Thursday, June 11, 2009

Speakers - Pioneer CS-901

I've read in audio forums where people have referred to the CS-901 as ". . .the worst of the Kabuki era," and then there's this one from Audio Karma in which the author of the post referred to these as "[The CS-901] wasn't engineered - it was spec'd out by the marketing department. It's just a mindless copy of every speaker cliche they could think of."

I'll agree that the plastic horn in the center of the 15" woofer looks ridiculous, and that these were probably designed with a steep emphasis on form over function. I listened to this pair though, and they sounded . . .well, weak. The bass wasn't nearly deep enough for that size of a woofer, and so I pushed on the cone to find it was very slow to respond. I watched as the rubber surround material wrinkled during this exercise and realized these speakers have seen better days. One would have to spend the money to re-edge the woofers if they wanted these to sound anything like they did back in the mid-70s.

I'm sure these looked very impressive in a store window though - with or without the wood lattice grills, the Pioneer speakers in this series were certainly eye-catching if nothing else.

Have any stories or photos of your Pioneer CS-901 speakers? Please leave a comment or send me an email.

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  1. Hi, I happen to own about 6 CS-901's and 2 CS-801s. When I got my 1st set of four, the woofers were frozen and didn't move properly, so had little bass. So, I found a great 1970's guy to repair them. He disassembled and remagnetized the woofers and put them back together. I had no idea that was possible. After that, they sounded great. One thing though. Driven through a modern receiver, they sounded like they had little to no bass. Driven through a high power 1974 Pioneer amp from 1974 with bass control up and loudness on, they rock the house down with bass. I am happy with them and run them in my dolby digital 5.1 system. No subwoofer needed with these guys amped properly.

  2. i have to disagree with everyone her i have read all thos posts too and i can say the are wrong to a point. i have four hooked up to a strong amp and the sound very loud and clear. my dad had thes speakers laying around the house for years. i finally hooked them up to a strong amp and thought the would burn up the first time i put the volume up. but to my suprise the held up. the sound fantastic for there age.

  3. I have two Pioneer CS-901A speakers for sale. Contact me if interested. They are in good working order and have no blemishes to the wood finish. I will send pictures to respondents.

  4. I have a pair of 901a's the center part of the coaxial speaker is metal not plastic.

  5. I'll certainly give you the benefit of the doubt on the metal horn in the center. Thanks for chiming in :)

    1. Right now I am listening to a pair of Pioneer CS-901A's I bought in 1975 and they sound great. The wood finish is a litle blemished on both of them, but they still sound really good. I don't think having the speaker plane at equal from your ear makes much difference. I also have a new ones still in the box. I tried to order 4 but they sent me 3 and a check for the cost of the fourth one, so I think I have some of the last CS-901A's ever made. I use a Yamaha 200w power amp.

  6. i also diagree with the reviews i have a pair of pioneer cs901a the horn in the center of the woofer is also metal is there any difference between the cs901 and the cs901a

  7. I'm glad everyone is providing input on these. I'm getting an education with each comment. Thank you.

  8. hallo...
    ich hab auch ein paar cs 901a,ich kann nur sagen ich hab mir schon viele lautsprecher anhehört aber ich muss sagen für das alter(42 jahre)sind diese lautsprecher einfach top! sie lösen gut auf und sind überaus dünamisch. den etwas schwachen tiefton erweitere ich mit einem subwoofer.
    Ps. weiß jemand was die cs 901a mal gekostet haben? der neupreis würde mich mal interesieren...
    ich hab mir mal das manual besorgt...ein sehr interesanter lautsprecher.. ;-)

  9. Great sound speakers, need to run by old solid state analog amplifier, not new digital crap.

  10. I am the original owner of 4 901's bought mid 70's. I have them hooked up to a JVC quadraphonic amplifier of the same genre. The sound when playing vinyl on a really good turn table is amazing. The 115 watt per channel also helps. They work best with an older amp that does not clip as much as the new ones.

  11. I would also like to add that the woofer surrounds are not rubber or foam, they are infact treated fabric surrounds.

    901 and 901a share the same PXA-381 coaxial subwoofer.



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