Pinnacle Classic Gold Reference Floorstanding Speakers

Classic Gold Reference

User Reviews (18)

Showing 1-10 of 18  
melmar   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 26, 2006]
Strength:

Deep, tight bass. Natural sound. High sensitivity (92db) makes it easy to drive with low powered amplification. Huge soundstage.

Weakness:

Benefits from a warmer sounding amp

I felt I had to submit a review on these speakers, even though they are no longer manufactured. First off, I think these speakers are gems in the audio world. They may be plain looking, but their sound is phenomenal, never over emphasizing any part of the audio spectrum. They have an unbelievable bass response for their size. The bass is accurate and tight - not flabby sounding at all. They have no problem filling my mid sized family room with sound. The soundstage is wide and deep. They sound better with warmer sounding amplification. I am running them with a B&K ST 2020 150 watt per side stereo amp with a B&K PT 3 pre amp. I do have a Veloyne sub set very low only to fill in the lowest of notes. I am totally happy with this set up and feel that it is a shame that Pinnacle abandoned this speaker for other models. With a little advertising and hype, they could have had themselves a real winner on their hands. Anyway, five stars for this great, if relatively unknown speaker. It's simply a joy to listen to.

Similar Products Used: Acoustic Research HO312 - (yeech)
Platinum PT 808
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Zerik Scott   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 14, 2003]
Strength:

Deep Bass

Weakness:

None

I have had the pleasure of owning pinnacle speakers as my first pair of adult owned speakers. I found these wonderful speakers at the P.C Richards warehouse in the clearance area. P.C Richards could not have known what diamonds lay around the clearance area. No one else would buy these speakers,because they wanted to go with the known name brands. I listened to these speakers and they out performed all speakers they had in the store. WOW!!! They had 3 pair, had I would have known I would have loved these so much, I would have purchased all. 1 Pair for $300 and the first pinnacle sub woofer for $150.00. I don't even use the sub due to the speakers deep rooted bass. I found on Ebay the bookshelf pinnacles for $139 and purchased them. I will team them up with the sub-woofer and enjoy another dynamic set of speakers. The subwoofer has the built in cross-over. Dynamic Speakers!!

Similar Products Used: JBL, Advent - None match these
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steven   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 28, 2000]
Strength:

sound

Weakness:

finish

I looked at tons of reviews on the www and in magazines, then previewed many speakers up to $1,500 in various stores. I was looking for an audio system speaker, not home theater. The Pinnacle Gold Reference were musically superior to any speaker I could find in that price rage and were $650. They aren't perfect for rap or metal but are nice for any other kind of sound. I compared them side by side to the Pinnalce Gold Towers and much preferred the Reference (evenb though the Towers cost more and have bigger mid/woofers). Some reviewers seem to be confusing these two very different sounding speakers! I felt the Towers had great bass but "colored" the mid and treble too much for my taste! The Towers are very bright. They'd make part of a great home theater set-up. The Reference have a much mellower, "trurer" sound. Once home I have not been disappointed. They are a GREAT deal for $650 (unless you need a fine furniture finish)!

Similar Products Used: many
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Dave E.   an Audio Enthusiast [Feb 26, 1999]

After enjoying my trusty AC650s for a few years I decided to upgrade and ended up staying within the Pinnacle family getting the Classic Gold References. I auditioned them against quite a few setups: NHT 1.5/SW2pi, NHT 2.5, Paradigm, PSB 600i's, Def. Tech., Mission, Jamo Concerts, KLH (just kidding) etc.
I ordered them from Saturday Audio for $599/pr (great prices, good people).

I listen to mostly classic rock, blues, and jazz. About 70% audio, 30% home theater. The rest of the setup is the AC650s for the rear, Wide Center, and (soon) a Sub350. Using a Harman Kardon receiver.

First impression? Who hid a subwoofer in my room. These things have some serious bass. Small rooms need not apply. Some bass heavy tracks I used to listen to now sound a lot different. You might even have to tune down the bass. However, the two 5.25s woofers put out a very tight smooth bass that is very listenable. I have not heard a speaker of similar size/form with as much low end. I think it realistically goes down to the 30-35hz range.

After a few days of listening, I must say I am very pleased. They are a bit brighter than the AC650s, but still very smooth on the high end. They seem to get a lot more clarity out of the signal than the AC650s did. They throw a nice image of mids, and mid bass (kick drums, etc) is VERY tight.

I have them set about 10ft apart about 2ft from the back wall. It seems to be good placement, but I'd recommend a big room (15x20 or so).

They excel on Jazz and blues rock. They aren't for R&B or metal, but sound good at everything. Sit back and listen to an acoustic album and you'll really enjoy it (anything by Jude Cole or Freddy Jones Band). You don't need a ton of power, but a good warm sounding amp is a requirement. I imagine running them on a cheaper receiver would be too bright. They really impress in HT too, but I haven't gotten the sub yet so I'll hold off. Still, I'm not sure I need a sub now. Movies seem to have plenty of impact, and the other pinnacles are great complements.

I listened to a lot of speakers and can highly recommend these. For another $400 I might have gone with the NHT 2.5s, but I didn't hear that much difference. The NHTs were really a great speaker too -- it was a tough call. IMO, you'd really have to move up in price to get a better sound.

4 stars, as I'd have to go to a Thiel or Von Schweikert to hit 5 stars. But certainly the Refs compete with anything under $2K. But, make sure you have a decent size room and a warm amp.

Hope this was a useful review.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Mike   Audiophile [Nov 25, 2001]
Strength:

Great Soundstage. True to life bass.

Weakness:

Finish.

First, let me say that I am extremely happy with these speakers. I, like most people reading these reviews, did not have a chance to listen to them before I laid out the cold hard credit. I ordered the Classic Gold Reference model which took about a week to get to my front door. The only real hassle was making sure I was home to sign for them. Placement did make a substantial difference in the way these speakers sounded. The closer I moved them to the wall, the more prominent the bass became. The low end seemed to lose a little definition if they were placed to close to the wall. I ended up with them about a foot from the wall and about fifteen feet apart. The sound reproduction is amazing. Everthing is equal, highs, mids and lows. I couldn't believe that my equipment was producing such a rich, full sound, the speakers being the only change. I never understood how a speaker could be "fatiguing" when turned up at high levels. My old speakers definitely had this problem. I am to embarrased to even mention what they were, but lets just say that they pretty much sucked. They were your standard three-way run of the mill 12" woofer, 5.25 mid, and 1" tweet. Anyway, as I turned up the volume, the Pinnacle's just sounded like everthing was getting closer, like it was wrapping around you. I have a 12" custom built 4th order bandpass enclosure that I only use for home theater now. After listening to the Pinnacle's for a few days, I kept turning the sub down to the point that I didn't need it anymore. At least not for music. Like I said before, these speakers are very well balanced and extra bass from another source tends to alter that balance. And this is coming from a former bass head who drove around with four 12's and two 15's all through college.

I have also watched several movies and am very pleased with their performance in this area as well. They sound so much better than my center channel that I will probably replace it with a Pinnacle center very soon.

Comparison:

I made a trip to Fry's electronics in Dallas to try and listen to a pair of Pinnacle's before I made my decision. What a terrible experience. Poor service, poor attitude, poor everthing. The speakers were out in the middle of the floor with what seemed like a thousand people standing around making noise. To top it all off, the speakers were not even hooked up, and the sales person made no attempt to fix this. I did manage to listen to (at other stores) Polk RT 800's ($800/pr), Infinity IL50 ($1000/pr) and some Paradigm towers ($1200/pr)of which I can't remember the model number. Of these three, the Paradigm's sounded very similar to the Pinnacle's, but at twice what I paid for mine. In all fairness, the Paradigm cabinets did have a better fit and finish, but the driver compliment was the same, which was two 6.5's and a tweeter per cabinet. The other two are good speakers, but in my opinion, are not in the same league as the Pinnacle's.

I think that anybody with an itch to spend 600 rocks and passion for music and movies can't go wrong with the Classic Gold Reference. A truly great value for such a good sounding speaker.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Doug McLaskey   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 26, 2001]
Strength:

Well-balanced, full range sound

Weakness:

Not necessarily "pretty", but if you like all-black, they're great!

These speakers are GREAT, and much more than I had bargained for, particularly in this price range. The rear ports looked "gimmicky", but after hearing them, I didn't care WHAT they looked like! The two 6.5" mid/bass drivers do a GREAT job of handling bass all the way down to just under 30Hz. And there is no discernable mid-bass boominess with these speakers (which I can't stand). The bass is clean, as is the midrange and the highs. These speakers are almost as "transparent" as the Advent Legacys they replaced (which is saying a LOT), and they definitely do a better job (IMHO) with the low end. In fact, I removed my subwoofer (10" JBL/100W) after installing the Pinnacles since I no longer needed it due to the bass extension of the Pinnacles. The bass was also much cleaner and much more musical than with the JBL sub, which sounded "muddy" and not so musical to me.

I didn't think I would find a viable replacement for my Advent Legacys, which are very musical and transparent speakers. But I had to do something after purchasing a new large, direct view television since the Legacys were not well shielded and threw off the color purity at the the edges of the screen. After using the Pinnacles for several months now, I am happy to report that I am happier with these new speakers than I was with the Legacys. They do everything the Advent Legacys were renown for, AND they're less intrusive, AND they have superior low-end response.

I auditioned a number of other speakers before settling on the Classic Gold Reference, particularly since I did not have the opportunity to listen to them prior to my purchase. (The only thing I had to go on were the numerous reviews I could find on the web.) I was not very impressed with other speakers I had auditioned, including those from Polk Audio and Klipsch - some of which were twice the price of the Pinnacles. The only other speaker I listened to (within my budget) that I found to be pleasing was a 6.5", 2-way model by Mission which, ironically, sounded more accurate than their 8", 2-way model (which sounded boomy to me - at least in the setup they had at the store). I went with the Pinnacles because of the rave reviews, and because of what I was hearing (auditioning) in the stores. (I was able to audition the comparably-priced Klipsch speakers in a friends home, but did not enjoy the "horn" tweeter sound that Klipsch is so famous for.)

In my book, the Pinnacle Gold Reference speaker is a real winner!

Similar Products Used: Replaced my Advent Legacy speakers.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rick S.   an Audio Enthusiast [Dec 09, 1997]

I had a chance to compare the Classic Gold Reference with some other speaker (JBL, Bose, Infinity...) within same price range $500-$1000. Clearly, the Pinnacle is the winner. If you could please try it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Steve Levy   an Audio Enthusiast [May 06, 1998]

I agree, Pinnacle speakers are too bright and they are poorly constructed. They are only worth buying if you buy them direct for discounted prices, but then the manufacturer can take its time to ship them to you after you pay them. I have heard horror stories about this company.A friend of mine waited over 2 months for the Pinnacle Aerogels after he paid them and they kept holding back his shipment giving him lame excuses about not having the correct supplies. I would avoid Pinnacle speakers and look at more repitable companies such as Paradigm or Jamo or NHT, etc.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Ross Martin   an Audio Enthusiast [May 06, 1998]

If you can pick up a pair of Pinnacle Classic Gold Towers discounted or used at a good price, then they represent uncommon value. They are extremely dynamic and eficient, requiring only 1 watt to produce 95db, so even a low-powered receiver will have no problem driving them to more than adeqaute levels. Please, please, please, before you label these speakers as overbright, you must experiment with the toe-in angle. If they are angled in too far towards the listening position, the upper mids/treble will be too prominent, but with just a slight toe-in the Gold Towers produce a very well-balanced sound with a huge, deep soundstage and go deeper into the low bass with more authority than anything else near the price. I have owned Thiel, Magnepan and numerous other "audiophile" speakers, all of them good in their own right, but these Pinnacle towers are the most musically pleasing speakers I've owned without spending 2 or 3 times their asking price.
No, they aren't a work of art when it comes to construction quality, but if they are sitting still in your room making music it won't matter. And, if you need the snob appeal of an audiophile brand, look elsewhere. But if you want to hear a wide variety of music reproduced with grace and ease and don't want to spend a fortune on speakers or electronics, then you must hear the Pinnacle Towers before you buy anything else near their price.
Based on value per dollar, an easy five stars.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Roger W. Stevens WA3FLE   an Audio Enthusiast [Apr 28, 1998]

I don't like to be critical (it isn't gracious), but I had the occasion to hear these speakers (Pinnacle Gold Towers), which by the way Pinnacle is auctioning up on eBay as we speak (can you say clearing inventory?), and I'm sorry to say they are not your father's AC-650 on steroids. Whether it was the "gold" tweeter or the midrange, these speakers are so bright, I could not stand it. A customer brought a pair into my PSB dealer while I was there he bought them on closeout at a local Compu-Tech (do I sense a pattern here?), and wanted anything he could get for them. He said he couldn't listen to them for more than a few minutes. I said, "we can fix bright". Not true--no combination of preamp, amp, receiver, CD player, FM tuner, Minidisc player--you name it--couldtame them. Nice bass (it's spelled BASS, stupid), I'll give you that. But they need to get off the "gold" thing and stick with the silky smooth tweeter they use in the 650--then they'd have a speaker.

These things probably sound excellent in a short demo in a noisy Circuit City--and I bet that's what they were thinking when they designed them. I can hear the design team now: "We'll put in this snazzy Gold tweeter, put three swoopy ports on the back, run them up against a rear wall, and Presto-- Cerwin-Vegas with highs!"

I don't want to rain on the parade of those buyers that are happy with them, but I would be very interested to know what ancillary equipment you are using. I think you have to change something fundamental in either the drivers or maybe (at a minimum) the crossover before they'd settle down. I played trumpet professionally for years next to some of the loudest drummers in Philadelphia, so my ears are nothing special on top, but hey. Ouchski.

Otherwise, they're great.

Be an organ and tissue donor and inform your family of your decision.

Two stars, please--one for the bass, and one for advertising their failure up on eBay.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 18  

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