The SubSonic's controls are straightforward, so setup requires little more than the usual placement-and-balance exercise. In my room, it delivered smooth response to well above 120 Hz, so it should be easy to integrate with small satellite speakers that demand a high crossover point.
How Did It Sound?
James Taylor The bass guitar was amazingly rich, full, and defined up to moderately high levels. Only when pushed harder did the SubSonic begin to sound a little bloated and the bottom octave slightly less substantial - a common effect of a sub's limiting circuits. Pushed even further, the Pinnacle produced some fairly rude noises on the most demanding bass - no hard "clacks," but very audible "raspberries" on the lowest, strongest notes.
Janet Jackson The little Pinnacle delivered surprisingly strong bass on this track, too, and sounded solid and punchy even when it was played really loud. Only direct comparisons with the larger Sunfire and Velodyne subs revealed its weakness below 30 Hz - an area that the other two subs covered with pant-flapping grunt.
U-571 The depth-charge attack had room-shaking, grab-the-popcorn impact, and, again, you won't notice that the Pinnacle can't deliver the soundtrack's lowest notes unless you compare it directly with a sub that goes deeper.
The Fifth Element This movie clip proved a bit much for this mighty mini. Playing the closing of the tomb door with master volume set to my test reference level (-10 dB), which is probably louder than you listen at home, caused the Pinnacle to produce a chorus of soft rattles and "blubs." I could just barely discern these sounds with all the speakers going, but they became more obvious as I pushed the volume higher.
What's the Bottom Line?
The SubSonic wouldn't go as deep or play as loud as the considerably more expensive and larger Velodyne and Sunfire, but, hey - this thing can produce real, no-foolin' bass. It'll play loud enough for most folks in most rooms and blend well even with smaller satellites. And it's undeniably tiny and unobtrusive - by far the smallest in the group. At about $300 less than the other two subs here, it's a great bargain, too.
Manufacturer Pinnacle, pinnaclespeakers.com, 800-346-2863
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