Beolab Penta – any future?

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Home Forums Product Discussion & Questions BeoLab Beolab Penta – any future?

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  • #55999
    sorenfelden
    BRONZE Member
      • Topics Started 6
      • Total Posts 10

      I have always loved the Pentas; To me, it is still by far the best looking B&O speaker ever made, it has a lot of “presence”.  I am considering buying a pair, together with a Beolab 2 subwoofer for extra bass. However, B&O stopped producing the Pentas in 2001, so we are looking at at least 23 years of use. Provided I get a pair in good condition, possibly upgraded with respect to foam, mid-range tweeters etc., could I expect to have good speakers for, say, 10 years to come?

      I am hoping B&O will look into their archives and start re-producing it or maybe start to re-market old refurbished versions as they recently did with the Beogram 4000c and Beosound 9000c. However, I was hoping that by buying a used pair, and maybe making repairs and upgrades to the extent possible, I would have a significantly cheaper options for, say, 10 years to come? Is that feasible?

      #56000
      Evan
      GOLD Member
        • San Francisco
        • Topics Started 9
        • Total Posts 164

        Have you listened to a set? I find them to be highly capable. They don’t really need too much extra bass for music in my opinion, however, they do need a boost for use in home theater applications. It isn’t my favorite speaker in the whole world but it does many things extremely well for its price point and size. Its not too large considering its capability and it is very accessible price-wise. Clearly was a high runner back in the day judging by how many I find available second hand these days.

        The sad reality is that these are hard to find in sorted condition. They are one of the more easy to find bits of B&O in the US but they have usually lived hard lives and are completely neglected leaving all the maintenance/overhaul work for the second owners. Most likely, the mids will be rotted, the caps will need replacing and the amps (if equipped) have some issues to sort as well. My overhaul activities have revealed that the foam tape that seals the enclosure pieces together will also need replacing. However if all of that work is indeed done already, you would get at least a couple decades out of them without issue.

        Would be great to see new transducers and an updated crossover become available for the Penta. As I’ve mentioned in my ongoing Penta project, the drivers are pretty vanilla – nothing special.

        That being said, I think there is something special about Penta as a system. It is a speaker worth preserving. I hope B&O shines a light on it but in a more collaborative and novel way than the typical “c” projects so far. There are so many Pentas out there in the world to rescue. We should work (as a community) to develop a second life for them that is approachable for the prospective B&O community AND enthusiasts. Sustainability has been a topic on my mind in recent months, it is an area in the loudspeaker industry that needs a lot of attention and innovation. Perhaps B&O could support a way for people to easily bring these speakers back to life or some kind of cradle-to-cradle product cycle for these instead of developing a fresh version of the speaker that is completely out of reach for most folks.

        #56026
        sorenfelden
        BRONZE Member
          • Topics Started 6
          • Total Posts 10

          I haven’t listened to them extensively, only occasionally hearing them in passing years ago. Regarding the bass, I will probably always seek to enhance the bass in speakers, except when they already have an undoubtedly plentiful amount, like the Beolab 5s. My primary listening preference is for remixes of pop and dance music, which are typically quite bass-heavy. It’s not about the ability to produce bass at high volumes; rather, it’s about achieving noticeable bass at low or normal listening levels, similar to the experience in a cinema or theatre. There’s something incredibly luxurious about hearing that low, yet distinct, rumble. Same as driving a Bentley or Rolls-Royce (I guess) – you might be bobbing along at only 50 mph and do not really need that V8, but is sounds fantastic. 😉

          From my research, it seems that HiFi enthusiasts generally agree that any setup benefits from not just one, but ideally two subwoofers (or even more for large home theatres).

          I agree with your comments about the “c” projects. While they are a great idea in principle, the cost is downright ridiculous. I would be willing to pay up to approximately EUR 10-15,000 for a set of new or substantially factory-refurbished Pentas with wireless connectivity and a functional display, but that would be my absolute limit. Given that the price originally was less than EUR 3,000 for a pair, that should more than allow for inflation. There are many vintage car enthusiasts around the world who restore cars to their original condition or better—I wonder if the same apply to B&O products…? I would love any recommendations.

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