Help with Penta 3 speakers?

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  • #5662
    Trogger
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 1
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    Hello! Longtime lurker, first time poster, finally ginning up the nerve to ask a question. So… it’s a long one.

    I recently inherited a pair of working Penta 3 speakers, along with a Beosystem 2500 (CD player & tape deck). The Beosystem is in need of some refurbishing (automatic glass doors are in good shape but currently removed due to a track issue, and I was told that the tape deck no longer works), but as a CD player and RCA receiver for the speakers, it works decently well. There’s a little oddness in the signal strength (volume, I guess) between the left and right channel when the CD player is the input source, but by toggling the L/R channel in the Pentas and having the louder speaker stay on the L channel, I think I can narrow that down to a problem with the Beosystem.

    The Pentas are in great shape, which is nice because they’re personally the more exciting aspect of the set. Something I never knew I needed until they came into my life.

    My issue stems from the fact that I already have a Denon receiver (AVR-S720W, 4 ohm I believe) that I like well enough, which we use for our beloved (also inherited & restored) Beogram 1600 turntable as well as all our projector and AV streaming/gaming needs… and I’d ideally love to integrate the Pentas in with the current Denon setup as another zone or the rear L/R channel in our surround sound. Add to that that I don’t really want to spend the money to repair the Beomaster CD/Tape Deck, and I’m in a situation where I’m looking for the following advice:

    • As a pretty real novice here, I suspect that the fact that this is an active speaker w/ Powerlink cables seems to be the limiting factor to making it play well with my current receiver setup.
      • Any bright ideas or silver bullets?
      • I considered splicing the amplified speaker outputs from the receiver into an RCA fitting, then into the Penta Line-In, but thought better of it based on a comment I found elsewhere.
        • Bad idea, right?
        • Would using speakerlink cable be the better move in this case
      • The Denon does have an RCA Pre Out, although it’s dedicated to the subwoofer. There appears to be some custom setting in the manual to dedicate the subwoofer to output audio, but I was still wary.
        • Should I just look for another receiver with better PreOut RCA options?
      • Denon also has an Audyssey feature, basically a microphone to balance the speakers in the room to one another… but I suspect it’s not smart enough to avoid bypassing the active/passive distinction before it’s too late. I’m assuming this is too niche a use-case for anyone to have experience with, but… including it just in case.
    • Are there any modern(ish) B&O receivers that could just replace my whole Denon arrangement? Do modern B&O receivers even use Powerline/Speakerlink? I feel like this is really getting into Sounds Heavenly territory here…
    • I assume this is the option that everyone here will most prefer, but… should I just decouple my Denon+Projector+AV system from the Beogram+Penta+Beomaster system?
      • This would be my first choice if there was another location in my apartment for ideal B&O setup, but that will be hard to come by. At the very least, want to exhaust the combined receiver scenario first.
      • So, more out of curiosity at this point (at least until the above is exhausted), but what’s a decent vintage B&O option for the receiver? I assume I could just go directly from the record player to the speaker via RCA, but then… no volume control. Rather than having the Beomaster 2500 repaired (I’m not a huge fan, and it’s a hard sell to my wife), is there a different, ideally low profile, Beomaster from about the same time period as the Beogram that you all would recommend?

    Whew – Very long posting, so thanks for sticking around and in advance for any ideas you all might have!

     

    #5801
    BeoFrederic
    BRONZE Member
    • SF Bay Area
    • Topics Started 2
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    Short answer to a long post: write to Steve@SoundsHeavenly and ask how to connect your Denon to the Pentas.

    Longer answer: Sounds Heavenly web site is down ATM, so I can’t confirm, but I’m 99% sure that he offers a solution that attenuates speaker-level, so you can connect to Denon speaker outputs to …PL, iirc.  That will be your cost-effective option.

    If you want to upgrade the AVR, there are a zillion options.  Just ensure that it has line-out jacks for all 5.1 channels (or 7.1 or whatever), and that it supports surround sound through those jacks.

    If you decide to dedicate the Pentas to a stereo setup in another room, and want to use a B&O source that isn’t your Beocenter 2500, then again you have choices.  You’ll need RIAA amplification for the Beogram, either built in to the Beomaster, or outboard.  The Beomaster 1600 is the time-period match for your turntable….but it lacks PL output.

    If you want low profile Beomaster with PL,  look into the pizza-boxes:  Beomaster 5500, 6500, 7000.  These are more period-relevant to your Pentas, and have RIAA amplification built-in.

     

    #5807
    Steve at Sounds Heavenly
    Moderator
    • Topics Started 11
    • Total Posts 55

    Hi,

    Sorry for the slow reply, yes I can help! My website is offline over the weekend, but the links below will work from Monday morning.

    Although your Denon receiver doesn’t have RCA pre-out sockets fitted, , you can still connect the speakers by one of the two methods below:-

    1) Connect two speakers to the headphone socket of the receiver with this cable: https://soundsheavenly.com/line-in-connection/77-241-minijack-to-beolab-line-in-using-phono-rca-sockets-one-cable-for-two-speakers.html#/2-length-1m

    2) Connect two speakers to the red and black speaker terminals on the back of the receiver using this special Attenuated Converter: https://soundsheavenly.com/line-in-connection/33-power-amplifier-to-beolab-line-in-attenuated-convertor-kit.html and then use this cable to connect the speakers to the output sockets of the Converter: https://soundsheavenly.com/line-in-connection/6-30-av-processor-pre-amp-sonos-to-beolab-rca-line-in-one-cable-for-two-speakers.html#/2-length-1m

    Option 1 is cheaper, but the cable will be visible at the front of the receiver and this will disable any other speakers connected to the receiver. Option 2 allows the cables to be hidden and the Beolab speakers can be used along with your other speakers for surround sound if required.

    The converter above (option 2) will give better sound quality than using the Speakerlink input of the Pentas (which are basically doing the same job of attenuating the speaker level signal). However, the best option of all is to upgrade the receiver to one that has RCA pre-out sockets fitted, as this gives the best sound quality and makes it easier to add more speakers in the future.

    Ideally, I would suggest looking at the Pioneer SC-LX59, Denon AVC-X3700H, Yamaha RX-A880 or RX-V785 AV processors/receivers, all of which have audio pre-out sockets for easy connection of Beolab speakers for a Dolby surround sound setup.

    Please feel free to get in touch at any time via my sponsor link below or reply to this thread if you have any questions and I will be happy to help!

    Kind regards, Steve.

    #5886
    Trogger
    BRONZE Member
    • Topics Started 1
    • Total Posts 2

    Thanks to you both, Steve & BeoFrederic!

    Great feedback and a lot to consider., but it’s nice to have options. In the meantime, I’ll probably head over to Sounds Heavenly site and pursue option 2, and eye a new processor/receiver as a future purchase.

    All the best! Justin.

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