"I was very impressed with the Subsonic Subwoofer. This small
tremendous bass for its tiny size."
"The Quantum Satellites performed very well, providing smooth
that didn't break up in the slightest."
Pinnacle SubSonic Subwoofer and Quantum
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
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.