Production: 1986 - 12/1992
Designer: Lone and Gideon Lindinger-Lowy
The Penta loudspeaker range - made up of Beolab Penta active speakers and the Beovox Penta passive speakers - had, as the name suggests, five-sides to their cabinets. The Penta range was designed in such a fashion that any internal sound waves from within the loudspeaker’s polished stainless steel cabinets would be dramatically reduced as there were no parallel surfaces. The same principle was later adhered to with BeoLab 8000 and 6000 although their cabinets were more rounded. The standard was said to be one of being acoustically ‘dead’. The cabinet design was very innovative and moved totally away from the square wooden boxes that had previously been produced by Bang & Olufsen. And because the speakers were columnar, their footprint took up very little space in the room. Also, as the cabinets were manufactured from a soft-brushed stainless steel, the tall speakers seemed to blend into their room environment so much better than if they had been manufactured from a darker, non-reflective material. The Penta range was the first group of speakers to use the reflective qualities of either stainless steel or aluminium in this manner.
Unlike their more expensive partners the Beolab Penta, the Beovox Penta was a passive design (i.e. amplifier-driven loudspeaker and not possessing its own built-in amplifier like the Beolab Penta). Its 9-way deiver system was manufactured in exactly the same way as its more powerful Beolab partners. The only thing that one would have noticed seeing them side-by-side was that the Beovox Penta was slightly less tall as it did not sit on its own specially-shaped amplifier. Also, there was no electronic display on the speaker cabinet, unlike the amplifier Beolab version.
Since their introduction in the mid-1980s, and as a way of differentiating them still further, they have been coined ‘Pentavox’ to emphasise their lack of built-in amplifier. Even though they had no built-in floor-level amplifier they still retained their slightly raised five-sided silvered plinth, in much the same way as the Beolab design.
The loudspeaker - although not delivering as much power as the Beolab equivalents - were still desirable and extremely useful in that their qualities allowed them to be used well with, say, the Beomaster 5500 system which was on sale at the same time. Other than that, they could easily be connected to other manufacturers’ products to give them a ‘Bang & Olufsen sound’.
As popular as they were, the larger and more powerful Beolab Penta versions were the outright winners in the product war so the Pentavox were discretely withdrawn. No other passive speakers would from that time be manufactured by the company other than the highly successful Beovox Redline range of which the RL140 was the largest and most powerful.
Type:6611 (1986 - Dec 1992)
RMS power handling capacity 150 watts
Music power handling capacity 200 watts
Impedance 8 ohms
Frequency range 4+ -8 dB 40 - 20,000 Hz
Power at 96 dB SPL 2.5 watts
Sensitivity 1 W 92 dB
Distortion 250 - 1000 Hz
Distortion > 1000 Hz <0.5%
Cabinet principle: Bass reflex
Woofer: 4 units 13 cm
Mid-range: 4 units 8 cm
Tweeter: 2.5 cm
Net volume: 32 litre