Pinna Zigmahornet Speakers – Review
Not so long ago, while checking my headmania facebook account, I noticed a new message from a guy Razvan. I was surprised to see he was a Romanian entrepreneur that wanted to enter the speaker manufacturing business.
He told me that he already has a model which he thinks is ready to enter the market and he asked me if I would listen to them and if they were worthy for a review. The name of the fresh Romanian company is Pinna and I hope you’ll be hearing a lot about it.
At first I was a little skeptical, as I’ve met some guys that made their own diy speakers and none of them impressed me throughout the time. Being glad to see any Romanian startup, especially since I’ve been working in an international one for more than 2 years, I proposed a beer meeting. This meeting proved to me that Razvan is passionate guy and that he has the necessary knowledge to make a good product. He also seems to have the good type of stubbornness that helps him stick to his principles and get the most out of his ideas.
Looks, Build Quality and Specs
This is the first time I’ve seen and heard this kind of speakers. They are made after the apparently well known Zigmahornet design and it has a use a full range Foxtex FE103En driver on each speaker.
When I laid my eyes on them for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised by the good build quality and well done finishing. They are made of 16 mm MDF wood with a semi-glossy acrylic paint applied on them.
These speakers come at a very reasonable price: 360 Eur. You will see below why I consider them to be cheap for what they offer.
Power (RMS): 5 Watts
Music Power: 20 Watts
Impedance: 8 Ohms
Frequency Response: 50Hz – 22kHz
Sensitivity (1w / 1m) 90dB
Speaker: 1x103mm broadband
Dimensions (WHD): column 128x1500x110mm, sole 268x27x251mm
No frequency filters
Weight: 10 kg a piece
I asked Razvan some questions about his first product.
What are their purpose and place on the market?
I wanted to get a high-performance sound at a reasonable price and this thing was possible only if you stray a little from the classic hi-fi formula: multi driver speakers, sound filters, expensive amplifiers.
Why Zigmahornet design and Fostex Drivers?
Zigmahornet has special acoustic properties, as it acts as a resonant tube, getting very close to the natural timbre of classic instruments. Being familiar with the full range drivers from Fostex, I chose the FE103EN, a driver that fostex produced for 50 years, being one of the best in its class. For me Zigmahornet is the result of a very good report between functionality and design.
Why are these speakers special?
When I started on this road, I wanted to get as close as possible to the music, to experience the liveliness and natural tonality that is missing in a lot of expensive sound systems. I followed the classical audiophile path going from entry level equipment to famous ones. I wasn’t satisfied, I wanted more. It so happens that I’ve stumbled upon full range speakers. In the accommodation period, I admired the clarity and the dynamics they were capable of. They also seemed to bring something very important to the sound presentation, something that is essential to acoustical music, and that thing is a natural timbre that brings the sound closer to the live performance.
In conclusion, I want to share my experience with this type of sound and bring a new / alternative approach to the Romanian audio community.
If you want to know anything else about them, you can contact Pinnas‘ founder right here.
Listening Impressions and Tests
The tests have been done with Audio-Gd Master 9 as Pre-Amp, MSB Analog Dac, AG500 Power Regenerator and a very small 7W amplifier that can fit in my pocket.
Yes, that’s right, that small amplifier, initially designed for headphones managed to successfully drive these speakers. I also tried the 4.5W Decware Taboo MK3, but it didn’t have enough power to drive them.
Being the first song in the tests, I was extremely impressed by the Pinnas. I never expected this level of details from them. The sound was very fast and snappy with a very crisp and transparent presentation. The sparkle and detail of every pluck from the guitars was very impressive indeed, accompanied by a fast decay and strong, well felt pluck.
I was again surprised with their performance. The voice was crystal clear and the oldie effect applied to it in this song was very well transposed by the hornets. The guitar plucks were again extremely pleasant being very sparkly and detaile. What surprised me even more is the fact that the sub-bass was present and well felt on this song. The layering and instrument separation were very good and make the music very lively.
The Handsome Family – The Forgotten Lake
The voices were incredible on this song. The Hornets caught their texture and extension while presented them with a very natural tonality. The female voices were very well separated from the male ones. Actually the layering / imaging were very good and gave a made me feel in a big concert hall.
I’ve got goosebumps on this song. The voices were so real / natural, so well extended that I felt like Leonard and the backup voices were in the room with me. This is an area where the ZigmaHornets really shine. I heard how the voice started from the throat, how the lips touched each other between the words, I felt the timbre of the voice in my body.
The Pinnas excel on instrumental music indeed. All the instruments were very well extended and detailed. The plucks of the guitars were strong, crispy clean and sparkly. The soundstage was very well determined from the well extended echoes of the instruments. Again, all the instruments were very well contoured and delimited.
Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing
As you may expect, the voice and the guitars were very good again. However, I felt like the drum missed the most important part, the kick, the punch, showing a gap in the frequency responce between 100-170 Hz I think. The sub-bass however was there, not as present as on other speakers, but it was decently present. The song was overall enjoyable and well presented.
Vivaldi – Autumn – Allegro (La Caccia)
The sound was fast with a very tall and deep soundstage. The treble was very well extended without being harsh or bright. The presentation overall was good but I felt like the lower tonality instruments weren’t as well extended and full bodied. This contributed to the feeling that the soundstage lacked a little in width.
Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal
The heartbeat from the beginning showed decent sub-bass. However, when the song begun, I felt the same issue with the drums and bass. It didn’t have the punch and attack necessary to make it sound right.
Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall ( Part 2 )
I didn’t expect this, but on this song, the ZigmaHornets sounded quite decent. The drum on this song were ok, as I think they hit lower notes ( <100 hz ), notes that the Hornets can reproduce in a decent manner. The voices and electrical guitar extension were very good this time as well.
I felt that the soundstage would have used a little more width again.
This area is not one of the strong points of the Hornets. Even if it has decent sub-bass, the punch / kick of the bass on drums and other instruments for example isn’t as present / strong as it should be. I think that the frequency response has a gap between 100-170 hZ. This is why these speakers wouldn’t be a great pick for heavy rock or electronic music.
To get the most out of this section I added 3 dB in Foobar’s equalizer to the 55 and 110 hZ, and 1 dB to 156 hZ. This tweak gave me fuller bodied instruments and voices. Increasing the 77 hZ frequency didn’t help me, as it took away from the transparency of the sound.
I’ve also listened to them from a smaller room, and the sound became a little fuller and the bass gained more presence, but it still had the deep on 100-177 hZ.
This is one of the section where these speakers shine. From voices to instruments, this section is highly detailed and extended. The guitars for example are very well reproduced, with strong, crispy clean and sparkly plucks, becoming very addictive after a few songs.
The treble is in the same league with the mids. It is very well extended and capable of very sparkly moments without being harsh/bright.
The voices on these speakers are amazing. I remember that at one point while being in the room, a voice startled me as I thought that person was in my room, but realized quickly that it was just something from the computer playing on the speakers. So, the voices have a very natural and pleasant timbre with great detail, extension and presence.
Instrument Separation & Imaging
The imaging and instrument separation are very good on these speakers. Every instrument/voice is very well delimited throughout the layers.
The soundstage is good, being very tall and deep. However, sometimes I feel like it would need a little width. This is also a feeling that occurs because of the too short decay on the lower frequency instruments, taking away from the grandness of the sound somehow.
One of the first things I observed was that the sound was very fast with quick and natural decays on the mids/treble. The sound is overall very snappy.
Transparency & Resolution
The voices and instruments are so well reproduced that it feels like they are in the same room with you. The details on the hornets are very good on the midrange and treble sections
The transients are very good on the mids and treble, showing good attack with natural and fast decays. On the bass region, however, the attack is kind of lacking and the decays are too fast, leaving the extension of the lower frequency instruments in the air.
The instruments and voices do have a very natural and lifelike timbre.
Even if the Pinna Zigmahornets are not genre masters, and I wouldn’t recommend them to people that listen to heavy rock or electronic music, these speakers are extremely good on instrumental and vocal music. They are so good in those regions, that I cannot believe how cheap they are for what they are offering. I even think that you could add a sub-woofer and listen to all types of music, if you want too.
The Hornets have some qualities very hard to find even in higher priced speakers. They offer incredible transparency, resolution with top notch mids and treble for their price.
Another positive thing about them is the fact that they can be driven very easily. They sounded great even from a 7W T amplifier that could fit my pocket and that was initially designed for headphone amplification.
Considering this is Razvan’s first set of speakers, I must congratulate him for the awesome results he got with them, and can’t wait to hear his future designs.
- Good build quality and appealing design
- Very easy to drive
- Excellent mids and treble
- Excellent with vocals
- Very good transients on the midrange and treble section
- Very good transparency and resolution
- Excellent imaging and instrument separation
- Very natural tonality
- Very well priced
- The bass section lacks punch and extension
- Sometimes the sound could use a wider soundstage
I have built a pair of the zigmahornets using MDF . I built them with TANG BAND 4″ FULL RANGE SPEAKERS .THE BASS FROM THESE SPEAKERS IN THE ZIGMAHORNETS . IS AMAZING . THE IMAGING IS 3D . IN MY VIEW THE FOSTEX CANNOT COMPETE
I’m also interested in building the Zigmahornet. Which 4″ Tang Band model did you use ?