PENTA'S.... a childhood dream.

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Tinman, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Tinman

    Tinman AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well, I have had a lot of speakers in my life, even a sweet set of white van specials in my youth. :D

    Back in the late 80's I wandered into a Bang and Olufsen showroom (BIG mistake) to look at all the neat stuff inside.

    The 2 things that left a permanent impression seared into my brain were a Beocenter 9500 hooked up to a set of these huge Beolab Penta's.

    I just went... wooooooooowww....... and left a small drool puddle on the floor. The price tag was more than I made in a YEAR back then. It was like a classic "Z" commercial, as I gently caressed the system and whispered "some day".

    20 some years later "some day" has come. I have already had a Beocenter 9500 for a while, and I love the thing. It holds it's own against my Revox gear any day. It's absolutely NO slouch.

    2 Days ago I finally got a pair of Penta 2's in very good condition. I am THRILLED! At about 5 1/2 feet tall they sure are striking. Yes, the mids will need a re-foam job, but other than that, everything else is in fine condition. Even the status displays work perfectly.

    So I finally have my "dream" system to add to my collection. I am still just as taken by the Pentas as I was over 20 years ago. Some things are just timeless.

    So more to the point.... Pentas are not much of a topic on this forum. Yes, I know there are better, etc. out there. But what's the deal? Anyone else have a set? Any tricks, tweaks? What do you like, don't like?
     

     

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  2. pauldrewry

    pauldrewry Super Member

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    :worthless

    Come now, you have my interest. :D
     
  3. Tinman

    Tinman AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Uhhh..... maybe after I clean the room a little..... I have crap piled up all over the place. :D
     
  4. sealy

    sealy Addicted Member

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    Now I'm leaving a puddle of drool. Course I do that anyway.
     
  5. 325bmw

    325bmw Active Member

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    LOL!! You just described me too!! I also have the B&O 9500 and a set of Penta 1's. I also need to replace the midrange surrounds. One of my amps is not working, need to start on that sometime. I assume you can by-pass the amp?! We'll see when I get to that point. I can't wait to get them fired up! Congrats on your "new" penta's!
    Here are a few sites regarding amp upgrades and refoams on the Penta's

    Enjoy!!

    http://forum.beoworld.org/forums/t/24006.aspx
    http://forum.beoworld.org/forums/p/7549/56578.aspx
    Speakerworks.com has a 3" foam kit that might work.....I'm still looking for a source for the surrounds myself.

    Pic's of some Penta's....................
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  6. Tinman

    Tinman AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Actually, the ebay kits are fine. However, since I plan to be buried next to these, I ordered a set of new midranges direct from B&O. Wasn't too painful. When they arrive, I'll just drop them in and have a look at the crossover and amplifier capacitors while I have them open. God, I LOVE these things! No more subwoofer!
    They sound..... delicious. I don't know how to describe it. But they brought the 9500 to life.

    Yes, you can bypass the amp. Very easy, actually. Just unscrew it, remove the 2 speaker wires and run a new set. Put the amp back and run the wires out of the bottom.
    But more likely the amp just needs a few caps. Or.... did you check the fuses on the bottom?

    Marc
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010

     

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  7. 325bmw

    325bmw Active Member

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    Nope, have not had a chance to look at the fuse yet. I'm in the midle of repairing some RL 140's at the moment. (I would have started on the Penta's first, but I did not pick those up until I was already into the 140's). Thanks for the info on the amp bypass. How much "hurt" are the new midranges from B&O?
     
  8. Tinman

    Tinman AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    About $51 each hurt. :cry:

    But I'll have peace for another 20 years. I did NOT want to learn re-foaming on these. I may try it on the old drivers later and see.

    Listening to some Moby right now. :thmbsp:

    Sweeet! :music:
     
  9. 325bmw

    325bmw Active Member

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    Stop rubbing it in......now I'm going crazy wanting to get my Penta's up to snuff!!!! :D
     
  10. Tinman

    Tinman AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So I received my new mids for the Pentas. All 8 of them. Turns out replacing them was quite easy. About 20 minutes per speaker. I didn't even move them. Just removed the cloth, unscrewed and unplugged the "panel" with the mids and tweeter.
    Then I replaced the mids and popped the whole panel back in.

    They sound great! I really, really wanted to open them up, but am not alone today. So I'll have to wait before I can open the taps. :D

    You know, there may be loads of arguments about speakers and how they sound. But I have to give credit to B&O. These are no slouches. I find them very pleasing to listen to. Not harsh, and a very satisfying bottom end. I like to "feel" a bass string.

    Nice.
     
  11. 325bmw

    325bmw Active Member

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    Well, have you been able to "open" them up yet?????????????????

    :music::music::music::music:
     

     

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  12. the-real-mandak

    the-real-mandak Super Member

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    Quite a few say the Penta's driven by a good external amp are the best speakers B&O ever has made (of curse most statements where made before the Beolab 5).

    IIRC There is something with the amp's of the Penta I, they rot over time if not looked after - propperly the caps being coked.

    BTW. I wish for a pair of Penta III to go with my old B&O TV, I like them.
     
  13. klama2006

    klama2006 Super Member

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    Congrats
     
  14. wondergt

    wondergt I want it all

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    Guys, Great thread. The Penta are my child hood dream too. I worked in a hi-fi shop when I was college and always wanted a pair. My dream came true a few weeks ago and I picked up a pair in near mint condition Penta III. Only issue with these jewels, according to the guy that sold them to me, is the displays don't work. I think he was mistaken. He may have had bad cables. I have no way to test them because I don't own a B&O receiver (and don't plan to). Any ideas how I might be able to test the displays without a B&O rec? I want to know if they work so if I ever decide to sell them. Thanks.
     
  15. minzi67

    minzi67 New Member

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    Hi, am a new member, have just bought a pair of Penta 's, series 2's.there one owner, had foam surrounds replaced by B&O in 2008, came with all original manuals,and are in near mint condition...i honestly love these units, not just the sound they produce but also how they look..just timeless...people just cant believe that there 25 years old!!!....
     
  16. rexrugby

    rexrugby New Member

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    what a deal

    just found a pair of penta 2's at goodwill for $30. I replaced the midrange surrounds and they work amazingly. hope the amps continue to work but for my investment of $80 I know I can't lose. feel like I won the lottery.
     

     

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  17. playdrv4me

    playdrv4me Active Member

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    I got a pair of Penta 3s (final edition purchased by the original owner in 1999, there were *2* versions of Penta 3 denoted by a very subtle difference in the display) in new old stock condition with their original boxes with a bad Beosound 9000 which I then turned around and sold in as-is condition. As a result I have a fraction of their original cost in them. By the way, the early combo of BS9000 and Penta was rather odd in my opinion. Two VERY divergent designs from rather different "eras" of B&O. Still, many a combo was sold this way, as these were to the older lady that bought and then stored them.

    Right off I can say the displays in the Penta 3 are much prettier than those in the Penta 2 which has those blocky LEDs. The Penta 3 display, if you have something that can drive it like my 9500 can, is a dot-matrix arrangement much like the beautiful red display on the BeoLink 7000 (another B&O must have and what was responsible for originally getting my attention) remote control. I only have one going currently as I feel like two displays at once is a bit of overkill. I also like the cool smoked display covers on the 3.

    Sound-wise. Well, they're good. Not exceptional but very good for what they are. Considering that back when these were new I'm fairly certain you could have come close to a top of the line B&W 800 Series speaker for much the same money, they certainly don't compete in the class of that "benchmark" speaker. But they are very good regardless. It is said that the "final editiion" Penta 3 uses a slightly different mid-range driver which is more resistant to rot, but it could just be that they are newer. Though I actually sold another 9000 to a gentleman with a Penta *1* BEOVOX (i.e. no amp, I helped him set up a hidden amplifier for them so he could still enjoy his 9000 with them) that were purchased by him new and STILL survived with their ORIGINAL midrange foams in-tact! That was somewhat encouraging to see. A good test to check for early foam rot on a prospective set is to *gently* touch the foam surrounds with your fingers. If they feel tacky to the touch, they are deteriorating and will need replacement in short order.

    If the amps ever take a dump, I will bypass them and use something like a Sony TA-N77ES to drive them. At that point however they'd be used as part of a different system and would likely be replaced by Beolab 8000s for the 9500.

    Definitely a recommended purchase if you can find a set that was well looked after. You'll either put in the equal cost labor right away futzing with the surrounds and likely the amps (which is fine if you're into that sort of thing), or pay more for a nice set. I recommend picking up a dedicated stainless steel cleaner and going over them occasionally to maintain that factory new sheen. Like so many things B&O, the stainless steel parts are held on to the plastic speaker casing with nothing more than cheap adhesive. It's common for the long thin strips along the back to work loose over time. Mine did near the bottom after I brought them south in a hot car on one of the speakers. As I was easing it out of the car, the bottom edge that had worked loose caught something and I found it sticking out later. I fixed it with the same super glue gel I used for the glass panels on the 9500, but I recently found a seller on Ebay selling strips (which I presume he made) you can use as replacements, which will look better if the ones you have got bent in any way.

    Ultimately, for about the same money as you typically find these for however, you can probably find a pair of something more sonically interesting, such as JBL XPL-140s which I currently have in a different system, and which are superior in sound reproduction and durability (sans amplifiers). The JBLs, much like the Pentas, are a very little known secret for anyone other than die-hard JBL enthusiasts. I found out about them after a gentleman I sold one of the above mentioned TA-N77ES amps I previously owned to raved about them. Easily one of the best speaker purchases I've ever made. If you've got other B&O gear, though, the Pentas are a nice addition to your collection, and regarded by many as the next best speaker B&O ever produced after the BeoLab 5 (which I also had for a time).
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  18. whathahell

    whathahell Active Member

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    ah, here's the Penta thread......I just hauled home a pair of Penta II's for 25 bucks. the surrounds are on their way out and will need to be replaced but won't be harmed with some mild interim use.

    My problem is one amp is dead and one goes into protection mode shortly after it's tuned on. The sound I get for that short time is very nice.

    My question is....how difficult is it to remove the amps and bypass them for a short term fix?
     
  19. Adda

    Adda Super Member

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    Easy, the amps are the bottom part of the speaker, and comes right off, the amps are hooked up to regular binding posts at the bottom of the speakers.
     
  20. whathahell

    whathahell Active Member

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    thanks, do the crossovers stay with the amps? or will the speaker retain them and also the load info to the amp?
     

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