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"I was very impressed with the Subsonic Subwoofer. This small unit delivers
tremendous bass for its tiny size."

"The Quantum Satellites performed very well, providing smooth tones
that didn't break up in the slightest."

Pinnacle SubSonic Subwoofer and Quantum Satellite Speakers

By David Dritsas - E-Gear

When it comes to subwoofers, the conventional wisdom is that bigger woofers make bigger waves. The bigger the box, the better to boom with, some might say.

While there is some truth to that technically, some of it is just a matter of perception. Big subs just look powerful. However, current subwoofer science has a way of stretching the bounds of traditional acoustics. A big subwoofer can give one the impression that they are going to be in for one heck of a movie experience, but not everyone wants to have to pitch the coffee table just to get some decent bass response. Towing the line that even small subs can kick big bass, is a company called Pinnacle who has come out with a subwoofer that comes in a small package, but promises lots of woof. And to match the sub, the company also has compact line of home theater speakers.

At the first glance the Pinnacle SubSonic subwoofer fulfills its first goal of being smaller than its competitors. As a square cube of just 7 7/8" per side it's smaller even than some of the low powered subwoofers built for PCs. It's a dense package too, weighing in at 25 lbs. That's because the amplifier inside the cube is no joke. Pinnacle engineered a 350-watt amp in a compact module and matched it to dual 6.5-inch woofers that are located opposite each other on the cube. Other technical specifications on the SubSonic include a low end frequency response of 28 Hz (at -3 dB), maximum output of 107.5 dB, and a variable low pass filter of 50-150 Hz.

I set up the sub to complement Pinnacle's set of satellite and center channel Quantum speakers. The bookshelf sized speakers are solid diecast aluminum with dual 3-inch mid-bass drivers with carbon graphite cones and a titanium tweeter. Applied to the tweeter is a Pinnacle-patented process called Cathodic Arc Evaporation that coats the titanium diaphragm with a protective plasma vapor. According to Pinnacle this allows the tweeter to maintain control at very high frequency ranges. Because of a resulting purple-colored hue given to the tweeter, the company is calling it the "purple plasma tweeter."

With all of this attention given to the tweeter, certainly a test of its mettle was in order. I hooked the speakers up to a Marantz SR-7200 receiver, a more than capable match, and used a Samsung progressive scan DVD player for the source material. I used some string heavy classical music with precise solo sections by violinist Itzak Pearlman; this can put tweeters through a rigorous workout on the high notes. The speakers performed very well, providing smooth tones that didn't break up in the slightest.

The Quantum speakers are built as dedicated speakers in a subwoofer/satellite system. Unlike bookshelf speakers, which can deliver good bass on their own smaller multi-channel systems like this one do not have large woofers and deep bass tones. This system in particular rates it speakers lowest end frequency at 100 Hz. This is not uncommon in sub/sat systems, but the Quantum’s are sold separately at $240 each, sold in two and three packs. This is so that users can purchase another sub if they desire.

Moving onto the subsonic subwoofer, I will admit outright that I was skeptical about what this little sub was built to do, but I was happily my suspicions were just that. As it turns out I found that the subwoofer is the most exciting part of this system. After adjusting the sub to the correct crossover and level for the room in which I was testing, I was really quite amazed at how well the SubSonic delivers bass. I played a Gypsy Kings album, which revealed very rich percussion and great bass sounds. But home theater was the ultimate test. I put in a copy of The Matrix, a film that knows how to use the .1 in a 5.1 surround soundtrack. The opening scenes of this movie are particularly good for putting a subwoofer through the moves.

The outcome was quite successful. The SubSonic delivers that punch that one should expect from a home theater speakers system. Together the speakers performed well too, providing clean sound that was neither too warm, nor too bright. And when it came to the sub, quite frankly, if you had told me that an 8 to 10-inch woofer sub was connected to the system, I would have believed you and I would have called it a good one. This little sub is more than a match for any subwoofer you would find packaged with this sized system. I can't say for sure that SubSonic could hold its own against comparable full-sized 350 watt subs-that would require a direct comparison-but I'll bet the SubSonic could give one a run for its money.

What's so great about making a small sub anyway? Space is the biggest reason. Most 350-watt subs take up more space than a novice home theatre buyer or someone with a small room is going to want give up. This is what makes the SubSonic so ideal. It can fit just about anywhere without being obtrusive and its dark metallic finish is more attractive than most of the big, black boxes subwoofers tend to be. It is certainly more appealing to stylish sensibility. The Quantum speakers are also attractive and a nice complement to the SubSonic subwoofer. The speakers have adjustable stands that can switch from a vertical to horizontal position, depending on how you wish to position the rectangular speakers. The stands also have holes for wall mounting. Pinnacle also offers optional speaker stands for $250 per pair.

In the end, I was very impressed with the SubSonic Subwoofer. This small unit delivers tremendous bass for its tiny size. It is bound to impress most users. When used with the Quantum satellite speakers, you get a pretty good home theater package, though you can easily match it to another speaker system if that's more to your tastes.



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