the product shots you see in this magazine into works of perfection, enlisted the help of me and  VP/Creative Robert Ross in finding a sweet, new ride. His two options were simple: Does he get the utilitarian Toyota 4x4 that has tons of room for cargo, but doesn't handle that great on the road, or does he get the German sports car that he's always wanted but that can't accommodate all his camera gear? This debate of practical cars versus fun cars has consumed the attention of scholars for decades, with no answer in sight. Unfortunately, a similar debate ensues when one shops for loudspeakers. Do you get speakers that sound good for both music and movies (4Runner) or do you get speakers that sound great for either movies or music (sports car), but not both? As with everything in life, to get something, you have to give up something. This was Randy's dilemma, and it's the dilemma of every home theater enthusiast the world over.

Can speakers sound as good for movies as they do for music, and vice versa? Pinnacle has been building loudspeakers since 1976, and has attempted to build the speaker that will answer that very mythical question with a resounding "yes" and attain the best of both worlds with their new lineup.

Pinnacle's new Classic Gold line is of the direct-firing variety. It starts with a tower speaker called the Classic Gold Reference, which features two 6.5-inch fiber-cone woofers and a 1-inch gold-dome tweeter. The Classic Gold Center Channel uses the same tweeter, but this time Pinnacle employs four 5.25-inch fiber-cone woofers. Needing so much real estate to place four woofers and a tweeter, the Classic Gold Center Channel's design is quite elongated, measuring in at a whopping 31 inches wide. This design will probably work a little better with a rear-projection TV, versus a little 27-inch TV, where it might hang off the sides. For surround action, Pinnacle sent us a pair of their Classic Gold Mini-Monitors, which are endowed with the very same dome tweeter as featured on the rest of the system, along with one of the same woofers that appears on the center speaker. All three of these speakers use a 12 decibel/octave high-pass filter on the tweeter, and a 6 dB/octave low-pass filter for the woofers. The crossover points are 2 kilohertz on the Mini-Monitor, 2.5 kHz on the Reference, and 4 kHz on the Center Channel. One of Pinnacle's engineers, Peter Moore, says the center-speaker crossover is set high to keep the crossover out of the critical vocal range. The Reference and Center Channel feature gold-plated five-way binding posts; the Mini-Monitors we received had spring clips, but Pinnacle says they will be shipped with gold-plated binding posts.

To round out the system, Pinnacle included their Digital Sub350, which is a compound compression, Isobarik type--it has one internal 12-inch woofer in a sealed cabinet, firing into a second chamber that houses another 12-inch woofer (the one you see). The internal woofer sits right behind the external woofer. This configuration doubles the driver mass and halves the impedance; Moore says it allows Pinnacle to get the same performance they could get from a single 12-inch woofer in a box with twice the internal volume. The sub has an internal 350-watt amp, with a 30 dB/octave low-pass filter adjustable from 50 to 150 Hz. It has line-level inputs, plus speaker-level inputs and outputs. The speaker-level outputs include an 80 Hz high-pass filter to keep the bass out of your satellite speakers.

To try out this system, I used Pioneer's CLD-99 Laserdisc player and Toshiba's SD-3107 DVD player for sources, the Chiro C-800 and C-5.1 processors, and B&K's outstanding AV5000 five channel amplifier for power. For connections, I used our studio staple of Tara Klara speaker cables and Kimber PBJ interconnects.

I started my listening tests with "Hotel California," from the Eagles' Hell Freezes Over DTS CD. This disc really challenges the integration of a system, as sounds are full in all five channels. For example, the right surround speaker gets tested early on in the track as a set of shakers sounds out distinctly and forcefully from behind. The Classic Gold Mini-Monitor reproduced this quite well, integrating nicely with the rest of the system. Another difficult track on this recording is the last song on the disc, titled "Seven Bridges Road," as all five full-range channels feature the voice of a different member of the Eagles, singing at the same time. The nice thing about this one is that all speakers have to do the same thing, effectively, and you really hear a big difference if the surround or center speakers suck. Well, the entire Pinnacle system did well on this one, which honestly surprised me. I haven't encountered many systems that do this song justice, but the harmonics and tonality of this system are very well matched.

For my next test, I pulled out a CD-R of the upcoming Pat Leonard DTS CD, a stunning piano/bass/ percussion recording. The bass on this one goes so low and deep that crappy subs need not apply. Again, the Digital Sub350 did a great job, never bottoming out or sounding one-notey, instead just sounding musical. This track also challenges a system's spaciousness, but the Pinnacles did not disappoint. The soundstage was wide and the acoustic bass in the piece sounded so realistic it kind of freaked me out. The idea behind 5.1 music recordings is to envelop the listener, and this system certainly did that. On two-channel music, my reactions were the same. Ron Sexsmith's recordings came through very nicely, with just the right edge to them. Here, I did notice a slight coloration in the midrange, but certainly not enough to detract from the overall listening experience.

I wasn't sure that a system that sounded so good for music would do it for movies, but my worries were soon put to rest. On film soundtracks, the Pinnacle system produced great extension and soundstaging, with enough edge to make movie soundtracks sound clear, but not enough to make them sound bright. On the DVDs of Golden Eye and True Romance, in particular, the system just sounded great, actually making me forget I was reviewing the system. I actually watched both films in their entirety, even though I'd seen both several times already.

Pinnacle has answered many questions for us here at HT. It appears that you can do well for both music and movies, albeit neither better than the other. If you want a solid system for a fair and affordable price, do yourself a favor and check out Pinnacle's latest creations. You would be remiss if you didn't. And as for Randy--he ended up going the sensible route, getting the 4Runner, and while sacrificing the panache and chick-factor that might have gotten him some action, he now owns a great truck that carries all the rest of us  freeloaders to lunch everyday. Long live Randy! Long live Pinnacle!

Audio Video Interiors January, 1998
Excerpted from a Problem Solving Article:

When it comes to the area of sufficient sound pressure level, there are two ways to approach the issue (assuming the theater size remains constant). They are: driving less efficient speakers with lots of power or driving more efficient speakers with less power. Highly efficient speakers sometimes carry trade-offs in sound quality. While this is sometimes the case, it certainly is not concerning the Pinnacle Home Theater system ($2,850) (two Classic Gold Reference towers, a Classic Gold Center, two Classic Gold Mini-Monitors and a Digital Sub350---all of which can be purchased separately.) We've been evaluating a set of these here at AVI and they were most impressive. While delivering a respectable 92 dB at one watt/one meter sensitivity, they are also incredibly accurate, delightfully transparent and perform well in every frequency range. While driven by a 60-watt per-channel receiver they effectively carried a 4,000-cubic-foot home theater with stunning results.

 

 

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