$vboptions[bbtitle]   $vboptions[bbtitle]  
  Terms and Conditions     Project Showcase
  Resource Index   Speaker Terms Glossary
  Security/Privacy   Speaker Replacement Help
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Default Pinnacle PN5+ speakers... story/hindsight

    Way before my DIY speaker building days, I picked up a set of Pinnacle PN5+ bookshelf speakers to bring to college in 1991. They sold for around $100 a pair and for their size, I liked the bass that they produced and they were a good match for the old Harman Kardon receiver that my uncle found in the trash. The second semester I switched to my Polk Monitor 5 speakers and a more powerful pre-amp/amp combo (Dynaco PAT4/HK Citation 12) and the Pinnacles eventually were mounted in the back hatch section of my 88 Accord Lxi along with a Hafler car power amp. I bought a pair for my dad and a second pair for me during my years at Clarkson University and a few friends also bought some. The major issue that we all ran into at one time or another was tweeter failure and I've recently learned a lot about this part of the story.

    Jumping ahead to 2001 or so, I had my first measurement setup and discovered why the Pinnacles sounded the way they did. Measurements revealed a severe dip in the crossover region not due to phase issues but due to not much overlap between the drivers which resulted in a 6+ dB dip in the midrange. I suspect that this is part of the reason why they seemed to have more bass than they should and were not harsh sounding at all (a super BBC dip). The crossover is very simple, using a 0.7mH ferrite core inductor in parallel with a 3 ohm resistor, in series with the woofer for BSC. The tweeter just had a 1 ohm resistor in series with a 3.3uF capacitor.

    I once called Pinnacle to see if I could buy a replacement tweeter and was shocked when they quoted $75 for a single tweeter. I recently discovered the exact model of the tweeter (Audax TW010E1) to find that Madisound still sells them (with a different faceplate, F1 suffix) for $6 each. I also realized why they blew so easily with that first order crossover because with a resonant frequency of 3kHz they didn't roll off until below that point.

    My Microbe design was basically my attempt to out-do the Pinnacles in terms of bass extension but with much more tonal balance and clarity. Although you'll find a lot of great reviews for those Pinnacles, when they are placed next to the Microbes there is no comparison. I think this is just another way that a commercial speaker can be made at a low cost and maybe inadvertantly tuned in a way to fool the consumer (it worked on me 18 years ago).

    I still have one complete pair of Pinnacles sitting in the basement gathering dust. The set that was in my car has been taken apart because the cabinets basically fell apart after several summers in Clemson SC but I still have the drivers. The third set is also dismantled.

    I had two extra tweeters left (the Audax ones) and modified the faceplates so that I could use them in my car to replace the stock upper door tweeters which were only producing the top octave (due to a 1st order filter consisting of a single 0.68uF capacitor... no that isn't a typo on the decimal point). I'm still using the 3.3uF capacitor but increased the series resistor to 4 ohms to blend better with the lower door speakers. I've thought about trying a different set of tweeters capable of playing deeper (the Vifa DQ25SC16-04 in particular) but I like the off axis performance of the 1/2" Audax tweeters (because I'm about 60 degrees off axis from the left tweeter and only about 15 degrees off axis from the right one which is further away) and the only issue that I might have is possibly blowing them but more obvious would be distortion from how low they play with that filter. I'm getting off topic so I'll leave it at that.

    I guess there are a few reasons why I shared this story. One is that it shows how I've matured as an audio enthusiast and have a better idea of what a "neutral" speaker should sound like. The other point of this story is how commercial designs can be appealing despite their shortcomings which are often the result of cutting costs. I thought that $99 was a pretty good price for those speakers back then but now I see 4 crossover components, a $6 tweeter and a cheap stamped woofer with a far from neutral response. Pinnacle's big advertising gimmick was the "diaduct port" which really wasn't any different from a normal ported design except they mounted it at an angle within the cabinet which allowed a longer port to fit in a small cabinet... big deal. They still made great car stereo speakers and I definitely got my money's worth out of them.

    Here's a pic of someone else's that I found...
    RJB Audio Projects
    http://www.rjbaudio.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    267

    Default Re: Pinnacle PN5+ speakers... story/hindsight

    My roommate had what I believe was a similar Pinnacle system that came with a passive sub. That would have been roughly the same era. Did Pinnacle really make something like that or am I remembering wrong? At the time, I thought they sounded really good.

    Jim

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pinnacle PN5+ speakers... story/hindsight

    Quote Originally Posted by jims View Post
    My roommate had what I believe was a similar Pinnacle system that came with a passive sub. That would have been roughly the same era. Did Pinnacle really make something like that or am I remembering wrong? At the time, I thought they sounded really good.

    Jim
    Yes, Pinnacle had a passive sub which used two 6.5" drivers (one per channel) in a small ported enclosure. I actually bought that subwoofer via mail order but it got damaged during shipping. It had a large gash in the side of the cabinet but I still hooked it up (and temporarily sealed the hole/gash) to check it out only to realize that it really wasn't a subwoofer, but a woofer with limited bass extension. I exchanged it for a Cerwin Vega 12" DVC sub that was on clearance and while that had a much deeper bass extension it seemed like it was tuned with an emphasis on the kick drum. I still have that sub but it has been gathering dust for a while.

    The Pinnacle PN5+ speakers were impressive in the same way that the Microbes are in that they defy their size when it comes to bass output. The problem with the Pinnacles is that they have what my buddy calls the "West Coast, boom and sizzle sound"... meaning that they have the bass and highs but not much in between. I guess this is often desired by those who don't quite understand how speaker neutrality is required to provide an accurate acoustical representation of the instruments/vocals being played. My problem back then is that I found that a balanced midrange could be harsh at times and a BBC dip could resolve this despite the consequences. I know now that a balanced, neutral speaker can sound great with the right driver/crossover combination but that most commercial speakers under $1000 don't have the greatest drivers or the optimum crossover (the skimpy/minimalist crossover is usually the main culprit).
    RJB Audio Projects
    http://www.rjbaudio.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Canton, MA
    Posts
    2,925

    Default Re: Pinnacle PN5+ speakers... story/hindsight

    I listened to a pair of Pinnacles about that same time just for surrounds and it may have been those (smallest they had, I think), but with an easy wall-mount that would let me move them to another room when not using the HT setup. I passed on them, but then my mains were the Dahlquist DQ-10. I ended up with a 2-way Dahlquist as well. Cost quite a bit more, but then I could afford a bit more.

    dlr

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pinnacle PN5+ speakers... story/hindsight

    I have a pair of 14-year-old Silver Series Pinnacle 8" TM towers that I thought were pretty good... then I built my Tritrix's and now I can't even stand to listen to them anymore... I'm giving them to a friend.
    Form does not follow function
    Form is simultaneous to function

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pinnacle PN5+ speakers... story/hindsight

    I'm completely familiar with those AUDAX series of tweeters. Not only the TW series, the DW series too. I used several of them back in the late 80's. They worked great when used as a super tweeter, because the dispersion was excellent.
    The nice thing about those tweeters was the bang for the buck.
    AUDAX (POLYDAX if you can remember that far back) did specify a first order if crosssed over high enough.
    I used the TW74 (round faceplate) several times. I mated a pair of the flange less DW's into some PEERLESS 5.25" woofers for my first DIY coaxials.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Pinnacle PN5+ speakers... story/hindsight

    I have a pair of the smaller pn2+ that were used as surrounds for a few years. Same tweeter, small woofer. I thought they were one of the all time great value years ago when purchased.

    BTW, this Tang Band looks identical to the Audax. A clone?
    http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=264-840

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pinnacle PN5+ speakers... story/hindsight

    Quote Originally Posted by View Post
    I'm completely familiar with those AUDAX series of tweeters. Not only the TW series, the DW series too. I used several of them back in the late 80's. They worked great when used as a super tweeter, because the dispersion was excellent.
    The nice thing about those tweeters was the bang for the buck.
    AUDAX (POLYDAX if you can remember that far back) did specify a first order if crosssed over high enough.
    I used the TW74 (round faceplate) several times. I mated a pair of the flange less DW's into some PEERLESS 5.25" woofers for my first DIY coaxials.
    In my car application they work great due to the dispersion which is why I'm hesitant to try something with a larger dome that can play lower in frequency with less distortion (like that Vifa tweeter that I mentioned above).

    I wonder what value capacitor they recommended for the 1st order filter because the 3.3uF value that Pinnacle used doesn't seem to be very effective until the 3kHz (Fs) point is reached and then the slope is pretty steep. The Pinnacle design used a 1 ohm series resistor while I'm using a 4 ohm value to get the right sensitivity for my application so I would think that I should be safe in terms of damaging the tweeters considering that my factory stereo is spec'd at 14W RMS, 40W max, and I don't push it that hard unless I have a lot of road/wind noise (but this car is pretty quiet with the current "Touring" tires). As I said above, I suspect the biggest negative to using those tweeters from 3kHz up is that they will have some harmonic distortion issues at the lower end of that range, but considering that this is a car application I suspect that any distortion will be much more difficult to detect. On a side note, I'm very tolerant of MP3 recordings played in a car which when played on my home stereo might annoy me a bit.




    Larry, I vaguely remember the PN2+ model and suspect that it might have had less of a midrange gap but also less bass extension. I really hadn't compared many other smaller speakers of that age but the Pinnacles were pretty decent for the money. Although a few years later I had a friend who had some smaller PSB and Mirage bookshelf speakers that seemed decent but never compared them to the Pinnacles (I recall both of his models being slightly larger).


    I think that in general most speaker owners tend to grow to like what they currently own and often don't realize that there is something much better until they have heard it side by side with the same system/conditions. Even as a DIY'er I suspect that I've reached this point to some degree because I still enjoy my favorite designs and haven't felt the need to try to design anything better partially because I'm not sure if I can do it, partially because I know that I'll have to spend a lot more money on drivers and mostly because it may take several speaker designs before I arrive at the perfect combination of drivers, cabinet and crossover that gives me the sound that I want. I suspect that most long time DIY'ers get to this stage if they have followed the trend of trying to improve the sound with every design but as you get closer to the top the margin gets slimmer and the cost goes up.
    RJB Audio Projects
    http://www.rjbaudio.com

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  




Your #1 Source for Audio, Video & Speaker Building Components


Clearance Center
Deal of the Day
New Products




View Our latest
Sales Flyer

Prices Effective
Through 8/31/14


Order our FREE 336 Page Full Color Catalog


Speaker Component Categories

Home Audio Speakers

Professional Audio & Guitar Speakers

Car Audio Speakers

Speaker Buyouts

Measurement & Design Tools

Subwoofer Plate Amplifiers

Full-Range Plate Amplifiers

Crossover Components

Cabinet Hardware & Speaker
Grill Cloth

Speaker Cabinets

Subwoofer System Kits

Speaker Kits

Speaker Repair Parts

Speaker Wire