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"The Quantum Plasma is a find - an excellent choice for LCD TVs, offices and bedrooms. If I were a real custom installer instead of a journalist playing at the craft, I would want this arrow in my quiver."

By Brent Butterworth, Robb Report - Home Entertainment & Design, April

The Silence is Broken

Need a slender speaker system to complement that sleek new plasma TV? We present today's finest.

The Traditionalist - Can a product category so young have a tradition? If so, the Pinnacle Quantum Plasma speakers embrace it. Aluminum body? Check. Slim design? Check. Silver finish? Check.

Such conformity has its benefits. As you can see from our photos of this story, the Quantum Plasma speakers nearly disappear next to the plasma TV. Their outline is so simple that they attract no attention. You might consider their unpretentious design elegant. Or you might think, as Alex put it, "They look like the speakers that come with some plasma TVs."

Pinnacle offers two models: the Quantum Plasma-5 and the Quantum Plasma-3. The Plasma-5, at 26 inches long, works well aesthetically with most plasma TVs. By contrast, the Plasma-3 is 10 inches shorter and seems vertically challenged alongside a plasma set. It is best suited for use as a surround speaker or with LCD TVs, which tend to run smaller than plasmas.

The speakers resemble each other technically. The Plasma-3 has two tiny woofers and a tweeter, while the Plasma-5 sports the same tweeter and four of the same woofers. However, the Plasma-5's additional woofers are wired to handle bass only.

We begin our Quantum leap using Plasma-5s as left, center and right speakers, and Plasma-3s as surround speakers. The system produces a nice sense of ambience; the sound does not seem confined to tiny boxes. However, the Plasma-5's slender cabinet produces so little bass that it does not blend particularly well with our James Loudspeakers subwoofer, no matter how we adjust the bass management settings in our surround sound processor. Alex and I note a sonic "hole" between the Plasma-5s and the James sub - that is, a range of bass frequencies goes missing. An even smaller subwoofer might do more justice to the Plasma-5.

However, our ears perked up when we use one of the Plasma-3s as our center speaker. Despite the similarities in the two speaker' designs, the dialogue sounds clearer and more natural with the Plasma-3. Once we hear what the Plasma-3 can do, it immediately replaces the Plasma-5s at the sides of our TV. We put on "Going to California," a stereo recording from the Led Zeppelin DVD, and our system springs to life. The Plasma-3 reminds us of the NHT SuperZero - a tiny speaker form the 1990s, beloved for its stellar treble and midrange despite its near-total lack of bass. The Plasma-3 proves even more difficult to match with our subwoofer then does the Plasma-5, but it sounds good enough that we don't much care.

The Quantum Plasma is a find - an excellent choice for LCD TVs, offices and bedrooms. If I were a real custom installer instead of a journalist playing at the craft, I would want this arrow in my quiver.


 

 

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