Pinnacle AC-850 Floorstanding Speakers

4.17/5 (6 Reviews) MSRP : $529.00

Product Description

8-in woofer, 1-in tweeter

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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by demort71 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 6, 2014

Bottom Line:   
I actually read the earlier reviews on this product, posted here, before I bought my pair on eBay, investing $180 in them with shipping. I was expecting better based on the way other owners hyped this speaker. Now that is not to say they are trash, because they are a good speaker, but not as good as I expected. I was disappointed.

I am comparing them to other speakers I currently own. These include 2 pairs of DCM CX-27 two way monitors, which have the same shape and size cabinet. I also have two pairs of vintage Polk Audio Monitors 7B and 5A, both with Peerless tweeters. Then I have a pair of Klipsch KG4.

The DCMs were made and sold in the same period as the Pinnacles (early to mid 90s) and are rated at 150W @ 6 ohm. They have far superior sound reproduction than the Pinnacles, more precise and able to create a more realistic sound stage. Even though their woofer is only a 6 inch versus the Pinnacle's 8 inch, the DCMs still have plenty of bass. Mind you the DCMs are also two way, not 3 way. They employ a unique coaxial design, using a passive driver to expel the tweeter's output. On the backside are 2 ports instead of 1 on the Pin and they are located at the bottom of the cabinet to expel waves. The DCM CX-27 is a superior product according to my ears.

I like the looks of the Pinnacle's cabinets. The styling is fine, but they are more than a piece of furniture. They have to perform a function and that is put out sound. Comparing them to the DCM, they have the ability to handle more watts. Their bass is much heavier and while the highs are there, they just lack something in the mid range because they don't have the ability to create it like the DCM with its coaxial tweeter setup.

I think the Pin's bass is muddy. The port is half way up the backside of the cabinet and that may have something to do with the bass being muddy. The sound waves generated by the woofer can't get out of the cabinet easily. Most speakers have the port positioned down low. The DCMs have 2 ports at the bottom of the cabinets and everything the little 6 inch woofer puts out escapes easily. Not so with the Pinnacles apparently. Maybe I need to get a hole saw and use it? There must have been some design logic for this that I just don't comprehend? Maybe they were concerned with exporting the sound waves from the tweeter, but not the gutsy woofer's waves?

I will say that the speaker wire terminals are weirdly positioned. I couldn't figure out why they angled them like they did. Very difficult to get your fingers in there to loosen the caps.

I tested the Pins running a Technics SL-1300 turntable (with upgraded modern RCA cables) with various vintage higher end cartridges, playing a variety of artists. I ran the table through a nice vintage Sony STR-V5 receiver, considered one of the best vintage receivers made in the late 70s/early 80s. That in itself should have helped the Pinnacles, because it had some very good supporting components to help them along.

I like the fact that the woofer surrounds are rubber and not foam like a lot of other speakers. No need to worry about them deteriorating over time and replacing them.

Both of the Polks I mentioned above sound far better than these Pinnacles. They are a 3 way system with passive woofers, so that gives them a edge over the Pinnacles. The Peerless tweeters in the Polks are hard to beat and they just kick out some beautiful tones. Both are far better balanced speakers than the Pins. Not sure why Pinnacle wasn't able to come up with a better speaker given that the Polks were designed almost 20 years before these came out. They were very old news by the early 90s, during which time Polk had brought back their Monitor 5, 7 and 10 speakers twice by that time! The Polks do an outstanding job playing jazz and blues and darn near anything for that matter. Classical music? Probably blow the Pins away on that account too!

I like listening to the Pins. They are certainly better than a lot of speakers, but I do own better speakers at present that are superior to this model. However, don't pass them up just because of what I said here. Weigh everything-price, shipping costs if any, what turns you on, etc. Bear in mind that they have their shortcomings (in my opinion). Maybe they are better than what you currently have. If so, they might be a great purchase for you.

I am usually not so hard on the electronics I buy, but like I said they were disappointing to me and didn't live up to my expectations. Sorry to those who think they are wonderful. Try my other speakers out and see what you think then. I have no doubt you would agree with me. Happy listening!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Justin a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: January 13, 2000

Bottom Line:   
If you love to listen to classical music, as I do, then you will love these speakers. I got them for $130 each and I can confidently say that there is nothing as good as them in their price range.
I find it amazing that anyone would complain about the bass in these speakers. Then again, a lot of people prefer a bass sound that is too boomy and actually rather unrealistic. These speakers don't have a boomy bass. But, they do have clear deep bass. Listen to the gigantic 12' bass drum in the Philadelphia Orchestra's 1964 recording of Verdi's Requiem and your sure to be impressed.
The speakers are exceedingly good at reproducing wind instruments. I tested the speakers with the beginning of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. They outperformed every other pair of speakers that I could find up to $1000 a pair.
If I were rich, then I'd buy a pair of KEF Reference speakers. But, since I'm not, I can't think of a better listening value than the Pinnacle AC850s.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1997

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Bryan a a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: January 7, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I've had these speakers for several years now, and have used them as my main front speakers (I have AC-650's for the rear). I grabbed 'em for $200/pair ($110 for the AC-650's) when a local store was going out of business. I'll agree that the lack of a dedicated midrange is a downside, but the speaker is very versatile with any kind of music. You would defitely would want to have a sub if using in a home theater set-up. I'd give it 5 stars for price/performance, and a 3 for overall listening pleasure. You'd have to spend 3-4 times as much as I did to find a better speaker.

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Duration Product Used:   a Casual Listener

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Clint a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 21, 1998

Bottom Line:   
At first listen, I was amazed with the sound emited from these beautes. After purchasing, and using them very rigourously, I've found the sound to be a little towards the flat side with the midrange spectrum. This is most likely due to the lack of a specific mid driver. The highs are great, and in my 12x12 dorm, the bass rumbles! Everyone that has listened to these can't believe their ears. They always say they couldn't believe the sound from such an antique looking speaker. That's cool. I'm using them as fronts with a phantom center, so that's why I've noticed the slightly dull voices. No one else does though. If you have a large room, then a sub might be required, but for most average 20x20 rooms-these produce amazing sound. Here in Aggieland, we have what's called power hour in the dorm near finals. After being really quite and studying(yeah right), we get to be as loud as possible for one hour. I had these beasts thumpin' and screamin' for the whole hour without a hint of distortion. The poles stayed very cool and the tweeters held up great! I couldn't believe it. Get ya some!

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Doug a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 9, 1998

Bottom Line:   
I like these speakers. Very clear and precise. I bought them on sale at Fry's for a $130 each, mainly because I was impressed by the value. Decent sound and at this price I could afford to use them as stand ins while I took my time auditioning higher end speakers.
At first, the weak bass kind of annoyed me, but the sound seems to have evened out since I got them, and they've kind of grown on me. After spending a little time listening to Energy's C-4 speakers, and being very impressed, I came home and flipped on some Wagner, and I thought to myself "Damn, these things actually sound pretty good." I actually wish I'd bought four of them, which I think together with the matching center would make for a pretty decent, inexpensive full range system. Some kind of sub would be a requirement.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast

Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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