Pinnacle Black Diamond BD 1000 Setup and Listening Tests
I set up the BD 1000s in the Audioholics Showcase home theater room using my Marantz PM-11S2 Integrated amplifier and Denon DVD-A1UDCI BD player as the source. The BD player was connected via balanced analog outputs to the PM-11S2 using Impact Acoustics balanced cables. The speaker cables were Kimber 8PR with WBT compression banana terminations.
The speakers were positioned about 5ft from side and backwalls, spread apart 10ft from each other which was about two feet shy of the 12ft distance to my primary listening position. After experimenting, I found they sounded best when toed in slightly which really focused the imaging and vocals but also overemphasized the treble slightly.
Unless otherwise stated, all listening tests were conducted full-range without a subwoofer in two-channel configuration. This is the worst possible test condition for this speaker system as I suspect most users will bass manage them utilizing a powered subwoofer to take the stress off the speakers and provide more bass impact, especially for movies. Nevertheless I treated this review as a dedicated two-channel setup but in most cases I do recommend a powered subwoofer even for two-channel setups.
Reeves - Never to Far
I wasn't expecting much bass playback on this track with the little BD 1000s, but they surpassed my expectations. Instead of the anemic bass heard on most economical systems like this, it was quite punchy and extended. I did notice a bit of boom but I would suspect this would be welcome to people that like bass emphasis in their music. Dianne Reeves' voice sounded very articulate, especially when the Pinnacle's were toed-in. I found the saxophone started to sound a bit stringent when played at high output levels but the speakers never bottomed out - even when being pounded with the intense bass of this track.
Fourplay - Chant
This song tends to break improperly designed woofers because of the extremely dynamic kick drum. I honestly thought the little 5" drivers of the Pinnacles would go spastic if I turned the volume up. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised at how loudly they would play without ever bottoming out. At very high levels I did hear things start losing composure, but no nasty bottoming was evident. I've tested $3k+ tower speakers that couldn't play as loudly as the Pinnacles did with this track.
Pat Metheny / John Scofield - Say the
The clarity of the brushes was excellent while the reverb of Pat Metheny's guitar sounded heavenly. Upon cranking up the volume in my large listening space, I noticed the instruments started to lose composure. Everything began sounding a bit mushy and compressed. It sounded like thermal compression of the tweeter or the coils in the crossover was the likely culprit but I was asking these speakers to provide full-range sound in a listening space that demands much larger, more dynamic, speakers..
Harry Connick - Receipt for Love
This is a good track to check for chestiness in the male vocals. I didn't find this coloration artifact in the BD 1000s which is tribute to not only the good midrange they used, but properly executed crossover points to avoid having their midrange extend too low in frequency to cause this issue. I did find Harry's voice a bit sibilant but it wasn't offensive. Voice articulation was excellent and the speakers imaged well enough to give the illusion of a phantom center channel at the sweet spot.
Sade - Hang On To Your Love
The BD 1000s really did a nice job of placing that raspy sound at the beginning of this song front and center on each speaker. Guitars were forward and vibrant and Sade's voice was clear and relatively uncolored. When loudness was kept at reasonable levels, the overall presentation of this song was very pleasant.
Santana - Put Your Lights On
You can tell that the BD 1000s love to show off their percussive prowess. They really dug the beginning of this Santana classic featuring the lyrics of Everlast. The transparency of the acoustic guitar was excellent as the BD 1000s did a nice job of conveying stereo imaging here. Bass had a good thump to it, certainly enough to seamlessly blend in very well with a sub to reach the bottom octave with more authority. Vocals were a bit more recessed than I was expecting in this song but the BD 1000s did a great job of showing off just how good they could sound on well recorded music.
Since I don't have the schematics, I wonder if you could suggest some new values for the resistors padding the tweeter that can tone down the output without changing the crossover point? Is it simply a first-order high pass filter and an L-pad? I noticed there are three resistors on the board with values 1.8, 3 and 3.9 ohms. Thanks very much!